Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Alternate Best Actor 1962: Toshiro Mifune in Sanjuro

Toshiro Mifune did not receive an Oscar nomination for playing the samurai in Sanjuro.

Sanjuro is a fantastic sequel to Yojimbo this time about the samurai trying to help a group of men
defeat the corrupt men trying to ruin their clan from within.

Now I've said again and again that it is astonishing the way Toshiro Mifune can find such a variety even in similair roles. Well here comes a challenge because Mifune is playing the exact same role he had in Yojimbo. Reprising a role, especially a heroic seemingly straight forward role often can be difficult. It not only seems difficult to regain that same exact enthusiasm, but also there usually is a problem when the character's arc was always finished by the end of the original film. Well Mifune already gave a great performance as the samurai in Yojimbo, and this time he actually has a slightly less dramatic role to play in terms of the way the story plays out. Now just that base line of the performance in terms of being the badass cool character that the samurai was in the original once again is can be found in the sequel. That old dog twitch once again is found here, and that whole easy going yet quietly intense manner. None of it feels repetitious in the least, and it is clear that Mifune lost none of his devotion to the role in the year between the reprise. Of course one might argue that all that had work was done in the first film, which is true to a point, but Mifune does deserve credit for not losing that certain magic in the transition.

The film though is different as Yojimbo, though that film had its moments of fun to be sure, it was a considerably darker story in general than Sanjuro. Though Sanjuro has some bloodshed itself  its tone in general is shifted to the lighter side of things, and I honestly I'd quite easily say that it's really a comedy. There is a reason Mifune/Kurosawa are the greatest actor/director pair of all time, and that is because it always seemed as though they were in sync with one another. That's once again the case as Mifune gives almost a purely comedic turn in his reprise here. It's intriguing as Mifune basically plays it as the samurai is taking the whole thing a bit less seriously than last time. This does not seem out of place as Sanjuro, despite having some lives on the line, is very lighthearted, for example when captured the samurai in Yojimbo was beaten to an inch of his life, here they just tie him up. This all works of course because the film actually is rather hilarious. Mifune is one of those who contributes the most to this. He was funny in Yojimbo as well when the samurai flaunted his superior intelligence over his foes, and he does this once again. Mifune though perhaps plays it up all the more, though with a slight adjustment as it is positioned to teach his allies this time rather than provoke his enemies.

Mifune is a whole lot of fun here as he basically has the samurai even more on top of his game than even in Yojimbo as he attempts to help the group of men he's helping win the day. Mifune portrays an enjoyable detachment of sorts as he helps the men, more of because it is simply his nature to do the right thing rather than having any particular affection for the men. In fact some of the funniest moments in the film are from Mifune's exasperated reactions at the men as he has to deal with the bumbling men who consistently makes the wrong decision leaving samurai to correct things. Though Mifune is so perfectly sardonic on the surface, once again though Mifune quietly conveys the honest goodness in the samurai in the moments where no one else is looking. Of course Mifune here does not even necessarily leave these moments as too serious for example in one scene where the samurai is left to look after two somewhat daffy women who were rescued from the corrupt men, Mifune delivers the genuine concern in the samurai as he watches over them, but Mifune again makes the scene very amusing actually by depicting a slight confusion in his silent reaction as he watches their somewhat bizarre behavior.

Now there is slight expansion on the character is that in this one, fitting its lighter tone, is that the samurai is getting a bit tired of killing and would rather not kill if possible. Again Mifune is very good in depicting this conflict in the samurai well portraying just a powerful yet subtle outrage in the samurai whenever he is forced to kill due to the foolishness of others. The one other mainly dramatic element in this one is in his relationship with the most competent villain of the film, Hanbei, played by Tatsuya Nakadai of course. What's interesting about this one is that even though they are at ends, more or less being the only competent member of each of their groups therefore at odds with one another, the relationship between the two is quite the opposite. Mifune does not depict a hatred in the samurai for this man instead he is quite effective in revealing a certain respect towards him, not for the actions of the man, but rather Mifune shows that the samurai senses a man who is of a similair spirit. For most of their interactions there is not any hate and Mifune is very good with Nakadai in establishing almost a friendship of sorts as the two do get along. Of course Hanbei being a self proclaimed rotten man will prevent this from ever occurring leading to a final confrontation. Mifune is terrific as he portrays an anger in the duel. What's remarkable is that is is not an anger towards Hanbei, but rather anger towards the circumstances that force him to potentially kill a man who is in many ways like the samurai. Mifune finds a new place to take the character, even managing to shift the tone of him slightly without losing what made the role special to begin with. I won't say he bests his work in Yojimbo, but its strong reprise that comes close to matching that great performance.

74 comments:

Anonymous said...

Haven't seen this yet but I really like Mifune in general. By the way Louis are you going to see Fargo's second season? Because it's amazing and it features great performances from Patrick Wilson, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, Jean Smart and basically the whole cast.

Louis Morgan said...

I've seen Fargo season 2, it was easily the best television season I saw this year.

Anonymous said...

He was great. He's always great.
Louis: Who would be your cast and director for:
Collateral (1930's, 1940's and 1950's version)

Luke Higham said...

Louis: If you're seeing Anomalisa or The Big Short within the next couple of days, then could I have your thoughts on the film/s and ratings & thoughts on the cast/s.

Anonymous said...

Louis can I have your thoughts on the main cast of Fargo Season 2?

L Rime said...

The best show I saw this year was season three of Rectify. Interested in Louis' thoughts on Fargo though.

Michael Patison said...

Louis: Have you seen Broadchurch? Just curious as, while the 2nd season wasn't as good as the 1st, the show is incredible and the 1st was easily the best thing I saw last year outside of Breaking Bad.

Luke Higham said...

Michael Patison: I highly doubt it.

Louis: Have you seen Wolf Hall at all.

RatedRStar said...

Been off for a bit I will give my current Oscar predictions.

Best Actor
Bryan Cranston - Trumbo
Leonardo DiCaprio - The Revenant
Michael Fassbender - Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne - The Danish Girl
Will Smith - Concussion (Depp isnt campaigning, Smith is)

Best Actress
Cate Blanchett - Carol
Brie Larson - Room
Jennifer Lawrence - Joy
Rooney Mara - Carol
Saoirse Ronan - Brooklyn

Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale - The Big Short
Idris Elba - Beasts Of No Nation
Mark Rylance - Bridge Of Spies
Sylvester Stallone - Creed
Jacob Tremblay - Room

Best Supporting Actress
Joan Allen - Room
Jennifer Jason Leigh - The Hateful Eight
Rachel McAdams - Spotlight
Alicia Vikander - The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet - Steve Jobs

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: I'm pleased with your Supporting Actor prediction, though I'm gonna be pissed if neither Damon or Depp make the final cut.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: I hope BAFTA get it right.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: Your thoughts on the cast of The Force Awakens.

I'm in the middle of watching Anomalisa, and I'm really liking it so far. :)

Calvin Law said...

Need to check Sanjuro out!

Also Louis, would you consider Mifune's samurai character in Yojimbo and Sanjuro one of Kurosawa and Mifune's greatest creations? Seriously, every time i watch Yojimbo Mifune just goes up and up my list.

RatedRStar said...

Louis: I remember you mentioning that David Thewlis isnt given much to do these days, Anormalisa could be the thing to change that from what I have heard.

Luke: I hope Damon and Depp get in but likely only one will, Smith I can easily see sneaking in since he does want that Oscar so obviously lol.

Um any that your really interested in specifically cause it could be a long post if I post too many lol.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: Boyega, Ridley, Isaac, Ford and Driver.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: So long as one of them gets in, I'll be pleased. :) If neither one of them makes it, then Mendelsohn or Bateman's gonna miss out on a review.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: Have you seen Steve Jobs yet, if so, can I have your rating & thoughts on Fassbender.

Luke Higham said...

Anomalisa
Thewlis - 4.5
Leigh - 4.5
Noonan - 4/4.5
My favourite animated film of 2015 and is my #6 overall.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Thewlis gives his best work since Naked and Leigh's terrific as well.

Calvin Law said...

Anomalisa looks fantastic. This has just been a splendid year for film. Even though my #1 is pretty certain, everything after that is just about on equal ground.

Louis Morgan said...

I should note that the only other seasons I saw this year were True Detective, Better Call Saul, and Game of Thrones, but I should also note that I thought Fargo season 2 was one of the best I've ever seen.

Anonymous:

Collateral 1930's directed by William Wellman

Vincent: Ronald Colman
Max: Lee Tracy
Annie: Bebe Daniels
Ray: Joseph Calleia
Daniel: Ed Wynn
Felix: Humphrey Bogart

40's directed by Zoltan Korda:

Vincent: Clark Gable
Max: Burgess Meredith
Annie: Ruth Hussey
Ray: Robert Young
Daniel: Paul Robeson
Felix: Robert Ryan

50's directed by Alfred Hitchcock:

Vincent: Burt Lancaster
Max: Ernest Borgnine
Annie: Donna Reed
Ray: Brad Dexter
Daniel: Burl Ives
Felix: Ernie Kovacs

Anonymous:

I thought the whole cast was great, and I mean the WHOLE cast (except for perhaps Bruce Campbell but he was still fine). And I don't think in this case there was exactly a main cast so to speak, one of the things I loved about the season was how no character was shortchanged. So just name the specific ones you'd like thoughts on.

Calvin:

Yes I would.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Just one final premake question.
Who would be your cast and director in Out of the Furnace in the 50's and the 60's?

Robert MacFarlane said...

@Louis: I'm most curious about your thoughts on Woodbine concerning the Fargo Season 2 cast.

Calvin Law said...

Kirsten Dusnt and Jesse Plemons too. I have to admit I didn't recognize the former at all from the trailers.

And also, Patrick Wilson, Ted Danson, Jean Smart, Kieran Culkin.

Robert MacFarlane said...

By the way, saw Mississippi Grind. Personally I thought Mendelsohn and Reynolds were equally excellent.

Calvin Law said...

British version of Collateral in the 40's directed by Carol Reed:

Vincent: Trevor Howard
Max: Ralph Richardson
Annie: Celia Johnson
Ray: Dennis O'Dea
Daniel: Paul Robeson
Felix: Laurence Olivier

1950s directed by Akira Kurosawa

Vincent: Toshiro Mifune
Max: Takashi Shimura
Annie: Machiko Kyo
Ray: Minoru Chiaki
Daniel: Masayuki Mori
Felix: Tatsuya Nakadai

Calvin Law said...

Out of the Furnace (1940s) directed by William Wyler)
Russell: Henry Fonda
Rodney: Van Johnson
Harlan: Richard Widmark

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Out of the Furnace 50's directed by Samuel Fuller -

Russell Baze: Richard Widmark
Harlan DeGroat: Ed Begley
Rodney Baze Jr.: Joe Mantell
John Petty: Louis Calhern
Wesley Barnes: Melvyn Douglas
Lena Taylor: Rita Hayworth

60's directed by Martin Ritt:

Russell Baze: Paul Newman
Harlan DeGroat: Lee J. Cobb
Rodney Baze Jr: Tony Curtis
John Petty: Joseph Cotten
Wesley Barnes: Hume Cronyn
Lena Taylor: Janet Leigh

Robert:

Woodbine - (Loved his performance as every one of his scenes was a gem as he does the smooth talking killer, but in no way feels as though he is copying Thornton's performance from the first season. Woodbine finds his own path. Although he certainly has that chilling suave quality to his work, he goes even further with his performance. I loved the underlying eagerness that he brought showing that Milligan actually is trying to prove something, and that even his most cool headed behavior is him trying to be more than he technically is. He finds much more of complexity to the role within him crafting a man who essentially wanted to be a Lorne Malvo or a Anton Chigurh, but maybe is not as good as he thinks he is)

Law:

Dunst & Plemons - (Both of their performances together are so perfectly entwined yet completely broken from one another. What connects them is this genuine earnestness in both of them with Plemons showing Ed's enthusiasm to have what seems in reach and then later just to get things back on the track. Dunst within Peggy as she states in her constant quest for her dream of simply attaining something else and becoming what she sees as her better self. Their detachment though is Plemons always plays Ed as wholly sane, technically to fault as he wishes to just protect his family, whereas Dunst leaves Peggy as completely deranged though in a such a peculiar though effective fashion)

Wilson & Danson - (The two were both great at playing two of the least flamboyant characters in the season. The two never felt overshadowed because they were so good in depicting just the straight goodness of their character with such a natural warmth about themselves. The two were very good at having an eloquent yet simple morality that never felt self-righteous, and their indignation towards the bad men is always well earned. Plus the two have a great casually humorous chemistry and they convey so well the two's relationship over the years)

Smart - (Smart's performance is very strong as she does not do the standard mob mother. Instead she finds more variation in his performance. She brings the required strength in the moments of being the mob commander, but I also liked the certain weakness though in some moments as though she isn't perhaps fully up to it as she'd like to be. Then in her scenes with her family she brings an understanding to each of the relationships where there is love, though also always scorn as well as concern. Not a single interaction is ever the same and Smart develops each separate relationship incredibly well.)

Culkin - (A great one episode wonder to be sure. Culkin, in particularly brief time, captures all the ambition in his character that he shows stems from a intense desire to break out of merely being the third son. Then his pivotal scene is brilliantly performed as he makes his actions so tragically absurd by revealing the violence coming from a pathetic desperation rather than a more direct malice)

Matt Mustin said...

Louis, did you like the first season of Fargo? I haven't had time to watch more than the first two or three episodes of season 2 yet (I've been *really* busy) but I thought the first season was brilliant, in particular the three central performances from Thornton, Tolman and Freeman.

Louis Morgan said...

Matt:

Although I was originally turned off by the first episode I eventually gave it a second chance, and ended up loving it.

Anonymous said...

Louis: What are your thoughts on Angel Face (1952) as a whole? What rating would you give it?

RatedRStar said...

Luke:

Fassbender (4)I find him to be quite entertaining as just simply an unpleasant venom filled genius, particularly in his cutthroat argument with Daniels, there is really not much more to say as that is really the full extent of his performance, although I don't really buy the change at the end of the film.

Boyega (I found him just a very likable lead to follow, he is has great chemistry with both Ridley and Issac, he can be very amusing as well like the I am in charge scene lol)

Ridley (Great presence, great dramatic chops, can be quite funny also, particularly her scene with Ford in the Falcon which was adorable, and in the ...... moments she excels greatly 2.

Issac (Even though he isn't given too much to do its a testament to his ability that I still found him cool and very entertaining)

Ford (I feel he has a big challenge to bring weight to a lot of these scenes but he is really good, I really did like his intro which felt like a classic entrance as well as the .... scenes.

Driver (I really cant say anything but all I will say is amazing complex work, in by far the hardest role.

Anonymous said...

Thoughts on Cristin Milioti and Keith Carradine in Fargo 2?

RatedRStar said...

Louis: A certain film that slipped my eyes, that you may be interested in, in fact I know you will be interested in it, oh ill do some clues/riddles =D

A certain lady who I believe, you would have chosen 3 times as your Oscar Winner, for all 3 of her Oscar nominations (I think) usually a very posh actress.

A certain man who is quite rugged and gruff sounding, can either be a leading man or a character actor, has appeared on this blog a few times =D with great scores from you.

2 Directors famous for well, epic films in scope =D.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Are you watching anything new today. :)

Anonymous said...

John Smith: Louis, thoughts on Martin Freeman in Fargo and Brad Garret in Fargo.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Thoughts on Billy Bob Thornton in Fargo.

Alex Marqués said...

Has anyone seen Bone Tomahawk? Saw it last night and I enjoyed it a lot. The cast was excellent, especially Richard Jenkins, who gave my personal favourite supporting male performance from this year so far.

Luke Higham said...

Alex: Myself, Louis, Robert, Psifonian and Michael McCarthy have seen it.

Jenkins is fantastic and would be a very worthy winner in any other year. He's a 5 for me, as well as Michael. Louis will undoubtedly do the same, whenever he reviews him.

Calvin Law said...

I'm kind of dreading watching Bone Tomahawk and The Hateful Eight not because of the quality of the films themselves (which I know will be excellent)...but because I don't want to have to reconstruct my Best Supporting Actor list again.

Best Supporting Actress has definitely been the easiest to fill out this year; Best Actor is only a pain from about no. 8 onwards, my top 5 for Best Actress being quite a certainty at this point. But Best Supporting Actor just seems to change with every film I see which is both great and annoying :/

Robert MacFarlane said...

I found Bone Tomahawk pretty racist, to be honest. Yes yes, I know, they were technically "troglodytes". Now, back to the painted cannibal savages.

Alex Marqués said...

Great to hear that! I still have to see a lot of films from this year before I can make lists about performances. But this seems to be a very loaded year for sure, especially for actresses and for supporting actors.

Luke Higham said...

Putlocker - Knight Of Cups

RatedRStar said...

I am currently watching The Big Short, I am finding it interesting so far although I think there are some really odd flaws with it.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: Are you gonna watch Anomalisa.

RatedRStar said...

Luke: Eventually, still others I haven't seen yet also.

Michael McCarthy said...

I can understand what Calvin means about supporting actor being flooded this year. Now that I've seen The Hateful Eight, Mark Rylance isn't even in my top 5 anymore.

RatedRStar said...

To be honest I will be quite happy with whoever gets nominated in supporting this year, out of the contenders, for me (I am still watching The Big Short) Ruffalo is the weakest but I still liked him, so really I dont mind who gets in.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Of the main contenders for Supporting Actor, I've really come to dislike Ruffalo and I really fail to see what's so good about Shannon.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: Shannon's become less effective as time goes on, whereas Ruffalo's good for most of his performance, though I do share Robert's point to an extent.
Bale
Elba
Rylance
Stallone
Tremblay (Category Fraud, but if it gives Ben or Jason a review, so be it)

RatedRStar said...

I keep thinking Shannon will be the Daniel Bruhl of this year but he is actually getting quite a number of critics awards, something Bruhl failed to do, so Shannon is like 7th for me behind Hardy in predictions as I see very Jonah Hill like momentum for Hardy at the moment.

As for his performance I feel Shannon is better than his script, he really does try for me to create someone that isnt just a one note villain but the script sort of stops that.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: Only, Hardy would actually be deserving of a Nom. :)

RatedRStar said...

I am really excited about the Louis Morgan end of year prediction report, you will need about 10 supporting actor pictures lol haha.

Robert MacFarlane said...

While I did enjoy Rylance, I'm not quite AS enthused about him as the rest of you seem to be. I consider him more of a welcome presence than a masterclass.

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

RatedRStar: Hope he uses the Fitzgerald hiding behind a tree screenshot for Hardy.

RatedRStar said...

Is everyone in agreement that these would all be considered the main contenders:
Christian Bale
Paul Dano
Idris Elba
Tom Hardy
Michael Keaton
Mark Ruffalo
Mark Rylance
Michael Shannon
Sylvester Stallone
Benicio Del Toro
Jacob Tremblay

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: I'd have to rule out Del Toro, even if he does pull a surprise.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: Yes to everyone else.

RatedRStar said...

Ok so I just watched The Big Short, its 50-50 for me really because I liked a lot of it, but a fair amount of it is just either filler, stupid cameos that add nothing, or the director thinking he was directing a music video at times.

RatedRStar said...

Out of the 3 main stories I think only 2 worked.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: I'm about half way through it, though I feel that it's gonna be a mixed bag.

Your ratings for the cast.

RatedRStar said...

Luke:
Bale (4)
Carell (Strong 4)
Gosling (3)
Pitt (3)
Magaro (2.5)
Wittrock (2.5)
Leo (2)
Strong (3)
Rest (2.5)
Cameos (1.5)

Calvin Law said...

Not a film but just finished watching the new miniseries of And Then There Were None. Mostly ecellent cast all round.

Booth: 3
Dance: 4.5/5
Dermody: 5
Gorman: 5
Maxwell Martin: 4
Neill: 4.5
Richardson: 4
Stephens: 4.5
Taylor: 4
Turner: 4/4.5

Calvin Law said...

RatedRStar: Agree with all your contenders, I'm still holding out on the thinnest ray of hope for Del Toro. On the other hand I'm awfully glad Stallone's becoming as strong a contender as he is, hopefully either he, Rylance, or Elba will win.

Matt Mustin said...

Well, I saw The Force Awakens. Loved every second of it. Here's my ratings/thoughts on the cast.

Ridley-4.5(A star is born. Truly great presence that makes her the badass she should be, and she also handles all the drama extremely well. In addition she has wonderful chemisty with Boyega)
Boyega-4.5(Speaking of, Boyega has the charm and charisma this kind of leading man role requires, and he reminded me quite a bit of a young Denzel Washington. He also handles the comedy and drama wonderfully well and once again has great chemistry with Ridley)
Ford-4.5(Don't really want to say much about him, but as you can see, I thought he was great.)
Driver-4.5(Same as Ford)
Isaac-3.5 (Has the right passion as the hot-shot pilot, and is just a whole lot of fun. I could've gone for more of him)
Fisher-3.5(Again, don't want to say much because most of her best scenes are spoiler-related)
Gleeson-2.5(All he has to do is be a mustache-twirling villain. He does that well enough, I guess, but it's really not that much)
Nyong'o-3(Delivers her exposition with all the appropriate passion)
Serkis-2(I actually thought the design for his character was pretty cool, but the voice he uses is very uninspired)

I also liked Max von Sydow and someone else in their extremely brief screentime, but they don't really do enough for me to comment on them.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

As a whole I found it just a very uninspired noir in terms of both direction and the writing. There was nothing notable about it and things were not helped by Jean Simmons's completely phoned in performance (she did not want to do the film). Mitchum's whole underplayed approach here works very poorly because Simmons needed to be much livelier. The rest though just seems by the numbers, and there is nothing of note in the film. I'd give it a 2.

RatedRStar:

Is it something with Joan Fontaine?

Anonymous:

Milioti - (Wonderful performance from her as she was great at playing the two sides of her character. On the surface the wear of her physical condition that she suggested in an unassuming yet very effective fashion. Underlying this though she's very good at portraying this particularly endearing hopefulness about her that even seems to make the moments of acceptance in some way optimistic.)

Carradine's not really in the second season.

Freeman - (Freeman's performance was particularly interesting to compare Macy's in the original. Freeman managed to capture that same manic desperation while trying to keep it all together, while at the same having this odd way of tricking you into like the man than you really should. Freeman though technically goes in a different direction, as Jerry has far less malice than Lester actually. Freeman takes this to the second level incredibly well and love the way he creates this brewing darkness in him as well as building along with a confidence which he does in a convincing manner. Lester becomes a "worthy" opponent for Malvo by the end, and Freeman earns this transition)

Garret - (There's not a lot of him but I liked his approach as a straight forward businessman though with striking undercurrent of darkness beneath this. I particularly liked his delivery of the final threat to the Gerhardt's.)

Luke:

In the Heart of the Sea wasn't terrible but also was not particularly good either. It was alright in the sea faring adventure moments, but it was too timid about really getting to the dark details of the third act.

Hemsworth - 2.5(The man does have screen presence, which works alright for the first half or so of the film. He falls short though in the later scenes, particularly in the moment where he orders the cannibalism basically, which should have hit far harder than it does)

Walker - 1.5(Like Hemsworth really but without the screen presence)

Murphy - 2.5(Good but seemed wasted)

Holland - 3(Liked what he brought to the role as I felt he actually realized the severity of the scene on the life boats far more than Hemsworth did actually)

Gleeson - 4(The best part of the film without question. As he recalls the various emotions of the tale particularly well, never leaving it one note finding a certain joyous nostalgia even with the moments of painful remembrance. He also does his absolute best to realize the horror of the cannibalism with his haunting work, though I think the film shortchanges him a bit by making that confession moment too short)

Whishaw - 2.5(He's been the young version of David Thewlis this year)

I'll be watching The Big Short tomorrow.

Robert:

I don't think that's a fair charge since there was the scene with Zahn McClarnon, the Troglodytes also were not meant to be realistic, plus the film opens with two white men who were just as evil as them.

Matt Mustin said...

As long as you're giving thoughts on the Fargo cast, Louis, can I have your thoughts on Alison Tolman and Billy Bob Thornton?

Robert MacFarlane said...

@Louis: That doesn't excuse the movie at all. At best I found the scene you mentioned blatant lip service and ass-covering, as if to say "see, it's not racist". Whether or not the troglodytes were meant to be realistic doesn't mean they don't reinforce centuries of the most heinous stereotypes for the sake of exploitative horror.

Calvin Law said...

Thoughts on Zahn McClarnon in Fargo?

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Thornton - (Thornton manages to craft himself his own calm killer that probably differentiates his work for the likes of Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh or Max von Sydow as Joubert. Thornton manages to be extremely chilling by actually not playing in an overtly menacing fashion, though he is in fact very menacing by playing him as a man who's just so content, in fact quite happy, with the misery he causes. Malvo might not be the devil, but I love how Thornton plays him as basically a man who wants to be him. Thornton though also excels when situation force Malvo out of his comfort zone, revealing more of the man one way or another)

Matt:

Tolman - (Her performance is quite good in that she finds the similair qualities that made Frances McDormand's performance so good, yet it never feels like she is simply trying to copy that performance. She finds her own path one way by she's actually considerably less chipper than old Margie was, but Tolman finds that same endearing resolve that just won't forget certain details.)

Louis Morgan said...

Robert:

Well the film simply is not able to exist then, which I assume your fine with, but if someone thinks that's an accurate portrayal of native Americans from the time, there would be nothing the film could do except have some text scroll to explain it to someone who is apparently a very ignorant person.

Calvin:

McClarnon - (Another great performance for the season and he's almost a dark horse in the season as he gradually grows in presence as the story proceeds. It almost should not work to have another cool calculated killer in the mix, but some how the show pulls it off with McClarnon deserving some of the credit for this. What I liked about his performance was there actually is a certain palatable yet withdrawn emotion about his performance as it is though Hanzee is perhaps thinking through his final actions of the season the whole time.)

Calvin Law said...

Definitely need to see both seasons of Fargo now.

TParker said...

I just love this character. I love his laziness, his cynicism, his disgruntlement and the fact that he's surprisingly open to different points of view.