Monday, 18 September 2017

Alternate Best Actor 1949: Toshiro Mifune in Stray Dog

Toshiro Mifune did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Detective Murakami in Stray Dog.

Well given that I've reviewed nearly every other leading turn by Toshiro Mifune under the guidance of Akira Kurosawa I thought I might as well cover one that I missed. Of course I previously reviewed him for this year for his work as a doctor who accidentally contracts syphilis in The Quiet Duel, where Mifune revealed his skill in a particularly internalized role, Stray Dog however is in some ways an encapsulation of so many of the elements that makes him my favorite actor. On the first is the very idea of his collaboration with Kurosawa which simply is the greatest between any actor and director in cinematic history. Their achievement together surpasses all others without question. This is abundantly obvious within this film particularly in the earliest scenes that are almost silent in a way as we follow Mifune's Detective Murakami as he goes undercover in order to find the black market operators who have his pistol that was stolen from him. Kurosawa features much of the detail of the environment of the city, however Mifune is never lost within this technique. Mifune's presence of course helps to prevent this yet in every moment we see him he effectively conveying what Murakami is going through as he either wanders the streets or tails a potential suspect. Mifune captures obviously the determination of the detective, yet also conveys the frustrations of the chase, and even a bit humor in the degree of awkwardness he portrays when finding a perpetrator. Mifune and Kurosawa amplify the scenes together, as Kurosawa grants the us the imagery, and Mifune offers that focal point that amplifies it so well.

Mifune of course is almost always kind of the individualist within even the communal society in  every Kurosawa film, which he's here too, but more on that later. This though is the pioneer of the buddy cop duo specifically the veteran detective, here Sato played by Takashi Shimura, and the rookie Mifune's Murakami. The film follows them as they work together to find the "stray dog" aka the man who has Murakami's gun that he's using to violently rob people. Again as much as Mifune stands out as a performer he is not a showboat in all reality and does not stand in the way of his co-stars. Mifune here has, once again, terrific chemistry with Takashi Shimura, this perhaps being their best collaboration in terms of their direct interactions. Mifune knows how to share a scene as does Shimura and the two of them develop naturally the relationship between the detective. They find the right dynamic in every regard with Shimura always emphasizing the wisdom of the old mentor, while Mifune emphases the youth and inexperience of Murakami. The two only amplify this further through the striking way they interact in every scene. I love the way they contrast with Shimura always so calm, yet with certain type of potential energy in the right way in portraying the way Sato deals with a crime, against Mifune who depicts that pent up urgency of a man who both has never solved a case before but has a desperate need to do so.

Now in that desperate need is where we get the really the crux of the character and as expected Mifune uses it to realize Murakami as a distinct man. In the opening scene we get just brief moment of the a cocky young man seemingly quite happy in his job as he does target practice. Mifune in that brief moment doesn't reveal him as this huge ego, but rather seemingly someone on the rise in his life. The loss of the gun causes that shift though and Mifune is terrific in revealing that shattered confidence that stems the early desperation in Murakami as he attempts to recover the weapon. When the gun gets into the wrong hands though, and his loss inadvertently causes death due to the violent man who bought it, Mifune naturally shifts the character again. Mifune brings such a powerful emotion within the case by keeping this underlying and so palatable shame within Murakami. Every time they hear news of an injury or death caused by the gun, Mifune is terrific in the way his reactions convey the immediate deep despair in Murakami as that shame rises to the surface once again. Mifune makes this facet of the character but does not allow it to overwhelm the role entirely as he delves deeper into Murakami all the while the investigation continues on. Within that there is a key facet to the character which is Murakami's relationship to the man they are trying to catch.

Murakami's association to the stray dog is not of any real association, but rather a connection in theoretical mutual experience as both were former soldiers from the war who came back to their normal lives with nothing to show for it. The experience of the war, something that Mifune had experienced in real life as well, is something innately in his performances as it can be found within his personal intensity as a performer even when he's not directly emotional. This provides such a depth within his work here as Murakami as within his approach there is an undeniable sense within his performance of technically a harsher life that was behind him though still haunts him to a certain extent. When Murakami speaks of the stray dog, and how he could have potentially gone his way of life given his similair circumstances, Mifune is outstanding in the way his eyes seem to look within to convey the way Murakami is examining his own pains from the past. This is a consistent factor that Mifune brilliantly realizes though is naturally eased within the story as Sato always counters that Murakami is indeed a better man. Mifune beautifully realizes within his work they idea of that thought that perpetuates throughout. Again Mifune even when not front and center never wastes a moment. In his moments with Shimura, when he presents an overt comfort towards the younger man, Mifune effectively portrays the slight ease yet not removal of these thoughts that are a burden to the man. One of the best moments within Mifune's performance though is almost silent when he listens to the stray dog's girlfriend defend his actions by essentially explaining his plight, which is no different than what Murakami went through. Mifune's reaction hold such power as he depicts Murakami's understanding that his choices made him a different man. Mifune when finally speaks is incredible because he does reveal sanctimony in verbalizing the different path, as there still is the sense of the shared suffering, yet now with the conviction that he was in the right. Again as much as this is accomplished portrayal of this man dealing with his shame from his current failure, and the demons of the past, he is also simply a great lead in this police procedural. Mifune is captivating to watch as he works the case in every respect in creating again that urgency, but also in every moment with Shimura the learning process as he sees the seasoned officer work. Mifune naturally builds towards the climax of the film which is amazing scene for him as he represents the strength of Murakami coming into his own as a detective yet also the direct underlying fear of the danger in the moment, but with emotional intensity of man knowing he is truly fighting for a just cause.  I've said before, but it's always worth saying, and I hope to have the pleasure of saying it again, which is this is a great performance by Toshiro Mifune. It's a turn that reveals just how effortless yet remarkable his collaboration with Kurosawa was as well as his ability to not only giving a mesmerizing performance to watch, but also one that wholly captures the complexities of his character.

68 comments:

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Ratings and Thoughts on the cast of Stalin and would you have any intention of watching Song To Song during the alternates or leave it for a few years until the bonus round as you're not particularly fond of Malick's Experimental style.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: And your thoughts overall on the Emmys.

Charles Heiston said...

One of my personal favorites from Mifune.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your rating for John Goodman in O Brother, Where Art Thou?.

94dfk1 said...

I think Chris Pine would be great as Randle McMurphy but I want to see what Bradley Cooper would do with the role. When I first saw the movie, I was thinking of Cooper for a hypothetical remake of the film.

Anonymous said...

Louis: your top 20 brad dourif acting moments

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the political speech scene in Citizen Kane.

Anonymous said...

Louis: What are your top 20 Brendan Gleeson and Holly Hunter acting moments

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your rating for Alan Tudyk in I, Robot.

Calvin Law said...

Amazing film. Louis, what are your thoughts on, hm, how can I describe it, the hotel scene where we see the stray dog's feet going down the stairs as the two detectives are also in the hotel? It's an amazing scene.

Also, I'm guessing Mifune and Shimura are your two leads for a 1950s Se7en.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Has Shimura gone up for this.

Also, could Luke and I have your updated thoughts on those GOT cast members? They were-
Maisie Williams
Lena Headey
Liam Cunningham
Rory McCann
Emilia Clarke
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Calvin Law said...

Louis: your thoughts on David Duchnovy on Twin Peaks?

Calvin Law said...

Also Richard Beymer and David Patrick Kelly. Even through the somewhat lesser stretch of episodes in going through I still find them extremely entertaining and even somewhat moving.

Luke Higham said...

Got some heartbreaking news today. My 8 year-old German Shepherd is to be put down tonight. :(

Robert MacFarlane said...

I'm sos sorry, Luke. I'm coming up on the four year anniversary of my golden retriever passing away at that age, so I know how it feels.

Luke Higham said...

Thank You Robert :)

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Luke: I'm terribly sorry for your loss, at least he lived a great life :)

Luke Higham said...

Thank You Tahmeed :)

Giuseppe Fadda said...

I'm truly sorry for your loss Luke.

Charles Heiston said...

Sorry for that, Luke. I had a cat that passed on a few years ago so i know some of the feeling.

Luke Higham said...

Thank You Guys :)

Anonymous said...

Luke: Sorry about your loss.

Deiner said...

I'm so sorry Luke. Last year, my 8 year old dog passed away as well, so I completely understand how you're feeling :-(

Luke Higham said...

Thank You Anonymous & Deiner

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on That'll do Pig, That'll do from Babe and Romeo And Juliet from Hot Fuzz.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on this scene from All the President's Men:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qeemjaosp-E

ruthiehenshallfan99 said...

I'm sorry to hear that, Luke. We had to put down our dog of 14 years a few months ago, so I sympathize with you. My thoughts are with you and your family

Michael McCarthy said...

Sorry Luke, my thoughts are with ya bud. I've got a lab who's getting to be that age.

RatedRStar said...

Luke: I am terribly sorry for your loss, know that everyone on this blog supports you and will always be here for you to talk if you ever feel you need to talk to people.

moviefilm said...

Luke: I'm so sorry for your loss. Be strong.

Alex Marqués said...

Luke: I'm sorry for your loss, at least you gave him the best years you could.

Luke Higham said...

Thank you guys for your support and condolences. :)

Calvin Law said...

So sorry to hear Luke. Time will heal but a very sad loss for you. All the best wishes.

Luke Higham said...

Thank You Calvin :)

RIP Jake LaMotta

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Dourif:

1. Motes confronts his imposter - Wise Blood
2. Billy's breakdown - One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest
3. Anti-preaching - Wise Blood
4. "Redemption" - Wise Blood
5. Questioning throwing the faucet - One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest
6. No justification - Wise Blood
7. Billy's therapy - One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest
8. I don't like yours Either - Wise Blood
9. Meeting the blind preacher's daughter - Wise Blood
10. Taxi service - Wise Blood
11. Younger brother offers his services - Ragtime
12. I want this car - Wise Blood
13. Seeing the Armies - The Two Towers
14. Meeting Enoch Emory - Wise Blood
15. Disruption - Ragtime
16. Meeting the conman preacher - Wise Blood
17. Close shave - Mississippi Burning
18. Killing Saruman - The Return of the King
19. Being Exiled - The Two Towers
20. Poisonous advice - The Two Towers

Anonymous:

Downright brilliant scene in terms of sheer imagery from the slow pan in with a particularly effective use of deep fox, the dynamic lighting, and that particularly iconic design for Kane's poster. In addition this is especially strong scene for Welles as his touches of theatricality only benefit the setting of the scene, and play well into creating the sense of the egotist and firebrand that is Kane in the moment.

Anonymous:

Gleeson:

1. The Tower - In Bruges
2. "On Ragland Road" - In Bruges
3. In the Park With Ray - In Bruges
4. Walk to the beach - Calvary
5. How do gunshots feel - The Guard
6. Cahill and the inspector - The General
7. Inappropriate comments - The Guard
8. What side would he fight for? - In Bruges
9. Finding the dead birds - The General
10. Proper shootout - The Guard
11. The kid's death - Six Shooter
12. Meeting Harry for a drink - In Bruges
13. Rabbit - Six Shooter
14. Crucifixion interrogation - The General
15. Infection - 28 Days Later
16. Finding his dog - Calvary
17. Hearing about the alcoves - In Bruges
18. No credit for fourth place - the Guard
19. Bloody Shakespearean - Gangs of New York
20. Bar "fight" - Calvary

Hunter:

1. Rain Amputation - The Piano
2. Working the broadcast - Broadcast News
3. "Son of a bitch" - Raising Arizona
4. Suicide attempt - The Piano
5. Turning down Aaron - Broadcast News
6. Returning Junior - Raising Arizona
7. Playing on the beach - The Piano
8. Airport - Broadcast News
9. He left me - Raising Arizona
10. Leading then denial - The Piano
11. Watching the play - The Piano
12. "you screwed up" - The Big Sick
13. Reunion - Broadcast News
14. A deal - The Piano
15. Shower breakdown - Thirteen
16. Meltdown - Nine Lives
17. Bad company - Raising Arizona
18. Seeing Penny - O Brother Where Art Thou?
19. "Throw me" - The Incredibles
20. Alisdair sells the piano - The Piano

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

That's just a brilliantly staged scene by Kurosawa, and I think it's a shame he apparently thought the film was a mere technical exercise since I feel he managed to weave in emotional stakes quite effectively within that technical prowess. That scene though just again relies on a real investment, while amplifying any given tension through such a precise touch, that I don't feel becomes ever overdone either.

Obviously in regards to Seven, with Masayuki Mori as John Doe.

Duchnovy - (He's perhaps one of the post-killer revealed, highlights to the show quite honestly as he quickly offers quite the energetic and rather endearing presence in his few scenes. He does not use the setup of Denise though as a crutch at any point, he has a little fun with that, yet in terms of effectively working it into his performance which he always emphasizes a direct unabashed quality of the character.)

Beymer - (His best performance, and he's also great in season 3 as well. Something I love in Twin Peaks in general is seeing some of these actors who weren't exactly my favorites before completely knocking out a part, which is the case for Beymer here, even if he gets stuck in the single worst part of the series later on. He's terrific though in being the seemingly all powerful businessman but I love that he actually avoids many cliches with his performance. In that he has the confidence you'd expect, even a bit of the slime, yet in an interesting way he actually does find a real charm to Ben even though he's a pretty amoral character. He ends up making him often quite endearing by really kind of letting us into his scheming, allowing us in on the fun in a way. In addition in the pivotal scenes of the killer wrap up episodes, where his performance becomes its most dramatic, he absolutely delivers in revealing Ben very much out of his comfort zone. I especially love his reaction when Ben's arrested.)

Kelly - (I will say when hiring David Patrick Kelly, you have to be specially wanting David Patrick Kelly for just exactly what he offers. Kelly's always Kelly so to speak, but also no one else is David Patrick Kelly. This is a great use of exactly what he brings with his unique energy as a performer. Here he's slimy as usual to quite extent actually yet Kelly does it in a way that is just so entertaining to watch. In addition, and more on Beymer's work, I love the real warmth the two actors share between the brothers showing the real history of a proper pair, even if they aren't "good guys" they're strangely lovable in a way. It also must be noted Kelly's work when Jerry is Ben's lawyer is some of the funniest in the series, with Kelly so realizing a guy completely out of his element yet trying so hard to be in it.)

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

I originally wrote detailed reviews for the Stalin performers, but they were lost due to a glitch while posting so here just a quick summary and cast rating.

Duvall - 4.5
Ormand - 3.5
Schell - 3.5
Plowright - 3.5

The film gives such a surface telling of Stalin's life that every seems held back in at least some way in terms of giving a truly great representation of their character in a way they really resonate emotionally. They are all good though representing the fairly thin characters of the film and at least alluding to a more complex possibility even if the film does not allow them to explore it. It is also proof that Duvall can deliver a transformative performance of that type or at least a way of him going "yeah I can do accents too".

I can't say much about the emmys I didn't really watch it and the only winner I saw was Riz Ahmed, who I thought was deserving even if I preferred Turturro out of that lineup.

Goodman's a 3.5

That'll do Pig - (A great great ending. A absolutely earned absolutely sweet moment, given that Babe's life is on the line the whole rest of the film, we get assurance of his safety though through that oh so warm smile of Cromwell's along with that oh so perfect line.)

Romeo and Juliet - (Pegg does a great representation of my own expression while watching the Luhrmann version of the film and I love that Wright uses the party costumes in such a terribly staged version of the play. That is all topped off by the acting that so hilariously murders Bill Shakespeare.)



Sorry to hear of your loss Luke. Wish you the best.

Luke Higham said...

Thank you Louis :)

Louis Morgan said...

Tahmeed:

Maisie Williams - (Well consider this as extensions on my earlier thoughts. William's performance is one where I'd say has gotten less interesting actually as the series has gone on, and I'd say her best work was easily in the first 3 seasons. Having said that though it is not that she's become anything close to underwhelming in the role. I would say she almost developed settings for Arya. In that one scene we get the cold blooded murderer, one we get the tough badass, one we get the little girl lost again. She does all these sides well, but her performance was more interesting when she revealed them part of a mess of psyche. I suppose it feels like a natural development in a way that she becomes more controlled in her state however she is less compelling due to that.)

Lena Headey - (Her performance is interesting in that the following seasons we were allowed Cersei to fall out of the specific state of her character most of the time, well realized by Headey, however the show did test her performance by first taking Cersei to her most vulnerable in season 5 then to her most coldhearted in the most recent season. Headey does effectively take Cersei to a sympathetic place in revealing the desperate distraught woman behind all the finery and cold glares. Headey though effectively twists this broken down moment not to a compassion, but rather towards revealing an even greater bitterness than we had scene before. She someone makes Cersei worse than she's ever been by creating a more emotional viciousness, rather cold hatred, that is quite remarkable.)

Louis Morgan said...

Liam Cunningham - (One of the best actors on the series still, and even though Davos's more emotional scenes were past him, for the most part, it's proof of his strength as a performer that he remains one of the best actors even when technically he has repetitive materials. How often is Davos the hype man for Stannis, then Jon Snow, quite often yet Cunningham delivers every one of those moments and someone how makes them not feel as repetitive as they technically were. Cunningham does this as he so fully embodies Davos that no moment is merely there for him, as he seems so steeped in the character that there is something special. Cunningham always ensures Davos as this other perspective as his whole performance effectively embodies a different person in the world. Furthermore whenever he does have an emotional moment he knocks it out of the park better than anyone, his moment of confronting Melisandre is one of the best acted moments in the series.)

Rory McCann - (There isn't too much to add again with McCann who still continues to be one of the best actors, and even though his screentime has been limited since his initial exit he makes a strong impression every time he's onscreen. This is in part in his flawless comedic timing in terms of offering the Hound's method of breaking down any form of pretension in the world, but also again in realizing the still changing morality in the character to a better man. McCann is one of the most powerful performers in quietly realizing the real anguish of the suffering depicted in the series by showing this one man who takes it all in, but keeps going.)

Emilia Clarke - (Again her work in season 1 is pretty strong as she does very well in depicting emotional vulnerability. This was proven again in season 7 when depicting that again when finally Daenerys is losing for once. She's still pretty terrible honestly in bringing the overt charisma needed for the role. She just does not have it to be this larger than life figure, and must rely on the trick of the dragon rather than what she brings to her performance. She's particularly underwhelming in trying to bring menace as she falls always on this autopilot setting when doing so. Doing the same exact eye glare, same posture even, and same delivery, that works slightly better in the fake languages yet still is underwhelming. I will admit though maybe this is for the best since the one time she tried to mix it up in that regard, the dismissal of Jorah where she tried crazy Michael Shannon eyes, she was downright abysmal.)

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau - (Coster-Waldau's portrayal of the change in Jamie between season 1 to 4 is one of my favorite arc's in the series and his performance brilliantly realizes that with some incredible highlights most notably the confession of Jamie. After that point though the showrunners clearly didn't quite know what to do with the character putting him in a circular motion in terms of his relationship with Cersei, and his own moral code. Coster-Waldau to his credit I found made his way into giving a strong performance even within these problematic limitations, and at almost all times seemed like he tried to bring a greater complexity than the writers even bothered to. I mention that as in so many scenes Coster-Waldau offers something in her reactions that allude to the more complex nature of Jamie, and this is often against the writing which became dangerously close at times to setting him back to season 1 Jamie.)

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

That is probably one of my favorite scenes of all time to be honest. It's brilliant on every front with Pakula wisely letting the scene play out adding it just this smaller, yet pivotal and so effective touches. Those being just the slight zoom in that you barely notice, and the use of the backgrounds extras all focusing on basically the continuation of Nixon against sort of the single lonely man on the phone quietly bringing him down. Pakula's smartly though leaves the focus, though again he amplifies it so well, on the script that makes technically such minute details so compelling. That is in itself amplified by Redford, and the callers's, performances that create both the tension, and in Redford's performance the enthusiasm of uncovering the mystery. This is also one of the best uses of a gaff, as Redford's save of saying the wrong last name, only makes the scene feel all the more natural.

Calvin Law said...

That scene alone bumps Redford up to a 5 for me. Louis, would you dig a 1990s version of All the President's Men with Kyle Maclachlan and Miguel Ferrer as Woodward and Bernstein?

94dfk1 said...

Luke: Sorry about your loss :/

Louis: Your thoughts on Emily Blunt as an actress?

RatedRStar said...

Luke: What was your loyal friend like?


Lady Bird and I Tonya getting great reviews at the minute, looks like the remaining films that haven't received any reviews at all so far that are on Oscar radar or bonus round radar seem to be..

Goodbye Christopher Robin
All the Money in the World
The Greatest Showman
Last Flag Flying
Blade Runner 2049
Murder on the Orient Express
Phantom Thread
Wonder Wheel
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
The Post
The Snowman

RatedRStar said...

I reckon there will definately be 10 lead and 10 supporting this year for the bonus rounds.

94dfk1 said...

RatedRStar: I believe that The Post will be the movie that could, and maybe will, shake up the entire Oscar race. It does come out at the 11th hour so to speak, but with the cast and crew involved, it could really make some noise.

RatedRStar said...

94dfk1: You reckon any of those films will flop? there hasn't really been many Oscar flops so far this year.

Michael McCarthy said...

Saw mother! earlier today. I'm not sure yet how much I liked it, but I definitely didn't dislike it. Either way, I have a feeling that in 20 years it'll be considered one of the best films of the decade.

Louis: Are your ratings for the cast ready yet? Because love it or hate it, it's hard to deny the strength of Lawrence's performance. She might even be my favorite of the year so far.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the "Always be closing" scene from Glengarry Glen Ross.

Luke Higham said...

94dfk1: Thank You :)

RatedRStar: He was lovely, very proactive, protective and was truly one of a kind. I use to have 2 Border Collie cross breeds for a couple of years but my mother couldn't afford to keep them around and we didn't have much space round the back of the house. One of them's still living at 14 now and my grandmother's been looking after him though he doesn't have much longer either.

I reckon there will be at least 6 Lead Fives in the alternates to warrant a 10-man lineup.

And 10 for Supporting is becoming increasingly likely.

Goodbye Christopher Robin and All The Money In The World are most likely to flop. And I'm not too sure on Murder On The Orient Express either.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Honestly my opinion of mother! has only risen since seeing it.

Luke Higham said...

And I saw Kingsman. Apart from a few moments that I really loved, it's a huge disappointment.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: What are your top 5 performances that you've seen from the bonus rounds so far.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

I'd dig it.

94dk1:

Blunt's an interesting case for me in that I did not love the early performances of hers so many did, but I liked them. My favorites of hers though have been sort of her "physical" performances of Edge of Tomorrow and Sicario both where she excelled very much within the forward momentum of those films. She certainly has the dramatic ability, as well this certain inherent charisma to her presence particularly her physical presence. Having said that she's not a flawless performer evidenced by her abysmal work in The Girl on the Train, however some growing pains as a performer is a natural thing, and I look forward to see how she grows particularly as an overtly dramatic actor.

Michael:

Well I'd really like to get into why I hate the film, however I'll still wait a bit more time. In regards to the performances I will say that everyone was as they should be within Aronofsky's intention for them, though for me only Pfeiffer rose above being sort of that "pawn" in that I felt she stood out as entertaining past the confines of the film. That's not a knock against Lawrence though since her performance is not suppose to be entertaining.

Anonymous:

The Always Be Closing scene is a great piece of adaptation to really set away from the stage and add a bit more literal stakes for the film opposed to the play. It's a wonderfully cruel piece of writing though as it so eloquence in its brow beating, and vicious "motivational" speaking. All topped off of course by Baldwin, but also the effectively timid reactions by Lemmon, Arkin, and especially Harris in his portrayal of Moss attempting to keep a little power yet fails miserably.

Luke:

Mads Mikkelsen - The Hunt
Michael Redgrave - The Browning Version
Edward Woodward - The Wicker Man
Burt Lancaster - The Swimmer
Matthias Schoenaerts - Bullhead

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Has Blunt been upgraded to a 4 or a 4.5 for Edge Of Tomorrow.

Louis Morgan said...

4.5

Luke Higham said...

Louis: And is Cruise a possible bonus review for 2014 alongside Tom Hardy in The Drop.

94dfk1 said...

Louis: Thanks. I'm looking forward to her take on Mary Poppins.

I've always liked Harris in the Always Be Closing scene, second to Baldwin of course. I particularly like how he asks what his name and his casual laugh after Blake tells him "F*@k you! That's my name!"

Luke Higham said...

Louis: In regards to Mother!, I'm not gonna get around to it until it's posted online and even though it's probably the most talked about film of the year so far, I'm not exactly in a rush to see it, so by all means, I don't mind you giving thoughts soon.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your cast for a 1940's Birdman.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

We'll see.

Anonymous:

Riggan: Boris Karloff
Shiner: Ray Milland
Jake: Charles Laughton
Laura: Ginger Rogers
Sylvia: Elsa Lanchester
Sam: Joan Fontaine
Lesley: Rosalind Russell
Tabitha: Ethel Barrymore

Anonymous said...

Louis: What are your thoughts on celebrity voice acting?

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

In general I'm against it when it is done simply for the sake of it, especially since I honestly doubt it ever made a film perform better because of that currently or in the past. I will say though when it is done because they fit the part so well, like Vincent Price as Rattigan, Robin Williams as the Genie, or Jeremy Irons as Scar, I'm perfectly fine with it.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Could Dennis Price or Takashi Shimura go up for their performances this year.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: A question based on characters in a work of fiction-
On what circumstances do you think one could enjoy a book, film or TV show, when most of the characters induce your apathy?

94dfk1 said...

Just watched Allied. Watchable enough, but this could've been much more.

Pitt-2.5 (I could actually see what he was trying to go for in the second half of this film, but unfortunately he falls flat in the first half. Could've brought much more to the table, but alas, he just stands there. Would've liked to see Fassbender as Max, or Chris Pine.)

Cotillard-4.5 (Quite good. Brings charm, yet a killer's instinct to the part, and also really tries to strike up chemistry with Pitt.)

Louis Morgan said...

Tahmeed:

No.

Apathy? Well that's an interesting extreme actually, since I tend to have at least some feeling, positive or negative, for a character as long as they decently developed. I was trying to think of any film recently that created that reaction and one was Kong Skull Island, where I really didn't like nor did I hate any of the "so called" character in the film besides John C. Reilly's character. Then again he was still there, however with a film or tv show I think one could potentially enjoy something for sheer spectacle or style with such characters, but I doubt it would have much lasting impact, nor would it be considered great. With a book I think it is wholly possible, obviously there isn't spectacle per se, yet if the event or setting the characters are in is interesting enough on its own that can make for the characters.

Calvin Law said...

Saw Ingrid Goes West. Problematic in some regards, but hit a lot of right notes in the dark humour department.

Plaza - 4.5/5 (she's great as expected in making Ingrid such an off-kilter, somewhat off-putting figure, and totally excels with her comic timing and depiction of her character's all-consuming obsession. What surprised me most was how she created a sympathy and emotional investment for not the most immediately sympathetic character, and makes even the more problematic aspects of the film and script work with her performance)

Olsen - 3.5 (a very one-note role as expected, but hey she's great at just being a vapid airhead whose somewhat charming to begin with, where her character goes is totally expected but to her credit she completely pulls it off)

Jackson Jr. - 4 (found his whole Batman obsession to be very endearing, he has great chemistry with Plaza and great comedic timing, and creates one of the more humane characters in the film)

Russell - 3 (don't think they quite made the most of what his character had to offer but he's good as sort of a more grounded counterpoint to Olsen's character, though still very much trapped in her world)

Magnussen - 3 (he's just there to be a nasty and despicable Caleb Landry Jones troll, and does it extremely well, so well done on that front)

Klementieff - 2.5 (gets nothing to do but she's fine)