Movies: Catherine Keener


She patiently poured oil on Capote's roiled waters. She was skittish, slightly wounded but also discreetly sexy in The 40-Year-Old Virgin. She was tough, omnicompetent and smart-mouthed as an FBI agent in The Interpreter. And she did the best she could to assert the reality principle amid the general incompetence of The Ballad of Jack and Rose. In 2005 Catherine Keener was everywhere, in big pictures and small, in hits and flops, quietly but insistently asserting her claim to being possibly the best character actress working today.

At 46, she's tall and slender with a throaty laugh and the kind of...

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