Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 2006: Mads Mikkelsen in Casino Royale

Mads Mikkelsen did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Le Chiffre in Casino Royale.

Mads Mikkelsen plays the first villain of revised Bond with Daniel Craig in the leading role. The revisions past the terribleness and ridiculousness of the final Pierce Brosnan lead movies can be seen in the writing and performance of the villain Le Chiffre. Le Chiffre technically does not have any grandstanding plans other than to make as much money as he can through any method he can which includes handling money for terrorists, and even hiring terrorists to help ensure his schemes. He also is purposefully given a character trait that is less than imposing which is that he has asthma, and must use his inhaler from time to time. This is not to say that the Le Chiffre is some weakling of an enemy but his objective is a bit more complicated than trying to simply to rule the world, and when something does not go right it really means something to him since it costs him millions of dollars.

Mikkelsen's role is somewhat simple early on as the film mostly focuses on Bond taking down some of the men Le Chiffre hires rather than the Le Chiffre himself. Mikkelsen still has a few scenes where he put in his orders or offers his own services. Mikkelsen makes himself a true Bond villain though as he carries himself with such a natural class and dignity while still exuding considerable menace. Mikkelsen's manner is impeccable as he suggests Le Chiffre intelligence quite effectively and makes him an intimidating presence even while every thing we see suggests that Le Chiffre might not be all that formidable. Mikkelsen's role quickly becomes more substantial when the film reaches its focal point the titular Casino Royale poker game where Bond and Le Chiffre face off for a gigantic pot of money. Naturally, in true Bond villain form, Mikkelsen executes well  the routine as Le Chiffre greets Bond in a friendly way while clearly having a deadly intent in his eyes.

For awhile Mikkelsen thrives in technically a very restricted role as he must trade starring daggers with Bond on the poker table. Mikkelsen is great at this as he does have a great stare that carries a menace even when there isn't anything particularly menacing about what he is doing. Mikkelsen brings the needed intellectual smugness to the role making it sting particularly hard whenever Le Chiffre gets the better hand than Bond. His delivery of  "oops" when he reveals that one of his cards has caused Bond to lose big time is just about perfection. The interesting that Mikkelsen though does make Le Chiffre a bit more than a villain we should despise. This is best seen when Le Chiffre, and his girlfriend, are threatened by a couple of the terrorists he acts as the banker for. Mikkelsen is great in the scene as he portrays a very honest desperation in the Le Chiffre showing that the card game is a matter of life or death for him. Although Mikkelsen still keep Le Chiffre reserved as a man, he still gives the sense that there is a humanity in him.

Mikkelsen actually is incredibly good at making Le Chiffre a strong presence despite not having a major villain scene for the majority of the film. This does come with his last scene where he decides to simply torture Bond to get the money, utilizing one of the painful torture methods a man could imagine. Mikkelsen is just about flawless in this scene as he brings the needed cold intensity as Le Chiffre brutally interrogates Bond. What I love the most though is how varied Mikkelsen's performance in the scene. He does not just show Le Chiffre as torturing for the fun of it, although Mikkelsen does portray a bit of satisfaction, but that he is trying to get something. There is that desperation from before as again Mikkelsen suggests that Le Chiffre is trying to save his own life by taking away Bond's. My favorite part though are his downright brilliant interactions with Craig. They play off each other so well in the scene as they certainly never hold back on creating visceral impact of the scene, yet they even through in a bit of dark humor as they still are playing a small game of wits. The best single moment though, that I absolutely love from Mikkelsen is after Le Chiffre has tried everything to get to Bond, and Mikkelsen is so genuine as he shows that Le Chiffre can't help but laugh at Bond's resilience. Mikkelsen even gets to top it off with the great last moment where he makes Le Chiffre's fear so palatable that you almost feel sorry for him. Mikkelsen is an excellent Bond villain as he goes far beyond the call duty here. He certainly meets all the standard requirements of being an enemy of 007, but he goes further than that with the part. His Le Chiffre is more than just an obstacle to be overcome as he creates an actual man who happens to cross paths with James Bond.


Matt Mustin said...

Great performance, and I agree with pretty much everything you said. Unrelated, but what's your rating and thoughts on Steve Martin in Planes, Trains and Automobiles?

GetDonaldSutherlandAnOscar said...

Louis, if thou art not too busy, could I please have your rankings of all the Hitchcock films you've seen (you can leave out one's you haven't reviewed actors in yet if you want), as well as your favourite scene from each one?

Matt Mustin said...

Also, Louis, what's your ratings and thoughts on the cast of The Good Shepherd, and your thoughts on the film as a whole?

luke higham said...

Louis: I'm extremely happy that you liked his performance. I'm really looking forward to your review of his performance in The Hunt as well as hopefully A Royal Affair and Valhalla Rising. Also, Whenever you get the chance, I'd recommend watching Hannibal, Mads is absolutely amazing in the title role.

GetDonaldSutherlandAnOscar said...

What's everyone watching for Christmas eve? Myself:

Scrooge (Alistair Sim)
A Christmas Carol (George C. Scott)
It's a Wonderful Life
Miracle on 34th Street
The Nightmare Before Christmas

luke higham said...

GDSAO: Muppet's Christmas Carol, Home Alone and Jingle all the Way (Shame on me).

luke higham said...

Louis: Apart from what you said on your previous post, what are your pros & cons for Pan's Labyrinth.

RatedRStar said...

Mads Mikkelsen has been snubbed on this blog more than anyone, I can think of at least 7 Mads performances that would be a 4.5 or higher =D

People often say Christoph Waltz is Europes best actor, I say Mads Mikkelsen is, he has never given a bad performance in anything what so ever, even in films like King Arthur and The Three Musketeers he brings menace.

luke higham said...

RatedRStar: What are those 7 performances and your ratings for them, I agree with you entirely, that Mikkelsen has consistently been one of, if not the absolute best in Europe, let alone the world.

Kevin said...

I am also a fan of Mikkelsen ever since Casino Royale. I have seen:

The Hunt
Casino Royale
A Royal Affair
Valhalla Rising
And of course Hannibal

Haven't seen The Pusher Trilogy or the Coco Chanel film, but I have heard some really good things about him in those.

RatedRStar said...

@Luke: Ok I have six

The Hunt (5)
After the Wedding (4.5)
A Royal Affair (4.5)
Flame & Citron (4.5)
Open Hearts (5)
King Arthur (4.5)

luke higham said...

RatedRStar: Have you seen him in Valhalla Rising.

luke higham said...

RatedRStar: Also your thoughts on the performances you mentioned.

RatedRStar said...

@Luke: I havent seen him in Valhalla.....yet.

The Hunt (5) (This is Mikkelsens best performance definately, he manages to easily capture this ordinary man in a hideous situation, I also like how even handed it is in terms of whether he is or not what everyone accuses him of, his reactions, his scenes in which he is abused like at the shop, to his abuse from his old friends is quite painful to watch and thats because you generally feel for him, he is also very believable as a teacher.

After The Wedding (4.5 bordering on 4) This is another ordinary man in a situation, this one not as horrible, Mads is a capable lead of course and he wisely underplays his characters reactions to all of the double crosses and announcements, including his best scene is his reaction that he actually has a daughter by bringing the perfect blend of frustration and sadness all quietly done, he stands as the moral centre in the film and unfortunately there is some wild overacting from some of the other performances which limits this a bit.

A Royal Affair (4.5) Here he actually could be easily overshadowed by his male co star but he offers a good counter point as he quietly brings a cunning charm to him so that it would be believable that the king would trust him and also that Mads could secretly control him, and of course Mads is of course very charming in his romantic scenes, his best scenes are probably his reflections of what he is done when he is about to be sentenced to death.

Flame & Citron (4.5) This is his most straight forward performance, he is the family man of the two resistance fighters and Mads has some great scenes in which he assures to protect his family from the Nazis, his calm and rather sad delivery ensuring that he may never come back is very effective, for most of the film he is solid as the heroic fighter but his final scene is amazing as he defies everything for one last stand.

Open Hearts (5) This is probably Mads Mikkelsens most tender performance, he is great in every scene as he shows the guilt of cheating on his wife but also his love and protection of the traumatised wife as it was his own wife that hit her husband with a car, Mads brings a true love as he attempts to look after her while slowing breaking down as he feels almost double guilty as he is cheating on his wife but also feels bad about her hospitalised husband, his final scene where he shows complete sadness at his loss but then shows hope when the victims wife asks her to call him again is quite tender and a perfect ending as despite cheating he is actually a very likable person.

King Arthur (4 although I am close to 4.5) The film is pretty bad, as well as the acting which ranges from bland (Ioan Gruffudd) to completely over the top (Ray Winstone) to just laughable (Keira Knightley). Mads easily gives the best performance as he is the only badass and interesting fighter similar to what James Coburn was in Mag Seven, his big scene is his final death scene which is the best scene in the film as he shows a confident and almost cocky type of defiance as he thinks he is untouchable at the start of the fight but as he starts losing he loses the confidence and shows a rather desperate defiance, its quite a sad scene as he is the best character and yet is one of the only few to die.

luke higham said...

RatedRStar: Your ratings and thoughts on Vikander and Folsgaard in A Royal Affair.

JackiBoyz said...

@Louis and RatedRStar: Since you have both seen In The Mood For Love, what are your thoughts and ratings for Tony Leung Chiu Wai?

would you have given him the HK award that year over Chow Yun Fat, Andy Lau, Tony Leung Ka Fai and Francis Ng?.

luke higham said...

Merry Christmas Everyone!

koook160 (Robert MacFarlane) said...

Merry Christmas.

GetDonaldSutherlandAnOscar said...

Merry Christmas! Louis what are your thoughts and ratings on the casts of the 1980s George C Scott Christmas Carol?

Michael McCarthy said...

Has anyone else seen Foxcatcher? Because I just saw it and I was rather underwhelmed.

Anonymous said...

Louis what are ur thoughts/ratings on the cast of The Exorcist excluding Miller and Von Sydow.

GetDonaldSutherlandAnOscar said...

I didn't like Foxcatcher much actually. I thought in particular Steve Carrell has been highly overrated, I really don't like it when actors are simply praised for going against type, that alone does not a great performance make, not that he wasn't good, just that he doesn't deserve all this acclaim.


I would say at this point I'm rooting for Redmayne, Keaton, and Gyllenhaal for noms.

Unbroken was pretty bad, and I loved the book/real life story is incredibly moving and powerful, so yeah. Miyavi and O'Connell are actually solid, though I wouldn't go over 3.5 for either, which is a shame, since with better direction, they could have potentially given 5's. Gleeson was pretty brilliant, I would give him a 4 actually.

I'm going to see The Gambler and Into the Woods this week so I'll post my thoughts/ratings on those in due course.

Psifonian said...

Merry Christmas and a Festivus for the rest of us!

koook160 (Robert MacFarlane) said...

Well played, Psifonian. Well played.

Michael McCarthy said...

@GDSAO I think you're being VERY generous to Carell. I thought he was way too heavily mannered in a way that was distracting, he was far too obvious about his character's instability from the very beginning, and he was occasionally unintentionally funny. I'd give him a 2.5 at best.

GetDonaldSutherlandAnOscar said...

Oh, he's just about a 4. I need a rewatch, Michael. It's a shame since I usually like Carell. I think I was too generous to Tatum actually, might go for a 2.5 for him. Ruffalo did slightly better but not by far.

Michael McCarthy said...

I actually thought Ruffalo was the highlight, and I'd give him a 4.5. I initially gave Tatum a 4 but I might go a bit lower.

GetDonaldSutherlandAnOscar said...

What other films have you seen recently, Michael?

Michael McCarthy said...

Just Mockingjay and Wild, I haven't seen much else since around thanksgiving.

GetDonaldSutherlandAnOscar said...

Would Reese Witherspoon be on your top 5 actress list so far?

Michael McCarthy said...

I'd put her at second place so far, but there's a lot I haven't seen in that category. Rosamund Pike's still my only 5.

Anonymous said...

thoughts/ratings on:
Cast of Scott Pilgrim v.s. the World
John Malkovich in RED
Bill Murray in Get Low

RatedRStar said...

=D now I am very curious to Steve Carell what with 2 mixed opinion, I sense a rant coming =)

luke higham said...

RatedRStar: If that happens to be the case, I'm now at the point of praying for a Gyllenhaal Nomination.

Also, You may have missed this, but what are your ratings and thoughts on Vikander and Folsgaard in A Royal Affair.

Lastly, I watched Theory of Everything yesterday and Redmayne gets a 4.5 from me.

RatedRStar said...


Følsgaard(4) It does draw comparisons with Tom Hulces work in Amadeus, this isn't in that league but Følsgaard still brings a crazed presence and stands as a good counterpoint to Mikkelsens work.

Vikander (3) I thought she was decent enough as the idealistic queen but I feel the film is completely about The King and his Doctor, Vikander I never felt really stood out in anyway but she wasn't bad either, just fine but overshadowed by the two men.


Tony Leung Chiu Wai (4)This is kind of a limited performance for Leung as all he is required to do is be charming and earnest, I will say that he does this very well and certainly adds to the films artsy direction, it helps that he has good chemistry with Cheung, he is always good but this isn't an actors film its an art film definately, a minor problem is that this performance is virtually the same as his performances in Lust Caution and 2046 but a bit lighter.

I would say he was deserving enough of his award, although I don't think he was the best of the 5, to be fair it was a strong category with not a single bad performance, I would have to watch the other 4 again to make sure.

RatedRStar said...

I would also be interested in what you thought of Leung as well Louis, I feel he was certainly very good but limited.

Anonymous said...

@luke: what are your ratings and thoughts on Felicity Jones in The Theory of Everything?

luke higham said...

Anonymous: I'd probably give her a 4.5 and thought she was really good playing the supportive wife, as well as showing a natural warmth in her scenes with Redmayne and Cox.

Michael McCarthy said...

I give Redmayne a 4.5 and Jones a 4. I'd rank Jones higher if it weren't for the fact that her ENTIRE character was her relationship with her husband. That wasn't her fault at all though, and within those confines I thought she did very well.

luke higham said...

Michael McCarthy: I'd say I was pretty much on the border with Jones, but decided on a 4.5, just for the reasons I gave earlier, despite the confines of her character. I'd say I was originally worried about Redmayne before my first viewing, but those worries were completely unfounded and will be pretty pleased if he gets nominated.

RatedRStar said...

Oh I forgot, Happy Christmas everyone =D im sorry I was so rude, I should say the actor I was worried about at the start of the Oscar season was Eddie Redmayne, and I thought he was good and I would be happy if he was nominated and it seems everyone agrees that Redmayne was good also which is a change from 2012 best actor when it was me versus the whole blog lol =D, so that just leaves Carell and Oyelowo as the contenders to see for me, plz plz be good, and plz plz Jake get nominated, he is a wonderful actor, I think Louis he is now one of the worlds best, he is never in a bad film nowadays.

I have never felt so strongly as I do with Jakes performance since Michael Fassbender for Shame, I beg, beg that he gets nominated pleaseeeeeee, I will be so sad if he isn't.

luke higham said...

RatedRStar: At this point, Carell really has lost a ton of momentum since the awards season started, I mean, I checked every single Critic organization and barely got any mention at all, that includes nominations as well alongside the traditional winner, runner up and 2nd Runner up. Also, the two opinions given have me very worried about his potential rating and possible review.

I'm actually looking forward to Selma now, which I would not have said if Lee Daniels had remained as director. When it comes to the subject matter, I don't think it will achieve the same heights as 12 Years A Slave, but I'm hopeful, that it will come close.

Michael McCarthy said...

Based on the reviews I've seen, it looks like it does a good job of not devolving into shmaltzy oscar bait, which is the main thing I worry about in movies like that.

luke higham said...

Everyone apart from Louis: What are your fives so far for 2014, including Female Performances if you wish.

Mine are:
Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler
Tom Hardy in Locke
Brendan Gleeson in Calvary
Philip Seymour Hoffman in A Most Wanted Man
Guy Pearce in The Rover
Matthew McConaughey in Interstellar
Ralph Fiennes in The Grand Budapest Hotel
Marion Cotillard in Two Days, One Night
Michael Fassbender in Frank

luke higham said...

Haven't seen Keaton in Birdman by the way and I'm in the midst of watching The Zero Theorem.

Michael McCarthy said...

Jake Gyllenhaal-Nightcrawler
Michael Keaton-Birdman
Brendan Gleeson-Calvary
Ralph Fiennes-The Geand Budapest Hotel
Ben Affleck-Gone Girl
Andy Serkis-Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Tom Hardy-Locke
Rosamund Pike-Gone Girl
J.K. Simmons-Whiplash
Edward Norton-Birdman
Toby Kebbell-Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

If anyone's curious about any of my choices or omissions, I'd be happy to explain.

RatedRStar said...

Oh ye Michael because your choices are completely weird and strange and not surprising in anyway what so ever lol haha =D lol xx

GetDonaldSutherlandAnOscar said...

I've given 5's to Redmayne, Keaton, Gyllenhaal, both Hardy performances (I upped his score in 'The Drop' to a 5). I'm on the verge of 5s with high 4.5's for Affleck, Whishaw (Paddington Bear), and Pearce. I downgraded Cumberbatch from a 5 to a 4.5, and finally just a 4 now, I still like him though and a re-watch could bring him back up. Other strong 5 candidates include Sam Claflin in The Riot Club, Brendan Gleeson, and Guy Pearce.

My other 5's go to:
Julianne Moore in Still Alice
Julianne Moore in Map to the Stars
Mia Wasikowska in Map to the Stars (bumped her up)
Marion Cotillard in Two Days One Night
Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl
Meryl Streep in Into the Woods (I just saw this and trust me it is a very, very entertaining film and, for once, Streep has won me over. Blunt and Pine are pretty solid 4.5s as well)
Keira Knightley in The Imitation Game and Essie Davis in The Babadook are close to 5's
Edward Norton in Birdman
J.K. Simmons in Whiplash
Ethan Hawke in Boyhood

koook160 (Robert MacFarlane) said...

My current 5's:

Lead Actor:

Michael Keaton in Birdman
Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler
James McAvoy in Filth (it's this year by my own rules)
Ralph Fiennes in The Grand Budapest Hotel
Matthew McConaughey in Interstellar

Lead Actress:

Essie Davis in The Babadook (Best overall performance this year in any category)
Keira Knightley in Begin Again
Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl

Supporting Actor:

Ethan Hawke in Boyhood
Toby Kebbell in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Supporting Actress:

Currently no one.

Michael McCarthy said...

Hey Louis, what made you decide to give back your 1980 Supporting Actor win to Joe Pesci?

Anonymous said...

@GetDonaldSutherlandAnOscar: didn't you give a 5 to Emma Stone in Birdman?

GetDonaldSutherlandAnOscar said...

@Anonymous: Thanks, I had a feeling I'd missed someone

@Robert: What are your thoughts on Knightley in Begin Again? I'm a big fan and I think this has been a banner year for her

koook160 (Robert MacFarlane) said...

@GDSAO: Begin Again is my favorite movie this year, and Knightley just one of the many weapons it has at its disposal. She shows so many different moments of charm, bitterness, regret, wit, and heartbreak without ever forging one aspect for another. Also, her singing was just perfect for the film as a whole. It's her most lived-in and totally convicted performance to date.

Louis Morgan said...

I apologize for the late response but various things kept me from having the time to respond. Incidentally though I did watch The Hobbit.

Matt: Martin - 4.5(About half of it is technically Martin's sardonic shtick but this is one of the best examples of it. There is more here though as he does bring some genuine heart to the role here, and the parts I always find the most memorable in the film are technically the more dramatic scenes between him and Candy. They are great together)

The Good Shepherd - (I thought was a somewhat interesting film and I felt De Niro offered a sure enough eye as a director. It failed to fully come to life though because of the lead performance, and it does not properly flesh out the supporting characters to make up for this completely)

Damon - 2(This performance shows the brilliance of a performance like Gary Oldman's in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Damon brings no substance to the understated nature of his character, and he is just this hollow black hole where there should be the soul of the film. The man should be close to a non-entity so to speak but one can do this effectively, Damon does not do this)

Jolie - 2.5(I did not feel as though she offered anything particularly special in her performance. She was just far too standard.)

De Niro - 3(One of his better late performances since I suppose he will try in his own film. I would not have minded more of him as I felt he carried his character in an intriguing way)

Hurt & Baldwin - 2.5(They are both fine but their roles are just too thin)

Pesci - 3.5(The best part of the film I felt actually, and makes you wish Pesci was not retired. He's a great one scene wonder as he brings so much life to his character in just a few minutes)

Turturro - 3(He's good at being Damon's blunt instrument but I wish they had given him a bit more of a character to work with)

Crudup - 2.5(He would do cold efficiency more memorably as J. Edgar Hoover in Public Enemies. He's okay here, but I did not feel he made the impact he could have)

Gambon - 3(A good bit of work as a player with perhaps a bit of morality. He's rather effective in his last scene, and I wish the film had more scenes like that one)

Redmayne - 1(He's all sorts of off here. His character was suppose to be a little messed up in the head, but Redmayne overplays his whole performance)


Hitchcock Ranking:

I'll admit my rankings for him fluctuate wildly.

1. Shadow of a Doubt (The Charlies go to the bar)

2. Rebecca (Maxim's confession)

3. Vertigo (Scottie remakes Madeleine)

4. North By Northwest (Crop Dusting)

5. Psycho - (The Shower)

6. Strangers on a Train - (The Murder)

7. Saboteur - (Statue of Liberty chase)

8. Rear Window - (Thorwall sees Jeff)

9. The 39 Steps - (Pamela and Richard get handcuffed together)

10. Foreign Correspondent - (In the Windmill)

11. Notorious (The Ending)

12. The Lady Vanishes (Escape with the train)

13. Lifeboat (Willie's amputation)

14. Dial M For Murder (Making the call)

15. The Birds (Getting the car started)

16. Stage Fright (Arriving at the Commodore's home)

17. The Trouble With Harry (The opening)

18. Rope (The body is discovered)

19. Marnie (Bruce Dern's murder)

20. Secret Agent (The train wreck)

21. The Man Who Knew Too Much (An assassination fitting for a symphony)

22. Suspicion - (A glass of milk)

23. I Confess - (Confronting the killer)

24. Spellbound - (Something involving Chekhov)

25. To Catch a Thief - (Eh I never enjoyed a scene in that filmed vacation)

26. The Paradine Case - (Latour's entrance, the only moment where you'd guess Hitchcock directed the film)

Louis Morgan said...

A Christmas Carol (1984):

Finlay - 3(Offers enough somberness with his take as Marley but as that style goes I feel Micheal Hordern's work is more memorable)

Pleasence - 2.5(Past is the least interesting ghost in most versions. She's actually okay, but this happens to be one limited part)

Woodward - 3(Part of me loves this performance and part of me finds it problematic. Woodward on one hand is a great actor and the intensity he brings in the moments where the ghost attacks Scrooge are remarkable. The problem is I think Present probably should be at least a little more jovial than Woodward is here, he's maybe just a bit too intense)

Warner - 4(Possibly my favorite Bob Cratchit. Warner almost always brings a nice presence and here he creates such a genuine warmth with his portrayal of the average joe who tries to look always at the bright side. I particularly love his scene in the Future as even with the great sadness Warner leaves the scene on a hopeful note)

York - 3(Like Woodward maybe she's just a tad on the intense side for the part. Yes she's good, as she usually is, but there is a viciousness about the scene where Bob tries to toast Scrooge that seems a little too much)

Walters - 1(The performance that shows you do have to try to be a good Tiny Tim. Walters is probably the tiniest of them all but perhaps the worst actor in the role. Walters clearly is reading most of the lines and whenever he must emote he's severely underwhelming)

Rees - 2.5(He tries to be too overly dramatic as Fred and the happy go lucky rendition found in other versions does work better)

Davenport - 3(A good brief single scene as the cold father of Scrooge. Also it gives Scott perhaps his best moment where he is simply silently observing his father once again, and Scott says so much in that look)

Woodthorpe and Smith - 1.5(I don't know if anyone could match the group around Old Joe in the Alistair Sim version, but these two don't come even close)



Exceptional in all technical aspects.

Great atmosphere.

Memorable monsters and builds some palatable tension.


Overly simplistic characters and simplistic depiction of the Spanish Civil War.

Also that grape eating scene....that scene just pains me.


Leung - 4(A nice simple performance from him. It's mostly about a quiet charm which Leung certainly can do with great ease. It's earnest work that facilitates the tone of the film rather nicely)


I think I've given my thoughts on all the key players, if not remind me who I missed.

luke higham said...

Louis: Your Thoughts on The Hobbit: Battle of The Five Armies, Plus your ratings and thoughts for the cast.

Louis Morgan said...

The Film: (It has a truly rousing opening with Bard versus Smaug, two of my favorites characters from the previous installment, unfortunately it's all downhill from there. Also they should have gotten rid of the gold melting statue and just replaced it with the fight to end Desolation. The rest of the film was sadly a disappointment for me, not that it did not still have its moments, but it was just a cluster. Too much randomness, too much away from Bilbo, there is a reason the battle is off-screen in the book because the main character is barely involved. Its just a cluster of scenes that unfortunately don't have enough sense. Then after all the endless battles it ends with so many loose ends. This is one where I do want to see the extended edition just to see if it makes sense of all the plot lines. It's a shame because Jackson did a great job with the plot lines in the original trilogy but then again he did not have the books to structure it for him this time)

I'll save Armitage.

Freeman - 4(Although given the backseat, he's supporting here as its made full ensemble with Evans and Armitage being closer to lead than he is until the sudden ending that is. Freeman though is just still so great in the role. He was perfect for Bilbo and again he brings so much charm for the role. I wish they had come up with one more personal arc for him this time, but they just don't)

Evans - 4(Bard's expansion is one of the best things that came from the expanded nature of the films and I think a great deal of that has to do with Evans. Evans is superb in that opening scene as he gives it the emotional intensity it deserves the emotional intensity that should have ended the last film. He continues to excel though being such a great bad ass while making Bard's love for his family always palatable. The only thing I hated was that Bard was completely shortchanged by the ending)

McKellen - 3(Possibly his most limited outing as the wizard but he's still delivers, he just has less to do)

Bloom - 1.5(This time he at least had a few decent moments but there were still some bizarre reactions as well as line deliveries on his part. His performances in these films I think have made me appreciate his original work as Legolas much more)

Lilly - 3.5(I don't mind her inclusion at all because Lilly is quite charismatic in the role. I have to say I wish they had changed Kili's fate from the books since Kili was barely a character in the book anyways. It's like The Amazing Man 2 with Gwen Stacy. Now I have not seen the film but almost anything positive I've heard about the film is solely due to the romance, and they squashed that. I mean change the source material if something is working. It just made the treatment of Tauriel seem excessively harsh although I thought Lilly did a fine job in those scenes.)

Stott - 3(Does his emotional exposition role well once again)

Gage - 2(Okay his schtick may have possibly been funny if they had not rode it into the ground. It seemed like he was more important than Bilbo at times. Also no punch line for a resolution)

Blanchett - (Alright why did they bring back the one of the few things people name as a bad thing from Fellowship. That being big bad blue Galadriel. It's just too strange)

Pace - 3(Fairly standard in being the cold unemotional elf for most of the film He'd be a 2.5 but I did think he was close to being great in his final scene)

luke higham said...

Louis: I'll say that I did enjoy the film for what it was, although I did prefer Desolation of Smaug. As you said, The Opening Scene was the defining highlight and thought Evans was terrific in the scene with his son before killing Smaug, Lastly, from the look of it I'm glad you really liked Armitage and I do hope he get's reviewed.

RatedRStar said...

The film I really want everyone to see is Pride, that film is destined to become a british classic, I urge everyone to see it, you will laugh, you will smile and you will raise your hand because it is such a lovely film.

luke higham said...

RatedRStar: I do have it on my To Watch list and will hopefully see it within the next couple of weeks.

John Smith said...

Louis, toughts on Paul Sovrino in Goodfellas

Scott Gingold said...

So I took my daughter to see the new version of Annie today. It was surprisingly very clever and well made. Everybody in the cast was great ... except Cameron Diaz. She was in Billy Zane territory she was so bad. Carol Burnett in the original was over the top but she was funny, while Diaz was just over the top and shrill and highly annoying and not funny at all. Anyone seen it yet?

RatedRStar said...

@Scott Gingold: I havent I am afraid although I have seen the review by Mark Kermode and The Cinema Snob, that kind of film most likely wont apply to most people of the blog, this blog seems to be purely oscar films or films that were snubbed.

I am curious as to why Annie was remade in the first place, I never really liked the original film that much although I understand kids would enjoy it, I would probably do a Roger Ebert and say for its target audience, it works.

Louis Morgan said...

John Smith:

Hold up on Sorvino just for a bit just in case.

John Smith said...

That il do (:

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