I am not quite sure if it is appropriate, exactly, to call Amy Ryan a character actress, although perhaps she is. I think it might be safe to say that she might be my favorite actress working today. She doesn't have the stunning good looks of your average movie star beauty, like an Angelina Jolie, she is pretty, don't get me wrong, but she is able to blend in and become a variety of characters. According to IMDB, her career, IMDB-wise, seemed to begin in 1990 on the soap opera, As The World Turns, and she just sort of went from there, beginning in television and moving on to film. I noticed too that she had a lot of detective shows under her belt, particularly Law & Order, but really everyone seems to have at least one Law & Order credit these days. More interestingly, to me, is that she was on Homicide: Life On The Street in 1999, I'd be willing to bet that's where she caught David Simon's eye. Which is awesome for her, since they she got to be on one of (if not THE) greatest shows ever, The Wire, of course, and even got to have an affair with McNulty on the show.
For me, Amy Ryan is so reliably good that she makes everything she is in better. You might remember that at the beginning of the year I was really down on The Office. Don't get me wrong, I still think it should end sooner rather than later, but I have to admit that having Amy Ryan back this season, and her arc with Steve Carell's Michael Scott, have given the show a nice kick in the pants. Is it at the level of say Seasons 2-3? No. But it shows a marked improvement from last season, and having Holly (Ryan) around is giving Steve Carell a nice sendoff to the series. I really like her and I like their interaction, and I actually really liked last week's episode when they not only got engaged, I liked their engagement, but set the table for Michael Scott moving on. I like that it is because of Holly that he is going to be moving, thats as invested I can get in fictional characters
Her oscar nominated turn in Gone Baby Gone. This, to me, was a real departure for her. Playing a very South Boston mom whose kid has gotten kidnapped.
I forgot she played Ethan Hawke's ex-wife in Before The Devil Knows Your Dead.
Or the reporter in Green Zone.
And this I totally didn't remember since, overall, the movie was terrible, but apparently was "Neighbor with toddler" in War Of The Worlds.
Partially because of her, and partially because of the director Thomas McCarthy (who played the journalist who was basically making up his stories in the last season of The Wire), I want to see Win-Win. When I saw she was in it it pushed it over the top for me, since I already really enjoyed Mccarthy's other movies, The Station Agent and The Visitor.