Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Alternate Best Actor 2008: Kim Yoon-seok in The Chaser

Kim Yoon-seok did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Eom Joong-ho in The Chaser.

The Chaser has some interesting ideas yet doesn't quite come together in its examination of a rather atypical investigation into a serial killer.

The beginnings of the strange investigation stem from one former detective Kim Yoon-seok's Eom Joong-ho now turned a pimp. His story begins with him working on the strange disappearances of his women stemming unfortunately from them being murdered by the killer. Kim portrays the part as a man with little care for the world, or anything around him. He brings just kind of a general discontentment in hearing about the loss of the girl that Kim depicts as much due to his own state as a man than any real concern for the women. Of course Eom believes they have simply been stolen from him by a rival pimp rather than anything too problematic. Kim's work just carries this general ambivalence fitting to such a man who is working in the profession that only seems to carry this underlying shame, but yet he just keeps at it. Unfortunately the women he is sending in are actually being murdered by the serial killer Je Yeong-min (Ha Jung-woo), who Eom literally accidentally crashes into. This leads towards Eom's sort of resuming his older profession when he sees blood on the man's shirt and naturally takes physical effort to apprehend the man. Kim handles this scene in particular by just capturing the real gut reaction of the man emphasizing the moment of confusion before realizing this sort of random anger as he beats the man down before both of them are arrested.

Both are arrested initially where the mentally ill Je confesses his crimes, meanwhile Eom is initially just kept to be used as a scapegoat for the police to explain the killer's injuries to avoid any accusations of police brutality. Kim's performance properly embodies this strange state of the man just stewing in frustration as he is mocked for being a pimp while trying to explain the far worse criminal who was brought in with him. One thing leads to another though and Eom becomes an independent investigator as he tries to uncover what happened to the women. These are Kim's most effective scenes as he depicts Eom's discovery of the horrors of the killer, and gradually portrays this awakening in Eom. This is not only in terms of a loss of that ambivalence but also a more striking sorrow as he begins to find clues that allude to a real darkness. Kim's rather moving even in finding essentially the stronger morality of the man reveals itself, and the growing empathy for the women he had so carelessly put into harms way originally. Although the film is a bit messy in its plot developments Kim remains a driving force of the film by capturing this emotional state of the man that he intensifies the more he understands of the murderer's horrors. This is along with taking in the daughter of the last prostitute he accidentally sent to the man. This relationship really is not developed all that much beyond really Kim's performance. Kim though does well in bringing that terrible sadness in his eyes when he watches over the girl showing it as the sense of loss attached to the mother he originally spent little time thinking about originally. Kim becomes the emotional anchor effectively and keeps this state as he shows the man slowly fall apart the more horrifying the situation becomes. Kim does this well though by showing it coming from empathy through his eyes that accentuate care which stands in stark contrast to the hollow selfish man we saw in the opening. Now this idea isn't as powerful as it could be through the film's muddled storytelling and the fact that Eom's original downfall probably should have been better established. Kim makes the best out of the material he does have to give a moderately compelling turn. The ideas behind the role and character though are not fully developed though by the film's script leaving Kim to have to carry more weight than he should have had to. It stands as a good performance but one limited by the underwhelming material behind it.

47 comments:

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

1. Hoffman 
2. Cassel
3. Ejiofor
4. Brolin
5. Kim

Matt Mustin said...

1. Hoffman
2. Cassel
3. Brolin
4. Ejiofor
5. Kim

Calvin Law said...

:( I'd give him a very strong 5, but oh well. What were your thoughts and rsting for Hwang?

1. Hoffman
2. Ejiofor
3. Cassel
4. Brolin
5. Kim

Emi Grant said...

1. Hoffman
2. Ejiofor
3. Brolin
4. Casell
5. Kim

Robert MacFarlane said...

1. Hoffman
2. Cassel
3. Ejiofor
4. Brolin
5. Kim

Calvin Law said...

*Ha

Mitchell Murray said...

I'm not familiar with this line up apart from Brolin, but I'll say:

5) seok
4) Ejiofor
3) Cassel
2) Brolin
1) Hoffman

5) Krisch
4) Kang-Ho
3) Mikkelsen
2) Rockwell
1) Van Damme

Also just out of curiosity Louis, what are some of your most anticipated movies/performances coming out this year?

Bryan L said...

1. Hoffman
2. Ejiofor
3. Cassel
4. Brolin
5. Kim

Charles H said...

1. Hoffman
2. Cassel
3. Ejiofor
4. Brolin
5. Kim

Would've have him a 5.

Vanna Long said...

1. Ejiofor
2. Hoffman
3. Cassel
4. Brolin
5. Yoon-seok

Luke Higham said...

1. Hoffman
2. Cassel
3. Brolin
4. Ejiofor
5. Kim

John Smith said...

1. Hoffman
2. Cassel
3. Ejiofor
4.Kim
5. Brolin

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your past film roles for John Boyega, Michael B. Jordan, Casey Affleck and Paddy Considine, plus your 10 favorite moments from PTA films?

Lezlie said...

1. Hoffman
2. Cassel
3. Brolin
4. Ejiofor
5. Kim

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the Nuke the Fridge scene from Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your 50's and 60's Nightcrawler casts.

Bryan L said...

Louis: And your 00s cast for Nightcrawler?

RatedRStar said...

Louis: You gonna see more Korean films? I think there can potentially be many hidden gems, particularly since they specialise in thrillers. I am just casually reading the Korean academy awards (Grand Bell) and just looking through each year, its worth a look.

1. Hoffman
2. Ejiofor
3. Cassel
4. Brolin
5. Kim

Omar Franini said...

1. Hoffman
2. Brolin
3. Ejiofor
4. Cassel
5. Kim

JackiBoyz said...

1. Hoffman
2. Cassel
3. Ejiofor
4. Brolin
5. Kim

Matt Mustin said...

Louis: What did you think of Nicholas Rowe's appearance in Mr. Holmes?

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

Ha - 4(I guess my view of the film seems to be the minority in general, but this along with the director's other film "The Wailing" was a series of great ideas in conception muddled largely in the execution of it. This is right in the character of the serial killer well played by Ha Woo-jin to be sure. He is absolutely chilling in his actual killer scenes by bringing such a calm matter of fact glee as he goes about his violent acts. The most interesting scenes though I felt were when he was in police custody. Ha brings this sort of broken mind of the man in his interactions as he shows sort of this stream of consciousness of the man who suddenly will confess then try to hide them in the next second. He is effectively disturbing by making these changes feel natural within just realizing the sheer mess of thoughts. I will say though I found this far more interesting then the last act where he was sent off just to be a routine villain. He's effective again in these scenes but it's a shame as the character and Ha's work was going some place far more interesting. That is sadly only to be interrupted by the requirements that he just be a standard revenge villain. Ha is a good one mind you, but still a standard one.)

Mitchell:

Isle of Dogs
First Man - Gosling
Ben Foster - Galveston/Leave No Trace
Chris Pine - The Outlaw King
Kursk -Schoenaerts
Radegund
Jin-Roh
Radegund - August Diehl

Anonymous:

Boyega:

Milo Tindle
Homer Smith
Lightfoot

Jordan:

Easy Rawlins
Fast Eddie
Stanley Kowalski

Considine:

Timothy Evans
Alec Leamas
Eugene O'Neill

I've done Affleck before.

1. Three Stories - Magnolia
2. Derrick Fire - There Will Be Blood
3. Unexpected Date - Phantom Thread
4. First Processing Scene - The Master
5. Jessie's Girl - Boogie Nights
6. Baptism - There Will Be Blood
7. The Ghost - Phantom Thread
8. Sydney instructs John how to play - Hard Eight
9. Dr. Blatnoyd - Inherent Vice
10. New Years - Boogie Nights

Luke:

One of the dumbest scenes ever inflicted upon mankind, and it has rightly received its infamy. I will say the defense of the scene as "But Indy has survived a lot of crazy stuff" is nonsense. There are people who have survived plane crashes, falling down waterfalls, so on and so forth. No one in the history of mankind has survived at the center of a nuclear blast let alone through the use of a single refrigerator. Also why was that the only refrigerator that survived, the scene honestly might have been a little more tolerable if he came out with this sea of refrigerators as it least then it would have embraced its ridiculousness. I digress though from the scene that was a singular realization that George Lucas seemed to have developed contempt for the audience. I know Spielberg tried to take the credit for the terrible idea, but apparently it was pure Lucas, it certainly has his fingerprints all over it. Spielberg despite having some recent duds still clearly cares about the audience, where nuking the fridge is another bit of pap made by Lucas to serve the masses he seems to hate.

Anonymous

00's:

Lou Bloom: Joaquin Phoenix
Nina Romina: Susan Sarandon
Rick: Clifton Collins Jr.
Joe: Gary Busey

60's:

Lou Bloom: Jack Lemmon
Nina Romina: Barbara Stanwyck
Rick: Jack Klugman
Joe: Eddie Albert

50's:

Lou Bloom: Kirk Douglas
Nina Romina: Irene Dunne
Rick: Hume Cronyn
Joe: J. Carrol Naish

Matt:

It's a fun little inside reference if one's in the know to Holmes cinema.

Calvin Law said...

I'll agree the film itself had more potential, think for example a Kim Jee-woon version, but I do think the two leads were perfectly cast and gave all they had. And yes, the midsection of the film is probably the strongest.

Calvin Law said...

Also saw Red Sparrow. It was a massive bore, but there were a few good things about it, including one aspect I'm going to give more thought to.

Lawrence: 2.5
Edgerton: 2
Rampling: 3 (although her character's scenes are EXTREMELY problematic)
Parker: 2
Irons: 2
Reuten: 2.5
Onopko: 2

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: Hardly surprising Schoenaerts is MVP, though to be honest with you, I couldn't care less about Lawrence nowadays.

Calvin Law said...

Lawrence is actually fine for the most part, but her accent really kills a lot of her performance. It's not her fault, really, the character is poorly written as hell.

I still have faith in her, I'm sure after finishing off Dark Phoenix (which I'm sure will be quite the chore) she'll start picking projects more suited to her talents.

Luke Higham said...

With Isle Of Dogs coming later this month, I sincerely hope Louis will watch Fantastic Mr. Fox beforehand.

My most anticipated performances are: (I'm leaving off Foster since we all expect greatness from him)
Schoehaerts - Kursk
Diehl - Radegund
Pryce & Driver - The Man Who Killed Don Quixote
Pine & Dillane (Longshanks) - Outlaw King
Gosling - First Man
Malek - Bohemian Rhapsody
Ronan & Robbie - Mary, Queen Of Scots
Blunt - Mary Poppins Returns
Hardy - Venom
Law - The Crimes Of Grindelwald

Bryan L said...

Anonymous: I believe one of Louis' past film roles for Affleck was Tom Joad.

Calvin Law said...

Here are some of my anticipated performances:

Lucas Hedges in Boy Erased
Carey Mulligan in Wildlife
Saoirse Ronan/Margot Robbie in Mary, Queen of Scots
Ben Foster in Galveston/Leave No Trace
Matthias Schoenaerts in Kursk
Juli Jakab in Sunset
August Diehl in Radegund
Jim Cummings in Christopher Robin
Sam Claflin in The Nightingale
Jonathan Pryce in Don Quixote

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: What did you think of the Christopher Robin teaser. And I forgot about Mulligan in Wildlife.

Luke Higham said...

*Schoenaerts - Kursk

Luke Higham said...

And I'm really looking forward to Nemes' followup to Son Of Saul. I completely forgot about it.

Calvin Law said...

Luke: Obviously we didn't learn much but I think Pooh looks adorable, sounds great, and I think it could be a fantastic tearjerker if done right.

Calvin Law said...

Based on Louis' choices,

2010s Thunderbolt and Lightfoot directed by Asghar Farhadi
Thunderbolt: Peymaan Moaadi
Lightfoot: John Boyega

2010s The Hustler directed by Ryan Coogler
Fast Eddie: Michael B. Jordan
Minnesota Fats: Bill Camp
Sarah Packard: Ruth Negga
Bert Gordon: Jeffrey Wright

2010s The Spy Who Came In From the Cols directed by Paddy Considine
Alec Leamas: Paddy Considine
Nan Perry: Saoirse Ronan
Fiedler: Daniel Brühl
Control: Ronald Pickup
Smiley: Gary Oldman

John Smith said...

Louis, where would rank Gincarlos performance in 'Seven Beauties'. Can't see him in Alternate Best Actor 1976: Results

Luke Higham said...

John: He's in the 75 Lead overall. Seven Beauties had its Italian release in December of that year.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: have you read any of Martin McDonagh's plays.

Anonymous said...

I'm not really expecting Louis to give a 4,5 or a 5 to Cummings.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

Yes, "The Pillowman" and "The Cripple of Inishmaan".

Calvin Law said...

Thoughts on both? I loved The Pillowman, found it incredibly powerful and humorous, and liked The Cripple of Inishmaan a great deal too (and I've heard Daniel Radcliffe is great in it). I'd suggest The Lieutenant of Inishmore next, it's incredible too.

Also, everyone: in Three Billboards, Mildred's daughter was murdered 7 months previously. The man stationed overseas on military duty had come back to the country 9 months previously. Obviously, the DNA samples don't match up, but does this point to the suspect potentially really being the culprit? And Abercombie potentially covering up for him?

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your ratings/thoughts on the cast of Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull.

Alex Marqués said...

Calvin: considering Dixon didn't even spend a night in jail after throwing a guy out a goddamn window, I wouldn't question the police decisions too much.
In any case, the potential suspect goes to Mildred's store to threaten her after Willoughby's death, so unless he cared a lot about a chief policeman from a town where he didn't even live,
I guess he was the culprit and they were covering it because... who knows.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

"The Pillowman" is altogether great particularly in its use of dissecting the stories within the central story to construct essentially the supposed hidden meanings of any type of truth. "The Cripple of Inishmaan" I also found very enjoyable with its blend of as to be expected a great deal of humor with a whole lot of pathos particularly within the perspectives around the titular. Both do work as read, though I will say reading his work does make one yearn to see them performed given that the words need that life brought to them through performance particularly in the verbal sparing he loves to use particularly in "The Pillowman".

In regards to Three Billboards, I took the suspect as probably the friend of whoever was the real culprit, possibly even his brother or something as when he brags about the rape he states that it was he "and a couple of buddies of mine" taking the "credit" for it himself though in that case he was in fact only told about it himself.

Luke:

Ford - 2(There are glimpses of the old Indy but they are few and far between. Too often he just is either doing grumpy Harrison Ford routine which really doesn't fit Indiana's attitude in general, or he is going just way over the top in a version of the usual Indiana attitude. His performance is kind of a reflection of really even Spielberg's direction as there are seconds of genuine classic inspiration in there, but always just mixed in and around a cheap lazy imitation.)

Laboeuf - 1.5(I've come not to even hate Laboeuf as an actor but this is not a good work by him particularly not as this heir apparent to Ford. Laboeuf just unfortunately falls into the classical sidekick trap of being annoying rather than endearing as his antics become quickly obnoxious rather than ever likable.)

Hurt - 1.5(It's with a sad heart to give Hurt such a low rating but this is just a terribly conceived character with this being one time Hurt can't elevate it. Apparently Hurt hated his experience filming this and it's not surprising given that he just needs to act "loopy" the whole time while doing nothing else. Hurt is unfortunately brought down to the terrible writing of his character which is an absolute shame.)

Winstone - 2(I like Winstone in general as well but this is not his best hour. Again though this is within the terrible writing of the film with the character of Mac just being far too annoying and far too obvious the whole time. His constant switching routine was tiresome rather than anything else and Winstone just gets swallowed up by that coming off as annoying as the character's actions.)

Allen - 2(She's there but sadly completely wasted in the film. I can't say the writing hurt her as much as there just was a lack of writing. Once she shows up she just is kind of a bystander past her first delivery call back to raiders.)

Blanchett - 2(I wish I could say she pulls a Raul Julia, but no she doesn't. She isn't horrendous or anything. I appreciate the effort of trying to have fun, but she doesn't even quite get there. Again the film itself does her no favors with the villain really having a strangely muted impact, and lacking any memorable moments.)

Bryan L said...

Everyone: Instead of Luke throwing away the light saber as a cheap gag in The Last Jedi, could the scene have made a better impact if Luke had simply walked away?

Anonymous said...

Louis: How would have you improved The Sandpiper?

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

There was no saving that film. It's written, directed and mostly acted terribly.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your cast and director for:
Allied (1940's version)
Unbroken (1960's version)
X-Men (1990's version)