Under the Circuit: Rosemarie DeWitt

Actress will next appear in ‘Digging for Fire,’ releasing this Friday


Most Known For: “Poltergeist,” ” “The Watch,” “Cinderella Man”

Snubbed For: “Rachel Getting Married”

It’s been a while since we’ve taken a look at a reliable character actor for one of our Under the Circuit articles, but with the release of Joe Swanberg’s latest, ‘Digging for Fire’ set to come out later this week, let’s take a look at one of the film’s stars, Rosemarie DeWitt. DeWitt got a late start to her career in Hollywood, but in her ten years in the thick of things she has proven a valuable commodity to a number of productions.

DeWitt’s first big credit game in Ron Howard’s boxing drama ‘Cinderella Man.’ For the next couple of years she would feature predominantly on TV, including a couple episode stint on ‘Rescue Me’ and a starring role on the short lived series ‘Standoff,’ where she would meet eventual husband Ron Livingston. Her real big break would come in 2008 when she starred as Rachel in the film ‘Rachel Getting Married.’

rachel_getting_married19Most probably know ‘Rachel Getting Married’ because of Anne Hathaway, as it was the film that earned the actress her first Oscar nomination as the black sheep of a family who returns home from rehab for her sister’s wedding. Well, DeWitt plays said sister, and she provides a great one-two punch with Hathaway as the film’s two focuses. DeWitt’s character has to balance the mixed emotions she has with her sister as well all the going ons of her wedding. It is a more grounded performance than Hathaway’s, but it is no less effective, or emotionally stirring.

Critics stormed to her defense with nominations from Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Detroit, New York, Toronto, Utah, and wins from Vancouver and Washington D.C. She would also receive nominations for the Breakthrough Award at the Gotham Awards and Best Supporting Actress from the Indie Spirit Awards. However, mainstream awards singled in on Hathaway alone. Of course, that included the Oscars. It’s a shame, because it still holds up as one of her best performances.

That is not to say that she’s been slacking since 2008. Her resume over the last few years includes an eclectic mix of films, including indies like ‘Margaret’ and ‘Nobody Walks,’ a studio films like ‘The Watch’ and ‘Poltergesit’ and work with some renowned directors including Gus Van Sant on ‘Promised Land’ and Jason Reitman on ‘Men, Women and Children.’

x240-lfHThe only other real flirtation for DeWitt with awards though came in ‘Your Sister’s Sister’ opposite Emily Blunt and Mark Duplass. The Lynn Shelton indie film was a bit of a darling when it came out, with DeWitt a standout. She once again earned a Best Supporting Actress nod from the Spirit Awards, and the trio won Best Ensemble and the Gotham Awards. ‘Your Sister’s Sister’ remained just an indie darling however.

Outside of ‘Digging for Fire,’ the only known role we know DeWitt will occupy in the near future is one in Damien Chazelle’s ‘Whiplash’ follow-up, ‘La La Land.’ That film will certainly get a lot of buzz around it when it comes out, so we’ll have to wait and see if DeWitt, or any of the other actors, wind up garnering some award chatter.

It’s a waiting game for character actors, and while DeWitt has shown she is talented, her Hollywood career is still relatively young. Hopefully the opportunities will come for her to show her stuff not just with audiences, but the academy as well.

What do you think?

Written by Michael Balderston

NoVA native who has returned to the Washington D.C. area after two years in L.A. My biggest annoyance since leaving L.A. is not having immediate access to indie films on their first weekend, but I'm making due. When I'm not tracking the year's Oscar players or exploring film history, I'm rooting for my Philadelphia sports teams.

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