Thursday, 26 January 2017

Best Supporting Actor 2016: Lucas Hedges in Manchester By The Sea

Lucas Hedges received his first Oscar nomination for portraying Patrick Chandler in Manchester By The Sea.

Lucas Hedges plays the nephew of our lead character, the troubled Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck), and is the son of Joe Chandler (Kyle Chandler) whose death is used basically as the starting point for the film. This leaves Lee to attempt to put all his affairs in order and find some way to take care of Patrick, which is not overly difficult given that Patrick is only a few years away from adulthood. Hedges's first scene technically would seem to be a rather harrowing one where Lee comes to inform Patrick that his father has died. This is done literally at a distance visually, and the whole scene is handled seemingly in order to keep a certain space between us and the grief. Hedges's reaction actually is fairly subdued in the scene, and the succeeding moments just after his father's death. Hedges's approach though is fitting to the character though since he's in public, among his friends, and even it alludes to the idea that Patrick has in some way been preparing himself for it given that Joe's illness was already well known. Hedges's portrayal of this is affecting since he does realize the grief still, just in a very internalized way. There's one particularly effective moment when he first goes to see what Lee has to say, and Hedges wears the dread to hear the inevitable news in his eyes. 

The focus of the film isn't really dealing with the death of Joe, that again is just a starting point. In fact the major moment on that end is still early on and very brief as Lee takes Patrick to see his father's body at the morgue. The scene is only a few seconds long, but I find to be one of the stronger moments in the film. Patrick just walks in then walks immediately upon seeing his father, and Hedges is quite moving in again realizing the hidden sadness as he's too pained to look for long. After this point, until one pivotal moment later, we see Lee going through the motions of making funeral arrangement but the death still is not given that much focus even in regards to Patrick. The film instead shows Patrick's life is still going forward in a pretty normal way. Although as we learn more of about Patrick's normal life we kind of discover that he is a bit of a, well for the lack of a better word, *ahem* a douche. Patrick, as written, is a fairly self-absorbed teen and for some reason a major aspect of the film is Patrick attempting to have sex with his girlfriend, except it's his second girlfriend that he keeps a secret from his first girlfriend. That is Patrick at his worst, and I will admit that aspect of the film I hardly found to be the most engaging.

I ponder if we are suppose to like Patrick in these scenes, they are shown without a critical eye, and it does seems set up to be some sort enjoyable teenage hijinks. It is a challenge then to make Patrick still engaging in these scenes, and it is a challenge that Hedges does not meet. I still question their need within the story, I think if you trimmed all those scenes it would only help the film. Past that though we are mostly given Patrick in fairly low key scenes of just being a teenager, and Hedges is a believable teenager. That doesn't sound like an achievement but it is. He brings the naturalism needed, even when he's being kind of obnoxious Hedges still makes it a believable obnoxiousness. He's also good in his scenes with Affleck, which are interesting in the way their essentially buttressed by flashbacks, with a much younger Patrick, where we see the warmer relationship between two. Those scenes though feel somewhere in the distance, yet still alive, in the detached but not cold interactions between the two of them. Hedges has that ease of interaction as though he still looks up to the guy, even if he no longer reciprocates in quite the same way. There is another subplot regarding Patrick's alcoholic mother that is briefly touched upon. I mention it though because it contains one of Hedges's best scenes as he manages to realize the tension of the scene through just the slight unease of his manner, while portraying the effort to attempt to reconnect in some way through his earnest delivery. This performance works best when it's at its most unassuming but unfortunately there is one major scene, basically his "Oscar scene", where Patrick finally breaks down over his father due to him needing to be kept in refrigeration before he can be buried. There is only one way I can say, that is I just didn't believe it, he goes for it, but all of it felt like a put on. The scene falls flat and I actually find it is the weakest scene of his performance. Hedges's performance works best when he doesn't seem to be "trying", and instead simply gives an honest depiction of a teen just trying to get by.

85 comments:

Luke Higham said...

Affleck's still getting a 5 but chances of him winning the overall have been lowered.

Charles Heiston said...

No idea what this performance was supposed to be. Such an Oscar bait.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I liked him more than you did. Also, I didn't realize he was Redford in Moonrise Kingdom until recently. Which begs the question about his co-star Kara Hayward; Et tu, Suzy?

Louis Morgan said...

Robert:

I thought the same thing in regards to Moonrise Kingdom.

Calvin Law said...

Ah, damn it. I thought he was amazing, although I seem to love the film most on this blog.

Calvin Law said...

I thought his breakdown scene was good, but his greatest scene was with Affleck towards the end at the dinner table. Such affecting work.

Charles Heiston said...

Luke: At this point, It does not seem Affleck is winning the overall. Now i'm starting to doubt that he'll get a 5.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Could you watch Assassin's Creed during the alternates, because I'm curious whether it's Fassbender's worst performance or not.

Matt Mustin said...

I don't understand the logic of not giving Affleck a 5 just because he didn't give one to Hedges.

Luke Higham said...

Charles: Nah, I still think he will, but anything other than a Garfield victory will be an utter shock to me.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man in all three films.

Charles Heiston said...

Matt: An actor's chemistry with a co-star is key.

Calvin Law said...

Also...I must be the only one who feels that Hedges brought lots of life to those arguably unnecessary 'douchebag teen' scenes. I really dug how he didn't shy away from the fact that yes, he's a dick, yes, you don't really give two shits about whether or not he's gonna succeed in getting laid, but somehow I found that he managed to give me some very insightful glances into how a teenager will find almost anything to divert attention away from his grief.

Luke: do you reckon both Garfield's performances will make it into the top 5?

Luke Higham said...

As much as I'm looking forward to Bridges and Patel, I really want to move onto Lead, my anticipation's through the roof right now.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: I'm gonna say no, he'll be around 7th to 9th for Hacksaw Ridge I think.

Calvin Law said...

Luke: Ah well. I'd be happy for that, to be honest.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: So long that he get's a five, that's all that matters. :)

Mitchell Murray said...

So in general.. a good performance, believable as a teenager, but with a few moments where he wasn't up to par.

Sound's about right.

Calvin Law said...

Lastly, I'm overjoyed Louis is going to review Kubozuka. His performance has really begun to haunt me.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your rating for Bryan Cranston in All The Way.

Charles Heiston said...

Calvin: Garfield won't get into the top 5 overall for Hacksaw Ridge But count on him winning the overall for Silence.

Calvin Law said...

Charles: I'm of the crowd who finds Garfield almost as good in Hacksaw as he is in Silence, he's in my top 5 now and really not all that far off Washington and Affleck.

Charles Heiston said...

Calvin: I loved Garfield in Both, But i felt his work in Silence was more memorable and haunting.

Michael McCarthy said...

I actually thought Hedges's willingness to play into Patrick's doucheyness made the performance more interesting. Also, none of this looks like it will hurt Affleck's chances for a 5.

Anonymous said...

Calvin: Garfield in Hacksaw Ridge felt like a warm up to Silence.

Calvin Law said...

Anonymous: But the funny thing is he filmed Silence before Hacksaw! I see what you mean though.

Charles Heiston said...

Anonymous: I tend to agree.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: What would be your Game Of Thrones castings with Disney characters. :)

Anonymous said...

Louis: Top 10 supporting roles of the 80's.

Deiner said...

This is off topic but does anybody knows what were Louis ratings for Kate Beckinsale in Love and Friendship and Elle Fanning in The Neon Demon?

Luke Higham said...

Deiner: Fanning's a 4.5. Louis saw some of Love & Friendship, though not in the best circumstances, so he'll rewatch it soon.

jamieteller1610 said...

Yeah, the freezer scene didn't ring true to me, either. I thought he was really good when he was with Affleck, but otherwise it was just a decent performance that didn't really need to be nominated.

Charles Heiston said...

Reading this review makes me even more sad that Neeson wasn't nominated.

Luke Higham said...

Charles: Who's nomination pissed you off more, Shannon or Hedges.

Charles Heiston said...

Luke: I'd have to say Shannon, But Hedges also was a wasted nomination.

RatedRStar said...

I am starting to feel more and more confident that Affleck will finish 4th with a 5 rating, I am also starting to think it will be Viggo Mortensen V Andrew Garfield with Washington a dark horse.

Anonymous said...

What do you think of this year's Best Actress race? Everyone's furious Amy Adams wasn't nominated for Arrival, but I don't really care. I thought she read her lines well, but didn't do anything particularly extraordinary. And what do you think of Meryl Streep's nomination? I think it's a huge joke. They'd nominate her for literally anything. Who would you like to win? I personally want Natalie Portman to win, but I'd also he happy with Emma Stone winning, which is obviously what's going to happen.

Calvin Law said...

I know I shouldn't be saying this, having not seen Elle or anything, but I kinda want Huppert to win. I haven't suffered any whiplash in feelings (hehe) over La La Land, exactly, but it just hasn't stayed with me all that much. It's still in my top 10 of the year, but I'm considering putting Arrival over it.

By the way, it'd be:

1. Hacksaw Ridge
2. Silence
3. Manchester by the Sea
4. Hunt for the Wilderpeople
5. Moonlight
6. Arrival
7. La La Land
8. Captain America: Civil War
9. Lion
10. Swiss Army Man (yes)

HM: Sing Street, Hell or High Water, Paterson

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

RatedRStar: I really think Louis will give Garfield a 4.5 instead of a 5 for Hacksaw Ridge. If I were to give my lead actor predictions:-

1. Mortensen
2. Affleck
3. Washington
4. Gosling
5. Garfield

How I'd rank the ones I've seen (Haven't seen Fences yet)
1. Mortensen
2. Affleck
3. Garfield
4. Gosling
I'd give these four performances 5's though.

Also Louis, I guess we have to agree to disagree on Hedges's work.

RatedRStar said...

I am still confident that it is the best year ever for lead actor, I have to keep that feeling alive.

RatedRStar said...

The reason I think Garfield will get a 5 is because Hacksaw Ridge feels very..1940s in a good way, like Garfield is essentially playing the role that James Stewart would have played if it were made then, a heroic character in an old fashioned film with plenty of raw power.

Giuseppe Fadda said...

@Anonymous: I respectfully disagree about Adams. I think her performance is an extraordinary piece of work of remarkable delicacy, grace and subtlety.

Calvin Law said...

Michael McCarthy, Louis, and Luke: After listening to the Jackie soundtrack again I have to concur with you guys. It's pretty brilliant. I feel like the film was actually a lot like Foxcatcher in a way, in that its deconstructional nature left me feeling a bit cold, in a completely intentional way. I certainly look forward to rewatching it at some point.

Giuseppe: I might as well give away now (not that my personal rankings are every that enshrouded) that she's easily my win for the year, and I adored Portman, Stone, Beckinsale and Negga.

Luke Higham said...

1. Mortensen
2. Affleck
3. Washington
4. Garfield
5. Gosling

Robert MacFarlane said...

I'd personally rank the Best Actor nominees:

1. Mortensen
2. Affleck
3. Washington
4. Gosling
5. The ghost of Kiefer Sutherland's character in Pompeii
6. Garfield

RatedRStar said...

Viggo Mortensen in Captain Fantastic is just wonderful, I think there are a few very tiny problems with the film itself but they are pretty much extinguished by Viggo.

2007 was probably the best year of my life so it feels so great to see Casey and Viggo return

Johnny Depp is all alone now in 2007 lead actor lol

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: Who do you predict taking the lead and supporting overalls.

Lead's pretty obvious at this point, though I'm gonna go with Kubozuka for Supporting.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

I actually think Ben Foster might take supporting.

Charles Heiston said...

How i'd rank the nominees -
1. Mortensen (So many tiny aspects to this performance that are amazing)
2. Washington
3. Affleck
4. Garfield
5. Gosling

Luke: Garfield is taking the overall for Silence. Liam Neeson for supporting,
I don't think Foster will get his third win here.

Charles Heiston said...

RatedRStar: I'm still with ya on that statement, buddy.

Anonymous said...

I still think Affleck will win.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: Out of the nominees you mean.

RatedRStar said...

Luke: Garfield for Silence and Foster for supporting although I am not sure.

Anonymous said...

Yes Luke. I think Mortensen showed a bit more range out of all the nominees though.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

I'm practically scared that Louis will just give a 4.5 to all the lead actor nominees. That would break my heart, to be honest.

Anonymous said...

Tahmeed: Why would Louis do such a thing?

Michael McCarthy said...

I'd like to see Foster win supporting partly just to see a cast member from Hell or High Water win somewhere. Also I know it would be Foster's third win for Louis, but it's actually his only win for me at the moment.

Mike Hannigan said...

Louis:

Your thoughts on "Elle" and Isabelle Huppert.

Luke Higham said...

Elle is a film that uh is most unpleasant, though that is obviously the point, and I suppose should be expected when it is a film about rape directed by Paul Verhoeven. The scenes of wish to really get under your skin even out of those scenes, and I can only give my honest opinion, which is at the moment I am not sure exactly how I feel about the film as a whole. It is gripping to a certain extent even when the film takes so many turns to make you look away.

Huppert - 5(The truth is the film might haven fallen off the rails if it weren't for Huppert's performance. She not only understands the tone but also knows exactly how to maneuver within it. Now Huppert certainly tears through scenes through her effortless depiction of the cold incision of the character whether it through a biting remark or even a sigh of disdain. Huppert is fascinating simple to watch her as she has such firm understanding of her character and the material. She is not merely an ice queen, though a great one at that. She is equally effective in portraying the hidden emotional despair of her character over what happens to her throughout the course of the film as well as the lingering thoughts caused by her character's terrible childhood. It's captivating work throughout that knows when to balance some of the film's excesses or at least humanize them properly. On a side note I'm glad she was so prominent at the globes since she got a chance to show that she's quite unlike the cold characters she's known for.)

Calvin Law said...

I would not mind Foster, Kubozuka or Neeson winning, but I have a sneaking feeling it could be a complete dark horse like Skarsgard.

RatedRStar said...

Louis: As pathetic as it sounds I will get goosebumps when I see the 5 lead nominees appear on the blog, it ll be like OMG look at this lineup lol =D

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: If Louis does post Bridges review tonight, then expect the Lead lineup to come right after.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Luke: I've searched for a good quality version of Lion everywhere online, and even tried to torrent it. I just can't find one though :(

Calvin Law said...

I really hope you guys see Lion sometime soon, sitting nicely in my top 10 in a fairly strong year.

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: Don't worry, it will be up eventually.

Mike Hannigan said...

Thanks! I've just seen "Elle", which also left me with mixed feelings, but Huppert was indeed very captivating.

It's been always a secret to me why they recognize some roles and ignore others, maybe better. Huppert played so many wonderful characters, and they recognized her only once for an erotic thriller. Maybe Erika in "La Pianiste" was bit too pervert for the Academy.

I keep my fingers crossed for her, but don't really believe she'll win. America's sweetheart Emma Stone looks like a front-runner. But it's nice they have courage to recognize different sort of performances from time to time. Fernanda Montenegro, Charlotte Rampling, Emmanuele Riva are good examples from the past.

Calvin Law said...

Alex's comment on Giuseppe's blog reminded me of this:

https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2birwp/jeff_bridges_here_abiding_with_you_all_ama/?utm_source=amp&utm_medium=comment_header

I know this probably isn't Bridges word by word but I'd like to believe that.

Charles Heiston said...

I can't Lion anywhere right now. But the anticipation of the lead line-up is killing me too.

Anonymous said...

The only person of the lead line-up who might get less then a five, is Gosling.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: I agree, though I'm hoping for a perfect 25.

Charles Heiston said...

Anonymous: I concur with Luke, A perfect 25. Seeing Louis's ratings on Gosling before (Also considering he's a 5 worthy for La La Land) i predict Gosling will get a 5.

Michael McCarthy said...

I don't see how Stone could get a 5 and not Gosling. They're performances were great for virtually the same reasons.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Michael: Except you could say that Gosling didn't get a "showcase/Oscar scene" so to speak, like Stone did with "Audition (The Fools Who Dream)". I will say that I found his and Stone's work in the film to be one of the best examples of star power being used properly to give authentic performances. Like I said in my initial reaction, it's a terrific leading man performance, but it's a lot more than that as well, and Gosling deserves credit for that.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

And while I know one single scene doesn't, and shouldn't make or break the rating a performance gets, standout Oscar-y scenes (if done well, mind you) can definitely make an actor's work more memorable, and in some cases, override a few criticisms in other scenes. It's kind of the reason why I gave Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game a 5 for the longest time: I found his breakdown scene to be so excellent, I looked past the fact that the film's uneven tone did hurt his work slightly.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Gosling wasn't really given quite as much material as Stone. Plus his singing voice is... well, kind of awful.

RatedRStar said...

I did see Lion I put my thoughts on it and ratings, I cant remember which review it was that it was on though, I liked it, I dont think I liked it as much as others but, its another film I liked in an Oscar year where I haven't disliked any of the Oscar films amazingly.

Charles Heiston said...

I can't see Gosling's or Stone's performances working as well as they did without each other. They have 5 star chemistry.

Calvin Law said...

I mean, I liked Gosling a lot, but he's easily fifth for me out of the nominees. It's a very good performance and I might bump him up to a 5 at some point, but...there's a big gap between him and Mortensen for me.

Charles Heiston said...

Calvin: I agree, Mortensen showed so more range in Captain Fantastic. Every little facet impressed me. Mortensen is simply one of my favorites.

RatedRStar said...

Calvin: We should jumping up and down and dancing =D lol, the greatest best actor lineup is nearly here!!!!

Charles Heiston said...

*so much more

Anonymous said...

Louis: What do you like about Eye in The Sky so much? I found it okay.

Alex Marqués said...

Even if I like him a lot, I don't think Gosling was as impressive as Stone in La La Land, for the first reason Robert gave. I don't see him getting a 5.

Robert MacFarlane said...

@Anonymous: I can't speak for Louis, but there's a lot of reasons I loved Eye in the Sky. The layered moral quandaries, its patience and tension, the no-easy-answer political conundrums.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

I've kind of covered him before, although my lack of affection for The Amazing Spider-Man has made me appreciate at least the idea of his performance more, it's still more of the idea of it. He's okay in the first two films, but he is legitimately terrible in the third movie.

Luke:

4

????

Anonymous:

1. Dennis Hopper - Blue Velvet
2. Darrin McGavin - A Christmas Story
3. Christopher Lloyd - Back to the Future
4. Sean Connery - Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
5. Rutger Hauer - Blade Runner
6. Mandy Patinkin - The Princess Bride
7. Michael Palin - A Fish Called Wanda
8. Kevin Kline - A Fish Called Wanda
9. Joe Pesci - Raging Bull
10. James Woods - Once Upon a Time in America

Anonymous:

You can find my thoughts on the film somewhere, but Robert covered it rather well.