Monday, 12 May 2014

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 2009: Peter Capaldi in In The Loop

Peter Capaldi did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Malcolm Tucker in In The Loop.

In The Loop is an entertaining political satire about the games played by various political operators who either are trying to push through or hinder the requirements for a war.

Peter Capaldi actually is reprising his role from the tv series The Thick of It, but since I have not seen the series I came completely fresh into his portrayal of Malcolm Tucker. Tucker is the director of communications for the Prime Minister, but really he is there to make sure everything runs smoothly for the demands of the Prime Minister. Capaldi portrays Malcolm Tucker's method as basically belittling everyone and everything to get done whatever has been tasked of him. In this case making sure the war gets through with all the paper work in line and everyone under his pseudo command also completely behind it. Capaldi comes in and out of the film fairly randomly but he makes his presence always known the instant he steps onto the scene.

Capaldi is incredibly enjoyable in every moment of his performance letting every vulgarity filled insult fly with the utmost precision thanks to his brilliant delivery. Capaldi delivers every line with an absurd intensity conveyed through his anger that seems to the point that Malcolm Tucker is prepared to brutally beat down anyone who basically has not done what he has told them to do. Peter Capaldi almost seems carefully used basically to energize the film a bit as he is called upon so suddenly in his appearances. Capaldi certainly does this and his performance is a perfect match of meeting the point of the character. He definitely brings the imitation and it is all to wholly believable that Malcolm Tucker is the fixer of the story, but also he's just really funny with his delivery of the verbal attacks.

There technically is a bit more of a dramatic moment later on when Tucker is trying to close the deal basically where he faces being called basically just an errand boy for his American counterpart as well as basically being treated as an errand boy by his very pompous American counterpart. After being spoken to in a particularly disrespectful way Tucker is left with his thoughts. The moment is very short and incredibly to the point but Capaldi is extremely effective as he portrays Tucker is almost moved to tears to see himself finally defeated. He allows the moment to last just long enough and really brings a emotional weight to the scene which is rather surprising. It only last a minute, but Capaldi bounces from that down moment equally as he conveys the slow build in conviction through Tucker's eyes as he decides to make things "right".

Peter Capaldi is in the film less than one might think, but after watching the film you might think he was in every scene anyway as he is easily one of if not the most memorable aspect of the film. Capaldi just seems to control the film with his presence as he perfectly reflects the Malcolm Tucker tries to control every one around him. What I like most about this performance is that this is just great performance simply to watch. Capaldi just makes every line fly for all their worth, and never loses a second with tremendous pace of this performance. Technically here Malcolm Tucker's role is somewhat limited in the film, but it does not matter because Capaldi makes it a limited type of character in the best way. He does one thing and you love watching him do it. When there is a little more required him Capaldi handles it with ease, this is just some strong and quite slick work from Peter Capaldi.


Michael McCarthy said...

What are your rating and thoughts for Tom Hollander?

koook160 (Robert MacFarlane) said...

LOVE this performance. Cursing has never been so eloquent.

Louis Morgan said...

Michael: Hollander - 4.5(I really liked him too. He was just such a likable as well as amusing sad sack. He pretty much was the perfect victim for Capaldi, as he knew just how to play off of him. He did not try to match him, but still managed to make himself noticeable in his own very humble sort of way)

Michael McCarthy said...

I thought Capaldi was hilarious, but in my opinion the funniest line of the film is when Hollander says "In England we have a saying for a situation such as this, which is that it's...difficult...difficult...lemon difficult.

Kevin said...

Louis, what are your ratings and thoughts for the rest of the cast?

luke higham said...

Louis: Rating & Thoughts on Zac Efron in Me & Orson Welles.

RatedRStar said...

Please watch The Thick Of It, it is brilliant =D.

luke higham said...

Louis: You forgot to put Alternate in the post's title.

John Smith said...

Louis: Rating and thoughts on Chris Tucker in Silver Linings Playbook

Mark said...

Louis, ratings and thoughts on (sorry for any misspellings) Stephen Tobolowsky, Harriet Sansom Harris, and Carrie-Ann Moss in Memento.

Louis Morgan said...


Addison - 3(He is fine given the limits of the role and is even occasionally funny but he is mostly overshadowed by Capaldi and Hollander)

McKee - 3.5(Fairly brief role but she was rather enjoyable particularly in her portrayal of her exasperated reactions to Malcolm Tucker)

Kennedy - 2.5(Found her fairly forgettable although still fine)

Chlumsky - 2.5(Felt she did what she needed to but never made herself that entertaining or interesting)

Gandolfini - 3.5(He's very good at seemingly playing one of the honest men. Gandolfini brings his character's distaste well, and particularly enjoyed his confrontation with Capaldi where it looked he was going to punch any second)

Rasche - 4(He make a pretty great one note character of constant artifice of pleasantness that thinly veils his own apparent hatred for everyone around him)

Higgins - 4(Tucker without any complexity which is fine since he's also incredibly enjoyable in portraying hatred in such an entertaining way)

Coogan - 3(Not the first person I'd picture as the type of guy he is playing, but he's pretty funny)

Woods - 3(Does a spineless yes man quite well)


Efron - 2(He could have been worse and the part is already pretty bland, but then again he does not really make his character any less uninteresting)

John Smith:

Tucker - 3(I actually could have gone for much more of him as I think he found the right tone in his performance for both comedy and drama better than any other supporting actor in the film)


They should be somewhere in a previous comments section.

mountanto said...

One of my all time favorite films. And I'd actually argue Capaldi for lead, just because he dominates the film, like Hannibal Lecter does SOTL.

Loved Rasche's performance. Gives me chills.

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