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Twitter Users Ponder Their Favourite Film Performance by Someone Who Appears For Barely Even Five Minutes

By Petr Knava | Social Media | July 6, 2020 |

By Petr Knava | Social Media | July 6, 2020 |


A few days back, writer Kyle Kizu posed a question on Twitter that sought to highlight those small yet supremely memorable roles in film that we all know and love:

My mind immediately went to Burn After Reading in response. The Coen Brothers’ films in general are replete with well-written, hilarious, idiosyncratic minor characters that only pop up in the main story for a few minutes at most, but who nevertheless leave a huge impact on the audience. Conjuring up such personalities is second nature to the Coen Brothers’, and virtually every movie has at least two or three in them. Burn After Reading has one of my all-time favourites in it: J.R. Horne as the divorce lawyer who advises Tilda Swinton’s Katie Cox. I’d gush about him but I’d just be repeating myself. So here, uber-indulgently, I’ll just quote myself from my piece on Burn After Reading from a few years back:

Though the tangled web of intrigue and infidelity that these bloviating buffoons find themselves in is the central pillar of the film, it is the smaller things that really make it all sing. Very early on in the movie, Tilda Swinton’s Katie Cox decides to initiate divorce proceedings against her husband Osborne (Malkovich), and the minute-and-a-half scene with her divorce lawyer is pure Coens magic. Where other filmmakers might have just glossed over a scene like this or used it as a perfunctory plot point, the Coens cast actor J.R. Horne, and they told him to absolutely eat the scene up.

I just love this man, so in love with the drama of it all. He’s so pleased with his way with words and yet he still hilariously falters on as banal a word as ‘feet’. He’s sat opposite Swinton being full-on Swinton, and yet he’s the star of the show. It’s just how the Coen brothers do things.

Here he is in all his glory:

And here are some of the other answers that Twitter threw up:

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Petr is a staff contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.

Header Image Source: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures