Sunday, 18 June 2017

Alternate Best Actor 2003: Russell Crowe in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

Russell Crowe did not receive an Oscar nomination, despite being nominated for a Golden Globe, for portraying Captain Jack Aubrey in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.

Master and Commander is a curious special joy for me as every time I watch the film I always somehow seem to forget just how good it is before watching the film again.

Now despite the film's great success with the Oscars overall it received no acting notices, Paul Bettany's snub being altogether mind boggling, but Crowe has seemingly been on the Oscar blacklist ever since his BAFTA altercation in 2002. Then again it may be that Crowe's performance is one that is easy to take for granted, I did that myself when I somehow failed to find him a spot in my alternate lineup, a lineup which included Tommy Wiseau. Why is that though? Well this performance is perhaps not what one might expect just hearing Russell Crowe playing a naval captain, but of course that's what makes this such a marvelous piece of work in all truth. One the great successes of Master and Commander is how vivid life on the ship feels. A great contributor to that is Russell Crowe as Captain Jack Aubrey which again just the idea of Crowe as a naval Captain would suggest maybe a more directly intense performance, that is not the case nor is that a problem. Jack Aubrey is of course not a Captain Bligh, or even a Captain Vere, he's a different sort of man, a better sort of man.

Crowe's performance here is atypical and almost the opposite of those performances in which he made his name such as The Insider, L.A. Confidential or Gladiator, where he portrayed a dark determination. There is determination but Crowe does not use it to define the man. What Crowe uses to define him is the idea of Aubrey as this Captain during the Napoleonic wars. Now what I mean by that is Crowe does not define his Captain as only a man of battles. We are introduced in an attack, a surprise attack where Crowe conveys the visceral quality of that moment but he does not dwell upon longer than the battle lasts. Crowe portrays Aubrey as being particularly attentive to what happened in the attack beyond that his French foe got the better of him. As Aubrey examines the ship and most importantly learns of the casualties among the crew there is an essential concern that Crowe brings to every step of Aubrey's duty. Crowe does not gloss over a moment of the process as he brings an needed devotion of a Captain who truly cares for his ship and every crew member aboard it although not in the same exact way though this is just part of the unassuming complexity of Crowe's work here.

Crowe of course brings the strong old school presence as usual, Crowe has the right awareness of that though here, in that his performance uses that knowledge to the point that he doesn't need to attempt to amplify it for Aubrey. Crowe's method here makes Aubrey particularly distinctive in the film and I love the way Crowe simply is in charge. There is no effort required, he is the Captain. This though again is not where it stops for Crowe's work though. He is not just the Captain for the duration of his appearance in the film, but rather Crowe's portrayal evokes the years on the ship. This is seen within basically everything that Crowe does onscreen. There is that ease he portrays in his surroundings as Crowe shows Aubrey move around the ship as it were his home on land. Crowe manages to capture this very exact sentimentalism of sorts just in the way he looks upon certain facets. Crowe brings what is a joy in the experience of being on the ship and enjoying what it is. Crowe importantly shows that Aubrey loves this experience of being Captain as well, which extends even further to his whole life which has been in the Navy. Crowe exhibits a man who owns the ship, but also shares it with all those within it as well.

There is his relationship with every member of his crew. The strongest focus of course being with Paul Bettany's Doctor Stephen Maturin, but more on that later. There is also his relationships with each of his officers each which vary through so strongly through Crowe's performance as he realizes Aubrey's relation with each man separately. With the very young Lord William Blakeney (Max Pirkins) Crowe reveals the utmost earnest warmth of a father, though with a distinct ounce of respect to one of his crew members. There is even his seemingly future Captains, of Lieutenant Pullings (James D'Arcy) and Midshipman Calamy (Max Benitz) where Crowe crafts a differentiation through his slight variation in manner to each. He offers each man the respect of a true comrade but there is a greater simplicity with Pulligns treating him as a man just about at his level whereas Crowe offers the manner of a teacher towards Calamy to aim him towards bettering himself as an officer. There is also the far more problematic relationship with Midshipman Hollom (Lee Ingleby). Crowe is brilliant in his direct interaction with Hollom, as he portrays the held in greater frustrations in the Captain over Hollom's inability to fulfill his duty. Crowe shows Aubrey hides though in an attempt to offer his encouragement in hopes the man will become a better officer.

Crowe is quite different yet so naturally so in his portrayal of Aubrey towards the crew. This is quite the fascinating juxtaposition actually as he very carefully offers similair sentiments but in a different way from the officers to the rest of the crew. Crowe does bring a warmth towards every member of the crew particularly in their successes but he does this with a certain distance. He offers a somewhat less personal delivery and manner. He doesn't become a machine but he does always set the Captain apart. This is an interesting trick which Crowe pulls off flawlessly as he delivers the praise in a more generalized way and even when he specifies it is of this greater commander rather than a friend. He sets himself apart so effectively as he shows the man who knows his duty needs this separation, but still a connection. Crowe creates that connection that makes the Captain more than just a man around the crew, in that he is this specific inspiration to them all. Crowe is outstanding as he captures a Aubrey as being successfully the legend of Lucky Jack when he commands his crew in pivotal moments whether it is saving the ship or preparing for a battle. Crowe's manner has this certain grandeur and undeniable charisma as his words carry such a rousing spirit to the point that you'd feel any man worth a salt would follow Aubrey into battle.

There is yet another side to Aubrey in his friendship with Doctor Maturin. Crowe and Bettany have the truly effortless chemistry of lifelong friends and there is a certain magic in just the slightest interaction such as the fun the two have together when playing strings together. Crowe though is terrific though showing a greater vulnerability in Aubrey in his scenes with Maturin, as in this he reveals the way Aubrey carefully extends himself for this most personal counsel. Crowe and Bettany show the men who see each other exactly as they are and even in their arguments there is always the underlying concern for one another. The two are great in the way they make this relationship so genuine that so much can be unsaid in terms of both performances. When Aubrey denies Maturin wish to explore the Galapagos islands, Crowe face remarks his own disappointment in not being able to help his friend even as he speaks the order to deny him, however later on as he states the order to grant the wish again Aubrey never says it's just for him yet there is such unconditional love in the more officially worded order. Both actors realize this relationship so well that you can predict exactly how they will interact with another given any situation because it feels that you just know who they are as friends.

Now Crowe manages the different sides to Aubrey with such a certain perfection in that he never depicts it as this purposeful method of the man, but rather how the man has come to be from his life in the Navy. He's learned how to be a proper Captain, and exactly what it takes. What is so remarkable is how every facet flows from one to next while always being the single man that is Captain Jack Aubrey. Crowe by achieving this amplifies so much of the film by how vivid he makes everything Aubrey is going through. This leads to such powerful moments through Crowe's performance even though the emphasis isn't always squarely on him given director Peter Weir's careful eye to not ignore any facet of the ship and those aboard. There is not a wasted second as you know who Aubrey is precisely through Crowe's portrayal of him. In a moment where  he makes sacrifice one man to save the ship, there is not a great deal of time spent on revealing the anguish yet it is all there in Crowe's reaction the reflects the difficulty of the act. When Maturin is injured in an accident, Crowe is deeply affecting through his subtle yet so poignant depiction of Aubrey seeing his wounded best friend. There is even two separate funeral scenes which could seem redundant yet they are not in the least, with part of the reason being Crowe. The first Crowe in the few words he says offers the pathos as his call upon Aubrey thinking to his own failure, and his delivery of the words are that of apology as much as they are of remembrance. The second though Crowe offers a more exact approach fulfilling wholly the role of the Captain. It is something he's done before, but Crowe puts no cruelty within this fact just instead infusing the words with the respect the Captain should offer to his fallen men. This is not a performance about a single moments but every moment. Crowe's work simply allows us to be with this extraordinary man, learn exactly who is as a person, as a friend, as, well, a master and commander.

103 comments:

Robert MacFarlane said...

It's such an underrated turn from him. Frankly I thought he showed far more charisma and draw here than in his winning performance three years prior.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Thoughts on the cast and has Bettany gone up.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Love this film, and this performance so much. If he wins, which seems likely at this point, I'll be more than happy with it. :)

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Also, do you consider this Crowe's very best work?

Luke Higham said...

I hate not having Master and Commander as my winner for the year. :(

This is Crowe's best performance and a win seems like a sure thing.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Luke: I agree, it's a shame when masterpieces like ROTK and Master and Commander are released in the same year; I'm half-tempted to call a tie between them.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Luke: Even if Bettany has gone up, I'm not sure if Louis will upgrade him before he does Supporting.

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: He'll confirm whether he has gone up, though the rating won't change until the supporting overall's been updated.

Charles Heiston said...

He's incredible. I'm probably going to give him my win eventually. I hope he wins the overall.

Calvin Law said...

Great review! Analysis overload, I like it. But yes, probably Crowe's best turn.

Louis: your cast for a 1940s and 1950s Master and Commander + director?

Alex Marqués said...

This one is still in my watchlist, but I'm glad he got a 5.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: If the Marvel Universe ever finds a way to obtain Fantastic Four, what do you think of 'almost Captain America' John Krasinski playing Reed Richards.

Mitchell Murray said...

I can't quite share in the enthusiasm for this performance but I will admit its typically solid, sturdy work from Crowe - 4/5. He was certainly more worthy than Kingsley, Penn or even Depp.

Maybe its written somewhere else but what is your top 5/bottom 5 Crowe performances, Louis? Personally I find he gave his strongest work between LA Confidential and Cinderella Man. Since then, he's reached some new lows but for the most part he's been reliable

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your updated top 10 Russell Crowe acting moments, and your overall thoughts on him as an actor.

Luke Higham said...

If there was a Richard Burton biopic, Crowe would easily be my choice to play him.

Calvin Law said...

Saw Gifted, it's actually pretty decent. Cliched but it's sweet and its heart is in the right place.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Calvin: Your ratings and thoughts on Chris Evans?

94dfk1 said...

Luke: Funny you mention that, because Ron Howard though about having Crowe cameo as Burton in a scene in Rush haha.

94dfk1 said...

*thought

Calvin Law said...

Tahmeed:

Evans - 3.5/4 (he's proving to be a pretty decent leading man outside of Captain America, even if I do prefer his wilder supporting turns. His role is very simple as the supportive uncle figure, but he's charming, he hits the emotional beats well, and adds enough weight to the role to make his character's predicament fairly moving)

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Could you possibly review Simon Pegg in Shaun Of The Dead.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I should see Gifted, since Book of Henry will make me view it as Ibsen by comparison.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I recommend all of you see Book of Henry to feel my everlasting agony.

Luke Higham said...

Robert: I'll wait awhile. I refuse to waste hard-earned cash on the excruciating experience you had. I will however, see The Mummy tomorrow.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Robert: While I'd watch it eventually for Jacob Tremblay alone, I'm tempted to pass.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: I'm so glad The Hunt's your #1 film of 2012.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Yes.

D'Arcy - 3.5(D'Arcy actually has less to do but I feel he makes the most of the moments he does have to establish Pullings as a Aubrey in his own making. Obviously at a smaller scale, yet D'Arcy shows sort of the same type of charisma though more modest fitting to his position.)

Benitz - 3(He's good in portraying the character attempting to build himself up to some point. He brings the right combination of earnest ambition, confidence but with the right hints of nervousness showing the way he's grown comfortable with his life but still has room to grow.)

Pirkis - 3.5(The use of the character could have easily gone wrong with the wrong actor, but Pirkis is the right performer. Pirkis makes for a surprisingly believable child officer as he brings the right hints of a more childlike curiosity and interest, but offers it around that the right maturity the boy needs to be convincing in such a situation.)

Covered Ingleby before.

Everyone else is good in just giving a real life to the ship.

Tahmeed:

Leaning towards this but it really is a toss up between this and L.A. Confidential.

1. Budd in bed with Lynn - L.A. Confidential
2. Before the battle - Master and Commander
3. Interrogation - L.A. Confidential
4. Arguing with Stephen over the floggin - Master and Commander
5. "My Name is Maximus" - Gladiator
6. Story of his mother - 3:10 to Yuma
7. Hotel scene - The Nice Guys
8. Deposition - The Insider
9. Being Shown the pictures - L.A. Confidential
10. "Are you not entertained" - Gladiator

Crowe has struggled a bit post 07, but even then he just has The Nice Guys recently so there's no question to whether or not he's still got it. Crowe is a unique particularly rare breed of actor being he has that certain charisma and presence that is very much calls back to old Hollywood, in a good way. It is hard to imagine any actor being able replace Crowe in any of his best roles, since his powerful presence is so unique. Of course Crowe, like say a Burt Lancaster or Kirk Douglas, has the acting emotional range to back up his presence and take his roles further. Looking over his best work actually though I've noticed that where Crowe needs to stay, and always look for, beyond good material, are leading roles. He simply belongs front and center, not that he can't be good in a supporting turn, but he was made to anchor films.

Calvin:

I think Krasinski would be a good fit especially since I'd imagine they'd focus on the family dynamic, something sorely lacking in the previous adaptations, well except the inspired by film The Incredibles which is naturally by far the best film.

Master and Commander 1940's directed by Laurence Olivier

Captain Jack Aubrey: Laurence Olivier
Dr. Stephen Maturin: Ralph Richardson
Blakeney: George Cole
Calamy: Richard Attenborough
Pullings: Michael Gough
Hollom: James Donald

Master and Commander 1950's directed by David Lean:

Captain Jack Aubrey: Trevor Howard:
Dr. Stephen Maturin: Alec Guinness
Blakeney: James Fox
Calamy: Alan Bates
Pullings: Leslie Phillips
Hollom: James Booth

Luke Higham said...

Louis: I'm pleased about Bettany's upgrade and look forward to the same happening for Astin. :)

Charles Heiston said...

Glad Bettany went up. He'd be my supporting win.

Luke Higham said...

Charles: It's very close between Astin and Bettany for me. I give the win to Sean though as his I carry you scene is my favourite moment in my favourite film of 2003.

Charles Heiston said...

Luke: I love that scene, but i give Bettany the slight edge through his performance.

Luke Higham said...

*I'll carry you.

Charles: Perhaps in the near future, I'll give Paul the win. :)

Are you looking forward to Brock vs. Joe. :)

Charles Heiston said...

Luke: Kind of. I got a feeling it'll be a slight disappointment. But i have some hope.

Luke Higham said...

Charles: If only, they were in their athletic primes, (especially Joe), you could've had an all-time classic brawl. :)

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Are you re-writing Robbins' review for Mystic River and could any of your 3.5s in Supporting go up to 4s.

Charles Heiston said...

Louis: Whats are your thoughts and rating for Brad Pitt in Fury.

Calvin Law said...

Hoping Bobby Cannavale might go up for The Station Agent.

Michael McCarthy said...

Louis: I know you're kind of eating flooded with suggestions of ratings to change, but have you considered switching Crowe's rating in Gladiator with his rating in A Beautiful Mind? Because lately you seem much more enthusiastic about the former than the latter.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Or at least have Gyllenhaal higher in the 2001 lineup than Crowe.

94dfk1 said...

Seems like Russell Crowe is the anti-Brad Pitt in that case, since the latter shines more in supporting roles rather than leading ones.

Michael McCarthy said...

Also, did anyone notice that Louis gave The Hunt his Best Picture win for 2012?

Luke Higham said...

Michael: I already mentioned it. Looks like Mikkelsen could have the edge over Phoenix.

Luke Higham said...

Michael McCarthy: I think Crowe's rating for A Beautiful Mind will remain the same, though should go down a few spots.

I'd be more than happy with another upgrade for Gladiator.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

As perhaps one of the only defenders of Crowe's work in that film, I really, really hope he doesn't get downgraded.
And I guess The Hunt being Louis's #1 bodes well for Mikkelsen :)

Charles Heiston said...

If Crowe gets upgraded for Gladiator it's fine with me. Although i'm not that crazy about his performance.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I hope Gyllenhaal gets upgraded for Donnie Darko. I'm not even that big on the film, but his work is unnerving in all the best ways.

Michael McCarthy said...

Luke: Looks like it, though he might decide to split the difference instead (I personally have a slight preference for Phoenix).

Robert MacFarlane said...

Phoenix was the only part of Gladiator I would call great.

Luke Higham said...

Robert: I wish Louis liked Phoenix alot more than he does, but it's hopeless trying to get him to change his mind.

Charles Heiston said...

My last watch of Gladiator was a bit of a mix. I thought Crowe was good, and i thought Phoenix was overacting. And Reed didn't leave an impression.

Luke Higham said...

Reed's my MVP of the film and my favourite technical aspect is the score.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I don't get the love for Reed in Gladiator at all.

Charles Heiston said...

I agree with Robert, actually.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on Emma Stone as an actress.

Anonymous said...

Great review. He was really a great, an underrated turn from him.

Mitchell Murray said...

Having recently revisited "Love And Mercy", "Rush" and "The Shallows", I now inquire Louis about your thoughts on Elizabeth Banks, Olivia Wilde and Blake Lively as actresses.

My take:

Banks - She has her iffy roles but I do think she is actually very consistent, and has been capable in virtually any genre. She is good at blending comedy with drama but I do have problems with her level of conviction/depth.

Wilde - I know a lot of people hate her but I've almost never found Wilde to be an offensively bad actress. Similar problem to Banks but I do think she has improved, whether in "Rush", "Drinking Buddies" or even HBO's "Vinyl".

Lively - She is such a strange case because there are movies where I've legitimately hated her - "Savages" namely. And yet, under the right circumstances, Lively can seemingly deliver a more than decent performance. To this day I'm baffled at how capable she was in "The Shallows".

Calvin Law said...

Mitchell on the above actresses: I don't find Wilde to be anything special and often very bland (and I hated how much time was spent on her in Rush when Alexandra Maria Lara was so much better). I think Banks has so much charm and presence as an actress but doesn't always attune it into the best roles and material. And I think that, agreeing on her atrocity of a performance in Savages, Lively is really underrated.

Calvin Law said...

*my two cents

Robert MacFarlane said...

I actually loved Wilde in Her quite a bit. Did a lot with just a small amount of screen time.

Calvin Law said...

And as for Crowe and Gladiator, I think pretty much everything about the film is great outside of the script.

Saw Collateral Beauty on the plane. You know what, it's an awful film, but Will Smith was fine, as was Naomie Harris. Everyone else was TERRIBLE though. Although I wouldn't put Pena at the bottom of my Supporting Actor list. He was listless and thoroughly disinterested, but he conveyed a bit of sympathy for the character by how much he seemed to be struggling, and never had a scene as excruciatingly bad as 'Blah Blah Blah', or 'THIS IS KATANA'.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I seem to be the only person in the world who HATES the visuals of Gladiator. I'm with Ebert, the lighting was shit.

Anonymous said...

Louis what are your thoughts on Crowe in Cinderella Man.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on Homer The Great and Radio Bart.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your top ten Simpsons songs.

Luke Higham said...

Daniel Day-Lewis has retired. A sad day for the acting profession. :(

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

We'll See.

Homer the Great - (Great episode in terms of having so much fun with the mystery in the opening act, then having a perfect guest appearance by Patrick Stewart, and though the resolution is quite a standard one doesn't matter when it is hilarious. I have particular affection for the NO HOMERS rule. On an important note the episode is a great example of the old simpsons, as the episode simply is funny throughout yet it offers something honest in Homer's sorrow in being left out of things. It in no way compromises the humor at any point but offers a nice bit of grounding to the story.)

Radio Bart - (Great episode though with that touch slower pace of the third season, though they still cram in plenty of hilarious jokes once again. This time the episode manages to get a lot of mileage out a couple of pranks particularly in the second where it references Ace in the Hole so effectively, which includes an overt guest appearance that actually works with Sting. Again though there is a heart there when the Bart is later stuck, and sure they are funny characters but the episode makes you care about them as well.)

1. "See My Vest"
2. "Senior Burns"
3. "Planet of the Apes the Musical"
4. "Streetcar Named Desire the Musical"
5. "We Do"
6. "We're Sending Our Love Down the Well"
7. "Talkin Softball"
8. "Scorpio's Theme"
9. "Monorail"
10. "Who Needs the Kwik-e-Mart"

Shame he decided to announce that given he has worked in almost a semi-retired way for the past two decades to begin with. Hopefully someone will be able to tempt him out in the future.

Charles:

When I originally wrote about the film, I gave my thoughts on him.

Michael:

Well part of that is sort of my making up for my original dismissal of the former.

Anonymous:

Stone is a very consistent performer as the only time I wasn't positive on one of her performances, and that was her being stuck in a particularly tired example of a standard Woody Allen trope. Most often she's one of the highlights of the film's she's in or at the very least she uses her charm to get through bad material like in The Amazing Spider-man 2. So far though she's proven herself very attune with her talents and has used them so well in staying within a certain range in terms of characters but showing off quite the range in terms of emotional depth.

Mitchell:

Banks - (Banks is naturally charming, and has a natural presence in her "straight" performances. Outside of those roles she has a willingness to go for it, for better sometimes for worse, in terms of her more comedic and flamboyant roles. I'd say so far she's stayed within a certain zone in terms of material, which usually don't require all that much depth. I hope she'll get more interesting roles in the future since it seems she may up to it based on Love & Mercy in particular.)

Wilde - (I've seen her in Cowboys & Aliens and Rush were she was a bit bland, but I did think she was quite good in her brief screentime in Her. So really I'd just need to see more of her performances to get proper read on her talent.)

Lively - (Only have seen her in Cafe Society and The Town both where I thought she was fine so I'd need to see more from her as well.)

Anonymous:

Check my review of Sharlto Copley - District 9

Anonymous said...

Luke: DDL retiring? Damn, that sucks.
Louis: Although he's in his late eighties, would you like to see Hackman do another movie again?

Calvin Law said...

Just hope it's not illness or anything that's making DDL retire. Wish him all the best in his retirement.

Charles Heiston said...

Daniel Day Lewis retired? I am extremely unhappy. Wish him the best though.

Luke Higham said...

Now I really hope Day-Lewis will equal Mifune's record.

His chance of a nomination has certainly taken a hit from this announcement. I doubt he'll be doing any promotional work for Phantom Thread.

Anonymous said...

Well, let's hope his performance in Phantom Thread is amazing.
Louis: How would you have improved the Shadows of the Bat and I am the Night episodes?

Luke Higham said...

If he ever comes back, I hope he does something along the lines of James Mason in his twilight years.

94dfk1 said...

The Han Solo spinoff just lost its directors...with three weeks left of shooting :o

What is going on today?!

Luke Higham said...

FFS Disney and Kathleen Kennedy, When are you gonna realise that no matter the creative vision, a Star Wars project is a guaranteed box office smash hit.

Luke Higham said...

Let them do their jobs please and fire Trevorrow.

Anonymous said...

Luke: Doubt they'll fire him, although they should.

94dfk1 said...

At the very least, the Episode 9 script is going to be read under a microscope now haha.

Psifonian said...

If anything, Day-Lewis announcing his retirement actually bolsters his film's profile. He doesn't have to campaign at all; his rep and the performance will be more than enough to carry him to a nomination, provided it is quality work.

But as his #1 fan who thinks he's the greatest actor of all time, this is devastating news. I really hope that this decision isn't fueled by a medical concern. If Day-Lewis wishes to bow out of the acting game just to enjoy his retirement with his family, I respect that (and wish a lot of actors would follow his example). It's a devastating blow to the acting world, but I'm glad that he decided to finish his career with the man who guided him to give the greatest film performance of all time in 2007.

Anonymous said...

He probably hasn't retired because of some illness.

Matt Mustin said...

I highly doubt it has anything to do with a medical concern. He's a brilliant actor, but he doesn't seem to enjoy doing it very much.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Daniel Day-Lewis always was in a weird place of challenging himself and raising the bar on his craft every time he chose a role, yet drove himself to exhaustion and disillusionment as a result. He was deeply devoted to acting, yet his perfectionism made him dislike it as time went on. His announcement isn't surprising, though I'm still sad.

Robert MacFarlane said...

By the way, I hope Louis upgrades him for Gangs of New York.

Luke Higham said...

Robert: I'm expecting that to happen. Excluding what could happen with the bonus round for that year, He'll finish 3rd I think.

Robert MacFarlane said...

One thing to note with that performance: Bill is at his most theatrical when he's in a crowd. Take for example when he's shot in the shoulder at the theater. He waits until every eye is on him before letting out an exaggerated howl. Then, after his assailant dies, he barely seems to care about the wound. To me that was when it clicked: Day-Lewis wasn't the one overacting; Bill was. The burlesque act he did with Jenny later in the film implies he has some level of stage experience, and his public speeches always had a projected quality to his voice. Yet behind closed doors, like his talk to Valon about how he lost his eye, his performance becomes more understated and subdued. Day-Lewis's approach wasn't just broad because of the film's tone or the larger-than-life aspects of Bill, but because Bill himself was an attention whore.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

I'd love to see Hackman make any appearance, just as I adored seeing Harry Dean Stanton in last weeks Twin Peaks, but for Hackman I don't think it's going to happen since he even turned down just a minor voice over in The Wolf of Wall Street.

Anonymous:

The corruption element need to be further developed for Shadow of the Bat, and a different villain. Two-Face works best in psychological situations, not when he's being just a standard gangster which doesn't make any sense for his character even.

For I Am the Night get rid of the Jazz Man and replace him with a non-terrible villain. Also make Batman's doubts less overtly whiny, again the episode "Two-Face" covered the same theme far more effectively.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Aside from the movie, have you seen any episodes of Batman Beyond? If so, what are your thoughts on Will Friedle's performance?

Alex Marqués said...

It's sad to know DDL is retiring, even if he's only been appearing in films once every couple years or so. And yeah, I hope he is upgraded for Gangs, Robert's analysis is spot on.

Anonymous said...

Transformers 5 is getting bad reviews. Can they end this franchise already? It has run its course.

Alex Marqués said...

@Anonymous: I doubt it https://youtu.be/b5IEyS_JKKQ

Luke Higham said...

If 1992 is the next 90s year, I hope Louis gives The Last Of The Mohicans a re-watch, Day-Lewis is a bit low for my liking in the ranking.

I also hope to see upgrades for Oldman, Downey Jr. and Rea.

Alex Marqués said...

1992 is one of my biggest disagreements with Louis because of Denzel's rating for his electrifying work. I find it crazy not to give him at least a 4, but to each his own. :)

Luke Higham said...

Louis: What would you've done to improve each Harry Potter film with the possible exception of Prisoner Of Azkaban.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

I've seen most of the first season which has some strong episodes like Mr. Freeze's sendoff, a few in the later seasons which were pretty weak for the most part.

Friedle I think gives a terrific vocal performance actually as he's nothing like Conroy but nor should he be. What I think is notable about his work is he manages to not feeling like some cheap replacement, and never comes off as say a Robin trying to be Batman. He earns his own sort of cool, yet he doesn't overplay that element as he also adds nice humorous touches to his performances that make Terry a likable replacement. Further though he absolutely delivers the more emotional moments, particularly in the scene where Terry finds out about his father.

Luke:

Stone - (Well really, despite Radcliffe seeming to come into his own now as an actor, you probably could recast Hermione and Harry to the benefit of the series. Peter O'Toole also should have been originally cast as Dumbledore since he could have stayed the whole time, while being able to capture the character's transition. Otherwise cutback on some of the CGI in favor of more practicals.)

Chamber - (Make an actual adaptation, rather than merely trying to copy down almost the entire book. A lot of fat could have easily been removed, probably would have been best to replace Columbus as well.)

Azkaban - (Do love most of this one but still make Sirius's introduction less ridiculous.)

Goblet - (Someone besides Newell obviously that way we could avoid "Do the Hippogriff", bizarre Dumbledore, among many other things.)

Order - (Flaws are related mostly to the source material, but avoiding the excessive reduction of Ron would be a good idea.)

Half-Blood - (Again Ron. Change the pacing to allow for a proper sendoff for the ending rather the rushed wrap up in the actual film that diminishes the emotional impact of such an important moment.)

Deathly Hallows - (Turn into a single film. Let Ron be the one who is aware of the Deathly Hallows. Restructure the final battle a bit, which is bit too messy at times. Lose the epilogue entirely, who cares if it is in the book, it's terrible there and it's worse with oddly aged actors.)

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on Lord & Miller leaving the Han Solo project.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: your thoughts on Danny Elfman's Spiderman and Batman scores.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Also, If Day-Lewis ever does come back, would you rather if he took a more traditional/Classical approach to a role.

And if you remember it, thoughts on Danny Elfman's score for Sleepy Hollow.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

To quote Han Solo "I got a bad feeling about this".

In terms of just film making it's troubling since it is obvious they will only allow films that fit exactly what they want reducing variety, and as you said before it's a Star Wars movie the box office is already on their side so they could allow a bit of a risk.

This late though is all the more troubling since I think we could be seeing an Ant-Man scenario though worse, but similair in that there will be signs of Lord and Miller's style but it will be strangely diluted and adjusted.

The thing is I think this probably has already happened with Rogue One, Gareth Edwards was just more willing to go along with the compromise, given Tony Gilroy's magically appearing writing credit.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

Spider-Man - (It's a very good score and a nice stretch for Elfman, although you can hear his usual touches in there, only if you listen more carefully, he actually plays around with instrumentation well to something more kinetic and more fitting to Spider-Man as a character. Elfman's score manages to kind be a best of a few worlds in that he doesn't completely lose his own style, yet implements a Williams's sort of grandeur without seeming to copy him. I'm not quite sure if it is THE spider-man theme but it's very close to being it. Like Superman, and the score I'll get to in a moment, when you hear it you think Spider-man which is pivotal for a superhero score.)

Batman - (Now this is THE Batman theme, just as Williams's Superman theme is and always will be THE Superman theme even if other strong scores come along in the future. This is obviously more overtly Elfman, with the sort of "Gothic" style that could as easily be a horror score, with its more scarce use of instruments and a focus on each one separately when used, which all feels so fitting to Batman. Elfman's style works in tandem with the style of the character, and just those five notes or so (used at the end of the animated intro), those just are Batman.)

Luke:

Sleepy Hollow - (Almost the parody of an Elfman score in a way in it is all his trademarks, the wordless choir, the emphasized bass, everything that is Elfman taken to the nth degree. It's a great fit actually to the film though and is effective in working towards the film's intended hammer horror tone which purposefully is not subtle about the horror or the bloodshed.)

Well if method is what he likes, he probably would stay method no matter what. I would like to see him take on a supporting role though, it has been thirty years, unless you count Gangs, so it could be a nice change of pace.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: It would be nice to see him take on a Supporting part again. :)

Luke Higham said...

Dunkirk's running time has been announced and it's the second shortest film Nolan's made to date.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Luke: That could either be a masterstroke or a massive mistake.
Then again, my favorite war film of all time, Paths of Glory, is also under 2 hours.

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: I have a feeling it'll be all-out intense from the first to the last minute.

Anyway, I expected this, whenever I saw reactions to the script awhile back.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the Fargo finale and your thoughts on the cast of season 3.