It's not unusual for a working actor to have three films awaiting release, but Misty Upham, Blackfeet, finds herself in a rare position for any young Hollywood thespian. She has significant parts in three upcoming films, all of which seem to have the ingredients for critical success.
First up is Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino's pre-Civil War spaghetti western-slash-comedy extravaganza, which is scheduled to open Christmas Day. The film screened on Sunday night, and audience reaction, as gauged by tweets from the scene, was highly positive according to reports at The Guardian and Examiner.com. According to the New York Times' Carpetbagger blog, director Peter Bogdonavich (Paper Moon, The Last Picture Show) said Django “may be [Tarantino's] best picture so far.” In the same remarks, Bogdonavich called Tarantino "the single most influential director of his generation."
So Upham, who plays the character of Minnie, has that going for her. But although Django is thick with big stars—Leonardo di Caprio, Jamie Foxx, Samuel L. Jackson, Christoph Waltz, Kerry Washington—its cast is arguably (but only arguably) less impressive than another of Upham's projects, August: Osage County, which is in post-production with a projected 2013 release. That film features Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Sam Shepard, Dermot Mulroney, and Juliette Lewis. Filmed on location in Bartlesville and Pawhuska, Oklahoma, August: Osage County is an adaptation of a Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tracy Letts. Upham plays Cheyenne housekeeper Johnna Monevata.
Upham's third potential high-profile project is Jimmy Picard, a film based on the book Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian. It is listed as being in post-production and was directed by Arnaud Desplechin, a French director whose last film, A Christmas Tale, was a critical triumph. Upham plays Jane opposite male lead Benicio del Toro in the title role. In an interview with ICTMN this summer, Upham called del Toro one of her acting "idols," and said of the planned romantic scene with him "Can’t wait. I’m gonna savor every second of it."
Both August: Osage County and Jimmy Picard are slated for release in 2013. Below are two trailers for Django Unchained: