Friday, 17 March 2017

Alternate Best Actor 1947: Results

5. Orson Welles in The Lady From Shanghai - Welles's accent is more than a little problematic but he's good when he's silent.

Best Scene: Hall of mirrors.
4. Claude Rains in The Unsuspected - Rains is an easy highlight of the film giving an effectively diabolical performance explaining his villain even as the film fails to do.

Best Scene: A final broadcast.
3. Isao Numasaki in One Wonderful Sunday - Numasaki gives a moving and very honest depiction of just a man going through the ups and downs of a normal day.

Best Scene: At home breakdown.
2. Tyrone Power in Nightmare Alley - Power proves himself quite the capable actor in a far more daring role than usual creating the right captivating presence as the performer then the right amoral hollowness as the man.

Best Scene: Cold reading a hobo. 
1. Pierre Fresnay in Monsieur Vincent - Fresnay gives a brilliant performance as he manages to humanize yet still embodies a saint.

Best Scene: Vincent thinks on his faults. 
Updated Overall

Next: Review of Louis Jouvet in Quai des Orfèvres which is when I'll update supporting as well.

54 comments:

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Ratings and thoughts on the rest of your top 20.

Updated Female top 10s for 1947.

RatedRStar said...

I will ask you my question when you review Jouvet since there is no rush =D.

RatedRStar said...

Quai des Orfèvres is 4th on your top ten so I am looking forward to Jouvets review.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Rating and thoughts on:
Burt Lancaster in Brute Force
Humphrey Bogart in Dark Passage
William Powell in The Song of the Thin Man
Fred MacMurray in The Egg and I
Dick Powell in Johnny O'Clock
Lon McCallister in The Red House

Anonymous said...

Louis: Oh, and also rating and thoughts on Joseph Cotten in The Farmer's Daughter and Lawrence Tierney in Born to Kill.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Blier - 4.5(His performance works very well by just how naturally foolish makes his character. He's particularly good in creating the sort of jealousy inflicting his character in creating the right intensity as he watches his wife constantly flirting with everyone else. Blier's good though in still creating the actual warmth beneath that while still showing how problematic it all is. When his character gets in too deep Blier makes for a surprisingly sympathetic dope he makes, by showing how completely in over his head he is through the thing, creating the right obvious tension and nervousness to spell out his guilt even though he knows he's not guilty.)

Cagney - 4(He's good as the straight forward mentor sort for much of the film particularly in granting the right severity in his words particularly when he reveals just how duplicitous their world is.Although he might not be the most believable Frenchmen, he makes up for it though by internalizing the tension of the later scenes of the film. He then is quite great in his final scenes by reflecting kind of the madness inflicted by torture taking anything in order to escape it, and his final moment is rather brilliantly performed.)

Mitchum - 4(Typically strong performance by Mitchum granting the right hard edge to the role while still conveying the technically well meaning side that others don't seem to be able to see. Mitchum works well within the story since he allows basically the prejudice against his character to exist, while still being a sympathetic hero.)

Robinson - 4(An interesting breakdown of just the nice farmer that we initially meet in his first scene. Robinson slowly reveals the darkness and insanity of his character in quite the unnerving fashion. Like Rains in the Unsuspected, he is the easy standout of the film by granting an actual understanding to his "villain" and his case even allowing a little bit of sympathy.)

Grant - 4(Typically solid work from Grant. Just a charming turn from him as you'd expect with some particularly strong examples of comedic timing from him.)

Lead:

1. Claire Trevor - Born To Kill
2. Joan Fontaine - Ivy
3. Rosalind Russell - Mourning Becomes Electra
4. Deborah Kerr - Black Narcissus
5. Suzy Delair - Quaid Des Orfevres - 4
6. Irene Dunne - Life With Father
7. Rita Hayworth - The Lady From Shanghai
8. Chieko Nakakita - One Wonderful Sunday
9. Joan Crawford - Possessed - 4
10. Gene Tierney - The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

Louis Morgan said...

Supporting:

1. Kathleen Byron - Black Narcissus
2. Kathleen Ryan - Odd Man Out
3. Hermione Baddeley - Brighton Rock
4. Simone Renant - Quai des Orfevres - 4.5
5. Natalie Wood - Miracle on 34th Street
6. Jane Greer - Out of the Past
7. Shelley Winters - A Double Life
8. Lauren Bacall - Dark Passage - 4
9. Gladys Cooper - The Bishop's Wife
10. Wanda Hendrix - Ride the Pink Horse

Anonymous:

Lancaster - 3.5(Strangely underutilized within the film at times yet Lancaster does well with what he has, granting the right vicious edge to his role, while still providing a genuine passion to his role that makes him an intense convict yet also does not make him a villain)

Bogart - 3.5(For much of the film he actually just gives a vocal performance, and does so rather well actually. He conveys the peculiar state of almost a feigned intensity fitting for a man who needs to be feared though he's not the murderer others claim him to be. When we see his face this is a more than decent example of more understated Bogart, though he's really at his best when more overt.)

William Powell - 3.5(A disappointing end to the Thin Man series due to bizarre lack of Nick and Nora banter. Too often they're forced to watched the boring characters. Powell and Loy are still on point as ever they just are severely underutilized.)

MacMurray - 3(Standard comical MacMurray. He's more than fine but just that.)

Powell - 3(Powell a bit bland and overshadowed in the film. He's has decent moments here and there, but it's still a somewhat underwhelming performance.)

McCallister - 2.5(A very bland performance. He's never actively bad but just is content to just kind of be there most of the time.)

Tierney - 3.5(Tierney quite frankly makes Sterling Hayden look like Cary Grant in terms of his charm. Tierney is good though in terms of being such a vicious presence on screen, in that it seems like he's not acting when he gives everyone the death stare, which works for this role which is essentially as a brute.)

Cotten - 3.5(A thoroughly charming romantic comedic turn from him. Has a nice enough chemistry with Young, and just is rather naturally endearing in the role.)

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Rating and thoughts on Claire Trevor, Joan Fontaine, Simone Renant and Natalie Wood.

94dfk1 said...

Luke: I have not seen the Harry Potter movies, though I want to. They are definitely on my watchlist.

Charles Heiston said...

As expected, Attenborough keeps a strong win.

Calvin Law said...

Thought Get Out was absolutely brilliant, best horror film of the decade I'd say.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Get Out only got stronger on the second viewing for me. It's going to take a LOT to dethrone it for my #1 for 2017.

Michael McCarthy said...

I saw it yesterday. Hell of a first movie of the year to see.

RatedRStar said...

I saw Get Out as well, I thought it was funnier than scarier if I am honest, still a great film though =D. 2017 has been good so far with Logan and now Get Out, 2017 seems to have more obvious Oscar Contenders, as with Calvin Laws list, I think aside from possibly American Made, he has it mostly spot on so far.

Charles Heiston said...

I saw Get Out early yesterday, i found it to be very effective. But no one in the cast will probably stay with me by the end of the year. I'll see Logan tonight.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: And we've had standout performances from Kong: Skull Island and Beauty and the Beast too, so I'm ecstatic with the start we've had this year and it should get even better, especially with a superior summer blockbuster season.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Kaluuya and Williams are basically guarantees for my end-of-the-year ballot.

Calvin Law said...

I thought the whole ensemble, bar maybe Caleb Landry Jones, was fantastic. Although after Williams, my favourite supporting player was probably Betty Gabriel.

Charles Heiston said...

Luke: My enthusiasm has certainly gone up for this year. I predict a stacked end-of-the year ballot for me, which is why i doubt Kaluuya and Williams will stay at the top of my card.

Luke Higham said...

Charles: I think Kaluuya will be in consideration, but the Lead Actor field in particular will be ridiculously stacked I think and there's no way the academy are getting the nominees completely right for a second consecutive year, so expect a 10 man lineup for the alternates.

Charles Heiston said...

Luke: You're probably right. It was just a fluke with the academy getting it right for 2016. They'll find a way to mess up the line for this year.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Trevor - 5(Watching Trevor's work does show that she was one of the best and most underrated actresses of the period. She as that uncanny ability to steal a scene with such ease without seeming like she's showboating either. Here Trevor is lead and makes the most out of that. She absolutely dominates every scene she's in, even dominating Tierney which is rather something to watch. What's remarkable is that Trevor does not even exactly put on the alluring face here, though she is alluring in the role. Trevor though makes her appealing though by being so merciless in the role as she gives her character an unrelenting edge. Trevor never excuses a false morality portraying quite bluntly the cold evil woman she's playing and relishing in it. There's a fearlessness in Trevor's portrayal that is incredibly compelling watch.)

Fontaine - 5(Fontaine gets to do her own take on the femme fatale who once again doesn't care who dies in order to get her selfish desires. Fontaine's approach though is also incredible effective and atypical. Like Trevor, Fontaine doesn't present really two faces even as she seems to be the loyal wife to a man she's slowly killing. Fontaine though is fascinating in how she conveys the malice of her character in such internalized why. She's just as cutthroat as the other femme fatales yet Fontaine does this with such a slight smile, and pleasant demeanor as though what she is doing is just what she should be doing. Excellent work as usual from Fontaine.)

Renant - (Fascinating work her particularly for its time in that she is playing a lesbian though this is largely established through Renant's carefully administered performance. Renant does this well though by conveying more than just friendship as she interacts with Delair's Jenny. I love that Renant conveys more of a hope that something will happen more than she knows it will, and gives motivation to why she risks herself to help Jenny as she does. Renant though doesn't define her performance solely on this subtext. She furthermore though gives such a lived in portrayal as she very much feels more than what we see within the film.)

I think I've covered Wood before.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Thoughts on:
I Love You All from Frank
A Real Hero from Drive
Writing's On The Wall from Spectre
When She Loved Me from Toy Story 2
Hakuna Matata and Can You Feel The Love Tonight from The Lion King
And A Whole New World from Aladdin

Louis Morgan said...

Saw Beauty and The Beast thought it was fine, though more on that later.

Watson - 2
Stevens - 3.5
Gad - 4
Kline - 3.5
McKellen - 3
The Rest of the furnishings - 2.5

Luke:

Will get you those thoughts relatively soon.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: I'm glad you're saving Evans. I've decided to go a little higher for Stevens.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: And I'm really looking forward to your thoughts on the cast, especially Watson.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Which songs from the remake do you like more than the original.

Charles Heiston said...

Luke: What did you think of Watson?

Luke Higham said...

Charles: My thoughts are on the Welles review.

Anonymous said...

Louis: What do you think of a 1950's version of Hell or High Water, with Gable as Marcus?

RatedRStar said...

RIP Chuck Berry

Charles Heiston said...

Luke: Saw Logan last night, loved it.

Jackman - 5
Stewart - 5
Keen - 4.5
Merchant - 3
Holbrook - 3
Grant - 3

Luke Higham said...

Charles: Thoughts on Jackman, Stewart and Keen.

Charles Heiston said...

Luke: Everyone else in the cast is just fine.

Jackman(Great send off to his character. Possibly his best performance may i add. A solemn performance to be sure as he captures the physicality of Wolverine perfectly like he hasn't before. He has the ferocity of the man, and adds some heart within the performance whereas his scenes with Keen. Jackman gives an intimidating and intense performance fitting right beside his natural screen presence)

Stewart(Career best work here, a great mentor performance naturally given by Stewart, his scenes with Jackman are well handled)

Keen(Quick thoughts for Keen as my opinion could slightly change for her. But it's a great child performance to be sure)

Louis Morgan said...

In regards to the Beauty and the Beast remake it is interesting that while musical remakes are common, remakes of musicals are far less common. Anyway the film itself I suppose has as much of a sense as a stage production, slightly new way to see something you already like. The slight additions don't add too much, even if they rid a few plot holes that you only really care about if you're being nitpicky. They're not really problematic either though. Bill Condon's staging is fine for the most part but never extraordinary. There are some good costumes and set designs though. The character CGI is probably the weakest aspect. Some of it looks terrible as though Condon wasn't sure how to shoot it in the brighter scenes, with the beast unfortunately being a particularly weak point. A curious aspect are the new songs because basically they were placed exactly where the new Broadway songs were placed, although I wouldn't say these are necessarily all that worse except I greatly preferred "If I Can't Love Her" over "Evermore". Again it's fine, and I say that earnestly not derisively.

Watson - (One of the weakest aspects of the remake. The auto tuning can get a bit severe at times, I can get behind technically inadequate singing so I probably would have preferred if they just let her miss since at least it sounds more authentic. That's just a part of the problem though. Watson clearly tries very hard, and maybe could do well with real actors director. Watson's effort is always apparent but what's worse is kind of the messiness of how she handles the role. There are times where she tries to be more charming and enthusiastic like the original, that's only at times. There are other moments where she seems just disinterested like her delivery of "your library makes our small corner of the world feel big". Then there is her old call back which is to overemphasize everything in her dramatic moments, and even moments are not suppose to be dramatic. Watson overdoes these moments by making the act too much of an act. Again a problem is the approaches are not connected to even a single scene as she often switches her approach around in a very unnatural fashion. Her Belle almost comes off as standoffish rather than endearing at the wrong times. She has some moments where she's on the right track, but they are always amidst so many where she's not)

Louis Morgan said...

Stevens - (He's taking many ques from Benson, but hey Benson was great. I do wish we had a gotten better visual for the Beast, but that's not his fault. Stevens does a strong work in infusing that emotional desperation even in the anger and naturally progresses to the softer side of the beast in his vocal performance. Again he's following very closely in Benson's footsteps but he doesn't feel just like a weak imitation unlike a few I will get to in a moment.)

Gad - (Seemed to be perfectly cast and indeed he was. Gad is a difficult quantity and can become problematic quite easily. Gad though is very well used here, and he importantly stops from overdoing his act. He has so many great moments with Evans in portraying the intense clinging behavior of LeFou as a real Toady, possibly more. However he also naturally transitions in creating his minor arc of redemption.)

Kline - (Found him to be an improvement over all other previous Belle fathers actually. Kline really does well in infusing such genuine warmth in his performance, and gives just the right humorous touches when warranted.)

McKellen - (Out of the servants, he only one doing something new for the character, though it is technically standard grumpy McKellen, but there's nothing wrong with that.)

McGregor/Thompson - (Both I found just did weak imitations of Lansbury and Orbach. They stayed far too close, and just are weaker when directly compared.)

Luke:

The Mob Song, Gaston is close but I preferred the original lyrics.

Anonymous:

Perfect choice.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Can I have your thoughts on the songs that I previously mentioned later on.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Disney refused to let Evans have the 'every last inch of me's covered in hair' moment. Shame on them.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

I Love You All - (An excellent bizarre song. With such atypical instrumentation it is easy just to sound poorly, this song's strange mix of percussion, with the blended synth actually is oddly wonderful. Furthermore so are the strange lyrics, and the somehow never tiresome repetition of the titular lyrics. Also love Fassbender's Jim Morrison's esque deliver.)

A Real Hero - (One of the best song discoveries, rather than original song, I think you'll hear in a film, it could not be more fitting to the theme and style of the film. I love the song itself from its descending synth, to the underlay, and the echoing lyrics until the quietly rousing main verses.)

Writing's On The Wall - (I'm going to say that I don't love Sam Smith's high pitched singing particularly when he goes falsetto. Nevertheless I guess I don't quite hate this song as so many do. It isn't terribly original though with its music being extremely derivative of superior Bond songs of the past. Hearing it for the third time, I guess that says something, though it is a rather tiresome piece particularly if you make it to the end. The falsetto verses being particularly grating and kind of numbing in a way.)

When She Loved Me - (As the song fits into the film I actually think it kind of seizes it up a bit. The song actually is a bit of trick in a way by not having Newman or a male voice sing it, makes it seem a bit less similair. It's not though as Newman loves his very simple melodies and lyrics that don't really go anywhere. I do think that's the case here, and I find it to be fairly uninspired maudlin piece.)

Hakuna Matata - (Actually the whole main verse is kind of tiresome and mostly structure less in a ineffective way. The instrumentation here is actually is particularly uninspired for the Lion King sounding very generic a times. The chorus okay, but really it doesn't sustain the song.)

Can You Feel The Love Tonight - (Now this is more like it to the extent of the effectiveness of the grand orchestration in this case that grants the song certainly the romantic sweeping style it is going for. Also I have to give it credit I can pretty still sing the whole song from memory with ease. It's great song.)

A Whole New World - (Also again very memorable and there's a reason for it. The music is beautiful having just the right lightness with an undercurrent of something greater. The song manages this particularly engaging tempo as it becomes faster yet never seems to rush instead creating the very sense of wondrous discovery as the solo becomes a powerful duet.)

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Thoughts on:
Everything I do, I do it for you from Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves
Ave Satani from The Omen
Gonna Fly Now and Eye Of The Tiger
'Gran Torino'
'The Wrestler'

Have you heard any of the songs from The Prince Of Egypt. I think it's the most underrated animated soundtrack outside of The Hunchback Of Notre Dame.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your top 5 Jean Gabin acting moments.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your ratings and thoughts on the original cast of Beauty And The Beast, with the exception of Benson, who you've covered already.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I just got back from Beauty and the Beast, and... I actually dug it? I mean, it doesn't exactly need to exist, and Watson is miscast as hell, but I found myself moved. It will never touch the 1991 version in my book, but I had a good time.

Luke Higham said...

Robert: What did you think of Stevens, Evans and Gad.

Robert MacFarlane said...

@Luke:

Stevens - Well his motion capture was kind of awful (why the fuck would they have him on stilts?), and unlike Benson you could tell his voice was digitally deepened, but somehow he still manages some real pathos. I did laugh with library scene where Stevens's Legion facial twitch somehow managed to make it through the CGI. It's nowhere near Benson, but good work.

Evans - Pretty damn hilarious. It's interesting how he makes Gaston even more vacuous in terms of his vanity, yet still creates a crueler interpretation. He may not be larger than life like the '91 version, but this Gaston seems like the sort of dangerous, vapid moron that could exist in real life. Plus he is one hell of a singer.

Gad - The cast MVP. He needs to stick to working with Disney for the rest of his career. Outside of every line delivery being hilarious, his arc was my favorite change to the material.

Calvin Law said...

Saw it today too, I don't think it's a great film or like Robert said, a necessary one, but it was enjoyable enough. I didn't hate Watson, Stevens was fine, everyone was mostly fine and yeah, Evans and Gad were the highlights.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Everything I do, I do it for you - (Well as old Adult Contempos go I've heard far worse. Though I will say I don't find anything particularly distinctive about the song in that regard either. Has basically all the standard tenets, light electric guitar, light percussion, inoffensive vocals, but all used well enough I guess. Not exactly my bag.)

Ave Satani - (Now here's my bag!!!! Seriously though this song is brilliant even though the lyrics don't matter. It begins frightening enough with lighter voices and the piano. it only raises it up as it includes the lower orchestra and voices in a symphony of horror. Particular affection goes to the female wail voices that are especially chilling. Intention is quite different from other songs I've covered so far, but this is a great song of a different nature, something a bit more hellish.)

Gonna Fly Now - (The greatest of montage songs really. This song is iconic for a reason, listening juts makes you want to start training for a big event doesn't matter what is. This is rousing and inspirational in the best of ways. I love everything about it from the starting with striking brass, to the more casual guitar section, and then the truly epic finale of voices supplemented by the music.)

Eye Of The Tiger - (Well the other greatest of montage song really. Like Gonna Fly Now this makes doing anything sound absolutely the most important and energetic thing possible. You could be making a sandwich and with this song it would sound fairly dramatic. Though not by Conti it sounds like a spiritual successor to Gonna Fly Now, despite this actually having a solo singer. Incredibly rousing in every regard with its potentially ridiculous yet amazing lyrics really, supported perfectly by that most exact of guitar riffs.)

Gran Torino - (Although Eastwood could sing in his Paint Your Wagon days, better than you would want him to in away, but now when you want him to sing well it's not so good. It is a fairly ponderous piece at times and the change vocals is not particularly smooth. I do like the little "Gran Torino" melody but beyond the piano, the instrumentation doesn't support it well.)

The Wrestler - (I'm not really all that much of a Springsteen fan in general but I do rather like this song which feels like a perfect representation of the film. Springsteen's singing style fits so well with the tone of the song. The song itself has such a wonderful structure as it seems to grow slowly more optimistic in tone as it builds after every verse to something greater than it was. Beautiful work.)

Anonymous:

1. The Boat - Pepe Le Moko
2. Giving up - The Human Beast
3. Dealing with Regis - Pepe Le Moko
4. First Breakdown - The Human Beast
5. Saying Goodbye - Grand Illusion

Calvin Law said...

Rocky music = best film music. Period.

Calvin Law said...

Also, Louis, are you a fan of Simon and Garfunkel?

Calvin Law said...

And lastly, your thoughts on 'Going the Distance'.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: The Sound Of Silence is one of my all-time favourite songs, so yeah, I'm a fan of them.

Louis: Your top 5 favourite Queen Songs and your thoughts on them.

Charles Heiston said...

Calvin: Simon and Garfunkel are a fantastic duo. along with Luke, i am also a huge fan of The Sound of Silence

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

O'Hara - (Incredibly endearing and importantly her voice shows the sense of kind of a want in discovering, something missing from Watson. She makes Belle naturally likable, but still offers the right edge in her scenes with Gaston and the angry Beast.)

White - (Larger than life ego realized so well within his. Brings it across so well in everything about his work, comedic in its ridiculous yet with a certain intensity.)

Orbach - (Better French accent since Orbach does not sound like he is overdoing it. It is such lovely lively work from him, which is particularly notable by how different the role really is for him. Orbach excels in the singing but offering just kind of this representation of such a romantic sort.)

Stiers - (As typical for him solid character work with a nice natural angry banter with Orbach.)

Lansbury - (Perfection really in terms of granting the right elegance to the titular song, but Lansburg exudes such a palatable warmth in her work.)

Sorry Luke, made an exception for "Real Hero" since that's how it became known, but the songs must be discovered or originated by a film.

Calvin:

I like em.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: That's alright. :)

Can I have your thoughts on 'Skyfall'.