Friday, 29 August 2014

Alternate Best Actor 2004: Will Ferrell in Anchorman

Will Ferrell did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Ron Burgundy in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.

Anchorman is a very funny comedy about the life and times of one local news anchor.

I will start right off in saying I'm no fan of Will Ferrell as a comedian. I find his usual shtick of the man child who gets loud and noisy gets very tiresome very quickly. I just don't find it particularly funny and I find he too often just devolves into repetition in his performances. I was not even looking forward too much to watching this film, but I was very encouraged by other non-Will Farrell fans who claimed this was the Will Farrell film that they did enjoy. Well watching the film proved their claim to be true, and I actually don't dislike Farrell in this film. The main reason being that he does not exactly do his usual thing exactly. Well Ron Burgundy is not exactly a normal functioning adult by any means, and Farrell is in no way avoiding his usual style of comedy there's a certain factor that makes his performance here far more enjoyable than usual for me. That factor being that he is playing a 70's local news anchor who at least seems to suffer the delusion of being somewhat intelligent.

Ferrell is very enjoyable in the fact that he plays the role to actually be at least marginally convincing as a news anchor. Obviously its still entirely comedic in nature, but Ferrell's proper newsman man voice and whole physical manner are quite good. Ferrell is convincing just enough with his semi refined manner here that it makes his stupidity all the funnier. His completely moronic statements such as first believing San Diego's name is something that it definitely does not stand for then proceeds to retract that statement claiming scientists are still trying to determine what the name means exactly would not be nearly as funny if it were not for the semi-intellectual manner in which Ferrell speaks. That pretty much goes throughout his whole performance as he makes something rather endearing out of the foolishness expressed by Burgundy because Burgundy always states the foolishness in such way in which you feel as though Burgundy is really trying.

This is not a terribly complex comedic role as Ferrell technically keeps up with this same style throughout the film and Burgundy does not really change all that much by the end of it. Of course that does not matter since this is a comedy that is particularly goofy after all it has various news teams duke it out in a particularly hilarious and absurd brawl. The biggest change that occurs is when Burgundy gets fired from the news leaving him a broken man. The best parts of the brief set of scenes is when Ferrell really goes extremely dramatic in portraying Burgundy as haunted beyond belief by his failure as a newsman. When Ferrell plays rather "seriously" it is when he is at his most hilarious actually. Of course this scene does not last long and as soon he is hired Burgundy is back to his old self again. There's no big character arc past that, but there does not have to be. Ferrell is rather funny, certainly the most I've liked him, and although I would not put this as an all-time great comic performance it is a good one.

40 comments:

luke higham said...

Louis: Ratings & Thoughts on the rest of the cast.

moviefilm said...

Ratings and thoughts on the cast of The Producers (2005), please. :)

GetDonaldSutherlandAnOscar said...

Have you seen him in Stranger than Fiction? He is great in that but I really dislike him in everything else I've seen (haven't seen this yet)

luke higham said...

Louis: What are the requests so far for 06' Lead.

koook160 (Robert MacFarlane) said...

I honestly prefer him in Elf.

Michael McCarthy said...

I prefer him in Elf too, he actually gave a very full characterization in that. I'd also be very interested in what Louis has to say about him in Stranger than Fiction.

JamDenTel said...

Just steer clear of Anchorman 2. He really gives his man-child side free reign there, and it gets pretty tiresome.

Matt Mustin said...

I think this movie's hilarious, and I think it's easily Will Ferrell's best full-on comedic performance. His career-best performance, I think, is Stranger Than Fiction.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Applegate - 3(She does well enough with the rather thankless role of the very straight woman role)

Rudd - 4(Easily my favorite of the team as he's so good at being completely smooth yet at the same time not smooth at all. He's consistently funny in every scene he's in and my favorite moment is probably when he tells Ron that Veronica was meant to die)

Carell - 2.5(He's actually kinda doing Ferrell's usual shtick here. He's funny in about one of every twenty attempts to be so. The rest of the time I found him a bit annoying.)

Koechner - 3.5(He's quite enjoyable when he's just being the absurd Texan, but he's hilarious when ever he's showing the rather extreme desperation inside of champ)

Robbins, Vaughn, Stiller, and Wilson - 3(All make the most out of their extended cameos by playing their roles with such intensity that comes off as quite funny since their playing news anchors)

06 lead: It's actually all filled up with the following requests:

Leonardo DiCaprio - The Departed

Jean Dujardin - OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies

Ulrich Muhe - The Lives of Others

Ken Wantanabe - Letters From Iwo
Jima

Christian Bale - the Prestige

moviefilm: I haven't seen it.

GetDonaldSuthelandAnOScar:

Also haven't seen it.

Robert:

Haven't seen that either. I guess I never go out of my way to watch Will Ferrell films.

Matt Mustin said...

Stranger Than Fiction is very atypical for Will Ferrell, and I think you should at least give it a shot. It surprised the hell out of me when I saw it in theatres.

koook160 (Robert MacFarlane) said...

I think he was *okay* in Stranger Than Fiction, but I'm not as head-over-heels for him like others.

Matt Mustin said...

By the way, Louis, I hate to make you relive this, but what are ratings/thoughts on Michael Gough, Schwarzenegger, Uma Thurman and Chris O'Donnell in Batman and Robin?

koook160 (Robert MacFarlane) said...

Louis, have you seen A Scanner Darkly yet?

Anonymous said...

Louis, I know you'd give 5 stars to Janet Leigh in Psycho, but can I have your thoughts on her? Because I was quite unimpressed. Also, is she leading or supporting for you? And who would be your pick for Best Actress 1960, Jean Simmons (Elmer Gantry) or Sophia Loren (Two Women) or, if she's leading, Leigh?

RatedRStar said...

So basically Louis for 2006 best actor its already full, but I guess you could do extra reviews or see a lot of other films (like 1939) so that 2006 doesnt miss any gems since im sure there are plenty.

luke higham said...

RatedRStar: I'll be hoping to request Cillian Murphy for The Wind that Shakes the Barley by then, if I ever win a prediction again.

If you've seen these performances then what are your ratings & thoughts on Dicaprio, Muhe, Watanabe, Bale, Dujardin, Cillian Murphy in TWTSTB, Clive Owen in Children of Men & James McAvoy in The Last King of Scotland.

RatedRStar said...

@Luke

I have never seen Dujardin, Muhe and Watananbe. I have seen Murphy but it was ages ago and I need a rewatch, I remember loving him, but I cant remember why. I think I need a rewatch of the others too just to be sure, its been a while since ive seen them.

GetDonaldSutherlandAnOscar said...

I really hope Bale wins 2006 (although it's highly unlikely, with the likes of Dicaprio and Muhe in the alternate lineup and of course Whittaker's performance). I just love the performance more and more every time I watch it.

RatedRStar, what are your ratings/thoughts on the casts of The Mission and PTU, if you don't mind?

RatedRStar said...

@GetDonaldSutherlandAnOscar

PTU:

Simon Yam (3.5) One of his better performances, he is usually solid at playing commanding roles, he brings the right deadpan seriousness, although he isnt really given a character arc since the film is very director heavy, except one performance

Maggie Shiu (2.5) She is fine and ballsy enough as another sergent but I didnt feel she did enough in my opinion to warrant her best supporting actress nomination.

Lam Suet (5) How he didn't get a hk supporting actor nomination but received many other minor awards for this is a joke, he is this film, he is perfect in playing the insecurity and rather nervous sergeant who shouldn't really be a sergeant, his reaction to losing his gun is pitch black comedy gold, and he always adds a nice touch of deadpan humour to his jittery work, endearing also.

The other cast members are fine but add very little.

The Mission:

Anthony Wong (4) He is always good at playing cold and ruthless, he actually is a badass in the film, and appropriately so, the ending is great in that Wongs character wasnt such a bad guy afterall when he spares the kids life, I should say that the chemistry is amazing between all the characters)

Francis Ng (4.5) It is strange how Wong and Ng were nominated for best actor at that years awards but for lesser works, he is always great at playing intense and angry, and here it is done so deadpan that it is hilarious, every glance he gives Wong that he hates is perfect.

Lam Suet (4.5) The only cast member to be nominated for his role, as well as being his only nomination so far, given the weak category he would easily be my choice, he is completely badass just by the way he eats peanuts, and the scene in the beginning as he plays the dance dance game, the scene that definitely got him the nomination is when he takes a taxi ride to see Yams wife and seems so excited by the prospect of doing a good job that he starts acting like a little excited child instead of the cold badass from earlier.

Jackie Lui (3.5) He plays the rookie very well, I will say he is overshadowed by the rest of the gang, purely because he doesnt have as much charisma, since before this film he was in terrible or straight to video films, but here he is likable enough and makes it believable that he could sleep with Yams Wife due to him being the young helpless rookie of the group, he is a nice chemistry with Cheung especially.

Roy Cheung (4.5) My favorite of the cast, there is no actor in the world that can play a triad member better then Cheung and he uses that to full advantage, he always comes across as the most likable member due to being rather laid back and cool, his best scenes are when he suddenly loses that laid back and turns into arguably the most cold blooded of killers, his best scene however is when he hesitates to shoot Jackie Lui when he has to leave, his reaction is perfect in that he doesnt want to kill a kid.

Simon Yam (4) This along with the semi sequel Exiled are his best performances, he is very funny in playing a far too serious gangster, a likable one in this as opposed to a villainous one in Exiled, he brings a nice smooth energy, his funniest scene is when he trys a cigarette in the most cool badass way only to have it spark at him while Ng and Cheung giggle at him.

Eddy Ko Hung and Wong Tin Lam are fine playing themselves essentially but they dont add anything.












JackiBoyz said...

@RatedRStar: You ever thought about doing a HK best actor/best supporting actor blog?

RatedRStar said...

@Jackiboyz: Nah, few would care, thats why I try to request them often on this blog, to get them noticed.

Michael McCarthy said...

GDSAO: If it makes you feel better, I also think Bale beats DiCaprio for '06 hands down.

koook160 (Robert MacFarlane) said...

I love Bale in The Prestige, but I wouldn't go THAT far. DiCaprio's performance in The Departed is arguably his best.

RatedRStar said...

@Koook160: I should have mentioned this earlier but I would say I would dare to suggest Rip Torn in Dodgeball, or at least put him in the 5 requests when Louis gets to supporting, I should say I also liked Dylan Moran in Shaun of the Dead.

RatedRStar said...

Louis, you know how One Nite in Mongkoks Alex Fong was requested for supporting, I was gonna ask, what did you make of the always exciting Daniel Wu (ha) in one of his only nominated roles =D, that is if you have seen it yet.

RatedRStar said...

@Luke: You must have loved the Chelsea game lol.

houndtang said...

Ferrells also good in a straight role in Everything Must Go

luke higham said...

RatedRStar: We're gonna win the league, I'm glad Chelsea are attacking more, which we haven't been doing much for the past three seasons, I'm not particularly worried by our defence, since its easier to fix than our attack. Yes the game was brilliant to watch and is Game of the Season so far, despite being three weeks in. Lastly, Was quite shocked by the City loss & not at all surprised by United's Dismal Performance, Di Maria showed that he couldn't fix which has been broken for the past year and should've stayed home, where he belonged to my favourite side in Spain, The best team in Europe, Real Madrid CF.

luke higham said...

RatedRStar & Michael Patison: What are your thoughts on the Champions League Group Stage Draw, your predicted Semi-Finalists, Finalists & Winner currently.

RatedRStar: Also, Who do you think will win the Premier League as well, as the Europa League -(If you give a shit about it at all).

RatedRStar said...

@Luke: Err its strange that many teams seem to have the same groups as last year, like Arsenal and Dortmund together, Munich and Man City together, Chelsea and Schalke together.

As for finalists its 2 early to predict, Semi finalists would probably be Chelsea, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Juventus since they have managed to keep Pogba and Vidal, I think Chelsea will win the Premier League, for Europa I would say Napoli or Inter Milan, English teams dont usually do too well.

Anonymous said...

@Luke, RatedRStar and Michael Patison: What made you support Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid exactly, where did it start?

luke higham said...

Anonymous: I didn't take an interest to watching football until I was about 9, which was in early to mid 2004, The first game that I could ever remember watching at all was the 2004 FA Cup Final between Man U & Millwall or the UEFA Champions League Semi 2nd leg between Chelsea and Monaco. I originally supported Chelsea, because I saw a sense of glamour & royalty with them, that I didnt see with United. Also Blue is my favourite colour. I'm a huge history nut, as well as a die hard supporter of the Constitutional Monarchy that Britain has today, these are a couple of reasons why I associate myself with Chelsea in General. To be fairly honest, I was a bit of a sore loser in my early days as a fan, & felt disengaged for a four year period from 08-11 after Chelsea's constant losses in the UEFA Champions League. The Final loss in '08 against Man U was especially disheartening for me & was the final straw, so I focused on other sports like Rugby Union or Tennis. My Return game as a Chelsea Fan was the Semi first leg win over Barcelona and have kept watching ever since with the Semi & Final wins over Barca and Bayern, as well as the Europa League win over Benfica, making us the only team from England & Britain to have won all 4 Uefa Trophies, being the best memories I'll ever have as a Chelsea fan. To a lot of other people, I may be plastic, but even when I was not watching, Chelsea would always be in my heart. I just like to say, that I have a lot of respect & admiration for Liverpool as one of the big three traditional clubs, United & Arsenal not so much. Why I say this is because, I didn't want to support the Status Quo, Like most of the rest of my family, as well as my country, who worship George Best like a god, All I ever wanted, was to be different in whom I support.

RatedRStar said...

Anonymous: My support of Bayern came even though I supported Sunderland for over 11 years since I was a child, from 2010 onwards I was very depressed, I had attempted suicide twice due to depression from University and loss of my girlfriend, some people on this blog from Facebook remember that I wrote a message crying for help, but as Luke and possibly Patison will know that Sunderland have been battling relegation for years, and to see them get relegated would break me, the championship is like a black hole ready to destroy teams, so eventually I started trying to find another team to support, a team that wouldnt let me down, and then I found Bayern, they had just beaten Dortmund to win the champions league, my friends and family suggested that Bayern would always be great and always win titles, I then decided from 2012 onwards, I would support Bayern, and let them help me feel safe and secure.

GetDonaldSutherlandAnOscar said...

@Michael: yeah, Dicaprio is great but there's just something about Bale. Although I am a bit biased since Bale is one of my favourite actors.

RatedRStar, what are your thoughts/ratings on Eric Tsang in Comrades: Almost a Love Story, Lau Ching Wan in My Name is Fame and Michael Fitzgerald Wong in Overheard lol

luke higham said...

RatedRStar: Looking at your latest comment to Louis, I asked for Louis's ratings & thoughts on the cast for Shaun of the Dead, quite a while back and Moran got a 3.5, If I remember correctly.

I also would like to see Torn for the supporting lineup alongside what I would imagine being Carradine, Madsen, Dafoe & Cruise, since it potentially isn't great overall.

GetDonaldSutherlandAnOscar said...

@RatedRStar: also the cast of Beast Cops if ya don't mind

RatedRStar said...

@Donald:

Eric Tsang in Comrades (5) I think this is this best performance, he brings such depth to such a small performance as the supportive mob boss behind Leon Lai and Maggie Cheung, he is very endearing and his final scene is perfect, imagine his performance in Infernal Affairs if he had a love interest.

Lau Ching Wan in My Name (4.5) To see him essentially play himself is hilarious, because he is so lazy and laidback in real life and in this film lol, some people might be put off but I bought him as a hasbeen trying to win an award and get his life back on track.



Michael Wong (1.5) Oh god lol, where do I start, imagine if he had been nominated over Alex Fong for best supporting actor lol, Louis Morgan will experience his bad funny acting in Beast Cops but here he takes it to a whole new level, he mangles english, mandarin and slang like he is an alien, his best scene is his conference where I swear, the rest of the cast look like they are giggling lol, nuff said lol. Overheard is a very grim thriller but Wong makes it cartoonish at times lol.


@Luke: Dont forget Alex Fong, one of my winning requests for supporting 2004 lol

luke higham said...

RatedRStar: That's fine, Didn't know before, Torn for me was just a last resort.

RatedRStar said...

@Donald:

Anthony Wong (5) This is his best performance , he goes through so many changes, from heart broken, to jealousy to crazed psychopath to hilarious drinker so naturally, his final fight with Patrick Tam is amazing in its violence and honest anger. He deserved his Hong kong award.

Patrick Tam (5) Some people will remember I tied Tam with Sam Lee for Longest Summer and Alex Fong for Your Place or Mine for the Hong Kong awards but Tam is excellent in playing a sneaky vicious member who deep down doesnt want to be a bad guy but just have it easy in life, his betrayal of Roy Cheung is truly hateful and his final fight with Wong is brutal but filled with confessions that I never thought would happen.

Sam Lee (4.5) His role is different from his two most famous roles which were a violent youth and a triad wannabe, here he plays a slob who looks like he hasnt washed lol, he is very charming and endearing as a clumsy but sweet friend of Wongs, Louis might not like him as much but I thought he was sweet and his scooter was cool lol

Michael Wong (3) Louis will hate this performance I just know it lol, but his silly bossy personality worked for his foreign cop, he also has some funny chemistry with Wong, I thought this was his best work, that isnt saying much but he is certainly better here than Overheard and he is helped by the excellent direction.

Roy Cheung (5) I clearly am a fan of Cheungs, I hope his career and drug addiction gets him help cause he can be wonderful, his rather commanding but friendly mob leader is perfect in that he manages to be 3 dimensional, and likable, his final scene where he realises he has lost his power to Patrick Tam is amazing, I am stunned he only has 2 nominations to his name, his death scene is poweful and truly tragic because of the scenes beforehand.

I really hope Louis loves Roy Cheungs work in Beast Cops and The Mission because he is one of the most underrated character actors ever.






Louis Morgan said...

Matt:

Gough - 3(Gough might as well be acting in a different movie because he honestly tries his very best to bring a little weight in his scenes as Alfred. He can't save the movie, but I thought he managed to keep his above the waters of Schumacher)

Schwarzenegger - 2(He actually most understands the film I think as he just goes full on absurd with a knowing quality. Unfortunately Schwarznegger is no Raul Julia, but I will give him credit for figuring out the tone for his scenes. Schumacher's direction though really is the worst thing about the film since he does not seem like he trying to set a tone)

Thurman - 1(Thurman on the other hand is rather atrocious since she does not go absurd enough to be entertaining yet if you are suppose to take her seriously in anyway then this is quite embarrassing for her)

O'Donnell - 1(O'Donnell is blandness incarnate anyway so that does not help. It's probably all worse because O'Donnell plays the role painfully straight and is terrible at doing so. Burt Ward knew how to sell a campy Robin O'Donnell does not)

Robert:

Not yet.

Anonymous:

Leight - (I think she is leading since the film is not really ensemble. It is the story of Marion Crane until her exit then it becomes the story of Norman Bates. Anyway I find her performance to basically be almost an excellent silent performance. She really has very little lines to speak, in fact much of her performance may be her behind the wheel of a car, but I feel she let's you feel what Marion is going through during every part of her journey to that shower)

My choice though actually would be Simmons.