Thursday, 31 March 2016

Alternate Best Actor 1971: Jon Finch in Macbeth

Jon Finch did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying the titular character of Macbeth.

This version of Macbeth is directed in particularity grim fashion by Roman Polanski. It's certainly an interesting adaptation through its rather extreme choices which can be either quite effective or quite ridiculous.

Well this is the fourth actor featured here who has played the role of the ambitious Lord who tries to become King after a hearing a prophecy. Jon Finch is so far the youngest when he played the role, which is fitting since he was apparently cast over Nicol Williamson for a perceived sex appeal which Williamson evidently lacked. Now with anyone playing Macbeth it is always interesting to see what their unique take might be. Well I won't say Finch exactly has too much of one as his approach is fairly similair to that of Orson Welles's approach to the character, though thankfully without the use of a distracting accent. This approach is that the story is the transformation from hero to villain in rather straight forward sense. The age though of Finch does allow for something additional in this regard, which is utilized well by Polanki's choices in regards to the progression of Finch's clothing and facial hair. The film begins with a very much clean shaven Finch, looking basically as young as he possibly can in the simple clothing he wears. In the early moments we are presented with a young hero, and Finch very much carries himself as just the good eager soldier ready to do his duty.

Of course that Macbeth was never meant to be due to the prophecy he hears from a few old hags, that leave him with the idea of becoming King. Of course this involves murdering the current King, Duncan, who just happens to wish to stay in Macbeth's home. Macbeth is only encouraged in this ambition by his wife (Francesca Annis). Now with the contemplation of the murder we see one of the very specific choices Polanski takes in his adaptation of the material. That being many of the soliloquies found in the story are through voice over, rather than being directly acted out. Although this allows scenes to technically be more realistic it seems like an odd choice given how over the top other choices are. Furthering that it unfortunately does diminish the impact of the performances. The voice over, though not poorly delivered by Finch at any point, seem almost purposefully disconnected to the performances we see on screen. They never feel intertwined and because of that the emotional power capable from the soliloquies is sorely missing from almost every one. The voice just simply is there, and what the words really mean always remain detached since they are detached from Finch's physical performance.

Now even with the soliloquies being a bit wasted in this version that does not mean Finch gives an unemotional performance, since this version decides to make sure we see every gruesome detail that one could possibly imagine within the play. Here for example we get to see the murder, which naturally takes more than one stab, though even in this Finch's work is forcefully overshadowed by the violence as Polanski focuses much more closely on the act itself rather than the man committing it. Finch though deserves credit in despite having more than a few obstacles in his path he still manages to convey the conflict in Macbeth as he takes the damning step towards villainy by murdering the King. He importantly does not seem vague and still manages to find the needed intensity behind the character to make his descent convincing. Now as the film proceeds though it allows Finch a bit more room to breath once Macbeth's path is set, though still the focus of the film only occasionally fixates upon his work. However there still is enough of a focus to allow for Finch to realize his approach towards Macbeth's transformation as a man, which again seems to be purposefully connected to his age by Finch and the film.

Macbeth gains facial hair along with more clothing that although is more ornate seems more restrictive as though to show less of man who has aged many years in what seems months. Finch adds to this through his portrayal of Macbeth as he loses all of the exuberance of youth, and all joy seems to ripped from him. Finch very much keeps the madness contained with his approach though effectively so as he threads it into this method of a physical degradation of Macbeth. Finch begins to increasingly create the manner of a bitter old man as the tragedy proceeds, and he only goes about committing worse crimes. Any idea of that bright young hero is lost, as Finch becomes a certain personification of misery, and suggests perhaps that his embrace of the character's villainy is his only way to exist with what he has done. On that point Finch is very good as he becomes the vile fiend Macbeth is made out to be bringing the right grandeur to man whose only pleasure seems to come from his ability to harm others. Finch does not become one note through the pivotal moment where he learns of the death of Lady Macbeth. Finch is excellent in that scene by only showing a genuine love he had for his wife, and is honestly rather moving in bringing out this last bit of humanity in a man who is so far gone. This is wiped away though for Macbeth's final scene where he becomes an evil foe worthy of legend. Finch is really good in this scene as he again embraces that fully to make Macbeth brimming with a deranged confidence of sorts, as Finch physically plays the scene with almost a carelessness showing just how invincible Macbeth believes himself to be due to prophecy that seemed to deem him impossible to kill. I absolutely love when Macduff notes a loophole that he passes through. Finch's reaction is perfection as he so simply non-verbally says "ah nuts!", and all that confidence seems to vanish in a moments notice. Of course even his treatment at the end suggests Finch's treatment throughout the film, which is that the film seems more concerned with the violence of the story than even the main character. This is an oddly thankless leading role for Finch, however I do think he still succeeds in giving a compelling version of the character despite the limitations set upon him.

148 comments:

GM said...

1. Scofield
2. Reed
3. Pacino
4. Sydow
5. Finch

Robert MacFarlane said...

1. von Sydow
2. Reed
3. Scofield
4. Pacino
5. Finch

Anonymous said...

1. Reed
2. Scofield
3. Von Sydow
4. Pacino
5. Finch

Anonymous said...

Louis: Could Cobb's performance in 12 Angry Men go up to a 5?

Calvin Law said...

Love the Mifunes. Indeed Winstone is my win (although Pearce was really good too), and with regards to Hurt I can see why he's so divisive, but I definitely liked him, he's my #3 in supporting behind Harris and Collins Jr..

Michael McCarthy said...

The Mifunes are making my day. Yeah I wasn't crazy about this one either, even with the extreme choices the whole film felt like it had a muzzle on to me.

Calvin Law said...

Exactly.

Speaking of Macbeth, I'll be doing a head-to-head of all the versions I've seen soon (and Louis, Luke etc. I have noted down your requests, I might not do Bond as I feel that's been thoroughly covered by Louis here and Buckingham in Richard III wouldn't be very useful either since I basically shared my thoughts in my review, however I have several historical figures/popular characters at hand).

Alex Marqués said...

Louis and everyone: your top 15 (intentionally) funniest performances

Luke Higham said...

Louis: I'm pleased that you liked him. :)

Your ratings & thoughts on Francesca Annis and Martin Shaw.

I hope you use Rains or Shaws for the supporting reviews.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your Macbeth ranking.
1. Mifune
2. Fassbender
3. Finch
4. Welles
5. Connery

Giuseppe Fadda said...

Love the Mifunes! I haven't seen this Macbeth yet.

Anonymous said...

Louis: What are your top 10 most intense actors?

Calvin Law said...

Alex: Don't have a definitive list, but Michael Palin and Peter Sellers would definitely make multiple appearances on it.

Calvin Law said...

Also, just for fun, actors/actresses from each decade I'd have liked to see play the Macbeths:

1930s: Ronald Colman, Bette Davis
1940s: Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh
1950s: Trevor Howard, Deborah Kerr
1960s: Peter O'Toole, Anne Bancroft
1970s: Robert Shaw, Mia Farrow
1980s: Jeremy Irons, Glenn Close
1990s: David Thewliss, Michelle Pfeiffer
2000s: Gary Oldman, Kirstin Scott Thomas

Anonymous said...

Calvin: I'd love to see Olivier's adaptation of Macbeth.

Anonymous said...

*have seen

Anonymous said...

Alex: I think that Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove would be my 1# of that list. I'll never understand how he got beat by Harrison, who is in my opinion one of the worst Best Actor winners. I would have chosen any of the 4 nominees over that prick.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Have you discontinued using Jacks and Brennans or will you be using them for 2016 onwards.

Anonymous said...

Luke: I think he'll use the Jacks and Brennans for the nominees, while he uses Mifunes and Rains/Shaws for the bonus reviews.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous:
Jacks & Brennans - Nominees & Alternate
Mifunes & Rains/Shaws - Bonus Rounds

Luke Higham said...

*I hope you'll use Rains or Shaws for the supporting reviews.

Michael McCarthy said...

Oh yeah I have to do a thing

1. Paul Scofield
2. Oliver Reed
3. Al Pacino
4. Max von Sydow
5. Jon Finch

Anonymous said...

Luke: Looks like a Sicario sequel is in the works.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: Found out earlier today and honestly, think it's somewhat unnecessary.

Anonymous said...

Luke: I agree that it's unnecessary.

Michael Patison said...

Louis: The Mifunes are an excellent touch and I agree with Luke that Rains or Shaw would be the best choices for the supporting rounds. I'd vote for Shaw, personally.

Calvin: I think an Anthony Hopkins/Emma Thompson Macbeth version in the 1990s would have been interesting, especially if done in the first half of the decade, since they had already worked together several times during that period.

Alex: I think that's a tough ask and not just because of how many there are. Comedy has changed so much that trying to rank performances such as Powell and Loy in The Thin Man, Grant and Dunne in The Awful Truth, or Grant and Russell in His Girl Friday alongside stuff like Sellers and Guinness in The Ladykillers is hard enough, much less enough later stuff like Palin and Kline in A Fish Called Wanda.

JackiBoyz said...

1. Scofield
2. Von Sydow
3. Reed
4. Pacino
5. Finch

Robert MacFarlane said...

Alex: I'll just be my hipster self and say Kieran Culkin in Scott Pilgrim.

Alex Marqués said...

Michael: Yeah, I was just curious about your choices, but a top list is a bit difficult.

Calvin Law said...

Robert: He would actually be up there for me too as just about every line and moment in his performance is hilarious.

Michael Patison: Definitely agree about Hopkins and Thompson, would be fun in particular to see them go a bit bigger than usual. Both were on a roll that time so I'm sure they'd have been great.

Lastly, a Sicario sequel sounds interesting and I'm actually not opposed to it whatsoever.

Michael Patison said...

Alex: Well, since you insist (sort of) and I can never pass up the chance to make a list, here are 5-10 I love from each of 3 different periods. They're listed chronologically, not in any sort of preferential order. I've probably forgotten at least one (especially in the 3rd period because I got tired of going through everything to make sure there wasn't anything I was forgetting), but it's hard because it's not "best performance in a comedy" but "performance that is the funniest intentionally."

Post-Silence (1930s-45):
Charlie Chaplin in City Lights (It's so ironic that this one is silent. Actually it's not, so shut up, Alanis.) (also more of a comedic-dramatic performance, but still)
Groucho Marx in Duck Soup
Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in It Happened One Night
William Powell and Myrna Loy in The Thin Man
Irene Dunne in The Awful Truth (Grant is also great, but Dunne is on a whole different level)
Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday
-Actually haven't seen Bringing Up Baby yet

Post-War (1945-66):
Alec Guinness in Kind Hearts and Coronets
Debbie Reynolds in Singin' in the Rain (Despite not listing her, I don't dislike Jean Hagen. She's probably a 3.5 in my book as she's effectively annoying and funny at points, but not at every one where she should be)
Alec Guinness and Stanley Holloway in The Lavender Hill Mob
Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers in The Ladykillers
Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove

Post-Hays (1967-present):
Harvey Korman in Blazing Saddles
Leslie Nielsen in Airplane!
Lesley Ann Warren, Madeline Kahn, and Martin Mull in Clue
Albert Brooks in Broadcast News
Kevin Kline and Michael Palin in A Fish Called Wanda
Frances McDormand, Peter Stormare, Steve Buscemi, and William H. Macy in Fargo (in that order, too)
Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny
Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Timothy Dalton in Hot Fuzz
Ralph Fiennes in In Bruges
Peter Capaldi in In the Loop
Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids

Robert MacFarlane said...

Just as long as they actually let Blunt finish her character arc in the sequel.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

No.

Calvin:

Well glad to hear you took to Hurt then.

Alex:

Well here's a non-definitive list of just some laugh inducing work.

Kevin Kline - A Fish Called Wanda
Michael Palin - A Fish Called Wanda
Irene Dunne - The Awful Truth
Ralph Fiennes - In Bruges
Sam Rockwell - Galaxy Quest
Peter Sellers - Lolita
Peter Sellers - Dr. Strangelove
Alec Guinness - The Lavender Hill Mob
Stanley Holloway - The Lavender Hill Mob
John Goodman - The Big Lebowski
Marisa Tomei - My Cousin Vinny
Gene Hackman - Superman
Timothy Dalton - Hot Fuzz
Peter Ustinov - Topkapi
Madeline Kahn - Clue

Luke:

Well technically for the actual Oscar nominees I should have switched over to Daniel Day-Lewis some time ago for lead after he won his third.

Shaw - 2.5(Thought he was just fine as Banqou but overall did not make too much of an impact. Also his ghost scene was a good example of the problems with the film as I thought his initial ghastly appearance was quite effective then Polanski just proceeded to pile it on far too thickly)

Annis - 4(I really liked her approach with the character in the early scenes as I found she managed to be quite devious as she almost played a vulnerability in the moments where she manipulates Macbeth, playing in such clever and devious fashion as Lady Macbeth act heartbroken at the idea that her husband won't be committing murder. However she too falls victim to some of the ridiculous choices made by Polanski. The worst instance of it being unfortunately the pivotal sleep walking scene, which felt like something out of Game of Thrones (and I don't mean that as a compliment). The scene in conception I think could have worked to show a Lady Macbeth without any deception, but Annis honestly seemed uncomfortable with the scene as the whole thing comes off as very unnatural. She's very good outside of that scene in depicting the growing madness in Lady Macbeth, and really I'd rank her higher if it wasn't for that scene.)

Anonymous:

Michael Shannon
Ben Foster
Tom Hardy
Montgomery Clift
Toshiro Mifune
Joaquin Phoenix
Daniel Day-Lewis
Gary Oldman
Dennis Hopper
Joe Pesci

Anonymous said...

Louis: Surprised Kirk Douglas isn't on the list.

RatedRStar said...

1. Scofield
2. Reed
3. Von Sydow
4. Pacino
5. Finch

RatedRStar said...

I finally got to watch Little Voice to see if Michael Caine was lead or supporting, he is definitely lead.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: What rating would you give him and your updated 1998 Lead suggestions.

RatedRStar said...

Luke: 4.5 he really did well, I still feel there is someone out of 1998 that I am missing, someone obviously great.

Sean Gullette - Pi
Peter Mullan - My Name Is Joe
Michael Caine - Little Voice
Hugo Weaving - The Interview
James Woods - Vampires

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: Have you seen Kingdom Of Heaven yet.

RatedRStar said...

Luke: No I haven't, I do actually own the directors cut version but, still haven't watched it, epics tend to take a while for me to watch like lol.

Ohh excited for this weekend, El Classico and the Premier League is back,
and then tomorrow....

The Hong Kong Film Awards and Wrestlemania =D.

RatedRStar said...

1998 performances that I am not convinced by doing well so I didnt put them in.

The cast of Velvet Goldmine, Stephen Fry for Wilde, the cast of Still Crazy.

Calvin Law said...

Yeah definitely not Velvet Goldmine lol dreadful film. Fry is worth a watch, though I'm waiting for the day Cillian Murphy plays Wilde.

Calvin Law said...

How about Jacques Villeret in Le Diner des Cons? He's great in that.

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RatedRStar said...

Calvin: I will have to see Fry in Wilde first, but I am not very confident, Stephen Fry is a performer I find myself difficult to disinguish him from him just being Stephen Fry, and I do like him in general, like I think he is great in Blackadder.

Le Diner des Cons, I imagine you saying that with a really posh voice lol =D, ill have to check it out.

RatedRStar said...

Calvin: I think Fry in Wilde might be classed as 1997 as well.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: Your thoughts on Atkinson and Robinson in Blackadder 1-4 and Laurie in 3-4.

Calvin Law said...

Oh don't worry RatedRStar not really recommending him as I'd give him a 3.5 at best. :)

Fry was actually my least favourite of all the Blackadder regulars. I think in order of overall consistency/excellence I'd rank them:

1. Robinson (Baldrick is just the best)
2. Laurie (technically one note all the way through but he's hilarious)
3. Atkinson (terrible first season but he's great after that)
4. Richardson (LOVE her Elizabeth, and her small appearances in other episodes are well done too)
5. McInnery (Captain Darling is great, his Percy was fine but just fine)
6. Fry (Melchett is terrific but he's a bit overshadowed in the earlier seasons)

Calvin Law said...

Also though I generally don't care for the first season BRIAN BLESSED is a great deal of fun.

Anonymous said...

So, just watched The Lusty Men. Good enough film, but bad ending. Mitchum was very good, Hayward fine and Arthur Kennedy was miscast. Kennedy may not be an over-the-top actor, but his enthusiastic style just annoys me. It's like he's trying to steal the scene. There aren't any notable films where's the lead, it seems.

RatedRStar said...

Oh damn it because Arthur Kennedy was a real contender for me lol xD.

Luke: Its so weird because Blackadder 1 is so bad despite it using proper locations and having Brian Blessed and Peter Cook being in form not to mention giving a great ham like Rik Mayall nothing to do, Robinson is quite dull here as the more intelligent of the two while Atkinsons performance is just embarrassing, just overdoing the weakness and the facial reactions.

Atkinson in 2 and 3 is a massive improvement showing the intelligence but also his rather cowardice, I think he is better in 2 because in 3 he is so vicious and cold sometimes that it sometimes he isnt a likable scoundrel type, he is still very witty and funny though.

Atkinson in 4 is just masterful as he is actually likable and sneaky enough so that you actually kind of want him to escape the war, the dialogue he has so witty and venomous that it is instantly memorable, his best moments are definitely his final ones, like when he trys to think of one last plan to escape before he goes over the top.

Anonymous said...

RatedRStar: Well, I already told you to not include Kennedy in the lineup because I saw some clips of the film. I can sum up Kennedy's style: Hehehehehe, I'm going to steal the scene from the leading man by being wildly enthusiastic.

RatedRStar said...

Robinson in 1 is just dull and it makes sense him and Atkinson switched roles, because Series 2 onwards he is just one ball of dumb fun, he is so clumsy but all of the time he is very likable and you always want to hear his next cunning plan =D.

Hugh Laurie in series 3 actually gets it spot on by playing his Prince Regent as a complete idiot, maybe more than Baldrick is but just like him he is very likable also, he can be a little annoying at times but I think that was the idea, Hugh Laurie in series 4 is just another in a set of outstanding performances in Series 4, he is almost Jimmy Stewart like in terms of optimism and charm as he seems so proud to be in the war to honor his family and his high privilege University background, he is a great bit of energy while his best moment is his final moments, particularly when he utters the line " I dont want to die"

RatedRStar said...

Oh trust me lol I had no interest in putting Arthur Kennedy in any lineup lol.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: Your Supporting suggestions for 2010, 2013 & 2014 and Lead & Supporting suggestions for 2015.

Anonymous said...

RatedRStar: Your Wrestlemania predictions?

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: I'll give you mine, though I haven't followed Pro Wrestling in the last year and a half.
Reigns d. HHH
Taker d. Shane
Ambrose d. Lesnar
Lynch d. Charlotte & Sasha
Zayn wins Ladder Match
Styles d. Jericho
League Of Nations d. New Day
Mark Henry wins Battle Royal

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: d. - Defeated

Anonymous said...

Also RatedRStar, your Hong Kong awards predictions?, Luke do you have any HK predictions?

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: Don't have the same amount of enthusiasm for the HK awards, that Daniel and Jack have and haven't seen any HK films from last year.

RatedRStar said...

Luke: Ill give you those lists at some point but they need to be updated as I did them quite quickly.

Anonymous: I also havent been watching but I always watch Wrestlemania because of how big it is, my winners.

Roman Reigns
Undertaker
Kevin Owens
AJ Styles
Sasha Banks
Dean Ambrose
New Day
Bray Wratt wins Battle Royale

Anonymous said...

Just finished watching Nightmare Alley entirely. It has some gorgeous cinematography, and I have to say that Power's acting was quite powerful. If he only acted more like this...Blondell was also very good.

RatedRStar said...

Anonymous: Expect the battle to be between Port of Call and The Taking Of Tiger Mountain, but Aaron Kwok will win Best Actor and Michael Ming will win Best Supporting Actor, that I guarantee.

Anonymous said...

Let's see if Power's powerful performance can resonate with Louis as much as it resonated with me. Damn it, Power, you were so powerful in Nightmare Alley and Witness For The Prosecution; why couldn't you be powerful in your other performances?

Anonymous said...

RatedRStar: Who would you have chosen as the winner of the 2005 Hong Kong Best Supporting Actor and who would you have chosen for 1998 Hong Kong Best Supporting Actor lineup?

Alex Fong - Drink-Drank-Drunk
Hu Jun - Everlasting Regret
Liu Kai Chi - SPL
Wong Tin Lam - Election
Anthony Wong - Intial D

Patrick Tam - Beast Cops
Alex Fong - Your Place Or Mine
Eric Tsang - Hold You Tight
Nick Cheung - The Conman
Sam Lee - The Longest Summer

RatedRStar said...

Fong and Tam

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your ratings & thoughts on Bayler and Stride in Macbeth.

Anonymous said...

Louis: What are your overall thoughts on Michael Douglas as an actor?

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: Have you seen The Devils yet.

Anonymous said...

Luke: Nope, still have to.

Anonymous said...

Luke: Finally watched The Devils. It was amazing. Reed and Redgrave are 5's. I don't know how to clarify my thoughts on their performances. They were simply marvelous.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: Yay. :)

Luke Higham said...

Louis: I get the feeling, you'll be reviewing Scofield next, but please review Reed afterwards.

Anonymous: Hail, Caesar! is now online and will be giving my thoughts on it tomorrow.

Calvin Law said...

Anyone got any retroactive castings for seafaring films? I might to a post on that since it's such a timeless genre. Anyway here's my castings for Master and Commander but still stuck on 70's and 2000's so if anyone would like to chip in :)

1930s
Directed by Michael Curtiz
Aubrey: Charles Laughton
Maturin: Leslie Howard

1940s
Directed by Laurence Olivier
Aubrey: Laurence Olivier (although Roger Livesey would be a great choice if it was a P and P film)
Maturin: Joseph Cotten (if he could do the accent, he'd fit the part really well)

1950s
Directed by Carol Reed
Aubrey: Trevor Howard
Maturin: John Mills

1960s
Directed by David Lean
Aubrey: Richard Harris
Maturin: Richard Attenborough

1980s
Directed by Peter Weir
Aubrey: Timothy Dalton
Maturin: John Hurt

1990s
Directed by Mel Gibson
Aubrey: Mel Gibson
Maturin: Sam Neill

2010s
Directed by George Miller
Aubrey: Tom Hardy
Maturin: Domhnall Gleeson

Robert MacFarlane said...

I honestly don't think Hardy's a good fit for that role.

Calvin Law said...

I mean Crowe could probably do it again. The only choices for Aubrey I'm entirely happy about here are Howard and Harris, and for Maturin, Howard and Attenborough.

Calvin Law said...

Actually yeah scrap my 2010 casting, I want to see Weir, Crowe and Bettany team up again.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Bayler - 2(Really did not get much out his Macduff, who's actually seems fairly tough to pull off well. Bayler though just comes off as very overwrought and unfortunately over the top)

Stride - 3(Okay one decision that was pretty amazing was to make Ross the real manipulator of the story, that's pretty brilliant. In turn I liked Stride's performance as he brought the right deviousness part really in the margins, and managed to convey his character's quiet manipulations in a completely wordless fashion. I also rather liked the shallow way he delivered all of his lines suggesting that Ross only served one man, Ross)

Anonymous:

Michael Douglas - (He's actually a particularly consistently good actor, who apparently was the embodiment of the 80's yuppie I suppose. Douglas was always good in those roles by finding the right variation as they were never simply Gordon Gecko. He has proven to have range outside of that sphere as well with The Wonder Boys and Falling Down in particular. Past all that he really does have a certain onscreen charm that's very unique and endearing.)

Calvin:

Alright.

Billy Budd 2010's directed by Peter Weir

Billy Budd: Jamie Bell
Claggart: Stephen Dillane
Captain Vere: Ralph Fiennes
The Dansker: Stellan Skarsgard
Seymour: Rhys Ifans
Radcliffe: James D'Arcy
Wyatt: Domhnall Gleeson
Squeak: Andy Serkis

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

By the way 70's version of Master and Commander:

Aubrey: Sean Connery
Maturin: David Warner

Calvin Law said...

Perfect. Thanks Louis :)

Matt Mustin said...

I saw Batman v Superman. Um, I don't think it was completely terrible, but it's certainly not good.
The cast:
Affleck-3.5 (Despite the writing behind his character being kind of insulting, Affleck still manages to make a great Batman and a pretty good Bruce Wayne. I'm excited to see what he does with his own film)
Cavill-1.5 (I liked him in Man of Steel, but here he might as well be scenery. He's a block of wood throughout, and it doesn't help that the movie seems to have no interest in Superman at all)
Adams-2 (Phoning it in big time, and that bathtub scene is embarrassing. Although, that's almost entirely Zack Snyder's fault)
Eisenberg-1 (Wow. Where to begin with this. He's unwatchable. Every second he's onscreen is torture. It's all surface tics and mannerisms, and it's just completely off-putting. I honestly don't know what the hell he was trying for here, but whatever it was he failed miserably. He was frankly more menacing in The Social Network)
Irons-3 (I could've done with much more of him, actually. He's perfectly cast and delivers every one of his fairly pointless lines as if they actually meant something. Also, he has some very good chemistry with Affleck)
Hunter-3 (Not bad actually. Despite her character being utterly useless I felt she managed to bring something to the role, and actually completely sold her ridiculous final scene)
Lane-2.5 (Again, really not much of a role, but I thought she at least tried)
Gadot-3 (Really liked her actually, and I'm very much looking forward to her solo Wonder Woman movie)
Fishburne-3 (I agree with everyone else in that he feels like he's in a different, better movie)

Michael Patison said...

2010 Master and Commander:
Directed by: Miller is a very interesting choice
Aubrey: Guy Pearce
Maturin: Domhnall Gleeson (I rather liked that choice)

Calvin Law said...

You listing Pearce reminds me that he and Crowe really need to reunite on-screen sometime soon. But yeah he'd be fantastic.

Calvin Law said...

Speaking of which saw L.A. Confidential. Really liked it and actually, I think it would be my Best Picture win of 1997.

Pearce: 5
Crowe: 5 (my win for the year, which would make this Crowe's 3rd win for me after The Insider, and M + C)
Spacey: 4.5
Cromwell: 5 (my supporting #2)
De Vito: 4.5
Strathrain: 4
Basinger: 3.5 (I actually quite liked her)

Alex Marqués said...

Calvin: I'm glad that you loved it, it's one of my favourite movies of the 90's, and Crowe is THAT good in it. I agree with the ratings for the most part, but I'd give Spacey a 5. Who's your supporting actor winner that year?

Calvin Law said...

Mark Addy in The Full Monty. I'll admit it's quite close for me:

1. Addy
2. Cromwell
3. Spacey
4. Forster
5. De Vito

Calvin Law said...

And for lead (sorry I'm in a list mood)

1. Crowe
2. Pearce
3. Duvall
4. Carlyle
5. Wahlberg
6. Hall
7. Damon
8. Leung
9. Fonda
10. DiCaprio

Anonymous said...

L.A. Confidential is probably my favorite movie of the 90's. And one of my favorite noir films as well.

Calvin Law said...

My personal favourite will always be The Third Man, but LA Confidential is certainly up there.

Anonymous said...

Calvin: I'd say that Double Indemnity is my favorite noir. It boasts amazing performances and gorgeous cinematography, which is something I always admire in a film.

Alex Marqués said...

1997 is really packed with great performances it seems, I have to watch a lot of those. If Leung's performance can't make it into a top 5, it's a wonderful year.

Anonymous: I watched DI recently, and it's a goddamn masterpiece...just wow

Anonymous said...

Alex: If I had a list of best supporting performances, Robinson's performance would be up there and so would be Stanwyck's in a list of best female performances.

Alex Marqués said...

Yeah, Robinson was as brilliant as Louis said in his review, which is quite something.

Anonymous said...

Louis: What are your ratings and thoughts on Humphrey Bogart in Dark Victory and Henry Fonda in Jesse James?

Robert MacFarlane said...

Spacey I've come to think is the MVP of L.A. Confidential on repeat viewings. Then again, I seem to be one of a handful of people who interpreted Jack Vincennes as gay.

Alejandro Marqués Vázquez said...

It's a reasonable interpretation actually. But gay or not, it's a wonderful charismatic performance IMO.

Luke Higham said...

Son Of Saul's Online.

Anonymous said...

Watched Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. It was painful and a real disappointment.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: Ratings on the cast and thoughts on Affleck, Eisenberg, Gadot, Irons and Fishburne.

Anonymous said...

Luke: Very well then.
Ratings and thoughts:
Affleck- 3,5 (He's the best part of the film, despite how ridiculous Batman is written. Hope to see his Batman movie)
Cavill- 2 (Dull, seems to not be invested enough in the character of Superman)
Adams- 1,5 (Worst bathtub scene ever, but that's Snyder's fault)
Eisenberg- 1 (Why? Just why? His mannerisms and everything, all seems off. It's painful and torturous to watch him everytime he's on screen. I don't know what he was thinking with this performance)
Irons- 3 (I'm so glad he's getting good roles again. He's perfectly cast and has good chemistry with Affleck)
Hunter- 2,5 (Fine enough and her best scene was her final one)
Lane- 2,5 (Does what she can with the role)
Gadot- 3 (I liked her performance and can't wait to see her own Wonder Woman movie)
Fishburne- 3 (Poor, poor Fishburne. He's good, but he deserved to be in a better and different movie)
Count me as someone who would love to see a live-action adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns with Keaton in the role.

Anonymous said...

In conclusion, I have to say that BvS was hyped for nothing.

Alex Marqués said...

I haven't seen BvS, but I suspected that Eisenberg simply wouldn't work as the villain. This confirms my thoughts.

Robert MacFarlane said...

The thing is I actually think he could have worked. Truth be told, he's a better Luthor in The Social Network.

Calvin Law said...

Saw Midnight Special. It'll definitely be a divisive film for many but I quite loved it, might be my favourite Nichols film actually. It's very much in the vein of something like Close Encounters, you could say that he's doing his Spielberg imitation but I think there's a lot more than that homage.

Shannon: 4.5 (verging on a 5, great reactive performance I want some time to think my thoughts through about)
Lieberher: 4 (Nichols is evidently very good with working with child actors and this is no exception, he's appropriately endearing and precocious without going too far)
Edgerton: 4 (very good understated work, could easily go up)
Dunst: 4.5 (she's really stepped her game up this decade, and I quite loved her take on the well-worn motherly role as she just brought so much weary heart to it)
Driver: 3.5 (more limited emotionally but quite entertaining in delivering exposition)
Shepard: 3.5 (appropriately sleazy and menacing)

Giuseppe Fadda said...

I can't wait to see Midnight Special. I really like Nichols and I love Kirsten Dunst.

Calvin Law said...

Giuseppe: She's actually a great actress, who I just did not see enough of in the right roles before.

Anonymous said...

Midnight Special must be pretty good. Shannon/Nichols is a great collaboration.

Luke Higham said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frGSzFj10p4

Robert MacFarlane said...

Hm. CGI looks off.

Anonymous said...

Luke: Well, after seeing this trailer, it could be okay or good. Hope Rylance is great.

Anonymous said...

Just watched Witchfinder General. Found it to be good. And wow, was amazed at Price's performance. Would probably give him a 4,5, verging on a 5. A re-watch could propel him to a 5.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: I'm glad that some of my suggestions, have been to your liking. :)

Anonymous said...

Luke: I'd suggest you watch Price in Dragonwyck. He's quite great in that.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: I'll try to at some point.

Seeing The Huntsman: Winter's War tonight. I'm expecting a complete failure.

Anonymous said...

Luke: It's current score on RT is 18%.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: Thankfully, tickets at my local cinema on a Tuesday are really cheap, so it's good, that I won't have to pay full price for it.

Anonymous said...

Luke: I'd like to see either Scofield or Reed being reviewed next.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: If I had my way, Reed would obviously be coming next.

Calvin Law said...

I think The BFG trailer looks great.

Anonymous said...

I'm starting to believe that Scofield will get a 5.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Is there someone you think could have played Willie Stark better than Crawford? I think Welles would have been perfect in the role. It's interesting to notice that Wayne was the original choice and Bogart was even considered.

Calvin Law said...

Welles would've been great, though I'm more positive on Crawford than most.

On a separate note, saw Ugetsu, incredibly powerful film. I'd go so far as to give Mori a strong 4.5, very very close to a 5.

Michael McCarthy said...

Calvin: That's my best picture for 1953, Mori's an easy 5 for me.

Calvin Law said...

Michael: It's the runner-up for Best Picture for me, Stalag 17 is one of my all-time favourites though so nothing against Ugetsu. I really want to check out more of Kenji Mizoguchi's work.

Anonymous said...

I prefer Tokyo Story to Ugetsu. I found Hara's performance far superior to Hepburn in Roman Holiday.

Luke Higham said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKDdMAI-onI

Anonymous said...

Luke: Good trailer. Hope it's good.

Giuseppe Fadda said...

Tokyo Story is indeed amazing but I think Setsuko Hara is easily supporting while Audrey Hepburn is lead in Roman Holiday.

GM said...

Hepburn is good in Roman Holiday, but I discovered that 1953 is a much stronger year for Best Actress than it seems.

Luke Higham said...

Hail, Caesar!
Brolin - 4
Clooney - 3.5
Ehrenreich - 4.5
Fiennes - 4
Tatum - 3
Swinton - 3.5
I enjoyed it and the scenes that involved Ehrenreich and Fiennes were very entertaining.

The Huntsman: Winter's War
Blunt - 3
Theron - 3
Hemsworth & Chastain - 2.5
Not a particularly good film, but it's an improvement over it's predecessor.

Luke Higham said...

I'll be seeing Midnight Special tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Saw Hail, Caesar as well. Enjoyed it a lot.
Brolin: 4
Clooney: 3,5
Ehrenreich: 4,5
Fiennes: 4
Tatum: 3
Swinton: 3,5

Robert MacFarlane said...

Surprised by the lower scores for Tatum, he was my second favorite after Ehrenreich.

Calvin Law said...

Just had a great idea:

Mad Max Fury Road, late 1950s directed by Akira Kurosawa

Max: Toshiro Mifune
Furiosa: Isuzu Yamada
Nux: Tsutomu Yamazaki
Immortan Joe: Takashi Shimura

Also Louis what are your thoughts/ratings for the supporting ladies of Ugetsu?

Anonymous said...

Calvin: Love Mifune as Max.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Yamazaki didn't make his film debut until High and Low, though.

Anonymous said...

Robert: Does it matter? It could be an alternate universe where Yamazaki debuts much earlier.

Calvin Law said...

True that, shame. Oh well replace with him with Nakadai then :)

Calvin Law said...

Speaking of High and Low I think I'll watch that again now.

Anonymous said...

Re-watched Stalag 17, and I have to say that now Holden is tied with Clift for me. I hope that Holden is good in Executive Suite.

Anonymous said...

*tied with Clift for Best Actor.

Anonymous said...

Saw Midnight Special. Very good film.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: Your Ratings for the cast. I'll be seeing it shortly.

Anonymous said...

Luke:
Shannon: 4,5
Lieberher: 4
Edgerton: 4,5
Dunst: 4,5
Driver: 3,5
Shepard: 3,5

Luke Higham said...

Shannon - 5
Lieberher - 4
Edgerton - 4.5
Dunst - 4.5
Driver - 3.5
Shepard - 3/3.5

Luke Higham said...

My favourite film of the year so far.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Seen anything new lately.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Fonda - 2.5(He's almost as a force of nature against Tyrone Power's more complex Jesse, even if that is only really felt in one scene. Fonda's just fine in being just kind of a one note tough guy, but only just fine)

Bogart - 2.5(I thought Bogart was perfectly fine here though I thought he was easily overshadowed by Davis and Fitzgerald. He brings enough of a certain roughness yet charm, though I don't think it is anything too special in that regard. It was interesting to see him in a non-gangster role from the period.)

Luke:

I'm afraid not as Midnight Special is not playing near me.