Sunday, 18 February 2018

Alternate Best Actor 2017: Sebastian Stan in I, Tonya

Sebastian Stan did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Jeff Gillooly in I, Tonya.

I, Tonya tells the trials and tribulations of figure skater Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie).

I, Tonya is a very entertaining take on the material, though it lifts its methods very blatantly from Martin Scorsese it thankfully applies them well. This approach though is particularly effective in the way it is used to fashion the story as an anti-inspirational biopic. In that we get technically have some beats from a typical biopic but turned on its head here in the story of the infamous Tonya Harding. This is right down to her significant other playing a pivotal role in her story. Where this is usually left for the Oscar role of the "supportive wife", like Felicity Jones in The Theory of Everything, this time we get the "supportive" husband in Sebastian Stan as Jeff Gillooly, those quotations on the supportive very much a requirement. Now I, Tonya has been a rather heavily praised film, and deservedly so. Sebastian Stan seems to have become one of the most underrated performances of 2017 in a critically acclaimed film, as he could not even get a single citation from even one of the most obscure critical groups in either lead or supporting. Stan is in one of those strange situations though where I feel his performance was taken for granted. This can often happen when someone who is not all that well known plays a despicable character.

Stan is best known for playing Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier in the Marvel cinematic universe films yet even there he flies under the radar despite some strong work in his latter two turns as the character, but again there he played a secondary role with a sparse amount of lines each time. This apparently seems to have caused some not to be aware that this is a transformative performance by Sebastian Stan, and a brilliant one at that. There is nothing about Stan as Bucky or any of his other performances, or in interviews that suggests he's at all the right man you'd peg to play the not quite infamous, due to attention spans, Jeff Gillooly. Besides the mustache, that as Gillooly describes in the film as something he is apologetic over, Stan fully embodies this particular man. For example his vocal performance here is particularly impressive, though not given much credit, because of  how low key it is. Stan though fashions that sort of squeaky sounding voice of the actual man. His work is completely consistent in the realization of that to the point that he even is able to find naturalistic variations within his voice through Gillooly's higher pitched timbre. Of course it is so good one does not even think about the fact that Stan is putting on a voice at all, it just sounds like it is his normal speaking voice, but of course it's not.

Stan is equally effective in terms of his physical manner in the role which again is not at all typical to Stan's normal screen presence. Stan typically has a more outgoing effortlessly more intimidating style fitting towards a man with self-confidence. Obviously that would not work for Jeff Gillooly so Stan realizes this intensity of insecurity in his body. He carries this tight restrictiveness in his manner and the way he faces someone speaks is always a little off kilter as though he's often afraid of direct confrontation or even eye contact. He is more often retiring in his manner as someone who has not a hint of faith in any of his own abilities. Again this is something that Stan just so effortlessly brings to his performance that it is not noticeable unless your trying to examine his performance as I am doing here. He just naturally behaves as Jeff Gillooly and makes it such a given that no one even notices that his performance is quite a leap, again perhaps because Stan isn't well enough known himself, but also perhaps because Gillooly's not an especially well known historical figure. Stan's recreation of this man though is notable and he does accomplish this with such ease. He manages to never make it seem as though we are looking at Sebastian Stan playing this part, he just comes off as Jeff Gillooly in the film which should not be something that is hand waved.

Of course his performance does not end there either in his realization of the subversion of this type of character usually found in a more hopeful story. We get the early meeting between the two where it appears to be love at first sight. This is something that Stan rather hilariously realizes in his portrayal of Gillooly's love struck face, and his perfectly meek delivery of "you like food?" as his pick up line to Tonya. We very briefly get the "romantic" side of the man which Stan portrays as actually genuine in his affection at Tonya at least in some very basic level. In these moments Stan correctly portrays this overt attachment to her in their less difficult moments, and he portrays this almost sorta flimsy exuberance in these moments as trying to be the good boyfriend and later husband. We have their interactions which are incredibly well handled by Stan in that he portrays this very exact sort of charm here. In that he doesn't play at this overt charm that would be appealing to most people, however he does find something there in a very unassuming way that one can at least see the vague appeal that Tonya finds in him. Stan correctly relates this only to the moments though where he is trying to directly show his attempts that he loves her in some way, which he makes honest in the moment even if they are dishonest to the man as a whole.

Those moments are quickly subverted by the frequent scenes of Gillooly's physical abuse of Tonya. Now most of the time when this is a feature in a character it often becomes the sole emphasis within the actor's performance which usually becomes quickly one note. Stan avoids this pitfall, though not in a way of softening his character, as he makes these moments as just the basic part of what makes up Gillooly, which in a way is more disturbing than if he had to muster energy to be abusive. Stan depicts these scenes as basically just something that he does that is just basically an innate behavior of his as breathing is. Stan makes the moments as a natural part of his insecurity as a person. Stan handles them as casual as clockwork in any moment their alone and he portrays just a minor frustration as more than enough reason to hit her. Stan doesn't portray this at Gillooly's low point but really just his typical state of being for such a pathetic man. He makes them as these attempts to quickly put her down the moment Gillooly feels down about anything himself. He doesn't depict this as building him up as some bully seeking confidence, but rather just this further stewing in his own misery where he tries to bring Tonya right down to where he is. His moments even of apology Stan actually makes earnest, in that he's not a sociopath, but in his weak willed delivery of the apologies shows it stemming from the exact pitiful core of the man.

What is particularly remarkable though is that even with these pretty horrible moments of abuse this is actually often a rather funny performance at times, though usually in a fairly dark way. What Stan does isn't to ever try to be funny but rather excels in just presenting this wretched man that is Gillooly and amusing things can come from this due to the strange state of the man. That state that Stan makes so pure that it is occasionally hilarious because of how unabashed he makes this. For example when Gillooly goes about trying to make up with Tonya, over his friend's Shawn Eckhardt (Paul Walt Hauser) parent's phone, Stan delivers every time he asks Shawn's mother to redial Tonya's number in the same one would as a child upset while at friends house. Stan delivers this certain cordiality towards this every time, and again it ends up being very funny since Stan makes it seem so authentic to the man he has established up to this point. This can even be in a pitch black sense at times though for example when Gillooly threatens Tonya with a gun, while also threatening to commit suicide. Stan brings all the appropriate emotional intensity to the moment, but also through the funnel of the guy Gillooly is. When he does fire in the heat of the moment, there is natural bit of dark humor in Stan's "oops, I didn't mean it to go this far" reaction when Gillooly sees he might have seriously hurt Tonya. Stan manages to find the balance in his performance because his work always stay so true to the character.

Of course what defines the story, and what Jeff Gillooly almost as important to I, Tonya as Tonya herself, though the name of the film suggests she's not so innocent as she often claims in the film, is the attack on her chief rival Nancy Kerrigan. We never get really the full story, however what we do get is the realization of Gillooly's particular method at being the "supportive" husband to Tonya's life story, through his attempt to sabotage the competition. Stan finds this sort of toxic support though throughout his interactions with Robbie as Harding. As in the moments of her success Stan portrays a directly honest happiness for her success, unless it diminishes his presence in her life. Stan then proceeds to depict the initial staging of the idea again rather comically as the man who is going to make her Olympic dreams come true. There is sort of this false cunning that is rather hilarious that Stan projects as he considers the plan with Eckhardt where he does portray a  type of confidence, the weakest most pathetic attempt a confidence you could see. There is not an ounce real confidence mind you there in that he is the same physical manner but not just with this brittle attempt at being the "good husband". Of course thing quickly spiral out of control as the attack is launched, though we never exactly get a clear explanation in terms of the exact awareness of all parties. Stan during this portion often gets sole perspective as he becomes sort of the king of dunces as Gillooly attempts to deal with his involvement. The scenes between Eckhardt and Gillooly are particularly entertaining though in the way Stan and Hauser play it as dumb and dumber. As Hauser plays a man with firm delusions that keep him a sort of bliss against Stan playing a different kind of delusion by depicting such overt, and rather funny, frustrations as he thinks he can deal with one of the few people if more incompetent than himself. The highlight of this perhaps being the moment of seeing the attack coverage on the news with an amazing primal scream by Stan, fitting to a man who realizes he's screwed up to a colossal degree.

Stan is great in the public scenes where he shows again that attempt at a confident, innocent, Gillooly that just couldn't seem more unnatural or unbecoming to the man as Stan still presents him oozing with that same desperation that defines him as a person. As the story begins to unravel Stan is terrific by showing this already underwhelming act slowly falling apart in each successive scene to reveal a more overtly pathetic individual who is overwhelmed by both the idiocy of both the other guys, and his own. Stan delivers every line as a near confession with so little sincerity in his voice, and weakens to the point he shows us practically the same guy who asked Tonya if she liked food near the beginning of the film. Now the one facet I haven't addressed, because it is the most separated in his work, is Stan's portrayal of the current Jeff Gillooly giving his version of the story. Stan once again excels in this, as I love how he plays it that Jeff may or may not have learned anything from his story. He properly changes himself enough to reflect the older age of the man, but what's more important is the way he tells the story. In terms of learning a lesson Stan brings enough of an embarrassed air to voice he speaks of the worst times to suggest perhaps a more introspective man. At the same time though he delivers the same pathetic quality within the bit of pride he expresses in certain moments of the story such as when describing when Tonya asked him back or his feelings on the use of his name as verb to describing hitting someone in the leg was "kind of cool".  That is yet another facet of this great performance by Sebastian Stan as he fully embodies this pitiful man in a way that never becomes one note naturally making a cohesive individual out of the different sides of the man and at the same time finds a surprising degree of humor in presenting this as the typical "supportive husband/wife" character gone very wrong.

78 comments:

Luke Higham said...

Happy to see him get upgraded. :)

Luke Higham said...

Now, I'm very intrigued with how you're gonna react to Jane's Performance.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

I haven't seen this yet, but I definitely will check it out as soon as possible.
Top ten prediction:

1. Gosling
2. Stanton
3. Day-Lewis
4. Jackman
5. Kang-Ho
6. Stan
7. Pattinson
8. Renner
9. Kaluuya
10.Bale

Luke Higham said...

The first time I ever saw Stan was in Hot Tub Time Machine and although he was decent, I never imagined him getting this far.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Luke: He was the best part of Hot Tub Time Machine tbh

Luke Higham said...

Robert: I concur. Haven't seen the film for quite some time but I would give him a 3.

Giuseppe Fadda said...

I’m so glad you upgraded him. He was a 4.5 for me originally too, but he absolutely deserves a 5.

Anonymous said...

Louis: your cast for a 90’s and 2000’s version of Drive?

Mitchell Murray said...

No question this is a great performance in a great movie. And it makes me all the more intrigued to see where Stan goes from here.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Rating and thoughts on Keitel in The Last Temptation of Christ, Reservoir Dogs, The Piano and Hackman in Another Woman.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Anonymous: Louis reviewed Keitel for Reservoir Dogs.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: Keitel was reviewed for Reservoir Dogs.

Last Temptation of Christ - 4(His razzie nomination was of course downright ridiculous. I can only think it went down to his accent, which isn't what would assume is biblical, however everyone is just doing their normal accents here so being singled out for it seems odd. It also ignores his actual performance though and in his portrayal of Judas who can be so different depending the perspective taken. In this version he is actually in a way the most loyal disciple however for a different type of cause and I found Keitel to be quite good portraying that fiery anger fitting for the rebel. In turn he naturally softens this somewhat in his scenes with Dafoe, creating the sense to his learning making the moment where he is asked to perform his own duty of arresting him actually rather moving due to Keitel's performance. In addition he offers the right direct violent distaste in his final scene showing the man betrayed by the man he believed in and fully embracing his older philosophy of violence in the final confrontation.)

Calvin Law said...

Wild guess for the top 20


1. Gosling
2. Stanton
3. Day-Lewis
4. Jackman
5. Stan
6. Song
7. Pattinson
8. Renner
9. Kaluuya
10. Hawke
11. Bale
12. Cruise
13. Fishburne
14. Franco
15. Coster-Waldau
16. Washington
17. McAvoy
18. Oldman
19. Carell (Battle of the Sexes)
20. Miller

Can't wait to see this performance.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Could you add Kevin Kline in Beauty And The Beast to the supporting ranking.

Luke Higham said...

And is Lynskey a 3.5 or 4 for I Don't Feel At Home In This World Anymore.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Did you watch WFTPOTA recently because I've noticed Harrelson going down to #75 and Zahn's gone down to a 2.5. Does this mean Serkis has gone down as well.

Calvin Law said...

As someone who wasn't a fan of Apes, I'm sad Zahn's a 2.5.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

90's:

The Driver: Eric Stoltz
Irene: Elisabeth Shue
Shannon: Tom Skerritt
Blanche: Chloe Webb
Nino: Robert Loggia
Standard: Giancarlo Esposito
Bernie: Jerry Lewis

2000's:

The Driver: Guy Pearce
Irene: Kelly Macdonald
Shannon: Richard Jenkins
Blanche: Laura Harring
Nino: Brian Dennehy
Standard: Benicio Del Toro
Bernie: Dustin Hoffman

Anonymous:

I'm quite sure I covered those before.

Luke:

Yes though not exactly of my own choosing, but I really couldn't stand the film on re-watch. Serkis and Harrelson were still both good and stand the same rating wise, but I really found Zahn's shtick very tiresome the second time around.

Lynskey's a 4, her film just slipped my mind while compiling the list.

Luke Higham said...

Kaluuya won Rising Star and Rockwell & Janney have pretty much completed a full sweep.

moviefilm said...

As much, as I loved the film and Janney and Robbie in it, this was an uninspired performance. 3/3.5 for me...

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on Cleopatra (1963), I, Claudius and Crime and Punishment.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on Cleopatra (1963), I, Claudius and Crime and Punishment as missed opportunities.

Luke Higham said...

Del Toro wins. No offence but it sucks that they didn't give it to Nolan.

Alex Marqués said...

Dunkirk is completely finished in the Oscar race.

Luke Higham said...

Three Billboards wins Best Film.

Three Billboards vs The Shape Of Water (PGA) for Best Picture.

Alex Marqués said...

Not a good awards season for Robert I guess...

Giuseppe Fadda said...

I haven’t seen Dunkirk, but again for me Del Toro is a perfect winner. I seriously hope Three Billboards doesn’t win Best Picture or Screenplay, but I think I’ll be disappointed.

Luke Higham said...

Giuseppe Fadda: Del Toro winning was a foregone conclusion after his DGA victory but I really wanted Nolan to get some recognition considering that it was my personal favourite of the year.

Calvin Law said...

Giuseppe: Can I recommend, when you do get round to watching Dunkirk, to get as good quality a copy of the film as possible. Nolan's direction is spectacular but I'd have to say it was made almost entirely with the cinema in mind, particularly in the use of sound. It still looks spectacular on a smaller screen though.

Calvin Law said...

I didn't get round to checking out The Shape of Water again today, but I am seeing I, Tonya tomorrow which should allow me to complete my awards lineups.

Bryan L said...

Louis: I have a fun one: your 1991 and 2016 cast and director for The Hustler and The Color of Money? With whoever who plays Fast Eddie in the 90s reprising the role in the 2010s of course. I think either John Travolta or Mel Gibson would be great as Fast Eddie.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the BAFTAs.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Cleopatra - (Just waste of a story that has potential with Joseph L. Makiewicz also directing his worst film in this overblown mess of a movie. There should be a good movie capable somewhere with this tale of an ultimate manipulator, but it is wholly wasted here.)

I, Claudius - (Well would have nice to have seen any adaptation of it at the time particularly with Laughton in the lead role which he would have perfect for. It is especially a shame since it was in the process of being made before being just lost to time.)

Crime and Punishment - (The story obviously has potential and Josef von Sternberg is not a hack, but he directs this film like one. It even is well cast with Lorre and Arnold but they are wasted with such a lifeless adaptation.)

Bryan L.:

Fast Eddie: Michael Keaton

The Hustler 90's directed by Curtis Hanson:

Fats: John Goodman
Sarah: Jennifer Jason Leigh
Burt: John Turturro
Charlie: Dean Stockwell
Findley: William H. Macy

The Color of Money 2010's directed by Bennett Miller:

Vincent: Jack O'Connell
Carmen: Analeigh Tipton
Amos: O'Shea Jackson Jr.

Luke:

A sad day for Dunkirk in general as it could not even win editing. Seems like it is going to get maybe the sounds at best at Oscars. I would have loved to have seen Nolan upset there, but I didn't think it was going to happen when it wasn't even nominated for Best British Film. The problem for Dunkirk I think was it needed to be seen in a theater by every voter.

Acting races are sewn up. Love three of the winners, I quite like Oldman, so I'm fine with that. Wouldn't have minded if Manville had at least pulled the upset there though.

DEAKINS! He's gotten BAFTA and ASC before and lost, hopefully this time he'll pull off the win. After all Blade Runner has a bit more support than The Who Wasn't There had, very happy to see it take visual effects as well.

Well despite the negative Nellies I'm overjoyed at Three Billboards taking Original Screenplay and Best Film, but to be fair it needed them here to even stand a chance at Oscars. I think Best Picture is a three way race actually between Shape, Get Out, and Three Billboards, looking forward to see what happens there. Rooting for McDonagh to get his second Oscar though, but I think original screenplay could still go either way.

Would've loved to have seen Greenwood upset in score, but at least Desplat's score is good. Phantom Thread at least got its well deserved costume win that should now transfer to Oscar.

Also though I would've liked to have seen the Salesman win here as well, The Handmaiden is a fine choice.

Ah shame Loving Vincent couldn't pull off the upset, but I didn't think it would.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: do you consider it to be a bit of a shame that Oldman's Oscar win will have to be for a slightly average film and in your view, a lesser performance by him, when they could have easily awarded to him for plenty of deserving performances before.

Calvin Law said...

And it's a shame it might kind of taint his legacy for having won for such a 'baity' role, when so many of his greatest performances have been either atypically brilliant (State of Grace, Leon, Sid and Nancy) or subdued and unshowy (The Dark Knight, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

It is a shame he couldn't win for Tinker Tailor this year, but what are you going to do. I would probably be more annoyed if Day-Lewis wasn't already a three time winner, and besides I don't think he would've won for Phantom Thread even if he wasn't going against an overdue vet.

Calvin Law said...

I mean I love the performance, but I do hate the fact that historical figure = unquestioned win. Day-Lewis strikes me as the sort who never really cared all that much after his first win, though, and to be honest neither does Oldman otherwise he'd have chosen a project like this much sooner.

Michael McCarthy said...

I still have a sneaking suspicion that Lady Bird is gonna upset for either Best Picture or Best Director. It has all the makings of a sleeper hit at the Oscars, Gerwig winning in particular would make for a compelling narrative.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

Well hopefully this gets Oldman more prominent roles, and it could. If that happens honestly I couldn't be happier.

Calvin Law said...

Kermode made a great argument for it winning Best Picture in that it's the film which pretty much everyone seems to at least like and no one hates. Shape of Water, Three Billboards, even Get Out have been somewhat more divisive.

Louis Morgan said...

Michael:

The odd thing about Lady Bird is how it keeps getting nominated yet never wins anything. It was shut out at BAFTA, shut out at DGA, shut out at SAG, shut out at WGA. It only did anything at the Globes, which isn't an industry precursor, where it was in the less competitive category. It will be unprecedented, I think, for it to win Picture without a single major industry precursor win. Then again Picture could do something very weird just because of how divided the field is.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

I think that was true at first, but I noticed after its, initial, Rotten Tomatoes setting record some people just turned against for having that record, or at least had that "it was over hyped" reaction.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: True, I've been hearing that sort of reaction too, though more from people I know than actual critics.

Mitchell Murray said...

Whether its 100%, 99% or 98%, I still consider Lady Bird to be one of the year's best movies. If its our front runner than I wouldn't mind seeing it win even against other movies I loved just as much.

Calvin Law said...

A24 are on a roll. 7 of their films have made my top 20 in the past two years.

Bryan L said...

I've also read some articles musing if Dunkirk could win Best Picture, since the movie could rack up plenty of #2 and #3 votes. Sort of how I imagine Spotlight took home the big prize two (2) years ago.

Anonymous said...

Louis: your top 20 chris cooper acting moments

Robert MacFarlane said...

The BAFTA's did not surprise me, but I am undeniably disappointed with the choices. I hope Get Out or Lady Bird can score some sort of upset victory in any category nominated. Just as long as the fish fucking movie and Crash 2 don't win.

Alex Marqués said...

Oldman is going to be a very boring winner. It's not that he's bad, he's obviously good, but it's exactly the kind of performance you imagined he would give since the moment the film was announced. I don't think his win is going to age very well.

Mitchell Murray said...

If it helps Robert, I'm not a fan of Crash either.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Do you think that if Oldman was up for Tinker Tailor this year, he’d be sweeping the awards the way he is or not?

Also, cast and director for a 200s and 2010s Stretcar Named Desire?

Mitchell Murray said...

Assuming it was his first nomination, I don't think so. Much of the momentum towards his nod for TTSS came from the feeling of "I can't believe he hasn't been nominated yet. Lets throw him a bone". He wasn't winning in that year, and so I don't think he'd win this year, either due to the academy wanting to award younger nominees like Chalamet and Kaluuya, or make oscar history with four time winner Day-Lewis.

Anonymous said...

Louis: For a 40's French Connection, how about Cagney in Hackman's role and Bogart in Scheider's?

Luke Higham said...

Overall, this may be one of the most boring awards seasons that I could remember. Aside from The Shape Of Water's PGA win, Director and all 4 acting categories have been clean sweeps and I rather hate it unless there's something I'm very passionate about.

Mitchell Murray said...

Its been very predictable for sure, but for me at least, this year has some of the strongest supporting actor and best actress fields I've seen... So there's that.

Luke Higham said...

Mitchell: I won't deny that. Would like to see the wealth spread out abit more.

Alex Marqués said...

Luke: I agree, this awards season could've been way more interesting.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Mitchell: "Crash 2" is what I've been calling Three Billboards.

Alex Marqués said...

The Supporting Actor lineup seems solid (still haven't seen Plummer), but the performance that I love is Dafoe. The rest of them are really good and I've enjoyed them too (all of them are excellent character actors), but he is the one who has stayed the most with me I think (I also loved the movie and it's probably my favourite of the year). But Harrelson has some terrific scenes in 3B (I think he hits higher peaks than Rockwell, who I usually prefer as an actor), and Jenkins is undeniably sweet and endearing even if it seems totally in his wheelhouse. And I'm just happy about Rockwell getting some recognition, even if it's not my favourite of his roles.

Mitchell Murray said...

(Robert) I'm aware of that, and while I can't agree with you on that comparison, I understand your point because I share the same distaste for the Paul Haggis movie.

Calvin Law said...

Alex: Glad someone else loves The Florida Project even more than me since the reception on here seems to be mostly 'meh'.

Alex Marqués said...

Calvin: I didn't know you loved it! For me, it was captivating in how it showed the deplorable situation those characters lived in without relying on their misery, and the way it shows that kind of world through the eyes of children is incredibly moving because of how realistic their behaviour felt to me and how essential that blissful ignorance felt in spite of its harmfulness. It also humanized some realistically unlikable people without ever glorifying their style of life (Dafoe plays a crucial role and the movie wouldn't work without him). The ending sees to be what divides most people, and I must admit it caught me a bit off-guard after being emotionally destroyed, but after thinking about it for a while, I ended up finding it very inspired considering how these children, are both trapped and saved by this "fantasy world", where they feel the need to return when everything else seems to be lost. Oh, and Prince gives one of my favourite kid performances ever. I can't wait to watch it again.

Calvin Law said...

Alex: Exactly. I love the ending too, for similar reasons.

Saw this finally, I really dug it, though I'll sdmit I found Janney pretty overrated.

Robbie: 5
Stan: 5 (not sure which category I'd put him in)
Janney: 4
Hauser: 4 (actually preferred him)
Nicholson: 4
Cannavale: 3.5

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: What are your overall thoughts on this awards season.

Calvin Law said...

Luke: well I love almost all the big winners in terms of films, love the diversity in terms of types of films and the nominees. Wish there would be more love for the likes of Nolan, The Florida Project, Poulter, Krieps etc. but I can't complain overall.

Janney though is a bit of a sour note. She's good, but I thought Madams Manville and Metcalf where leagues ahead of her, and thinking about it I might actually prefer Spencer.

John Smith said...

Louis, what did you thin of the cinematography of 'The Hunt'. The way it emphasized the emotions of the characters where much noticeable on a rewatch.

Giuseppe Fadda said...

What are your rating and thoughts on Julia Roberts in Wonder?

Giuseppe Fadda said...

And Kate Hudson in Marshall as well.

Calvin Law said...

Also, I don't know if anyone's had the similar effect, but seeing how I, Tonya handled the figure of Tonya Harding makes me hold The Disaster Artist in slightly lower esteem. I hate how reactionary this sounds, I still think it's one of the funniest films of 2017 and I think it'll hold up on re-watch, and the approach they went with a 'feel-good' movie was probably the way to go, but I don't know.

Bryan L said...

Anyone here remember what Louis' cast and director for a 2010s From Here to Eternity was? I remember he had Giovanni Ribisi as Angelo and Joaquin Phoenix as Prewitt, but I can't seem to find it.

Alex Marqués said...

Calvin: I saw The Disaster Artist yesterday and it felt a bit... snide? It was funny (with that source material, it's hard not to make something hilarious), but it felt as an excuse for Franco to recreate scenes of The Room instead of examining the character. The ending scene was well intentioned, but the people were laughing at the screening felt a bit too much OTT to be credible, and I feel that Wiseau saying immediately "it was meant to be a comedy" undermined a bit the earnest tribute they were going for, even if that happened in real life (haven't read the book).

John Smith said...

I haven't seen 'The Disaster Artist'. But I have read the book and loved it. I'm afraid that I'm not going to be as forgiving as some considering my love for the source material,

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

1. Arrest - Breach
2. Describing the Mennonites - Matewan
3. Suspecting something - Breach
4. Describing the crash - Adaptation
5. You think this man is your enemy? - Matewan
6. Revealing the door - 11.22.63
7. Meeting Hanssen - Breach
8. How the past gets you - 11.22.63
9. Standing up for his son - August: Osage County
10. The woods - Breach
11. Such a disappointment - 11.22.63
12. Breakdown - American Beauty
13. Seeing the prospects - Seabiscuit
14. Meeting Capote in the diner - Capote
15. Standing up for his son - October Sky
16. Dinner - August: Osage County
17. Tex Richman rap - The Muppets
18. His scene - The Town
19. Preparing the horse - The Seabiscuit
20. Testimony - A Time to Kill

Anonymous:

No I don't think he would be given he barely made it in for when he was nominated for that film. It is rare anyone wins for such a subtle performance, it would be a bit like if Day-Lewis won this year for Phantom Thread.

A Streetcar Named Desire 2000's directed by Todd Field:

Blanche: Jennifer Jason Leigh
Stanley: Tom Hardy
Stella: Mia Kirshner
Mitch: John C. Reilly

See the cast of Blue Jasmine for 2010.

Anonymous:

Sound about right.

Giuseppe:

Roberts - 3.5(Honestly this is a film that suits her acting style very well, but she actually doesn't sort of overdo the hokey elements of her character even if she brings her usual kind of too much. This works though for the tone of the film and particularly for the tone of the character. She effectively realizes the mother who loves her son and is always trying very hard to make things right for him. At the same time she also does bring enough of a believable frustration at moments as well. Her work isn't anything too amazing here but it's good work.)

Hudson - 2(The film does her no favors in that we get so little of her character that all we are granted is just the narrowest view of this hollow frustrated sexpot. That in a way could be enough but Hudson's performance doesn't try own it as that either. She stays a little too vague leaving her performance just kind of falling straight into the caricature with little else there. Again though as written it's a pretty terrible role.)

Calvin:

The more I think about the Disaster Artist, the more I think it was a major missed opportunity to make a great film. I still think the end product was an enjoyable one, but a waste of the potential found in the book. Honestly the book's structure almost could have even been retained with the making of the room being told in parallel with Sestero's story of trying to make it and meeting Wiseau.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the score and cinematography of L.A. Confidential.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your cast and director for a 1990s Black Panther?

Charles H said...

I haven't seen Black Panther yet but since Rotten Tomatoes ranked it the best movie ever made (Two times better then Citizen Kane) it looks like a must watch. Lucky me a friend got me free tickets to go.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Jerry Goldsmith's score is a terrific piece of work but I think especially remarkable in the way it sounds in terms of its blending of periods. He was the right choice for composer in that by starting as a composer near the period of the film he brings that sort of style and intensity of the scores from that period but with enough of a modern sensibility to suit the film of the 90's. It's very effective combination of just enough bombast, fitting to a 50's thriller, but also with the right nuance as well.

The cinematography isn't something that is often noted about the film. As it is not particularly showy work however it does offer just the right sort of general prestige aesthetic that certainly works well for the film. It's what I would describe as wholly solid work even if in terms of the qualities of the film it is perhaps not the first thing one would remark as exceptional about the film, though that in part comes from how many things are exceptional about that film.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Black Panther 1990's directed by F. Gary Gray:

T'Challa: Denzel Washington
Okoye: Vivica A. Fox
Nakia: Angela Bassett
M'Baku: Michael Clarke Duncan
Shuri: Halle Berry
W'Kabi: Don Cheadle
Ross: Michael J. Fox
Ramonda: Diahann Carroll
Zuri: James Earl Jones
T'Chaka: Roscoe Lee Browne
Klaue: Malcolm McDowell
N'Jobu: Keith David
Killmonger: Wesley Snipes