SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK
JENNIFER JASON LEIGH (Maria) first teamed with Charlie Kaufman when she starred in his sound play Anomalisa, which he wrote and directed at UCLA's Royce Hall. She first came to prominence as the heartbreakingly innocent teenager, Stacy, in Amy Heckerling's FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH. Six years later she garnered the Best Supporting Actress Awards from both the New York Film Critics Circle and the Boston Society of Film Critics for her portrayals in both Uli Edel's LAST EXIT TO BROOKLYN and George Armitage's MIAMI BLUES.
Risky, complex, characters have become the signature of this actress who disappears chameleon-like into her roles. Jennifer has worked with many of the most fearless, maverick directors of our time. She starred in two films for Robert Altman--SHORT CUTS and KANSAS CITY, Joel and Ethan Coen's THE HUDSUCKER PROXY, Barbet Schroeder's SINGLE WHITE FEMALE, David Cronenberg's EXISTENZ, Jane Campion's IN THE CUT, Agnieszka Holland's WASHINGTON SQUARE, Sam Mendes's ROAD TO PERDITION and Ulu Grosbard's GEORGIA which she produced with the director, and for which she was honored again by the New York Film Critics Circle, this time with the Best Actress Award. Her performance also earned her The Montreal Film Festival Best Actress Award and her second Independent Spirit Award nomination.
Jennifer's collaboration with Robert Altman continued when he selected her for the role of Dorothy Parker in his production of Alan Rudolph's MRS. PARKER AND THE VICIOUS CIRCLE, a performance which won her a Golden Globe nomination, the Best Actress Awards from the National Society of Film Critics, the Chicago Film Critics Association and her first Independent Spirit Award nomination. Her other films include: Lili Fini Zanuck's RUSH, Ron Howard's BACKDRAFT, Chrisopher Guest's THE BIG PICTURE, Brad Anderson's THE MACHINIST, Todd Solondz's PALINDROMES. In 2000 she won The Best Actress Award at Tokyo's International Film Festival for the Dogma film THE KING IS ALIVE.
Jennifer made her writing and directorial debut in 2001 with the critically lauded, THE ANNIVERSARY PARTY she co-wrote, co-starred and co-directed with Alan Cumming. The Independent Spirit Awards honored the pair with Best First Feature and Best First Screenplay nominations, and the movie garnered a citation for Excellence in Filmmaking from the National Board of Review.
Jennifer's Broadway credits include Cabaret opposite Alan Cumming and directed by Sam Mendes and David Auburn's Proof. In 2006 Jennifer returned to the New York theatre for the American premiere of Mike Leigh's Abigail's Party for The New Group. The performance earned her the Drama Desk and the Lucille Lortell Best Actress nominations.
Her impressive and diverse career has been honored with numerous retrospectives, including the prestigious American Cinematheque, Telluride Film Festival, and the American Museum of the Moving Image in New York. In 2002, the Film Society of Lincoln Center presented Leigh with its Young Friends of Film Honors. She recently starred in Noah Baumbach's MARGOT AT THE WEDDING, opposite Nicole Kidman and Jack Black.
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