Thursday, 1 February 2018

Best Actor 2017: Results

5. Timothée Chalamet in Call Me By Your Name - Although I might not share the amount of zeal some do for this performance, it is strong work as Chalamet realizes an effective arc through the central romance by portraying his character's loss of a false maturity, a return to youth, but also a gradual discovery of a real maturity.

Best Scene: Elio's apology to Marzia.
4. Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour - The great Gary Oldman doesn't give his best performance here by any margin, however he does deliver an expected striking turn in his realization of Winston Churchill. He creates his own version of the man's personal style effectively, while also delivering in every aspect of the film's somewhat limited version of the legendary figure.

Best Scene: Call to FDR.
3. Denzel Washington in Roman J. Israel, Esq. - Washington has to deal with quite a challenge in portraying his very atypical role while performing in a rather aimless film. Washington pulls off his unique character in a way that is compelling in itself, and manages to do his best to amplify what good qualities exist in the film.

Best Scene: Applying for a job.
2. Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out - Kaluuya, in a rare type of nomination, gives a terrific straight man performance within his horror film. Kaluuya helps to create a real tension and fear within the film, but also offers a real emotional anchor in his portrayal of what haunts the man as well as what keeps him in his strange situation.

Best Scene: Hypnosis. 
1. Daniel Day-Lewis in Phantom Thread - Well obviously I did not need to give this a second thought. The man whose name has become synonymous with "great actor" proves himself worthy of that distinction once again. One can almost take Day-Lewis giving an amazing performance for granted, because he's Day-Lewis, but one shouldn't. Day-Lewis once again proves his mastery of his particular art this time through a man with the mastery of another. Day-Lewis realizes this type of ambition and intensity like no other actor could, well also so effectively portraying the man's unique and destructive relationships with those around him in utterly fascinating detail. Masterful work from the master once again.

Best Scene: An unexpected date.
Next: 2017 Alternate Supporting

41 comments:

Calvin Law said...

Louis: who will you be rooting for on Oscar eve.

Luke Higham said...

Poulter/Boyega
Stewart
Rylance
Hamill
Flynn
Dano
Craig
Ford
Mitchell
Greenwood/Duris/Grazer & Skarsgard

Luke Higham said...

Thoughts on Death Note.

Psifonian said...

In no specific order (and mind you, these may not reflect my own nominees; just performances I find worth contemplating):

David Lynch – Lucky
Jack Dylan Grazer – It
Dave Bautista – Blade Runner 2049
Tommy Flanagan – The Ballad of Lefty Brown
John C. Reilly – Kong: Skull Island
Udo Kier – Brawl in Cell Block 99
Guy Pearce – Brimstone
Ray Romano – The Big Sick
Gil Birmingham – Wind River

Calvin Law said...

Poulter/Boyega
Stewart
Hamill
Dano
Reilly
Mitchell
Lynch
Grazer
Rylance
Keaton
Flynn

Are my 10 (well, 11) suggestions.

Calvin Law said...

Luke: he gave them previously.

Well with Death Note, I will say there are certainly more boring bad movies, but it's still quite a bad movie. I say this as someone who knows nothing about the source material. As it was it seemed a bizarre combination of westernization with randomly holding onto style that I assume has some place from the source, like L's love of sweets. The moments that seem to want to create perhaps the world of something more overtly stylistic feel very odd when at other times the film is trying to make it take place in some real world setting. It tries to have it both ways and fails rather miserably to balance the act. I imagine it probably should have either fully embraced taking it down a completely detached place, just keep the central concept, or gone fully stylized. Of course this odd style and tone are only part of the problems as the film also seems as though, again I don't know how it is in the original, to cram in hours of material in a single hour and half given the film's very rushed pace. The problems don't stop there.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

Well since Day-Lewis has no chance of winning, I have no problem with seeing the Old Man take it.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: Nevermind, I thought he saw the original series as mentioned on the previous post.

Calvin Law said...

Psifonian: glad someone else is rooting for ol' Lynch of the David variety to get in. It was so nice seeing him and Stanton together one more time. And Birmingham topped even his great work in HOHW for me in Wind River. I could have gone for a lot more of him.

I also suspect Bautista will be bumped up for 2049 to a 4.

Charles H said...

Poulter/Boyega
Stewart
Rylance
Hamill
Lynch
Grazer
Bautista
Keaton
Craig

Robert MacFarlane said...

Mark Hamill in The Last Jedi
Patrick Stewart in Logan
Romain Duris in All the Money in the World
Sebastian Stan in I, Tonya
Jack Dylan Grazer in It
Daniel Craig in Logan Lucky
Jason Mitchell in Mudbound
Dave Bautista in Blade Runner 2049

Charles H said...

I feel like Lynch is worthy for a review, it's one of his last collabs with Stanton.

Matt Mustin said...

Great choice for Day-Lewis' best scene.

Michael McCarthy said...

For a lineup of 5:

Boyega & Poulter
Shannon
Stewart
Craig
Flynn

Those are the most important 5 to me, but since there'll probably be 10 here's who else is like to see:

Hamill
Greenwood
Duris
Grazer & Skarsgård
Ford

Michael McCarthy said...

Also, if there's any chance of an upgrade for Algee Smith I'd love to see him get squeezed in with the other Detroit men.

Regarding Stan, did Louis ever clarify what category he sees him in? Because I thought he was great too, he's in my top 10 in Lead and I'd love to see him reviewed.

Luke Higham said...

Michael: He considered Stan Co-Lead.

Calvin Law said...

While there's many performances I want to see get in, the five man lineup I'd most care for would be

Detroit boys
Stewart
Dano
Reilly
Mitchell

Robert MacFarlane said...

I consider Stan supporting the same way Garfield and Hammer were in The Social Network. His scenes of POV are done by unreliable depositions.

Anonymous said...

For Alternate Supporting Actor

Patrick Stewart (Logan)
Mark Rylance (Dunkirk)
Armie Hammer (Call Me By Your Name)
Harrison Ford (Blade Runner 2049)
Ray Romano (The Big Sick)

Anonymous said...

For Alternate Best Actor

James Franco (The Disaster Artist)
Jake Gyllenhaal (Stronger)
Hugh Jackman (Logan)
Jeremy Renner (Wind River)
Tom Hanks (The Post)

Matt Mustin said...

Anonymous: He's given his thoughts on Gyllenhaal and Hanks, and he gave his thoughts on Hammer in the previous post.

Mitchell Murray said...

well I'm late once again but I have to say no major surprises. It seems 2017 is the year of the 4.5 for best actor, excluding Day-Lewis of course. I'll review these men as soon as I can find a half decent copy of their movies.

Oh, and just so you know Anonymous, Louis did review Romano (3), Gyllenhaal (4.5) and Hanks (2.5)

Luke Higham said...

Ramano was a 4.

Calvin Law said...

I'll have to wait till next week to see Phantom Thread (can't wait).

Luke Higham said...

*Romano

Omar Franini said...

Louis: your ratings and thoughts on the casts of Loveless, On Body and Soul and The Square? I loved The Square and I'm very curious to hear your thoughts on Claes Bang and mostly Terry Notary.

Louis Morgan said...

Omar:

Loveless:

Spivak & Rozin - 3(They both certainly are effective in terms of being absolutely miserable in every sense of the world. Whether that is shrill, shallow, angry, depressed, selfish what have you they do capture the general emotion there. The problem is the film wishes them to be basically just the general emotion and we really are not allowed any real sympathy leaving both of their performances at an arm's length. They certainly do at least represent those emotions, particularly in one scene that involves a visit to the morgue, however it never feels like we get to know them as people oddly enough.)

Novikov - 3(He's devastating in his one scene of the sheer misery of the child amidst his hateful parents fighting, but that's all there really is to his work.)

On Body and Soul:

Morcsanyi - 3(His performance like the film just is in too much of the same state for far too long. That is this general curiosity towards Borbely's character before we bother to take the next step towards getting to know her. He gives a natural enough performance to be sure, and is okay in his reactions towards her consistency yet I never became engaged in his personal story. This is in part the writing but also his performance that never quite seems to bring just enough towards his relationship with Borbely's Maria, it is always seemingly of that mild curiosity.)

Borbely - 3(Her performance is one note no matter what she is doing it is with the same somewhat detached, almost somewhat antagonist delivery. This is intentional, and I'll at least say this one note character feels believable enough to be that one note. It never becomes overly engaging though as characters of these sorts go, and perhaps it was a mistake to be as constrictive as she is here.)

The Square:

Bang - 4(I did like his performance as he managed to offer the only true connection between every little vignette. He brings the right approach to the role which is this casual manner to the director who technically believes he's only going on these day to day operations. He's terrific actually in realizing this sort of casual indifference though to the affair and does well in realizing the vapidness of what he's dealing with without becoming melodramatic or one note. He properly does variate from this even though he returns to it. This is particularly well seen in his interactions with Elisabeth Moss where he's pretty hilarious in his confusion in their sex scene, then his awkwardness when dealing with her attempt to put their relationship in words later. It's an enjoyable and effective performance.)

Moss - 3.5(She's pretty entertaining her in portraying herself as pretty vapid as well as seeming this fangirl who is hanging on Bang's every word in their early interactions. She's best though in the aforementioned scene where she brings so much engagement and a certain intensity in every word of her sorta interrogation while Bang maintains that more casual distance.)

West - 2.5(He's there, but I don't think he really made any impression other than his brief moment with Notary.)

Notary - 4(Perhaps they should have used this scene as a for consideration add for Andy Serkis's Oscar campaign as it is something quite special to see the ape act in the live action. He is mesmerizing in every second of his scene in realizing the madness of his character and bringing the animalistic nature of his gorilla man to life. From his general aggression that changes depending on his victim to even that moment of respite where he seems appeased. It's a fascinating one scene wonder.)

Matt Mustin said...

Louis, where do you watch some of the more obscure films that you review performances from? Do you try to track down a DVD or do you look for an online copy? Or both?

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your cast and director for:
The Gambler (1930's version)
The Yakuza (1950's version)
Dressed to Kill (1960's version)

Vanna Long said...

Jason Mitchell/Rob Morgan in Mudbound
Barry Keoghan in The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Benny Safdie in Good Time
Michael Shannon in The Shape of Water

Bryan L said...

Vanna: I believe he reviewed Safdie and Keoghan when he saw their respective films.

Matt Mustin said...

Bryan: Did he give his thoughts on Safdie? I don't remember that.

Nguyễn Ngọc Toàn said...

Louis: With A taxi driver as the newcomer, I hope you could leave a place for Song Kang Ho this time in the Best actor line up :)

Vanna Long said...

Bryan: That's cool. Whichever one's have not been reviewed, they are my picks.

Bryan L said...

Matt: "Safdie - 4(Felt he managed to balance a tricky role pretty effectively in that he avoids being cutesy or cloying while managing to create a sense of the naivety of the character caused by his mental condition. Safdie's work carries the right sort of state of confusion that results in some moments of sharp emotions that felt very natural to the person who should be nowhere near Pattinson's Connie's life.)"

Vanna: I'm particularly looking forward to Shannon's review (if he gets one) from the ones you mentioned. I thought he found something new with a character that he's played before.

Anonymous said...

Does Armie Hammer really look older than 31? what do people reckon.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Stewart in Logan
Ford in Blade Runner 2049
Hamill in The Last Jedi
Shannon in The Shape of Water
Dano in Okja
Grazer/Skarsgard in It
Boyega/Poulter in Detroit  
Mitchell in Mudbound
Lynch in Lucky
Rylance in Dunkirk/Flynn in Loving Vincent

John Smith said...

Skarsgard/It
Lynch/Lucky
Labeouf/Borg Mcenroe
Yasser Ali/The Nile Hilton Incident
Rajkumar Rao/Bareliey Ke Barfi
Pankaj Tripathi/Newton
Deepak Dobriyal/Hindi Medium
Eric Tsang/Mad World
Kōji Yakusho/The Third Murder

Anonymous said...

Well what is like the key difference between a 24 year old and a 31 year old in terms of appearance? like do they have bigger jawlines or something, facial hair shadow maybe?

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

You know what, take out Shannon for Daniel Craig.

Louis Morgan said...

Matt:

I have a library that needs me that has an impressive collection that can usually help. Otherwise usually I search some way to rent it online, and occasionally by the dvd. If the only option is to buy it as a bootleg anyways, I will just download it online.

Anonymous:

Depends on the person, but some can keep that high school look until then but it will be gone by time they're thirty. For example look at Rafe Spall in Shaun of the Dead compared to how he looked in Life of Pi.

Anonymous:

The Gambler 1930's directed by Michael Curtiz:

Axel Freed: James Cagney
Hips: Pat O'Brien
Billie: Constance Bennett
Naomi Freed: Margaret Wycherly

The Yakuza 1950's directed by John Huston:

Harry: Humphrey Bogart
Ken: Sussue Hayakawa
George: Everett Sloane
Oliver: Karl Malden
Dusty: Brad Dexter

Dressed to Kill 1960's directed by Alfred Hitchcock:

Dr. Elliott: Donald Pleasence
Kate Miller: Hedy Lamarr
Liz Blake: Kim Novak
Peter Miller: Beau Bridges