TORONTO — It’s the oldest show business cliche in the book: the comedian who yearns to be taken seriously. With Steve Carell, though, it’s different. He proved early on with his performance as the suicidal gay uncle in “Little Miss Sunshine” (2006) that he could rein it in and play to our sympathies. For every Brick Tamland in “Anchorman” there’s a Cal Weaver in “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” for every 40-year-old virgin a Dan in Real Life.
We already knew he was an actor, in other words. We just never knew how good.