If ever there were a patron saint of being down on your luck - and we mean really down and out, Charlie Brown sort of misfortune - it'd have to be William H. Macy. In the three decades-worth of film appearances shown in the video below, it becomes clear that he's perhaps had more misfortune than any actor. Relive his struggles in this supercut, proclaiming him, "Cinema's Number One Loser."
The Huffington Post Movie Mashups YouTube channel released this video today, edited together by Oliver Noble and Ben Craw, highlighting some of the highest lows that William H. Macy has played in his career. It's one thing to say that William H. Macy is really good at playing a loser, but it's another to really look at the ways his characters have explored the depths of loserdom.
He's been all over the map of Loserville, USA; and he's had some colorful failures in his various characters. When Pleasantville needed a lovable, but square middle aged man to put down during its technicolor revolution, he was more than able to do the job as George Parker. When Alec Baldwin needed someone to interrupt any high roller's hot streak at his casino, he called in Macy, a.k.a. The Cooler, to take the stakes down a couple notches. And, most notably, Macy's two best known, and most tragic, losers are two of the best performances in the past twenty years of cinema: Boogie Nights’ Little Bill and Fargo's Jerry Lundegaard.
So what is it about William H. Macy that makes him such an excellent loser? Well, going back to his role in Pleasantville, we'd have to say it's his pleasant demeanor and honest looking face. He's so inherently likable just in appearance alone that you really have to stick it to him in order to get anything done. And the more you put down William H. Macy, the more you're going to effect your audience for 90% of the time. The other 10% is filled with roles like Tick Tock McGlaughlin in Seabiscuit, which was more of a comedic relief than anything; or even director Walt Price in State And Main, where he was more of a brash ass than a lovable loser. But even in that 10%, there's still going to be some setbacks that bring us to his side of the page.
So here's to William H. Macy, a man who's such a loser that he appeared in both Jurassic Park III and the Psycho remake, and yet he's still one of our favorite people to watch on the big or small screen. While he might be a punching bag the cinematic universe rents out by the hour, we'd like to think that his payout in real life is something that eclipses all of the slings and arrows he suffers on the big screen. Cheers to you, sir! May you continue to lose gracefully, and win big.
CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.
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