Friday, 6 April 2018

Alternate Best Actor 2008: Results

10. Kim Yoon-seok in The Chaser - Kim gives a good performance in creating this conflicted state of a former detective turned pimp returning to his roots, yet the film lets down Kim by not granting enough time or importance to the development of this idea.

Best Scene: Final confrontation. 
9. Vincent Cassel in Mesrine - Cassel gives in the first part an effective, if ridiculously rushed, portrayal of the different facets leading towards the life of a gangster, then in the second part becoming the "legend" partially in truth, and partially as a purposefully grotesque creation of the man's purposeful making.

Best Scene: In seclusion/trial.
8. Mads Mikkelsen in Flame and Citron - Mikkelsen, as usual, gives a striking turn in realizing the convictions of a man fighting for a righteous cause, while also realizing the turmoil from the evil he must do to pursue this fight.

Best Scene: His final words.
7. Josh Brolin in W. - Brolin gives an entertaining performance that brings the best out of the more comedic elements of the satire, while also finding whatever nuance he can within the bit of complexity within the character.

Best Scene: Failed press conference.
6. Song Kang-ho in The Good The Bad The Weird - Song gives a very charismatic and appropriately off-beat turn that is properly fitting to his character's moniker while also creating a most unusual western hero for us to follow.

Best Scene: Tripping.
5. Chiwetel Ejiofor in Redbelt - Ejiofor gives a great performance that not only anchors the film through the sheer charisma of his presence, but also importantly grants any reality to the overly stylized dialogue as well as offering a very much needed consistency within the convoluted narrative.

Best Scene: Championship.
4. Jean Claude Van Damme in JCVD - Van Damme, who is not known for his acting ability, at least proves his ability to give a great performance in French as Jean Claude Van Damme through his amusing, yet also heartbreaking introspective turn.

Best Scene: "oos"
3. Sam Rockwell in Snow Angels - Rockwell gives a harrowing and heartbreaking performance that manages to humanizes the terrible descent of his character.

Best Scene: A moment of "clarity".
2. Philip Seymour Hoffman in Synecdoche, New York - Hoffman gives a fascinating turn here. He not only manages to tread so carefully within the film's tone, but also manages to give a deeply moving performance through this portrayal of a man who tries to make observation into his way of life.

Best Scene: Final scene with his daughter.
1. Johannes Krisch in Revanche - Good predictions Emi Grant, Michael McCarthy and Luke. Krisch gives an outstanding performance that subverts the usual tropes involved with a revenge narrative to realize a wholly atypical, yet absolutely harrowing portrayal of a man's journey involving facing hate, sorrow, and perhaps in the end finding forgiveness.

Best Scene: Revealing the truth.
Updated Overall

Next: 2008 Supporting


Luke Higham said...

Louis: I won the first prediction. Check on Mikkelsen's review.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Ratings and thoughts on the rest of the lead performances you saw and David Kross in The Reader.

Your Female Top 10s and 4+ Honourable mentions with ratings.

And your thoughts on Let The Right One In and Man On Wire.

Omar Franini said...

Louis: could you give your top female 15 instead of top 10? Is Sally Gawkins still a 4 for Happy-Go-Lucky?

Luke Higham said...

Lee Byung-Hun
Tom Noonan
Peter O'Toole - Dean Spanley
Richard Jenkins - Step Brothers
Jason Butler Harner - Changeling

Louis: Have you watched Eden Lake yet.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: I think Michael McCarthy won a prediction as well.

My request is Ralph Fiennes in Sunshine. (1999 Lead)

Luke Higham said...

Louis: And could you post your 2008 winners on the my wins page. (Ledger's keeping the win)

Luke Higham said...

Lastly, have you settled on a 4.5 for Renner.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Updated thoughts on Cox

Calvin Law said...

Well I really need to see Two Lovers, and I'm ashamed to admit I've only seen the remake of Let the Right One In.

Calvin Law said...


Luke Higham said...

Calvin: Is the remake any good. It had a very good reception though not as positive as the original.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: I'll take Dreyfuss if Louis doesn't want to review Harner, but I've read some very good things about O'Toole.

Calvin Law said...

Luke: I really enjoyed it though by all accounts it pales to the original.

Luke Higham said...

I must admit, that is an incredibly strong top 8.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Is Karloff a 4,5 or a 5 for Bride of Frankenstein, because in his review, he's rated a 4,5 while in the ranking he's rated a 5.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: He's a 5. He didn't change the rating on the review.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Penn's a 4,5 for Milk now. I should rewatch the film.
Luke: Uh, no. Take a look.

Calvin Law said...

Anonymous: I think you guys are in complete agreement lol. He's a 5.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: Louis confirmed that he was upgraded to a 5 on Robinson's review for The Whole Town's Talking.

Michael McCarthy said...

I’m all about this top 5 lineup. Out of curiosity Louis, what are your #11-15 films for 2008? I’m surprised JCVD didn’t make the cut for top 10.

Emi Grant said...

Yay, first win for me.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: How would Joaquin Phoenix have fared as Jack Twist in Brokeback Mountain. Apparently Matt Damon was originally meant to play Ennis but thankfully they went with Heath.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the voices of Michael Clarke Duncan, Tommy Lee Jones, Dennis Haysbert and Boris Karloff.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your top 10 Eddie Redmayne moments.

Anonymous said...

See any new releases, Louis.

Bryan L said...

Luke: Phoenix would've been pretty good as Ennis. However, I've always felt that the two actors who play Ennis and Jack must be contemporaries themselves (for some reason), which Gyllenhaal and Ledger definitely were.

Damon would've worked better as Jack Twist, I think.

Louis: Do you see Matthias Schoenaerts as Anton Chigurh in a 2010s NCFOM? He definitely has the physicality and can change his presence quite effectively.

Omar Franini said...

Louis: ratings and thoughts on Gwyneth Paltrow and Vinessa Shaw in Two Lovers, Anjelica Huston in Choke and Emma Thompson in Last Chance Harvey.

Anonymous said...

Louis: How do you think Matthias Schoenaerts and Ben Affleck would fare in the following:

Terry (On the Waterfront)
Stanley Kowalski
Robert Eroica
Sonny Wortzik

Robert MacFarlane said...

I'm just hoping for Harner to get a review. Also, I saw A Quiet Place and dug the hell out of it.

Anonymous said...

Robert: What did you think about the cast of A Quiet Place?

Louis Morgan said...

Saw A Quiet Place, pretty good suspense thriller.


I'll admit many of these are simply performances I had neglected to originally list for whatever reason.

Begaudeau - 4(It's a good performance fitting to the style of the film which is just a very simple telling of essentially the year in the life of a teacher in a low key very realistic way. In turn his performance is very good in bringing a far more of a day to day style in the scenes. In that he shows frustrations within the attempts to create inspiration. He creates the inherent sense of optimism yet through the lens of a guy who does it everyday therefore there are times it will wear at him to be sure.)

Hoffman - 3.5(A pretty charming turn from Hoffman here in just bringing the right sort of low key comedy and even drama in the part. The film keeps everything pretty light however Hoffman is pretty good here in working within that by making his more anguish filled moments very subtle yet still moving, and also in turn making his sort of turnaround feel also fairly natural in just how unassuming it is. It also helps that he some rather delightful chemistry with Emma Thompson, although I believe that is standard.)

Leung - 3.5(The part is a touch thin but there is enough for Leung to bring out his charisma which is always a good thing.)

Kross - 3.5(Thinking about this performance it very much reminds me of the flaws of the film which is it seems to leave so much to a narration that doesn't exist. Kross creates enough of a sense of the character's entrancement than guilt towards his relationship with Winslet's character however there are too many spaces left in there. We never get a proper "meat" in any aspect leaving too much as this process of observation, and when we're talking about observational performance then he's no Philip Seymour Hoffman.)

Hedebrant - 3.5(He gives a good performance however this is very much a film about Alfredson's direction more than anything. His work isn't overly complex however it works in that sense. In that he creates just this general downtrodden little boy effectively, as well as creates the sense of the central relationship well as well. Again what makes it really something special is really viewing with an adult context, however Hedebrant's performance works well as setting up the simplicity of the "romance".)

Rockwell - 3.5(Rockwell really is the only thing I could tolerate about the film which tonally completely fails to make the material work on any conceivable level. Rockwell attempts to find some sort of balance within his own performance, and I'd say he does better than what should be expected all things considered. He manages to find at least some substance in creating the more painful elements of the character while still creating the sense of the general absurd tone naturally within the character.)

Louis Morgan said...

Cheadle - 3.5(His character is a little underwritten in that they basically say "this guy's devote" and keep that as really his only defining factor despite the duplicity associated with the role. Cheadle does his best to work with this simple enough idea and manages to give a rather effectively charismatic turn. He anchors the film well managing to bring to some needed weight to the proceedings even when the film fails to.)

Jackson - 3(One I actually just happened upon the other day, and proceeded to see a film that completely wastes potentially rather powerful material. Jackson is mostly just doing "badass, or here hardass" Jackson. It's a shame as some of the idea around the role could have been something far more interesting, and it's not Jackson's fault that they're not. The film chooses just to make him a one note villain in the end, where a more complex villain not only would've made a better film it probably would've gotten Jackson to bring his A-game.)

Segel - 2.5(I thought he was mildly amusing at times, however a little sitcomming on the whole if I have to be completely honest. To further be honest I just am in most cases not a fan of the Apatow school of comedy aka "Let's just see how long go with this scene for and never cut".)

Rogens - 2.5(Both performances I refer to here. He's a little better in Zack and Miri as there is a little bit of a dramatic crux that he delivers well enough on. Mostly both are Rogen doing his Rogen thing, which in most cases I don't find all that amusing or charming.)

Carrey - 2.5(Carrey seems very tired in this particular performance as though he's a little ashamed of basically going back to his most basic nineties work. He's not awful or anything but one can definitely sense his heart doesn't really seem to be in it all that much.)

Butterfield - 2(His performance is pretty bland here to be sure, even in context of needing to be the simplicity of the child's perspective. In that regard Hedebrant's performance is far better in that regard.)

Goldblum - 2(I will say that if Goldblum pulled of this performance it would have been some feet however he cannot salvage the completely tone deaf material. It is horrid, and perhaps what The Day the Clown Cried is like. This probably Goldblum's worst work which makes use of his none of strengths, and just forces him into one abysmal scene after another.)

Matt Mustin said...

FINALLY saw Black Panther. I really loved it.

Boseman-4(He actually probably has more of an arc in Civil War, which is odd, but it's not really that much of a problem. Boseman gives the right passion to T'Challa, fitting to a king, and to the Black Panther.)

Jordan-4.5(Absolutely owns the film completely. Jordan, as with all his previous performances, especially Creed, shows once again the incredible amount of charisma he has. He makes Killmonger an effectively threatening villain, but goes further than that in giving an understanding to the motivations of his character, and I actually thought his final scene was very moving, although the great way it was directed certainly did not hurt things.)

Nyong'o and Guirra-3.5(Both offer the right kind of support, Nyong'o being nicely supportive, and Guirra being nicely passionate and badass.)

Wright-4(I really enjoyed the scene where she was basically the Q of the film, and in general she's just very likable, but beyond that she has a terrific chemistry with Boseman. The two of them really make the sibling relationship work.)

Freeman-3.5(I'm really glad he got an expanded role here, because you can never have too much Martin Freeman as far as I'm concerned. He's basically just the standard helpful CIA guy, but Freeman adds so much just through his immensely likable presence.)

Kaluuya-2.5(He's fine, but I found that everything surrounding his character seemed a little rushed.)

Bassett-2.5(Fine, but not really given anything that substantial to do.)

Serkis-3.5(Enjoyable bit of crazy sleaze.)

Duke-3(Pretty entertaining.)

Whitaker-3.5(Really surprised me actually. I expected him to be somewhat distracting, but I found that he fit in perfectly, and his performance style for once fit the character very well.)

Brown-3.5(Makes a very powerful impact with very, very little screentime.)

Louis Morgan said...

Wilson - 1.5(Horrendously bland here. This is the blandest he's ever been by my record and this him I guess at his very worst. He just seems like a block of wood here. I'm glad he seems to be doing better now.)

Macht - 1.5(I think there's a reason we didn't see much of him after that abomination of a film that was the Spirit as his performance is horribly bland, yet over the top, which is always that perfect combination of being terrible.)

Wahlberg - 5(This performance is downright hilarious in one of the biggest failures at going against type, that is playing some alien rather than a human with his truly bizarre performance that is extremely enjoyable, but in a way that was obviously completely against its intention.)

Yes, felt the exact same way about The Hurt Locker in every regard.

Let the Right One - (Well other than the CGI Cats, which was the only fingerprints of "The Snowman" that I could find in this film, it's a great film. It is just brilliantly realized by Alfredson in that he honestly allows this truly disturbing story to be potentially misinterpreted, and effectively so by offering the boy's perspective of this as this fairy tale romance. He grants that view while also still revealing the pure horror and also the fact that the central relationship is actually in a way particularly chilling aspect of that. In that things probably will not turn out well in the future for the boy, but it shows how a delusion of the relationship would develop. In the same it allows that adult perspective towards it all into creating a real sense of this particularly horrifying creation of this type of symbiotic relationship.)

Man On Wire - (The sort of "perfect" film is to take the actual walk from the walk and implement it in this film which gives such a more vibrant and powerful build towards the event that defines the story. Even without that footage it is beautifully realized documentary just giving such loving detail to such atypical yet strangely inspiring story. I will say though it does slightly falter in the end with including sort of the darker fallout only because it just feels like a rushed footnote that that filmmakers try to disregard as quickly as possible in order to retain the tone. In that sense they probably should have just left it out entirely. Even with that minor flaw it is really spirited and fascinating documentary.)

Louis Morgan said...


1. Kristin Scott Thomas - I've Loved You So Long - 5
2. Melissa Leo - Frozen River - 5
3. Yolande Moreau - Seraphine - 4.5
4. Cate Blanchett - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
5. Kate Beckinsale - Nothing but the Truth - 4.5
6. Sally Hawkins - Happy Go Lucky
7. Kate Winslet - The Reader
8. Arta Dobroshi - Lorna's Silence - 4
9. Michelle Williams - Wendy and Lucy - 4
10. Famke Janssen - Turn the River - 4
11. Tilda Swinton - Julia - 4
12. Angelina Jolie - The Changeling
13. Emma Thompson - Last Chance Harvey - 3.5
14. Elizabeth Banks - Zack and Miri Make a Porno - 3.5
15. Lina Leandersson - Let The Right One In - 3.5

Supporting Actress:

1. Amy Adams - Doubt
2. Samantha Morton - Synecdoche, New York
3. Gwyneth Paltrow - Two Lovers - 4.5
4. Hope Davis - Synecdoche, New York
5. Stine Stengade - Flame and Citron
6. Marisa Tomei - The Wrestler
7. Ursula Strauss - Revanche
8. Elsa Zylberstein - I've Loved You So Long - 4
9. Hiam Abbass - The Visitor
10. Vinessa Shaw - Two Lovers - 4
11. Irina Poptapenko - Revanche
12. Tilda Swinton - Burn After Reading
13. Michelle Williams - Synecdoche, New York
14. Tilda Swinton - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
15. Isabella Rossellini - Two Lovers


Cox - 4.5(Felt very much the same way but I could appreciate all the more his performance. The film itself I do feel has a lot of failings within it but it is very much bolstered by Cox's performance. In part this is kind of an interesting chance just to see him as this sort of charismatic leading man which he excels with to be sure. Cox though goes further than that in giving a very powerful portrayal of his character in that he manages to balance both the idea of sort of the character's fiercer convictions within the prison, and this underlying sorrow of the rot that has become his life.)

Calvin Law said...

Yeah Adam Resurrected looks pretty bad. I'm glad you've warned me off it, Louis.

When you've the time, thoughts on A Quiet Place and its cast (though I'd assume you'd want to be airtight on details).

Louis Morgan said...


Had accidentally deleted off the main list when editing it.

11. Iron Man
12. The Hurt Locker
13. Burn After Reading
14. Frost/Nixon
15. Red Cliff Part 1


I think they made the right choices with Gyllenhaal/Ledger. Phoenix just doesn't seem right for the part, even though he is obviously extremely talented he doesn't traditionally exude the right presence for Ennis.


Duncan - (Such a great deep, yet rather pleasant voice, that perhaps went a bit under exploited to be honest.)

Lee Jones - (Perfect texan "hardass" twang. A voice that seems filled wrinkles from a certain type of life.)

Haysbert - (Well when you hear this voice you know your in good hands. In all seriousness such an effortlessly commanding voice.)

Karloff - (Amazing voice of his as he so successfully can be this rather proper and elegant man, yet can be a vicious brute such as easily. His voice has peculiar yet remarkable range to it.)


Yes he has sort of that, from "somewhere else" quality needed for the character, and could certainly be quite the imposing figure.


Terry - (Schoenaerts perfect choice as Jacky is far off from Terry. Affleck would be all wrong I think, he's best in sort of a Robert Redford way which is when he plays with his sort of known presence.)

Kowalski - (Yes all the way for Schoenaerts as has that needed sort of vicious masculinity. Affleck no, just doesn't have quite that animal magnetism needed.)

Robert Eroica - (Again yes to Schoenaerts who could bring that sort of id unpredictability as well as hit those more subtle emotional beats. Again no to Affleck who has never had a sense of unpredictability in his work.)

Sonny Wortzik - (Yes again to you know who, as his Eric Deeds very much is a sort of audition. Bring that with a more overt intensity we know he's capable of and you'd have something special. Affleck definitely no, no, no. Nothing seems right about him in that role.)

Louis Morgan said...


On A Quiet Place I will leave it pretty simple, but I will say Krasinski certainly knows how to craft suspense sequences. I do feel the central interpersonal conflict could have had just a bit more within it, but I understand why it didn't. It still serves its purpose, and that's just kind of on the good rather than great scale. It's a very effective rather original thriller to be sure that gets quite a lot out of its great central concept.

The cast is all solid in purposefully limited roles. They work well within those limits, but the emphasis is very much on the physical reactions to create the horror which Emily Blunt most excels in. Everyone is good though in creating enough of an emotional connection in rather minimalist interactions.

Deiner said...

Louis: In case you've rewatched them, has your opinion on these performances has changed?
- Anne Hathaway and Debra Winger in Rachel Getting Married
- Kate Winslet in Revolutionary Road
- Meryl Streep in Doubt
- Penélope Cruz and Rebecca Hall in Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Also, your thoughts and ratings on:
- Angelina Jolie in Wanted
- Kristen Bell and Mila Kunis in Forgetting Sarah Marshall
- Penélope Cruz in Elegy
(I don't know if you've seen the next ones)
- Catinca Untaru in The Fall
- Diane Lane in Untraceable
- Julianne Moore in Blindness
- Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia!

Anonymous said...

Louis: While I haven't seen Adam Resurrected yet, do you think good ol' Goldblum was misdirected in that film?

Also, your top 10 biggest missed casting opportunities of all time.

Omar Franini said...

Louis: your thoughts on the female performances?

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the female performances you've listed and could you give thoughts on Phoenix in Two Lovers or are you reviewing him.

Anonymous said...

Louis: What were your thoughts on Joaquin Phoenix in Two Lovers?

Plus, when you look at Jacky (Bullhead) as a character, what characters in film history do you believe are influences on this character?

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on Ben Kingsley in Elegy.

Luke Higham said...

And is Amy Adams a 4.5 or 5 for Doubt.

Anonymous said...

Louis: What do you think is Roger Moore's best perforamnce as James Bond? I think you've seen them all.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure Adams is a 4.5

Vanna Long said...

Some suggestions :)

Michael Pitt in Funny Games
Jérémie Renier in Lorna's Silence
Jeffrey Wright in Cadillac Records
Danny McBride in Pineapple Express

Michael McCarthy said...

Oh here’s a suggestion: Ben Kingsley in The Wackness. Haven’t gotten around to seeing the movie yet, but the mere fact that he’s paired with Josh Peck intrigues me.

RatedRStar said...

Has anyone seen RedLetterMedia reviewing Ready Player One? OMG does Tye Sheridan get slaughtered in that review lol.

Anonymous said...

Another retrocasting:

The Verdict (1960's, directed by Otto Preminger)
Frank Galvin: James Stewart
Laura Fischer: Eva Marie Saint
Mickey Morrissey: Arthur O'Connell
Ed Concannon: Claude Rains
Judge Hoyle: Pat O'Brien
Kaitlin Price: Lee Remick

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: I have an idea. After 57, 99, 38 and 48, why not alternate between decades (80s, 70s, 60s, 10s, 50s, 00s, 30s, 90s, 40s) then back to the original order for the next set then the alternate route for the one after etc, but keep the same set of years as they were during the alternates, just to switch it up a tad. I don't mind going that direction with the bonus rounds.

RatedRStar said...

Luke: I dont mind really I just like a bit of a mix up of years so that it isnt as predictable to what is coming up next, plus because of the unpredictable nature of which year appears next means that winning requests feel like a fist pump like a yes I did I won my performance is definitely getting reviewed.

You seen the Wrestlemania 34 set? it looks like a Willy Wonka creation and I love it lol.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: Looks fine I guess, though I feel as if it's rather strikingly similar to the XXX set with it's purple motif. Would've been nice to see a different colour in New Orleans.

RatedRStar said...

Luke: Final predictions?

Luke Higham said...

Universal: Reigns
WWE: Nakamura
Intercontinental: Miz
US: Roode
R/Women's: Bliss
S/Women's: Asuka
R/Tag Team: Braun Strowman and ?
S/Tag Team: The New Day
Cruiserweight: Alexander

RatedRStar said...

I reckon Taker and Cena will have that match, which Taker I would think will win due to Cena basically trashtalking him constantly.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: I forgot about those 2. I hope the American Badass gives that No talent hypocrite a royal arse whooping.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your top ten music compositions in Ridley Scott films.

Louis Morgan said...


No to all.

Jolie - 2.5(She is very much doing sort of her hammy Jolie that she does in her star performances, which she can lay on a bit thick. She does that a touch here, but more than anything the real problem is how underwhelming the character is. The role is essentially a series of "I'm cool and sexy" glances and not much more. She does that okay, but it doesn't amount to much.)

Bell - 3(I found her performance semi-enjoyable in terms of just doing sort of the shallow routine in a somewhat entertaining way. It's not a great example of making sort of the antagonist truly amusing however she does succeed in not falling into the trap of becoming a stick in the mud.)

Kunis - 2.5(I have to probably admit I just don't really care for Kunis as a performer who tends to have a little too much problematic self-awareness that comes across pretty obviously. That isn't too troubling a comedy like this, in that she does find enough of a charm, and a bit of humor, yet still too notable in my mind.)

Cruz - 2.5(I did prefer her quite honestly to her Oscar nominated turn, however I didn't think she brought that much more to the role than what was on the page, which there wasn't much there. She's far too much an object of affection with far too little development of the character beyond that. Cruz is okay within this context yet doesn't make much of an impact.)

I did try to watch Mamma Mia one time awhile, but I got to when Pierce Brosnan starts singing, and there's only so much one can take.


In a way, yes. The problem is the film is a great example of why one should only broach such subject matter carefully. No actor in the film comes off all that well, other than maybe Willem Dafoe only because he gets to just do a generally evil performance. The film at a conception level is broken so any attempt to make that work unfortunately is broken as well.

Missed opportunities in terms of performances that "well cast" yet turned out underwhelming or potential castings that didn't happen?

Louis Morgan said...


Thomas - (Her performance is brilliant work in terms of this sort of slow dissection of the character that she very much let's us into the way the other characters examine. In that she creates the definite distance that alludes so well to the life that she has lived initially with coldness that potentially alludes to a different kind of guilt. He subtle, yet very powerful, revelation is incredibly well handled two fold. In that her performance carefully opens up the character to the audience in a fascinating way. In that in part she portrays sort of this quiet adjustment, with pitfalls and problems, in creating her trying to become accustom with society again. In turn she also though slowly begins to reveal more of the emotional devastation of the past and becomes rather moving as she begins to suggest what it was that compelled her actions that seem so impossible initially.)

Leo - (Watching this film I have to say that she had a strangely similair trajectory to Jennifer Lawrence with this performance as a woman trying to save her family within the criminal underworld of a poverty stricken area, followed by an Oscar winning performance in a David O. Russell film that seems like it gave her the wrong idea on how to continue on as a performer. Anyways this is before that and like Lawrence, her lower key turn her is by far her best work. Leo is outstanding here though in creating such a quiet yet moving portrait of this character. In that in part she gives as sort of the tough convictions, however I love the certain desperation she brings in these moments portraying sort of the growing pains of a woman no way use to crimes. This is in contrast to her scenes at home where she more overtly reveals just a normal person in her very moving, and very warm scenes she shares with her kids.)

Moreau - (The film itself I found flawed as it was to austere I feel in a story that style doesn't always serve itself well. Moreau though is quite good in the role. In the early scenes she effectively creates this type of individually who just quietly goes about her life with her simple passions towards both art and particularly her faith. Moreau finds this simplicity in a naturalistic way that creates the right idea of this woman just living her life in a proper contentment. She's great though in sort of turning this on her head once she is discovered as an artist. She reveals the way this breaks the sort of equilibrium of that simplicity, and in turn leaves this imbalance in her work where there is this very odd ego she develops that somehow feels natural to a person who in most circumstance would have been just as she had been for the rest of her life. The change she develops so well in how it conflicts with her early scenes to show this strange damage in her reactions as she almost cannot connect to this world she's found herself in.)

Louis Morgan said...

Beckinsale - (I found the film rather ridiculous to say the least, particularly that final twist which is just awful. Beckinsale though is consistently great here though. She offers on the surface sort of that needed firebrand conviction to fit somehow who would be willing to bare her cross so to speak. At the same time she does well in undercut this degree of naivety that she just shows in her reactions towards a certain bafflement to the extent of her persecution. She also is particularly good in creating a needed through line in the film by portraying her slow emotional and physical decay of sorts through every scene.)

Dobroshi - (I found the film itself was a touch too ridiculous at times. Dobroshi though I found was consistently good in her role at the very least in creating this certain duality. In creating this personal desperation that she connects to her moments of more overt selfishness when she acquiesces her conscience towards those who would abuse it. The other side though are in the direct moments of empathy towards those she is called to abuse or misuse. She is quite moving in portraying this as an underlying constant that springs most powerfully in moments, and enforces its will in a way.)

Williams - (The film itself I found okay, but mostly underwhelming on the whole. Williams though gives a good performance that very much just directly puts you into the single moments, even if the history of the character always remains very vague. Williams tries to makes the most of every moment though in simply capturing every event so well through her honest and earnest performance.)

Janssen - (A good performance that again I think suffers a bit from the film's limited scope that has a few too many repetitive scenes for her to do. She's good though in creating sort of that hard bitten style without overdoing it, and amplifying it all the more with a direct emotionalism within it all.)

Swinton - (I must say that she is in part horrible, and for the first act at least I'd quite honestly say it was some of her worst work. The only thing that combats that is she's great once they get to Mexico and everything that follows. There she manages to gives a genuinely powerful portrayal of this broken woman finding some sort of sense of decency and responsibility. That is in contrast to her early scenes where overcooked is an under sentiment. She is downright ridiculous.)

Thompson - (Charming as always though pretty standard character for her to work with, not far from her Love Actually or Peter's Friends characters. She does it well as usual though.)

Banks - (Also charming as per usual really. She also more effectively I feel carries the sort of extremely obvious "dramatic" crux of the film.)

Leandersson - (Well obviously only really working with her physical performance here, and even then that is technically somewhat limited as well. Having said that she definitely adds to the role in creating this proper combination of she is both creepy yet endearing in some strange way at the same time. She manages to find a proper balance though that is certainly aided by the separate vocal performance.)

Louis Morgan said...

Paltrow - (This feels very much like a return to her old 90's form in a way, and I wish she would take on more challenging roles sense that is generally when she is at her best. She's certainly very good her in creating this very specific state of the character. In that she is very much alluring that Paltrow finds actually in a way with the desperation of the character. That desperation that makes naturally off-beat in a way that makes her rather appealing.)

Zylberstein - (She's terrific very much as the audience's surrogate character in that she represent well this strict empathy towards Scott's character that she portrays as slowly growing throughout. She goes further though in quietly capturing her own sense of desperation in some key moments of reactions where she begins to understand the motivation for her sister's crimes.)

Shaw - (In some ways one could see this as a thankless role yet I love what she does with it as the sort of "other woman". In that though she does make herself appealing in a far less flashy way, yet in a way that is far more substantive. She creates a far stronger warmth in her interactions with Phoenix. In that she finds not this exact lust in the relationship but rather much more of this sense of a quiet empathy, and need strictly within trying to be connected to him.)

Rossellini - (Really love what she does her in the margins actually. In that in just her moments of observing in scenes she conveys a great deal actually and creates a rather moving portrayal of the mother trying to connect with her son. She rarely gets much of a focus however I love the impact she does make within that.)


Phoenix - (Phoenix as with all his best work is very notable in the way he realizes this completely off-beat type of presence within the character. He portrays well the inherent anguish that is so palatable early which he is incredibly moving as he reveals it more strongly in the early scenes. He's great though in developing the two separate relationships and creating such a striking sense of what each means to him. Phoenix realizes sort of that fiery passion in this brilliant indirect sort of way with Paltrow as he conveys how enthralled he is with her, but doesn't direct it until a very specific moment that is incredible. He finds another angle though with Shaw which again he's great in creating this fundamental comfort in these moments though that Phoenix cleverly portrays as almost something that is just there but in way so he barely notices it. His work is fascinating in creating each such remarkable and unique relationship, while also so well realizing the central semi-broken psyche that defines them.)


Kingsley - (Kinglsey gives a good performance, in a film that I found fairly intolerable to be honest. I will give him credit though for creating any investment in the character's self-indulgence. Kingsley is certainly good in being both this cheeky Lothario, and dignified literary type. Kingsley captures the man so well that he manages to make his somewhat tiresome personal struggle at least moderately tolerable. He didn't exactly make me care, but he at least convinced me of the character.)


The Spy Who Loved Me By far.

Charles H said...

Byung Hun Lee(my runner up)
Tom Noonan
Peter O'Toole
Richard Jenkins
Jason Butler Harner

Deiner said...

Louis: Forgot to ask, what are your thoughts and rating on Vera Farmiga in Nothing but the Truth?

Louis Morgan said...


1. "Tears in Rain" - Blade Runner (which I wrongly neglected on Vangelis five)
2. "The Barbarian Horde" - Gladiator
3. "Main Theme" - 1492: Conquest of Paradise
4. "Main Theme" - Blade Runner
5. "Honor Him" - Gladiator
6. "Crusaders" - Kingdom of Heaven
7. "Main Theme" - Alien
8. "Main Theme" - The Duellists
9. "Love Theme" - Blade Runner
10. "Sybilla" - Kingdom of Heaven

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your rating/thoughts on James Franco in Pineapple Express.

Louis Morgan said...


Farmiga - 3.5(Her performance I feel is a bit limited by the context given to the character. She is effective though within that small context in creating just that extreme intensity of anger towards the place she has been put into. She does particularly well by really infusing it with some genuine emotion that refers more to a betrayal than just a basic hatred. Sadly the film does little else with her character.)


Franco - 2.5(He's a little funny at times, then he gets grating, then becomes slightly funny, then rather grating again in his "I'm high" routine.)