Monday, 26 June 2017

Alternate Best Actor 2003: Billy Bob Thornton in Bad Santa

Billy Bob Thornton did not receive an Oscar nomination, despite being nominated for a Golden Globe, for portraying Willie T. Soke in Bad Santa.

Bad Santa is a very enjoyable comedy about two criminals whose MO is to work as a store Santa Clause and his elf then ripoff the store's safe.

Billy Bob Thornton is an actor who technically was never defined by a single genre, as before and after his breakout in the drama Sling Blade, he's taken roles in any type film really. It is interesting to see him land on the fully lead role in a broad comedy, and his approach is distinctly Thornton. As with his performance in The Man Who Wasn't There, for much of this film the appeal of his work comes from the consistency of the exact approach he takes. In this case his approach is playing Willie Soke as a man who just does not give a crap. We see this from his first scene where Thornton portrays the minimal amount of effort as Willie performs his duties as a Santa Clause more than halfheartedly coughing out his question of what the kids want for Christmas before kicking them off his lap, while barely even staying in the seat through extreme slough as sitting up straight would seem to require too much of him. Thornton's approach is most fitting to a man who rather pee his pants then bother to go to the bathroom since that would just a be a little too hard for him.

Now as ridiculous of a character as Willie is right from the outset, a man who even when performing the crime itself puts as little effort into as possible spending more energy in finishing off his beer before starting the job, this may seem like Thornton will give a broad over the top comedic performance. Thornton does not do that instead giving a rather down to earth portrayal of this lout, though that is what makes this performance so funny. Thornton makes it so Willie does not need to act so out of place as a store Santa, he merely is completely not right in the part even for a moment. Thornton's hilarious here by staying so true to this approach which is to just be so pure in being Willie as this "scum of the earth". It is a little bit fascinating that in different context this would almost be a disturbing performance but given where he is and what he's doing it is instead comedic gold. Thornton just is this low down sort in everything and it is almost strange how funny he is in this by how he doesn't hold back. When he randomly breaks something because it just for whatever reason is bugging him at the wrong time Thornton goes all in with his anger, but since what he's usually beating up is say a plastic reindeer it is most amusing.

Thornton is consistent in his portrayal of Willie but he is in no way one note as he finds so many ways to reveal just how much of a slob the man is. This is in his general disdain for all things, but he undercuts this so comically with his rabid desires for drink and women which he will not stop seeking just because he's Santa such as with his lusty glances towards any woman whether she wants them or not. Thornton's great though with the complete lack of skill he presents in Willie's whole routine portraying him as a guy who is just going to do what he does and that seems to be it. The thing is though Thornton's approach to give technically a honest though hilarious performance is pivotal to his development of Willie. This being that even at his very worst Thornton portrays always a thick layer of self-loathing in everything that Willie does. When he's trying to have some of his fun it feels less of a thrill and more of some temporary reprieve from his horrible existence. Thornton shows his personality to be specifically toxic by how little joy he reveals Willie has in life and how real his hatred is which alludes to years of abuse even before he tells his story.

Now this performance is rather incredible as Thornton pulls off something quite remarkable even past just being so funny throughout, which is he ends up being kind of moving too. This comes in Willie's relationship with a strange little boy Thurman who Willie starts living with as the boy the lives alone with a senile grandmother in a very large home. Thornton's portrayal of Willie's relationship with the boy is technically where his arc lies, though again Thornton does this in a very specific way. Early on Thornton portrays a fascination with the weird boy that is again hilarious as he depicts in his reactions to the boy. Thornton reveals the wheels turning in Willie's head as he tries to decipher the boy who he can't quite understand yet does see any easy mark in whoever his guardian may be. It is in this relationship though where Thornton actually reveals something important about Willie in that Thornton only plays an overt maliciousness in Willie if someone tries to get in his way of doing what he wants to do, or attempts to call him on it. Although his common state is of a cantankerous misanthrope and he set off very easily Thornton suggests that Willie isn't all bad.

Thornton doesn't simplify Willie by making him this nice guy though, but instead reveals his less awful side by showing it to be the motivation for his awfulness for the most part. There is a genuine pain that Thornton brings in every horrible act to Willie and that sadness technically defines the man more than his slovenly behavior. Thornton's performance reflects this throughout and in doing so earns the change in Willie by the end of the film. The reason being Thornton doesn't make it this overt change in personality rather he just portrays it as Willie finally facing his self-loathing through Thurman who passes no judgements on anyone other than himself. When Thurman beats up on himself that is where Thornton is surprisingly moving yet he makes it work in his character as in his eyes he finds a man seeing a boy suffering his same sort of suffering as his own and not liking it. I love the moment where the Thurman gives Willie a gift as Thornton's performance is so perfect in realizing how this causes a change in Willie. It isn't a clean change of a bad man becoming a good man, but rather Thornton presents a man being forced to look at his sorrow directly since he can't lash out against someone who only ever showed him love. Of course this all sounds a little dramatic and the thing is Thornton stays consistently amusing even as he reveals the better Willie. A great moment near the end is a showdown with his thieving partners who intend on killing him, and Willie breaks down. Thornton does not portray this breakdown out of fear, but rather out of sentiment that they are missing the true meaning of Christmas. This should not make sense as even in this moment it's still pretty funny to see the rough Willie break down, but it is also affecting because Thornton's "dramatic" approach earns it. This is a fantastic performance because it gives you everything you expect you want out of the lead of "BAD SANTA" in terms of the comedy yet brings enough depth to this to allow a heartfelt discovery of the Christmas spirit though in the messy way fitting to Willie T. Soke.

105 comments:

Luke Higham said...

YESSS!

Ratings and Thoughts on the rest of the cast.

Girard certainly won't come any higher than 4th, so if successful, my next request is Mads Mikkelsen in Valhalla Rising.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Have you seen Elf yet.

Psifonian said...

Excellent. Better see Bernie Mac (my runner-up) and John Ritter reviews coming up soon.

Luke Higham said...

I've changed my mind, I'll choose Jason Isaacs in Peter Pan next.

Luke Higham said...

War Of The Planet Of The Apes is getting terrific reviews so far, probably higher than the previous film.

As we're less than a month away from the release of Dunkirk, my rating predictions for the cast.

Whitehead - 4
Styles - 3
D'Arcy - 3.5
Branagh - 4
Hardy - 4
Murphy - 4.5
Rylance - 5

Robert MacFarlane said...

I saw Blue Velvet at the AFI theater today. Louis, what was your rating on Dern? This viewing made me declare her my Supporting Actress win that year over her co-star.

Luke Higham said...

Robert: She's a 4.

94dfk1 said...

Louis: Rating and thoughts on Florian Lukas in Goodbye Lenin? I thought he was good as a comic relief/friend of Daniel Bruhls character.

Charles Heiston said...

I love Thornton here.

Louis: Where would this rank among Thornton's best work.

Deiner said...

I haven't seen this movie like in a decade but I remember liking him a lot. Your review made me want to re-watch this movie.

Btw, can you post the ratings of these performances?
- Aaron Eckhart in "Erin Brockovich".
- Anna Paquin, Famke Janssen, Halle Berry, James Marsden and Rebecca Romijn in "X-Men".
- Brendan Fraser and Elizabeth Hurley in "Bedazzled".
- Gary Oldman and Joan Allen in "The Contender".
- Haley Joel Osment, Helen Hunt and Kevin Spacey in "Pay It Forward".
- Jim Carrey in "How the Grinch Stole Christmas".
- Joaquin Phoenix and Kate Winslet in "Quills".
- John Malkovich in "Shadow of the Vampire".
- Johnny Depp in "Before Night Fall" and "Chocolat".
- Julie Walters in "Billy Elliot".
- Patrick Fugit in "Almost Famous".

Anonymous said...

He was really great.
Louis: Your cast and director for a 1940's version of this film.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the Silicon Valley season finale, along with your thoughts on the overall fourth season and your ranking of the seasons.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the Highlander Soundtrack.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the tornado scene in Man of Steel and the first Batman appearance in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Could you also watch To Kill A King (English Civil War) with Tim Roth and Rupert Everett during 2003 supporting.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the first reviews for Spider-Man: Homecoming are positive.

Calvin Law said...

RIP Michael Nyqvist.

Luke Higham said...

RIP Michael Nyqvist

Anonymous said...

R.I.P. Michael Nyqvist.

Psifonian said...

RIP to the man who delivered the greatest "oh" in cinematic history, upon learning that his numbnuts son killed John Wick's dog.

Here's to you, Mike.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your 2000s and 2010s cast for Dangerous Liaisons. I have Peter Sarsgaard as Valmont for the former.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I just saw Baby Driver, and holy shit it is great. I even liked Elgort. Hamm and (surprisingly) Foxx were the MVP's.

Matt Mustin said...

Robert: Hamm had about 30 seconds of screentime in a TV spot I saw and it was enough to get me very interested in his performance.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Cox - 3.5(His performance works well as basically a summation of all the frustrations towards Thornton's character, bringing such a funny intensity within that as well as towards when Bernie Mac's character makes any sort of request.)

Tom - 3(Effectively grotesque, one note to be sure but it is a note that works quite well.)

Graham - 3(Fairly limited role to be sure but she is enjoyable and certainly fulfills the needs of the rather earnest sexpot.)

Kelly - 3(His performance is not particularly dynamic, nor is it exactly good in a traditional sense given his character never reacts really to anything. His nonreactive basically static performance though does work in being so odd, and fulfills the strange need of his role.)

It's been awhile in terms of film context, unless just mean the song themselves.

Sure.

2000's:

Merteuil: Juliette Binoche
Valmont: Paul Bettany
Tourvel: Samantha Morton

2010's:

Merteuil: Marion Cotillard
Valmont: Dan Stevens
Tourvel: Alicia Vikander

94dk1:

Lukas - 3.5(Did enjoy his performance as well through the sheer unadulterated enthusiasm he brought in his news scenes, expressing such joy as though he's making some real art in creating the illusions for Alex.)

Charles:

#3 behind Fargo and A Simple Plan.

Deiner:

Eckhart - 2.5
Paquin - 2.5
Janssen - 2.5
Berry - 1.5
Marsden - 2.5
Romijn - 2.5
Fraser - 2.5
Hurley - 2
Oldman - 3.5
Allen - 3.5
Osment - 3.5
Hunt - 3.5
Spacey - 3.5
Carrey - 2
Phoenix - 3.5
Winslet - 3.5
Malkovich - 2.5
Depp - 2.5(Both)
Walters - 3.5
Fugit - 2.5

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Bad Santa 1940's Directed by Edward F. Cline:

Willie: W.C. Fields
Marcus: Angelo Rossitto
Sue: Arlene Francis
Thurman: Robert Blake
Lois: Cora Witherspoon
Bob: Porter Hall
Gin: Shemp Howard

Tahmeed:

Once again funny moments were certainly in there, such as Gilfoyle's cat eyes, and everything involving Gavin Belson's vengeful return. I will also give Middleditch for really bringing it in his dramatic moment there. The episode again felt sloppy in plotting though and even Richard's degradation character arc did not make enough sense especially when they basically pointed it out. That was my problem the whole season though as it was never as concise as the previous seasons, the jokes were still there which made it an enjoyable season but it was definite step down. They never seemed to know where to take the crew this time, and Erlich's whole side story felt like a quick re-write to get rid of him. Again entertaining but just not on the level of season 2 and 3 in particular.

2
3
1
4

Anonymous:

The tornado scene should be a powerful moment but its muted since it feels so ridiculous. If say Clark had to help someone else, then it would have been fine. In the original he honestly couldn't have helped his father, in this one he should have just said "No I can't get hurt I'm going".

Conception of the initial Batman appearance should be fine, other than the unfortunate branding, but the execution is very sloppy in terms of how Batman's escape is visually depicted.









RIP Michael Nyqvist

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Thoughts on the songs then apart from Who Wants To Live Forever. I know Mercury and Deacon hated Gimme The Prize, but I think it's one of the most badass villain songs I've ever heard.

94dfk1 said...

Also saw Baby Driver. Terrific.

Elgort-3.5
Spacey-4 (Could go up)
Fox-4
Hamm-4
James-4
Gonzalez-3

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Thoughts on the final shoot-out in LA Confidential.
Also, a clarification: when you noted the 'Interrogation' scene as Crowe's #3 acting moment, were you referring to his interrogation of the DA, or the original Nite Owl Suspects.

Charles Heiston said...

Can't wait for Ritter and Mac's reviews.

RatedRStar said...

RIP Michael Nyqvist

Robert MacFarlane said...

I keep getting confused by the Spacey praise for Baby Driver, he was probably my least favorite of the cast. Then again, I don't like Spacey when he hams it up. I couldn't even finish the first season of House of Cards because of that insufferable Foghorn Leghorn shtick.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the Greatest Showman trailer.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on Phil Hartman and Maggie Roswell's voice work in The Simpsons.

Luke Higham said...

Louis and everyone else: Your five favourite songs by Queen.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Luke:
"Bohemian Rhapsody"
"The Show Must Go On"
"Another One Bites The Dust"
"We Are The Champions"
"We Will Rock You"

Louis Morgan said...

Tahmeed:

Dynamite action set piece in every sense as it ratchets up the tension so effectively, with that "it's too late" moment of realization then just bringing such brutal precision throughout the shootout, though as always with that film it never forgets the character with the amazing final face off between Dudley and Ed.

I was referring to the original Nite Owl Suspects.

Luke:

Someone needs to put an end to ill-fitting songs in trailers, unless this going to be like Moulin Rouge then I'm in trouble. Visually it looks more than decent, and Jackman looks like he's in the right role at the very least. Don't have my hopes too high but hey that's the common state for me and musicals.

A Kind of Magic - (As Queen goes I don't think it's excessively distinctive, it's okay.as a ballad. It's more than a little messy around the edges of the arrangement, nor are the lyrics exactly awe inspiring though they certainly do their best to contain all of the plot points. It overall just kind of wanders as a song to the point I might name the title itself as the best part.)

Gimme the Prize - (What a guitar riff intro that sounds like a boss intro from a video game. Like who wants to live forever it is almost comically repetitive, though not nearly as glorious as that though I'll say its chaotic nature isn't a bad fit at all for the Kurgen.)

Princes of the Universe - (Now here is the true Queen glory with the over the top yet so marvelous intro of the harmonized vocals. It also loses its way to not a particularly distinct song once reaches the chorus that doesn't exactly meld all that well, but hey brings back the glory of the intro with the rapid outro.)

Anonymous:

Hartman - (The mark of the golden age of the Simpsons, and with his unfortunate exit should have probably marked the end of the series. Hartman's not a chameleon performer yet he offers two distinct and unforgettable takes with the properly broad and egotistical Troy McClure and the more down to earth and sleazy approach with Lionel Hutz. Hartman's voice offered both them a hilarious life and there scenes are among the best in series. I have particular affection for every one of McClure's explanations and Hutz's not so Atticus Finch moments when defending Marge. His work was nuanced yet always amusing for each. Hartman was essential in creating two of the most memorable characters in the series.)

Roswell - (Terrific work in the line of Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer in that often times she could be talking to herself and you won't even notice. Although her characters were rarely the focal points of episodes she still managed to make a distinct impact with each in her approaches whether it was the hysterical and judgmental Helen Lovjoy, the early timid Luann van Houten or the later brassy one, or the proper match to Ned with Maude Flanders.)

Luke Higham said...

My Updated Best Actor prediction.

Gary Oldman - Darkest Hour
Daniel Day-Lewis - Phantom Thread
Hugh Jackman - The Greatest Showman
Andrew Garfield - Breathe
Matt Damon - Downsizing

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Also, the first two on that list are also in my top 10 all-time favorite songs.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Luke: I think Oldman and Day-Lewis are practically locks, while Garfield is very likely as well.

Louis Morgan said...

Saw my favorite film of the year so far.

Okja:

Saving Dano.

Ahn - 4
Swinton - 5
Gyllenhaal - 1(Career worst)
Byun - 3
Yeun - 3.5
Collins - 3
Yoon - 3.5
Henshall - 3
Bostick - 2.5
Esposito - 3.5

And my second favorite film.

Baby Driver:

Elgort - 4
James - 4
Spacey - 2.5
Hamm - 4
Foxx - 4
Bernthal - 3
Gonzalez - 3

Wouldn't have minded more of Paul Williams.

Luke:

"Bohemian Rhapsody"
"Don't Stop Me Now"
"The Show Must Go On"
"Killer Queen"
"Bicycle Race"

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: Reason I have Damon, is that Payne performances normally do well with the Academy and Jackman's very popular with them as well.

Gyllenhaal doesn't have any momentum going for him right now, yet Stronger looks promising.

Fassbender needs a lot of critical backing for The Snowman.

And with Cumberbatch, I expect him to be good as always, but I don't think The Current War's going to do all that well.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I'd go higher for Hamm and Foxx myself.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Thoughts on the casts and is Swinton Lead or Supporting.

Louis Morgan said...

Robert:

They are both leaning towards 4.5's for me.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: And is Dano Supporting.

Louis Morgan said...

Ahn's the sole lead.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: What the hell has happened to Gyllenhaal?.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: And your thoughts on Baby Driver and Okja.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Thoughts on Elgort, Spacey, Swinton, and Gyllenhaal.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Who do you have saved so far.

I've got:
Jackman
Fassbender
Kaluuya
Edgerton

Stewart
Reilly
Evans
Dano

Am I missing anyone.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Lastly, what do you intend on seeing in July.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

I hope Paul Dano finally gets his first review and his first 5, and I'm glad Louis took to his turn in Okja.

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: I hope so too. His chances are high as Supporting's easier to get into than Lead.

94dfk1 said...

Gyllenhaals a 1? I'll have to really check out Okja then, since his performance in Nightcrawler is definitely a Top 5 for me of the 2010s.

Luke: I like your prediction of Matt Damon getting in, since I really could see it happening for the reasons you mention.

Calvin Law said...

Saw Okja, really enjoyed it. Will have to be quite a while before I can see Baby Driver.

Calvin Law said...

But yeah, Gyllenhaal was painfully off-point.

Calvin Law said...

Although I'm a bit surprised with a 5 for Swinton, she was good but IMO not amazing.

Luke Higham said...

Louis & Calvin: Your Updated Best Actor nominee predictions.

Louis Morgan said...

Okja is distinctly Bong Joon-ho as he once again brilliantly combines humor, satire, horrors, along with genuine heart in this story of a little girl and her big animal. The film is entertaining and funny when it wants to be, except in one example involving a certain actor on the decline, and when it should be. It though offers the right honest connection at the center and manages to give life to what is quite an obvious CGI creation. As usual there is a message but he doesn't hit your head over it, and even subverts it a bit by showing the "Good guys" as not entirely on the level either. I thought it was a wonderful film, that barring some language, honestly could have been a family back in the 80's, as it has that style where it tells basically a fairy tale but with in a classic GRIMM way.

Ahn - (Her performance is properly straight forward and is most pivotal in creating that life to the titular creature. Ahn absolutely does this in every one of her interactions with Okja, and the beautifully warm moments early on makes her anguish later on quite heartbreaking. Ahn's performance works as always a reflection of a purely good humanity that is needed as a foil and really a grounding against all the strangeness around her from both the animal exploiters and savers.)

Swinton - (From her opening scene where she lets out this school girl scream in excitement at the announcement of the superpigs I knew I was in a treat with this performance, of course Bong, like the Coens, apparently found only Swinton herself could play her own sister. Anyway though we get the first sister where Swinton is terrific in being that excessively happy and magnetic corporate head though with just enough of a petulance when occasionally mentioning her sister. Then behind closed doors we get just the ball of pure petulance and desperation as she tries to hold onto her power so poorly. Swinton is just a beautiful mess, and wildly entertaining in portraying the grotesque state of her character both on and off stage. Although brief she makes a striking impact as the other sister who Swinton portrays with such an incisive cruelty as he she plays it as this horrible machine only looking for the most efficient course. Two great performances for the price of one.)

Louis Morgan said...

Gyllenhaal - (Well I'll say perhaps the praise for his performance in Nightcrawler went to his head based on this performance that is out on a limb like that one, but unlike that one it is horrible misjudged. First of all trying to best Swinton as a weird character is a fool's errand. Gyllenhaal's performance though just helps to show how good she is and how bad he is. He's technically trying for a similar type of absurdity yet fails miserably. I think he's trying to play the role as a demented kid show host, which could have worked for the role, but he goes way over board in the wrong direction. He's at eleven the entire time, yet his eleven is horribly off-putting and not even in the right way. He sticks out like sore thumb in every scene he's in, and the worst part is a better performance, maybe like Richard Dawson in Running Man, could have made this character a highlight of the film.)

Byun - (A funny subversion of the kind grandfather type actually as he slowly reveals such a vapid sort underneath his amiable surface.)

Yeun - (Thought his turnaround was particularly effective as he brings such a genuine enthusiasm but also shows it as rather misplaced in the way he uses it.)

Collins - (Slight but she works well as part of the group particularly in their mutual celebration moment then later as an individual in her horror at the treatment of the pigs.)

Yoon - (Thought he was a hilarious delight for a few scenes portraying just a pencil pusher having a most horrible day.)

Henshall - (Nice seeing him again, this time in a far less chilling light.)

Bostick - (Doesn't make much of an impact, but is slightly amusing in his rejection of a cherry tomato.)

Esposito - (Similar to Gus Fring but thankfully he does not just copy himself. Esposito though is good at portraying the corporate power player who only speaks out in such niceties yet in his eyes he portrays the exact determination to keep things in line. He does not portray the man as an act exactly though, like Fring, instead portraying the man as just carefully holding himself back.)

Louis Morgan said...

Baby Driver is an arrangement of the song previously heard by The Driver, Thief, and Drive, a great arrangement. The magic is in the execution and Edgar Wright's direction once again shines throughout The action scenes are all so thrilling and engaging to watch. This probably has the least attempted humor in a Wright film, it's an action film with comedy rather than comedy, yet that doesn't matter. Although the humor that is there is quite welcome it works as a pure action film with a minimalist story that does provide the right stakes. It's a film that really makes use of film though as Wright makes so much of every visual and sound he can to the point even watching someone getting coffee is oddly compelling.

Elgort - (Finally some proof of concept. Although this is interesting in that Elgort provides what was lacking in his other performances though this is turn that also nicely plays into his weaknesses in a way. In that Elgort's particular lax style suits Baby who is always looked at as being spaced out by everyone else. Elgort though is not distant here creating well his own off-beat version of the Driver, and playing well into the action scenes. He does find a charm within his limitations here, and in his own way provides the needed weight to every action sequence.)

James - (For being a part that is "love interest" James brings so much charm and life to it. She never feels just like a plot device because of how much charisma she finds in the role and also her delightful chemistry with Elgort which is unassuming yet just so earnest.)

Bernthal - (He's a good punk for a few minutes. Right in his wheelhouse and a fine example of it.)

Gonzalez - (She's fine for the most part though a little underwhelming a couple times, and is mostly there to provide something for Hamm's performance.)

Spacey - (He's no Albert Brooks or Robert Prosky. He's actually almost all wrong here. Spacey oddly plays his role much more as a pure comedy than what the film is. Almost every one else has funny moments but they are "dramatic" overall in style. Spacey though plays the whole thing as a caricature, a caricature without a menace, and strangely I also felt his jokes were the ones that missed too. Then he's even more off with the final moments where it shows his character required a different approach from the start. A missed opportunity, should have just gotten Albert Brooks to do a pseudo-reprise.)

Actually giving it a bit more thought I'll save Foxx and Hamm.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Gary Oldman - Darkest Hour
Daniel Day-Lewis - Phantom Thread
Hugh Jackman - The Greatest Showman
Denzel Washington - Roman Israel, Esq.
Harry Dean Stanton - Lucky (Yeah yeah, but a man can dream)

Charles Heiston said...

Gyllenhaal bit the dust. All though this made me extremely excited for Okja.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I think John Goodman would have been great in Spacey's role. Also would have made the Monsters Inc. line even funnier.

Calvin Law said...

My ratings for Okja would probably be:

Ahn - 4
Swinton - 4/4.5
Gyllenhaal - 1
Byun - 3
Yeun - 3.5
Collins - 3
Henshall - 3
Bostick - 2.5
Esposito - 3.5
Dano - 4.5

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your cast and director for a 1960's version of Baby Driver.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the Breathe trailer. It feels very much like Theory Of Everything, yet with a stronger actor in the male lead role.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Saw the new Death Note trailer. I'm really, really hoping that it's just cut one way, because they seem to be making Light too sympathetic and L too zealous. That said, I dig Wingard's neon aesthetic. Stanfield looks promising, and the Banksy design for L is still clever.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Baby Driver 1960's directed by William Friedkin:

Baby: Christopher Walken
Debora: Karen Black
Buddy: Telly Savalas
Darling: Raquel Welch
Bats: Ossie Davis
Griff: Harry Dean Stanton
Doc: Spencer Tracy

Luke:

Successfully hit every check mark of the inspirational biopic, particularly British ones, in terms of the trailer but that in no way means it will be bad.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your updated predictions for Supporting Actress, Supporting Actor, Lead Actress, Director and Picture.

If Harry Dean Stanton doesn't get in, who would take the 5th spot. I could see Washington getting in, but I'm gonna stick with my prediction.

Luke Higham said...

Really looking forward to hopefully Duvall's review. :)

Calvin Law said...

Hearing Garfield with a posh British accent is very interesting.

Louis: your thoughts on the 'Annie's Song' sequence in Okja, and the CGI.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Probably Garfield.

Picture:

Detroit (Winner)
Dunkirk
The Papers
Mother!
Mudbound
Battle of the Sexes
Darkest Hour
The Glass Castle
Breathe

Director:

Kathryn Bigelow - Detroit (Winner)
Christopher Nolan - Dunkirk
Steven Spielberg - The Papers
Darren Aronofsky - Mother!
Dee Rees - Mudbound

Actress:

Jennifer Lawrence - Mother! (Winner)
Emma Stone - Battle of the Sexes
Claire Foy - Breathe
Meryl Streep - The Papers
Brie Larson - The Glass Castle

Supporting Actor:

Woody Harrelson - The Glass Castle (Winner)
Ben Mendelsohn - Darkest Hour
John Boyega - Detroit
Steve Carell - Battle of the Sexes
Mark Rylance - Dunkirk

Supporting Actress:

Michelle Pfeiffer - Mother! (Winner)
Kristin Scott Thomas - Darkest Hour
Naomi Watts - The Glass Castle
Andrea Riseborough - Battle of the Sexes
Kirsten Dunst - The Beguiled

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

Preferred it over its use in Free Fire, which I also liked, though it's funny both directors just happened to go with that song. Preferred the imagery matching the song in this case though which fit so well to the spirit of Okja herself and the ALF.

I don't think the CGI is overly impressive, though not truly bad but obviously CGI. Due to the performances, and the design itself though I felt the film overcame that potential weakness.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Would you agree that Rylance has the most interesting character on paper, as well as from the footage we've seen. He's an actor who could truly do wonders with limited screentime, but I expect the Sea portion of Dunkirk to have the most focus.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Well I haven't read up on the script at all, but from the trailers Rylance certainly looks like he's going to deliver yet it appears Murphy will probably have the most concrete arc. I predicted Rylance though since they've gone for him before, even if they both stand out the academy seems to prefer familiarity more often than not.

Anonymous said...

I do hope the likes of Dunst, Boyega, Mendelsohn and Foy do well this year, the Oscars are in dire need of new talent to get Oscar nominated, it does get a little boring seeing the same faces.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: agreed on both counts. Also, for an alternate casting choice for Gyllenhaal's character, who would you have chosen? I think Glenn Howerton could have been great, or for a more typical Hollywood choice Sam Rockwell.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

I could see both, or maybe Chris Pine in Joe Carnahan mode.

Calvin Law said...

Pine would be great. I'm rewatching it again now with your thoughts in mind and you're right, his abysmal approach really shows how Swinton does it so much better.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

I really hope Louis is right and ol' Harry Dean Stanton finally gets that first nomination. If he does, I'll be rooting for him by default.

Charles Heiston said...

If Stanton gets nominated i'd be overjoyed. I extremely hope it happens.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

And since Garfield's apparently taking another Hacksaw Ridge-level risk with that accent in Breathe, let's just hope he pulls it off and makes it three 5's in a row :).

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed & Charles: I'll be rooting for both Oldman and Stanton. I don't mind who wins, as long as it's a 5 star performance.

Charles Heiston said...

Luke: You're right on that. I'm confident that both will be 5's though.

Luke Higham said...

Charles: Lead overall this year's gonna be the best of the decade thus far. There's so many potentially great performances and I'm really confident in Jackman and Fassbender.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: thoughts and rating for Choi Woo-shik as the lorry driver in Okja.

Calvin Law said...

Also I think JG was trying for a Groucho Marx impersonation as Dr Johnny.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

Choi - 3.5(I thought he looked familiar but I couldn't quite place him. He was hilarious though by playing the part so well by giving no energy whatsoever and just delivering every moment as though he does care in the slightest what's going which was a perfect fit for his just waiting to get fired worker.)

Calvin Law said...

Louis: seeing as Netflix will probably consider it if it pans out into a hit, what do you think about the idea of an ALF spinoff.

Louis Morgan said...

I could see that working actually.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Everyone: Your favorite songs of the 2000s decade. Mine would probably be-

"Lose Yourself" by Eminem
"Boulevard of Broken Dreams" by Green Day
"In the End" by Linkin Park
"Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol
"Hero" by Enrique Iglesias
"How to Save a Life" by The Fray
"Irreplaceable" by Beyonce
"The Scientist" by Coldplay
"I Will Follow You Into The Dark"-Death Cab for Cutie
"She Will Be Loved" by Maroon 5

Anonymous said...

Louis: Who would you cast as Hal Jordan and Green Arrow in the DCEU?

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Jake Gyllenhaal as Hal Jordan, John Krasinski as Green Arrow.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Ratings and thoughts on Shirley Henderson in Okja.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the ending scene of Psycho.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Just finished Okja, and loved every minute of it. It's my favorite film of the year.

Cast Ratings-
Ahn-4.5
Swinton- 5
Gyllenhaal- 1 (he could have given a great performance, terribly wrong approach)
Dano- 5 (I guess Louis will give him a 4.5)
Byun-3.5
Yeun-4
Collins-3
Henshall-3
Bostick-2.5
Esposito-3.5


Anonymous said...

Just watched Baby Driver. Just great.
Elgort: 4 (Wow, you finally did it, Ansel.)
James: 4
Spacey: 2
Hamm: 4
Foxx: 4
Bernthal: 3
Gonzalez: 3

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your 2003 winners. I'm pretty sure most, if not all the honours go to Return Of The King and Master And Commander.

Luke Higham said...

With the exception of Original Screenplay, which should go to Good Bye, Lenin!

Charles Heiston said...

Saw Baby Driver. Very good movie for me.

Elgort - 4
James - 4
Spacey - 4(I'm in the majority that likes him here)
Hamm - 4
Foxx - 3.5
Bernthal - 3
Gonzalez - 3

Robert MacFarlane said...

I seem to be the only one shooting high on Hamm, he was a 5 for me.

Calvin Law said...

Hamm looks insanely chilling from some of those shots in the trailer, I'm really looking forward to his performance. Also I always enjoy Jamie Foxx when he's being a bit off kilter and menacing.

Calvin Law said...

Also Louis, your 80s cast for Okja.

Louis Morgan said...

Tahmeed:

Henderson - 3(Her voice is always very striking to say the least and it is used very well here. She plays it as this normal assistant type yet with that edge of her voice basically that makes her appropriately off-putting.)

Anonymous:

Obviously just Norman's scene. Other than the overlay which is not needed due to Perkins's performance, it's a absolutely chilling moments from that slowly changing expression of his to the unnerving "pleasant" voice over, and Hitchcock's use of the simple set and framing that makes it so you can only look straight at Norman.

Luke:

Director: Peter Jackson - Return of the King
Production Design: Return of the King
Sound Editing: Return of the King
Sound Mixing: Master and Commander
Score: Return of the King
Editing: Master and Commander
Visual Effects: Return of the King
Costume Design: Return of the King
Cinematography: Master and Commander
Makeup and Hairstyling: Return of the King
Song: "Going Home" - Gods and Generals
Original Screenplay: Dogville
Adapted Screenplay: Return of the King

Calvin:

Okja 80's directed by Terry Gilliam:

The Mirandos: Jean Simmmons
Dr. Wilcox: Michael Palin
Jay: John Malkovich
K: Henry Cho
Blond: Bryan Brown
Red: Lea Thompson
Silver: Eric Stoltz
Jennifer: Shelly Duvall
Frank Dawson: David Warner

Obviously special casting would be needed for Mija.

Robert:

Hamm's sitting very well with me.