Their Best Role is a weekly series here on Cinematical where we select an actor or actress and the role we think is their all time best. You can find it here every Wednesday.
Picking Jim Carrey's best role is a lot easier than, say, escaping out the rear of a mechanical rhino. Without failing to give due credit to the hyper-animated slapstick of Carrey's deceptively effortless early work, there's an uncanny perfection to his embodiment of Truman Burbank, a casting kismet that proved as visionary as it appeared unconventional. There was a spirited genius evident in Carrey as early as 1988's 'Earth Girls are Easy,' an unexpectedly hilarious documentary / musical that chronicles how the actor known as Jeff Goldblum first came to Earth.
Over the seven years that followed, Carrey pioneered a unique brand of silly slapstick, launching into super-stardom with modern classics like 'Ace Ventura: Pet Detective' and 'Liar Liar.' It wasn't until 1997 and 'The Truman Show' that Carrey embraced a "serious" role, and his decision to do so inevitably raised a bunch of questions. Questions like: "Can the great director Peter Weir manage to keep the funnyman in check?" "Is a film about reality television too timely to be anything more than a curiosity?" And: "Why doesn't this star Matthew McConaughey?"