While it was not surprising to see Royal Shakespeare Company player Olivia Williams in screen productions based on the works and life of Jane Austen, it was a pleasant surprise that the actress was able to avoid the costume drama typecasting of so many of her classically trained British peers. She was perhaps a bit too often cast as quietly suffering stiff-upper lippers, but able to carry off the “sensitive beauty” with humor, strength or wilting melodrama as called for. Williams worked in Hollywood as a supporting player in big budget studio films like “The Sixth Sense” (1999), but also split her time between American and British independent films. She showcased an accessibility and wicked wit in comedies like “Rushmore” (1998) and “Lucky Break” (2001) and uncommon depth in “The Heart of Me” (2002), proving an adept supporting player whose luminous beauty was backed by a fierce intellectualism.
The above TCM Overview can also be accessed here.