All my favourite actors are chameleons, and that certainly describes Lili Taylor. She seems to change herself profoundly from film to film, adapting her looks, her voice, her attitude, even her gait, to suit her role. Most transformative are two films I've seen her in recently. A few months ago I saw A Slipping Down Life, an otherwise pretty terrible film in which Taylor gives a performance of astonishing conviction and believability as a woman who goes to quite disturbing extremes to prove how much she loves a singer, played by an uncharacteristically wooden Guy Pearce. Then just today I watched I Shot Andy Warhol, a considerably better film, well directed by Mary Harron and with strong performances from Martha Plimpton and Stephen Dorff, but in which Taylor acts everyone else off the screen. She's incredible as Valerie Solanas; giving another convincing portrait of slowly slipping sanity.
The only time I've seen her be bad was in a film I couldn't finish; The Promotion in which she sports one of the worst Scottish accents ever comitted to the screen (honestly, Mel Gibson's William Wallace sounds like a native by comparison). Other than that though, whatever the part, whether it's a lead or just a small part in an ensemble (see her wonderfully warm bit part in High Fidelity) Taylor is always believeable to the point that the actress seems to go away and leave you watching the character and that. surely, is the test of great acting.
Obviously it's a Yay as an actor. Looks wise... I've seen her be rather mannish (as in Andy Warhol), but there's something about her, and she can also be very beautiful, so that's a yay for me too.
Any other fans of this fine actress around?
Edit: Fuuuck. How did I manage to post about Lili Taylor and not mention Corey and her 60 plus songs about Joe in Say Anything. It's probably the first thing I saw her in, and she's just fantastic, making what could be quite a pathetic character absolutely indentifiable and sympathetic. I went looking for Corey singing Joe Lies on youtube, so I could post it here, but I couldn't find it.