Friday, 2 December 2016

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 2005: Cillian Murphy in Red Eye

Cillian Murphy did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Jackson "Jack" Rippner in Red Eye.

Red Eye is a pretty effective thriller, until it gets off the plane, about a hotel manager Lisa (Rachel McAdams) being blackmailed by a strange man, while on a plane ride, to help with a political assassination.

The first half of the original trailer for Red Eye actually plays as a romantic comedy, this is made possible by the first act of the film where we get a meet cute between Lisa and a stranger well waiting in the airport. Unfortunately for her the stranger is named Jack Rippner a name almost as ridiculous as KILLian Murphy. Seriously though Murphy actually gets a bit of chance to show his range beyond the expected as Jack attempts to befriend Lisa. Murphy actually is quite the capable charmer. Murphy proves that he could have been in the airplane set romance instead, as he does have the requisite charisma needed. He makes it absolutely convincing that Jack could get into Lisa's good graces, even though Murphy does have just enough fun when alluding to the character's true nature such as his devious glance when claiming he killed his parents for naming him Jack, all in jest of course. Murphy successfully builds the relationship even as he slowly creates a growing sense of warmth and concern in Jack as he continues to speak to Lisa, and even attempts to comfort her to help her through her fear of flying. Of course this all to set up the turn as Jack suddenly reveals his true intention, and Murphy calls upon his side he also showed in his other villainous turn in 05 as Jonathan Crane aka the Scarecrow in Batman Begins.

Jack initiates his plan which involves forcing Lisa, by threatening to have her father killed, to change a VIP's hotel room in order to position him for an assassination. Murphy is great in the turn as he switches so effortlessly from calmly charming to an incisive menace. Murphy in this role is not merely giving the same performance as in Batman Begins. As Crane in Batman Begins, Murphy emphasized a more outward creepiness portraying him as essentially a psychopath just  holding it together enough to be psychiatrist. Murphy's approach here is different, though he certainly makes Jack creepy, he presents a man who does not necessarily take that much pleasure in what he does, but rather has a job to do and knows how to do it. Murphy though instead is rather chilling by showing the directness of the man as part of his plan is to make sure that Lisa complies due to fear of what he might do. Murphy creates the tension so well by bringing this off putting conviction in Jack as he goes about his plan. Murphy commands the scenes so effectively as he shows Jack switching to accommodate the situation. This includes going back to the charmer when interacting with the other passengers, but there's more to it. In his interactions with McAdams Murphy is terrific the way he manipulates every moment.

When it seems like he's getting Lisa going along, Murphy becomes almost soothing, as Jack essentially tells her it will all be over soon enough, however when she attempts to thwart him Murphy brings the real viciousness in Jack with such ease to get her to be complacent once again. Murphy is careful, in these scenes anyways, to never make Jack one note. He emphasizes the professionalism, so to speak, and never makes him just simply evil. There is just the slightest hint of humanity, perhaps a trick to make things easier, that Murphy brings in a few reactionary moments suggesting Jack has no real ill will towards her, her father or even the target, he just is doing his job. Unfortunately the film kind of falls apart once the plane lands and Lisa stabs Jack in the throat to stop his plan. The film explodes with a whole bunch of goofy moments and a general ridiculousness, and any nuance Murphy brought to Jack is lost. I don't believe this is Murphy fault mind you, in terms of what he's given to do, it basically is run after McAdams with a weapon while getting into more slapstick than one of the Three Stooges. Murphy is not even allowed to speak normally, needing to speak with cracked voice of man with throat injury. The character becomes what he might have been if a weaker actor had been in the role which just a straightforward violent killer. Murphy is more than fine in terms of going through these motions, but seems a bit of waste of the better villain he had established beforehand. Of course this is out of Murphy's hands, and he deserves credit for his very compelling work up until that point. Murphy gives a strong performance that elevates the film, the film unfortunately ends up falling a bit too far for him to be able to prop it up.

52 comments:

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Did you play Arkham City or just watched the cutscenes.

Rating and thoughts on McAdams.

Calvin Law said...

I choked on my dinner at KILLian Murphy, Louis. Well played, good sir.

Thoughts and rating for McAdams?

Luke Higham said...

Louis: And your Retroactive castings for Jackson Rippner from the 1970s to the 2010s.

Calvin Law said...

Just to help Louis out, maybe Jeff Goldblum for the 1980s? And perhaps Lee Byung-hun as an alternate choice (I could imagine Murphy in an English version A Bittersweet Life)

Anonymous said...

Luke: The Batman Arkham games are so good. Definitely worth buying.

Alex Marqués said...

You were right, Louis, Westworld is awesome.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

I played it.

McAdams - 3(I'm of two minds on this performance. I thought she was really good throughout the plane set sequence. I felt she initially offered such a likable and endearing presence to create the requisite sympathy without becoming cloying. Then throughout the thriller on the plane she very effectively conveyed the intensity of the situation. This came in terms of both portraying the emotional trauma of the threats, and as well conveyed just those small moments of trying to figure out a way to get the upper hand on Jack. Then once she gets off of it I thought she was terrible. For some reason she lost all sense of the situation, playing it far too light particularly in the final chase. Then suddenly she has these "girl power" moments that came off as downright abysmal, and out of place. I think the idea was to show she was now confident to take on Jack, but McAdams over did it making it instead like Lisa lost the very idea of fear for some reason.)

Luke:

70's:

Lisa: Veronica Cartwright
Jack: Timothy Dalton

80's:

Lisa: Michelle Pfeiffer
Jack: Jeff Goldblum

90's:

Lisa: Naomi Watts
Jack: Robert Carlyle

10's:

Lisa: Analeigh Tipton
Jack: Michael B. Jordan

Calvin:

Glad you enjoyed that. Goldblum would be a great choice,to see him pull the switch would be pretty amazing. Cronenberg directed I'd assume.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on Asylum, City and Knight (If you played it) and what was your favourite boss battle. (I'm guessing it's Mr. Freeze from City)

Anonymous said...

Louis: What did you think of Corey Burton's Hugo Strange and Grey DeLisle's Catwoman in Arkham City?

Anonymous said...

I think Arkham Origins was underrated.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: What videos games have you played from this decade, though I'm sure there's not that many.

Calvin Law said...

All those choices are great. Can t wait to see how Jordan handles a villain in the new Black Panther film.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

I only played City, basically from a friend of mine constantly pestering me to do so. I enjoyed it particularly how effectively it intertwined the story with the gameplay. The best boss battle also was certainly Freeze. I have to admit I haven't played many games at all this decade.

Anonymous:

Burton - (A considerable upgrade actually than the Animated series, voice included. Burton has a real menace and pompousness in his voice while still having the very particular type of command fitting to a physician.)

DeLisle - (An excellent replacement for Barbeau. Her performance is similair to Barbeau, though perhaps ups the sultry just a bit but effectively so.)

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Seen any new films lately.

Robert MacFarlane said...

@Louis: Did you ever play any of the old Final Fantasy games?

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

I'm afraid nothing of note has come near me, hopefully something worthwhile will show up next week.

Louis Morgan said...

Robert:

I think the only one I ever played through myself, was the very first one, for whatever reason.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: If you were still playing Video Games, I think you would've liked Red Dead Redemption, The Last Of Us and Uncharted.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your cast and director for a 1950's version of Unbroken.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Directed by William Wyler:

Louis Zamperini: Harry Dean Stanton
Phil Phillips: James Coburn
The Bird: Tatsuya Nakadai

Hopefully with a better screenplay though.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Shocker is going to be one of the villains in Spider-Man: Homecoming. What are your thoughts on this?

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

He's not much of a villain on his own, so a fine choice for what seems to be the sub villain.

94dfk1 said...

I've noticed that you gave Michael Fox a 5 and Sean Penn a 1.5 in Casualties of War. Are there any other movies in your opinion where one of the two leads is giving a way better performance than the other? Apart from The Danish Girl lol.

Louis Morgan said...

94dk1:

A couple off the top of my head.

Ian McShane with Richard Burton in Villain.
Ingrid Bergman with Curt Jurgens in The Inn of the Sixth Happiness

Robert MacFarlane said...

Recent one for me was Logan Lerman and Sarah Gadon in Indignation. Lerman went for realistic and natural, Gadon went for misplaced stylization. Was like they were acting in separate movies.

Calvin Law said...

Robert: Shame to hear about Gadon's misfire, she's usually SO talented. I'm watching 11.22.63 and gosh is she utterly fantastic there. But yeah, really need to check Indigestion out especially since I'm a huge Roth fan.

94dfk1 said...

Louis: Thanks, and La La Land does come out in limited release next week so hopefully it'll play near where you are lol. Actually looking forward to that one and I'm not big on musicals to begin with lol.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Are Al Pacino and Paul Newman 4.5 or 5's for Scarecrow and The Sting respectively? If they are 4.5's, are there any chances of them being upgraded?

RatedRStar said...

I did like the film but I did laugh at some of the slapstick moments in this lol, Murphy tripping over that girls bag lol, the way he pulls that scarf off the flight attendant and then tripping over the chair later, oh dear =D.

RatedRStar said...

Cillian Murphy had a great 2005, I am little surprised he hasnt been considered for an Oscar, but I think he will get one eventually, or at least a chance of it.

Calvin Law said...

RatedRStar: Unfortunately I can't see that coming anytime soon. Peaky Blinders seems to be his main thing now and most of his film stuff has been a bit meh recently. I hope he gets a good role in Dunkirk.

RatedRStar said...

I hope that at least one of Hardy, Branagh or Murphy could get a bit of buzz going, I guess it depends who gets the biggest role.

Robert MacFarlane said...

@Clavin: "Indigestion" is a great Freudian slip. Anyway, I wasn't too keen on the film itself. I don't think Roth is adaptable to the screen. A lot of the dialogue feels mannered and stilted when said out loud. Part of the reason I liked Lerman so much in it was how well he managed to sell it. (On a side note, he gets my vote for the best fake Newark accent I've heard in any movie. It's so easily butchered or turned into a Pesci impression.)

Alex Marqués said...

Louis: in case you're interested, there's a movie from 2005, Kinky Boots, that features an acclaimed performance by Chiwetel Ejiofor, even if the movie itself doesn't seem to be that good.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on Tress MacNeille's voice work in The Simpsons.

Varun Neermul said...

Just saw "Don Plum" and Leonardo gives what is probably his third best performance. He is actually very good in it, majority of the dialogue is improvised.

Mitchell Murray said...

I seem to be of a similar viewpoint as you Louis, as I thought the movie crumbled in the third act, effecting the performances as much as the story. But overall I found "Red Eye" to be lean, competent and entertaining.

McAdams - 3.5
Murphy - 3.5

McAdams was definitely weaker in the later half, but I didn't feel it was quite to the extent as you did. Its one of her better roles and she has a good grasp on the character's vulnerability, even if there were some moments that could have been better played.

I'm curious, what are your thoughts on her in general. I find that while she can be underwhelming, she's usually a decent, if not standard, actress. I'd give her a 3.5 for her performances in Red Eye, State Of Play and Spotlight.

RatedRStar said...

Shoot The Moon for me still wins as the funniest serious movie that I still liked lol.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Are we getting the next review tonight or tomorrow.

Robert MacFarlane said...

One year later, I realized McAdams in my favorite performance in Spotlight. Probably my Supporting Actress win.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: a Sergeant Troy for a 1940s Far From the Massing Crowd? I've got Kathleen Byron for Bathsheba, Roger Livesey for Gabriel Oak and Herbert Marshall for Boldwood.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: How close are Bean and Astin to getting a 5 for FOTR and ROTK respectively.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: Your rating predictions for the next 2 reviews.

Luke Higham said...

Massoud & Min-Sik - 5
Norton - 4.5

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

I really hope Norton gets a 5 for this (or that he gets upgraded to a 5 for either Birdman or American History X)

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: I doubt either of those will go up, especially the latter, because Norton was a 5 for a number of years until Louis covered 1998.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Luke: I know. It's sad for me cause Norton has always been my win for 98, I actually think that's his best work.
Louis:Which film have you watched the most times?I've seen the first two Godfathers and In Bruges 5 times each (yes, I love them that much)/

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: Since We're talking about Norton, I actually really liked the Brando-esque voice he used for Baldwin in Kingdom Of Heaven.

I've watched Amadeus about 15 times.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Luke: Damn, 15 times? I've seen Amadeus thrice, and while I love it dearly, it does depress me by the end. Although that might sound hypocritical coming from the guy who's seen In Bruges 3 times too many xD.
And yes, Norton was really impressive from what I've seen of him in Kingdom of Heaven. I really should watch the Director's Cut all the way through.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Hilarious voice work for sure whether it is as the excessively crackly voiced old ladies she does or the pompousness of the executives, as well as every single voice she does between. Unrecognizable, except for like types, between each. Great work to be sure.

Mitchell:

I think McAdams is okay in general, though actually quite like her in Spotlight. She does have a natural charm I feel, but doesn't always call upon that unfortunately. She can be forgettable actually when the part calls for a bit more, like Sherlock Holmes, but she's usually decentish.

Calvin:

James Mason.

Luke:

I'd say they are both close.

Tahmeed:

Probably Back to the Future, and I could not tell you how many times I've seen it.

Giuseppe Fadda said...

Silence is the runner-up for Best Supporting Actor at the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards. The thing is that it's not Liam Neeson who was singled out but Issey Ogata. That's really quite interesting.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting that Ogata was runner up, for some reason I dont see it adding up to much, simply because I dont think the major awards will pass up a Neeson nomination over somebody that nobody knows of, even if Ogata was better.