Well, this is only about a month later than I promised. But, like The Joker, I am a man of my word, and I’m here to deliver you the goods. This is the first installment of what hopefully will be a long-running monthly feature, one that replaces last year’s Franco Files. I think in order to ensure that this lasts as long as it can, I might need some suggestions from you all. If you have any, please by all means share them in the comments below. I’m always looking to stumble on another great JCR character!
One thing I really forgot to mention last time is that due to the detailed nature of this feature, there are going to be SPOILERS APLENTY in a lot of these posts, so if you are wanting to avoid that kind of stuff, maybe you should proceed with caution. Jus’ sayin’. . . . .
Oh yes, and one more thing: I’m replacing TFF‘s ‘Out of Character’ portion in this feature — that was the part where I tried to find a quote that James Franco said relating to that particular character. Instead of it being a quote from the actor, it’ll be something JCR’s character says that I find truly represents him in that film. That section will now be called ‘That’s what he said.’ Yes, indeed.
John C. Reilly as Officer Jim Kurring in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia
Role Type: Supporting
Character Profile: Officer Jim Kurring isn’t exactly a man of confidence but he respects the badge and uniform he’s been “blessed with” and it’s no question that he respects his job as well as the work of his fellow officers on the force. But because of his rather mild-mannered, passive demeanor he finds himself often on the losing end of making significant contributions to police work, frequently getting pushed to the side so other officers can take credit for discoveries that he himself has made (like the body in Marcie’s closet).
If you lose JCR, the film loses: a nuanced portrayal of someone struggling to overcome a lack of confidence in a world that demands it. Mr. Reilly brings his trademark amiability to the role, which in this case means we are not only able to empathize with but almost pity him. Like the various other key players in this epic who are related in one way or another through their trials and tribulations, we want to see him overcome his personal struggle. For me, it was his character I wanted to see succeed more than any other. This may not be Reilly’s most recognizable character but it’s one of his most effective because he is very much an everyman stuck in a rut, and despite the badge and gun, he’s one still searching for meaning in his life.
That’s what he said: “A lot of people think this is just a job that you go to. Take a lunch hour . . . job’s over. Something like that. But it’s a 24-hour deal. No two ways about it. And what most people don’t see, is just how hard it is to do the right thing. People think if I make a judgment call . . . that’s a judgment on them, but that is not what I do. And that’s not what should be done. I have to take everything, and play it as it lays. Sometimes people need a little help. Sometimes people need to be forgiven. And sometimes they need to go to jail. And that is a very tricky thing on my part . . . making that call. I mean, the law is the law. And heck if I’m gonna break it. You can forgive someone. Well, that’s the tough part. What can we forgive? Tough part of the job. Tough part of walking down the street.”
Rate the Performance (relative to his other work):
All content originally published and the reproduction elsewhere without the expressed written consent of the blog owner is prohibited.
Photo credits: http://www.seanax.com