Saturday, 3 February 2018

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 2017: Daniel Craig in Logan Lucky

Daniel Craig did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Joe Bang in Logan Lucky.

Logan Lucky is Oceans 7-11 about a pair of southern brothers planning a most unusual heist of a raceway.

Daniel Craig plays the safe cracker who the two would be robbing brothers the Logans (Channing Tatum, Adam Driver) go to in order to help with their plan. This performance is a major change of pace for Daniel Craig in the mind of many though he has perhaps wrongly be seen as a certain kind of performer by some due to his intense portrayal of James Bond. If one watches his work in Layer Cake  or even in another way in Road to Perdition where he plays more expressive characters, Craig takes on a particular style for James Bond, the right style for that role, but that is not Craig's limits as a performer. This is another splendid example of Craig's range when given a more colorful performance, though for many still a wholly against type performance. I will say the impact of this performance may have been diminished a bit by the film's trailer that heavily featured Craig's performance that might have limited the surprise of his performance to most viewers, which is unfortunate since Craig's work here should not be overlooked since he steals the film with ease. Of course I think the reason he might have been so heavily featured in the original trailer may have been due to his performance within the scheme of the film, which I will get to in a moment.

Craig's whole Kentucky fried approach to the role is the purest within the film from his wide eyed manner and his squeaky accent he so consistently uses that is hilarious in itself. Now for me this film is a little strange though in that it seems to purposefully avoid editing in punchlines. By that I mean so much humor from films in general comes from a good quick cut to a reaction coming off another line, this is just standard for any comedy and this film for some reason rejects as the idea, I guess on artistic grounds. Although comedic timing in film just works this way and to not do it just seems very odd. Due to that strange choice it is up to the performances even more so than usual to sell the comedy since the film will not be amplifying it for them at any point. The one actor who truly overcomes this limit is obviously Seth MacFarlan....no it's Daniel Craig...geez why else would I be writing about this performance then. Anyways. Craig though is on point to make himself as funny as he possibly can in his portrayal of old Joe Bang, which makes sense why he was so focused on in the trailer, and makes sure to wholly utilize the potential benefits within the film in that he not only gets to be one of the most outrageous characters he also gets to be the straight man.

Craig ,just as is, is naturally funny to see James Bond behave in this way, and with such an accent, he goes further than that. In his more straight man capacity Craig is great as he examines the Logan boys and their seemingly ridiculous plan with such an entertaining sense of sheer dismay at their potential stupidity. He however combines this with the right touches of absurdity in his own delivery though in just the right way particularly in his delivery "I...am...in...car..cer...rated". It technically is straight forward in the sense of it realizing his certain disdain for the Logans yet in a way yet Craig use of his accent makes it hilarious just in the delivery in its most basic form. This is Craig's modus operandi throughout the film as he consistently is the one bringing the comedy within the film as it is centralized through his performance. Craig manages to make his acting of doing a simple thing funny such as very unassuming way of creating his gummi bear bomb, or perhaps being more overt in his comedy in bringing such a annoyed exasperation as he questions the exact location of the safe because he's "dealing with science here". My single favorite moment of Craig's perhaps when he breaks down the formation of the bomb and ends it by describing it as his "Joe Bang" with such an entertaining sense of pride Craig brings through his glowing delivery. Craig brings the utmost conviction in ensuring there is a bit humor in any moment he is around doing his best to make this enjoyable heist comedy...an enjoyable heist comedy, even when the film itself seems a little confused on that prospect. Daniel Craig manages to be thoroughly entertaining every second he is onscreen, and this is just a whole lot of fun to see Craig really let loose in a role after having played his purposefully more constricted James Bond for quite awhile now.

45 comments:

Luke Higham said...

Great work :)

Luke Higham said...

1. Stewart
2. Duris
3. Flynn
4. Lynch
5. Craig

Anonymous said...

Louis: Cast and director for a 80's Logan Lucky.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Rating and thoughts on Chester Morris in Public Enemy No. 1, Lionel Barrymore in Sadie Thompson and Lewis Stone in A Woman of Affairs

Bryan L said...

Louis: And 00s?

Michael McCarthy said...

I wonder if more people would've given him a 5 had it not been for the trailer.

1. Patrick Stewart
2. Jerome Flynn
3. Romain Duris
4. Daniel Craig
5. David Lynch

Luke Higham said...

1. Patrick Stewart
2. Jerome Flynn
3. Romain Duris
4. Daniel Craig
5. David Lynch

Calvin Law said...

Changed predictions:

1. Stewart
2. Lynch
3. Duris
4. Craig
5. Flynn

Bryan L said...

00s cast for Logan Lucky, I mean

Charles H said...

Switch

1. Stewart
2. Lynch
3. Duris
4. Craig
5. Flynn

Mitchell Murray said...

yah this performance stands well above it's film honestly. If the rest of "Logan Lucky" was as fun and energized as Craig's work here (And I didn't mind it to begin with), I'd like it a lot more.

Bryan L said...

Louis: Also, any changes in ratings for the cast this time around?

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Logan Lucky 1980's directed by John Carpenter:

Jimmy Logan: Kurt Russell
Clyde Logan: Bill Pullman
Joe Bang: Oliver Reed
Mellie Logan: Frances McDormand
Bobbie: Meg Foster
Sylvia: Kim Cattrall
Warden Burns: Donald Pleasence
Max Chilblain: Tim Curry
Bang Brothers: Michael Wincott & Vincent D'Onofrio
Grayson: Adrienne Barbeau

Anonymous:

Morris - 1.5(He simply was a chronic over actor for the period really a perfect way to express the bad acting of the period, that is usually so often used to represent the period. He is notable though in his bad acting at least makes him not fade completely into the scenery like some contemporaries but standing as a pioneer of chewing the scenery in talkies isn't a great distinction.)

Barrymore - 4(Barrymore is effective in the role in bringing the dominant force of will within his portrayal of the "righteous" man demanding the change within the prostitute. He manages as well to slowly reveal the doubts within the man that grow though as their interactions grow with a natural revelation of his attraction to her. The conclusion does not exist unfortunately due the loss of the final reel which is a shame since we do not get to see Barrymore portray his characters true descent. It is a good performance as it stands though.)

Stone - 3(His part is not the most complex but he knew how to "silently" project well within the era and that can be seen in this role. That isn't a lot I'll admit but it made him stand out in that era.)

Bryan:

Jimmy Logan: Matthew McConaughey
Clyde Logan: Walton Goggins
Joe Bang: Gary Oldman
Mellie Logan: Lizzy Caplan
Bobbie: Lauren Graham
Sylvia: Renee Zellweger
Warden Burns: Kurtwood Smith
Max Chilblain: Ben Stiller
Bang Brothers: Lucas Black & Aaron Paul
Grayson: Jennifer Jason Leigh

No, though it reminded me I've been forgetting to put Hillary Swank on my worst performances of the year list.

Bryan L said...

Louis: Great cast right there, especially Goggins. Whom would you have cast instead of Macfarlane for Chilblain?

Calvin Law said...

Saw Phantom Thread tonight on a whim in 70mm - I've already made plans to see it next week, but I have to say I'm already looking forward to that again. It's cemented itself in my top 3 of the year. I'll need more time for more concrete thoughts on the film were exactly apart loving and being transported utterly by it but off the top of my head:

-  DDL's f-bombs
- food
- Lesley Manville possibly my MVP
- Radiohead meets Brief Encounter
- Unexpectedly hilarious scene of retrieving a dress

Louis Morgan said...

Bryan:

Paddy Considine

Calvin:

Overjoyed to hear that.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: it might have been too small a role but what did you think of Brian Gleeson? He didn't get to do much but I thought he was a more than decent Richard Frank and I quite loved his reaction to Woodcock's verbal attacks. Plus he sounds exactly like his brother when his brother does RP.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

I liked him as much as I think was possible given that even in the scenes he's in, the focus is always on either Day-Lewis or Krieps with him barely ever making it into the frame. He's good at being completely without pretense or psychosis or any kind bringing just the right honesty in showing the character's low key bafflement when interacting with Alma and Reynolds.

Calvin Law said...

Yes, exactly. On that note I loved the reactions of each character whenever something deliberately dumb was said or done, especially Reynolds' antics, but more on that another time.

Lastly my 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s versions of Phantom Thread:

1960s

Directed by Michael Powell
Reynolds: Laurence Olivier/James Mason
Cyril: Celia Johnson
Alma: Bibi Andersson (couldn't resist)

1970s directed by Stanley Kubrick
Reynolds: Trevor Howard/Alec Guinness
Cyril: Olivia de Havilland
Alma: Diana Koerner

Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Reynolds: Peter O'Toole
Cyril: Maggie Smith
Alma: Mieko Harada

Anonymous said...

Louis: Who would have you chosen for Morris' role in Public Enemy No. 1?

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

James Cagney

Calvin Law said...

Louis: what's your criterea for 'Best Ensemble'? For example would you put a uniformly strong ensemble over an ensemble with two or three great performances, a couple of very good ones and a terrible one, on top?

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

Well I'd frame it more in terms of what the ensemble does on a whole in terms contributing to the film. What I mean by that is, while there should be some great central performances, I'm also looking for those fulfilling minor roles wholly representing the film's style and story, and their character even for only a few seconds. For example The Master is my winner for 2012, with only three central performances. Those are all great, but what really makes the ensemble stand out is how everyone feels like someone in this facet of the fifties era, and amplifies the atmosphere of the film's world.

Calvin Law said...

Thank you so much. That's helping me a lot in deciding my winner. Speaking of which are you looking forward to seeing more of Rami Malek in stuff? I've been watching a bit of Mr Robot lately, don't like it that much but he is fantastic in it. And beyond that I've liked his limited film performances.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

Your welcome.

In regards to Malek, I hope he does well as Freddie Mercury, although it sounds like the film probably is going to have some problems.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I was hoping you'd at least higher Tatum's rating. I found his scenes with his daughter genuinely moving.

Calvin Law said...

I might be in the minority here but I didn't find Macfarlane or Swank terrible. The former was kinda funny in parts and I thought Swank did the best she could with such limited time, I actually liked her final scene.

I'd go for at least a 3.5 for Tatum though.

Calvin Law said...

Also what are everyone's thoughts on the theory that MacFarlane wrotd the script? There are bits like the prison/GOT scene which feel like his sort of thing.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I actually liked MacFarlane fine, Swank was the only part of the movie I didn't like. Then again, I was waaaaay more on this film's wavelength than anyone else here.

Psifonian said...

Saw "Hostiles" tonight. I don't think I have ever seen such a tone-deaf movie. It really infuriates me how a movie about the marginalization and maltreatment of natives could do the exact same thing to its native characters/actors. It misses the mark on almost every single conceivable narrative point. Everything people critique "Wind River" and "Three Billboards" for is exponentially worse here.

Essentially, to write a review would basically amount to crafting a full list of what I would change. A taste:

1. Remove the opening homesteader ambush entirely and replace it with the aftermath of Wounded Knee, when Yellow Hawk (Wes Studi) is taken prisoner. Also, in removing the ambush, you are also excising Rosamund Pike's character from the story. This has no bearing on her performance, but on her character, who was superfluous and robbed more essential characters of focus/screentime.
2. Replace Bale's character with that of Jonathan Majors's black buffalo soldier, Sergeant Henry. He's a character who was marginalized for decades in the army, and who wound up becoming desensitized to the brutality of the Indian wars, and he became a brutal slaughterer of natives in the intervening years. Essentially, he had to compensate for the treatment he received as a black man in 1800s America by redirecting it towards another oppressed group.
3. Give Wes Studi a shitload more dialogue/focus/screentime. He needs to be the film's deuteragonist, not the MacGuffin/glorified luggage.
4. Because the mission is essentially a glorified PR maneuver, have Stephen Lang take command of the mission. Also have Bill Camp's character accompany them as a reporter/representative. Also, make sure that you have at least twice as many soldiers than you do the natives you are escorting through hostile territory.
5. Have Stephen Lang get killed with along with a couple of redshirts by an ambush. The ranking soldier left would be Jesse Plemons's naive lieutenant, who is incredibly indecisive, which leads to him relying more and more on Sergeant Henry's advice and guidance. This causes resentment among some of the other soldiers, including Ben Foster (who is not a prisoner they pick up later on but rather a Tom Hardy in "The Revenant"-type. A mutiny ferments throughout the film. Meanwhile, Henry begins to realize he is being viewed in the way that he views the natives.
6. No stops at other random forts.
7. The other native characters are fleshed out and given more to do. Maybe Adam Beach's sister starts growing close to Henry after he saves her from the initial ambush? If you absolutely have to have a frontier love angle, you can use that, with two characters of marginalized races forging a bond because, in the end, they aren't treated too dissimilarly.

And so on, and so forth. You get the idea. I really was super-stoked for this film as the resident Scott Cooper fan, but yeah, this was a massive letdown. Still, Rory Cochrane's worth a review from Louis.

Louis Morgan said...

Psifonian:

With Hostiles I have to wonder what the original screenplay was like, that Cooper adapted to the point he got sole screenplay credit, as I heard the screenplay for Out of the Furnace was much better than the film.

Psifonian said...

Brad Ingleby's original screenplay for "Out of the Furnace" (back when it was "The Low Dweller") isn't a masterpiece, but it's strong and powerful, and Cooper's revisions needlessly cluttered it and turned much of it into melodrama. I like the film fine (Affleck and Bale are terrific and Harrelson's pretty good), but I wish Cooper didn't try his hand at script revision. I fear a lot of the same issues occurred here, on a far grander scale.

Calvin Law said...

Funny that but Hostiles was easily my favourite Cooper film to date. Black Mass might be more consistent though. And while I agree Psifonian's idea is a great one (especially changing the opening scene and expanding Majors, Studi, and Foster's characters in favour of Pike's), I still go with all the flaws for its strengths - the score and Bale most prominently.

I do think the natives were given enough thematic focus, but yes more time with those characters themselves would have been great.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Confession: I turned off Out of the Furnace after the first scene once Woody Harrelson's character tried to kill his girlfriend with a hotdog. I realized "yeah, this one isn't for me".

Calvin Law said...

Out of the Furnace was an okay film with great acting, mediocre script, terrible ending.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the voices of these actresses:
Greta Garbo
Katharine Hepburn
Anne Bancroft
Audrey Hepburn
Joanne Woodward

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your top 20 scenes from animated films.

Alex Marqués said...

Is there anything really interesting or outstanding about Cooper's movies besides the acting? Just curious, I never finished Black Mass, and haven't bothered with his other stuff.

Omar Franini said...


1. Patrick Stewart
2. Jerome Flynn
3. Romain Duris
4. Daniel Craig
5. David Lynch

Calvin Law said...

Alex: Crazy Heart has really good music and a very good Jeff Bridges performance. Out of the Furnace is all about the acting. Black Mass has an interesting story and uniformly strong performances that it doesn't quite know what to do with on the whole. Hostiles is problematic and great in equal measure.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Do you think that as Tom Hardy progresses in skill and age, he'll be able to tackle Daniel Day-Lewis type roles?

Louis Morgan said...

Alex:

Although he is indeed great with actors, his films I find mostly frustrating in that they always seem to dance around finding the real potential of his material. Also, just a side note, he's one of those humorless directors to the point he seems to purposefully purge any sense of humor from his films as though it somehow diminishes the prestige of his product, which is never the case. He does have enough of a visual eye, but as a storyteller his films are always pretty sloppy. Black Mass is probably the most concise, which wasn't written by him, and even then there was a portion of the film excised to realize that.

Anonymous:

Garbo - (One of the most beautiful voices one will hear I quite imagine. There's just a purity yet dynamic intensity within her voice that is truly one of a kind.)

Hepburn - (Well it can grate, although most of the time it doesn't and a funny thing I was thinking of is even though it is so distinct towards her New England background it somehow seems just fine no matter the time period or place such as in The Rainmaker or A Lion in Winter.)

Bancroft - (She's someone I don't tend to think of her voice given her tendency to do an accent. In the rare instances she uses her actual speaking voice it is rather wonderful.)

Hepburn - (Well as a beautiful as Garbo's though with instead this inherent gentleness in her voice. There's just an exorbitant amount of charm just from her so specific accent of hers.)

Woodward - (Can't say I've ever really thought of her voice in one or another. A fine normal sounding voice I guess.)

Tahmeed:

1. The medallion - The Secret of NIMH
2. Reunion - Grave of the Fireflies
3. Opening - UP
4. Monstro/ending - Pinocchio
5. Final Confrontation - Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
6. The Great Owl - The Secret of NIMH
7. Wall-e and Eve's "date" - Wall-e
8. "Hellfire" - The Hunchback of Notre Dame
9. The Headless Horseman - The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
10. Clocktower - The Great Mouse Detective
11. The scene - Bambi
12. Pleasure Island - Pinocchio
13. Opening - Grave of the Fireflies
14. Bells of Notre Dame - The Hunchback of Notre Dame
15. Stopping the Tractor - The Secret of NIMH
16. Getting the key - Cinderella
17. Tea Party - Alice in Wonderland
18. Special Bus - My Neighbor Totoro
19. "Baby Mine" - Dumbo
20. Discovering the other world - Coraline

Anonymous:

It is interesting in that technically it would seem Hardy should be able to attempt those roles anyways, but just as I can't see Hardy as Lincoln I can't see Day-Lewis as Bronson. Although they are both trasnformative actors there is a certain type within that interestingly enough with Day-Lewis in the more refined style, while Hardy is more akin to Gary Oldman "grunge" style. To answer to your question I think Hardy already has the capabilities to do so, but his most immediate presence makes him more suitable for different types of roles though still transformative in nature.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Having seen quite abit of his Pre-Bronson work, (The Virgin Queen, Wuthering Heights) I personally think he would be a great fit for Napoleon Bonaparte if this HBO Mini-Series goes ahead.

Your thoughts on the voices of these actors:
Tom Hardy
Michael Fassbender
Carey Mulligan
Marion Cotillard
Richard Harris
Keira Knightley

Calvin Law said...

Mulligan, DDL, Sterling K. Brown and Tony Leung Chiu-wai have the most soothing natural voices.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Hardy - (Well hard to judge as his voice actually is always so different even in interviews.)

Fassbender - (Who doesn't like a good Irish brogue, Fassbender has a great one to be sure, that's best when he doesn't hide it.)

Mulligan - (A most beautiful voice, perhaps contributing those original Hepburn comparisons back when An Education came out, and Calvin is correct in it is most soothing.)

Cotillard - (Classically proper French accent if there ever was one. Just a natural elegance there.)

Harris - (Just like his personality something unwieldy in voice, partially inherited by his son, but not quite the way Harris's voice goes from his extremes seemingly with such ease that makes him one of a kind.)

Knightley - (Eh not one of my favorites I have to admit, a little grating at times.)