Friday, 24 April 2015

Alternate Best Actor 1990: Leslie Cheung in Days of Being Wild

Leslie Cheung did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Yuddy in Days of Being Wild.

Days of Being Wild is an interesting enough film about the several people who's lives are effected by one man finding out he was adopted. The ending might be a bit random, it's Tony Leung for some reason, but that can happen when the intended sequel does not materialize.

Leslie Cheung plays the sort of lead to the film. I say sort of lead because the film somewhat randomly jumps between characters although the consistent factor is that Yuddy is behind something that's happening to them often inadvertently. Cheung's performance is very one note which may seem strange considering the nature of role. Yuddy is basically a playboy who spends his time mooching of his non-mother, and charming women then proceeding to break their hearts. It might seem as though one would have to switch a bit to be believable. The strength of Cheung performance though is that Cheung does it all in a single manner really. The overriding quality that Cheung exudes is the self-indulgence in Yuddy. He's about as selfish as one can imagine and Cheung presents in a particularly interesting way. It's almost in a look of his which is that of the beautiful romantic, well you know the beautiful romantic of a romantic novel. This one look is basically enough for the character because of how much Cheung manages to bring out of it.

In the scenes where he charms the women Cheung does not necessarily change from that note by any means though but he manages to have this certain false allure about it in these scenes where he speaks to the women. Cheung manages in these moments to be that his expression is that of the deep thoughts, and there is in fact a certain charm about him when he speaks the words to woo the women. It's an interesting trick to be sure which Cheung pulls off flawlessly. It becomes particularly fascinating when we gets the scenes where he's basically done with the women or when he's talking to his non-mother. In these scenes it becomes abundantly obvious just how much of a lie those other scenes are as Cheung cleverly reveals the "deep thoughts" to be vapid nothings. Cheung shows simply that there's nothing really to Yuddy as a man. He's a big nothing who just happens to be good at suggesting that he's something else. Cheung handles this so well though because he's so convincing at making this other side to Yuddy while in not way hiding his true nature.

The only time it seems we might get a bit more from Yuddy is near the end of the film when something happens to him that obviously must break his reserve. Of course it does not reveal as much as one might think, in fact Cheung does well to once again not really give any more depth to Yuddy. It's an effective final scene though because what Cheung does is show that even in a more stressful situation he once again can't help but be terribly indulgent. He once again shows him thinking those deep thoughts with the only difference in this case being that he has at least something to think about for once. Cheung gives a very good performance here because he renders his one note so wonderfully and it's intriguing how much he gets out of it. My only reservations come in terms of the way the film uses him. His appearances a bit random and sometimes really quite brief. We get parts of interactions but the film almost seems to purposefully diminish his impact by skipping what one would assume would be important scenes. Nevertheless I can't fault Cheung himself as his realization of Yuddy is rather remarkable.

21 comments:

GetDonaldSutherlandAnOscar said...

Depp is last. The suspense...

GetDonaldSutherlandAnOscar said...

I actually think, Tony Leung's cameo at the end is the most fascinating thing about the film, the rest of it is in my opinion fine, just fine.

Louis Morgan said...

Oh I liked how that scene was done, but it was definitely random.

GetDonaldSutherlandAnOscar said...

Yeah, Wong Kar Wai is a rather random director haha

Are you working on Depp's review now, or do you still need to re-watch? Sorry for being annoying lol sooooooo nervous I know it's silly.

Louis Morgan said...

Still need to re-watch it first.

koook160 (Robert MacFarlane) said...

If you end up giving Byrne a 5 for Miller's Crossing when you re-watch that, will you do a bonus review?

Matt Mustin said...

I'd like to see a review of Byrne, too. There's so much to talk about with that performance, but you have to dig deep.

GetDonaldSutherlandAnOscar said...

What are everyone's top 10 movies for 1990? :) Although Louis I think should wait to list his after he's gone through both lead and supporting

1. Edward Scissorhands
2. Goodfellas
3. Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead
4. Misery
5. Cyrano de Bergerac
6. Home Alone
7. Miller's Crossing
8. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
9. Wild at Heart
10. Back to the Future Part III

luke higham said...

Louis: Is De Niro still a 5 for Taxi Driver.

Psifonian said...

And a bonus review for Cage would be great.

luke higham said...

Louis: If De Niro has gone down to a 4.5, is there still a chance, he might go back up to a 5 on a rewatch.

JackiBoyz said...

Speaking of Johnny Depp, what are everyones thoughts on the Black Mass trailer, this looks like his Oscar bid attempt.

John Smith said...

1.Goodfellas
2.Misery
3.God Afton Herr Wallenberg
4.Edward Scissorhands
5.Jacobs Ladder

Have not seen many movies from 1990

Louis Morgan said...

Robert:

Perhaps I will if that's the case. I'm not going to include him in the overall until I re-watch Miller's Crossing though.

Luke:

Well there's always a chance, although I would say it is not too likely since I have seen the film several times.

JackiBoyz:

We discussed it in Caan's review.

luke higham said...

Louis: What made De Niro less effective on subsequent viewings.

luke higham said...

Louis: That's after the initial review.

Louis Morgan said...

It was really with the initial review in basically the same sort of situation as Norton in American History X.

luke higham said...

Louis: I had a feeling, it was Norton all over again.

luke higham said...

Louis: Will you be changing his rating and ranking placement anytime soon or during '76 Lead.

luke higham said...

Louis: Since you posted this list before seeing De Niro's performance in The King Of Comedy, I'm guessing that censored performance is Goodfellas.

Plus on the Top Ten Scorsese Performances list, you placed his performance in The King Of Comedy lower than Raging Bull, so it has to be Goodfellas.

1. The Deer Hunter
2. CENSORED
3. Raging Bull
4. The Godfather Part II
5. Taxi Driver
6. Once Upon a Time in America
7. Mean Streets
8. Angel Heart
9. Midnight Run
10. The Mission

http://actoroscar.blogspot.co.uk/2010/06/best-actor-1976-robert-de-niro-in-taxi.html

Louis Morgan said...

Luke: Uh no that was uh obviously for uh Meet The Parents....yeah that'll do.