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.