Monday, 31 March 2014

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 1986: Brian Cox in Manhunter

Brian Cox did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Hannibal Lecktor in Manhunter.

Manhunter is an effective thriller, even though just like Michael Mann's earlier film made in the eighties, Thief, the soundtrack is extremely out of place for the most part.

Brian Cox was the first actor to play the role of one of the most famous onscreen serial killers Hannibal Lecter. Right from the outset there are some differences though not only because his last name is spelled Lecktor for some reason, but as well the film does not really make much of a mention in regard to his cannibalism even if he has the same first name. The character though does serve the same purpose of being the man an investigator goes to try to find out about something about another serial killer currently at large. This time the investigator is Will Graham (William Peterson) who successfully caught Lecktor and is seeking his help to try to understand a new killer nicknamed the Tooth Fairy (Tom Noonan).

Cox honestly goes for less the larger than life villain, although that probably contributed greatly to Hopkins turning the role into an iconic one, and more bluntly as a down to earth serial killer. Cox also plays him as a maniacal genius but in a far different way. In his first scene when he talking to Will in prison Cox plays his Lecktor as much more aggressive in his attack. He is less sneaky about it rather putting up his psychological games right to the forefront first thing. Cox delivers the game as much more a fast talking constant array of harassment toward Will. Cox method is particularly effective in making his Lecktor as man who is just constantly pestering and prodding for some sort of weakness, and rather interestingly does so with out the suave qualities Hopkins utilizes.

Both of them use there eyes very specifically in their performances and it is rather interesting to see the differences in their approaches. Hopkins keeps a constant stare as if Lecter is looking at their soul and that is his natural state. Cox rather shows it to be a put on just for will and it is quite chilling though. It adds to the blunt force intensity he brings in his Lecktor as it only adds to what he is trying to do Will. Both Hannibals want to be play a game, but Cox plays it like Lecktor honestly more like a real man who just wants to get as much pain out of a man he hates as possible. The intelligence of Hannibal is there too with Cox, but in oddly a less likable way as he is really more realistic suggesting a completely smug man who also is a psychopath to boot.

The only problem with Cox's performance is there is not much of it. He's only in three scenes and two of them are relatively brief. He's great in all in his own personal creation of Lecktor that manages a strong presence in the film despite the limited nature of the part that makes Hopkins in Lambs seem far more substantial in comparison. I really would have liked to have seen his Lecktor in the Silence of the Lambs storyline, as Cox definitely leaves his Lecktor with more areas to explore than what is seen in Manhunter. As it was though Cox in his brief time gives a disturbing depiction of the killer, and it is fascinating to see this rather different, but certainly a very effective take on the character.


luke higham said...

Louis: ratings & thoughts for the rest of the cast

luke higham said...

Change of predictions
1. Hopper
2. Day-Lewis
3. Martin
4. Cox
5. Julia

Louis Morgan said...

Peterson - 4(An imperfect performance in that sometimes there is a certain awkwardness about his performance. When he is good though he is great though, and is particularly effective in internalizing in Graham his own potential madness)

Noonan - 4.5(A striking and off putting depiction of the killer who is a little less mentally capable. He is very good in bringing just a little bit of sympathy in his role in a brutally natural fashion)

Farina - 2.5(He's good enough but just does not get to do very much)

Griest - 2.5(She's not especially memorable, but she serves her role well enough with good enough chemistry with Peterson)

Allen - 3.5(Short but very sweet portrayal. She rather authentically creates a honestly poignant connection with Noonan in their scenes together)

Lang - 2(His character was suppose to be an over the top sleaze, but Lang plays it up a little too much here)

Matt Mustin said...

Have you seen Red Dragon?

Anonymous said...

Who would you say was more scary, Lecktor, Francis or Buffalo Bill.

luke higham said...

Matt: I haven't seen it anywhere on the '02 lists, so I believe he hasn't seen it or Hannibal ('00) either.

Louis: Can I have a list of Historical Epics that you've seen post-2000.

Michael McCarthy said...

I'd really like to see Louis's opinion of Ralph Fiennes's performance as the Tooth Fairy if he ever gets around to seeing Red Dragon.

Louis Morgan said...

Matt: Haven't seen it.

Anonymous: I think I would go with Buffalo Bill.


Not that many beyond the fairly obvious ones after looking down a list of them.

Michael Patison said...

I was talking with a friend who mentioned a terrific but incredibly harrowing movie they just saw called Come and See. Has anybody seen it?

On a related note, I don't know if the lead of the film, Aleksei Kravchenko is any good, but his may be a performance to add for 1985. Another 1985 Lead performance to add would be Klaus Maria Brandauer in Colonel Redl.

luke higham said...

Louis: ratings for the casts of Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix & Half Blood Prince.

luke higham said...

Louis: what are your thoughts on Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese & Sidney Lumet.

Louis Morgan said...


Goblet of Fire:

Radcliffe - 2.5
Gleeson - 4
Fiennes - 3
Gambon - 2
Rickman - 3
Grint - 2.5
Watson - 2.5
Tennant - 1
Spall - 3
Richardson - 3

Order of Phoenix:

Radcliffe - 2.5
Grint - 2.5
Watson- 2.5
Carter - 2.5
Fiennes - 2.5
Gleeson - 3
Oldman - 3
Staunton - 4.5
Thewlis - 3
Gambon - 3

Half Blood Prince -

Radcliffe - 2.5
Grint - 2.5
Watson - 2.5
Broadbent - 3.5
Coltrane - 3
Felton - 3
Gambon - 3.5
Rickman - 3.5
Thewlis - 3

Kubrick - (The master of bringing the technical aspects of a film into serving his vision perfectly outside of Spartacus you can instantly tell his mark on his film. His extremely clinical style sword is technically two sided in the case of a few films but for most of the time it creates truly unforgettable cinematic experiences)

Scorsese - (Almost all of his films have such a life an energy to them and he is terrific storyteller making even the smallest act into something compelling. After all he made the simple act of entertaining into a restaurant something absolutely unforgettable)

Lumet - (Tends to go for a fairly blunt yet rather efficient style which works wonders when it works. When it does not work though it does not work at all. Lumet was an extremely prolific director but perhaps because of that he was not always the most consistent one)