Thursday, 21 September 2017

Alternate Best Actor 1949: David Farrar in The Small Back Room

David Farrar did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Sammy Rice in The Small Back Room.

The Small Back Room is a terrific character study/thriller of sorts about a military scientist who deals with personal and professional issues while also attempting to figure out how to disarm a new mine dropped by German aircraft during World War II.

David Farrar returns to working with Powell and Pressburger after playing the rather cold yet still the object of some of the nuns' affection in Black Narcissus. Interestingly Farrar once again shares the screen with Kathleen Byron, this time playing Sammy's girlfriend/the secretary for his department Susan, thankfully this time both are in a much healthier relationship than the one found in their previous film together. Farrar's performance here though is a major departure from that earlier turn in more ways than that though. Farrar not only is the lead here, but the part allows him to create a far more intimate character for us to sympathize with whereas his role in Narcissus was purposefully distant. Farrar might as well be a different actor with how different his very presence here is compared to that earlier role. This is evident from his first scene where a military officer, Captain Dick Stewart (Michael Gough) goes to find Sammy in order to help him with the problem of an unusual mind that has caused several deaths of civilians. We find Sammy in a bar and Farrar's performance does have this certain charisma to it in this initial scene. It is a modest charisma which Farrar attaches carefully to when his expertise is called upon, as it is by the Captain, to help solve the problem, as Farrar finds this certain spark within the man in this moment. This is a pivotal factor that Farrar intelligently introduces that keeps a possible optimism within the character by giving a hope to the man as connected to this particular problem before we learn more about his personal problems.

Once the Captain leaves, and we are left with Sammy and Susan where in an instance any propriety for the guest is lost in Farrar's performance. Farrar is rather outstanding in this scene in revealing so much in very little time. In the moment Farrar drops putting up any facade, the facade only being though that he was hiding the burden of his pain from his artificial foot. Farrar is terrific in that moment of release not a release of comfort, but rather of letting his ache and discomfort out. Farrar goes further with this though in his first scene directly with Byron. The two have excellent chemistry together, which is rather notable considering their purposeful anti-chemistry found in their previous film together. That is not to say this is anything perfect though in terms of a relationship rather both Farrar and Byron are marvelous in the way they create this longstanding relationship between the two. In simply the way they look upon each other the love between the two is deeply felt even in silence. There is more though as Farrar in the moment reveals the sheer intensity of Sammy's vulnerability which he portrays towards Susan, that Farrar shows him looking for any sort of comfort from her. These moments though are particularly natural as the two fall into this state of Susan trying to offer any relief, while Sammy suffers, and both actors realize it as this way they've been for some time.

Farrar's performance is a captivating piece of work in the way he realizes essentially both the failure and potential of Sammy in every facet of his life. The ease Farrar and Byron have together is pivotal as the time they've been together is a given, but again this is not the two actors creating a fairy tale relationship. They do something far more remarkable though in creating the difficulty in the relationship despite keeping the mutual love for one another as unmistakable truth within it all. Farrar portrays that as a constant within his own work yet he compromises it in a certain way in portraying that the comfort she offers never quite assuages that physical pain. Farrar takes this further though in portraying this amplification of the pain by presenting this self-pity around the moments, showing it to be this almost constant burden on his mind. Farrar is very effective in his scenes with Byron around other company as in every glance and reaction to others, there is this inherent insecurity that Farrar finds. It's brilliantly portrayed in his performance though as he brings out of that pain and self-pity as this troubling mindset. Farrar finds that doubt that he exudes from himself that finds the way Sammy can't seem to help but doubt where or not Susan's love for him is completely earnest. Again what's so incredible about what Farrar does is he makes it this problematic thought that finds itself in his mind, that he shows that he almost tries to fight against, yet it can't help but poison his mind.

The fall back for most of Sammy's suffering both mental and physical is alcohol. This is a performance as an alcoholic however Farrar is careful in his approach in this regard. When he is drinking he does not attach any specific desire for the drink in itself so to speak. Farrar instead finds that in the moment of drinking he portrays rather the desire to drown out his suffering, though he's rather affecting in showing that Sammy never quite achieves that even at his drunkest. As a character study we see Sammy within his job as well where he deals with bureaucratic nonsense and his colleagues making decisions for the wrong reasons. Farrar in these scenes is once again terrific in finding the mindset of Sammy as his reactions in dealing with the other men is this quiet frustration and resignation. It is only when he's called to describe his feelings through his work itself that Farrar reveals so effectively a great strength and confidence in Sammy as it relates to the one thing he can be absolutely certain of, which is his intelligence. Farrar never plays the insufferable genius but rather reveals the suffering genius in quite the poignant fashion. Eventually his self pity leads to Susan leaving him, and we are given Sammy at his worst as he falls completely into his drinking while lashing out at everyone in a drunken stupor. This could be the time for some wild overacting, yet Farrar stays true to the character as he rightfully brings the messiness of the state yet since he does not overplay it he is very  moving in just revealing the ugliness of his inebriation and the severity of his anguish wrapped up in one. Sammy is given a chance for redemption though when he is called upon to solve the mystery of how to disarm one of the live mines. Now Farrar's approach to any scene where Sammy's expertise comes into play here as his sort of turnaround feels natural, since his assurance in that regard had been well established by Farrar before this point. Farrar does not forget what came before though as when he volunteers to disarm it himself in his eyes Farrar reflects this sort of bravery in part comes to his sadness towards the rest of his life. The disarmament is a fantastic scene and Farrar is a highlight of it. He helps to ratchet the tension not only because he's made us care for Sammy up to this point, but also in the moment he finds that certain fear in every moment, with every risky maneuver. Through the scene though Farrar naturally makes it a hopeful one by showing in every action the confidence of the man fully taking over, and the anguish fading away as he comes closer to a real undisputed success. I have to admit this performance took me a bit by surprise as this is a great performance by David Farrar. He creates such a vivid portrait of the troubled scientist never falling into cliche, but rather making the man's story truly resonate in powerful fashion.

84 comments:

ruthiehenshallfan99 said...

Happy to see this rating. Been looking to see this movie for a while now


Louis: Thoughts and ratings for the rest of the cast?

Luke Higham said...

Louis & Calvin: Did you see the Peter Rabbit trailer. Beatrix Potter would be turning in her grave. And poor Domhnall.

And I saw the trailer for Isle Of Dogs. As a fan of Fantastic Mr. Fox, it's one of my top ten anticipated films of 2018.

Calvin Law said...

He really is terrific here, and it's such a good character study. Dan Stevens would knock this role out of the ballpark if it were made today.

Luke: I saw it and I wept. For Potter's sake, for Gleeson's sake. And oh, James Corden as the voice of Peter Rabbit is perhaps the biggest casting mistake since...um.

RatedRStar said...

I was hoping for his father to jump in and rescue him from this mess that it surely will be, this is the kinda role I imagined Brendan Fraser doing lol.

RatedRStar said...

This is completely off topic but I started watching a new TV show, it wasn't Stranger Things, or Westworld or anything new and popular lol.

It was Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Wow it is shockingly good, for my money easily the best Star Trek television series in terms of overall acting and character development.

RatedRStar said...

Louis: If you have seen it what were your thoughts on Alexander Siddig?

RatedRStar said...

I dont know why, I just had a huge suspicion that Farrar would do well,

Robert MacFarlane said...

I actually laughed with Gleeson's scream in the Peter Rabbit trailer. I'm always impressed with an actor who truly commits to a high pitched screech.

ruthiehenshallfan99 said...

Do you hear that sound? It's Beatrix Potter's ashes scattering in distress.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Ah, it's hidden gems like this that make the bonus rounds so worthwhile :)

Matt Mustin said...

Louis: What's your rating and thoughts on Rory McCann in Hot Fuzz?

Anonymous said...

Watched mother! All I can say is: What the hell did I watch? Lawrence was great and Bardem was good.

Charles Heiston said...

Saw mother! too. I need awhile to let it sink in. But i thought Bardem was very great. And Lawrence was just as great.

Louis Morgan said...

ruthiehenshallfan99:

Byron - 4.5(Again to reiterate her chemistry with Farrar is great. Byron though adds even more to the role that could have been potentially the supportive girlfriend in a simplistic fashion. Byron does not allow that to happen though utilizing her unique presence so effectively to be this incisive presence while also being a comforting one. When she presses Sammy to live up to her potential Byron is terrific in the way she really brings an intensity within her words, though she always suggests this as coming from a place of real love. She's marvelous in the way she makes Susan this very tough yet constructive force who challenges Sammy but only to help him.)

Gough - 3.5(His role is fairly small yet he makes the right impact in his own way. Although he is there to technically set up the mine plot he really finds a character as the Captain in his few scenes. You get a real sense of this man which is important in making a rather emotional moment later on due to his absence.)

Hawkins - 3.5(He's a terrific flim flammer in his few scenes creating just as this salesman in his scenes around Farrar, bringing the right unabashed confidence in this, yet also the right lack of substance within every one of his lines.)

Cusack - 3(As usual he makes a definite impact in just a few seconds. Potentially a throwaway role but he's quite good in giving us some insight into the troubled man so swiftly and effectively.)

Asherson - 3.5(Technically a functional role in what she does in the final sequence yet she is terrific in infusing such a real emotion that is behind every moment, aiding all the more in creating the real tension of that great scene.)

Luke:

Corden's voice is almost demonic in a way in that trailer with how ill-fitting it is, almost as ill-fitting as the tone given for that material. Isle of Dogs looks like it could be a whole lot of fun though.

Calvin:

Stevens is a tad too young at a moment, but that means Ralph Fiennes would be perfect right now.

RatedRStar:

I probably saw quite a few episodes back in the day, and recall Siddig being quite good.

Matt:

McCann - 3.5(He's hilariously almost one note most of the time. His consistent delivery of yarp, in a rather Lurch like way, is great, but he gets a bit more to do with the cuddly monkey where he's quite amusing revealing quite the childlike brain beneath.)

Louis Morgan said...

Well I guess I'll explain my hatred of Mother!, which goes beyond its flagrant irresponsibility when it comes to punctuation. For me the film was all allegory with no substance within the allegory. The problem with it was this became readily obvious to me so quickly that while I was watching the film all I did was name what everything was suppose to be. I knew exactly what he was doing right away so it became particularly tiresome. There was nothing insightful to me about the allegory either.

The most on the surface is the biblical which he gives us, God, starting with creating nature (the house), and mother nature (Lawrence) which seems a little repetitive. HERE COMES Adam though, then after losing his rib, here comes Eve, the most "evil woman" interpretation of Eve you'd ever see, especially since there is no serpent, yes the film wants Bardem to be both God and the Devil however in the film he does not tempt to have Eve touch the apple. After trespassing they are kicked out of the garden of Eden (a room that's one pretty thin), and realize they are naked (here as a sexual awakening), but hey they have grown sons to be Cain and Abel, which they act out without any alternative angle. Then we get conception and jump to the new testament, however there is no change, and mother nature being Mary is a little thin as well. There is no change to God though he's the same vain depiction Aronofsky began with but now he produces his word, which brings followers who bastardize the word creating human sacrifices, and war. But hey then we get the son (Jesus) who is sacrificed and eaten because you know the Eucharist. Then everything restarts because "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again" aka Time is a flat circle (McConaughey voice).

But hey Aronofsky throws in a few other thin allegories. Such as the allegory of his marriage where he abuses and ignores his wife, except to have sex with her, because his artistry is just too important.

Then there's environment "people are bad to the environment(the house)" and the environment will eventually destroy the people. SOOOOO DEEEEEP.

An artist's work is bastardized don't you know, digested by those superficial masses, but hey Aronofsky loves the affection his fans give him he just hates his fans.

What really makes the film a failure is it cannot stand without the allegory, I'm fine with allegory when used properly for example Cache is a great film, it's an allegory for the French government's denial of the Seine River massacre. The film and its characters stand on its own as this believable family drama without allegory, that's not the case for Mother!, it needs the allegory to be anything at all.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Ratings for the cast of Mother!.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: And your analysis was quite hilarious. :)

Robert MacFarlane said...

Holy hell.

Michael McCarthy said...

Louis: I think that's a fair assessment. I think everyon can agree that the film isn't much without its allegories. The divide is based on whether or not you think that makes the film inherently bad, which I don't.

Robert MacFarlane said...

mother! reminded me a lot of Birdman in terms of how it presented its metaphors, to be honest. The weird thing I noticed is that those who loved Birdman hate mother! the most and those who hated Birdman loved mother! the most.

Mitchell Murray said...

Remember how I expressed mixed feelings towards "Battle Of The Sexes" and doubted its chances in award season? Well, with the way the reviews are going I'll probably be eating my words in a few months.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Stone's a lock for Best Actress, but I'm not sure about the rest yet.

Mitchell Murray said...

I wouldn't mind seeing Stone nominated but I'm hesitant on seeing her win again. At least from who I talked to there was a fair amount of backlash on her La La Land win so imagine what a second consecutive win could do. And if "Last Flag Flaying" does well and Carell gets attention for that performance, I'd be satisfied. Toned down Carell is my favourite Carell so needless to say I'm more excited for his other major movie.

Anonymous said...

Louis: your top 20 daniel day lewis acting moments

94dfk1 said...

Anonymous: I found his top ten, though this was before he watched The Age of Innocence.

Day-Lewis:

1. The Baptism - There Will Be Blood
2. Dinner - My Left Foot
3. Oil Man speech - There Will Be Blood
4. The Ending - My Left Foot
5. Daniel interrogates his "brother" - There Will be Blood
6. "Asked for a drink" - My Left Foot
7. Meeting with the Cabinet - Lincoln
8. "Fear" - Gangs of New York
9. The interrogation - In the Name of the Father
10. Fight with Mary Todd - Lincoln

Deiner said...

Louis: your ratings and thoughts on both Richard Gere and Debra Winger in An Officer and a Gentleman. Speaking of Winger, I read your initial thoughts on her and MacLaine in Terms of Endearment in which you gave both of them 4.5 and yet Winger didn't make your top 5 Best Actress from that year. What made you change your opinion and what's your rating for her now?

Michael McCarthy said...

Anyone who's interested: what's your favorite performance in a below-average tv series? Because for me it's Melissa McBride in The Walking Dead by a mile and a half.

Anonymous said...

Louis: While he never got to play the role because of his death, how do you think Steve McQueen would have fared as Rambo?

Calvin Law said...

Michael: I haven't seen that much, but Jon Cryer in the latter seasons of Two and a Half Men still was great even when the series was going down in the dumps.

Calvin Law said...

I also saw Kingsman which was extraordinarily average. Hated a lot of what they did with the characters, but some of the action scenes are fun.

Firth: 3
Egerton: 3.5
Tatum: 2.5
Bridge: 2.5
Moore: 2.5
Pascal: 3
Strong: 3.5
Berry: 2.5
John: 3
Alstrom: 3

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Michael: Luke Perry in Riverdale who is by far the best part of that show. That being said, Riverdale is quite the guilty pleasure for me.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Oh, and I'd say Neil Partick Harris or Jason Segel in How I Met Your Mother. They were th only ones who kept their heads held high throughout the entire show.

Calvin Law said...

Tahmeed: Yeah Segal was consistently funny throughout. Can't say I feel the same about Harris, particularly towards the end. Also, on the sitcom note, Simon Helberg in The Big Bang Theory.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Checked out the pilot of American Vandal. I found it rather clever and entertaining as of now, and the performances are surprisingly competent.

Calvin Law said...

Tahmeed: watching that too. Very entertaining.

John Smith said...

Tahmeed: I loved American Vandal. Also finished seeing 'The Night Of'. Ahmed really deserved that Emmy.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: Thinking about it more, the only scene I loved was THAT scene with Mark Strong. Elton John's appearances were quite funny and the action scenes were good, though not on the level of the church scene in the original. I hated seeing Tatum and Bridges being wasted, I didn't like what they did with Pascal in the end, I wish Harry had stayed dead as it completely dilutes the impact of that moment in the original and Julianne Moore just can't do villainy. And I've heard Vaughn wants Dwayne Johnson as the villain for the third film when he should've been here.

RatedRStar said...

So disappointed in how How I Met Your Mother, it was like the whole thing by the end was a waste.

Murder on the Orient Express has a new trailer, whats everyone reckon to it?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z68frP9Q7XA

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

RatedRStar: I totally fucking agree. I get that that butchery of an ending was their endgame from like Season 1 or 2, but they didn't take into account fan opinions or character development. It just felt like a massive middle finger, considering there was the potential for so much more.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: Kenneth Branagh will probably give a very good performance despite that ridiculous moustache and the reactions will be mixed at the very least.

And Goodbye Christopher Robin might do pretty decent. It's currently sitting on 86% with 6 fresh/1 rotten.

RatedRStar said...

Harry being back from the dead for Kingsman is just so contrived lol well I guess Robert Carlyle got a bullet in the head in The World is not Enough so why the heck not lol haha.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your rating/thoughts on Ian McKellen as King Lear.

94dfk1 said...

Tahmeed, RatedRStar and Calvin: I always thought Segel mailed it in for most of the final season of HIMYM, though he nailed his vow renewal scene in the penultimate episode with Lily. I felt that NPH was good throughout the entire run though.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your rating for Sigourney Weaver in Conquest Of Paradise.

Luke Higham said...

And in The Year Of Living Dangerously, Ghostbusters II, Dave, Death And The Maiden and Paul.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your cast and director for a 1950's Day of the Locust.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: why exactly do you think the Robert E. Lee storyline is the worst in Twin Peaks? Because I think the Lana Milford, James/Evelyn, and Nadine storylines, while still entertaining in their own rights, are lesser in quality than that storyline which features a bunch of the best characters doing wacky things.

Anonymous said...

Louis: your top 20 meryl streep acting moments

Anonymous said...

Luke: What rating do you think Branagh will get? A 4,5?

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: I'll go with a 4.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Even more effusive praise for The Florida Project has come out. I think it's this year's Moonlight slot. Pretty positive Dafoe is this year's Supporting Actor winner.

Deiner said...

Louis: your ratings on the cast of Murder on the Orient Express.

Giuseppe Fadda said...

I think the James/Evelyn storyline is absolutely awful and by far the worst storyline of the show. It doesn't help I find Marshall to be rather dull and Annette McCarthy to be an incredibly bland femme fatale.

Calvin Law said...

I actually think Marshall's acting is really good in those scenes, but McCarthy is indeed a total bore. I hope she doesn't return in The Return.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your ratings for Tilda Swinton in Moonrise Kingdom and Viola Davis in Prisoners.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: What are your career aspirations, because it appears to me that you want to do film criticism professionally.

Calvin Law said...

Luke: I'm thinking of it as more of an interest/hobby that I dedicate lots of time to. I've been working on a script and somr short stories for a while now as well. Mostly however I think I'm going to go into the family business for a while first - so to answer your question, not sure.

Louis: thoughts on Peggy Lipton and Everett McGill, Wendy Robie, Chris Mulkey and Ian Buchanan on Twin Peaks?

Luke Higham said...

Louis: And Helen Mirren in The Long Good Friday, The Pledge, State Of Play and if you have seen it, Calendar Girls.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: You've left out Roi-Ha Kim in A Bittersweet Life from the '05 supporting overall.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Lastly, your rating for Rebecca Hall in The Town.

94dfk1 said...

Watched The Big Sick last night

Nanjiani- 3.5 (Has an enjoyable presence and does strike up a chemistry with Kazan. His dramatic moments do fall a little flat, but I thought he was very good when he broke down whilst doing stand-up at the end.)

Kazan- 3 (Good but I can't help but feel that she seems a bit muted in the movie.)

Romano- 4

Hunter- 4

Akhtar- 3.5

Anonymous said...

Louis: For curiosity, your top 10 books and authors

94dfk1 said...

Louis: Your choice for a young Vito Corleone in a 2010s version of The Godfather Part II? I liked your cast for a 2010s version of The Godfather, especially Schoaenarts as Fredo.

Henry W said...

Here's a question for you guys, how would you rank the top five most understated performances ever nominated in the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor category?

Calvin Law said...

Henry: Tough and subjective question, I'd say:

1. Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
2. Stephen Rea, The Crying Game
3. Anthony Hopkins, The Remains of the Day
4. Robert Duvall, Tender Mercies
5. Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker

1. Omar Sharif, Lawrence of Arabia
2. Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
3. Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

Need to think a bit more for the rest.

Henry W said...

Calvin: Interesting rankings. I'd rank best actor something like...


1. Oldman, TTSS
2. Duvall, Tender Mercies
3. Marlon Brando, On the Waterfront
4. Richard Farnsworth. The Straight Story
5. Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

Calvin Law said...

Completely forgot to mention Affleck and Farnsworth, they'd be my #3 and #4.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Henry: I'd say-
1. Richard Farnsworth in The Straight Story
2. Robert Duvall in Tender Mercies
3. Gary Oldman in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
4. Laurence Olivier in Rebecca
5. Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea

Supporting Actor-
1. Rod Steiger in On the Waterfront
2. Omar Sharif in Lawrence of Arabia
I need to give it a bit more thought.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the following songs-

"Stayin' Alive" from Saturday Night Fever
"Eye of the Tiger" from Rocky III
"The Rose" from The Rose

Luke Higham said...

Since there's not much activity going on here at the moment, I'm gonna predict Louis' overall winners.

Picture: Three Billboards
Director: Nolan
Lead Actor: Stanton
Lead Actress: Hawkins
Supporting Actor: Rockwell
Supporting Actress: Swinton, Leo or Janney
Original Screenplay: Three Billboards
Adapted Screenplay: Logan, The Snowman or Last Flag Flying
Cinematography: Blade Runner 2049 or Dunkirk
Costume: Beauty And The Beast or Wonder Woman
Production Design: The Shape Of Water
Editing: Dunkirk
Visual Effects: Blade Runner 2049 or The Last Jedi
Makeup: Darkest Hour
Original Score: Dunkirk
Sound Mixing: Blade Runner 2049
Sound Editing: Dunkirk

Calvin Law said...

I'll take a stab myself:

Picture: Three Billboards
Director: Nolan
Lead Actor: Stanton
Lead Actress: McDormand
Supporting Actor: Poulter
Supporting Actress: Swinton
Original Screenplay: Three Billboards
Adapted Screenplay: Logan
Cinematography: Dunkirk
Costume: Beauty And The Beast
Production Design: The Shape Of Water
Editing: Dunkirk
Visual Effects: Blade Runner 2049
Makeup: Darkest Hour
Original Score: Dunkirk
Sound Mixing: Blade Runner 2049
Sound Editing: Dunkirk

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: Hawkins and McDormand are definitely gonna be the top 2 this year in Lead Actress. And I've got Poulter at #2 in Supporting.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, while it would be great to see Stanton winning, I don't think it's going to happen.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: Who's your pick for Lead Actor then.

Luke Higham said...

By the way Calvin, looking over the list of Supporting performances saved so far again. Apart from Poulter, Stewart and maybe Hamm, there's 2 or 3 others there that could really surprise us, though I'm not gonna name them at this time.

Anonymous said...

Luke: I'll go with Oldman.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: Oldman will be in the top 5 at least, but I'm still sticking with Stanton.

Giuseppe Fadda said...

I've just seen The Beguiled and I actually really liked it. I found it to be very well-directed and gorgeously shot. Perhaps Coppola cut out a bit too much from the character's backstories but I really liked the subtle interactions between the characters that perfectly build up to the final act. For me:

Farrell - 4.5
Kidman - 4.5
Dunst - 4
Fanning - 4
Laurence - 4
Riecke, Rice, Howard - 3.5

Louis Morgan said...

94dk1:

Day-Lewis:

1. The Baptism - There Will Be Blood
2. Dinner - My Left Foot
3. Oil Man speech - There Will Be Blood
4. The Ending - My Left Foot
5. Fouling the ball - In the Name of the Father
6. Daniel interrogates his "brother" - There Will be Blood
7. "Asked for a drink" - My Left Foot
8. Meeting with the Cabinet - Lincoln
9. The Ending - The Age of Innocence
10. "Fear" - Gangs of New York
11. "Bastard from a basket" - There Will Be Blood
12. Listening to the fight - My Left Foot
13. The interrogation - In the Name of the Father
14. Fight with Mary Todd - Lincoln
15. Whoopsi Daisy! - Gangs of New York
16. Fantasy - The Age of Innocence
17. "I will slit your throat" - There Will Be Blood
18. Before the battle speech - Gangs of New York
19. Lucy breaks the engagement - A Room With A View
20. Reunion - My Beautiful Laundrette

Corey Stoll for young Vito.

Deiner:

Gere - 3(His performance, as often is the case for Gere with me, veers between quite good and downright atrocious. He definitely has some good scenes in the film particularly in the moments with David Keith, and Gosset later on, but then he has his early breakdown during training that comes off as more ridiculous. He also lacks something overall in his depiction of his treatment of Winger's character. In that his inconsistency keeps us a certain distance from Mayo that isn't really intended within the film.)

Winger - 3.5(Her performance does work in creating enough of a chemistry with Gere, though again there is something weird about it because of Gere's performance. She is quite effective though later in the film in portraying the overt distress over his potential treatment of her.)

Oversight, though I don't know how I made it in regards to Terms.

Gielgud - 3
Perkins - 3
Connery - 3
Widmark - 3
Balsam - 3
Quilley - 3
York - 2.5
Bacall - 3
Bergman - 3
Bisset - 2.5
Hiller - 3
Redgrave - 3
Roberts - 3

Luke:

McKellen - 4.5(His approach is extremely similair to Olivier's in that he portrays him more of this former hardman who has turned into this kindly old grandfather for all extensive purposes by this time in his life. Again this once again does work in creating the sense of how he essentially falls into his folly, as McKellen shows him to be almost somewhat daft. He is quite effective though in playing around with the idea of the grandiose warrior who has lost his place essentially. There are particularly notable moments in his work where he reveals sort of the more cutting edge, though most often resorts to just that warmth, which McKellen brings effectively as always, in portraying the man whose mind has been ruled by a sentimentalism that does hold true to the world around him or within the minds of his children.)

Conquest - 2.5
Year of Living Dangerously - 3.5
Ghostbusters II - 3
Dave - 3.5
Death and the Maiden - 2.5
Paul - 2.5
Swinton - 3
Davis - 3
The Long Good Friday - 4
State of Play - 3.5
Hall - 3.5

Anonymous:

I think he would have been great I imagine McQueen would've probably allowed the film to stay closer to the source material.

RatedRStar:

Looks like they're changing it up a bit from the source, I actually hope they do change the ending. Still don't approve of the music choice, and I would very surprised if Branagh actually used it within the film other than the end credits.

Anonymous:

Day of the Locust 1950's directed by Orson Welles:

Tod Hackett: Jack Lemmon
Faye Greener: Rita Hayworth
Homer Simpson: Orson Welles
Harry Greener: Ed Wynn
Big Sister: Agnes Moorehead
Adore Lewis: Brandon deWilde

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

For me the Robert E. Lee stings more because it is a waste of such strong characters, and mostly there to sadly keep Audrey away from Cooper. Lana Milford scenes I never felt had that much time devoted to them, James's story is terrible but was not a waste, and Nadine I actually found mildly amusing at first the problem was they rode it into the ground by going on with it for so long.

Lipton - (Her performance is very strong in capturing chemistries with both McGill, and Mulkey, and creating the different sense of each. She makes the right sense of warmth with both of them actually but in a way a greater purity with Mcgill. She however is equally strong in playing into the difficulty of each portraying the right frustrations in regards to dealing with both of the men. Her performance finds the complexity of each yet she also importantly always keeps Norma quite sympathetic despite the nature of these relationships. She though does so by making both her loyalty to Hank wholly earnest but also portraying the love with Big Ed to be just the same.)

McGill - (McGill is altogether great I find throughout the series in making Big Ed just so likable as presence in both his scenes of helping Cooper and the Sheriff, but also in dealing with the complexities of his relationships outside of that. He's especially strong in his scene explaining his situation to Cooper, despite the hilarious still snarky Albert off to the side, and is quite moving in revealing Big Ed's troubles. Again along with Lipton he has such strong chemistry but also manages to always make the character particularly endearing by making his attitude in every situation always so honest to it. On a side note his scenes in the return were among my absolute favorites.)

Robie - (I actually find her rather effective despite the wringer they kind of put her throughout. Again they completely make the mistake of too much of a good thing in her season 2 plotline, but to her credit she certainly goes for every moment of it best she can. Outside of those scenes though in her season 1 work I find she makes the right balance to being quit the "character" so to speak while finding some real honesty in portraying the nature of her manipulative attitude with Big Ed. She brings that within sort of the character quite effectively by showing the duplicitous nature in her excessive emoting actually.)

Mulkey - (Not Chris Cooper I think does a fine job with a fairly simple role. Most of the time he's just there to be a tough thug, which he does decently enough. I do like his few scenes with Lipton where he brings a bit more though, particularly his enthusiasm in the scene where they think the food critic is coming. Most of the time he's fairly one note, but I think that does fit the character.)

Buchanan - (I actually rather love his performance. He's just about a pure caricature, yet I love just how far he goes in making every ounce of the man seem absolutely vapid. Even the way he raises his eye brows just seems of a man who can't help but be just a bit sleazy. I do quite like his scenes with the evil kid though as he successfully shows a different side to the character. It is not as though he becomes some different man, but rather is rather hilarious again in portraying the fear of such vapid man.)

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Streep:

1. The Choice - Sophie's Choice
2. home "invasion" - Silkwood
3. Stealing the radio - Sophie's Choice
4. Not being able to see her kids - Silkwood
5. Question about Nicky - The Deer Hunter
6. Third act nonsense - Adaptation
7. The Ending - Kramer Vs Kramer
8. Injured Mother - Postcards from the Edge
9. Argument - Manhattan
10. Obsession - Silkwood
11. Initial Interview - Adaptation
12. Messing up the one shot take - Postcard From the Edge
13. Meeting Daniel - Defending Your Life
14. Asking for her son - Kramer Vs Kramer
15. Old Thatcher at home - The Iron Lady
16. Ending - The Deer Hunter
17. Date - Defending your Life
18. Pure Evil - The Simpsons
19. Hotel Room - The Deer Hunter
20. Exposure - Silkwood

Anonymous:

Eh, I'd prefer to avoid the residual questions.

Henry:

Lead

Richard Farnsworth - The Straight Story
Oldman - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Robert Duvall - Tender Mercies
Laurence Olivier - Rebecca
Stephen Rea - The Crying Game

Supporting:

Haing S. Ngor - The Killing Fields
Jason Miller - The Exorcist
Jack Nicholson - Reds
Mark Rylance - Bridge of Spies
Marhershala Ali - Moonlight

Tahmeed:

Staying Alive - (The only song that one can properly strut down the street to. A proper disco in every sense particularly the singing of the beegees which is very specific to the style in their almost falsetto yet not quite. What one really stays for the song though is the funky beat throughout. After all I'd say with Disco the lyrics are particularly unimportant that it's hard to remember anything them other than the titular due to their delivery. That's just fine though as this song is a delightful extremely specific to period song.)

Eye of the Tiger - (Technically an overused song just in general to all of society, however that should not diminish what the song to has to offer. It simply has one of the most epic intros ever with that build between the strum and the chords, before bringing the steadier beat for the song to play out to. The vocals only take it up a notch though in just creating this perhaps overly dramatic ballad, yet downright perfect for any montage especially one for old Rocky Balboa. I mean on matter what I will at least mouth the chorus if not join right in, because one must with just how invigorating the song simply is.)

Sadly the Rose was not for the film, though it'd be an easy best song winner if it had been.

Calvin Law said...

What I love about Lipton and McGill's performances is how they manage to stand out despite being the most 'normal' characters, so to speak. Also love Buchanan, helps he looks a bit like Dean Stockwell.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Do you plan on re-writing Day-Lewis' review for Gangs Of New York.

94dfk1 said...

Thoughts on this cast for a 2000s Sicario?

Kate Macer: Charlize Theron
Matt Graver: Viggo Mortensen
Alejandro Gillick: Antonio Banderas