I was so taken with Norman Lloyd‘s short penetrating cameo performance in In Her Shoes — he nails it like a champ in one five- or six-minute scene — that the least I could do was write a tribute piece about him last September. Now there’s another actor who’s delivered another one of those rock-solid, feet-planted, holy-shit performances. I’m speaking of Roberta Maxwell, whose acting as Jake Gyllenhaal’s mom in Brokeback Mountain‘s second-to-last scene (i.e., when Heath Ledger pays a visit) totally slays. It’s obvious that Maxwell and her scowling homophobic husband (the great Peter McRobbie) know what kind of relationship Ledger had with their son, but her eyes are a river of feeling…grief, acceptance, compassion…you could take a bath in them. It’s really the interplay between Maxwell, McRobbie and Ledger that brings the sadness home and sets up the final hit when Ledger’s daughter tells him she’s getting married to Kurt. I should have given credit to Maxwell sooner…she really and truly knocks it out of the park.