Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 1988: Pete Postlethwaite in Distant Voices, Still Lives

Pete Postlethwaite did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Tommy Davies in Distant Voices, Still Lives.

Distant Voices, Still Lives is a contemplative film following the lives of a working class family during the 40's and the 50's.

Pete Postlethewaite's performance is essentially one of memory within the film. We open the film as the family is essentially moving on from their father, and we granted glimpses into their past with their domineering father. Postlethewaite's performance in turn is fashioned towards specific glimpses into what will be held by memory. There is not a slight moment in what we witness of Postlethewaite's father to the family, they are all extremes, though logically so within the context of his purpose within the film. Postlethewaite's performance is there to quickly grant truth to these memories though as memories which can be a rather curious thing. In this way we don't see the whole picture of the man but rather just the facets. Postlethwaite's does excel in his portrayal of every one of these facets. The most overwhelming memory seems to be those of his abuse towards the family. These scenes carry a cold brutality to them because of how effective Postlethwaite is in portraying the vicious behavior of the man.

Postlethwaite delivers the same intensity whether he is verbally assaulting his family or physically assaulting them. These moments are particularly difficult to watch as Postlethwaite makes them feel so natural to the man, and just the way he simply was. We are granted other glimpses of the man though in ill health in moments but others as a more loving father. Postlethwaite's performance delivers in these glimpses and even makes sense to them. The moments of warmth are of the same man who beats his wife, as even in the moments of warmth there is this a sense of the nature of the man. The nature being of a quick temper, though there are times where he can be charming when not currently in his most hateful state. These again though are only glimpses we see we don't  see the transition though Postlethwaite makes it always seem the same man despite the different extremes. It is an effective turn that leaves the strongest impression on the film even though all the performances are limited within the style of the film. Postlethwaite gives an understanding to the father's influence within the family's collective mind even though we are granted a limited portrait of the man.

62 comments:

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Thoughts on the cast.

Luke Higham said...

I think everyone's predictions are fucked.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Everything is basically a collective 3 as the film is a particularly extreme case of a director's film although the performances still have importance. They all though do capture enough of just a reality of the various situations we see them in, though no one besides Postlethwaite leaves an impression beyond this specific purpose.

Michael McCarthy said...

Did anyone predict Lone to win? Because I was able to watch The Moderns last night, and had I been able to watch it earlier I'd've easily predicted him for the win. I'm also about halfway through As Tears Go By.

Luke Higham said...

Michael: Nobody predicted him to take the win.

Calvin Law said...

I've been slow at catching up with these bonus review films, personally. Glad to hear Lone has a good role.

Calvin Law said...

Robert: what did you think of the performances of Florida Project?

Robert MacFarlane said...

Calvin: They were good. Need some time to think about them.

Luke Higham said...

Michael McCarthy: Your ratings for Lone and Cheung.

Michael McCarthy said...

Luke: Still need some time on the ratings, Cheung was quite good and having not seen Postlethwaite, he'd probably be my second favorite of the lineup. Lone gives an excellent portrait of basically a very nasty, arrogant man devolving into a pitiful wretch.

Charles Heiston said...

Cheung is winning no doubt. Lone might get at least a 4.5.

Omar Franini said...

Louis: your thoughts on The Post trailer?

Calvin Law said...

It looks a bit standard to me if I'm honest. Still looking forward to it though.

Calvin Law said...

Also I have to say, any film surrounding this topic will inevitably have to be compared to All the President's Men, and that's one lofty task.

Louis Morgan said...

Omar:

It looks fine but definitely doesn't look like anything all that special, which might be a problem since it forces comparison to the very special All the President's Men, and I'm not all that sure about Tom Hanks's attempt at doing Jason Robards from the trailer anyways.

RatedRStar said...

The only reason I didn't have John Lone win aside from that I haven't seen his film plus for some reason I had this assumption that he was barely in the film, I dont remember him being mentioned at all in Siskel and Eberts review either although that doesn't mean much really.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your top 25 animated films.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: I agree, compared to All The President's Men or even Spotlight for that matter, this film looks somewhat inadequate. After Bridge Of Spies, I expected more from Spielberg.

RatedRStar said...

It is interesting that Spielberg has two films coming up, and I think both of them had below average trailers lol.

RatedRStar said...

I expect at least one of them to be good though.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: RT scores will be around at least 70%.

Michael McCarthy said...

Daniel: Lone gets a lot of screen time in the film. He's actually the primary antagonist.

RatedRStar said...

Michael McCarthy: What are your thoughts on Alex Man from As Tears Go By (Cheungs co nominee at that years HK awards)

Luke Higham said...

Louis: If you have seen The Vanishing yet, could I have your thoughts on the film and the cast.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: are you interested in seeing how the Coen Brothers translate to television in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs?

Bryan L. said...

Louis: What American directors in particular would you like to see Matthias Schoenaerts work with? Oh and your choice for the leads in a 2010s Midnight Cowboy?

Calvin Law said...

I'm thinking Domhnall Gleeson and Ben Foster, or Adam Driver and Daniel Radcliffe.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Oh my God, they're replacing Spacey with Christopher Plummer for the Getty movie.

Luke Higham said...

Can't remember the last time this happened while in Post-Production.

Matt Mustin said...

Luke: I don't think it's ever happened this late.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

1. The Secret of NIMH
2. Pinnochio
3. Grave of the Fire Flies
4. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
5. My Neighbor Totoro
6. Coraline
7. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
8. The Great Mouse Detective
9. The Incredibles
10. 101 Dalmatians
11. Dumbo
12. Lady and the Tramp
13. Bambi
14. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
15. Beauty and the Beast
16. The Land Before Time
17. South Park: Bigger Long and Uncut
18. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
19. Alice in Wonderland
20. Sleeping Beauty
21. Toy Story 2
22. The Nightmare Before Christmas
23. Cinderella
24. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
25. Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were Rabbit

Bryan L.:

He'd be a great fit for PTA, Scorsese, and Tarantino.

For Joe Buck either Armie Hammer or Robert Pattinson, for Rizzo Shia Laboeuf (in Fury or American Honey mode.)

Note: I never finished American Honey, that's why it's not ranked anywhere but Laboeuf was good.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

The latest recasting ever since the film was just about to premiere.

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Thanks. I was also thinking of Armie Hammer since he definitely has the look. I really want to see Schoenaerts working with PTA out of those three.

Calvin Law said...

That's absolutely nuts. Well I'm glad the film's not going to waste, whether it'll be good or bad, because it's always a shame to see hard work go to waste.

Louis: Yeah actually Hammer would be great.

Calvin Law said...

Guys, imagine if Plummer gives a great performance and gets awards attention?

Anonymous said...

Luke Higham

Calvin: Doubt it, he's never done all that well with Louis in the past. He could only manage a 4 for his best work in The Insider.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Calvin: Frankly his casting is infinitely better than Spacey's, so I could totally see it happening.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

It's not out of the question, apparently Spacey filmed his original scenes in ten days, so it is possible also for them to make the release date as well though if the film itself is of any real quality it would probably be best to try to pull a Foxcatcher, and delay its release until next year.

Calvin Law said...

Luke: I guess, but he could still get a lot of awards attention like he did for The Insider, Beginners, The Last Station etc.

Robert: That's what I was thinking too, seems less gimmicky.

Spacey's ostracization is justified through the allegations and his response, I think, though I do admit that I find the double standards troubling. The Pianist is one of my favourite films of all-time but frankly I don't think Polanski deserves a pass for what he did.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: yeah that seems like what they should do. I'll imagine they'll make a decision after they see how the reshoots pan out. Also, just checked, Plummer is 87 now? Wow. I'm glad he's still working.

Matt Mustin said...

Calvin: I think times are changing. They're not gonna tolerate this stuff anymore.

Calvin Law said...

Matt: I agree. These sort of things are always troublesome to think about. On one hand you want to admire the artist and talent, but when you learn about these awful things you question your admiration of the individual, if not the work itself.

Anonymous said...

Luke

Calvin: I only referred to the quality of his work but awards attention is certainly possible.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Matt: I wish I could agree with that, but Casey Affleck won an Oscar last year and Mel Gibson was nominated as well. They're talking steps, but both Hollywood and the public have short memories.

Bryan L. said...

Curious to see how they pull off the reshoots with Plummer, and whether Spacey's scenes will ever see the light of day, besides the trailer.

Also, I can't feel but feel that The Post feels rushed. Maybe because it pretty much was...

Matt Mustin said...

Robert: I mean things are changing just this year. The Weinstein thing really charged the atmosphere.

Alex Marqués said...

Has anyone seen Brawl in Cell Block 99?

Luke Higham said...

Alex: I haven't but if you have, what did you think of Vaughn and Johnson.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your thoughts on 'See You Again' FROM Furious 7.

Calvin Law said...

Saw The Killing of a Sacred Deer. Kind of like The Lobster, lots of interesting ideas, somewhat interesting execution at points but also too aimless.

Farrell - 3.5
Kidman - 2.5
Keoghan - Need to think about it
Cassidy - 2.5
Suljic - 2.5
Silverstone - 2.5
Camp - 2.5

Omar Franini said...

Calvin: your thoughts on Kidman?

Calvin Law said...

Omar: her most mediocre performance in a while. She's not great like in Lion or terrible like in Genius, she's just kind of there most of the time. I don't think she's all that great a fit for Lanthimos' style as she sort of reverts to a very wooden delivery style to go along with his deadpan approach. She does have good moments when she breaks out of the mould like her scenes with Camp and Keoghan, although these are in themselves problematic scenes.

Omar Franini said...

Calvin: and your thoughts on Keoghan? I read some reviews about the movie and they compared Kidman's performace to Eyes Wide Shut, so i was really interest to hear what you thought of her.

Calvin Law said...

Omar: sociopathic one-note performance but it works well for the role. I wouldn't say he's amazing but he's certainly very incisive and effective, and his scenes one-on-one with Farrell are well performed throughout.

I mean, I see the similarities, but having seen parts of Eyes Wide Shut I have to say the rift in quality is quite big from what I've seen.

Giuseppe Fadda said...

I’m still really looking forward to The Killing of the Sacred Deer. Kidman’s performance has been compared to her work in Birth and Eyes Wide Shut and those are two of my favorite performances from her.

Alex Marqués said...

Luke: Vaughn showed a very interesting screen presence, and I thought he carried the film pretty well. Johnson was quite entertaining in the role of a sadistic officer (Udo Kier's deadpan performance was fun as well).

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your top ten comic book films.

Luke Higham said...

https://justatvreviewer.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/stranger-things-season-2.html

Calvin Law said...

Luke: that your blog? Also, my top 10 comic book films would be:

1. The Dark Knight
2. Scott Pilgrim v.s. the World
3. Logan
4. Spider-Man 2
5. Guardians of the Galaxy
6. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
7. Persepolis
8. Captain America: Civil War
9. Iron Man
10. Superman

HM: Batman Begins

Anonymous said...

Luke Higham

Calvin: No, Just wanted to provide a link, in case anyone wanted to read it since he doesn't have any followers yet. And It's good to have a TV review blog as well.

Louis Morgan said...

Tahmeed:

In terms of the use of the film it is an absolute knockout. I think in its main ballad portion it is quite effective, if not affecting when in context, though I am not really of a fan of the rap introduction in the middle of the song choice to begin with, as the segue is not exactly seamless. The strength of the ballad, despite being rather repetitive, along with its collection of nonsense noises for the chorus makes it work.

Luke

1. The Dark Knight
2. Road to Perdition
3. Snowpiercer
4. Oldboy
5. A History of Violence
6. Logan
7. Dredd
8. Superman
9. Batman Begins
10. Spider-man 2

Anonymous said...

Luke Higham

Plus, I don't really have the time to invest in writing a blog. If I had, it would've been 5 years ago. I did write a Lord Of The Rings review while I was in Technical College 3-4 years ago, where I had to analyse the characters and themes & explain why I felt it was a success.

I got a new job as well which could be more time consuming than the last one that I had.