Only 38 Words, But Ellen Burstyn Makes Them Count

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Hollywood Reporter’s Ray Richmond manages to accomplish the precarious act of scolding a well-respected, award-winning acting icon without condescension or the slightest whiff of nyah-nyah. Ellen Burstyn, who’s enjoying her umpteenth nomination for something or other (okay, it’s an Emmy nod), is on the screen for 14 seconds, and Ray thinks this is, to use the word of the moment, unseemly. He must have played the screener a few times, as he gets her word count in HBO’s Mrs. Harris as exactly 38 words.

Isn’t there an old show-biz adage about no small parts, only small actors? Probably doesn’t apply in this case.