Thursday, 30 July 2015

Alternate Best Actor 1959: Alec Guinness in The Scapegoat

Alec Guinness did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying John Barratt and Jacques De Gué in the Scapegoat.

The Scapegoat has an intriguing concept, although it never quite takes off as it should as a film, about a man who is given the life of his double, he just chances upon, for an unknown reason.

If someone is coming in expecting this to be Alec Guinness's Dead Ringers they will be disappointed. Guinness does play a dual role, but the two men are not twins. The character of Jacques De Gué is also only in a few scenes, and the film does not strive to make much of a dynamic between the two. Yet the scenes of their interactions are perhaps the most interesting in the film thanks to Guinness. Guinness certainly can handle a variety of voices, as well as transform himself considerably in a role, but he does not do this in his portrayal of the two men. This is not to say that he does not realize each man in their own unique fashion. Our main character John Barratt Guinness realizes as a modest enough proper British Gentlemen. He finds him well simply as a man without presumptions, but also without much of anything in terms of his outlook on life keeping him quite meek in his disposition. As Jacques De Gué he does not acquire a French accent, with good reason since, save one, all the other French characters in the film are played by British actors.

Since part of the story is for John to replace Jacques without much trouble, it makes sense for the man not to differ too greatly. Guinness though does shows Jacques to be a man who has lived much more of a "fuller" life in his more outgoing manner, although like John Guinness conveys a certain exasperation within this as though he's also quite tired of his own particular existence. Guinness is terrific though in the way he naturally depicts a different body language in Jacques which are broader, and freer for a man who seems more use to an outgoing life. In turn Guinness depicts John's own as a much more constricted. The most remarkable thing about the twin depiction though is his slight alteration in voice. Guinness does not use a different accent in either role, but there is an alteration in the way he speaks words with slight faster and smoother pace as Jacques, along with differing use of emphases. I would not have minded more the two together because Guinness's work is quite fascinating since he able to realize these differences while still making it convincing that the ruse would not be questioned.

The majority of the film though is not on the two of them together but rather John being placed in to Jacques's life. Guinness portrays John's earliest reactions as particularly straight and realistic as he's just taken aback by the situation, and refuses to recognize that he has been placed in this ruse. Everyone around him refusing to believe that he is anyone but Jacques begins to wear him down. Guinness does not depict this as though John is convinced to participate in the ruse simply because no one will accept his actual story, but rather Guinness conveys very nicely the moments where he begins to interact with the film, especially Jacques, daughter an understated happiness that begins to develop in John. Guinness strikes up an interesting dynamic because he does not play it as though John is exactly purposefully perpetuating the ruse in terms of his own performance. He still keeps John as his modest self, which is quite different form Jacques, but Guinness makes the ruse believable as the sort of modesty that Guinness depicts could easily be misinterpreted as either a sort of joke, or attempt at being apologetic from a more flamboyant individual. 

The succeeding scenes essentially follow John as he goes from one aspect of Jacques life to another, and frankly this calls upon the genuine class it takes to spell out Alec Guinness's name. Guinness presents John to be as dignified of a figure as possible as he goes about seeing various members of Jacques's family who all have something at least slightly strange about them. Guinness plays this scenes out with a quiet reserve though exudes a certain understanding and warmth as he interacts with each with a slight detachment though with a complete respect for their individual needs. There is a certain sweetness that Guinness is able to develop with almost all the members of Jacques's immediate family, as well as even his mistress. The relationship Guinness develops between John and Jacques's daughter is particularly charming, and Guinness is excellent in showing the way that the relationships gradually develop in creating a stronger familiarity between the stranger and the family. The conceit of the story is that John helps almost all of them through their problems, the writing does not do enough to provide reason for this, but Guinness's performance manages to give at least some sense to these developments.

Eventually something drastic happens, where the purpose of Jacques's ruse comes to light, and Guinness is quite effective in portraying just how much the people in the family have come to mean to John. This leads to a final confrontation between Jacques and John. It's a fantastic scene for Guinness as he fully reveals the cruelty to Jacques, only suggested by the state of his family, bringing such venomous pride in his words as he describes what he has done as well as states his specific demand to have his life back. In turn Guinness brings the right sort of poignancy as he portrays the refined yet palatable passion in John as it becomes clear that he has no intention to give up the life, a life Jacques only gave up in order to commit a despicable act. This confrontation is indeed a high point to go out for the film because he mostly focuses on Guinness's assured performance as both men. The weaknesses of the film reveal themselves when the actual final scenes suddenly suggest as though John's relationship Jacques was suppose to be particularly meaningful, which it was not, and the film adds to far less than it should. Guinness's own work can never be faulted though as he elevates what good there is in the film, and gives a compelling portrayal of both characters. 

170 comments:

luke higham said...

Louis: Have you seen any films recently.

Anonymous said...

Was expecting a 5, but I think I exaggerated.
Louis: Louis, what are your other top 10 most overrated actors and actresses? From 11-20? Plus, your top 10 choices/opinions that critics would find blasphemous?

Anonymous said...

Looks like Sinatra's a 4 for The Manchurian Candidate, I suppose. Harvey's likely also a 4 or a 4,5.

Robert MacFarlane said...

No, Harvey can still be a 5. Stop assuming he isn't.

Matt Mustin said...

Is Sinatra lead or supporting in The Manchurian Candidate?

Anonymous said...

Matt: You could consider Sinatra lead along with Harvey.

Calvin Law said...

I have a family friend who is fawning to me over email about Jason Segel in End of the Tour. He says that we may well see him getting a nom; unlikely I think personally but I'm intrigued.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I'm extremely intrigued by the praise he's been getting.

Anonymous said...

Segel is probably great but I don't see him be an Oscar contender.

luke higham said...

Calvin & Anonymous:
Beasts Of No Nation Teaser
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zy2nm5HCDq4

Anonymous said...

Robert: Sorry about that. I was just thinking that he would get a 4 or a 4,5. But whatever, Louis can give him a 5 if he's impressed enough by Harvey.

Anonymous said...

Luke: Looks good, I guess. Elba can probably be an Oscar contender.

luke higham said...

Anonymous: Not sure about a nomination, but Elba could potentially be amazing here and I have a feeling that Louis's gonna place him in Supporting. Fukunaga's a very talented director, so I do have a lot of hope for this one.

Anonymous said...

Luke: What about Attah? Do you think he'll be great?

luke higham said...

Anonymous: Possibly, We'll just have to wait and see. :)

Anonymous said...

Luke: Let's just hope Streep doesn't get nominated for anything this year. Four of my school teachers are big fangirls of her. The Academy just loves to nominate Meryl Streep for Oscars because she's Meryl Streep.

luke higham said...

Anonymous: You know my hate for the academy's obsession with Meryl Streep, but I've decided to let it go. If it happens, it happens, It's not the end of the world and I'll just have to move on.

Anonymous said...

Luke: You're right. By the way, what do you think about the new F4 movie? Ever since the end of The Dark Knight trilogy, people are using the dark and gritty formula in superhero movies.

luke higham said...

Anonymous: I'm expecting it to be a bit of a mixed bag, though I'm sure it'll be better than those previous abominations.

Anonymous said...

Luke: Ever since the first trailer came out, F4 fanboys have been complaining about Michael B. Jordan's casting as Human Torch. I like everything to have a little diversity.

luke higham said...

Anonymous: That's nothing compared to Idris Elba being a possible candidate for James Bond.

luke higham said...

Anonymous: Diversity can lead to more exciting possibilities.

Anonymous said...

Luke: A black James Bond? That's a little odd. Yeah, you're right. Diversity is good. That's something most comic book fanboys can't stand. Different versions. It's like Batman fanboys.

Anonymous said...

Luke: But hey! What are we gonna do about it? Fanboys will be fanboys!

Robert MacFarlane said...

I've wanted Chiwetel Ejiofor as Bond for some time now.

luke higham said...

Anonymous: Yep.

luke higham said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
luke higham said...

Robert: That would be an interesting choice, though I do remember a few rumours of him playing a villain.

Anonymous said...

I could never see a black actor playing Bond.

luke higham said...

Anonymous: The name does get in the way, I think.

Michael McCarthy said...

I disagree. I think the name itself represents something that could take any number of forms, as it has for the last fifty years.

luke higham said...

Michael: Well, I would love to be proven wrong. It's gonna be very difficult for fanboys to seperate the character (Suave Agent) from the name (Very British), unless he's adopted by a white family which should overcome those problems.

Anonymous said...

Idris Elba playing Heimdall in Thor was also odd to me. I remember that Spidey fanboys hated the idea of an Hispanic Spider-Man.

Calvin Law said...

Thing with Michael B. Jordan is...I'm expecting him to give the best performance out of the cast.

Elba looks good but I'm not 100% sold on him getting a nom yet. We'll see, I think Elba is a good actor who has yet to get a chance to really shine.

luke higham said...

Calvin: Did you see Rogue Nation.

Calvin Law said...

Not yet. I'm not a massive fan of the series but I like it well enough so I will probably see it at some point.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Was ANYONE really that big on the series until Brad Bird came along and rescued it from the pits of franchise hell?

Michael Patison said...

Just to have my say, I think Elba would make a terrific Bond. That being said, I wish Tom Hardy weren't such a household name. Just sayin'; he'd be a fucking fantastic Bond.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Hardy's entire performance in Inception felt like a tryout for Bond, so I don't disagree. I honestly wish he'd play more roles that coasted off of his charm in general.

Anonymous said...

Robert: I'm not sure about the whole Mission Impossible series being a big thing for people. Speaking of Brad Bird, I'm hoping for The Incredibles 2 to be better than the first one.

Matt Mustin said...

I liked M:I:III quite a bit, mostly because of Hoffman.

luke higham said...

Mission Impossible: I was OK.

II was Meh, though I do like 'Injection' from the soundtrack.

III was fine

IV was great

and V was very good.

Calvin Law said...

Also some retroactive casting choices:

Batman Begins (1970s)
Batman/Bruce Wayne: Robert Redford
Alfred: Trevor Howard
Commissioner Gordon: Harry Dean Stanton
Scarecrow: Brad Dourif
Ra'as Al Guhl (I probably spelt that wrong): Mako/Paul Scofield
Rachel: Diane Keaton
Lucius Fox: Sidney Poitier

The Dark Knight (1970s):
Joker: John Cazale
Harvey Dent: Sam Shepard

The Dark Knight Rises (1970s)
Bane: Robert Shaw
Catwoman: Madeline Kahn

luke higham said...

Everyone: What are your top 5 or 10 overrated animated films.

Anonymous said...

Calvin: John Cazale as The Joker? Why haven't I thought of that until now?
Luke: Heh, I don't really know my top 5 or 10 overrated animated films.

Calvin Law said...

Michael Patison: I agree 100%. I personally really really liked the potential casting choice back in the day of Ewan McGregor as Bond, but he's too old now. Elba would be great, but I think I'd prefer Ejiofor as I prefer him as an actor.

luke higham said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
luke higham said...

Anonymous: Are there any animated films, that you do feel are overrated. Because I personally feel that Up and The Lion King are at the top of my list.

Anonymous said...

Luke: I'm not sure about that, but I find Spirited Away a little overrated. Oh, I kinda find Toy Story 3 to be overrated as well.
Calvin: A comedic actress playing in a dramatic superhero film? That's a little odd.

luke higham said...

Anonymous: I agree with you on Toy Story 3.

Anonymous said...

By the way, Luke, your top 10 Oscar snubs.

Calvin Law said...

Dommhall Gleeson also I think could be a great Bond.

Luke:

1. Shrek
2. Fantastia
3. Ratatouille
4. Spirited Away (I actually like it I just think it's far from being the best Studio Ghibli film)
5. The Lion King (similar to Spirited Away)

Anonymous said...

I always thought A Bug's Life was a very underrated gem. Would love to see a sequel.

Robert MacFarlane said...

1. WALL-E
2. Wreck-It Ralph
3. Lilo and Stitch
4. The Incredibles
5. How to Train Your Dragon

I don't actually hate any of them, just find the praise for them hyperbolic.

Calvin Law said...

Anonymous: Madeline Kahn in a catsuit, what's not to like? :)

*Fantasia

Deborah Kerr for The Innocents and Michael Redgrave for The Browning Version are my top 2 Oscar snubs.

Matt Mustin said...

Don't hear too many people praise Lilo and Stitch anymore.

Calvin Law said...

Luke: I love Wall-E but agree with you about the other 4.

luke higham said...

Anonymous: These are very personal choices of mine.
1. Bruno Ganz in Downfall
2. Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler
3. Michael Fassbender in Hunger and Shame
4. Tom Hardy in Bronson and Locke
5. Marion Cotillard in Rust And Bone & The Immigrant
6. Ulrich Muhe in The Lives Of Others
7. Guy Pearce in The Rover
8. Robert Shaw in Jaws
9. Sean Connery in The Last Crusade
10. Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet

luke higham said...

Calvin: That was Robert, not me.

Calvin Law said...

Also breaking news, apparently Billy Zane will be playing Vulture in the upcoming Spider-Man films. Take it with a pinch of salt, but hmmmmmmmm...

Calvin Law said...

Sorry Luke and Robert :)

luke higham said...

Calvin: Whatever, don't care. :)

luke higham said...

Calvin: Previous comment was about Zane.

Calvin Law said...

Also Hugh Laurie as J Jonah Jameson. No one's JK Simmons but I think he's a very good choice, nevertheless.

Anonymous said...

Calvin: Billy Zane as the Vulture? He'll probably will receive 5 Wiseaus from Louis when the new Spider-Man film comes out.
Luke: I meant the actors that were beaten by the nominees, not those who weren't nominated, that's all.

Robert MacFarlane said...

@Matt: You have a point, but the reaction was weirdly enthusiastic in 2002. I'll say it's still better than a lot of the Disney canon's more infamous efforts (Pocahontas, Chicken Little, Black Cauldron).

Matt Mustin said...

Hugh Laurie would be an excellent choice.

luke higham said...

Calvin: I like Laurie a lot, so that does interest me.

Anonymous said...

Luke: Sorry, meant to say the nominees that were snubbed by the overall winner.

luke higham said...

Robert: I have a bit of a soft spot for The Black Cauldron. :)

Calvin Law said...

Anonymous: Or 5 Brennans. You never know, I mean we just say Anthony Franciosca get a 4. Anything is possible. :)

luke higham said...

Anonymous: Again, My Personal Choices
1. James Stewart in It's A Wonderful Life
2. Peter O'Toole in The Lion In Winter
3. Paul Newman in The Verdict (I do like Kingsley by the way)
4. Michael Keaton in Birdman
5. Ralph Fiennes in Schindler's List
6. Robert Duvall in Apocalypse Now
7. Al Pacino in The Godfather
8. Claude Rains in Notorious (Love Russell)
9. Carey Mulligan in An Education
10. Imelda Staunton in Vera Drake

Anonymous said...

Luke: You mean O'Toole in Lawrence of Arabia.

luke higham said...

Anonymous: I'm not bothered by Peck's win. :)

Matt Mustin said...

I think Ralph Fiennes not winning for Schindler's List is borderline unforgivable, and I say that as a big defender of Jones' performance.

Anonymous said...

Luke: Didn't you say that O'Toole was your win for 1962?

Robert MacFarlane said...

Black Cauldron was a disaster of an experiment. I was genuinely taken aback at just how bad it was. Though in terms of my own personal scorn, nothing can top the Renaissance black mark of Pocahontas.

luke higham said...

Anonymous: Yes, but I love Peck's performance as well. I did pick Rains for Notorious over Russell whom I love as well, but that's only because I'm a massive fan of his.

luke higham said...

Robert: Fair enough. It is a guilty pleasure of mine. :)

Anonymous said...

Luke: Oh, okay.

luke higham said...

Robert: Best of The Disney Renaissance was The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, with Beauty And The Beast at #2 and The Little Mermaid at #3.

Robert MacFarlane said...

That's not how I'd rank them, but whatever.

luke higham said...

Robert: Your Disney Renaissance Ranking.

Robert MacFarlane said...

1. Beauty and the Beast
2. Hunchback of Notre Dame
3. Little Mermaid
4. Lion King
5. Mulan
6. Aladdin
7. Tarzan
8. Hercules
9. Pocahontas

Don't remember enough from Rescuers Down Under to rank it. I'll say that Beauty and the Beast is the only one I consider flawless, but the others are ranked on how much I feel their merits outweigh their flaws.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Louis, can I convince you to upgrade Sam Neill's score for The Piano in some way? I doubt many will love the performance as I do, but I'm surprised you didn't upgrade him after reviewing Zane in Titanic. If Zane illustrates how NOT to play that sort of character, then Neill illustrates how TO play that kind of role.

Anonymous said...

Well, my top 10 Best Disney Renaissance movies
1. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
2. The Lion King
3. Beauty and the Beast
4. Tarzan
5. The Little Mermaid
6. Mulan
7. Aladdin
8. Hercules
9. Pocahontas
10. Rescuers Down Under

ruthiehenshallfan99 said...

Robert: I kind of want to leave my ranking of the Disney Renaissance.

1. Beauty and the Beast
2. The Lion King
3. Aladdin
4. Tarzan
5. Hercules
6. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
7. Pocahontas
8. Mulan
9. The Little Mermaid

I have never seen The Rescuers Down Under. Also, I really like all of them, but the first four are a part of my Top 10 Disney films.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke: Nothing new yet.

Anonymous:

I'd rather not take the overrated lists any further, since I prefer not to use the term.

Blasphemous (I don't know if they're my top ten, but just some examples):

1. Ian McKellen - Apt Pupil (Am I right Robert?.....)
2. Gods and General is a decent film with a great performance.
3. Alien 3 is a good film.
4. Sean Penn is usually a bad ham.
5. Raul Julia is great in Street Fighter.
7. Spencer Tracy's early work is very underwhelming.
8.Alastair Sim, Robert Walker, Montgomery Clift and Alec Guinness over Brando in 51.
9. Along Came Polly is one of Philip Seymour Hoffman's best performances.
10. Art Carney over Pacino/Nicholson in 74.

Anonymous:

In regards to Sinatra I would not list a performance from a year I have yet to cover.

Robert:

Out of the two I'd opt for Ejiofor as well.

Hey I like Neill's performance what more do you want?

Calvin:

Laurie could be good in the role, but why couldn't Simmons be like the Desmond Llewelyn for Spider-Man.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Actually the Spencer Tracy one is more of a popular opinion than I thought. A lot of my critic friends feel similar.

Michael McCarthy said...

The only one of those I strongly disagree with as number 2. I tried to like Stephen Lang in that, I really did...but I just found his performance to be an awkward mess of characteristics and tics.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I... agree with Micaheal 100%. Can you please switch to Choi Min-sik or Russell Crow that year?

Louis Morgan said...

NEVER!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Louis: Thoughts and ratings on:
Gloria Grahame in It's A Wonderful Life
Barbara Stanwyck in Christmas in Connecticut
Irene Dunne in Penny Serenade
Rosalind Russell in Sister Kenny
Katharine Hepburn in Morning Glory

Louis Morgan said...

Although a re-watch of Master and Commander could do it. That performance from Crowe really grows on you.

Robert MacFarlane said...

By all means, Crowe was spectacular in that movie. Plus he had an actual character to play instead of a collection of sermonizing monologues with the face of a historical figure.

Anonymous said...

Louis and Robert: He was certainly spectacular.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I'd also like to advocate for Paul Bettany's ultimate deconstruction of the "best friend with a crush" archetype in Dogville as a more worthy winner. Possibly one of the least likable characters I've seen in a movie that isn't a high concept villain like the Joker or Anton Chigurgh.

Louis Morgan said...

Robert:

Although I'll still defend Lang to last. He had more than just monologues, but just as well I felt he found a great deal of his character through those as well.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

I believe you'll find most of those in either a corresponding performance or the results from their year.

Robert MacFarlane said...

For the record I don't totally dislike him, I just don't feel like he rises above the awfulness of the film. I won't even get into the questionable Southern Apologist aspect of it, but otherwise it's still a pompous, incompetent film that fails on basic filmmaking levels.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Can you at least repost their respective ratings?

Anonymous said...

Oh, and your ratings and thoughts on Stanwyck in Meet John Doe as well.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen that much of Garbo, Louis?

Michael McCarthy said...

I still insist that somehow Louis accidentally switched Lang's rating for Gods and Generals with Morgan Freeman's for Gone Baby Gone.

RatedRStar said...

104 comments lol already, um I will post my Disney Renaissance rankings. I find most films from this era rather underwhelming.

1.Beauty and the Beast
2.The Hunchback Of Notre Dame
3.The Lion King
4.The Little Mermaid
5.Mulan
6.Aladdin
7.Tarzan (the Phil Collins show)
8.The Rescuers Down Under (sorry Louis lol)
9.Hercules
10.Pocahontas

RatedRStar said...

My most Overrated animated films as well

1))Brave (Academy Award for best animated film, erm no
2)Shrek (its so painfully unfunny to watch now)
3)WALL-E
4)Ratatouille
5)Sleeping Beauty

luke higham said...

Louis: Never give in to peer pressure. :)

luke higham said...

Louis: Unless it's Sean Penn in I Am Sam, then I'm completely fine with it.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Confession: I still love the first two Shrek movies. I also thought Brave was better than Wreck-It Ralph. Sue me.

luke higham said...

Robert: Like those films, but don't love 'em.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I admit an obnoxious, nagging sense of nostalgia is why I still like them a lot. Which honestly goes against a lot of my principles concerning nostalgia.

Anonymous said...

My top 10 leading performances of the 50's:
1. Alec Guinness in The Bridge in the River Kwai
2. Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront
3. Montgomery Clift in From Here To Eternity
4. Robert Mitchum in The Night of the Hunter
5. James Stewart in Vertigo
6. Toshiro Mifune in Rashomon
7. Takashi Shimura in Ikiru
8. James Mason in Bigger Than Life
9. Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire/Montgomery Clift in A Place in the Sun (TIE)
10. Cary Grant in North by Northwest

luke higham said...

Louis: I know, I asked you this a long while back, but is Crowe still a 4.5 or is he now a 5 for Master And Commander.

luke higham said...

Everyone: In your opinion, which country has the best talent pool of actors and actresses.

luke higham said...

Everyone: Currently.

Anonymous said...

Luke: Can't decide between UK and US.
Anyway, my best 20 performances of the 60's
1. Peter O'Toole in Lawrence of Arabia
2. Anthony Perkins in Psycho
3. Richard Burton in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf
4. Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove
5. Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight in Midnight Cowboy (TIE)
6. Toshiro Mifune in Yojimbo and Paul Newman in The Hustler (TIE)
7. Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate
8. Richard Burton in The Spy Who Came From The Cold/Terence Stamp in The Collector/Sean Connery in The Hill
9. Paul Newman in Hud
10. Peter O'Toole in The Lion in Winter
11. Laurence Olivier in The Entertainer
12. James Mason in Lolita
13. Charles Bronson in Once Upon A Time in The West
14. Peter O'Toole in Becket
15. Tom Courtenay in Billy Liar
16. Richard Attenborough in Guns at Batasi
17. Tom Courtenay in The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
18. Dick Bogarde in The Servant
19. Omar Sharif in Doctor Zhivago
20. Jack Lemmon in Days of Wine and Roses

luke higham said...

Anonymous: It's the UK for me. If Philip Seymour Hoffman was alive, the United States would've posed a greater challenge.

Robert MacFarlane said...

For actors, America has been stepping up its A-game lately. For actresses, France has us beat good and proper.

luke higham said...

Robert: Cotillard, Seydoux, Exarchopoulos, Thierry, Laurent and Green.

Anonymous said...

Luke: French actresses are so damn good.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Also Binoche and Huppert.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and don't forget Deneuve as well.

luke higham said...

Anonymous:
Overall: UK
Actors: UK or US
Actresses: France

RatedRStar said...

I would say there is a balance between the UK and the US, the US has more stars obviously therefore more good ones, but it is also has more bad ones so there is a balance. This would be my rankings for the top 3

1. UK/USA
2. Hong Kong
3. France

luke higham said...

Anonymous: I'd actually mention Kristin Scott Thomas as well, as she considers herself more French than British.

luke higham said...

Anonymous: My Picks for the Overall and Actors is the British Isles (Including Ireland).

RatedRStar said...

I put HK second because OMG they have so many stars, names like Stephen Chow, Donnie Yen, Jackie Chan, Jet Li and Chow Yun Fat still have cultural power but then you have the critically loved actors like Tony Leung Chiu Wai and Tony Leung Ka Fai plus a host of popular leading men like Takeshi Kaneshiro, Chang Chen, Lau Ching Wan, Andy Lau and Anthony Wong.

In terms of character actors who can also lead if they want Hong Kong has some truly great ones like Alex Fong, Lam Suet, Liu Kai Chi, Francis Ng, Sam Lee, Patrick Tam and Roy Cheung.

The young actors as well, Nicholas Tse, Eddie Peng, and Liu Ye.

The only legend of Hong Kong cinema that has passed away is Leslie Cheung, there are still all the others still working

luke higham said...

RatedRStar:
Britain has:
Tom Hardy
Michael Fassbender
Cillian Murphy
Ben Whishaw
Tom Hiddleston
Jack O'Connell
Benedict Cumberbatch
Brendan Gleeson
Domhnall Gleeson
Gary Oldman
Daniel Day-Lewis
John Hurt
Ralph Fiennes
Ewan McGregor
Jude Law
Chiwetel Ejiofor
Idris Elba
David Oyelowo
Martin Freeman
Ian McKellen
Tom Courtenay
Michael Caine
Mark Rylance
Tom Holland
Will Poulter
Nicholas Hoult (He was great in Mad Max: Fury Road)
Andrew Garfield
Liam Neeson
Ray Winstone
Christian Bale
Jeremy Irons
Alan Rickman
James McAvoy
Simon Pegg
Jonathan Pryce

And on TV:
John Simm
Dominic West
Hugh Laurie
Andrew Lincoln
James Nesbitt
Charles Dance
Damian Lewis
Stephen Dillane
Hugh Dancy

luke higham said...

RatedRStar: Mustn't forget Mark Strong.

RatedRStar said...

France has got the advantage over HK for great actresses, but the actors are so weak compared to HK.

Anonymous said...

And the best American actors of this generation, Luke?

luke higham said...

Robert: If their's anyone, you feel that I forgot about, give them a mention and I'll say Yes or No to them.
Anonymous:
America has:
Ben Foster
Jake Gyllenhaal
Matthew McConaughey
Leonardo DiCaprio
Oscar Isaac
Viggo Mortensen
Channing Tatum
Michael Shannon
Tom Cruise
Brad Pitt (He does have 2 really great performances)
Casey Affleck
Ben Affleck (He's a bit underrated)
Robert Downey Jr.
Joseph Gordon Levitt
Jackie Earle Haley
Miles Teller
Michael B. Jordan
Robert Duvall
Tom Hanks
Bradley Cooper
Woody Harrelson
Peter Dinklage
Bryan Cranston
James Spader
Kevin Bacon
Steve Carell
Paul Rudd

And
Billy Zane
Adam Sandler
Tom Green
Rob Schneider
David Spade
Kevin James
Zac Efron
Dave Franco







JUST KIDDING! :)

luke higham said...

Britain wins.

Anonymous said...

You're not counting De Niro, Pacino, Hoffman and Nicholson because of their recent performances, are ya?

luke higham said...

Anonymous: Forgot about Ethan Hawke, Josh Brolin and J.K. Simmons

luke higham said...

Anonymous: Yes.

luke higham said...

Anonymous: Nicholson's also retired.

Anonymous said...

Luke: Well, he's reading some scripts.

luke higham said...

Anonymous: And Edward Norton.

luke higham said...

Anonymous: Oh, is he now.

RatedRStar said...

I actually class Ireland as being in the UK in terms of the film industry, since they always star in US/UK productions so I dont count Ireland as separate in that regard. So I would happily put actors like Brendan Gleeson, Colin Farell and that guy from Queer as Folk in as well =D lol.

luke higham said...

RatedRStar: Adding Farrell (Love his performance in In Bruges) and Gillen to the list.

Calvin Law said...

I will stand by Pacino being a great actor even these past few years as he's been doing some marvellous television work. But in terms of film I'd agree Luke :)

luke higham said...

Calvin: I'll add Pacino as well for TV.

Yet Britain still conquers over all. Haha. :)

luke higham said...

Adding Timothy Spall and Kenneth Branagh to the list.

luke higham said...

Jeremy Renner.

Calvin Law said...

Luke: Was just going to ask you about those two. Call me blasphemous but I think Branagh's portrayal of Hamlet is arguably the greatest ever Shakespeare performance, IMO.

Calvin Law said...

Also Ewan McGregor is incredibly close to making my top 10 list of British actors. Every time I watch Moulin Rouge just solidifies my belief that he may well be the most underrated actor of all-time.

Anonymous said...

Calvin: My top 10 Shakespearean performances:
1. Laurence Olivier in Hamlet (1948)
2. Laurence Olivier in Richard III (1955)
3. Laurence Olivier in Henry V
4. Kenneth Branagh in Hamlet (1996)
5. Ian McKellen in Richard III (1995)
6. Toshiro Mifune in Throne of Blood
7. Paul Scofield in King Lear (1971)
8. Laurence Olivier in King Lear (1983)
9. Mel Gibson in Hamlet (1990)
10. Orson Welles in Othello (1952)

Calvin Law said...

The only problem being that he has only one 5 and a whole lotta 4.5's and 4's. Similar to Sidney Poitier for me; love them to bits but not sure if a lone 5 suffices to propel them onto the top 10?

Calvin Law said...

Anonymous: Great list, love that you mentioned Scofield.

For me,

1. Branagh in Hamlet
2. Olivier in Richard III
3. Whishaw in Richard II
4. Scofield in King Lear
5. Mifune in Throne of Blood
6. Hussey in Romeo and Juliet
7. Jacobi in Henry V
8. Olivier in Henry V
9 and 10 I need to think about.

Anonymous said...

Louis, I said something wrong. I should have asked your top 10 Best Actor choices critics would find blasphemous. I know that your 1951 and 1974 choices are blasphemous, and all, but just 8 more.

Anonymous said...

My top 10 leading performances of the 30's:
1. James Cagney- Angels With Dirty Faces
2. Clark Gable- Gone With The Wind
3. Robert Montgomery- Night Must Fall
4. Peter Lorre- M
5. Charles Laughton- The Private Life of Henry VIII
6. Clark Gable- It Happened One Night
7. Lew Ayres- All Quiet on The Western Front
8. Charles Laughton- The Hunchback of Notre Dame
9. James Stewart- Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
10. Charles Laughton- Rembrandt

luke higham said...

Calvin: Apologies for overlooking your comment, didn't notice it until now.
Love Branagh's Performance, though Jacobi's my favourite out of the cast.

RatedRStar said...

A film caught my eye recently was Hawaii (1966) it got 7 Oscar Nominations and Globe Nom for Von Sydow, I decided to see it and it wasnt too bad actually lol.

luke higham said...

RatedRStar: Your rating for Sydow.

RatedRStar said...

Luke: 4

Robert MacFarlane said...

Hot damn, Rogue Nation was freaking sweet. I might even like it more than Ghost Protocol.

luke higham said...

Robert: I'm glad you liked it.
Your ratings for the cast.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Cruise: 3.5
Fergusson: 4
Renner: 3.5
Pegg: 3
Rhames: 3
Harris: 2.5
Baldwin: 3

Anonymous said...

Damn, all this praise over Rogue Nation makes me want to watch it so bad.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Don't worry I never buckle under peer pressure. I just am legitimately acknowledging that Crowe has a chance who I think I'll review in the bonus rounds since it's certainly an interesting performance. The same I think goes for Bill Murray in The Life Aquatic.

Although as punishment for their lack of respect for the Lang I will sentence Brad Pitt in Fight Club and Morgan Freeman in Gone Baby Gone to lower ratings.........



........just kidding.


Anonymous:

Grahame - 3

Stanwyck - 3.5

Dunne - 4

Hepburn - 2.5

Anonymous:

Alright eight more and it sound like specifically Oscars.

1996 - Cruise over Rush
1993 - Neeson over Hanks.
1992 - Eastwood over Washington
1976 - Giannini over De Niro/Finch
1973 - Completely agreeing with Lemmon's win
1972 - Olivier over Brando
1961 - Whitman over Newman/Schell(But they also haven't seen The Mark)
1943 - Agreeing with Lukas.

luke higham said...

Anonymous: Giannini was Louis's original choice for 1976, and then switched it to Finch.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Didn't know that it was an unpopular opinion to prefer Neeson over Hanks. Many people would prefer him over Hanks. Schell has been upgraded to a 4,5, right?

luke higham said...

Anonymous: As a supporting performance.

Anonymous said...

Luke: Yeah, I know that.

luke higham said...

Anonymous: He is a 4.5.

Anonymous said...

Luke: Okay. :)

luke higham said...

Anonymous: Goodnight. :)

Anonymous said...

Luke: Goodnight. :)