Sunday, 3 May 2015

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 1990: Armand Assante in Q & A

Armand Assante did not receive an Oscar nomination, despite being nominated for a Golden Globe, for portraying Roberto 'Bobby Tex' Texador.

When Q & A began I thought I was potentially watching a hidden gem, after all it's directed by Sidney Lumet, as it appeared it was going to be a well written story about a young assistant district attorney Al Reilly (Timothy Hutton) trying to uncover the truth behind an extremely corrupt police officer Lt. Mike Brennan (Nick Nolte). Well I suppose it is about that, but after all it is directed by Sidney Lumet who could make a terrible film just as readily as a masterpiece. After about the half hour mark it became obvious it was going to be closer to a Morning After than the Verdict. Just like the Morning After it has a terribly out of place score, and ends having the subtlety of a jack hammer. After all it throws in stuff about racial discrimination, which could be fine, but the problem is it feels thrown in. I think everything became clear, what type of movie it was going to be, when suddenly Hutton's character was accused of being racist by his old girlfriend in such a terribly written way that I knew where the film was headed. Well actually it was even before that where Assante's character accuses Al of bringing him in for questioning only because that ex-girlfriend is his current girlfriend. 

Well anyways Armand Assante plays another criminal, back to the theme of the year. A rather poorly defined drug dealer who we meet in that interrogation scene. He does not say much other than try to look like the calm and cool sort of gangster type. Well Assante walks in then runs back out and we see essentially the way Assante will play the part. All that I've seen from Assante it is kinda similar style where he's a bit flamboyant to say the least. He's always kinda moving a bit even when he's standing still and he seems to purposefully accentuate every line he gets. Well this sort of approach might not always work but it does work well enough here since it is a natural fit for Texador who just kinda does things his own way. Assante brings enough of a charismatic incisiveness to the role as he verbally beats down Al's early on, and it sets up the toughness of the character well enough. Well that means we're going to get more of Texador's character and find out what really makes him unique.

Well we don't really get that all we get is watching him attempt to avoid being murdered by the out of control Mike Brennan by first pooling other people on his hit list then going to Al to take him down. I suppose Assante has the most consistent writing behind him in that Texador always seems to be the same person we met in his first scene, but then again the film actually does strangely little with him. He kinda goes from scene to scene just saying "Mike Brennan has to be stopped and here's how". It is a doubled edged sword in that he gets avoid some of the ludicrous, or terrible moments that the other performs must endure, but that's only because he's used so little. It's very repetitive until he gets blown up on a yacht which came off as unintentionally funny to me and really should have ended with Nick Nolte saying "Ain't I a Stinker". Assante does just fine with what he has to work with. He brings the right confidence and calm in creating the cool gangster, the film just does not given him anywhere to go with it. I liked his performance but I'm not sure if it was even possible to love it.

35 comments:

luke higham said...

What a Letdown.

luke higham said...

Hate it when a year ends on a whimper.

luke higham said...

Louis: Any other Female 4.5+ performances for 1990.

JackiBoyz said...

Oh dear sorry about that Louis lol, I really didn't think it would have such a low score, I had requested it on the basis of the previous post and that Siskel and Ebert both liked him as well when they reviewed it, actually it was probably a good idea to ask for a review because now I have no interest in seeing it now.

Anonymous said...

So what would your top ten films of 1990 be Louis?

RatedRStar said...

I also was hoping this would be a hidden gem, you know a new film to watch, but wow this is disappointing, I was always curious due to that Globe nomination whether this would flop or not.

Still I think this was a good and clever request from Jack, and probably the kind of request that you should expect more of in future Louis, for the bonus reviews definitely since I am sure we will all want to find hidden gems.

luke higham said...

RatedRStar: Have you seen Kill List, if so, is Smiley Lead or Supporting.

JackiBoyz said...

@RatedRStar: Thank you Daniel, big hugs =).

koook160 (Robert MacFarlane) said...

Ratings and thoughts on the rest of the cast?

RatedRStar said...

JackiBoyz: Your welcome, hugss =D lol

Luke: I have seen Kill List, Smiley for me is Co Lead but close to the border as he isn't as much lead as Maskell, so I don't mind his supporting actor win from the British Independent Awards.

Koook160: I am not expecting good scores lol.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke: Just the Wild At Heart ladies.

Anonymous:

1. Goodfellas
2. Misery
3. Reversal of Fortune
4. Miller's Crossing
5. Wild At Heart
6. Back to the Future III
7. Home Alone
8. White Hunter Black Heart
9. Hamlet
10. The Rescuers Down Under

Robert:

Hutton - 2.5(His role is just the no nonsense investigator. He's perfectly fine in this way if a bit bland but everything falls apart when the film does. His scene where he says to his old girlfriend that he should have been told her father was black is incredibly awkward and not in the way it should be. Then his final breakdown scene is just ridiculous. He's not really bad but he can't salvage just how bad the scene is)

Nolte - 3(It's a performance that I thought had some potential. He's pretty menacing in the scenes as the King of the city type cop and is fairly effective in conveying the extreme nature of the character. The problem is the film makes him villainous in a way that seems more fitting for an action movie than a police drama. Nolte clashes with his own performance unfortunately since he seems to try to make up for the writing by being as absurd as his character in those scenes)

Lumet - 2(Well she is considerably better than the other director's daughter performance from 1990, and she probably has the worst material to work with. She can makes head or tails of it. She's not very good although I did not think she was truly awful)

O'Neal - 1.5(Way over cooked performance even though all he had to be was the pompous boss)

Dutton and Guzman - 2.5(They are both decent even if an abundance of their dialogue is right on the nose. Nevertheless I did feel as though they were able to establish a bit of character within the lines they were given. Not too much though.)

Michael Patison said...

I'm super happy that Hutton finally has another great role for him to play. American Crime is the best network TV show in quite some time, and his role is probably the best on it and he's been great.

RatedRStar said...

Louis: The Rescuers Down Under, really lol =D, would 1990 be a year for you that has many solid films but not too many amazing films just like I said about 2012?.

Matt Mustin said...

Oh, so you like American Crime, huh? The ads gave me a very "Crash"-like vibe, which turned me off completely.

RatedRStar said...

Louis: I say that because quite a few films that aren't in your top ten would appear in mine.

GetDonaldSutherlandAnOscar said...

@RatedRStar what's your top 10? My revised list:

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

Louis Morgan said...

RatedRStar: Well yes to the question as Goodfellas wins in a walk for me. Although what don't you like about Rescuers Down Under? It's solid animated film in my book.

RatedRStar said...

@Donald and @Louis: I am not saying that your list is disappointing Louis or anything, I mean I think The Rescuers Down Under is way better than that turd original =D, but common Captain America was amazing, I mean he pulled that car trick twice =D lol.

My list is pretty much made of films I would consider solid to great minus the top 3 which I love.

Most people would think Cyrano De Bergerac would appear due to my infamous disagreement with Louis on Vladimir Putins best friend Gerard Depardieu but I thought there were some serious problems with the film.

1)Goodfellas
2)Reversal Of Fortune
3)Millers Crossing
4)Misery
5)Edward Scissorhands
6)Wild At Heart
7)Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (One for the bonus reviews Louis)
8)Jacobs Ladder
9)Days Of Being Wild
10)Henry, Portrait Of A Serial Killer

I do like Home Alone, but I feel guilty having to put it in the top ten because I find it funny but I don't find it that well made, like the scmaltzy scenes to me feel a little too manipulative despite me liking the performances.

RatedRStar said...

I found The Rescuers Down Under to be fine enough, but I just cant really put it in my top 10, as I said I dont think its bad its fine enough.

Michael Patison said...

Matt: I do like, though there are several parts about it about which I'm not too wild. I like that it seems to be trying to bring back a level of quality to network television that has been sorely lacking from shows in that category created after 2010 (just so I can get The Good Wife out of the way).

I will admit that, in some ways, it is Crash-like in its premise, but there are enough elements that are better thought out. The characters are one-dimensional in many cases, but the acting is quite good, and the show is far more subtle. The characters are not subtle in their aims and how they go about achieving them, but the subtexts (which are often contrary to the views expressed by the characters who reveal them), are just that, subtexts.

It's certainly not brilliant, but it's still good.

Louis Morgan said...

RatedRStar:

Again I just don't care too much for Edward Scissorhands as film, although it's one where I see why everyone else likes it, and you know my feelings on Cyrano. Henry's a good choice, but that's one where I felt I got a bit more from Rooker than the film so to speak. I have not seen Jacob's Ladder obviously, and only parts of Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (although that's 91 by rules anyways). I liked Days of Being Wild just fine, but I did not love it by any means.

GetDonaldSutherlandAnOscar said...

RatedRStar: What are your ratings for the casts of Miller's Crossing, Edward Scissorhands, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead and Wild at Heart?

Miller's Crossing
Byrne - 4 (verging on a 4.5)
Finney - 5
Harden - 4
Polito - 4 (verging on a 4.5)
Turturro - 4
Freeman - 2

Edward Scissorhands
Depp - 5
Ryder - 4
Wiest - 4
Hall - 3.5
Price - 4
Arkin - 3

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead
Oldman - 4.5
Roth - 4.5
Dreyfuss - 4.5

Wild At Heart
Cage - 4.5
Dern - 4.5
Ladd - 4
Stanton - 5
Dafoe - 4.5

RatedRStar said...

Louis: Oh I understand why you dislike Cyrano =D and you know I am only playing with you on Depardieu I did like him but, I still would have given Irons the win, I guess if Rosencrantz would be 1991 then that means Home Alone would be 10 for me =D, and you know me and Hong Kong films, I mean you know I loved Beast Cops, The Longest Nite and The Longest Summer and you thought those 3 were solid enough. I felt Henry was indeed carried by Rooker but films can still overall be good if carried by a great performance =D.

I would say Jacobs Ladder is a rather creepy trip in the vein of Lost Highway, but since I really liked Lost Highway, it might be more of a hindrance for you than for me, Edward Scissorhands is a take it or leave it so I do understand your feelings on that.

RatedRStar said...

Miller's Crossing
Byrne - 4.5
Finney - 5
Harden - 4.5
Polito - 4.5
Turturro - 2.5
Freeman - 2

Edward Scissorhands
Depp - 4.5
Ryder - 4.5
Wiest - 3
Hall - 3
Price - 4
Arkin - 3

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead
Oldman - 4.5
Roth - 4
Dreyfuss - 4

Wild At Heart
Cage - 4.5
Dern - 4.5
Ladd - 3
Stanton - 5
Dafoe - 4.5

RatedRStar said...

I am excited about the next year, I wonder what it could be =D.

Matt Mustin said...

Louis, what's your rating and thoughts on Josh Mostel in Jesus Christ Superstar?

Louis Morgan said...

Did I dislike Lost Highway? I just said it was not as good as Mulholland Drive, that's far from a thumbs down to coin a phrase.

luke higham said...

RatedRStar: I'll be shocked if it isn't 1936, plus, the only decade to have two years remaining is the 1930s.
Also, knowing Louis's pattern of covering each decade, 2007 should come after that.

RatedRStar said...

@Louis: Oh I wasnt saying you disliked Lost Highway, its just I really loved it =).

RatedRStar said...

Jacobs Ladder isnt as good as Lost Highway, as I felt Blakes performance (his opening scene is truly iconic) but Tim Robbins is solid enough I felt.

If 1936 is next expect to see a certain sardonic actor appearing twice =D since I feel he deserves it =D.

RatedRStar said...

I should say there is no rush for you to see Jacobs Ladder, I am sure the bonus reviews could help with an extra nomination for Robbins =D.

GetDonaldSutherlandAnOscar said...

What I'll be requesting for 1936:

Lead
William Powell in The Great Ziegfield
Charles Laughton in Rembrant
James Cagney in Ceiling Zero
Boris Karloff in The Man Who Changed His Mind

Supporting
Peter Lorre in The Secret Agent
Ralph Richardson in Things to Come

GetDonaldSutherlandAnOscar said...

*recommending

luke higham said...

Of all the remaining years, Louis will start off with:
1. 1936
2. 2007
3. 1989
4. 1959
5. 1976
6. 1928
7. 1962
8. 1940
9. 1995
10. 1939

Louis Morgan said...

Matt:

Mostel - 3(He's enjoyable enough in playing up the weirdness while certainly bringing needed energy for the musical number)