We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
I first became aware of Lili Taylor in "Mystic Pizza" (1988) a star-making film that also introduced Julia Roberts. She plays the girl who walks away from the altar because her husband-to-be doesn't believe in sex before marriage and she doesn't think it's worth marrying him just to get him into bed. That kind of almost-logical circular reasoning is common in her characters; you can see it in other Taylor masterpieces, like "Dogfight" (1991), "Household Saints" (1993), "Girls Town" (1996), her great work in "I Shot Andy Warhol" the same year, and in "Casa de los Babys" (2003).
I don't suppose Taylor was born to play Evie Decker, the heroine of "A Slipping-Down Life," but I can't imagine any other actress getting away with this role. She has a kind of solemnity she can bring to goofy characters, elevating them to holy (and usually lovable) fools. Here she plays a young woman from a backward town who is lonely and isolated and lives with her father, who loves her but spends his evenings talking to ham radio operators in Moscow. She needs for something to happen to her.
Something does. She hears a rock singer on the radio one night. His off-balance ad-lib philosophizing turns off the disc jockey, but sends her out to a local bar to see him in person. He becomes to her a demigod, a source of light and wisdom, but she is too inept to attract his attention. So she goes into the restroom and uses a piece of a broken bottle to carve his name into her forehead.
His name is Drumstrings Casey. She just carves the "Casey." "Why didn't you use my first name?" he asks her. "I didn't have room on my forehead," she says. "They call me Drum," he says. "I wish I'd known that," she says. There is another problem: She carved the name backward, because that way it looked right in the mirror. But at least when she looks at herself in the mirror, it looks OK to her.