Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 2005: Keanu Reeves in Thumbsucker

Keanu Reeves did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Dr. Perry Lyman in Thumbsucker.

Thumbsucker tells the coming age story of teenager Justin Cobb (Lou Pucci) who compulsively sucks his thumb.

Keanu Reeves is  an actor that I will admit I've come to appreciate to the point that even in his objectively bad performances there's something worth noting in the way only he could give that very terrible performance, in that way. Reeves has a one of a kind presence, which is worth something all on its own. Now that might not be the best for every role, but with the right role it can do wonders. The latter is the case here in Thumbsucker where he plays the orthodontist Perry to our main character, who attempts to help Justin with his thumb related dilemma. Reeves plays the part of the orthodontist as though he is some sort of zen master. Reeves delivers every line as though it is an essential part of his sage philosophy, as he attempts to help Justin get to the root of his problem. Reeves's approach is downright hilarious as he keeps this air of greater importance about him, with his otherworldly detachment as though he knows all the secrets that the universe may contain. In this though Reeves offers just the slight sense of desperation about it, as though it just might be an attempt to act like he knows everything rather than that he actually knows everything. I particularly like the subtle anxiousness he brings when Perry refuses to tell Justin his "power animal", despite having pictures of wolves all around his room.

After Justin rejects Perry's teaching rather forwardly, by running him off the rode in a bike race, Reeves is absent for awhile. Perry though returns unexpectedly, which a good thing because Reeves continues to be pretty amazing. Reeves drops the whole act completely only leaving just the slight leftover traces of that hippie guru personality of before. Perry is now a changed man, who has dropped his old philosophy for something new. Although what Perry is saying seems positive enough, as he even thanks Justin for incurring this change and seems to ask him about his family as though a friend or a mentor would, Reeves brings this brilliant absurdly palatable passive aggression throughout the scene. In every technical pleasantry, there is such a powerful undercurrent of venom through Reeves eyes and expression, that suggests maybe Perry isn't so happy in his new state of mind. Reeves is great as he serves the character, while being so effortlessly amusing at the same time. We unfortunately don't see Reeves again until the end of the film, but once again the wait is worth it due to Reeves's performance. Justin, after apparently "coming of age" goes to visit Perry for one more check up and "pep" talk. Perry once again offers his advice though this time the advice being that there's no real correct answer in the end. Again the way it is worded seems positive enough. Reeves once again is wonderful by creating the subtext within it. Reeves provides this overwhelming despair in Perry throughout the scene, presenting almost a husk of a man as he despondently looks off, and the only possible hope is the broken smile of a man who has given up on life. This is fantastic work by Reeves as he gives a consistently entertaining performance that also so effectively transforms Perry from a man who thinks he knows all the answers to a man who is all too aware that he knows nothing.

62 comments:

Luke Higham said...

Louis: I'm glad to see that you've upped the pace a bit with these reviews. :)

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your ratings on Pucci and Swinton.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Rating and thoughts on Juano Hernandez in The Pawnbroker.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Any Hamilton fans on the blog?

Matt Mustin said...

Robert: I love what I've heard from it.

Robert MacFarlane said...

@Matt: I bought the soundtrack a month ago and haven't listened to anything else since then.

Calvin Law said...

Yay Keanu! I love how he acquits himself in a Goldblum-esque role here. What did you think of Vince Vaughn and Vincent D'Onfrino?

On a separate note I started in Paris Texas. Need to finish it soon but what I've seen so far is incredible.

Varun Neermul said...

Someone asked before about he best movies when your high and since I indulge In Cannabis (I have autism and ahd and it helps med a lot... please don't judge... I also do it because it's fun) I thought i would give a list of movies.

1. Smiley Face
2.Wolf Of Walstreet
3.Coff And Cigarets
4.A Scanner Darkly
5.The Matador
6.The Room (Amazing when your high lol)
7.Inherent Vice
8.Pineapple Express
9.After Hours
10.Training Day
11.Paris, Texas

Michael Patison said...

Louis: I completely agree with your take on Paradise Now, for what it's worth, especially that much of the middle just feels like waiting for the day to come, which perhaps was the whole point. But that ending: holy shit. I remember watching it and thinking, "It completely lived up to the hype."

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Thoughts on Critics Choice Noms.

Luke Higham said...

I'm pleased that Garfield got in.

Luke Higham said...

And Foster for Hell Or High Water.

Anonymous said...

Varun:I know that you disliked "Young Adult". But i find the sex scene betwen Oswalt and Theron to be one of the best executed sex scenes in a movie ever. I often find the movies potray the physical side of love inaccurate. But I feel like they really nailed that scene.

Caould i have your thoughts on it please?

Michael McCarthy said...

I'm thrilled with the amount of early nominations Hell or High Water is getting.

Luke Higham said...

Michael McCarthy: As much as I liked Bridges, I hope Foster gets nominated ahead of him, because I really cannot stomach category fraud, especially with the male acting categories.

Michael McCarthy said...

Personally I consider both of them lead, so I'll just take what I can get.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Pucci - 3.5(As these sort of performances go this is a good example of one. He carefully never overdoes any aspect of the character, which could easily have been the case. He conveys the certain neurosis of Justin as something very natural, then transitions to the semi pompous focused debate master effectively by again not going too far. He makes the ego feel real to who Justin was before, and once again loses in a honest character arc.)

Swinton - 4(I really liked her performance here even if it seems a little weird to see Swinton play a completely normal person for once. Swinton really proves herself quite capable in exuding the maternal warmth needed for the role, as well as brings the needed ambiguity within her relationship with D'Onofrio as she opens up the question, but also earns the final answer. It's surprisingly heartfelt work from her, and she suits this role as well as her oddball ones.)

Anonymous:

I don't really remember Hernandez's performance, so I'll say he was unmemorable.

Calvin:

Vaughn - 3.5(Thought he was pretty good here, as I felt he avoided making his character just a caricature despite his somewhat limited role. He's very effective in terms of his reactions as he portrays well the slowly growing concern in the nature of his star debater.)

D'Onofrio - 4(I was very concerned for much of the film as I thought he was going to be stuck in a completely static character, though I thought he was perfectly fine as the distant father. When the character finally reveals himself I thought D'Onofrio was excellent as he so genuinely revealed the man's own real tenderness, and concern for family after all.)

Luke:

Love seeing that Hell Or High Water's support just seems to keep growing at this point. Also very happy to see Arrival and Hacksaw Ridge getting recognition, particularly for Villeneuve and Gibson.

The only major indication, due to the amount of nominees, I will say is that Foster is definitely in this as well. It will be interesting to see what SAG does, if they go for both we could finally see double nominees in supporting actor for the first time since Bugsy.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I'm really happy to see Mahershala Ali win Supprtihg Actor at the NYFCC. His work in Moonlight has really stuck with me the past few weeks.

Anonymous said...

Louis thoughts on the NYFCC winners?

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Can't say to their quality since I have not seen the majority of the winners. I will say that they are as I expected them to be.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Do you think Keaton's out of the running now.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

No, I don't think Mortensen's out either, though I'd say that snub hurt him more than Keaton. Again the amount of legitimate contenders in the category leaves it wide open at the moment. If he misses Globes and SAG then I'd say he's out, since I doubt the film itself will have a surge at the Oscars.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: I'll be shocked if he didn't get the Globe nomination.

RatedRStar said...

Keep in mind on Mortensen and Grant did get a best actor in a comedy nomination so, Christian Bale got that nomination last year and he managed to get in so, I dont think it is cut and dry and in recent years there is usually one person who gets nominated for the Oscar that didnt for the Critics Choice so this race is no where near over.

I am not getting my hopes up for Foster until I see a SAG or a GG nomination, then he is a contender.

RatedRStar said...

I also am pretty confident and I think most people will agree that they do not see both Foster and Bridges getting nominated, most likely one or neither of them, at least not until SAG and GG happens.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: What would be your preferred nominees right now.

Mine are:
Lead:
Affleck
Washington
Garfield
Gosling
Mortensen

Supporting:
Ali
Foster
Shannon
Neeson
Bridges (I can abide with him being nominated if it helps make it the best ever)

Calvin Law said...

I'm really annoyed at how many of the contenders I've still yet to see.

RatedRStar said...

Luke: I cant answer that I am afraid because I havent seen any of them that you mentioned yet, in time ill give you the list =D.

Louis Morgan said...

Well to amend my remarks on NYFCC, I did not see La La Land winning picture which suggests its road to best picture at the Oscars is even easier than it already seemed to be. Also Huppert winning actress, and potentially being the critical darling or at least a critical rival to Portman suggests Stone will have an easier time with the main awards.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

I am pretty glad to see the recognition that Hell or High Water, Hacksaw Ridge and Manchester by the Sea is receiving.
Louis: Your thoughts on the NBR Awards.

Louis Morgan said...

Tahmeed:

You can find my thoughts on NBR in the comments of the nominees announcement post.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: I think LAFCA will go with La La Land and the National Society will choose Manchester By The Sea.

Anonymous said...

Louis: What are your thoughts on David Warner's performance as Ra's al Ghul?

Robert MacFarlane said...

Everyone other than Louis: What are your top fives for the acting categories so far? Here's mine:

Actor

1. Tom Hanks in Sully
2. Viggo Mortensen in Captain Fantastic
3. Joel Edgerton in Loving
4. Logan Lerman in Indignation
5. Jeff Bridges in Hell or High Water

Actress

1. Amy Adams in Arrival
2. Hailee Steinfeld in The Edge of Seventeen
3. Mary Elizabeth Winstead in 10 Cloverfield Lane
4. Marion Cotillard in Allied
5. Kate Beckinsale in Love and Friendship

Supporting Actor

1. Stellan Skarsgard in Our Kind of Traitor
2. Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Nocturnal Animals
3. Mahershala Ali in Moonlight
4. Andre Holland in Moonlight
4. Jharrell Jerome in Moonlight

Supporting Actress

1. Lupita Nyong'o in The Queen of Katwe
2. Zoey Deutch in Everybody Wants Some!!
3. Jena Malone in The Neon Demon
4. Abbey Lee in The Neon Demon
5. Kristen Stewart in Cafe Society

Calvin Law said...

(I still have a LOT I need to see)

1. Daniel Radcliffe, Swiss Army Man
2. Don Cheadle, Miles Ahead
3. Paul Dano, Swiss Army Man
4. Robert Downey Jr., Captain America: Civil War
5. Jake Gyllenhaal, Demolition

1. Amy Adams, Arrival
2. Kate Beckinsale, Love & Friendship
3. Marion Cotillard, Allied
4. Mary Elizabeth Winstead, 10 Cloverfield Lane
5. Sasha Lane, American Honey

1. Sam Neill, Hunt for the Wilderpeople
2. Ben Foster, Hell or High Water
3. Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals
4. Damian Lewis, Our Kind of Traitor
5. Stellan Skarsgård, Our Kind of Traitor

1. Jena Malone, The Neon Demon
2. Abbey Lee, The Neon Demon
3. Imogen Poots, Green Room
4. Bella Heathcote, The Neon Demon
5. Kirsten Dunst, Midnight Special

Michael McCarthy said...

Actor:

1. Jeff Bridges-Hell or High Water
2. Ben Foster-Hell or High Water
3. Chris Pine-Hell or High Water
4. Viggo Mortensen-Captain Fantastic
5. Andrew Garfield-Hacksaw Ridge

Actress:

1. Amy Adams-Arrival
2. Hailee Steinfeld-The Edge of Seventeen (SO close)
3. Elle Fanning-The Neon Demon
4. Kate Beckinsale-Love & Friendship
5. Kristen Stewart-Cafè Society

Supporting Actor:

1. Damian Lewis-Our Kind of Traitor
2. Sam Neill-Hunt for the Wilderpeople
3. Stellan Starsgård-Our Kind of Traitor
4. Andrè Holland-Moonlight
5. Hugo Weaving-Hacksaw Ridge

Supporting Actress:

1. Jena Malone-The Neon Demon
2. Kate McKinnon-Ghostbusters
3. Abbey Lee-The Neon Demon
4. Zoey Deutsch-Everybody Wants Some!!
5. Imogen Poots-Green Room

Charles Heiston said...

Louis, What are your top 15 lead male acting performances you've ever seen?

94dfk1 said...

Early reactions for Silence are in. Looks like we're in for something special.

omar said...

Robert:

Actor:
1. Casey Affleck - Manchester by the Sea
2. Don Cheadle - Miles Ahead
3. Chris Pine - Hell or High Water
4. Andrew Garfield - Hacksaw Ridge
5. Jake Gyllenhaal- Demolition

Actress:
1. Isabelle Huppert - Elle
2. Kim Min-hee - The Handmaiden
3. Amy Adams - Arrival
4. Elle Fanning - The Neon Demon
5. Ruth Negga - Loving

Sup. Actor:
1. Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water
2. Mahershala Ali – Moonlight
3. Michael Shannon – Nocturnal Animals
4. Ben Foster – Hell or High Water
5. Aaron Taylor-Johnson – Nocturnal Animals

Sup. Actress:
1. Naomie Harris – Moonlight
2. Jena Malone – The Neon Demon
3. Abbey Lee – The Neon Demon
4. Nathalie Baye – Juste la Fin du Monde
5. Marion Cotillard – Juste la Fin du Monde

Luke Higham said...

Louis: What are your thoughts on the first 3 Wallace & Gromit shorts.

Luke Higham said...

Everyone: What's your Aardman film ranking.
1. Chicken Run
2. The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit
3. Shaun The Sheep Movie
4. The Pirates
5. Arthur Christmas
6. Flushed Away

Luke Higham said...

And for the Wallace and Gromit shorts.
1. The Wrong Trousers
2. A Close Shave
3. A Grand Day Out
4. A Matter Of Loaf And Death

Calvin Law said...

Luke:

1. Curse of the Were-Rabbit (5/5)
2. Chicken Run (4.5/5)
3. Shaun the Sheep (4.5/5)
4. Flushed Away (3/5)

For the Wallace and Gromit shorts, same as you Luke :)

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: 1st place was very close but Chicken Run's storyline really hit the soft spot for me and has the best villain as well.

I also admit, that I'm far more likely to see a film by Aardman than by Pixar.

Anonymous said...

Luke:
1. Curse of the Were-Rabbit
2. Chicken Run
3. Shaun the Sheep
4. Flushed Away
5. Arthur Christmas
And I'd say my top 5 shorts is the same as mine.

Anonymous said...

*I'd say my top 5 shorts is the same as yours.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: When you originally gave Daniels a 5 for The Squid And The Whale and was in Supporting briefly, do you remember where you positioned him in the ranking.

RatedRStar said...

My favorite would be Chicken Run as well, it has not one Luke =D two fantastic villains lol =D Mr and Mrs Tweedy =D.

"What did ya do ya great big pudding" =D gets me everytime lol

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: Agreed. :)

RatedRStar said...

Mr Tweedy: "Mrs Tweedyyyyy the chickens are revolting"

Mrs Tweedy: "Finally we agree on something"

I like Werewolf a lot but the last 20 minutes is just a bit too standard action since the mystery part is over lol.

RatedRStar said...

Wererabbit I meant to say =D

RatedRStar said...

I should say Wererabbit is the only Wallace and Gromit film without a good villain as well, as A Close Shave had the psychotic Preston the dog and then killer robot, The Wrong Trousers had the mischievous Feathers the penquin, Chicken Run I just mentioned, A Grand Day out had that creepy machine, while Loaf and Death had a murderer of bakers lol.

What does Wererabbit have, some dick with a gun lol =D.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your top ten favorite novels.
Mine would be:
1) To Kill A Mockingbird
2) The Godfather
3) A Storm of Swords
4) A Tale of Two Cities
5) The Kite Runner
6) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
7) Private Peaceful (it's a book by Michael Morpurgo about WW1, a compelling read)
8) Ma (Mother) a book by Bangladeshi Anisul Haq about the Liberation War of '71. It's an amazing novel which never fails to move me.
9) And the Mountains Echoed
10)Holes

Anonymous said...

Thameed: Do you like curry lol

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Anonymous: As a Bangladeshi, it'd be impossible for me not to love curry :P

RatedRStar said...

I should say I love Wallace and Gromit in general and find all of the shorts and the film to be enjoyable =D.

Calvin Law said...

Saw A United Kingdom. Really standard biopic; both leads are good.

Calvin Law said...

Also seeing Bridges on so many of your lists makes me wonder what I might have missed while watching it.

Varun Neermul said...

Anonymous: Many people love curry haha.

Michael Patison said...

For some reason I was just thinking about a modern day recast of LA Confidential, which I'm 99% sure Calvin has already set before us quite some time ago. Anyway, I thought, if you changed the femme fatale to Gene Tierney, that Emma Stone might be a good choice. What with the hair-dying and all it'd certainly be transformative, but their facial features are quite similar.

Calvin Law said...

Stone would be a great choice and I actually imagine she'd have a great dynamic with Schoenaerts and Foster.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Warner - (Warner brings the needed natural gravitas to the character's voice, something sorely missing from whoever played him in Arkham City. Warner voice conveys the charisma and ego of such a leader who believes himself to be good, though through his own specific terrible methods. I'd actually say he could have been a great live action Ras in the 80's)

Luke:

I'd need to re-watch them.

Tahmeed:

I'd have to think about it.

Charles:

1. F. Murray Abraham in Amadeus
2. Peter O’Toole in Lawrence of Arabia
3. Gene Hackman in The Conversation
4. James Stewart in It’s A Wonderful Life
5. Jeremy Irons in Dead Ringers
6. Richard Farnsworth in The Straight Story
7. Toshiro Mifune in Rashomon
8. Richard Attenborough in 10 Rillington Place
9. Laurence Olivier in the Entertainer
10. Alec Guinness in The Bridge on the River Kwai
11. William Hurt - Kiss of the Spiderwoman
12. Raul Julia - Kiss of the Spiderwoman
13. Takashi Shimura - Ikiru
14. James Stewart - Vertigo
15. Eli Wallach - The Good the Bad and the Ugly