Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Alternate Best Actor 2011: Woody Harrelson in Rampart

Woody Harrelson did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Officer Dave Brown in Rampart.

Rampart, which is the character study of a dirty cop in the L.A. police department, suffers as a film from disjointed storytelling and some downright obnoxious aesthetic choices by Oren Moverman.

Woody Harrelson is given the chance to take on the often juicy role of the corrupt police officer. Harrelson is an actor who I haven't always loved but I have never denied his evident talent. It is interesting to see him take on this challenging role, which seems like perhaps an even greater challenge given that the film surrounding him is not particularly good. Now Dave Brown does not have a pressing issue in the opening of the film like say Alonzo Harris in Training Day or Henry Oak in Narc. Dave is his own issue. In the early scenes we see Harrelson as Dave handles his job. Harrelson plays it as less as the master of the streets and more of a thug in a uniform. There is a moment very early on where Dave orders another one of his fellow officers to finish their french fries since he hates people wasting food despite rarely eating himself. Harrelson does not portray this as Dave offering any sort of sage thought, but rather depicts Dave's reaction as annoyance which he corrects bluntly like a proper bully.

This behavior continues as Dave gets into his first bit of PR and legal trouble after a man accidentally crashes into his cruiser. Dave proceeds to repeatedly beat the man with his billy club. Harrelson offers a surprisingly effective approach by downplaying it in a way. He does not suddenly become some deranged lunatic rather he makes the action instead feel like standard procedure for Dave. Again it's less a direct outrage, more of an annoyance, which again does not feel like Harrelson is taking it lightly. Harrelson instead suggests so well the mindset of Dave when on the job which carries a considerable sense of entitlement. Once again Harrelson makes his bully feel very real by the ease in which he shows the beat down. Harrelson keeps in mind the real motivation of Dave, which seems foolish in its simplicity. Harrelson though presents a man with an inherent disdain for people in general who is given an outlet to inflict this against others through his job as an officer. Dave's trials begin though because cameras caught this indulgence.

Dave has to deal with the legal action against him, and Harrelson continues to excel in the role as portrays this sort of switch in Dave. It's not a real switch, and it is in the same exact frame of mind Dave's usually in. That being Harrelson continues to convey this indulgence that so often defines Dave, and the fascinating thing is Harrelson manages to exude this most curious type of power. The power essentially in the lack of shame not only in terms of the crime, but also his ability to skirt any ramifications around the crime. Harrelson is simply great as he does depict Dave in his element as he takes on the assistant district attorney by breaking down exactly what he will do to deal with any charges filed against him. It is in this that Harrelson shows a control, and an understanding in man who is quite sure of his grip on the system knowing exactly how to exploit it to his will. Harrelson reveals a definite comfort in Dave when it comes to this naturally revealing the intelligence that enables his brutish actions.

I love what Harrelson does with the role because he fulfills what you'd expect from a dirty cop, but never quite in the way you might expect it. He manages to do this in a wholly authentic fashion in which he never allows for a thin characterization. There is not a scene where his Dave is one note, even at his very worst. Even in the early beating, or a later scene where he kills some thieves to rob them. Again the base motivation is clear, but that's never all there is to Harrelson's work in these scenes. As he commits the "crimes" Harrelson reveals a certain desperation all within it. Although the man is committing these acts, Harrelson does not show them as evil per se rather as reflections of man doing things the only way he still really knows how. The downfall of Dave is never Dave becoming progressively worse, or more of a bad man so to speak. Harrelson again makes it far more complex in the vivid detail he finds through the nuance he brings to every scene. In the robbery scene Dave lets one of the thieves go as he's not quite so cold blooded as to execute a man in that way. A short moment yet remarkable as Harrelson portrays an earnest humanity, even within one of his most terrible scenes, and makes it true to the character.

As Dave's professional life falls apart so does his personal, though again it's not the descent you might expect. Dave's life is already a mess living with two sisters, having a daughter with each, with all except his youngest daughter treating him with a certain disdain to begin with. Harrelson is outstanding by once more taking an atypical approach in these interactions. In the early scenes Harrelson never plays it as the mean father or husband in the traditional way. Harrelson brings a lived in quality in his cruelty which is never overt, but gentle. It is in the occasional statement which is never yelled, but there is very relaxed barbarism. This extends to the nature of his relationships, which we see the beginnings of when he picks up a lawyer at a bar. Harrelson frankly makes Dave's peculiar life believable as he is extremely charming in the moment, but even in the margins Harrelson places in the faults of the man. In this case a lapses of paranoia that she's out to get him in some way. Harrelson subtly infects the negative against the positive in the man's behavior always reinforcing that the seeds of alienation are already there as Dave cannot help himself.

Harrelson work here is exceptional as he never goes about just making you want to hate Dave, but rather goes about making you understand him which is rather something. He's never just a personification of police cruelty but always a person. Harrelson by doing this makes this into a far more affecting performance than one would expect. As Dave's mistakes only mount up he is abandoned by everyone around him including his family. Harrelson is incredibly moving in the scenes where Dave is forced to be separated from his daughters. Harrelson reveals a genuine heartbreak in Dave that feels wholly earned. This leads to a moment where he meets his daughters one last time and he admits that everything people say about him is true. Harrelson does not use this moment to show just how nasty Dave is, but rather brings such a vulnerability in the admission. He's heartbreaking as he presents a man who is aware of all that he's lost because of his hate, but still accepts who he is. Now if Rampart was a great film this would still be a great performance. What's so amazing is that despite the film's weaknesses Harrelson never falters. His work is consistent, and makes Dave consistently compelling even when the film is very messy. He rises well above the film he's in crafting a singular and complex portrait of a troubled man.

59 comments:

Calvin Law said...

What did you make of the rest of the cast? Thoughts/ratings for em. Harrelson is pretty great here, though the weaknesses of the film push him out of my top 5.

Michael McCarthy said...

I could totally see Harrelson making the top 5, but I also don't want Shannon to be bumped out of it. Maybe he might rank higher after a rewatch?

94dfk1 said...

Louis, thoughts on Jeff Nichols, Derek Cianfrance, Gareth Edwards, Ryan Coogler and Rian Johnson as filmmakers? I was going to include Villenueve, but I just remembered that I already asked you about him lol.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Louis, do you think Mark Hamill could have made a good Joker in 1989 instead of Nicholson?

Matt Mustin said...

I kinda hated this movie, and I wasn't overly impressed by Harrelson because I did actually find him pretty one note, but I may go back and re-evalute him, I'm not sure. I don't think I want to sit through the movie again.

John Smith said...

Louis: Thoughts on Robert Redford, Paul Newman, Ernest Borgnine.

Calvin Law said...

Has anyone here seen Tiptoes? Terrible movie. Peter Dinklage is kinda funny in it though, and Oldman manages to make something out of an ill-conceived role.

Alex Marqués said...

Louis: Do you consider Harrelson to be better in this than in True Detective?

Anonymous said...

The best performance I've seen from hiim.
Louis: What are your thoughts on the performances of Bob Hastings, Arleen Sorkin, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. and Loren Lester in Batman: The Animated Series?

Calvin Law said...

So I've finally moved Downey Jr. over to Lead for Civil War. Actually hurts to remove my (for the timebeing) win and put him no. 2 in Lead (where funnily enough he's now runner-up to Rhodey himself).

Luke Higham said...

Michael McCarthy: Your thoughts on the cast of Hell or High Water.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your cast and director for a 1960's version of Casualties of War.

Deiner said...

I find the film as a whole to be downright insufferable, but he's certainly great here. I don't know if I'd personally give him a perfect rating though.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

Beatty - 3(Beatty combines a real warmth quite effectively with a definite sleaze. They don't do enough with his character, but I like what he brought to the role.)

Foster - 3.5(I will always take some Foster in any shape or size. He's not quite a two scene wonder, but he's pretty good in two scenes. He manages to be affecting in the way he shows basically the jumble of thoughts that the man has become due to his past)

As for the rest one of the failures of the film is the way it wastes a promising cast in razor thin roles, even characters with somewhat substantial screentime are completely one note in terms of the writing.

94dk1:

Jeff Nichols - (Looking at the three of films that I have seen, still need to Shotgun Stories, Nichols is a director with a unique voice. He has such an eye for the atmosphere as the life of that little island in Mud, or the small community in Take Shelter feel so vivid. His storytelling I'd say is bit less exact, in that he excels with character less so with plot. When working with characters Nichols naturally creates a certain charm, even some humor, with serious overtones as he explores in detail his characters. It is in the plot points that his work is less assured, which brings me to Midnight Special, which has only degraded in my mind as time has gone on. The film is confined to a plot and there is an awkwardness to his work. His attempt to pay homage to Spielberg feels unnatural, and there is less of a sense comfort than with his previous films. I like a filmmaker taking chances but in the future hopefully he explores that while keeping in mind his strengths and weaknesses.)

Derek Cianfrance - (Cianfrance with his first two feature films has established himself as an ambitious filmmaker. Both films never quite achieves the greatness they're aiming for, though not for a lack of trying. Blue Valentine never quite coheres the "blue" and the "valentine" to something truly remarkable, and The Place Beyond the Pines under develops its second two acts. Again Cianfrance's ambition is never the problem, in fact he needed to be more ambitious as Pines would have benefited if it had been made into two films. Cianfrance's work is most encouraging as he's capable of creating such authentic emotions while having a most engaging yet subtle cinematic flair. The robbery scenes in Pines are handled in particularly intriguing way, as they never feel flashy, despite bringing the intensity you'd want from such material. I'm particularly interested to see where he goes from here since I think if he continues to hone his craft he could find that greatness he's been aiming for.)

Louis Morgan said...

Gareth Edwards - (Having seen only Godzilla and the Rogue One trailer Edwards has a great eyes for visuals. He knows how to convey a definite grandeur that is remarkable, having such a keen sense for scale. Godzilla's failings I'd say had most to do with the screenplay. I know some have said his work is lacking the human element, but I'd there was evidence of it, in the early scenes of that film. The blandness of the true lead I'd say wasn't entirely his fault. I'm certainly interested to see what he does with Rouge One.)

Ryan Coogler - (Both of Coogler's film's have shown a director eager to make his stamp as a filmmaker. He's got a keen eye in terms of emotion and aesthetic for the most part. His attempt to deliver unique directorial voice seemed excessive and obvious in Fruitvale Station. I actually was not all that fond of them the first time I saw Creed, but they worked better on re-watch perhaps because I knew they were coming. However even with that in mind his subtle stylistic touches are the most effective. He seems to be rapidly refining his voice though, and hopefully he will only improve with each film.)

Rian Johnson - (I've only seen Looper and his Breaking Bad episodes so my perspective of his work is fairly limited. He seems talented enough to be sure though. He brings a certain kinetic energy which he keeps understated in his own certain way, while keeping the human element well intact. Need to see more of his work though.)

Side note on Villenueve, judging by the trailer to Arrival seems like he might be cutting his teeth on some Ridley Scott even, before he gets to Blade Runner 2.

Robert:

I think he could have been. Again Hamill is someone who got to explore so little of his potential in live action film. I've always been curious of his work as Mozart in Amadeus, which I can't help but feel must have influenced the film's casting given that Hamill and Tom Hulce could be brothers.

Louis Morgan said...

John Smith:

Robert Redford - (Redford is an actor who I almost feels knows he can phone it a bit at times, as he does have enough charisma not seem completely insipid, even if this allows him to be wholly overshadowed in these films. Now I mention this because there is a fine gap between his best work and worst work, which isn't usually actively bad. When Redford is invested though his screen presence is remarkable, and he is incredibly capable in exploring a wide variety of facets within his usual type.)

Paul Newman - (Now with only the rare exception Newman was never an actor to phone it in. He had such an endearing onscreen presence that was all his own. After a few minor missteps early in his career he also seemed to have an exact understanding of his range, in Clint Eastwood sort of way. He was someone who seemed to become better with this experience, and established himself to be a great actor in addition to being one of the most naturally charming actors around.)

Ernest Borgnine - (Borgnine stands as one of the most underrated actors from his period given that people almost seemed to exclusively know him from McHale's Navy forgetting what got him there in the first place. Borgnine had a dominating presence as a performer, and true confidence in the roles he undertook. He was capable of such effortless menace as a heavy From here to Eternity, then such tender and poignant work in his well deserved Oscar winning work in Marty. He was capable of the grandiose in something like the Vikings, while capable of such nuance in the margins in his exceptional turn in The Wild Bunch. He was downright captivating performer who deserves to be known as one of the best from his era.)

Anonymous:

Bob Hastings - (Though I think the animated series often underused Gordon as a character, despite being depicted as smart he was still often just a "dude in distress" for Batman to save. Hastings work was excellent though as he exuded this fatherly warmth yet with an edge needed for a man in his position. Though he was not often given the chance Hastings's work was remarkable as he did bring such complexity within the character when given the chance, particularly his heartbreaking performance in "Over the Edge")

Arleen Sorkin - (Her work was of course essential in helping to make Harley Quinn the breakout character she became. Her work was of course entertaining in terms of the broad comedy associated with the character yet she never overdid it to the point that simplified the character. In the episodes that explored Harley in greater detail, Mad Love" in particular, Sorkin effortlessly explored the more tragic elements of the character while never breaking the more lighthearted side of Harley.)

Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. - (Know I'll admit I prefer Alfred when he is more influential in terms of his relationship with Bruce. Zimbalist work though works for the good natured, yet very posh Alfred. His delivery of the characters deadpan humor is always on point, and the few times we see Alfred in a different light he does not falter. Although I don't think they ever quite explored the character enough in the series)

Loren Lester - (Big Robin I think is one of the weaknesses of the series, and it is a shame he was basically forced upon the creators. This is nothing against Lester's work though as he does his best to make his character less grating, I can't quite say he always succeeds though. His best work though came in season 4, and "Robin's Reckoning" as he managed to bridge the character naturally to a more mature state.)

Anonymous:

Casualties of War 1960's directed by Stanley Kramer

Eriksson: Martin Sheen
Meserve: Stacy Keach
Clark: Scott Glenn
Hatcher: Sam Elliott
Diaz: Raul Julia

Calvin Law said...

Come to think of it, Hulce would've made a fantastic Joker as well. I sort of agree with you on Nichols Louis, it hasn't really had lasting power with me. If you're not saving Shannon, could I have your thoughts and rating for his performance?

Calvin Law said...

And while we're on TAS voices can I have your thoughts on Michael Ansara?

Anonymous said...

Louis: What are your thoughts on Robert Wise as a director? Personally, I think that The Set-Up is his best film, and I quite liked Blood on the Moon and Run Silent, Run Deep.

Calvin Law said...

So I've just re-watched JFK, and though the whole film definitely grew on me more, I have to say I entirely agree with Robert about Jones being the weak link in the cast. His presence was very distracting, especially when compared with the likes of Bacon and Oldman who disappeared into their roles, and Pesci and Sutherland who utilized their usual screen presence so well.

94dfk1 said...

Thanks for answering! I brought them up because a couple of them are about to head into blockbuster territory (Villenueve, Johnson, and Coogler). I always like looking at directors work before they enter franchises so I could get a feel for what those movies will be like. I could see Jeff Nichols also entering that league as well.

Hopefully, Nichols earns some awards love for Loving. I have no idea where Cianfrance's career could progress to next after The Light Between The Oceans haha.

Speaking of Jones, I saw him recently in a trailer for a Jason Statham movie. He seems to be playing a drug dealer of sorts lol

Deiner said...

@Louis, can you give your thoughts and rating on Louise Harris in Snowtown?

Anonymous said...

Looks like Adam West Batman is back in animated form:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jBbWoAtaWc

94dfk1 said...

Louis: Oh and thoughts on James Ponsoldt as a filmmaker as well? I forgot to mention him earlier. Last one for this thread from me, I promise lol.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Louis: Out of curiosity, what do you think of the ending of Take Shelter? It's the only part of the movie I dislike.

John Smith said...

Louis, thoughts on Peter Jackson, Bob Rafaelson and Tim Burton

Calvin Law said...

I should mention I watched Dark Shadows , incidentally, and I now admit why some people hate Burton. As a big fan of his style, the way he did it in that film was simply terrible.

Donny said...

Love your blog. Have you ever thought about getting on MovieFights from screenjunkies? I'd love to see you there. I've been trying to tweet @andysignore for it, anyone care to help?

Calvin Law said...

94dfk1: I'd be interested to hear Louis' thoughts on Ponsoldt too, I found Smashed and The Spectacular Now decent but workmanlike in direction, but The End of the Tour was very underrated in his little flairs and willingness to let the performances flow naturally.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I just got back from Kubo and the Two Strings. Absolutely marvelous. Might be my new #1 for the year.

Matt Mustin said...

Robert: Oh, thank God it's good.

Michael McCarthy said...

I was dying to see Kubo just for the animation. If it's really that good then I can't wait.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Waaaay more emotionally mature and empathetic than the trailers sold it as. I could complain about the humor not really landing, but every other aspect of it makes up for it.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

Ansara - (A downright brilliant performance as he somehow portrays such powerful emotion in such cold delivery. It is astonishing that he pulls off this strange contradiction yet it absolutely works for the character. As powerful as those final lines of "Heart of Ice" are to begin with Ansara makes them unforgettable due to his flawless delivery.)

Anonymous:

Wise - (Although there is the occasional misstep in his filmography Star Trek: The Motionless picture where he tried to hard to ape Kubrick, and Star! that I'm just downright surprised he directed. His work reminds me of William Wyler in that you don't say "there's A Robert Wise picture" yet what stands out is the consistency of his directing. He does infuse a definite style finding the grand scope needed for a film like The Sand Pebbles, or the intimate detail in a film like The Haunting. He crafts a definite atmosphere and adapts well to a variety of material. I will even say though I don't love West Side Story or The Sound of Music, Wise's direction is one of the strongest aspects of both films)

Deiner:

Harris - 3.5(She gives a good performance early on in just offering a realistic depiction of this haggard mother trying to raise her kids. She's effective in the way she adjusts as the story progresses as she first goes along with the violent sentiments. The film kind of forgets her after awhile though which is unfortunate, though she affecting in the few glimpses we see of her that suggests an awareness of what's going on)

94dk1:

Ponsoldt - (I really did not care for Smashed but rather loved The End of the Tour. I think in both cases that had a great deal to do with the screenplays of each film. As Calvin mentioned, Ponsoldt does come off as workmanlike. Again workmanlike is not a terrible thing exactly if one has the right material. Ponsoldt does not get in the way of it in The End of the Tour, and I'll give him credit in that he does have just a bit more daring there with a few intelligent touches within the story. With lesser material like Smashed Ponsoldt does not help it. I'd be curious to see how he performs with material that requires an exact vision.)

Robert:

I don't love it, and think I probably would have preferred if they had kept an ambiguity to it, perhaps they look but you don't see what they are staring at.

On a side note I saw Sing Street, you were right.

Louis Morgan said...

John Smith:

Peter Jackson - (I will start with the negative, oh and I still need to see Heavenly Creatures. He basically did a George Lucas switch in no time at all, though I do think he had a bit more to offer nonetheless. His cash grab Hobbit trilogy is that of more machine than man with an over reliance on CGI, his often passionless work, and a painfully inconsistent tone. This unfortunately also extends heavily to his prior work in The Lonely Bones, and ever so slightly to King Kong. With that out of the way The Lord of the Rings is a set of films that would sit well on any filmmaker's resume. Jackson brilliantly managed to bring all the wavering threads properly in an epic format, while paying careful attention to the more nuanced human elements of the story. Jackson's work always had a definite passion right down to the appreciation in the visual effects by utilizing practicals along with CGI. Oh and there's his early work. I've only seen Dead Alive which is definitely memorable, I'll give it that.)

Bob Rafaelson - (I'd need to see more of his films since I've only seen Five Easy Pieces)

Tim Burton - (I will admit I have never been Burton's biggest fan, despite my undying love for Ed Wood. Having said that one should give him credit in that he is a filmmaker who has unquestionably made his stamp in terms of a personal style that is all his own. His films though can rely sometimes thin caricatures, and Burton focus usually disallows anything to make up for thin writing. In his later years, as well as in a few of his earlier films, he has struggled to maintain a consistent tone, or perhaps just to find the right tone for his material. The worst of it is that even his visuals have become stale at times which is a shame.)

Donny:

Can't say that I have, but I guess I would not be opposed to it.

Calvin Law said...

Thoughts on Sing Street, the cast/ratings, and of course I have to ask what you thought of the songs, especially 'Drive it Like You Stole It'. Glad you liked it, Robert's enthusiasm makes me want to watch it again.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Who do you think could have played Sinatra's role in The Man With The Golden Arm better than him?

94dfk1 said...

Hopefully we get a better look at who Ponsoldt is as a filmmaker since he's co-writing his next film, The Circle.

John Smith said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the Harry Potter movies (All 8 of them if you could)

Calvin Law said...

Just watched The Double. Eisenberg would be a very interesting potential choice for 2013.

Anonymous said...

Just watched a little-known gem called Intruder in the Dust. Very interesting film.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Apart from Sing Street, have you seen any other 2016 films lately.

Your top ten vocal performances of the Disney Renaissance Era.

And your thoughts on Paul Dano.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your top 10 favorite voice actors.

RatedRStar said...

Louis: Off topic question, 1965 Supporting actor, did you see Martin Balsams Oscar win vid, notice how it wasnt in alphabetical order with Tom Courtenay being the final nominee announced, do you reckon Courtenay may have been the favorite to win as if you look at Lee Marvins win, he was the final nominee announced despite it not being in alphabetical order and he won, what do you reckon? was Courtenay a contender to win with it being Doctor Zhivago vs The Sound Of Music for the ceremony, like what you reckon to the lineup in terms of votes?

Anonymous said...

Ill add to what RatedRStar said, for 1968 supporting, was Daniel Massey really the favorte for Star!! surely he wasn't ahead of Albertson, Wilder and Wild ( The Producers won Screenplay and Oliver won a bunch of awards)??

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

I very much enjoyed the film, although perhaps I'm predestined to like a film that references both Back to the Future and Amadeus. All the new songs I really liked, which I felt captured the essence of the music of the era rather well, whether it was the toe tappers like "Drive it Like You Stole It", "Brown Shoes" the easy listening of "UP" or the ballad "To Find You". I'd say "Drive It Like you Stole It" was probably my favorite.

I have to say Best Song this year might actually be worth mentioning for once since one can already making a deserving five with just Sing Street, and imagine if La La Land has originals that deliver as well. Anyway as the standard coming of age story it more than worked by finding its originality with the setting, and the relationships, like the central romance and especially the relationship between the brothers. I especially liked the certain sense of pathos underlying the proceedings that carefully kept it from cornball. I found the Back to the Future sequence to a be little bit of cinematic magic. I loved how joyous the scene was, but also how there was a certain undercurrent of sadness there. Now I will say a couple of nitpicks. I think band perhaps got too good to quickly, but again nitpick. The other thing was I did not love the ending. If it was not meant to be taken literally maybe there could have been a hint of something to suggest it was a fantasy, though maybe I'm just being too cynical.

I'll save Reynor for the moment.

Walsh-Peelo - 4(A type of role that is often played poorly. This is a good example of how to do the fresh faced youngster, who can so easily be just bland compared to the other characters. I really liked the enthusiasm he brought to the part along with an innate awkwardness. He managed to make it feel natural, and most importantly incredibly endearing. He never let himself just kind of be there, despite the character often being quiet at times. It was well done, and I especially liked the way he gradually portrayed a growing confidence in Cosmo through the band.)

Boynton - 4(A very interesting performance as she managed to capture the two sides of her character so well. In the scenes where she is wearing the heavy makeup she projects that she is an adult yet there is a hollowness about this routine. However when she is without it Boyton is pretty remarkable as she suddenly becomes a teenager again, and there is this greater honesty about her.)

Gillen - 3.5(I thought his little asides about new music were pretty hilarious, all the while he was also quietly heartbreaking as he subtly suggested the father kind of wasting away inside.)

Anonymous:

Eli Wallach, Edmond O'Brien, Richard Widmark, Kevin McCarthy, Kirk Douglas, Peter Finch, perhaps Dean Martin as well.

John Smith:

Soon enough, I'm trying to catch up a bit on Film Thoughts.

Luke:

No.

Top Ten:

1. Tony Jay - The Hunchback of Notre Dame
2. Robby Benson - Beauty and the Beast
3. Tom Hulce - The Hunchback of Notre Dame
4. Jeremy Irons - The Lion King
5. Robin Williams - Aladdin
6. Jerry Orbach - Beauty and the Beast
7. Richard White - Beauty and the Beast
8. Angela Lansbury - Beauty and the Beast
9. Paige O'Hara - Beauty and the Beast
10. Paul Kandel - The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Dano - (I suppose he started out as one of the most mannered actors you could find, though not necessarily a terrible actor. His performances always were "something" to say the least. I feel he's found a way to be a more naturalistic quality to his work, and he's becoming one of the most interesting actors around)

Anonymous:

1. Mel Blanc
2. Jim Cummings
3. Frank Welker
4. Harry Shearer
5. Kevin Conroy
6. Mark Hamill
7. Maurice LaMarche
8. June Foray
9. Pat O'Malley
10. Billy West

Louis Morgan said...

RatedRStar:

If I had to guess I'd say:

1. Balsam
2. Courtenay
3. Dunn
4. Finlay
5. Bannen

Well the Golden Globe is no help, poor Werner, since only Finlay was also nominated. I could have seen them embracing Courtenay, since I do not believe he had the hellraiser baggage of Burton, O'Toole and Harris. Doctor Zhivago did very well otherwise, but A Thousand Clowns was also a Best Picture nominee, for whatever reason. I think Balsam being a prolific and respected character actor gave him the edge against the up and coming Brit, Courtenay. Dunn also was in a best picture nominee, but the film almost strikes me as one of those film know that loses steam after being nominated. After all it only got a couple of technical wins. Shakesperean performances rarely win, and I still don't know how Bannen got nominated. He had to have been a filler nomination so I doubt he got many votes for the win.

Anonymous:

My guess:

1. Albertson
2. Wild
3. Massey
4. Wilder
5. Cassel

I can't help but feel his godfather/the man he played might have helped Massey win that Globe and get in the lineup. The film flopped a bit with the Academy and I think that would have prevented the win. Albertson might have won with ease since there was the least against him, and it was the reprisal of a popular stage role which was often a guaranteed win back then. Wild was a child actor but the film was loved so I do think he came close. Wilder was in the wrong type of comedy I think to win. Cassel I imagine got in by the vein of Cassavettes supporters in the academy, but I don't think that was strong enough to get him a win.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: what about McKenna? I definitely need to re-watch for Gillen, I don't remember him all that well and found him a bit forgettable. One issue I did have with the film wasn't the band's talent or ending, it was the 'villain'.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

I thought McKenna was fine but he did not really stand out to me. I wasn't too fond of the villain aspect either, but his screentime was limited enough that it did not bother me really.

Louis Morgan said...

In fact I think I can forgive almost all of the other "villain" scenes because of the payoff in the "Back to the Future" scene.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Agreed 100% there. Plus without that character we wouldn't get Brown Shoes.

Calvin Law said...

Is Boynton Lead or Supporting for you guys?

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

I lean towards supporting, but she's on the border.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Supporting for me, though I see the argument against that.

Calvin Law said...

Supporting Actress is incredibly strong this year (though I'm one of few who consider 2015 to be really good for the category to, with Leigh and Vikander of course, but also Banks, Debicki, Cotillard, Tipton etc.)

Robert MacFarlane said...

2015 Supporting Actress was actually pretty deep for me.

Calvin Law said...

Is anyone going to even bother seeing Ben-Hur? I'd go just to see how bad it can possibly be, but...I don't wanna.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Nope. No interest.

Calvin Law said...

I'm considering drawing straws with my friends to see who goes to see it.