For those of you not yet familiar with Northam's distinguished film and are curious about where you might have seen him before after watching Miami Medical’s premiere, I present for you a guide to some of his more well-known (and accessible) works:
Emma (1995) Northam has said numerous times that he’s not happy donning the frock coats, top hats and stiff collars that go along with doing period drama. But he is so very suited to the genre, as I’m sure you’ll agree. In 1995, he co-starred with Gwyneth Paltrow (in a very Jane Austen-ish movie year) in an excellent filmed version of Austen’s 19th Century Classic. Playing the upright Mr. Knightley, Emma’s brother-in-law, Northam showed an ability to melt hearts, exhibiting a subtle vulnerability in dealing with the exuberant and sometimes frustrating Emma. I'm hoping he brings some of that to his new role.
The Winslow Boy (1999) Directed by David Mamet, The Winslow Boy is adapted from Terrence Rattigan's British stage play concerning the explusion of a young cadet from a posh British military prep-school in Edwardian England. Northam plays Sir Robert Morton, the boy’s attorney and member of the House of Commons. Northam shines in the role, and manages to convey a large range of emotions in a role that could have come off as stiff and one-dimensional.
An Ideal Husband (1999) Filmed around the same time as Winslow Boy, Northam once again dons the stiff collar and top hat for this adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s late Victorian play. As in Winslow Boy, Northam plays (a different) Sir Robert—also a Member of Parliament. It's a delightful comedy of manners (and errors) also starring Cate Blanchette, Rupert Evert, Julianne Moore and Minnie Driver. As you might expect from Oscar Wilde, there's some real social commentary about politics, women and relationships embeded in the lightness of the comedy. The “ideal husband” of the title, Northam’s politician possesses a big secret and clay feet (and, eventually, a lot of courage).