Saturday, 20 June 2015

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 2007: Timothy Dalton in Hot Fuzz

Timothy Dalton did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Simon Skinner in Hot Fuzz.

Hot Fuzz is an extremely entertaining comedy about a big city police officer Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) who is forced to transfer to a village in the country which is not all that it seems.

The first indication that there might be something amiss is probably that the local super marker is run by Timothy Dalton, none other than the man whose portrayal of James Bond was unfortunately a bit ahead of the time. It does not help that Simon Skinner first introduces himself to Nicholas Angel as "a slasher who must be stopped" well he only meant of prices. Well you know with that sort of introduction you just might he's the villain, well Dalton does not allow one to have any misconceptions here, he's the villain, there might as a well be neon lights above his head indicating his villainy, even though it's a mystery of sorts, he's the villain, well just like in any good cliched action movie you don't have to look twice, he's the villain, you got that yet, well take a note of it. You might say this is an obvious performance, well you'd be right, but if you were to think that means it is a bad performance well you'd be wrong dead wrong (make sure to imagine dead wrong as though Timothy Dalton in this very performance were saying it though, that way you'll better understand my intent).

Now being a comedy that might be an excuse to give a goofy performance where the villain is just sort of wacky, well that's not the case for Dalton, well I suppose it does depend on your definition of goofy and wacky though. Anyways Dalton's masterstroke of his performance is not to really play the part as though he is a character in a comedy. No Dalton takes the approach of giving a performance fitting for the sort of cliched action movie Hot Fuzz is lampooning, but Dalton up its up a notch, an extra notch. He takes obvious villainy to a whole new level as every word he speaks seems to have a menacing undercurrent within it, and well let's see how's best to describe it, well it is hilarious. Dalton's evil turn is absurdly funny though as, even before anything has gone down or even there's any reason to suspect his character of anything yet, he's making you suspect him through the absurd statements he makes, such as bashing someone's head in to know their secrets, or having customers, who deserted his store, having their heads sliced off for their betrayal. The lines themselves are good, but it is Dalton who makes them great through his absolutely diabolical delivery.

Dalton is amazing in this role because of just how much conviction he brings to the part. He never winks once, although he does look directly into the camera once but then again he makes it all part of the grand form of evil that Dalton makes in the character of Simon Skinner. Dalton's a very intense actor when he wants to be and its pure comic gold to see him brings all of that to this character. There's something far too amusing about the fact that Dalton does not bring a hint of subtly to Skinner, to make his intentions about a clear as an intention can be. This alone might not have been that funny, but the dramatic devotion Dalton has in the role to go as far as he does is incredible. It's not just in his absurdly grim delivery though, but everything about the man Dalton takes to the fullest form of an action movie villain. The physical style he takes in the part is ingenious as simply the way he stands and moves around any given scene is deliciously devious. I particularly love one moment where he is advertising a game "splat the rat", and it is all too clear Skinner is not talking about the game. He even gets to have his evil applause to "congratulate" Angel's detective skills, and Dalton does not waste it. Then to top it all off is that smile of his, which is pure perfection as it is about as sinister of grin as one can form. The way relishes finding a worthy opponent, who is tenacious enough to withstand his villainy, is simply marvelous. I have to admit just about every moment of Dalton's performance here causes to be burst out laughing in his creation of the most conspicuous villain who ever existed, the best part is Dalton never seems like he's trying to be funny, so to speak, he just is. It's safe to say I love every moment of this performance. Yes this is a one note performance but oh what a grand and glorious note it is.

63 comments:

Calvin Law said...

I see Pegg is now a 4.5 :D

Calvin Law said...

Hot Fuzz is now my #2 film of the year. And Dalton is now a 5 in my books. Reminds me a bit of George C Scott in Dr Strangelove actually; OTT but so masterfully so.

Calvin Law said...

Also have your ratings for any of the other cast members changed?

Michael McCarthy said...

I had a suspicion Pegg would go up to a 4.5 on rewatch. That makes me happy though, since it's easily my favorite performance of his.

luke higham said...

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

luke higham said...

Louis: Ratings & Thoughts on Neeson and Brosnan in Seraphim Falls.

Matt Mustin said...

Yeah, I knew you'd love him.

Anonymous said...

What are your ratings and thoughts on Judy Davis in Barton Fink?

Robert MacFarlane said...

"You see, much as I enjoyed your wild theories Sergeant, the truth is far less complex. Blower's fate was simply the result of his being... an *appalling* actor."

"APPALLING"

"You murdered him for that?"

"Well, he murdered Bill Shakespeare."

luke higham said...

''Stop, or the Ginger-Nut gets it''.

''Ow! Thish really hurtsh... I'm gonna need shome ice-creeeem''.

''Feel free To spool through''.

RatedRStar said...

That picture lol =D.

luke higham said...

Damn, used the wrong expression, Here's how I really feel about Dalton's review.
YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

luke higham said...

RatedRSar: That Grin mate, just beautiful. =)

luke higham said...

Louis: In your view, is this the best supporting year ever.

Calvin Law said...

Second greatest troll picture on this blog, after Mr Copely for District 9.

Calvin Law said...

I meant Elysium, lol

luke higham said...

Calvin: Don't you mean Elysium.

Calvin Law said...

And Billy Zane and Tommy Wiseau...of course.

Calvin Law said...

Luke: I can tell you adored this review :)

luke higham said...

Calvin: I'm over the moon with this review and rating.

luke higham said...

Calvin: If Travolta get's a 3, 3.5 or a weak 4, I might actually win both predictions, as well as Foster and Lynch coming out on top in both, which looks like a certainty.

luke higham said...

*Do You Mean Elysium.

Michael McCarthy said...

I also think it's hilarious what they did with Cate Blanchett in this.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I honestly can not think of a single shit-eating grin in cinema as hysterical as Dalton in this movie.

luke higham said...

Calvin & RatedRStar:: Is there any child performances that you think, may get a 5 from Louis, apart from Pamela Franklin in The Innocents and Patty Duke in The Miracle Worker, (Martin Stephens might get a 5 on re-watch for The Innocents) since I'm thinking of requesting one for my next win.

luke higham said...

Calvin & RatedRStar: I've already decided on the one I want, nevertheless, I would still like to hear your views.

RatedRStar said...

Luke: I can't really think of any that are either male, or haven't already been covered off the top of my head.

Calvin Law said...

The kid from the 400 Blows, probably has a high chance

John Smith said...

Calvin: He was amazing

luke higham said...

Well it isn't Jean-Pierre Leaud in The 400 Blows, I would've picked him if everyone else had given him a high 4.5 to a 5. I'll be keeping my next request a secret, but I will say it's from a foreign language film and it's very raw in it's themes.

GM said...

There's the male lead in Forbidden Games (1952), he's great.

luke higham said...

GM: Nope, it isn't Georges Poujouly either.

Calvin Law said...

I give Philip Alford in To Kill a Mockingbird a 4.5 verging on a 5, I must be the only fella in the world lool

Calvin Law said...

Also: who else finds Olivia Colman strangely attractive in Hot Fuzz? And Nick Frost very cuddly lol

luke higham said...

Calvin: I have a bit of a crush on Colman actually. =)

Calvin Law said...

Luke: She is a very underrated actress as well :)

luke higham said...

Calvin: Completely agree with you, she's definitely a possible 5 for Tyrannosaur.

luke higham said...

Louis: I guess you watched True Detective last night.

John Smith said...

Luke: Hope you foreign pick is Swedish

luke higham said...

John Smith: We'll see, but don't get your hopes up.

I also want to remind everyone, that I haven't seen the film in question.

luke higham said...

Michael Patison, might know which performance I'm talking about, since he mentioned it on the blog before.

luke higham said...

Louis: Please tell me, that Travolta's review and the ranking is gonna be posted today.

GM said...

Luke: Is it a Russian film?

luke higham said...

GM: Yes, and you'll have a free ice cream as a reward if you get it right. =)

GM said...

Come and See? I'm dying to see it <3

luke higham said...

GM: Well Done,=) I plan to request Aleksey Kravchenko in Come And See on my next win, which should hopefully come tonight or tomorrow. Out of all the male child performances I've read about in reviews, his has the most potential to get a 5 from Louis.

luke higham said...

*Aleksey or Aleksei, don't know which is which.

GM said...

I plan to request a child actor performance in the future too, it would be great a week with just child actors performances being reviewed.

luke higham said...

GM: I imagine, we'll be having a Wiseau week during the bonus rounds.
I'm definitely requesting Kravchenko for '85 Lead, since it might do him a disservice if he was reviewed on the child actors week, that you've suggested, although it is a great idea.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Pegg - 4.5(Pegg is always at his best with Wright. As with all of Pegg's performances in the trilogy he actually effortlessly creates a dramatic character arc for his character in creating the almost obsessive nature of the man. In addition he manages to bring a certain weight to the "accidents" always showing a very real concern for it all. Most surprising of all though is that Pegg is completely believable as this hard bitten cop. Past all that though he is also hilarious this though for his brilliantly deadpan works which plays so well off the flamboyancy presented by the rest of the cast)

Frost- 4(Thoughts have not really changed)

Broadbent - 4.5(It's really Broadbent doing his very own rendition of James Cromwell in L.A. Confidential and he does not disappoint. He's enjoyably genial in the early scenes presenting a small town chief with such purity, while cleverly have little moments where he perhaps alludes to Frank's real nature when he tries to dissuade Angel's efforts. Eventually there is the turn where he's really quite chilling in the initial reveal. The rest of his performance as the evil Frank is more overt, but that's fine because he's incredibly funny as well. I particularly love his manner in the face off in the bar)

Considine - 4(Thoughts have not changed)

Spall - 3(He's good too, but Considine overshadows him in their scenes together)

Eldon - 2.5(He's fine but as the cops go he's definitely the least funny)

Colman - 3(She rather enjoyable in doing her perpetually horny routine)

Johnson - 3(Does the unintelligible bit enjoyably enough)

Bailey - 3.5(He's rather funny in playing the two sorts of desk sergeants, although I'll say I particularly enjoy his excessively haggard version)

Woodward - 3.5(Another classically intense actor, yet it does not feel like he is treading on Dalton's heels here. Woodward works his way well to portray probably the most impassioned neighborhood watchmen ever.)

Paul Freeman - 3.5(All about payoff for him really as he does his honest preacher routine with the right sort of earnestness, making it quite hilarious when he flips on a dime and pulls a Travis Bickle)

Nighy - 3(Entertaining cameo to be sure, I always loved his sneer after he says that he can make people disappear because he's the chief inspector)

Brosnan - 3(Seraphim Falls unfortunately just does not quite pull off the minimalist story telling it is attempting. Brosnan does well enough as the burned out "hero" constantly on the run. Perhaps he needed more material as I feel his performance is fine, but never becomes anything of note)

Neeson - 3(Again seems like he needed a little more. Neeson is good enough as the driven man seeking his very personal revenge, but his character never quite comes to life in the way you'd want him to)

Yes I saw True Detective. In just comparing the two premieres it is a major step down from the first season. Cary Fukunaga's direction is sorely missed as the episode lacked the palatable atmosphere from the first season, and in turn makes some of the stylized writing seem much more awkward. None of the storyline really came to life for me here in the least, and it all came off as more than a little disjointed. Hopefully having the characters come together might alleviate that a bit. I'm unsure of all of the performances at this point particularly Colin Farrell who I could not help but feel was desperately trying to ape Matthew McConaughey, and failing rather miserably to do so.)

Anonymous:

Davis - 4(It's an enjoyable performance as she does rather well in realizing the particular style found in the majority of the supporting players in the film. She does well though in bringing a certain pathos to the part as well and creating a bit of underlying desperation in her character's servitude to her employer/lover)

Calvin Law said...

Hot Fuzz 1960s Version:
Michael Caine as Nick Angel
Dudley Moore as Danny Butterman
Stanley Holloway as Frank Butterman
Albert Finney and Tom Courtenay as the Andies
James Mason as Simon Skinner

Calvin Law said...

Come and See looks like one intense flick

luke higham said...

Calvin: It's been called by some as the most harrowing war film of all time.

luke higham said...

Louis: Whenever you're doing the bonus rounds, can you stick to the overall rankings on the alternate years instead of reposting them again.

luke higham said...

Everyone: What's your bonus round lineups for 1985 and 2010

1985:
Tatsuya Nakadai in Ran
Aleksei Kravchenko in Come And See
Eric Stoltz in Mask
Klaus Maria Brandauer in Colonel Redl
Clint Eastwood in Pale Rider
Alt:
James Mason in The Shooting Party

Supporting: Daniel Day-Lewis in My Beautiful Laundrette

2010:
Mads Mikkelsen in Valhalla Rising
Ryan Reynolds in Buried
Jim Carrey in I Love You Phillip Morris
Vincent Gallo in Essential Killing
Jim Broadbent in Another Year
Alt. Stephen Dorff in Somewhere, Paul Giamatti in Barney's Version or perhaps a performance from 13 Assassins.

Supporting: Michael Lonsdale in Of Gods And Men, Ewan McGregor in I Love You Phillip Morris and Ed Harris in The Way Back.

Matt Mustin said...

Ed Harris isn't worth reviewing, if you ask me. Colin Farrell's better.

luke higham said...

Matt Mustin: I haven't seen the film, so thanks for the recommendation.

luke higham said...

Matt Mustin: Switched Harris with Farrell.

luke higham said...

I don't know if Edgar Ramirez is eligible for Carlos.

RatedRStar said...

I am still wondering how Louis is going to sort out these bonus years, like how would he know if a year was strong enough on its own or to be combined with another?

luke higham said...

RatedRStar: I'm worried about that too actually since a lot of the supporting years are gonna have to be combined. What Louis could do is just get all of the lead years out of the way first and finish off with the supporting years.

GM said...

I remember loving Aaron Eckhart in Rabbit Hole, the phone scene is completely heartbreaking.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke: I'm going to keep it as one ranking. And don't worry too much, I'll figure it out.