Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 1971: David Gulpilil in Walkabout

David Gulpilil did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying the boy in Walkabout.

Walkabout is at the very least an interesting film about a sister (Jenny Agutter) and her younger brother (Luc Roeg) who become stranded in the outback after their father commits suicide.

David Gulpilil plays an Aboriginal boy the two come across, who is roaming the outback on his Walkabout in which he fends for himself. The boy though takes the two along with him, or at least he allows them to follow him. Gulpili speaks his own native language throughout the film, and the film purposefully eliminates the possibility of understanding him. No subtitles are ever granted to him, and there are very few moments in which the siblings manage to create a direct understanding with him. We are placed in the view of the siblings in this respect as even when the boy does speak it rarely focuses upon in a way in which would even allow one to decipher the words. Of course the film itself does not focus on any of the actors in really the traditional sense. The film seems to care more about the atmosphere of the location and the behavior of those within it more than precisely who they are as people, to the point that it feels like the siblings are supporting as well even though they technically are not in terms of traditional definitions.

Gulpilil therefore has an unusual challenge in that he's not silent, but he's also left without much in terms of verbal communication with the other characters or even the audience. The challenge only becomes more severe due to the nature of the director Nicolas Roeg's approach throughout the film. Gulpilil's performance works well within this structure though as he act natural to be as blunt about it as possible. He never seems to be pantomiming the role of the native, nor does his performance ever seem to be that clichéd restricted view of the native despite the fact there is only a rare occasion that we are given the chance to even know what it is that he is saying. Gulpilil succeeds in being what he should be in that the boy very much becomes sort of the natural expression of the nature around him. This is helped by Gulpilil having a natural charisma of sorts as he manages to have a certain magnetism about him even though this is never a forced intention by his performance. Gulpilil is able to produce this quality without ever seeming to try, which is essential for the role and the film.

Once again the nature of the film and the role does place upon a few severe restrictions on all the performers, since again we mostly witness their behavior with only some emphasis placed on the actual growth of the trio as characters. The major transition is given to Gulpili though in the final interactions between the boy and the siblings, well in this case more of just the sister. This is when the boy decides upon the sister as being more than a travel companion. Gulpilil is quite effective in this scene as he portrays the gradual change in the boy from a mere curiosity in the sister to something far more intense. This leads to the eventual point in which the boy tries to take her as his mate by performing a ritualistic dance after he stumbles upon her half naked. Gulpili is terrific in this scene in that he portrays the moment as more than a primal dance, but also a breakdown of sorts for the boy as the sister outright rejects his advances. Now even this breakdown is still muted in a way by Roeg's choices, despite being well played by Gulpilil. This is a good performance by Gulpili that stands well within the film, even if it does not exactly standout all that much beyond it.

73 comments:

GM said...

Really want to see Walkabout.

Louis: review Donald Pleasence in Wake in Fright instead of one of these.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Was not a fan of this film.

Louis Morgan said...

GM:

Tell you what, I'll watch Wake in Fright, if I like Pleasence, and view one of the remaining four as lower than a 4, I'll review him instead.

Robert:

Can't say it worked for me either.

Anonymous said...

Louis: So, have you rewatched something?

Calvin Law said...

1. McShane
2. Delon
3. Gould
4. Fox
5. Gulpilil

Anonymous said...

Probably will watch this film.
Just came to my mind this retrocasting.
The French Connection (1940's version, by Raoul Walsh)
''Popeye'' Doyle: James Cagney
''Cloudy'' Russo: Humphrey Bogart
Alain Charnier: Jean Gabin

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis:Has Chaplin officially gone up to a 5 for the Great Dictator.

Calvin Law said...

I think Louis merely said he was considering it. Hopefully! Though just happy enough Cagney gets a 5 for White Heat.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: I'm very pleased with that as well. :)

Alex Marqués said...

Louis: your thoughts on Byung-hun in I Saw the Devil. I hope you review his performance in A Bittersweet Life when you do 2005.

Anonymous said...

Glad that Cagney has another five.

Anonymous said...

What does everyone reckon to the Billy Lynn trailer?

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: It looks fine to me. Can't say it's one of my most anticipated, but I hope Ang Lee does a great job.

I'm looking forward to Hell or High Water with Chris Pine and Ben Foster.

Saw the Assassin's Creed trailer. It looked good enough, though Kanye ruined the mood for me. :(

Anonymous said...

Luke: What were your thoughts on The Girl On The Train, The Light Between Oceans and The Founder?

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous:
The Girl On The Train: Won't be good as Gone Girl, though Blunt should do well.

The Light Between Oceans: Fassbender & Vikander 'nuff said.

The Founder: Really looking forward to this one and Keaton's performance is one of my most anticipated of the year.

Luke Higham said...

Has anyone seen Red Eye. I saw it a couple of nights ago and Murphy's terrific. I'd give him a 4.5.

I hope you review him for 2005, Louis.

Anonymous said...

Red Eye? Gotta check that one.

Matt Mustin said...

I haven't seen Red Eye from beginning to end but it was on TV a while ago and I watched most of it. I agree, Murphy is quite great.

Calvin Law said...

I thought Red Eye was very entertaining in a pulpy sort of way. Murphy would be a strong 4 from me, though he could easily go up.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I wish Murphy would play creepy bastards again. He's so good at it.

John Smith said...

Louis and everyone, what would you say are 10 movies every aspiring director should watch?

Luke Higham said...

John Smith:
There Will Be Blood
The Third Man
2001: A Space Odyssey
Rashomon
Vertigo
Apocalypse Now
Goodfellas
Lawrence Of Arabia
The Gold Rush
Jaws

Anonymous said...

John: That's a tricky one to answer.

John Smith said...

Anonymous: I know hahahaha

Luke: Thanks (:

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

Louis: Seen anything new recently.

RatedRStar said...

Cillian Murphy is pretty good in Red Eye, I have him in my spreadsheet for 2005 supporting, I think he is just about supporting, its the serial killer thriller kind of thing, with the actress being the lead heroine, especially when we dont see Cillian for a while when she escapes him.

Louis: I finally after so long managed to find one of the few original Louis Morgan reviewed films that I had not seen since it is almost impossible to find.. Twilight Of Honor which I had only seen when I was about 18 lol, it was just not that interesting, with only my brave hero giving his all in that film, Nick Adams was ok I guess.

1963 Supporting has to be the weirdest Best Supporting Actor lineup ever, a drunk, a director, a well respected actor, a singer, and a friend of Elvis lol.

Anonymous said...

Saw two classic Westerns: a Noir Western (Blood on the Moon) and a Comedy Western (The Scalphunters). The former was good, but the latter was so enjoyable.

RatedRStar said...

Ossie Davis should definitely be considered for 1968 supporting for The Scalphunters, 1968 supporting actor I am quite excited about =D.

Anonymous said...

Mitchum's a 4 for Blood on the Moon while Lancaster's a 4,5 for The Scalphunters. I'm excited for the review of his performance in The Swimmer.

Luke Higham said...

High-Rise
Hiddleston - 4
Evans - 3.5
Irons - 3

Anonymous said...

Louis: In your opinion, what are the ten worst movies of the Golden Age of Hollywood?

Luke Higham said...

Saw Henry VI Parts II & III. Cumberbatch is absolutely brilliant and Sturridge was very good too.

Anonymous said...

Luke: It's good to hear that Sturridge is very good in that.

Alex Marqués said...

Louis: how would you rank the 20 best male supporting performances and the 20 best male lead performances of the decade so far?

Anonymous said...

Watched a film called Violent Saturday. I'd call it a mix of film noir with melodrama. Lee Marvin was amazing and I didn't mind Victor Mature.

John Smith said...

I'm watching "She's So Lovely" and Sean Penn gives his best performance in it. He is amazing

Calvin Law said...

'Everybody Wants Some!!' is really funny and entertaining. Would highly recommend. Whole cast is good and work together really well but my favourites were easily Powell (who I did NOT recognize at all), and Baker.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Zooey Deutch was my favorite of the EWS followed by Powell.

Calvin Law said...

Deutch was really good too, I agree.

Louis Morgan said...

John Smith:

Luke's list covered it rather well.

RatedRStar:

Sounds like you had basically the same reaction I did.

Anonymous:

1. Coquette
2. Robot Monster
3. Cimarron
4. The Conqueror
5. Cavalcade
6. Behind that Curtain
7. The Ghoul
8. Reefer Madness
9. Bride of the Monster
10. Santa Clause Conquers the Martians

Alex:

Leading:

1. Joaquin Phoenix in The Master
2. Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler
3. Gary Oldman in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
4. James McAvoy in Filth
5. Choi Min-Sik in I Saw the Devil
6. Michael Keaton in Birdman
7. Jacob Tremblay in Room
8. Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln
9. Jean Dujardin in The Artist
10. Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club
11. Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Master
12. Oscar Isaac in Inside Llewyn Davis
13. Ryan Gosling in Drive
14. Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street
15. Robert Duvall in Get Low
16. Guy Pearce in The Rover
17. Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips
18. Tom Hardy in Locke
19. Bruce Dern in Nebraska
20. Ralph Fiennes in The Grand Budapest Hotel

Supporting:

1. Tom Hardy in The Revenant
2. Mark Strong in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
3. Nicholas Hoult in Mad Max: Fury Road
4. Sylvester Stallone in Creed
5. Javier Bardem in Skyfall
6. Christopher Walken in Seven Psychopaths
7. Richard Jenkins in Bone Tomahawk
8. Gary Poulter in Joe
9. Ben Foster in Lone Survivor
10. Walton Goggins in The Hateful Eight
11. Albert Brooks in Drive
12. Ben Foster in Ain't Them Bodies Saints
13. Barkhad Abdi in Captain Phillips
14. Mark Rylance in Bridge of Spies
15. Samuel L. Jackson in Django Unchained
16. Samuel L. Jackson in The Hateful Eight
17. J.K. Simmons in Whiplash
18. Oscar Isaac in Ex Machina
19. Josh Brolin in Inherent Vice
20. Sam Rockwell in Seven Psychopaths

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on Game Of Thrones' 'Book Of The Stranger'.

Calvin Law said...

Very glad to see Oldman, Hoult, Stallone and Walken as high as they are. ALso interesting to see that you preferred Jackson in Django to The Hateful Eight every so slightly.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: What did you think of the recent trailers for Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, The Founder, The Light Between Oceans, Hell Or High Water, Assassin's Creed and The BFG.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: I personally am extremely happy that Hardy's his favourite of the decade so far in Supporting.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Hardy's kind of soured on me with The Revenant. Now I'm sort of blending him with all the other stuff I didn't like about the film.

Calvin Law said...

I thought the recent trailer fot Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk was really bizzare, The Light Between Oceans looks fine, Hell Or High Water looks promising, and Assasin's Creed I have no opinion whatsoever on.

LOVED the trailer for The Founder though and The BFG continues to win me over with each trailer.

Anonymous said...

Louis: In your review of O'Brien's performance in The Barefoot Contessa, you said that someone could have done much more with the character than he did. Who would have you chosen instead of him? I still find it absurd that the Academy chose him over Steiger, Malden and Cobb.

Michael McCarthy said...

Louis, could you do the same list with female lead and supporting performances of this decade?

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Make that a top 20 for Female Lead and a top 10 for Supporting.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Out of the trailers I've only watched Billy Lynn's Halftime Walk, Assassin's Creed and The Founder.

Halftime Walk - (Not sure what to make of it based on that, but at the very least I'm intrigued by it)

Assassin's Creed - (Looks good visually speaking, but being a video game adaptation one should never get their hopes up. I find it unfortunate that they've decided to keep the game's framing device, and that it seems that's the only place Cotillard will be featured. Also the trailer itself really did not meld well with the choice of music, which I hope does not represent anything from the film itself. Hard to say, wasn't a very good trailer, but it could be a good movie)

The Founder - (I rather liked the trailer, particularly Keaton, since it suggests both he and the story are going for the opposite angle that I would have expected from a film directed by John Lee Hancock. However the test screening reactions have me stil very concerned about its quality.)

Okay and on to Thrones. I liked the episode overall, but as per usual I did not love everything. Starting with the negatives. Once again Daenerys wins through a cheat code, though to be fair it's not as though the scenes were poorly done, I just still find her victories so easy that they're rather boring. Speaking of boring, Slaver's Bay just does not seem to have any potential, though Tyrion is trying his best, and feels like an unneeded distraction against what's going in the western continent I care about. Onto that continent, which I will be far more positive about in a moment, but some business must be addressed. I was giving the show the benefit of the doubt but it has become clear now that Jamie is being wasted as Cersei's lackey, almost reverting back to this season 1 self. One last point that has nothing to do with quality, but Brienne is falling down on my favorite characters list with her continuing with Renly's revenge, particularly her almost boasting about killing Stannis.

Now onto the good. Outside of Jamie I find how the rest of King's Landing to be shaping up in a rather interesting fashion especially in the new alliance between Cersei and Olenna. Also Jonathan Pryce might have given his best scene yet in his explanation of the High Sparrow's origin. The Pyke scene was setting up what's to come but it was a rather effective moment.

The North, as per usual, was once again the best part. I really love the group that's forming there. Tormund's silent reactions towards Brienne were hilarious. I also loved Ben Crompton in his scene where Edd questioned Jon's choice. I have to admit the feel good levels were off the charts for me due to finally seeing a Stark reunion. Turner was great in delivering Sansa's change, and she and Harington found the right chemistry even though the two never interacted in the first two episodes.

Michael: I'll get you those lists soon.

Giuseppe Fadda said...

I am pretty much loving Game of Thrones' new season but really Jamie is being horribly wasted, and he's a character with a lot of potential (probably my favorite actually). I hope he gets far away from King's Landing soon, because as you said he isn't doing anything of note and the writers are kind of screwing over his amazing developement throughout the other seasons.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Apart from Wolf Hall, Show Me A Hero, Fargo, True Detective, Narcos, Better Call Saul and Game Of Thrones, have you seen any other TV Series, Mini-Series or Films lately.

Calvin Law said...

Watching Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure and I am astounded at how entertaining it still is after all these years.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your Top 15 TV Performances.

Deiner said...

I really want to see Walkabout. This is off-topic Louis, what is your thoughts and rating of Maika Monroe in It Follows, and if you can give some thoughts on the film it would be great.

Calvin Law said...

Guys, check out The Night Manager. Halfway through now and it's fan-freaking-tastic.

The whole cast is brilliant but if I had to single out someone so far, it'd probably be Olivia Colman. Though Laurie, Hiddleston, Debicki, and Hollander are equally great too.

Anonymous said...

I love the last episode of Game of Thrones. Amazing episode. But i agree with Louis and Giuseppe Fada about Jamie being very wasted in King's Landing. As much as I understand his attitude in this plot after the death of his daughter and the suffering of Cersei, he has much more potential than that. But I think when he gets out of King's Landing and I think it will be soon his plot has the potential to become much better.

Giuseppe Fadda said...

@Anonymous: I too think that in the second half of the season he'll probably get out of King's Landing.

Louis Morgan said...

Michael McCarthy:

1. Marion Cotillard - The Immigrant
2. Jennfier Lawrence - Winter's Bone
3. Charlize Theron - Mad Max: Fury Road
4. Marion Cotillard - Two Days, One Night
5. Saorise Ronan - Brooklyn
6. Sandra Bullock - Gravity
7. Emily Blunt - Sicario
8. Rooney Mara - Carol
9. Essie Davis - The Babadook
10. Carey Mulligan - Far From the Madding Crowd
11. Michelle Williams - Blue Valentine
12. Naomi Watts - The Impossible
13. Brie Larson - Room
14. Rooney Mara - Ain't Them Bodies Saints
15. Judi Dench - Philomena
16. Elizabeth Olsen - Martha Marcy May Marlene
17. Julianne Moore - Still Alice
18. Jessica Chastain - Zero Dark Thirty
19. Emma Thompson - Saving Mr. Banks
20. Felicity Jones - The Theory of Everything

1. Jennifer Jason Leigh - The Hateful Eight
2. Jackie Weaver - Animal Kingdom
3. Jessica Chastain - Take Shelter
4. Marion Cotillard - Macbeth
5. Doona Bae - Cloud Atlas
6. Alicia Vikander - Ex Machina
7. Tilda Swinton - Snowpiercer
8. Linda Bright Clay - Seven Psychopaths
9. Kristin Scott Thomas - Only God Forgives
10. Lindsay Duncan - Birdman

Deiner:

You can find my thoughts on Monroe and the film in my review of The Lawrence of Arabia supporting players.

Calvin:

Alright! *does airguitar riff*.

Luke:

Since you asked for it, and again the amount of shows I've actually watched is rather limited.

1. Bryan Cranston - Breaking Bad
2. Mark Rylance - Wolf Hall
3. Alec Guinness - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
4. Glenn Howerton - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
5. Alfie Allen - Game of Thrones
6. Aaron Paul - Breaking Bad
7. Jackie Gleason - The Honeymooners
8. Kirsten Dunst - Fargo
9. Leonard Nimoy - Star Trek
10. Charles Dance - Game of Thrones
11. Oscar Isaac - Show Me a Hero
12. Jason Alexander - Seinfeld
13. Giancarlo Esposito - Breaking Bad
14. Michael Richards - Seinfeld
15. Jonathan Banks - Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Are Chastain, Bae and Swinton 5s now.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Yes.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: And are the rest of your top 10 4.5s.

Louis Morgan said...

Yes.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Seen anything new recently.

Michael McCarthy said...

Wow, Glenn Howerton at #4? That's an intriguing surprise, not that I can really blame you. What are your thoughts on his performance in the show?

Robert MacFarlane said...

> Isaac in Show Me a Hero

Thank you.

Alex Marqués said...

Has anyone seen Deadwood? Fantastic show with great performances overall, Ian McShane and Dourif in particular are amazing.

Calvin Law said...

I've seen bits of Deadwood and McShane looks fan-freaking-tastic in it.

Louis: what do you think of Richardson, Bannen, Hepton, Jayston and Bennett in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy?

Calvin Law said...

Also glad there's another There's Always Sunny in Philadelphia fan here. I don't follow the show as much now since following TV series is not my strong suit but the whole cast is great.

Luke Higham said...

X-Men: Apocalypse
McAvoy - 3.5
Fassbender - 4 (My MVP)
Lawrence - 2.5
Isaac - 3
Peters - 3.5
Sheridan - 3
Hoult - 2.5
Turner - 2.5/3
Smit-McPhee - 2.5
I liked it, though it's a step down from it's predecessors and the third act gets tiring rather quickly.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on Alec Guinness in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

Louis Morgan said...

Michael:

Howerton - (I could not deny him the position, you know what would happen to Dennis if he were not at the very least in the top five? However I don't think he is given enough credit how good he is in the role. Even when there's an episode that does not quite work on a whole, Howerton's always on form in his creation of Dennis, which goes above and beyond the normal sitcom character, even the best ones. Now Howerton's performance works on the more traditional sense to start with, in that he is indeed very funny and entertaining in the more expected way. Howerton's performance though goes beyond that in his depiction of Dennis as a egotistical psychopath. Howerton creates one of the most beautifully rendered versions of an unearned self-image of absolute perfection, while being legendary in his unique breakdowns whenever this image is even slightly questioned. On top of that is the psychopath which Howerton is so brilliant in by making the lack of empathy so earnest, while effectively carrying the same sort of intensity one might expect from a serious rendition of a serial killer. Of course the best part of all of this is that it's all in the service of comedy, very very funny comedy.)

Calvin & Luke:

Well let me save those serial performances for the time being.