Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Alternate Best Actor 1999: Anthony Hopkins in Titus

Anthony Hopkins did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Titus Andronicus in Titus.

Titus joins the ranks of other 90's Shakespeare adaptations in their attempts to "modernize" the bard through one method or another. Although most it doesn't tackle what is regarded as one of Shakespeare's great tragedies, but rather one of his more forgotten works about a violent roman general reaping that which he sows.

Although the film may not have what is considered one of the best Shakespearean texts, it does feature one of the great British actors, who always seem as though they best deliver at least one Shakespearean turn of note on film. Now the film itself is pretty messy in perhaps an admirable attempt to capture the camp insanity of the text that many have argued was Shakespeare writing a purposeful parody of violent tragedies. Director Julie Taymor seems to throw everything at the wall regarding the film's visual aesthetic which is quite frankly ridiculous. She's similarly less concise in the direction of the actors who are little inconsistent between the wrong and the right way of handling Shakespeare. The wrong way is trying to sound "hip"...I guess, by doing the Baz Lurhmann style of yelling every line or inflecting it with absolutely no emotion. I do say wrong way, because unless you grant meaning to the words you fail them, and really the best way to modernize them is to bring forth the emotion in a way that is universal, rather than treating it like a foreign language you failing to pantomime quite brutally. Thankfully the majority do take the later approach including, one actor with unquestionably the right approach is the seasoned Hopkins, who unsurprisingly has a great command of the bard's words.

Hopkins's work in a way is an interesting anchor within the madness of the film, in that he seems the most tangible, even as the rather unwieldy tragic "hero". This is as his initially appearance is befitting to the great actor's presence as he appears as the war hero, making a recent conquer while dispensing a bit of "justice" among those he has conquered. Hopkins wields his presence in his establishment of Titus surely as this force of not only war but of will. A man who commands more than respect in the way Hopkins brandishes himself. Hopkins in a way properly establishes himself as the poor Shakespearean hero to be destroyed as he presents this idea of power with ease and once again the grace of the general. This with that calm command that creates the force of will that is his Titus, even as the man defers any ambition to the chosen emperor of the foppish Saturninus (Alan Cumming). Hopkins, after this grand introduction, is fairly quiet initially as he initially attempts to fall in line as the new emperor requests his daughter be his bride. Hopkins only presenting a loyal man to a fault. This as Titus kills his own son after that son attempts to prevent this union favoring Bassianus's younger son.

Hopkins even in that act presents a man who distributes violence more of a form of what he perceives as a swift justice than an emotional act, even against his own kin. This as Hopkins effectively emphasizes the man living to his code as a servant of Rome, unfortunately this code favors Titus not, as Saturninus instead marries the vengeful Goth Tamora (Jessica Lange), who along with her lover and surviving son intend to reek havoc upon Titus who had defeated them all in war. This leading to a progression of transgressions upon Titus. First the rape and mutilation of his daughter, the framing and eventual death of two of his sons, and even the removal of one of Titus's hands in a faulty attempt by him to save those sons. These acts likely would destroy the mind of any man, and Hopkins delivers the sheer brunt of the emotion one would expect in a proper decay of the mind type of Shakespearean monologue. This in finally flowing the emotions of the man in a pit of despair at the news, and the sheer pain, both physical regarding the limb loss and mental, in the loss of his family members, as the man is worn down. Hopkins creating the most compelling imagery in the film is his the grief stricken face of a father and betrayed soldier.

Hopkins's work though still seems like we are waiting for something more, as it is up until this point certainly a striking turn, but we might expect more from Hopkins. Of course more we are indeed granted. and the last act is the highlight of Hopkins's work. This as he initially falls upon this daffy quality that Hopkins wonderfully plays as he seems to lose that power of presence, and becomes seemingly an assuming man gripped in madness. Hopkins presenting as a delicate insanity of a man just lost in his grief and lost in his thoughts as though he cannot face reality. Hopkins's right turn though is of course magnificent as once the sons of Tamora let's their guard down, Titus reveals himself as does Hopkins in just a moment of brilliant physical acting. This as when the seemingly harmless mad man Hopkins is a touched hunched over of a man too lost in himself to stand, then when he calls upon for the capture of the man he immediately straightens his posture to once again reveal the dynamic commander. This is taken further though as Titus sees fit to inflict his vengeance upon the two men. Hopkins wearing a striking and vicious intensity showing a man seething in disgust as he flawlessly delivers his Shakespearean monologue with great aplomb. A most worthy note is Hopkins's delivery of Titus's description of his plan to turn the men to "paste" with a calm, Hannibalesque, sophistication that slowly boils towards a quite literal animalistic hate as he makes his intentions well known.

Evidently Hopkins and Taymor disagreed on the exact interpretation of Titus, with both believing in the feigning of initial madness however with Hopkins believing him sane and Taymor still insane, though in different manner. Honestly either interpretation can be accepted as Titus's actions are quite reasoned in their intent, of a sane man, but also so extreme befitting an insane man. The important thing is Hopkins seems to know exactly what he's doing in the climatic feast scene that is easily the best scene of the film, where Titus plays chef serving a delicious meal of meat pies to the Emperor and Tamora. Hopkins is amazing in showing the affable defeated fool seemingly as he delivers the pies to his guests, however with this diabolical glee of a man whose plans are going exactly to plan. This as his meat pies filled with the meat of Tamora's sons. My single favorite moment perhaps being Hopkins's "yummy" reaction towards Tamora as she bites down, that is both hilarious and right in line with presentation of Titus admiring his craft. Obviously not the first time Hopkins has played a literal chef for men, and fittingly Hopkins is right at home in this sequence. The actual reveal of the trick though is a rather difficult scene to play, though exists as it does right in the original text, as we see Titus kill his daughter due to her condition, based on the "advice" of the emperor, before proceedings to reveal the sins of Tamora and dispatching her himself. Hopkins makes it work by certainly embracing the scene, but also in a way both being quite "reasonable" and completely mad. This as in the act of killing the daughter he plays the moment with the strictest gravitas as though it were a religious ceremony as a most carefully planned act by Titus. This is against his act of killing Tamora, where Hopkins portrays as a purely sweeping emotional gesture of someone truly caught up in the moment. This as a combination of abounding joy along with searing anger as delivers the coup d'grace as a man truly living this final act of his life to its fullest. Although I wouldn't call the film a mess, it is certainly messy, however Hopkins's performance manages maneuver itself through both the scattershot ideas of the direction and the madness of the source material itself, through his work that seems to understand both the substance and lunacy of it. His performance both furnishing the needed gravity for any Shakespearean performance, but with a sense of fun needed for the work that is Titus Andronicus.

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Alternate Best Actor 1999

 And the Nominees Were Not:

Anthony Hopkins in Titus

Heath Ledger in Two Hands

Nicolas Cage in Bringing Out the Dead

Tom Cruise in Eyes Wide Shut

Jim Broadbent in Topsy-Turvy

And a review Of:

Ralph Fiennes in Sunshine 

Saturday, 2 November 2019

Alternate Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor 1952: Update

Well here are some supporting turns I rather enjoyed. 

James Mason in The Prisoner of Zenda - Well as to be expected Mason takes on the role of the villainous Rupert with great relish. In the 37 version we had Douglas Fairbanks Jr. out of his typical element stealing the show, here we get Mason very much in his element. Although this performance is less of a surprise to be sure, he steals the entirety of the film wholesale with his turn where he very much emphasizes just how much fun the man is having as tries to find a way to rule a kingdom he has no right to, or at least benefit in its power plays in some way. Mason is cheerfully evil here, in a classic Mason way, and you can really get the sense of the joy of performance in Mason's work here. It is very much Mason in his most well known element, and in turn he of course does not disappoint. This as he shows a man who loves the games he gets to play for his schemes, perhaps more than the prizes he may gain from it. I especially love his work in two elements in particular. This being his relationship with his co-villain, the attempted usurper Michael's mistress. Mason does his lusty sleaze with such a devious style by playing the whole moment into how Rupert just finds any way to enjoy himself quite frankly. This of course even with Mason pulling off a bit of that charm of his, though funneled through some expertly performed creepiness. The other element are the action scenes where Mason isn't content to just be in them, but owes them with granting such a sense of sheer joy in every moment of Rupert's attempts at murder.
Ralph Richardson in The Sound Barrier and The Holly and The Ivy - Speaking of actors I suppose in his element here Richardson in two roles that share a great similarity yet are very different. In each film, for much of the film, Richardson's character is assumed to be something by the other characters in the film. In David Lean's The Sound Barrier, he's a research scientist whom his daughter views as heartless as he takes part in experiments that lead to the death of one test pilot after another, many of whom are very close to both of them. Richardson here has a purposefully limited role for much of the film, though that isn't to say he isn't still remarkable in the role throughout. Richardson projects this cold conviction rather effectively and in his eyes delivers that determination of a man intent on changing the world. His performance though is this time bomb of a way, as it builds up until the daughter confronts her father for what she perceives as uncaring and unconcerned. This is until she actually sees him as he listens to an ongoing test and a potential pilot death. Richardson in this moment is fantastic in portraying the sheer distress within the man eyes, powerfully showing the very real weight of the sacrifice within the man who is well aware of what is being lost. This only be amplified by his subtle yet striking silent relief in his expression as he hears one of his pilots survive. Richardson showing the good man within the cold conviction in a particularly believable way, because he portrays the moment not as a different man but rather this honest reflection of how this type of man who reveal his empathy.

This is essentially the same structure, though a very different character in The Holly and the Ivy, an early, and effective, example of the ennui filled family reunion genre. Richardson though here played a white haired parson, who for much of the film is man who is seen, but mostly spoken of by others. Richardson serves the role well actually by just portraying his part as a man who appears contented in the presence of quite simply his life. This with the occasional interested, curious if not perhaps concerned interest in his children as they visit, though they speak too little to him for him to be able to speak more. Of course as his family visits for Christmas, all with their own personal problems, they all assume that their pastor father will not understand their problems. This is until he directly confronts his son and daughter who both went drinking the night before Christmas. This as each first assume he will not know anything based upon two separate issue. The first with his son assuming he cannot understand troubles as a pastor. Richardson is downright amazing in the scene by playing such genuine befuddlement at the claim, which is followed by such outwardly moving portrayal of empathy. This being a far more open empathy than seen in his aforementioned performance, fitting to the pastor who is nothing by a loving caring father. I love Richardson's delivery of the pastor's response to his son, where his delivery finds this eloquent combination of disbelief but also the utmost sincerity as the man only speaks words of care and support towards every problem his son reveals to him. This soon followed by a similar conversation with his daughter, who believes him unable to understand her feelings of doubt towards her faith, because again of his place as a pastor. Richardson again is fantastic in the moment in now showing even more this sense of disbelief. Again within this Richardson wraps in this loving warmth in this though of a man hurt, though only hurt only towards his own apparent inability to prevent his family from misconstruing his personality and the nature of his faith. Richardson again excels though in only depicting a fundamentally good man, even as he speaks of his religion not in boisterous piousness, but rather through quiet reasoned words of a man whose own struggles helped cement his beliefs. Richardson is terrific as he once again makes this considerable impression, as this impeccably placed performance, by delivering the essential brunt of his film's emotional impact in one major revelation. In each, Richardson earns the build up, and doesn't waste the surprise in granting two powerful portrayals of two rather different men poignantly revealing their true natures.
Updated Lead Overall
Updated Supporting Overall

Next Year: 1999 Lead

Friday, 18 October 2019

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 2001: Results

5. Justin Theroux in Mulholland Drive - Theroux gives an enjoyable turn by providing a reality of sorts within the film's mad dream as his hapless director.

Best Scene: Meeting the cowboy.
4. Ian Holm in Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring - Holm manages to give a terrific balance between the warm father-figure and the pained man weighed down by a peculiar burden.

Best Scene: Letting go of the ring.
3. James Gandolfini in The Mexican - Gandolfini steals his film wholesale through his humorous, moving and surprisingly nuanced portrayal of an atypical hit man.

Best Scene: Reacting to the suicide. 
2. Paul Bettany in A Knight's Tale - Bettany gives a terrific turn that manages to find a proper mix between a classic orator and a barker cutting a wrestling promo.

Best Scene: *Scenes deleted*
1. Anthony Hopkins in Hearts in Atlantis - Hopkins delivers an especially moving turn showing his remarkable range in creating such a quietly warm character while also showing his great ability with child actors through his chemistry with Anton Yelchin. 

Best Scene: Helping Carol. 
Updated Overall

Next Year: 1952 Lead/Supporting (Not sure I'm going to do a lineup)

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 2001: James Gandolfini in The Mexican

James Gandolfini did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Winston Baldry in The Mexican.

The Mexican follows a low level criminal, Jerry (Brad Pitt), as he tracks down an ancient gun meanwhile he is being tracked by a hitman who has Jerry's girlfriend Samantha (Julia Roberts) in tow. The film actually is almost good and probably would've been far more successful if it embraced its more screwball leanings rather than its more serious ambitions, then again it could've approached the latter too however it would've required a far more assured hand. Its tonal imbalance is already found in the script but exacerbated by Gore Verbinski's equally awkward direction.

James Gandolfini plays Winston the hitman tracking Jerry via kidnapping his girlfriend. On the immediate surface this sounds like an expected role for Gandolfini best known for his portrayal of Italian American gangster Tony Soprano, and is also reminiscent of his underrated two scene wonder in True Romance, where he also shared the screen with Brad Pitt incidentally. This is as Gandolfini excels in this type carrying a striking menace with such ease. This finding this intensity he brandishes with the ease of a true career killer as he kidnaps Samantha while disposing of another potential killer. Gandolfini quickly and easily makes an impression as this killer, though the true nature of his character isn't as such. This is quickly found once Winston starts chatting with Samantha a bit about her difficult relationship with Jerry. Gandolfini's comedic chops quickly come out in his effortlessly incisive banter as he offers a bit of analysis. Gandolfini bringing the needed lack of shame in this finding the humor in it, but also managing to bring a certain honesty in the words. This is as even as he's listening Gandolfini's reactions show that Winston really is thinking about it before also delivering his own words of wisdom towards Samantha regarding his own opinion on their relationship woes.

There's quickly more than meets the eye to Winston as Samantha soon notices that he's checking out another man at a diner, figuring him successfully to be a homosexual hitman. That setup, especially in 2001, being prime for some serious overacting however Gandolfini wisely doesn't suddenly bring in any mannerisms, though he does successfully convey Winston's interest in the man in an honest way. This along with his certain shyness in admitting to the fact that he delivers with such a naturalistic mix of messy eagerness to be himself and hesitation to admit that all the same. Quite frankly I think the scene could've been terrible given exactly how the exchange is written, which skews towards the broad, however Gandolfini makes it work through his nuanced portrayal. Gandolfini doesn't trivialize the character at any point which is impressive, as the film quite frankly probably wouldn't have minded if that were the case. Gandolfini insists though on delivering a real honesty to the part worthier of a far better script. This as even as we see Winston engage with the mail man he and Samantha pick up, Gandolfini doesn't make it some camp relationship, as simplistic as it is written. Gandolfini offers a real emotional conviction within it portraying even the way Winston is swept up with this man to have this strict sincerity that grants a real tenderness and depth to the role. This is even as the script immediately says Winston found the love of his life, off screen, however the quiet joy in Ganodolfini's face does more than that as Winston explains a potential future for himself. The writing remains as thin when the mail man is soon murdered, however Gandolfini's heartbreak and anger is so real and quite frankly powerful he almost makes up for the weakness of the scenario as written. Gandolfini gives such a captivating turn as every little part of the character that feels like a lazy screenwriters short cut to creating a colorful character given to his part, he grants a real depth and vibrancy to. Sadly the truth of Gandolfini wholly stealing the film, without anyone else being aware apparently, becomes far too apparent as his character unceremoniously exits the film. I quite honestly sat there in disbelief as the film barely gave his character a second thought, and had the gall to go on without him. Thinking I suppose, that a random Gene Hackman cameo will save the day, I mean Hackman can do I lot, and is good as always, but the ending of the film feels so empty without Gandolfini. This is terrific work from him, even as the film fails to appreciate it, and makes me rather angry that this wasn't a film by say a Martin McDonagh or a Quentin Tarantino. This is as Gandolfini's work is deserving of a far greater film, but unfortunately he's stuck in The Mexican.

Monday, 14 October 2019

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 2001: Anthony Hopkins in Hearts in Atlantis

Anthony Hopkins did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Ted Brautigan in Hearts in Atlantis. 

The very same year Hopkins returned to his best known role, to the general public, as the sinister cannibal Hannibal Lecter, in a somewhat absurd reprise (Note: I've seen parts of that film, enough to know that there's no reason to return to it), he played a complete 180 of that part both perhaps in terms of quality and of course the nature of the role here. Hopkins portrays Ted Brautigan the newly arrived border to the home of widowed mother Liz Garfield (Hope Davis) and her young son Bobby (Anton Yelchin). There's something fascinating about Hopkins, and a testament to his range, as just as much he set one so easily on edge with his performance, he can as easily set one at ease. The idea of the older man interacting with the young boy, must be carefully realized, and any second thoughts are immediately assuaged by Hopkins's performance. There is a wonderful lack of concern as the somewhat shabby Ted arrives as the new border, just introducing himself with the impeccable demeanor of a kindly old man. This isn't the terrifying serial killer so many had come to know him for, but rather there is that grace about him that creates a wholly different presence. Hopkins finding this seemingly with such ease and sets up immediately that Ted will be a welcome guest for the rest of the film. 

The essential element of the film though, and what really is unquestionably the strongest element of the film, is the relationship between Bobby and Ted. Again this being something already so naturally realized by how Hopkins approaches this part. This will a welcoming manner, a quietly assuring voice, even almost a slight shyness though a shyness that creates a sense of honest humanity to Ted. His first scene major scene with Yelchin is just about perfect, and like in Shadowlands, it shows that Hopkins is natural when it comes to working with as well as helping to bring out the best of child actors. Hopkins exudes just this incredible warmth that is just part of his being as Ted that is something so very remarkable. Everything Hopkins does assures this real interest Ted has in the young boy, just as a friend, while offering a bit of mentoring in his own way. This as Ted encourages Bobby to enjoy his library card, a technically cheap gift from his mother, through his own knowledge of literature. Hopkins manages to be inspiring without becoming sentimental in his honest yet eloquent delivery. This as he accentuates but never overplays it. It is of course helped as Ted throws in a fart joke Bobby is sure to enjoy. That moment even though is so sincerely performed by Hopkins, as this natural bit of jest and true affability, which realizes the beginning of the relationship so effectively. 

Given that this is a Stephen King adaptation, not named The Shawshank Redemption, there ought to be a bit of the supernatural. That is found within Ted who seems to have a bit more natural of a foresight than even a well educated elderly man should have. This something he initially passes off as just a bit of insight, however early on Ted notes to Bobby he will have increasing moments of distance that seems connected with his unique abilities. These moments of being lost are especially well performed as Hopkins portrays just as possibly being lost to dementia as being lost to a supernatural power. Hopkins grounds that aspect, as he does the entirety of the power, which I love that Hopkins doesn't overplay his hand in this regard. Hopkins, instead, rather brilliantly, wielding his known intensity in a rather unique way. Obviously we've seen Hopkins brandish this most overtly in roles like Hannibal or as Richard the Lionhearted, but here Hopkins adjusts it naturally within the part of Ted. Hopkins has the intensity however he internalizes within himself and through very quiet, yet oh so incisive delivery. This most notably when confronting a bully of Bobby, where Hopkins calmly commands the moment. Again he does so with a stare that pierces right through the boy, similar to Lecter, but not quite as the righteous disgust defines Hopkins's modest method here. 

As good as Hopkins is in those moments of the supernatural, it is the down to earth relationship between Bobby and Ted that is so special. This is honestly that even as the film struggles itself to create something overall, each scene between Hopkins and Yelchin stand on their own. This largely dependent on the performances. Hopkins so carefully approaching every scene, even the moment of telling Bobby about his eventual proper first kiss, he avoids making remotely creepy in the abundance of warmth and understanding in his eyes. Hopkins accentuates a man who above else cares to help and encourage. This in part showing this careful joy in his face that grants the sense of an appreciation for the moment of just human interaction that Ted enjoys so greatly. Honestly quite a few of the lines given to Hopkins could've gone very wrong with the scenario however Hopkins finds his way around each of them. He  gives a masterclass on line delivery really, as he knows exactly when to adds a bit of comical edge, a little silliness, a bit of inspiration or the most direct honesty to each scene. Although I do wish there was a little bit more of a film around Yelchin and Hopkins overall, what they do together elevates the threadbare narrative. This as I found myself caring very much for their relationship and specifically for the quite old man that is Hopkins's Ted. This leading to the more dramatic moments rather powerfully. One being Ted consistently asking Bobby to watch out for "low men" looking for him, which finally realizes itself when the men appear while the two are visiting the city together. I love how Hopkins approaches this moment, as he manages to show how scared Ted is of being caught in the moment, while still being reassuring to Bobby as he helps him think "away" the men. The same is true for when Ted helps treat Bobby's friend Carol, after she is attacked by the bully Ted and they earlier had the confrontation with. Hopkins is fantastic in the scene by being so reassuring in his tone, and manner. This is showing a man unquestionably of goodwill trying to help an innocent abused, as he talks her through and Bobby through the difficult situation. Anthony Hopkins succeeds in creating such vibrant portrait of the kindly old man, that avoids the cliche of the supernatural mentor by bringing just that earnest humanity in every aspect of the character. This is probably one of Hopkins's most low key performances, but with that I think he shows his considerable range by making it is also one of his best.

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 2001: Ian Holm in Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Ian Holm did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Bilbo Baggins in Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

Ian Holm's role in the original LOTR trilogy is technically an essential, though in a way minor role as technically the hero of the previous book to the trilogy. That of The Hobbit where Bilbo was front and center the whole time, despite what overblown adaptations will tell you. Ian Holm then has an interesting role here in that he really must tell you a story you haven't seen within his own work as Bilbo, at least when the film originally came out, well really we still didn't see it. Ian Holm was the protagonist of the previous story, in fact it seems just the right for the role of any lead hobbit, and it is no surprise that he had in fact played Frodo (here played by Elijah Wood) in the 1981 radio adaptation. Holm's casting in itself was something that was just right from the very outset. Of course even the best casting can occasionally disappoint, however that is most certainly not the case here. The richness of Holm's work really is evident from his early narration explaining the nature of hobbits in general. Holm delivers the words with real texture of appreciation and warmth in explaining the quaint life of the denizens of the Shire. This sentimentality though nicely balanced with an equally sincere irascibility as initially mistakes Gandalf (Ian McKellen) for another "well wisher" for Biblo's birthday party that essentially opens the film, as brushes off Gandalf befitting an elder man who doesn't like to suffer fools. Holm's initial work has this sort of wonderful balance between the bitter and the sweet.

This is as we see a rather endearing sense of joy in his greetings and interactions to the old friend of Gandalf. This giving a sense of their old adventure even though we don't see it beyond glimpse. This being even more evident as he regales the children with his conflict with some trolls that Holm illuminates with a proper zest of living the dreams of the youth. In this though Holm effectively realizes shades of darkness, and not just a slight grumpiness to unwelcome "friends". This in the moment of reflecting upon his age, even though he doesn't look it, Holm evokes both a melancholy of age but also a painful weight upon his existence. That weight of course being the one ring of power he has been using on and off since his journey in The Hobbit. This becoming more evident when Bilbo decides to leave the Shire to "retire", thought not before one final confrontation as Gandalf insists Bilbo leave the ring behind. Holm is fantastic in the scene and very much indicates towards the eventually much praised work of Andy Serkis as Gollum, the previous twisted owner of the ring by the ring. Holm is terrific in portraying this fixation, that is obviously weaker than it what we eventually see in Gollum, yet conveys well the obsession as an addiction. This in portraying his accusations towards Gandalf as a vicious irrational reaction of the moment. When snapped from this by Gandalf, Holm delivers such an honest moment of clarity in his poignant delivery of Bilbo plea for forgiveness. His greatest moment in the introductory section of the film though is actually a silent one, as he manages to leave the ring on the ground and walk out the door away from it. Holm brings for a moment this fierce frustration and angry in his face, before this moment of purging it himself to almost looking to his future. Holm makes it such natural moment, and essentially creates this humanity to this fantastical concept of the lure of the one ring. Holm makes a proper impression helping to establish the world of the film, but through textured character. His Bilbo not only grants sight of what the ring means, but we also get sense of who he is and really the nature of hobbits. There is also Bilbo's return later in the film, when Frodo and his group find refuge in the Elvish valley of Rivendell. There Bilbo finally seems his age, and there is a brief but special moment between he and Elijah Wood. There in just a brief reaction from Holm you see both a sense of acceptance, though not without a twinge of somberness in Holm's eyes, of his old age. We are also granted just the utmost tenderness in his reunion with Frodo evoking if for a few seconds the sense of the relationship of a surrogate father to his adopted son. Holm's final scene in the film coming shortly there after as he prepares Frodo for his adventure. A similar scene to his confrontation with Gandalf, though technically the most extreme moment of temptation is handled by a puppet, nonetheless Holm's expression of regret towards Frodo is heartbreaking as he conveys the intensity of this burden he's place upon his beloved nephew. Holm's character here is but a minor role in the scheme of the epic, yet alluding the strength of the film, he still leaves a striking impression.