Senior Class 2: The Americans at The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

This past weekend, I went to see The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the sequel to one of my favorite movies in recent years, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel  (which I wrote about two years ago under the title Senior Class).  Most of the cast from the first movie were back: Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Tina Desai, Celia Imrie, Ronald Pickup, Diana Hardcastle, Lillete Dubey, Penelope Wilton.  The characters' stories continued, focusing on how life in India had changed each of them in ways they could never have foreseen.  There were new beginnings and the possibility of more to come in their lives.

While most of the cast are British, there were a couple of new faces as two American actors joined in the story of the hotel for retirees.  Richard Gere plays the latest resident – who shows interest in one particular lady.  David Strathairn portrays the head of a company specializing in retirement hotels.  Both actors are a welcome addition to the story. 
Most moviegoers would immediately recognize Gere.  He’s been a leading man in movies since the 1970s and has worked continually since then, doing everything from comedy to drama, from westerns to musicals.
Strathairn, on the other hand, might not be as familiar.  Or, should I say, his name might not be as well-known.  His face, however, would surely get a response of, “Oh, yeah!  That guy!”  Strathairn, too, has been in movies almost as long as Gere.  But whereas we think of Gere as “leading man,” we think of Strathairn as “character actor” – even though he has been the male lead in numerous films.

For a look at the careers of the two Americans in the cast of The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, check the lists below – or click on the actors' highlighted names for more complete lists.  And be sure to click on the highlighted names of the other actors and actresses mentioned above.  You’re sure to find some favorite films – and maybe one that will become a new favorite.

Richard Gere
Days of Heaven
Nights in Rodanthe
An Officer and a Gentleman
Pretty Woman
Shall We Dance?

David Strathairn
The Bourne Legacy
The Bourne Ultimatum
Eight Men Out
The Firm
Good Night, and Good Luck
Home for the Holidays
L.A. Confidential
A League of Their Own
Temple Grandin
We Are Marshall


Flickr:  CC          : Birds of Prey Day 2012 7590          Photo by Jordan Confino

Flickr:  CC          : David Strathairn at the Alphas Panel at Comic-Con 2011          Photo by Loren Javier


David Strathairn is one of

David Strathairn is one of those ubiquitous actors who does wonderful work and yet usually flies under the radar. I would particularly recommend his work with the great independent director John Sayles in films such as The Return of the Secaucus Seven, Eight Men Out, and Limbo.

I don't recall exactly when I

I don't recall exactly when I became a fan of Strathairn, but it might have be a toss-up between seeing him in Sneakers and then Passion Fish.  Then later I saw Eight Men Out and that was that.  He always gives a role his best.  I was especially happy when he got the Oscar nomination for Good Night, and Good Luck.  I'm sorry to say I've not yet seen The Return of the Secaucus Seven, but it's on my "to see" list.  And I'll keep an eye out for Limbo.  Thank you for writing!