by Leslie Coffin
Wednesday an SNL alumni received a National Board of Review Award for the first time. Since premiering in 1975, only six cast members have been nominated for acting honors at the Oscars. But this year, we have a host of SNL cast members who made the jump into critically praised films– Julia Louise Dreyfus in Enough Said, Taran Killam in 12 Years a Slave, and Will Forte in Nebraska. And while former cast members have done very well transitioning into television, and even at the box-office, their track record of giving crafted performances in with well-received films happen far less often than people think. So, excluding some actors who had big careers before going into SNL (Billy Crystal, Anthony Michael Hall, Randy Quaid, the Christopher Guest Ensemble) and the most recent cast offs, who are the best film actors of the bunch?
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Darling of Wes Anderson films, Oscar Nominee, played the President (anyone see that Roosevelt movie?), Murray is a pretty great actor who sometimes gets a bit too focused on proving he is a serious actor. But when you look at his impressive resume of purely comic films (Stripes, Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day), supporting roles in dramadies (Tootsie, Mad Dog and Glory) and his critical darlings (all those Anderson films, Lost in Translation, Broken Flowers), there is a great actor within one of the all-time great personality comics. So what makes Scrooged perhaps his best performance? The amount of anger, fear, and pathos he evokes without overplaying anything, and still managing to get huge laughs. Watch a clip on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvmAa1cYZK4