Happy 64th Birthday, Kevin Kline! What's His Best Onscreen Moment?


This is a special Monday, dears, because the illustrious Kevin Kline turns 64 today. The man who lit up The Big Chill before going on to garner an Academy Award for A Fish Called Wanda is that rare leading man who seems perfectly at home in bizarre character roles. I'm trembling just thinking of my favorite Kevin Kline scene. Can you guess it? Will I be plundering The Ice Storm? In & Out? Dave? Or the gritty saloon drama Wild, Wild West?

I'm always a little bothered by the general perception of Sophie's Choice -- that the movie fixates on Meryl Streep's role and all other characters barely matter or only serve to build her arc. While I don't want to detract from Streep's truly incredible work, I do want to point out that Sophie's Choice gives us three amazing characters, and Kevin Kline's Nathan Landau is one of them. In his debut role, Kline plays Sophie's hotheaded, deliriously unstable lover who vacillates from romantic to manic without warning. He is scary, and though we'll gawp in astonishment at the source of Sophie's vague hopelessness later in the film, Kline's furor is a highlight of the movie's first half. Here, he taunts Sophie by bringing up the devastating circumstances she survived.

And hey, don't let anyone tell you that Peter MacNicol isn't phenomenal here too. His character Stingo is one of the great, heartbreakingly human protagonists in modern cinema.


  • The Pope says:

    I always thought the film a bit of a cop-out which was extremely disappointing considering Pakula directed. Anyhoots, for me it was when Nathan arrives and meets Stingo and ... "well shut my mouth. If it ain't our literary figure from the south." Violence via disdain. And then for sheer, unadulterated violence... "Go back to Krakow."

  • The Pope says:

    Yes, but isn't Stingo more like Nick Calloway in Gatsby. A chronicler more than a protagonist. Stingo never did anything... and that was HIS tragedy.

  • epochd says:

    i vote for him making that awesome looking sandwich in 'Dave.'

  • SittingPat says:

    This is my favorite, although not, ironically the one on film. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ov4RMQQRRnw

  • happygolucky says:

    The one where he threw the perfect opening pitch in Dave.
    As Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream.

  • meh... says:

    Pretty much the entire movie serves as one of his greatest film moments...:)

  • j'accuse! says:

    High five.

  • casting couch says:

    Making it through the entire running time of Wild Wild West without walking off the movie in disgust.

  • Sarah says:

    This is probably more of a sentimental answer since this is my dad's favorite movie, but I'll have to go with Silverado. He was hard to read like his character was supposed to be, but instead of being irritating, it was endearing and fun to watch. Kevin Kline is insanely talented.

  • Capote99 says:

    I Love You to Death!!

  • Nathalie says:

    My top three would be "Sophie's Choice," "Soapdish," and "A Fish Called Wanda," but I also have a soft spot for him in "The Anniversary Party."

  • Becky says:

    "The Pirates of Penzance" and "A Fish Called Wanda" are my two favorites. Comedy is hard. And Kevin does it so well. So talented! So handsome! So diverse! Happy Birthday and thanks for all the joy!

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