Monday, 18 December 2017

Alternate Best Actor 1965: Jozef Kroner in The Shop on Main Street

Jozef Kroner did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Anton "Tóno" Brtko in The Shop on Main Street.

The Shop on Main Street is a powerful film depicting a carpenter's relationship with an elderly Jewish shop owner after being appointed as an Aryan overseer in Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia. 

The Shop on Main Street has a somewhat interesting history with its U.S. release and the Academy Awards. The film was initially eligible for the 1965 Awards where it won best foreign language film due to the foreign submission rules. It later became a Oscar nominee the following year, due to different Oscar submission rules outside of the foreign language category, when Ida Kaminska was nominated for Best Actress. Jozef Kroner on the other hand was ignored despite the film being from his perspective to the point that Kaminska's role as the elderly Jewish button shop owner Rozalia Lautmannová really is a supporting one. The film follows the gentile in the situation who we see as a non too remarkable sort as the film opens. Kroner embodies a contentment in the discontentment. Kroner's eyes are almost glazed over as he watches soldier move through his town without a thought in his mind on the matter. He glances upon the sights of his occupied country without much interest. That contentment towards the severity of the situation facing his country Kroner portrays as coming from the discontent for his life. The discontent in his state as a poor carpenter which Kroner exudes so well with a grumbling lip, and a disposition that seems to be holding a bit of anger just in general towards his place in the world more than anything.

After a bit wallowing in himself it lashes out quite naturally towards his well to do brother-in-law, well to do by working as a collaborator with the Nazis. The lashing out scene is a great moment in Kroner's work because of how much petulance he brings to it very much emphasizing the state of the man who is more angry at his position, as well as jealous of his brother-in-law's position than anyone around him. Kroner makes  this a natural starting point and carefully doesn't go too far. He doesn't make Tóno a horrible person, but certainly not a good one. He though elicits the right sympathy just by portraying Tóno as an average man's whose behavior, while not pleasant, wouldn't be deemed too terrible if he was in a simpler situation. Despite the lashing though Tóno is given a position by his brother-in-law as the assigned Aryan to manage a shop owned by the elderly widow Rozalia Lautmannová. Kroner is great in his initial scene of arriving to the shop to "take over". In part he's good in just showing a now content Tóno who walks with such pride in the shop, then breaks this down though as he depicts such awkwardness as he attempts to explain the situation to Lautmannová who is hard of hearing.

Kroner brings actually quite a bit of very natural humor to the moment by bringing such a genuine sheepishness in his depiction of the unease of Tóno as he tries to deliver some horrible news. Now the interesting things is that Kroner shows so effectively the way the seemingly now content Tóno has this moment of realization. Kroner finds this just in these early interactions by creating a sense of the empathy in Tóno towards the old woman in the situation as he struggles to even say the words. Kroner properly makes every moment of this having this tension of the man who realizes he's doing something he can't quite completely accept as right, as reinforces every moment with the right shyness that reflects this understanding of what this really means. Tóno soon learns that the woman is essentially bankrupt and the Jewish community will support him to support her. Kroner again is so good in just reflecting with such honesty the man taking all this in somewhat baffled, somewhat confused, but within his eyes the right hint of sympathy given the situation. This even includes the widow not really being all that nice to him once he starts to assist her in the shop.

Kroner in these scenes is very good in the way he makes the arc of Tóno quietly such a poignant one. On the surface he's good in again actually being a bit funny actually in showing the strange way that he physically works around the woman, as well as attempts to portray both a confidence of pretending to run the shop while trying to basically mind his manners around her. Tóno realizes this dance so well, but goes much further than this in showing the change in Tóno as he finally begins to notice what is going on around. Kroner is marvelous in the subtle way he depicts this change in his often reactionary performance. Kroner's face says so much more than so many words would in every scene. This is in the quiet appreciation of the person in the old woman, despite her misgivings towards him, but also far more in his reactions towards seeing the increasing nature of the regime in front of him. A particularly powerful moment in this regard coming when a friend of his, and supporter of the local jews is beaten and displayed for the public to see. Kroner's expression is haunting as he realizes within certainly the fear for his own fate, concern for his friend, but his eyes also convey this sense of recognition of the plight around him in general including the old Jewish woman.

This brings me to the film's finale which is an extended sequence that is dependent on Kroner's performance. It is actually a largely silent sequence as the man drinks while watching the Jews being round up for deportation from the old Jewish woman's shop, while she remains unaware of what is going on around him. Although technically it is a sparse sequence I was absolutely transfixed for every second of it, and the greatest contributor to this is Kroner's performance. Kroner is absolutely outstanding as he depicts such a vivid portrayal of the inner workings of the man's mind on this fateful day. There is not a single second wasted, and even though he only has a couple of lines, often of little importance, there is nothing vague in this performance. Kroner brings to life this struggle which he never simplifies. In his eyes, his moments of turning from the danger, or thinking of the woman he says so much without verbalizing a word. There are times again of obvious fear but that is never all there is. Kroner even in that finds the struggle within the fear of the man both at times succumbing to it, and other times feeling a different fear for the woman. Kroner projects this weight of the situation upon this man. There are times where he is selfish, other he is selfless, but it is never anything to be taken lightly. It is incredible to watch as Kroner finds the complexity of this with such an emotional impact in every moment of the man dealing with his own demons and weaknesses, while still concerning himself with the fate of this old woman. It is fascinating how much Kroner finds with this painful silence of this single horrible moment. When something finally happens that directly affects him his reaction is wholly heartbreaking and completely earned as his work to that point has so effectively brought us within the mind of this man. This is a fantastic performance as it is not a portrayal of a bad man becoming a good man. Kroner rather gives us something perhaps far more human in a man struggling with his better self, with his worse self as he faced with being responsible for more that just himself for once in his life. 

174 comments:

Calvin Law said...

This sounds like a great performance and film.

Louis: thoughts on Carlos Sanz in Stronger? Glad we agree on Maslany, and Kingsman 2 in general.

Anonymous said...

Louis: You cast for an 80's version of Stephen King's It?

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

Sanz - 4(Makes a strong competitor with Tom Skerritt for best one scene wonder of the year, though Sanz is in just a little bit more of the film. Sanz's delivers the most powerful scene in the film as manages to express so much in his brief monologue. He brings a bit of warmth and his own really inspirational quality as compared to Gyllenhaal's character. When he explains his own story though Sanz so naturally segues this to a realization of his own anguish that is incredibly moving with his performance especially as he is able to attach to this certain comfort when he explains why he did what he did.)

Mitchell Murray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Without using Tim Curry on purpose.

Bill: River Phoenix
Ben: Jerry O'Connell
Bev: Aileen Quinn
Eddie: Henry Thomas
Richie: Corey Feldman
Mike: Malcolm-Jamal Warner
Georgie: Joaquin Phoenix
Henry Bowers: Kiefer Sutherland
Pennywise: Robin Williams

Omar Franini said...

Louis: ratings and thoughts on the rest of the cast?

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

He might actually finish third behind Burton and Stamp. (I'm predicting Burton for the win).

Luke Higham said...

Who on the blog has yet to watch The Last Jedi.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: What years could we possibly get an extended lead lineup from. 2007 is quite possible I think.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the Affleck brothers as actors.

Also, for the younger brother, Would the following roles be a great fit for him? Please explain why or why not:

Henry Fonda's roles in The Grapes of Wrath and On Golden Pond
Norman Bates from Psycho
Bad Llieutenant
Pvt. Prewitt
Terry Malloy

Robert MacFarlane said...

Wow, the Ocean's 8 trailer looks like it was specifically made for me.

Wow, the Sicario 2 trailer looks like it was specifically made to kill me.

Calvin Law said...

Ocean's 8 looks like it could be decent, never been a fan of the originals though. Agreed, Soldado looks pretty painfully generic.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I've never been too big on the Ocean's movies myself (Logan Lucky totally outdoes them, imo), but the smaller scale and casting interests me a lot more. Bullock in particular looks like a perfect fit for this sort of role.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Luke: I haven't, other plans got in the way. Will watch it tomorrow. Although considering I've had the film spoiled for me already, I wouldn't mind if you guys went into deeper discussions over it.

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: I'm not sure about Charles either.

Louis: Could I have thoughts on the cast of The Last Jedi, with the exceptions of Hamill (who's probably getting a review), Ridley And Driver.

Soldado just feels unnecessary to me. I even hate the title, which makes it look more of a direct to DVD release than a theatrical one. The acting should be good at least but I don't get what they're doing with Alejandro.

Ocean's Eight could be fun and might be a role that Bullock can really excel in.

Luke Higham said...

*Sicario 2: Soldado

Alex Marqués said...

What the hell was Matt Damon thinking?

Bryan L. said...

Anonymous: Someone asked Louis awhile back if Casey Affleck would be a good fit for Norman Bates and Terry Malloy.

"Bates - (He could bring the creepiness for sure but I think he'd struggle in portraying the innocence needed for the role.)

Terry - (Although I doubt it would reach Brandoian heights in this case, I do think he could be pretty effective in this role.)"

I would have rather had Blanchett and Bullock switch roles, since I don't think Bullock seems suave enough to be the leader, unless that's intentional. Also skeptical about Rihanna being in the cast. However, Damian Lewis is apparently playing the villain, and if it's a hit, it could increase his profile, which is nice.

Soldado looks...ok.

Anonymous said...

Christopher Plummer has now entered the Oscar race I think, 94% percent for his film plus the fact he will get lots of votes for stepping in to help with his film, that will boost him a lot.

Bryan L. said...

The only good thing Matt Damon can say about his 2017 is his cameo in Thor: Ragnarok.

Louis Morgan said...

Omar:

Kaminska - 4(Her performance actually is pretty prickly to the point that she really is in no way endearing, and what makes her performance work is in a great part Kroner's. Having said that she is quite good in her prickliness though portraying effectively the sort of straight forward bullheadedness of the old woman very much set in her ways who acts quickly and angrily to those who interrupt up. She makes this very naturalistic, it's a limited performance however it works for the character who is suppose to be disconnected. Furthermore she does deliver in her final scene in so well realizing the moment of realization with the devastation it is needed by finding the horror as the woman's life is shattered in front of her.)

Anonymous:

It's interesting comparing the two as they exemplify two distinct paths for an actor one being the movie star the other being the intense character driven actor. It is easy enough to say that the younger of the two is more obviously talented overall as his work is far more consistent with his performances. Casey Affleck is the better intense actor than Ben Affleck is movie star. I would say the two both do tend to stay within their individual ranges. Casey Affleck usually working within introverted roles and Ben Affleck with extroverted ones. They both have played with this a bit, but never too much in either regard. It is worth noting also that Ben Affleck's greatest height in Hollywoodland is at least nearing to Casey Affleck's best. Casey Affleck though has had multiple near great or great performances while Ben Affleck has had just the one. Ben Affleck though has not made as many risks as a performer, and I think the potential may be there based on Hollywoodland. Also to be fair Casey Affleck has never tried and failed to be the movie star either. Of the two, as an actor, directors another story, Casey Affleck is the more talented brother however both have a great deal of individual potential though in very different ways.

The Grapes of Wrath - (Yes, perfect choice honestly for any remake as he has the perfect internalized discontent for Joad. Maybe On Golden Pond, but that wouldn't be for quite awhile.)

Norman Bates - (Yes in fact The Killer Inside Me shows sorta what he might do in the role, as he can do creepy "innocence" brilliantly.)

Bad Lieutenant - (Keitel version yes, Cage version no, doesn't quite have the right type of energy for it. As a more nuanced dirty cop, with a bit of guilt in him, he could be great.)

Prewitt - (Not the perfect choice in that Affleck does not create an inherent sympathy something Prewitt needs, however that would just a challenge he'd need to overcome. He could certainly pull it off as he certainly has that Clift style intensity, again though there's no purity to his innocence, but he could work through it.)

Malloy - (I'd actually say his elder brother would be the better fit. Affleck again just doens't have the inherent likability essential to the part of Terry who we need to care about even in the early scenes when he's just doing dirty jobs.)

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Boyega - (He's given far less to do here, and I'm not sure pairing him with another energetic go-getter made a lot of sense given that was already his role. Boyega still is very charming and indeed energetic in the role doing his best to make out of every situation even when he's individually not given a lot to work with.)

Fisher - (She's better than she was in the last film which did feel like she was phoning it in half of the time. I don't think she's great still in that it does not feel like she's brought us the best of the character again say the way Ford did in the Force Awakens. She at least delivers the emotional moments here well enough but sadly I still never felt we got the Princess Leia we had in her good scenes in 4 and 6, and the entirety of 5.)

Serkis - (Design wise I have to admit I still did not find him all that impressive. In fact the design suggested they could have just gotten say Anton Lesser and made him up, which I would preferred. Serkis's work here at least has a bit more of a urgency, a step if you will, but he still doesn't make Snoke anything more than a generic evil guy. I also don't mean that in terms of being someone else, but rather just in terms of his own performance.)

Isaac - (Isaac's charm does his best to make his scenes go smoothly as possible, even when started to become a bit of a Basil Exposition at times. Again he does deliver in all the needed eagerness and earnestness of the character. Even in the non-Star Warsy humor he does do his best to deliver it.)

Gleeson - (Thinking about it I probably should go lower than my original rating but that's only because they turned him into basically Wily Coyote of the Empire. This makes everything Gleeson is doing particularly silly perhaps a little too silly since his character was not a goof in the first film. I will say though this really isn't his fault.)

Tran - (Sort of plays her character as bi-polar in that one scene she's more energized than Finn in his biggest scene from the last film, but suddenly she goes full drama at a pin drop. I don't think this worked as a purposefully thing though I just think it was awkward transitions within her performances that took away from any real emotion within what she was saying. I didn't mind her in her go-getter moments, but I did not love them either. Also her final moment with Finn made me think of Marion Cotillard, in the only instance where actor does not want to be compared to Marion Cotillard.)

Dern - (She's also bi-polar due to the writing in the first scenes she is the cold bureaucrat, then suddenly changes to an overabundance of warmth once the plot requires it. She does both well enough, but doesn't make sense of the switch however I'm not sure one could. Also they really should have had her share scenes with Leia early on to establish their relationship, really she should have been in Force Awakens, as despite trying her best she doesn't create the impact the character needs as required by the film.)

Del Toro - (The film frankly uses him as a crutch to attempt to save such an underwritten and almost entirely pointless character. "Hey Del Toro, do something to make this guy stand out". He tries, I didn't hate his stutter or anything really, but he doesn't steal any scenes either which seemed to be the intention.)

Bryan L. said...

Louis: If you don't mind me asking, what is your reasoning for casting Oscar Isaac as Captain Willard in a 2010s version of Apocalypse Now?

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Which 5 roles would you most like to see Tom Hardy play and why.

And your thoughts on Gwendoline Christie in The Last Jedi.

Luke Higham said...

And what do you think of the Visual Effects and Makeup & Hairstyling shortlists.

Louis Morgan said...

Brayan L.:

He's great at internalized roles and I think he finds ways to make an impact even if he's not always the focus, or is up against other flamboyant characters as is the case in Apocalypse Now.

Luke:

Well once again I will reiterate that Hardy should play Jack Churchill, His story needs to be told plus Hardy would be bring the right combination of charisma and intensity for the larger than life soldier.

Christie - (Almost as wasted as she was last time. At least this time she got show off a few of her Tarth skills, but there was little past that to her performance other than some standard "I'm evil" line deliveries from her, fitting to the "I'm evil" lines she had.)

Visual Effects:

Notable misses in Spider-man Homecoming (properly so though in that it's CGI was oddly weak at times), and Wonder Woman though perhaps that was because its most CGI heavy moment, Ares, was not the strongest visual effects work in the film. I probably would have personally put it over Alien Covenant though which also had some oddly weak CGI in moments. Glad to see Blade Runner, and especially Dunkirk make it since the former is a great example of overt visual effects while the latter is a great example of subtle ones. Tough call to the final five though I think it will probably be Blade Runner, Dunkirk, The Shape of Water, Star Wars....then it's anyone's game.

For Makeup and Hairstyling notable miss for Shape of Water, Star Wars though it's not too surprising for the latter given that this time around since so many of the aliens were CGI, and Logan though I think that might have been caused by so many forgetting neither Jackman nor Stewart are as old as they in the film. The inclusion of Bright has reminded me that it's coming out, which seems to have a lot of makeup from the trailers so I could see it sneaking in.

I predict the final three to be Darkest Hour, given the focus on Oldman's transformation, Wonder, whose over performance at the box office could lead to two nominations, and maybe I, Tonya to show the film a bit more love. Hard to say, I'd prefer it to not be Guardians as I thought its was a notable step down from the first film in that regard, in fact I preferred Thor's makeup from the Marvel Crop.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: How would Hardy have fared as Feraud/The Duellists, Barry Lyndon, Maximus Decimus Meridius and Schoenaerts as d'Hubert/The Duellists.

And your thoughts on the Soldado and Ocean's Eight trailers.

Mitchell Murray said...

(Luke) Just got to seeing those now.

Oceans Eight - The good news is it looks about as fun as the Soderbergh trilogy, though considering I'm rather indifferent on those movies that's not saying much. It should be decent enough, though Mindy Kaling and Rihanna seem to be the weak links against such an established cast.

Soldado - Disappointing considering the efficiency and prowess of Sicario. This just looks like another unnecessary sequel that will probably miss capturing a similar spark. And honestly Blunt's performance added a lot to the first movie so removing her is quite the risk.

Calvin Law said...

How the hell did they miss out The Shape of Water for Makeup? Christ.

Michael McCarthy said...

I can see Isaac as Willard in Apocalypse Now, but what I'd really love to see is Isaac playing Coppola himself in a non-documentary film adaptation of Filmmaker's Apocalypse. That would be so perfect.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Feraud - (Great I'm sure in that he could easily bring the exact type of macho presence needed. Schoenaerts on the other hand could match the intensity while doing it in his own way, as the two proved in their confrontation in The Drop it would be see something special to see the two go at it.)

Lyndon - (Also great, as Hardy can be both clever and convincing or a broader hulking sort. Hardy could easily do the slick conman a la his work in Inception.)

Maximus - (I don't think he'd top Crowe, who seemed made for a sword and sandals epic. Hardy however has the right physical presence for it, however, unless I'm mistaken, I've yet to see Hardy do a epic monologue needed for the part. Not saying he can't do it, just haven't seen it yet.)

Oceans Eight - (Not sold on every cast member, but it looks okay. It looks better than the original Oceans Eleven, the boring eleven, and maybe on par with the okay Oceans Eleven remake. Hey at the very least there's no unfortunate Don Cheadle cockney accent. It could be some fun, which seems to be its goal.)

Soldado - (The lack of technical prowess due to the absence of Villenueve and Deakins feels readily apparent. There is nothing in the trailer that suggests the sequel should even exist, other than to have more of Del Toro's character, who was fine as more of a mystery. That even seems like it is going to be botched based on that silly way he unloads the gun. It looks very generic, and watching it what came to my mind were the Dirty Harry sequels, in which overusing a memorable character lead to diminishing returns.)

Calvin Law said...

With Jack Reynor as Martin Sheen, Nick Offerman as John Millius, and Balthazar Getty as Dennis Hopper.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

Reynor's a little young for Sheen, I'd say maybe Chris Pine. Getty could work, maybe Jimmi Simpson for the alternate. Offerman's the perfect choice for Milius though.

Calvin Law said...

Actually yeah I could see Simpson really killing it in the role. What about Brando?

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

The toughest nut to crack I have to say. Maybe Russell Crowe, Angus MacFadyen or possibly James Spader.

Calvin Law said...

Well since you mention MacFayden, how about David O'Hara? He has the stature, presence and actually kind of looks like Brando.

Matt Mustin said...

Louis, this might be a hard question for you to answer, but in your opinion who has the highest height as an actor, Guinness, Olivier or Mifune, and which performance is it?

Luke Higham said...

Matt: I think it's Mifune with Rashomon, then Olivier with The Entertainer and Guinness with Bridge On The River Kwai.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

I could see it. I'd actually say if one were to make that film, which I would like to see, that the Brando casting would be the most important.

Matt:

Luke is correct though the difference between these heights is non-existent.

Alex Marqués said...

I've finished the first season of Atlanta, and I pretty much loved it. Keith Stanfield is such a scene-stealer, I hope he gets more good roles soon.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Anyone here watch Bojack Horseman? I've started it recently and I'm loving it.

Alex Marqués said...

Tahmeed: yes, it's a pretty awesome show if you can endure how bleak it gets at times. The first episodes are very weak compared to the rest, and I think the fourth season is a bit shaky at times, but otherwise it's great.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Between Gary Oldman and Daniel Day-Lewis, to you, who has reached greater heights? Are they the same kind of actor, if not, please explain where they differ in technique.

Also, what roles in film history do you guys see Saoirse Ronan as a good fit for, judging by her Oscar nominated performances and Lady Bird?

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: Daniel Day-Lewis' work in My Left Foot is in the top 20 Male Leading Performances of all-time list and Gary Oldman's career best is Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

Michael McCarthy said...

Tahmeed: i love Bojack Horseman, though it took me a while to realize it. The first few episodes are not the very best, but they're necessary. Also, the fourth season has some of my favorite moments in the show.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Oldman and Day-Lewis are always an interesting companion actors in that they reach a similair end result in terms of their best performances. In that they both give incredible, intense, and most often chameleon like performance. They arrive to this place in very different ways though, although not so much in personality as both in interviews as notable so soft spoken compared to the characters they play. Their methods, technique and work ethic are wholly different and I ponder if you can trace this to their differing backgrounds.

Oldman, from a working class background, is far more prolific, and often has noted working for financial reasons. Day-Lewis, the son of a poet-laureate, is one of the most mercurial actors only occasionally choosing roles. This in part leads to Oldman to have far lesser roles in his filmography, however he has far more roles in his filmography than Day-Lewis on a whole. Their paths could not be more different, and Day-Lewis's output is far more consistent, though arguably Oldman could match that if he was, or was able to be, as resistant to any role.

It is interesting how they work and that attitude towards. Although both will get into the craft their is far less of a mystique around Oldman towards this, part of his own doing as he does not claim the same immersion even if his performances seem as seamless. Oldman seems to break things down, while Day-Lewis emphasizes his embodiment of a role. I would say both obviously make their approaches work. Although it is notable how the perception of the two differ. I think this may be in part due to Day-Lewis being recognized so early on establishing the actor, as Day-Lewis, before the character even though he disappears in them. Whereas the perception of Oldman seems as though he is wholly lost, which one would imagine is the intention however it perhaps leads to less credit.

Ronan:

The second Mrs. de Winter
Sister Luke
Alice Tripp (A Place in the Sun)
Elizabeth Bennet
Great choice for Mary, Queen of Scots by the way

Many choices to be honest.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: What do you think about Margot Robbie as Elizabeth I.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

She properly looks the part from the set photos, though not as much from the publicity photo, however performance wise I'll let you know once I've seen I, Tonya.

moviefilm said...

Thanks for the review.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Have you seen the Flight of the Concords TV show? If you have, could I have your thoughts on it and the lead performances.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the "Star Spangled Man With a Plan" scene from Captain America: The First Avenger.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Looking forward to your thoughts on Downfall & Come And See.

Anonymous said...

I respect Louis' opinion and all, but Bruno Ganz is easily my 2004 Best Actor win.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: He's my win too and one of my all-time favourites. He was Louis' winner for about 3 days until Cruise's review yet the 5 rating was all that mattered to me anyway.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: What are Emma Watson's five worst moments as an actress.

Mitchell Murray said...

Between "Battle of the Sexes" and "Mother!" just today, I really couldn't be more distant two movies I've recently seen. I liked the former in an enjoyable if somewhat lightweight manner, but the later subverted my expectations and not in a good way. Aronofsky at least tried to put his usual flair into the movie but I just found the overall effort trite and misguided. Sexes wasn't amazing by any means, but I will be honest in saying I was engaged with the story through and through - not quite the stuff of legend, but still fine.

I'll hold of on Stone and Lawrence for now as the first may still get in and the last might come up as an alternate.

Battle of the Sexes:

Carell - 4 (He plays Riggs as a clown, which is fine because that's who he was, but he also brings some strength to his more heartfelt scenes)

Silverman and Riseborough - 3 (There both decent though I probably preferred Riseborough just in the warmth of her performance)

Cumming and Stowell - 3.5 (Another good pair of performances mainly in the heart they bring to their respective characters)

Pullman - 3.5 (Pullman always has a sleaze to his acting no matter the role, but here it completely works to create a genuinely strong villain)

Mother!:

Bardem - 3.5/4 (He's genuinely good here just in the natural presence he has, and how he handles the emotional moments very sincerely)

Harris - 3 (Decent bit of acting on his part though his introduction is a little hammy, and I'm not sure if that was intentional)

Pfieffer 4 (Probably my favourite performance of the movie since Pfieffer has her juiciest character in years. Shes perfectly cast here and brings the right kind of menace to her part.)

Bryan L. said...

Anyone here see Suite Francaise and/or Disorder? If so, would you recommend them? I'm currently checking out Schoenaerts' work, as I watched Far From the Madding Crowd last night. I'm already planning on watching Bullhead btw.

Luke Higham said...

Bryan: I'd probably skip Suite Francaise as my dad told me it was rather dull. And Calvin liked Matthias in Disorder and I believe critics said he's easily the best thing about it.

Luke Higham said...

Having said that, 2018 could be a great year for Schoenaerts with Radegund and Kursk.

Luke Higham said...

Bryan: Suite Francaise does have a 75% RT score so it might be fine.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Could you give me a list of 5 to 10 unseen films that you're incredibly curious about.

One that I've had on my mind lately is Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate.

Bryan L. said...

Luke: Thanks. He also has a supporting role in next years' Red Sparrow, which could increase his profile if its' a hit, which is nice.

Calvin Law said...

Bryan: Suite Francaise was okay. Disorder is actually decent, though kind of just a lesser Bullhead.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Did you watch the theatrical cut of Das Boot or the longer director's cut.

Louis Morgan said...

moviefilm:

You're welcome.

Anonymous:

The best scene in the entire film by far, and the only scene I love. It is perhaps the scene where Johnson seems to be allowed to fully embrace that Rocketeer style he obviously wanted to embrace. It realizes the old propaganda style beautifully right down to the great George M. Cohanesque ballad for the Captain. I wish the rest of the film had been as a good as that sequence.

Tahmeed:

I have.

McKenzie - (He's the less comfortable of the two on camera and I will say they didn't quite know what to do with him in the first season. I think he fared much better in the second season where they utilized his quite ample ability for dry humor in portraying more of a direct loser Brett, rather than the cool one they made him out to be in the first season. He again is kind of the Jerry Seinfeld of the group, though I'd say better, however he does well to translate the hilarity of his musical performances here though not as effectively as his partner.)

Clement - (It's no surprise that he's had an onscreen career from there on, though I don't think that was an ambition of McKenzie's anyways despite his LOTR appearances. Clement is hilarious though throughout the series in what I'd call sort of an active deadpan. In that while very stoned faced he uses this to give a broadly hilarious performance as well. I think his performance though works really well in tandem with the musical performances as he gives such emotional performances there, hilarious in the emotionalism, compared to his purposefully yet so amusing restraint the rest of the time.)

Luke:

Eh, worst moments, why pile on.

Inland Empire
All of Kurosawa's remaining films

Director's Cut.

Matt Mustin said...

I just watched Fences and I thought Denzel Washington was truly amazing, but Louis, I have to ask what did you think of his direction of the film? Because I thought it was more than decent but I feel like he probably could've made it feel a little less "stagy" at times (that first 20 minutes specifically). Although I will say he obviously does a great job with his actors, and I'm sure if he directed a play it would be great.

Calvin Law said...

Yeah there's a reason McKenzie hasn't done as much onscreen stuff, he clearly enjoys the musical side of things more.

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Your 10 favorite films set in the 70s (made after the decade occurred)?

Louis Morgan said...

Matt:

I found Washington's direction to be decent. His work doesn't elevate it beyond the stage, though this also is heavily related to the adaptation by the original playwright, however it does importantly capture the potency of the original material.

Bryan:

1. Goodfellas
2. Zodiac
3. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
4. Boogie Nights
5. Inherent Vice
6. Apollo 13
7. Argo
8. Donnie Brasco
9. Dazed and Confused
10. The Nice Guys

Luke Higham said...

Louis: When you watch Bergman's 312 minute director's cut of Fanny and Alexander which was shown in both theaters and as a mini-series, you're gonna have to watch it in the latter form since I can't find the former anywhere online, it only has the shorter 3 hour theatrical version which was released first at the end of 1982.

If you do watch the longer cut as a mini-series would it still be eligible under your rules.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Yes since it premiered theatrically first, doesn't matter which cut.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: And would you ever consider watching the near 5 hour uncut version of Das Boot.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your top ten favorite uses of animals on film, and your top ten favorite characters from animated shorts (Looney Tunes and the like).

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: Babe is probably my #1.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Who would be your choice to play Farmer Hoggett in a 2010s Babe.

Calvin Law said...

Honestly I can't imagine anyone else playing Hoggett. Maybe Richard Jenkins.

Calvin Law said...

Luke: or maybe Daniel Day-Lewis if he was feeling in the mood for more 'fun' in retirement.

Calvin Law said...

Saw Jumanji. Actually quite enjoyable.

Johnson - 3
Hart - 3
Black - 3.5
Gillan - 3
Cannavale - 2
Jonas - 2

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Any recent viewings.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Saw Downsizing.

Alexander Payne really, really hates his ex-wife.

Mitchell Murray said...

Thoughts on the cast Robert? Is Chau a good supporting actress candidate?

Robert MacFarlane said...

Mitchell: Honestly the film sucked. It starts off with an interesting set-up, but it takes a hard turn into Alexander Payne assholeville territory once Damon actually shrinks with a particularly unfair treatment of Wiig's character. After that it REALLY doe not have any idea what to with its own premise and starts becoming a didactic and boring tract about environmentalism. And that's not even getting into the white savior subtext or the inherently problematic nature of Chau's character.

As for the cast: Damon's fine, but anyone could have played that role. Wiig I actually rather liked in spite of her short screentime, if only she actively refuses to play her role like the scapegoat the film wants her to be. Waltz is funny, it's nice seeing him not play a villain. As for Chau... I need to think about her a little more. Her role is not well-written and has deeply uncomfortable implications by the nature of it, but damn if she doesn't sell the hell out of it.

Mitchell Murray said...

thats a shame.. I mean About Schmidt, Sideways, Nebraska... about every Payne movie I've seen apart from The Descendants I've loved.

Matt Mustin said...

I've only seen two Alexander Payne movies. The Descendants, which I thought was absolutely terrible in practically every way, and Nebraska which just kinda bored me.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Payne rubs me the wrong way. He stacks his films with side character who are needlessly mocked or caricatured while usually glossing over or ignoring the flaws his protagonists show. (This specifically applies to The Descendants) Hell, he usually ends up sabotaging himself even when he has a good thing. With Nebraska he had a fairly complex and sweet father-son story that's ruined by absolutely AWFUL comedic portions. I'm still pissed so many fell for Squibb's snarling sitcom routine that year. I was fine with Election more than his other films since EVERYONE is awful in that movie, and with no insincere sentimentality to it.

With Downsizing the cheap shots come in the form of how it handles Wiig's character and how the film demonizes her for a completely understandable and sympathetic decision. Chau's character is the other sticking point. The film clearly wants us to laugh at the character's broken English and matter-of-fact attitude about things, but Chau thankfully plays it with enough sincerity to counteract it.

Mitchell Murray said...

I do see your complaints though I can't say I share them to the same extent. Sideways will always be a special movie for me, and Schmidt and Nebraska I both amply enjoyed. Really the big reason I didn't like The Descendants was a number of miscalculated performances.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I think the miscalculations of the performances with The Descendants stems more form the broad strokes writing than the actors themselves. The only two actors who do well are Matthew Lillard (of all people) for working AGAINST the script, and Judy Greer. Even then Greer is escorted out of the movie as the butt of a mean-spirited joke.

Mitchell Murray said...

fair enough. For the sake of my best actor blog I'll save my thoughts on the elephant in the room, but don't expect anything too different from what's been established.

Matt Mustin said...

Robert: I liked Robert Forster. But then, I pretty much always like Robert Forster.

Calvin Law said...

Same Forster was just doing his usual thing, but it worked for the role. I actually think Payne is a really good actor's director in general but his scripts are often very problematic.

Mitchell Murray said...

He's usually a great actors director I think.. Maybe not to the level of PTA, for instance, but certainly to someone like Bennett Miller.

Bryan L. said...

He's definitely gotten great performances out of the Derns (Laura and Bruce), Giamatti, and Haden Church. I only like Citizen Ruth and About Schmidt from his filmography though.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Will we be getting Welles review tonight.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: What are your favourite Top Gear specials.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Are there any films that ever made you walk out of the theater before it was over? If so, which ones?

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Would this be a good 90s cast for Hell or High Water?

Toby: Nicolas Cage
Tanner: Sean Penn
Marcus: Gene Hackman

Michael McCarthy said...

Bryan: I'd switch Cage and Penn.

Luke Higham said...

Michael McCarthy: If you have seen these films, your ratings for Orson Welles in Chimes At Midnight, Lou Castel in Fists In The Pocket, John Wayne and Kirk Douglas in In Harm's Way, Richard Harris in Major Dundee, Robert Shaw in Battle Of The Bulge and Sydow, Heston, Rains and Pleasence in The Greatest Story Ever Told.

Bryan L. said...

Michael: The more extroverted Tanner might cause Penn to indulge in some mannerisms now that I think about it, so I see your point.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Are there any past films you would've liked to see Mortensen, Mikkelsen and Coster-Waldau together in.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: thoughts and rating for Tony Shalhoub in Galaxy Quest

Michael McCarthy said...

Luke: Of those films, I've only seen The Greatest Story Ever Told.

Von Sydow: 3 (I know people who think this is the best portrayal of Jesus ever put to film, but somehow I just never fully bought it. He's more than decent in the moments that emphasize Christ's otherworldly qualities, but in the more human moments he seems kind of stilted, which keep him from being the anchor that an epic like this needs.)

Rains, Pleasence & Heston: 4.5 (One thing that makes this film worth watching is its lively supporting cast, and these three are the most colorful of the lot. Rains only has one scene, but naturally he makes the absolute most out of it. As expected, he's entertaining as the despicable King, and even though he keeps the performance big he never sacrifices the genuine menace that Herod is. He even takes it further by hinting at a certain paranoia in Herod, brought on by his refusal to accept his own imminent mortality. Pleasence is a whole lot of fun playing a completely different sort, and does a wonderful job of emanating a more pure malevolence. He never acts overly imposing in his scenes with von Sydow because he knows he doesn't need to, and instead plays his devil as more of a gleeful trickster, but obviously one with the darkest of intentions. Heston on the other hand offers a beacon of light of sorts, in that his sole purpose in the film is to be inspirational. This plays right into Heston's strengths as an actor and amounts to my favorite performance by him, as every word spoken by his John the Baptist is infused with a righteous passion. His best moments though occur when he must face the consequences for his actions, and Heston creates such a powerful defiance in John that energizes some of the best of his trademark verbal jabs to perfection. It's a wonderful handful of performances that provide just enough character to make this film enjoyable.)

Calvin Law said...

And Daryl Mitchell.

Louis Morgan said...

Tahmeed:

(All keep this in a (mostly) pleasant sense so no Jaws)

Babe
Thin Man Series
Dumbo
The Artist
Bambi
Paterson
One Hundred and One Dalmatians
Tangled
The Aventures of Tin Tin
The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean

1. Daffy Duck
2. Donald Duck
3. Elmer Fudd
4. Scrooge McDuck
5. Bugs Bunny
6. Heckyll and Jeckyll
7. Average Man Goofy
8.Sylvester
9. Foghorn Leghorn
10. Rocky and Mugsy

Never walked out though I'll admit I was tempted with X-Men The Last Stand, Suicide Squad, and Mother!.

Luke:

Darkest Hour
The Shape of Water
Call Me By Your Name

US Special
Winter Olympics
India Special
Botswana Special
Vietnam Special

I'd have to think on that.

Calvin:

Shalhoub - (He chooses to play basically the whole role as though he's very high almost the whole time and it is hilarious. Shalhoub successfully stands out in his own low key sort of way by taking this approach by offering a different sort of reaction from everyone else. Also special mention for his own Shantnering in the brief clip we see from the original series.)

Mitchell - (He's pretty enjoyable in perhaps a less comedically intense role, in mostly just portraying his overt annoyance whenever his child actor past is mentioned, or just at his own incompetence. I will give him his own particularly funny moment in just his screams of "pain" when he breaks his arm.)

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Thoughts on the casts and the films.

Calvin Law said...

Luke: really hope he at least likes all three films.

Michael McCarthy said...

I especially hope he loved The Shape of Water. Although I have to admit Call Me By Your Name has only gotten better for me with time.

Louis Morgan said...

Now again I'll admit I'm a mark for such a film. I quite enjoyed Darkest Hour, though it isn't amazing by any means it is a bit more than just a showcase for an actor who deserves far more of them. Now it works as that showcase, however I felt Anthony McCarten's screenplay was a considerable step up from his paper thin work in The Theory of Everything. In that he stepped up to Imitation Game level, however I felt this film was better than that film in that it successfully focused its efforts, partially due to it being able to converge around Oldman. Wright perhaps over does it with his visuals, however I didn't find them distracting, however I didn't find they necessarily amplified scenes, in most cases. It's not a great film, but I'm happy I can it's a good one as well as it works as such nice companion piece to Dunkirk.

Save Mendelsohn at least till BAFTA nominations.

Thomas - 3.5(Her performance is somewhat limited, in that the focus just isn't that closely placed on Clementine. I will say though Thomas made the most of what she had mostly through her splendid chemistry with Oldman, which I felt captured their contention yet loving relationship very effectively.)

James - 3(James I'll admit would have to do something actively wrong for me to dislike one of her performances. Again she's quite charming, even here as that isn't the intention of her work, which is mostly reactionary. She delivers in that regard.)

Pickup - 3.5(He's quite good actually in just establishing the sheer state of the man who is completely spent while still implying enough of a certain dignity to his manner that conveys the proper elder statesman. He importantly does add things in his silent moments and delivers in his arc that is mostly left to silence.)

Dillane - 3(Oh why oh why did he have that affectation, that they seemed to purposefully hide in the trailer. I'll assume it is historically accurate to Halifax however it just felt unnatural within his performance especially against Mendelsohn and Oldman who did their distinctive speech patterns so well. In addition it hides just how great Dillane's voice is. It's a shame because when he does not do it he does so well as the opposition voice, and I wish he had just limited his work to that.)

Louis Morgan said...

I loved the Shape of Water, I finally saw that Guillermo Del Toro everyone is always talking about. In terms of the technical elements alone this film is spectacular from that beautiful score, the fantastic production design, the gorgeous cinematography, and the MAKEUP which should have made any shortlist, are you kidding me with that snub? Anyway I really loved the film in its heightened tone that basically told a most unusual fairy tale by the way of 40's romance/Universal Monster movie. I just enjoyed every second of it.

Hawkins - 5(I'll give further thoughts on her soon. But all I'll say right now is Streep better be great with this Best Actress lineup.)

Spencer - 3.5(If she's nominated for this she's going to become sort of a Thelma Ritter or Ethel Barrymore, where she's nominated for several similair roles. This is a Octavia Spencer performance, but hey she delivers it once again. It isn't overly inspired in terms of being a variation however once more she offers the right naturalistic humor while absolutely delivering in her few dramatic scenes.)

Louis Morgan said...

I liked Call Me By Your Name. I'll admit there are aspects of Luca Guadagnino's direction I didn't love, as with "I Am Love" I don't care for his method of blaring out the score which he does for whatever reason, and a few of his sort of "showing his hand" scenes, mainly the actual use of "Mystery of Love" within the film which I felt was a bit tonally odd. I think the film works best in sort of its "unimportant" scenes of the buildup towards the central relationship and the scenes that examine it directly through Elio's youthful perspective. I think its attempts to grant a greater importance to it through the Stuhlbarg speech isn't exactly earned in the way the film frames it. It attempts to take the meaning of all that came before to somewhere other than seems natural to what we saw beforehand that adds a tinge of unneeded melodrama within it.

Well can't really talk about anyone. I mean the non potential nominees are all fine, but even Amira Casar as Elio's mother doesn't have a great deal to do.

Michael McCarthy said...

I'm glad you at least liked Call Me By Your Name. What I loved about Stuhlbarg's final speech was actually the implications it made for his own character. Up until that point, I was fairly indifferent to his performance, but certain things he says in that speech actually gave me a whole new perspective on a lot of his earlier words and actions.

Also, so happy to see how much of the cast you're saving for The Shape of Water.

Calvin Law said...

I'm surprised you're saving Stuhlbarg for The Shape of Water, but delighted you loved the film. Jenkins is only getting stronger the more I think about it, as are Jones and Shannon.

Calvin Law said...

But yeah the makeup snub is outrageous I think the justification is that Jones wore a 'suit' for most of the 'makeup' for the Asset, but they're hardly going to nominate it in costume though are they.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

Oh I can give thoughts on Stuhlbarg in The Shape of Water just slipped my mind.

Stuhlbarg - 3.5(This performance actually encourages a surprise nomination for him for Call Me By Your Name, if that, this film, and The Post all featuring him are indeed best picture nominated. This is a good performance by him as he manages to find the right balance within his character's own duplicity in every sense in that he portrays even this within his compassion in a way. Stuhlbarg brings that right combination of earnestness that establishes who the honest man who is deep inside even as he constantly lies to everyone.)

Calvin Law said...

Haha that's what I'd imagined. I found his character to be a bit of a weak link when I watched the film but giving it some thought, it entirely worked for the film.

Which Hawkins performance this year did you prefer, or are they on just about an equal level?

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Where would you rank Hawkins and is Daisy Ridley 7th or 8th for The Last Jedi.

Mitchell Murray said...

yes. So glad you liked Shape of Water, Louis. I curious now if your prefer Hawkins more in this movie or in Maudie.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: You have 6 fives for Leading Actress this year and you still have Brooklynn Prince in The Florida Project, Florence Pugh in Lady Macbeth, Aubrey Plaza in Ingrid Goes West, Vicky Krieps in Phantom Thread, Meryl Streep in The Post, Daniela Vega in A Fantastic Woman, Margot Robbie in I, Tonya, Annette Bening in Film Stars Don't Die In Liverpool, Jessica Chastain in Molly's Game and Michelle Williams in All The Money In The World to see.

For Supporting, Janney and Manville.

Calvin Law said...

Luke: I think Krieps, Pugh, and Robie will be 5's, and Prince, Plaza, and Vega 4.5/5's. Rest could go anywhere (Chastain could be anything from a 2.5 to a 5).

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: Best bet for Chastain is a 4 I think, she often gets those plus she did have two downgrades from before. (The Tree Of Life and Zero Dark Thirty)

And I'll go with a 4 for Bening as well.

Luke Higham said...

And If she does get nominated for the umpteenth time, then I pray hope Streep doesn't let me down.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: I'm currently watching Chamber Of Secrets on Television and what are your thoughts on David Bradley's brief moment. (Oh dear we are in trouble!) :)

Robert MacFarlane said...

I’d add Jessica Rothe in Happy Death Day to the list of Best Actress performances Louis needs to see. She single-handedly elevated that film.

Calvin Law said...

Saw Columbus and Wizard of Lies. Quite liked the former, hated the latter.

Columbus:
Cho - 4.5
Richardson - 4.5
Posey - 3
Culkin- 3

Wizard of Lies
De Niro - 2.5
Pfeiffer -c3
Everyone else - 2 to 2.5

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your cast and director for a 1990's Call Me by Your Name and 1940's The Shape of Water

Omar Franini said...

Calvin: your thoughts on Colombus and the cast? I've only read good things about it and cinematography.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: Your thoughts on De Niro, seems as if he'll never give a great performance again, no matter which medium it is.

Louis Morgan said...

Hawkins - (The Well I loved this performance which is essential to the film's success which could be actively ridiculous in the wrong way if her performance wasn't so finely attuned to realizing the material. Her performance refines the right combination of style with genuine emotion through her mute performance. She is never mute though in terms of how effectively she captures the spirit of every scene. Now her performance is incredible in terms of her reactionary work which brings to life the right ethereal beauty within the nature of the character yet never makes this a simplistic facet. As in that she conveys such a palatable desperation at times, and is absolutely heartbreaking through the most minimal of expression at times. It is particularly remarkable, similair to Holly Hunter in the Piano in this way, in the way she is so assertive and dominant within scenes despite never speaking a word. She overshadows a fish man interestingly enough by giving such an effortlessly engaging performance for every minute she's onscreen. It's outstanding work.)

By the way I don't know why they're making that other remake of Splash, the Shape of Water already did it.

Calvin:

The Shape of Water, but I love her in both.

Luke:

Not sure the exact order, but my top two are McDormand and Hawkins for Shape of Water.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Call Me by Your Name 1990's Directed by James Ivory:

Elio: Leonardo DiCaprio
Oliver: Jeff Daniels
Mr. Perlman: Saul Rubinek

The Shape of Water 1940's directed by William Dieterle:

Elisa: Janet Gaynor
Strickland: John Carradine
Giles: Walter Huston
The Asset: Lon Chaney Jr.
Zelda: Louise Beavers
Dr. Hoffstetler: John Qualen

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your thoughts on 'Glory' from Selma.

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Whom would you consider Christian Bales contemporaries? Oh and Andrew Garfields?

Calvin Law said...

Luke: he's not bad at playing the past Madoff actually in terms of suggesting the growing paranoia and guilt of the mam, but the 'present day' scenes are pretty dull and repetitive. Not a terrible performance though and could have been worse.

Omar: the cinematography is indeed beautiful. The story itself is fairly predictable but it works for the very relaxed yet contemplative way it examines lives and futures. It's not a great film but it's a very good one.

Cho - he's always been far more suited to leading man roles, hopefully Louis will get to check this out. It's just a very strong turn that carries the more subtle emotional beats and arc of the film very well, and makes every scene focused on him a compelling portrait of a man stuck in the past, plus his chemistry is great with...

Richardson - glad I saw her in this I'm finally impressed, she definitely has star potential. She conveys her character's more overt problems very well, all the while suggesting something deeper and more hard-hitting beneath her likable exterior.

Posey and Culkin - good solid performances and reactionary foils to Cho and Richardson.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: Are you saving Doug Jones?

Luke Higham said...

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE :)

Luke Higham said...

I've decided on what my next request is gonna be and it's from an 18th century period drama that bombed financially and not many have seen to this day.

Matt Mustin said...

Louis, having seen You Don't Know Jack, what's your updated top 20 acting moments for Al Pacino?

Michael McCarthy said...

I got to see The Post this afternoon. I don't love all of Spielberg's flourishes, but for the most part it's really solid.

Streep: 5
Hanks: 4.5
Odenkirk: 4
Rhys: 4

Pretty much a collective 3.5 for the rest of the cast.

Mitchell Murray said...

Following in Luke's footsteps, I too wish everyone a merry christmas.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Michael: Glad to see Streep would be a deserving nominee, should she get in. Could I have your thoughts on her?

Luke Higham said...

Michael: I'm pleased you really liked Streep, just hope Louis feels the same way.

Calvin Law said...

It was Hanks I was more concerned about from the trailer anyway.

Calvin Law said...

Does anyone else who's seen The Shape of Water agree with me that Shannon used Trump as a template for his character's vocal patterns?

Michael McCarthy said...

I didn't notice any direct Trump influence, but it would make sense considering Strickland is meant to be the human embodiment of oppression.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Not to mention Michael Shannon has some pretty hilarious thoughts on Trump.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Have you watched Carlos with Edgar Ramirez.

Calvin Law said...

Robert: Shannon just always speaks what's on his mind, it's great.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin, Tahmeed and Robert: Your 2010s cast for A Knight's Tale.

ruthiehenshallfan99 said...

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Luke:
William: Chris Pine
Chaucer: Paul Dano
Adhemar: Cillian Murphy (liked Sewell, but Murphy could bring even more depth)
Roland: Had he been alive, James Gandolfini, who'd have been perfect. I'd say Gerard Butler.
Jocelyn: Felicity Jones
Kate: Rooney Mara
Wat: Joe Keery (he could nail this in spite of being young)

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: I'd keep Paul Bettany, Kit Harington for William and Liam Cunningham as his father.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Luke: Oh yeah, Kit Harington would be perfect as William.

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: And Tom Hardy for The Black Prince.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Luke: Can't wait until Louis does 2001 Alternate Supporting :)

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: Can't wait as well. Should get 2001 sometime next year. :)

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your rating and thoughts on Cage in Matchstick Men.

Calvin Law said...

Luke:

William - George Mackey
Chaucer - Paul Dano
Adhemar - Tom Hiddleston
Jocelyn - Hannah Tointon
Roland - Nigel Lindsay
Wat - Jermaine Clement

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: I like Lindsay as Roland. Though I understand that you haven't watched Game Of Thrones, Kit Harington is the perfect choice for William.

Robert MacFarlane said...

William - Alden Ehrenreich
Jocelyn - Lucy Boynton
Roland - Taika Waititi
Wat - Joe Keery (good call)
Chaucer - Tom Hiddleston
Kate - Rose Byrne
Adhemar - Ed Skerin

Luke Higham said...

Louis: When do you think you'll be able to post the next review.

Calvin Law said...

*MacKay

Luke Higham said...

And did you see The Post, All The Money In The World or Phantom Thread or are you seeing them later this week.

Michael McCarthy said...

Tahmeed: Now that I've had time to think about it, I can safely say that Streep is at least in my top 3 lead actress performances this year. She really does disappear into the role of Kay Graham, which is a character that both plays into her strengths and allows her to stretch herself quite a bit. On the surface, Graham is the sort of confident, empowered woman that Streep is used to playing, but this is a role where she really has to earn that side of the performance. Because of this, for the first half of the film Streep portrays a much less assured Graham. This isn't to say she plays Graham as timid, just as someone who does her best even though she's not quite used to her position of power. In this Streep gives us this amazing vulnerability which I've missed in some of her most recent performances because she really is great at it. She just strikes this perfect balance between being firmly professional and being consistently appeasing. This part of her performance is so important because it makes the moment where she finally gains the resolve to make her own decision, regardless of consequence, the most powerful moment of the film, and one of the best acted of the year. After this we mostly get what one would consider to be typical "Meryl" scenes, but they make an especially strong impact because of how incredibly Streep realizes Graham's journey to find her courage.)

Calvin Law said...

Louis: your thoughts on the SAG Ensemble cast members selection system? I just took a look at who's listed for them and was kind of shocked that they left off Marcus Henderson, and particularly Lil Rel Howrey and Betty Gabriel. It's like a reversal of Boyhood a couple years back with Marco Perella.

Alex Marqués said...

Gabriel does a lot with her limited screentime, her single tear scene is one of the highlights of the film imo.

Omar Franini said...

Louis: What Are your ratings and thoughts on Cameron Bright in Thank You For Smoking, Paula Britton in D.O.A. and Jean Louisa Kelly in Uncle Buck?

Calvin Law said...

The Shape of Water 1980s version directed by Wim Wenders
Elisa: Nastassja Kinski
Giles: Wilford Brimley
Zelda: Alfre Woodard
Strickland: F. Murray Abraham
The Asset: Tom Noonan
Hoffstetler: Kevin Kline

Louis Morgan said...

Tahmeed:

Glory - (As I mentioned with "See you Again", and this is surprisingly similair in set up I don't exactly love the ballad with the rap song over layed. Again with that song I do like the ballad portion however Common's rapping I find particularly doesn't cohere with the rest musically speaking even it perhaps does thematically. Again the ballad portion entirely does work as one in itself, and maybe the rap portion would as well however combined it doesn't come together for me.)

Calvin:

No in regards to Jones, I just wanted to do a bit more research into how the asset was realized in general.

Oh the ensemble choices never make a lick of sense since sometimes they nominate everyone and other times they don't. They should just nominate everyone who is credited in the cast simple as that, or if they need to put a screentime amount on it.

On a side note the more I think about the film the more I actually dislike Howery's performance though, given it is the one thing, as well as the scenes surrounding him, that I have problems with. Yes he's funny but he's not in the same movie as anyone else. I was thinking if there is an example of similair performance working, and yes there is. To me Lee J. Cobb in the Exorcist did the right version of that performance where he's funny in an otherwise serious horror film, however his performance is never absurdist. The film would have been better served overall with Howery or someone else giving a more subdued performance, and the complete removal of the police station or at least a toning down of it.

Matt:

Speaking about his mother would be #7 overall, and his final court scene would be #18.

Luke:

No in regards to Carlos.

Anonymous:

Cage - 4(Perhaps there's a few moments where he goes just a touch too Cagey for his own good, and the good of the character mainly "PISS BLOOD". Most of the time though this is an effective turn from him in utilizing his unique abilities quite frankly to bring the right type of energetic style and the right type of charisma to the conning. He undercuts this effectively though in portraying both a more understated work in his scenes with his daughter by creating a real sense of warmth with an attempt to be more than he is, and most of the time the right manic energy in his portrayal of the strange physical ailment the man is going through.)

Omar:

Bright - 3(I think he gives a natural enough performance that works as a pseudo moral compass to Eckhart's character however mostly through just some natural warmth, and a warning of sorts in his fairly effective in bringing just a bit of the manipulative sleaze developing in the boy that doesn't feel over the top.)

Britton - 3(Decent enough straight forward support to O'Brien. Nothing overly complicated however effective in just bringing a bit of warmth within what is otherwise a very cold story.)

Kelly - 4(It has been a long time since I've seen the film however I recall her actually being quite good in not turning into pure caricature towards her relationships with Candy's Uncle Buck. In addition though she actually manages to realize something with a bit more depth all around, not entirely unlike Martin in Trains, Planes in Automobiles, in terms of creating something a bit more powerful beyond the surface of the more comedic contentious relationship on the surface.)

Robert MacFarlane said...

I'll grant you that the police station scene was unneeded, but I never thought Howery felt at-odds with the tone. Even though his scenes are more overtly comedic, the rest of the film is filled with humor throughout. Especially on the second viewing, where knowing the twists gives way to a trove of great inside jokes.

Giuseppe Fadda said...

I’ve seen Wonder Wheel and The Greatest Showman and I didn’t care for either of them.

Winslet - 3
Belushi - 3
Temple - 4
Timberlake - 2.5

Jackman - 2.5
Williams - 2.5
Ferguson - 2.5
Efron - 3
Zendaya - 3

Omar Franini said...

Giuseppe: I've seen Wonder Wheel a couple of weeks ago too and i hated it, Temple and the cinematography were the best things.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I saw The Shape of Water.

I’ll level with you, I thought it was kind of stupid. Impeccably crafted and well-acted, but I don’t think Del Toro is “for me”.

Louis Morgan said...

Robert:

As someone who loved the film, I think that is a completely fair assessment.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I’m surprised you only gave Stuhlbarg a 3.5, I thought he was way more interesting than Jenkins or Shannon.

Louis Morgan said...

Robert:

Well I would imagine you would if you weren't jiving with the film's style as Stuhlbarg's performance could work in a less stylized film however this film to me was like something akin to Bram Stoker's Dracula. Jenkins and Shannon gave performances accepting that approach. I'll get more into that later though.