While you’re waiting on more ‘Maisel’, check out these 3 Rachel Brosnahan movies

Amazon+Prime+Video

Amazon Prime Video

DAN BUFFA, SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH LIGHT

Ever since March 17, 2017, Rachel Brosnahan’s life has been different. That’s the night she went from an actress to a well-known face of Hollywood overnight. Playing the lead namesake on a hit series called “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” a woman in 1958 New York City who turns over her entire life in becoming a stand-up comic, Brosnahan (along with show creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, who also gave us “Gilmore Girls”) turned quite a few heads. Her Miriam “Midge” Maisel helped circumvent Jewish stereotypes by rebooting them in a fresh environment, which was the world of comics.

Fans have gotten three seasons of the show — currently streaming in its entirety on Amazon Prime Video — and while they await a fourth round later this year, here are a few roles that have made it possible for a film critic like me to appreciate Brosnahan all over again. You see, I haven’t watched “Maisel” yet, but I have seen her shine outside of Midge, so let’s help each other. The actress, who isn’t Jewish yet happily adopted some of the practices growing up in Highland Park, Ill.’s heavily Jewish community, is more versatile than you think.

 

Jean in “I am Your Woman”

ADVERTISEMENT


Julia Hart co-wrote (with her Jewish producer/husband, Jordan Horowitz) and directed this overlooked gem from last year. Let’s just say it walked to its own beat, a film with lively music and personality. Playing a woman on the run with a baby that she just met, Brosnahan put a slight twist on her “Maisel” persona, refusing to overplay the role or give it too little. Sporting blonde locks and a wardrobe that would have killed on “Goodfellas,” she was the key player in Hart’s slow-boil take on the gangster genre. This is where she proved that not only can she carry a show, but she can hold a film as well. Just like the comedy series, you can find Hart’s movie on Amazon Prime Video.

 

Emily Donovan in “The Courier

Let’s just call 2020 the year of Brosnahan and get it over with. Opposite an excellent Benedict Cumberbatch in Dominic Cooke’s true story-based thriller, Brosnahan portrayed the heroic CIA agent who stuck her neck out during the war to help save her country. Without changing her appearance or movement, the actress found a way to reinvent herself again here in an entirely different kind of skin: an authority figure. It’s not a small role, and Brosnahan gives it something extra. While Cumberbatch’s spy was under enemy watch, Donovan was the one pulling the strings and taking the rest of the risk. It’s understated yet strong work. You can find this film in theaters.

 

Jessica Kensky in Patriots Day

Another small yet pivotal role, she played one of the onlookers and victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. Kensky, along with her husband, Patrick Downes (Chris O’Shea), found their lives changed forever after losing three of their four legs in the bombing. Co-writer and director Peter Berg took the time to show us the intimacy between Jessica and Patrick the night before the events. A particular scene where Boston native Patrick humorously tries to teach his wife how to say certain words with the Beantown slang is endearing and well-played by each actor. While the film doesn’t revolve around their story, it is a part of the overall tale and Brosnahan makes you feel like you know Jessica inside a small amount of actual screen time. Berg’s film is also available on Amazon Prime Video for purchase.

Jewish woman with a mid-life comedy crisis. C.I.A. agent. Mother running from the mob. Bombing survivor. She is only getting started in the land of make-believe, but I can already see that Rachel Brosnahan is on her way to being a household name in the film and television series world. And I promise, there will be more “Mrs. Maisel” sooner than you think.