Sunday, 20 December 2015

Alternate Best Actor 1962: James Mason in Lolita

James Mason did not receive an Oscar nomination, despite being nominated for a Bafta and a Golden Globe, for portraying Professor Humbert Humbert in Lolita.

Lolita is an off beat telling of the story of a middle aged intellectual becoming infatuated with the fourteen year old girl in the home he boards in.

James Mason took on the role that he had turned down originally, apparently due to scheduling conflicts, but before his schedule allowed him to take the role it was turned down by Laurence Olivier and David Niven, Olivier based on the advice of his agents, and Niven over concerns for his TV show. This is not at all surprising considering that the role of Humbert Humbert is that of a pedophile, and that is not the only challenge within the role, though certainly a major one. Now starting at the beginning, in chronological terms that is, Mason's casting could not be more perfect as Mason, think of simply the image of an "intellectual" and Mason just seems to fit. This is surprisingly important for the performance though as Mason being such a naturally dignified presence gives Humbert almost a forced dignity. Mason tricks you almost into accepting Humbert more than you might have otherwise since Mason so effectively exudes the sort of respectability and intelligence one would expect from Humbert, a noted lecturer on French literature you know, even though what Humbert does in the film in no way supports this idea, since Humbert really is anything but respectable as we find out throughout the story.

It is hard to imagine anyone else in the role actually because Mason's whole approach, and presence enable the character in a way one would not expect one would not mind following through the film's run time. It is interesting to examine Mason's work as he does not in anyway attempt to make Humbert likable to make for his indiscretions, in fact many things work in quite the opposite fashion. For example in the early scene where he's looking at the house to stay being shown by the somewhat lusty Charlotte Haze (Shelley Winters), there is a definite air of superiority in Humbert's interactions yet Mason again is just so good at presenting this sort of type that you feel he earns it. Of course this in a way seems subverted quite quickly when Humbert makes his decision to stay in Charlotte's home because he glances at Charlotte's 14 year old daughter Lolita(Sue Lyon). Mason reveals an understated yet clearly rather considerable lust as Humbert eyes her. The stare of a creepy old man to be sure in terms of content yet Mason oddly enough manages to so carefully not go overboard, while in no way hiding the intention of his character from the audience. It's so brilliantly handled by Mason as he allows us to follow Humbert in a way, you wouldn't imagine one could.

Well as Mason in a way tricks us into allowing Humbert to be our lead, Stanley Kubrick actually continues to throws various challenges against him as the film progresses. The film's tone actually has strong vein of humor in it mostly through the character of Clare Quilty (Peter Sellers), and this presents two severe yet possible pitfalls for Mason's performance. The first being that the film very easily considering the subject matter and the style of humor combined could just become rather grotesque, the other being that Humbert as well as Mason could have been completely overshadowed by Sellers, and the madness he makes with his performance as another man interested in Lolita. Well again Mason is the rock center of the film that really makes everything come together as it does, because he always keeps such a distinct sense of honesty in his performance as Humbert. The thing is though that Mason actually even does have technically comical moments, in the darkest of ways usually mostly coming from his interactions with Winters's character. Though Mason succeeds in being rather enjoyable in showing just how technically cruel is towards is to her, as he does so successfully create the sense of false interest in the scenes with Charlotte, yet always undercuts them by never leaving Humbert's true desires in question for the audience.

Now even on point with Sellers, Mason is essential to Sellers's is performance, as it is Mason's performance that allows his take on Quilty to exist, since if the actor playing Humbert tried to actively go for laughs along with Sellers, the film very easily could have gone off the rails losing complete sight of the main point of the story. Mason loses none of the potential humor brought on by Sellers by being a terrific straight man to him. Mason's timing against Sellers is impeccable as he keeps Humbert just out of sync with him in the right fashion, since even though they share the same goal for themselves they are of adifferent mind. Mason quite adept though in funneling his moments with Sellers by keeping Humbert so perfectly out of touch, and unaware of the game that this other man is playing. Mason encourages the laughs found in the material, but never allows it to overwhelm the story, keeping Humbert's dilemma more than just a very dark joke. Mason is extremely effective in the role because he does not ever hold back in terms of actually delving into revealing that lust in Humbert, as he portrays Humbert as a man stricken by an obsession. Mason is excellent in that he does keep up the shield of Humbert, through his own presentation of the "good" professor, while never failing to subtly delve into the mind of the man, who falls into his own personal abyss.

Mason actually makes the gradual revelation of just how dark Humbert's inclination particularly effective because of the way he began as that assured and proper sort. Mason is outstanding in the way he slowly shows the loss of this facade of sorts in a way as circumstances allow him to pursue Lolita in a way he had not be allowed to before. Mason is able to realize the sheer primal nature of the urges as this rather base side of Humbert makes itself more known, as his interactions with Lolita become all the more obvious, and eventually this leads to them becoming involved beyond some questionable glances towards one another. Mason portrays this as only becoming more detrimental for Humbert as it forces out all of the worst aspects of his personality as man. Mason makes this very disconcerting because he loses that usual ease of control of one self Mason presents, instead now revealing a desperation in Humbert as he attempts to control every part of Lolita's life. Mason is so good as he presents just how ruinous the relationship is for Humbert as that confidence begins to wain, and this terrible sense of unease seems ever present in every movement he makes. Mason is incredible as he depicts the crumbling mental and physical state of Humbert. This descent is marvelously performed and is all the more remarkable because of how Mason strips away that apparent respectability originally found in Humbert. Mason shows how Humbert basically loses himself as Mason so vividly creates the terrible pain in Humbert from the stress of his paranoia, as well as how terrible of a wretch he has become as he finds that Lolita has been tricking him the whole time. In the final scenes of the film Mason is absolutely amazing as he takes Humbert to his lowest point. The first being as he brings Humbert to his most vulnerable as Humbert makes one final attempt to get Lolita back. Mason makes Humbert an emotional wreck as he basically begs her to come back to him leaving him with almost nothing left. This leads him to only thing he has left which is to seek vengeance against his rival Quilty, which is actually the first scene of the film. Mason chilling in the scene because he makes this essentially the death of Humbert as he's murdering the other man as there is such a single minded cruelty, and hate is all there is in his eyes in the end as that's all there is left to him. This is one of Mason's best performances as his portrayal of Humbert enables the film to work not only in terms of creating a captivating portrait of Humbert's story of personal decay, but also in flawlessly finding the exact right footing in terms of the character as well as the film's style that prevents the film from collapsing due to its more scandalous elements.

220 comments:

1 – 200 of 220   Newer›   Newest»
Calvin Law said...

Great performance.

Have you read the book, Louis? It's one of my favourites and though the film is far from a faithful adaptation, it does some very interesting things with the source materal, especially with Quilty who, based on this review, seems certain to garner Sellers his first 5.

Off-topic but have you seen the 1970s miniseries of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy?

Anonymous said...

Such a wonderful performance from Mason. What are your thoughts and ratings on Winters and Lyon?

Robert MacFarlane said...

Louis, can you give your exact thoughts on Boyega and Ridley? Because as the days go on I'm starting realize just HOW much I loved their performances.

Luke Higham said...

Everyone: The Hateful Eight and The Revenant are on Putlocker.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I refuse to watch Hateful Eight unless in 70 mm.

RatedRStar said...

I would be very excited about The Hateful Eight, if I didn't accidentally read the script like 2 years ago lol I did the same thing with Prisoners lol.

Luke Higham said...

Robert: I won't be able to see it in 70mm unfortunately. I'm finding it hard to wait awhile longer for their theatrical releases, though if I do see them tonight or tomorrow, I plan on watching them as well in the cinema.

RatedRStar said...

I have been a good boy this christmas =D, so much so I appear to be rewarded with Carol, Brooklyn, Room, The Hateful Eight, The Revenant and 99 Homes all available to me hehe =D, still no Steve Jobs though.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: Macbeth had better appear within the next two weeks, or I'll be fuming.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: Have you seen The Force Awakens yet.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the Force Awakens cast, though hold on to those, that might give away spoilers for anyone on the blog, who haven't seen it.

RatedRStar said...

I got lucky with Macbeth being in a limited screening, and I will be seeing Force Awakens on Tuesday.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on Walters, Broadbent and Gleeson in Brooklyn.

Anonymous said...

Luke: The Revenant is on Putlocker now? Guess I'll watch it today instead of Legend.

Michael McCarthy said...

The last 15 minutes of Macbeth may be the most beautifully shot sequence I've seen this year.

Calvin Law said...

Michael: ratings for Fassbender and Cotillard in Macbeth, I might just give it a rewatch soon to see if I bump Fassbender up again.

I can wait for The Hateful Eight and The Revenant for the timebeing. Though I must say I'm much looking forward to the former.

Robert: Same thing's happened to me. No kidding I'm seriously considering a 4.5/5 for Boyega and Ridley has only grown on me the more I think about her performance. What an impressive leading debut.

P.S. Louis if you liked Boyega here i think you'll enjoy him in Attack the Block too where he plays a very different yet equally interesting sort of badass (yes I thought Finn was very badass)

Calvin Law said...

I must say though I generally had many problems with the overall direction of Macbeth. Were it not for Fassbender's magnetic performance (and I'm not a huge fan in general) I think I might've hated it.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

Yes

Anonymous:

Winters - 4.5(She was often cast in these sort of roles, but importantly she usually managed to something with her performance to not make them all seem the same. Winters manages to make her character past the caricature of the sex starved housewife, though she does that element quite well. What Winters does so well though is show the honest vulnerabilities behind this behavior, and never makes funny her own character with her performance so to speak.)

Lyon - 4(I've felt there could just be something more in her performance as I do think she is overshadowed by Mason and Winters. Nevertheless she is very good at capturing that combination of an immaturity and maturity at the same time. She's quite good in the way she so effortlessly shifts Lolita around from just a spoiled brat to that which allures Humbert so easily)

Robert:

Boyega - (I actually think he might hit both the dramatic and comedic heights of the film, and after saying that I'm upgrading him to a 4.5. Boyega in the early scenes is excellent in revealing just the emotional shock and devastation making the starting turn of his character quite effective. Then as the film proceeds he continues to be good in creating sympathy for his character "run" mentality, while earning his shifts toward bravery completely. Then his whole other fast talking rush to his performance was both hilarious and felt natural. This actually is the type of thing that could go in the very wrong direction but Boyega completely pulls it off to make Finn only an endearing hero)

Ridley - (In addition though it must be said the two have great chemistry and I already want to see them back to interact all the more with the sequels. She makes for a great straight man for Boyega and the two played off each other so well in that sense while still making you care for them as characters. I really like Ridley work on her own as well as she did the tough routine without making it the define her character. She made it feel genuine with her performance though as she never shied away in revealing the needed more emotional desperate moments to her character. Probably should raise her up to, as they both already have earned their place along with Luke, Leia and Han.)

Luke:

DON'T TEMPT ME FRODO!

Walters - (She's mainly one note, but she does it well)

Broadbent - (Thought he offered a nice abundance of warmth his performance, and I would not have minded more of him)

Gleeson - (As the other guy he's good at just being charming in his own way, while being in no way problematic either)

Isaac - (He's a great hot shot to be sure and just finds the right sort of confidence where he is extremely endearing without ever being just cocky)

Serkis - (Again uninspired as he just did an evil voice, and his motion capture performance was nothing of note. He's no Ian McDiarmid that's for sure.)

Nyong'o - (I quite liked the voice she did, though I did feel in terms of the writing I think they gave her just a bit too much to do, as suddenly there's this extremely important character that knows everything, all the old crew know her, but she was never once in the original)

Gleeson - (A fine take on the Moff, though he does not really copy Cushing either, I quite liked that sheer hate filled intensity he brought into his eyes, and was quite the efficient dictator sort)

Best not to talk about the rest yet.

Anonymous said...

Louis: What are your thoughts on The Bad and the Beautiful as a whole? And what is your rating for it?

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Mini-Series and thoughts on the cast.

Michael McCarthy said...

Calvin: 5s for both. (I know it's such a bandwagon thing to say but hey, Fassbender's only my sixth five for lead this year.)

Luke Higham said...

Michael: Thoughts on Fassbender and Cotillard. I'm starting to agree now that Fassbender will get no more than a 4 for Steve Jobs, yet I'm still fascinated to read a review from Louis.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: I'm gonna watch Creed tonight, then The Revenant/The Hateful Eight tomorrow.

omar! said...

Luke: where are you going to see The Hateful Eight? Is it on putlocker?

Luke Higham said...

Omar!: Yes.

Luke Higham said...

Michael McCarthy: I wouldn't worry too much about Larson, since Louis' that close to giving her a 5 and would probably do so on a re-watch.

omar! said...

Luke: Could you post the link please? Thank you :)

Anonymous said...

Luke: All right then. :) I'm watching The Revenant. So far I'm loving it. It's a damn shame the site I'm watching it on keeps on freezing.

Luke Higham said...

Omar!: Sure. :)

http://putlocker.ms/watch-the-hateful-eight-online-free-2015-putlocker.html

Anonymous: Can I have your ratings for the cast, though save your thoughts until after I see it tomorrow. You could give your thoughts on the film though. :)

Anonymous said...

Luke: Wait, I still haven't watched it all of the film due to some difficulties on Putlocker. I'll give you ratings on the cast after I finish watching it. :)

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: I know you haven't finished. :) Wanted to post the comment now, rather than later, since I'm a bit busy tonight.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: I know you're gonna wait for the theatrical releases of The Revenant and The Hateful Eight, though is Carol/Macbeth/Legend showing in your area.

Anonymous said...

Luke: Well, I finally finished watching The Revenant. It was great, like Birdman. Great direction, great acting and of course, great cinematography by Lubezki.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: Ratings please. :)

RatedRStar said...

I just watched The Hateful Eight, its, well it very much has all the good tarantino moments and the bad ones too lol.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: Your ratings for the cast.

RatedRStar said...

Luke:

Russell (3.5)
Jackson (4.5)
Leigh (4.5)
Goggins (5)
Madsen (3)
Roth (3.5)
Bichir (3)
Dern (3.5)
Parks (3)
???? (3)

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: I knew Goggins was gonna do really well.

Anonymous said...

Luke:
DiCaprio: 5
Hardy: 5
Gleeson: 4
Poulter: 4

RatedRStar said...

Luke: Yep he is great

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous, RatedRStar & Calvin: Since we're getting closer to the 2015 reviews, how many 5s do you think Louis' gonna give for Male Supporting.

Calvin Law said...

I succumbed to temptation and watched The Revenant too. It was an effective film but I felt flawed in various respects. I won't quite delve into the film itself yet but suffice to say it was definitely very engaging but also a bit disappointing.

DiCaprio: 5 (definitely the most brilliant physical performance I've seen all year.The depiction of his physical decay is incredible, however he's not even close to my win for the year because Hugh Glass really isn't much of a character. He aint afraid of dying because he done it already, and is out for revenge, and that's about all there is to him. Nevertheless I will not mind an Oscar win by him in the least, it would be like Eddie Redmayne's win last year, an honour for an incredible commitment to the physical portrayal of a character, although out of the contenders I would still prefer Damon to win as in a not dissimilar sort of 'lone survivor' role he found more complexities and much more of an emotional impact. Technically speaking I should probably give him a 4.5 but the extreme commitment and viscreal power of the performance bumps it up for me.)

Hardy: 5 (I would say the MVP actually and definitely his best performance of this year, his accent is definitely a love or hate it part of his performance but personally I thought it was excellent. He was incredibly compelling in depicting this complete monstrosity of a man who never seems quite in control of himself, and in fact I think made John Fitzgerald's side story even more compelling than it really needee to be.)

Gleeson: 2.5 (disappointingly miscast, although I'm not sure he really is because he's turned out to become quite the chameleonic actor, so it might've been the direction. He has quite a bit of screentime actually but his material isn't really of the highest quality, and he was never actively bad but he always seemed a bit too stiff in his delivery and definitely overplayed his confrontation scene with Fitzgerald. It's a shame he's a bit lackluster here as he's had an otherwise terrific year.)

Poulter: 4.5 (really adds a lot to his scenes with Hardy as he plays his role with the right mixture of fear and repentance, but also an undercurrent of anger at Fitzgerald. He doesn't have the meaty material of DiCaprio or Hardy but is very effective in his own unique way, plus I think he does his accent the best out of the three Brits)

Anonymous said...

Looks like Goggins is the best player, huh?

Calvin Law said...

Luke: I think

Rylance
Elba
Del Toro
Jenkins
Hoult
Hardy
Goggins
Jackson

Will all be getting 5's.

RatedRStar said...

Luke: As in official or alternates?

Anonymous: Yep quite easily.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: As a Whole.

RatedRStar said...

Luke: 9 I guess.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: I think we're gonna get at least 8 fives and wouldn't be surprised if there were more. I'm not too sure about Jackson at the moment and think one of the performances from Spotlight will get a 5.

Anonymous said...

Luke: I think that Hardy, Del Toro, Elba, Rylance, Hoult, Keaton (possibly), Jenkins and Goggins will get 5's.

Calvin Law said...

I steadfastly refuse to watch The Hateful Eight in anywhere but a cinema but I do have a friend who watched the online version and gave me the following ratings/brief thoughts:

Russell: an enjoyable John Wayne emulation tinged with usual Kurt Russell badassery
Jackson: fantastic performance that just about leads the film with his pure dynamic energy and intrigue he brings through his presence and speeches
Leigh: Intriguing character creation of what is effectively the spawn of the devil's clutches
Goggins: As excellent as advertised by the reviews as he has by far the most interesting arc and makes for a most interesting caricature subversion.
Roth: a great deal of fun to watch as an intentionally mannered British 'gentleman'. Definitely the best out of the 4 of the 8 we meet first at the inn.
Madsen: The most disappointing cast member as he just kind of sits around and acts mysterious.
Bichir: Doesn't make a bit impact but is funny enough with his character's eccentricities.
Dern: A bit wasted in terms of focus but entertainingly uncouth as a racist old man.

Calvin Law said...

He said that he'd rank them all in this order and though he doesn't do ratings I'd approximate them as:

1. Goggins (5)
2. Jackson (5)
3. Leigh (4.5)
4. Roth (4)
5. Russell (4)
6. Dern (3.5)
7. Bichir (3)
8. Madsen (2.5)

RatedRStar said...

Madsen is the worst performance I think.

Luke Higham said...

Also, I wouldn't rule out Stallone, though I'll be watching Creed within the next hour.

Anonymous said...

Luke: I'd bet that Stallone will get a 4,5, not a 5.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: I have a funny feeling that he might do so, but then again I'm feeling very optimistic about the category this year.

RatedRStar said...

I should say 99 Homes is a decent enough film, a bit too heavy handed though.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: Your ratings & thoughts on Garfield & Shannon.

Calvin Law said...

Also my new Best Actor and Supporting Actor rankings:

1. McKellen
2. Damon
3. Segel
4. Fassbender (Macbeth)
5. Hardy (Legend)
6. Attah (4 to 6 are particularly interchangeable)
7. DiCaprio
8. Craig
9. Depp
10. Eisenberg/Edgerton/Boyega

1. Del Toro
2. Hardy (though he could go up)
3. Rylance
4. Schoenaerts
5. Elba
6. Cohen
7. Hoult
8. Isaac (Ex Machina)
9. Brolin
10. Sheen
Hon. Mentions: Ford, Driver, Sarsgaard, Edgerton (The Gift)

Calvin Law said...

Although I'm not sure whether Driver's co-lead with Boyega and Ridley...enough said.

Calvin Law said...

I think either Jordan or Stallone will get a 5, most likely Stallone though.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: I've changed my mind and would like your thoughts on The Revenant cast.

RatedRStar said...

Luke:

Garfield (4.5) This is easily the best I have seen him, giving a great performance of a man suffering from doing the right thing and wanting the best for his mum and son which creates a sympathetic depiction of wanting the best but also his desperation.

Shannon (4) I feel the script wants to turn him into a straight forward villain but Shannon actually adds quite a lot more to him particularly in his speech scenes and in particular when he talks about his father, i feel just in his reactions at the end of the film he shows a more humane side, but he doesn't get any higher than 4 because the film still writes him as Gordon Gecko essentially.

Anonymous said...

Luke:
DiCaprio (He gives one of his best performances that certainly rank along with The Departed and the Wolf of Wall Street. He depicts Hugh Glass's physical decay perfectly. He'll certainly be worthy of winning Best Actor (that's if he's nominated))
Hardy (His accent was never distracting for me, and he makes John Fitzgerald a very compelling villain)
Gleeson (I liked him more than Calvin, I can't exactly explain why)
Poulter (His scenes with Hardy are great and he certainly is effective in the role, although I didn't like him as much as Calvin did)

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: So Hardy could be joining the likes of Olivier, Attenborough, Foster, Mifune and Oldman with two fives in the same year. :)

Calvin Law said...

DiCaprio was excellent but I still think his best performance was in Wolf of Wall Street. I'm not huge on him in The Departed, he's effective but probably wouldn't even make my top 5 with the strength of that year.

Calvin Law said...

1. WOWS (5)
2. The Revenant (5)
3. Catch Me If You Can (4.5/5)
4. The Departed (4.5)
5. Django Unchained (4.5)

Luke Higham said...

Everyone: Apart from Daniel, who on the blog has yet to see The Force Awakens.

Calvin Law said...

Also my choices for director:

1. Haynes
2. Miller
3. Crowley
4. Mendes
5. Scott/Abrahams

Anonymous said...

Calvin:
1. WOWS- 5
2. The Revenant- 5
3. The Departed- 5
4. Django Unchained- 4,5
5. Catch Me If You Can- 4,5

Luke Higham said...

Everyone: How many 5s for the other three categories. I'm gonna go with 8-9 for Male Lead, 7-8 for Female Lead and 2-3 for Female Supporting.

Calvin Law said...

Luke: Agreed.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: Your predictions for the overall win in each of the four acting categories, as well as Picture and Director.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: This might be my favourite year for film since 2007.

Anonymous said...

Luke: I have yet to see it.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: So it's you, Daniel and maybe Michael Patison, though he's not on the blog often nowadays.

omar! said...

Just saw The Hateful Eight, it's not the best one from Tarantino, but it's not the worst either; I'd rank it above Death Proof, Jackie Brown, Django Unchained and Kill Bill Bol.1
Ratings:
Jackson: 5
Russell: 4
Leigh: 5
Goggins: 5
Roth: 4
Dern: 4
Madsen: 3
Bichir: 3,5
Parks: 3
???: 3,5

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Are you gonna post your traditional new year predictions.

Calvin Law said...

For the Oscars:

Best Picture: Spotlight
Best Actor: DiCaprio
Best Actress: Larson
Best Supporting Actor: Rylance
Best Supporting Actress: Mara
Best Director: Scott (overdue factor, plus The Martian is a great film)

For Louis:

Best Picture: Mad Max Fury Road
Best Actor: McKellen/DiCaprio
Best Actress: Ronan
Best Supporting Actor: Rylance/Hardy
Best Supporting Actress: Leigh
Best Director: Miller

Calvin Law said...

Luke: This has been the one of the greatest years for films in my opinion ever, hands down.

RatedRStar said...

Luke: Agreed it has been a wonderful year.

Louis: I hope you also do the yearly predictions as usual since it is always interesting to look at the race =D from each perspective.

I am currently watching The Revenant but by the time it finishes it will be midnight so I will be too tired to post.

Calvin Law said...

Luke: Could you give brief thoughts on Carol as a film, and Mara and Blanchett's performances?

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: I thought it was a fantastic Romantic drama and just loved the way, the relationship between Therese and Carol developed.

Mara's performance was fairly understated, yet I found her so alluring, whereas Blanchett was terrific in her portrayal of conflict between trying to keep hold of her daughter or her relationship with Therese.

The Cinematography was great, though I'd appreciate it a hell of alot more, if I had the chance to see it in the cinema, though I promise to watch it on DVD.

Hayne's direction is brilliant and is a close #2 to Miller.

Anonymous said...

Luke: So, weren't you going to watch Creed tonight?

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: I'm watching it now. A few things got in the way.

Louis Morgan said...

Carol:

Mara - 5
Blanchett - 5
Chandler - 4
Paulson - 3

Robert MacFarlane said...

Goddamn my proud insistence on not pirating, you're all enjoying the movies I've wanted to see for over a year.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Thoughts on Mara, Blanchett and Chandler.

Louis Morgan said...

Robert:

I'll admit I do it with the utmost reservation and only if the film's have already been released without ever having come close to me which was unfortunately the case for Carol and Room.

Calvin Law said...

YES LOUIS

Thoughts on the film as a whole, and Mara and Blanchett.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Thoughts on the film.

I'm in the same boat as you, unfortunately.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I only do it in extreme cases myself. Frankly I'm worried that will be the case.

Calvin Law said...

I pirated Revenant purely because I wasn't overly keen on it and was just curious to see how it'd pan out for me.

Calvin Law said...

'I'm glad the strongest focus is on the characters themselves oppose to simply the relationship that was taboo at the time.'

Couldn't have put it better Louis. It never became a 'message' film, just a beautifully rendered story. I loved Burwell's score myself (my win for the year so far). Agree to an extent about Blanchett but completely agree about Mara. Did they remind you of any classical actresses here? Personally I felt Blanchett was quite evocative of Deborah Kerr/Katherine Hepburn while Mara looked like a combo of Audrey Hepburn and Jean Simmons.

Robert MacFarlane said...

What did you think of the score for Bridge of Spies? Because I REALLY loathed the way it was used and really the syrupy tone of it.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin: I'd agree with those comparisons.

Robert:

I have to admit Bridge of Spies somehow hit the perfect old fashioned sweet spot for me, score included, though even I'll give you that music swell when Donovan was defending Abel in front of the Supreme Court.

Anonymous:

I don't really care for Bad and the Beautiful. It's not terrible but its whole structure I don't think worked particularly well actually making the story repetitive, the producer does something good then something bad, as well as leaving the producer in an odd place.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Not gonna lie, the score outright killed the "standing man" scene despite Rylance's acting for me. Then again, I hated the overlit cinematography too. I don't know. Maybe I'm getting tired of Spielberg's bag of tricks.

Calvin Law said...

What would your top 5 actress ranking be at this point Louis?

Calvin Law said...

As in 2015 lead.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: I think it's gonna be.
1. Mara
2. Blanchett
3. Ronan
4. Mulligan
5. Theron

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

They could switch up any which way, it is a great year for lead actress

1. Mara
2. Ronan
3. Theron
4. Blanchett
5. Mulligan

Robert MacFarlane said...

I don't know how much you'll like Bel Powley in Diary of a Teenage Girl, but you should give it a whirl.

Luke Higham said...

Creed
Jordan - 4.5
Stallone - 4.5/5

Michael Patison said...

Just finished Force Awakens. Enjoyed it immensely, but I'll need to sleep on it for anything more in depth and for ratings.

Calvin Law said...

Also some retroactive castings for some 2015 films:

Mad Max (1960s) directed by William Wyler
Max: Robert Mitchum
Furiosa: Shelley Winters
Nux: Sal Mineo

Carol (1960s) directed by Guy Green
Carol: Deborah Kerr
Therese: Jean Simmons

The Martian (1970s) directed by Stanley Kubrick
Mark: James Caan

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: Your thoughts on The Revenant, with ratings & thoughts on the cast.

Michael Patison: Your ratings for The Force Awakens Cast.

Anonymous said...

Calvin:
I'll also do an retroactive casting.
Sicario (40's version)
Kate: Claire Trevor
Alejandro: Anthony Quinn
Matt: Robert Mitchum

Anonymous said...

Louis: Ratings and thoughts on:
Vincent Price in Heaven Can Wait
Joanne Woodward and Denzel Washington in Philadelphia
Richard Beymer, Ned Glass, Simon Oakland and Tucker Smith in West Side Story
Richard Widmark in Judgment at Nuremberg
Laurence Harvey in Butterfield 8

Luke Higham said...

The Revenant
DiCaprio - 5 (A brilliant physical performance)
Hardy - 5 (He's absolutely amazing in the God is a Squirrel scene & loved the accent and his eye expressions as well. It's just a fantastic villainous supporting turn from one of the absolute best actors in the world)
Gleeson - 3.5
Poulter - 4
I thought it was really good. It's not my favourite of 2015, though it's certainly one of the best viewing experiences I've had all year. (Alongside The Force Awakens and Mad Max: Fury Road)

It's my #4.

DiCaprio's my #3 in Lead.

Hardy's my #2 in Supporting.

Calvin Law said...

Luke: it's probably my #12 of the year. Is your top 3 Mad Max, Carol, and The Force Awakens?

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: It's Mad Max, Carol and Brooklyn. The Force Awakens is my #5 now.

Luke Higham said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Louis Morgan said...

Can everyone please keep the Revenant and The Hateful Eight talk unspecific and spoiler free, thank you.

Anonymous:

I'll get you those thoughts soon.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: OK. :)

John Smith said...

Louis, your thoughts and ratings on the cast of Requiem For A Dream as well as your thoughts on the movie.

Luke Higham said...

John: He hasn't seen it yet.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: not to worry. My bad :)

Thinking about it though I'll push The Revenant up to #9.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: I'm seeing The Force Awakens again tomorrow, though this time, with my Step-Dad.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: I apologize as well. The scene that I wrote in my brief thoughts, was mentioned in a large number of reviews I've read.

Legend - Great Quality
http://putlocker.ms/watch-legend-online-free-2015-putlocker.html

Joy
http://putlocker.is/watch-joy-online-free-putlocker.html

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: Steve Jobs is on Putlocker as well.

Anonymous said...

Luke: Well, that's great to hear.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin & Anonymous: Your top 5 performances by Tom Hardy.

1. Locke
2. The Revenant
3. Bronson
4. Legend
5. The Drop

Mine for Leo are:
1. The Wolf Of Wall Street
2. The Revenant
3. The Departed
4. Django Unchained
5. Catch Me If You Can

RatedRStar said...

About time Steve Jobs was on, now I can see if I am in the Louis camp or the Robert McFarlane camp, ill get you back for this putlocker just wait and see lol.

Luke: Ill give you thoughts on The Revenant in the future cause im going out soon, ill say that I really liked the film a whole lot despite some minor problems.

DiCaprio (5)
Hardy (5)
Poulter (4)
Gleeson (3.5)

Anonymous said...

Luke:
1. Locke
2. Bronson
3. The Revenant
4. The Drop
5. Mad Max Fury Road

Luke Higham said...

Hardy has finally won a critics award for The Revenant. (Nevada)

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Are you starting the 2015 reviews after 1962 Lead or Supporting.

Robert MacFarlane said...

On a whim, I decided to see Force Awakens again and came to the conclusion that Ridley gave my favorite performance of the year.

Anonymous said...

Luke: I seriously hope that Hardy never becomes indulgent like Brando.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: I do too. He's had an incredible year, though I really want to see more subdued work from him in the coming years.

Anonymous said...

Luke: Aside from not liking Guinness, Redgrave, Gielgud and Richardson, metalman091 doesn't like Harris, Reed and Peter Finch (I guess he didn't like his performance in Network). So yeah, his taste in film is questionable. :)

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: I can imagine what it would be like, if he was on this blog. Non-Stop bickering and constantly criticizing Louis.

Luke Higham said...

*Louis' opinions.

Anonymous said...

Luke: He also called Scofield wooden. I don't know what he thinks of Courtenay and Bates, but he likes some of O'Toole's films in the 60's and he likes Harvey.

Anonymous said...

I feel a bit sorry for Adam Driver who seems to be the one getting the most criticism from all the hateful fan boys, I mean so what if Driver looks like a goth and has a deep voice lol sheesh. Has anybody seen him in Girls?

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: Scofield's one of my all-time favourites, Sure, his most noteworthy work is one of the most understated performances I've ever seen, but wooden, HELL NO!.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: I haven't, though to my knowledge, he's the most praised member of the show's cast.

Anonymous said...

Luke: Metalman091 said that Cooper's performance in The Westerner was great and that Brennan's performance (Louis gave it a 59 was awful.

Anonymous said...

*)

Anonymous said...

Whats Metalmans thoughts on actors like Brando, Burton, Rains and Paul Newman?

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: To be honest, he just isn't worthy of my time and would rather read the honest valued opinions of each great individual on this amazing blog than message boards on IMDB, which I can't take seriously at all. :)

Anonymous said...

Luke: Well, I'm just telling you how he acts towards others opinions, that's all. :)

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: :) I'm happy enough with him being talked about, I just can't be bothered reading his posts anymore.

Luke Higham said...

*On IMDB

Anonymous said...

Luke: I also don't take the message boards of IMDB seriously. :)

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: I'm watching The Hateful Eight at some point within the next hour and a half. Are you watching it tonight as well and will you be seeing Legend tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Luke: I think I'll watch both films tomorrow or probably Wednesday, don't know yet.

Anonymous said...

Luke: Actually, I can like a Niven performance. It's just I don't think he was that great of an actor. It seems like in 1959, people went wild for his performance in Separate Tables (it was supporting, not leading). I'd assume they would have chosen either Curtis or Poitier for the award.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: I would edge slightly towards Curtis, if that were to be the academy's decision.

Anonymous said...

Luke: Since Niven was doing a different role than the ones he used to play, it makes sense that they would choose him for the Oscar. And of course, they nominated Grant for two dramatic performances.

Anonymous said...

Luke: But they should have put Niven in supporting, but I still think he wouldn't have beat Ives.

Anonymous said...

Luke: Since DiCaprio went method for The Revenant, I guess that the Academy won't have no choice but to finally give him the Oscar.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Frankly I find the awards narrative surrounding DiCaprio this year utterly ridiculous. Yes, he went method. Yes, he ate a raw bison liver. Yes, he shat in the woods. Now how was his performance, generic review #79? So few critics who praise him actually explain what he does in terms of acting. The ones who do seem fairly unimpressed.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: Well, best let it be now than later. I can't put up with any more 'Why hasn't he won yet' memes.

Anonymous said...

Ye well some of us aint talking about his awards chances were just talking about his performance (different anonymous)

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: If I was voting, I'd be giving it to McKellen this year.

Anonymous said...

Luke: It would be nice to see McKellen nominated, but I only see him getting in the BAFTAS.

Anonymous said...

Robert: Probably best you see the film first, plus when did you go by what other critics say?

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: I've almost given up hope on him now. Almost.....

Anonymous said...

Luke: His performance doesn't seem to have garnered much attention for awards groups, which is quite a shame.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Just making a note.

Anonymous said...

Luke: But there's no need to be sad, Louis will review him for Alternate Lead. :)

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: Unlike last year with Isaac and Tatum, I'm gonna be extremely happy knowing that Louis will be able to review all of his fives this year.

Anonymous said...

John Smith

Bonus Review:

Stellan Skarsgård/Insomnia

Anonymous said...

Luke: I hope that Scorsese doesn't disappoint with The Irishman. I want to see De Niro, Pacino and Pesci giving great performances in that film.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: He's got the Tyson film that I'm dreading and his next collaboration with DiCaprio 'Devil in the White City'.

Anonymous said...

Luke: Yeah, I know. The Irishman is the Scorsese film I'm most hyped for, with Silence being a close second. And I'm not hyped for the Tyson film, due to Foxx. Devil in the White City will probably give us another great DiCaprio performance.

Matt Mustin said...

Devil in the White City is an incredible book. I'm really looking forward to that one.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Watch. Foxx will end up being great as Tyson an DiCaprio a miscasting for Devil, and I'll have the screengrabs of this conversation as a weapon...

Or the opposite and I'll look like a putz.

Matt Mustin said...

I don't think DiCaprio will be miscast, but I am curious to see who they get to play Burnham.

Calvin Law said...

Luke:
1. The Drop
2. Locke
3. The Revenant
4. Legend
5. Bronson

Robert: Glad you picked up on that since those reviews have irked me as well, I still think DiCaprio would be deserving of a win but some of them just seem to skirt around his lack of a cohesive character and focus solely on his physical performance. Also going to rewatch TFA soon so we'll see if Ridley or Boyega have the same effect on me soon enough.

Luke: McKellen's complete lack of awards buzz had disillusioned me. I thought a veteran status would enable his brilliant performance to be recognized for something, anything as a precursor to an Oscar nom. Unfortunately he stands with Segel as the two most unreservedly snubbed fellas of awards season.

Having practically given up all hope for him I'm hoping for an upset win over DiCaprio by Damon, or maybe even Depp who I have to say when comparing him to DiCaprio's performance seems all the more complex in characterization.

Revised top 10:
1. McKellen
2. Damon
3. Segel
4. Fassbender (Macbeth)
5. Hardy (Legend)
6. Attah
7. Depp
8. DiCaprio
9. Craig
10. Eisenberg/Boyega/Edgerton

Luke Higham said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Luke Higham said...

My Top Ten
1. McKellen
2. Attah
3. Damon
4. DiCaprio
5. Hardy
6. Segel
7. Tremblay
8. Depp
9. Mendelsohn
10. Boyega

Supporting
1. Del Toro
2. Hardy
3. Rylance
4. Jenkins
5. Elba
6. Hoult
7. Stallone
8. Isaac
9. Sheen
10. Schoenaerts/Driver

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Where would you rank The Force Awakens in the Star Wars series.

Anonymous said...

Luke: Likely in his Top 3.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: I actually wouldn't be surprised if it's his #1.

Calvin Law said...

You know what, I think Return of the Jedi is seriously underrated. I will admit to being very partial to the adorable Ewoks, but there's some fantastic father-son dynamics at play in that film too. Han Solo being sidelined was always a bit of a shame but otherwise I think the film's terrific.

Michael Patison said...

Luke: I'm beginning to dislike giving ratings for the same reasons as Robert, but I'll do so nonetheless.

Ridley: 5
Boyega: 4
Ford: 4.5
Driver: 4
Isaac: 3.5
Fisher: 3.5
Gleeson: 3.5 (slightly tempted to up him to a 4)
von Sydow: 3
everybody else (Hamill, Nyong'o, etc.): 2.5
Serkis: 2

I have thoughts on most people, but I didn't want to spoil anything for those who haven't seen it or even be able to be accused of spoiling anything.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Price is not in that film.

Woodward - 2.5(She's fine enough I suppose, but I don't I find she almost overplays the supportive element of the part though I think that's really Demme's ham handed direction)

Washington - 2(Again Demme does him no favors whatsoever, and I don't think Washington makes a convincing transformation here. His early scenes just are a bit over the top as he makes his character so extreme, then there's sudden moments where he seems just like a different guy, and not in a natural way like he has to shed his learned prejudices either. He has good moments in there, but he never makes a cohesive whole of his mess of a character.)

Beymer - 2.5(His performance has some good moments here and there but I still find his work not particular compelling)

Glass - 3(The second best performance in the film as he gives the right heart to the friar Tuck equivalent.)

Oakland - 2.5(Felt Oakland performance here was just a bit on the over the top side without quite making it work as a certain style either)

Smith - 1.5(Find his performance extremely forgettable, and lacks the needed charisma. When he's named the new leader it's like really?)

Widmark - 3.5(Widmark's performance is interesting in that he is overshadowed by Schell, but this actually works well for the film. His character's simply right and Widmark is good in that he plays it as though his character is perhaps a little too aware of it as he just presses that as he's right, but can't)

Harvey - 2(If Harvey does not seem all that invested in a role he becomes bland quite quickly which is certainly the case here)

Luke: #3

Calvin:

I do think Jedi has perhaps my favorite sequence in the film which is the final showdown between Luke/Vadar/The Emperor.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Have you seen anything new recently.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Sorry, I forgot that he wasn't. I meant Leave Her to Heaven.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin: Meant out of the series.

Luke: Not yet, though I might actually be able to see The Revenant in its early release, so the wait won't be as painful.

Anonymous said...

Louis: For a 50's version of The Dark Knight, who do you think might have been a great choice for The Joker? Jack Lemmon, perhaps?

Calvin Law said...

Agreed, Louis.

More retroactive 2015 film castings (loved the earlier choice of Anthony Quinn as Del Toro's Alejandro)

The Revenant (1950's directed by John Huston)
Hugh Glass: William Holden
John Fitzgerald: Ernest Borgnine
Jim Bridger: Dean Stockwell
Andrew Henry: Richard Widmark

Mr Holmes (1980s)
Sherlock Holmes: Laurence Olivier
Mrs Munro: Maggie Smith

Bridge of Spies (1950s directed by Otto Preminger)
James Donovan: James Stewart
Rudolf Abel: Anthony Quayle

Ex Machina (1980s directed by Ridley Scott)
Ava: Sean Young
Nathan: Jeff Goldblum
Caleb: Mark Hamill

Anonymous said...

Calvin: I'll do some, unrelated to 2015 films.
Collateral (40's)
Vincent: Robert Ryan
Max: Dana Andrews
Annie: Claire Trevor

Out of the Furnace (50's)
Russell Base: Marlon Brando
Harlan DeGroat: Ernest Borgnine
Rodney Base, Jr.: Montgomery Clift
Wesley Barnes: Sidney Poitier

Seven (60's)
Somerset: Robert Mitchum
David Mills: Steve McQueen
Tracy Mills: Lee Remick
John Doe: Peter Sellers

The Pianist (70's)
Władysław Szpilman: Dustin Hoffman
Wilm Hosenfeld: Maximilian Schell

Anonymous said...

*Out of the Furnace (60's)

Michael McCarthy said...

I just got out of The Danish Girl. It was...okay I guess. The script was kind of weak, the characters I thought were a bit inconsistent, and of course, there was no shortage of Hooper's trademark ugly camera techniques. However, the leads were actually quite well-matched, and managed to succeed in bringing a certain degree of depth to their characters. I also appreciated the way the film showed how difficult Lili's dilemma was to understand (to the lead characters) in a world where a person coming out as transgender was seen as bizarre. Since I know someone's going to ask, here are my ratings:

Redmayne: 4
Vikander: 4
Schoenarts: 3
Whishaw: 2.5
Koch: 3.5

Luke Higham said...

Michael McCarthy: Your thoughts on the two leads and your thoughts on Fassbender & Cotillard in Macbeth.

Luke Higham said...

Concussion and In The Heart Of The Sea are online.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I wasn't even planning on seeing those two in theaters.

John Smith said...

Louis, you have to do a bonus review for Rock Hudson in the movie "Seconds". It is second place on my list for 1966 (First is Nakadai for Sword Of Doom)

Anonymous said...

John Smith: You have to win a prediction so that he can review Hudson. You have made a prediction, haven't you?

Anonymous said...

Luke: So I finally watched Legend. It is pretty flawed, but it has its moments.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: Rating & thoughts on Hardy.

Anonymous said...

Luke: Hardy is a 5. Wasn't expecting to like him as much as you and Calvin, but I just loved him. His dual performance certainly ranks up there with Jeremy Irons in Dead Ringers. He is so charismatic as both Ronnie and Reggie, and has great chemistry with Browning, who is a 4,5 for me. All I can say is that Hardy has had a great year.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: I was probably a bit harsh on Browning initially and upped her to a 3.5. I'm still not a fan of the narration, I'm afraid.

This is certainly the best year of Hardy's career so far.

Anonymous said...

Luke: Perhaps I'll see The Hateful Eight tomorrow.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: I'm finishing off The Hateful Eight and might watch Steve Jobs later on tonight as well.

Anonymous said...

Luke: So who do you think is next to be reviewed?

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: Since Werner's probably gonna be saved for last, I'll go with Harvey.

Anonymous said...

Luke: Even if he will probably never win an Oscar, do you think the Academy would give Oldman an Honorary Award?

Anonymous said...

*will

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