‘Who We Are Now’ Review: Julianne Nicholson Proves Once Again She’s One of the Greatest Actresses Alive — TIFF
by David Ehrlich
“If there were any justice in this sick, sad world, history would remember 2017 as the year that people woke the hell up and stopped taking Julianne Nicholson for granted. There isn’t, and it won’t, but that shouldn’t stop us from giving America’s most under-appreciated screen actress the credit she’s been owed since the last century. Raw and intractably real in a number of small indies that you’ve probably never seen (“Tully,” “Flannel Pajamas”), just as good in a handful of larger films that you probably have (“Kinsey,” “August: Osage County”), and even better in three new movies that you’ll be able to see in the next few months (including “I, Tonya” and “Novitiate”), the elfin Massachusetts native may spend the brunt of her time working “Law & Order” gigs on TV, but she has an authenticity that bigger stars can’t buy and a range that Kim Jong-un would kill to achieve.”
The Ten Most Underappreciated Actors on TV This Year
by Andy Greenwald
“Julianne Nicholson is an actor’s actor. Her reputation has long been larger than her celebrity. It’s wrong to say she disappears into roles, because one of her greatest attributes is presence. When Nicholson takes hold of a character, she practically throttles it. She doesn’t play the leads. She plays the people who make the leads pay attention.
Across two seasons of Masters of Sex, Nicholson played Dr. Lillian DePaul, a crusading ob-gyn who crashed hard into the low glass ceiling of the 1950s before being stymied further by her own failing health. In the wrong hands, Dr. DePaul could have been little more than a well-educated stick in the mud for Lizzy Caplan’s self-taught Virginia Johnson to navigate around. Instead, Nicholson was at first a worthy foil, then a kind of partner, and, ultimately, a very real friend. Masters of Sex, though spotty in Year 2, has always been a strongly feminist show: Two female characters don’t have to square off over a man to share screen time; in fact, they don’t need to talk about men at all. A great deal of that strength came from Nicholson.”