Thursday, 24 May 2018

Alternate Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor 1991: Alan Rickman in Truly, Madly, Deeply and Closet Land

Alan Rickman did not receive an Oscar nomination, despite receiving a BAFTA nomination, for portraying Jamie in Truly, Madly, Deeply nor did he receive one for playing the interrogator in Closet Land.

Truly, Madly, Deeply is a rather delightful but also poignant film about a woman Nina (Juliet Stevenson) being visited by the ghost of her late musician boyfriend. Closet Land is a film that gets lost within its own pretensions about a children's author (Madeleine Stowe) being interrogated in some unknown country for an unknown reason. The promise of such a premise being far better realized by Martin McDonagh's play The Pillowman.

What these two otherwise disparate films do happen to have in common is in British thespian Alan Rickman and his one of a kind voice. Rickman's talents though went beyond his voice, though that was certainly one of his great assets, and these two films do grant insights into two vastly different sides to Rickman's talent as a performer. The roles couldn't be more different playing in Truly Madly Deeply a likable musician, who happens to be a ghost, and in Closet Land playing a vicious state interrogator. I suppose one clear comparison within the two is that we are granted some prime Rickman vocal work who thankfully in no way hides that drawling baritone of his. He in fact has a bit of fun with it in both films, which is quite an accomplishment in the serious minded to a fault Closet Land. Both performances though very much begin with the initial idea which seems rich enough in each. The dead lover returned in Jamie, and the interrogator with more than few tricks up his sleeve. The former allowing Rickman to play nicely against what became his "formal" type in mainstream cinema due to his career defining role as Hans Gruber in Die Hard, meanwhile the interrogator very much plays right into that type.

Might as well take the more expected then with the interrogator, who really you could not ask for a better performer to make the rather laborious material of the film work. In that so much of the film is long monologues or dialogues pieces, that sadly wears their thematic ideas a little obviously on their sleeves leaving little subtly or perhaps even reality within the text, leaving the actors to some how make them work. Although I can't say either Rickman, or Stowe make the film "work" they do make it far easier to watch than it otherwise would be, and do their best to attempt to illustrate what the film was going for even though the film itself fails in its attempt. Rickman's typical deadpan yet forceful delivery is really perfection for the interrogator as it not only invokes the sort of assumed menace needed for the part it also expertly emphasizes the minutia of the man's existence. In that Rickman carefully plays that as the interrogation opens this is hardly the first, nor would it intend to be the last person the interrogator intends to break to satisfy the state's demands. Rickman is appropriately chilling by playing it very much a matter of routine from the outset finding the certain bureaucracy in the process of the interrogator, despite his process involving trying to physically and mentally destroy an individual for an unnamed crime.

Now enough of that "high minded" nonsense though as we also have here a Rickman turn that shows he could be just as charming as he could be menacing if he so chose to be. Rickman takes a bit to appear, as we follow around Stevenson's Nina failing to get over the grief of his loss, and I would actually say Rickman is supporting despite the importance of his character. When Jamie does suddenly appear in their old home, despite being quite dead, this is not a haunting but rather a wondrous event it would seem. Rickman doesn't take long to show what Nina saw in old Jamie as there is such a considerable charisma in his work. He is just exuding this pure joy, and importantly he and Stevenson drum up an immediate chemistry. An important sort of chemistry though where the two barely even need to state their love for one another since one can just feel it through not only the jubilation the two actors express so well in their interactions, but just the warmth within their casual interactions. Despite the strange situation, there is no stiffness or formality between the two as Rickman and Stevenson deliver their lines and react to one another with this sense of comfort natural to their long standing great affection for one another.

Enough of that fun though lets get back to slow torture in a film that seems a touch too impressed with itself during every development in the interaction between the writer and the interrogator. Rickman though cannot be faulted for so well illustrating every moment of this horrible process. The way he plays it is as this true professional who in every moment is well aware of what step he is in terms of trying to break her. In that Rickman brings this slight air of irritability within a false civility. Rickman develops this false earnestness whenever the interrogator claims he's just going through the interrogation as a routine, though with always this momentary gaps realized in a hesitation in his delivery or a single turn of the eyes that Rickman brilliantly signals as the reality of the viciousness. Rickman creates so much of the uneasiness, and sense of threat within the film through his work. The actual moments where the interrogator uses violence in particular Rickman performs so well by drawing out in a way as he sort of overtly mannered each that effectively reveals the interrogator purposefully taking his time to show what is doing before he is doing it to create this dread even before the pain.

Of course enough of that, and let us looks back at Jamie where we get Rickman playing the part in a way that is a little atypical for a ghost. In that Rickman portrays Jamie as a ghost in no way troubled by his death, in fact has this rather distinct ease about the whole situation reflecting a man quite enjoying the freedom it grants him in a way. Rickman shares that enjoyment by being this great ball of energy really, which is notable for the often deadpan Rickman, as he has quite a bit of fun with his performance it would seem. The right kind though as he lets us right in on it, to the point that is quite infectious honestly in his early scenes. He and Stevenson together are simply wonderful though in the exuberance of it all as the two seem to live the reunion to the fullest. I especially adore the moment in which the two sing a duet of "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore". Neither actor is this great singer however it doesn't at all matter as that is hardly the point. The scene is a wonder because of that great happiness the two create through that is absolutely endearing for every second of it. Both bringing such a glow to it through their performance, with Rickman, so known for his icy characters, being rather splendid as this loving soul.

Well back to the hateful soul where Rickman is quite remarkable in realizing more within the character even in its limited presentation. This includes the interrogator putting on other parts, when the writer is blindfolded, that Rickman quite dynamically realizes as this guttural monster as the more brutal interrogator while also doing a high pitched pathetic wine to represent a fake witness being tortured to implicate the writer. Rickman is great there in creating yet another tool of the interrogator, however he goes a bit further when the interrogator is playing the witness when he claims to be left alone with the writer. Rickman uses this moment to its fullest as the witness describes the main interrogator, as a rich cultured man. Of course this is to create a false image for the writer to confess to, however given the writer is blindfolded Rickman subtly goes a bit further. When he delivers these words of propping up the interrogator as this good man Rickman silently portrays this honest sorrow in the man's eyes, showing the broken humanity of a man who once had morals, and is pained by the man he has becomes. This is a small moment, but honestly probably the best moment in the problematic film, because of how honest Rickman makes it through his performance. This plants the proper seed actual as the film goes on, and on, in the torture. Rickman though at least brings something out of this process by presenting the gradual wear in the interrogator own resolve revealing this desperation as he realizes his failures as the writer refuses to break.

Now his performance as Jamie also has more to it as well, as Nina continues to come home to him, while he introduces his fellow ghost friends who all just sort of hang about since they have nothing better to do. Rickman is rather hilarious in this, even as Jamie encroaches on Nina's patience, by showing this purity of the behavior. In that Rickman makes every, sometimes even inconsiderate moment technically speaking, genuinely goodhearted by playing it with the sense that Jamie truly has nothing more to do than hangout since he essentially an embodiment of living in the past. Rickman in turn doesn't hold back in terms of showing the joy that can come from such nostalgia, however also presents the limitations as Jamie has nowhere to go. Rickman doesn't at all present this as Jamie being truly troubled, even when he and Nina have a brief squabble, but rather direct as showing Jamie being all that Jamie can be. Eventually this, and the addition of a new boyfriend leads Nina to move on, leaving Jamie to be left in the past though not gone. The film ends with Jamie watching as she moves on, and Rickman is outstanding in the moment. His reaction is heartbreaking as he captures the sadness of losing her, but with a hint of joy reflective of Jamie's love for her that goes beyond even the point she has moved on from him. These two performances couldn't be more different in intent, and even within the contexts of the film since one amplifies a good film, and other makes a failure far more digestible. The two together though are representations of the talent of Alan Rickman who could be the most unpleasant of interrogators, or the most enchanting of ghosts.

106 comments:

Luke Higham said...

2 4.5s, very nice. :)

Ratings/Thoughts on the casts for both films.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Not asking for thoughts or anything but have you seen Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead yet.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the voices of Peter Weller, Miguel Ferrer, Sam Elliott and Harry Dean Stanton.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: I sincerely hope you'll review him for Prince Of Thieves.

Michael McCarthy said...

Louis: I'm not sure if you've seen Close My Eyes, but if you have is Rickman lead or supporting?

Calvin Law said...

Interesting that you put Rickman in supporting! Glad he got 2 4.5's though.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Stevenson - 4.5(Her performance is obviously in part just incredibly charming through the scenes with Rickman, however she is of course the true lead of the film, and helps to create much of the greater emotional impact within the film. In the early scenes she successfully portrays such a palatable grief and creates the sense of the person who wants to do anything other than moving on. She doesn't overwhelm this to the point of melodrama though by balancing in the moments while not speaking of Jamie as less overt though still with an undercurrent of that somberness. In the phase of living essentially in the past though she's great in those scenes with Rickman, but also outside of them by initially portraying Nina as essentially lost in thoughts of that relationship even when with the living. She then is terrific in the third act in terms of balancing the sense of frustration with the static nature of the past, and while also finding similair chemistry with Michael Maloney as essentially the future. I love the way though she finds the right hesitation in embracing that future by still creating that sense of affection for the past that is never truly lost. It's a wonderful performance as she portrays both really the literal depiction of what we see in the film in terms of the supernatural, while also realizing technically this straight forward portrayal of the stage of accepting loss.)

Maloney - 3.5(He actually is pretty over the top as usual, but for once it works. This time it actually seems natural just to this rather extroverted guy who purposefully puts things on a little thick, in a positive way, due to his job. Maloney's actually pretty charming here, which is essential in terms of the film's conclusion.)

Stowe - 4.5(Stowe deserves a great deal of credit as well in terms of giving her all to make the film work, even though it still doesn't. She's effective though in creating the sense of the stages of the interrogation through her reflective performance, while also adding a bit more just due to her natural charm as an actress, even though that isn't really utilized here. Nonetheless though she's great in portraying the initial confusion, then frustration and growing fear as the interrogation goes on. She successfully though even bridges it towards the strength through emotional turmoil that defines the character near the end, which is represented a little too overtly in the film, but I must say Stowe does deliver on her end in creating at least something convincing to this through her work.)

Yes.

Anonymous:

Weller - (A specific clean refinement of a voice, even when not robocop, in that his voice is very commanding yet in this distinctly exact way.)

Miguel Ferrer - (His voice did not fall from his old man's tree as it is equally impressive. Perhaps a bit less regal but Ferrer more than makes up for it by having as much of a forcefulness but with much more of this sly snarky quality to it.)

Sam Elliott - (The cowboy personified it seems, and perhaps American individualism. Very much in the formal cinematic sense though for some reason, as it seems like any western could be narrated Elliott deep, rugged, yet warm voice that just is all powerful in certain kind of way. You know what I mean dude? Also greatest mustache.)

Harry Dean Stanton - (American western individualism also personified though in perhaps in a more casual way, yet just as distinctive and notable as Elliott. Stanton's voice is just seemingly of a man who has lived a life, a particular life that was all his own, a voice that tells a story even when speaking of things without importance.)

Michael:

He's supporting.

Calvin Law said...

Rickman would've been great as Tupolski.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: Matthias Schoenaerts and Carey Mulligan for a 2010s Heaven Knows, Mr Allison? And for a 2010s version of Truly Madly Deeply, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Jamie, and Emily Mortimer as Nina?

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

Indeed he would've been.

Perfect in regards to Mr. Allison. I could see your Truly, Madly, Deeply, though I might put forth Sally Hawkins and Jason Isaacs, or Olivia Colman and Jerome Flynn (perhaps a full musical remake) for alternates.

Anonymous said...

Louis: What are your toughts on Trust as a series so far?

Charles H said...

2 4.5's are great.

Really look forward to every time a Rickman review will happen.

Robert MacFarlane said...

So is he not getting reviewed for Prince of Thieves, then? Because that's an easy 4.5 minimum for me.

Also, I saw Solo and actually enjoyed it. Not as much as Force Awakens or Last Jedi, but more than Rogue One. The entire cast is enjoyable (including Clarke!)

Robert MacFarlane said...

I'm now 90% sure the stories about Ehrenreich being bad on set were fabricated by Ansel Elgort.

Bryan L said...

Calvin: Speaking of Schoenaerts and Mulligan, do you think they would work as Sebastian and Mia in a U.K. version of La La Land? They have the same age difference as Gosling and Stone.

Michael McCarthy said...

Robert: I think Rickman will still get reviewed for Prince of Thieves.

Also Louis and everyone else, what do you think of the IT: Chapter 2 cast that has been announced thus far? I'm glad they ended up going largely with unknowns, but I'm also thrilled about Chastain, McAvoy, and especially Hader.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the "In Time" scene from The Punisher scene.

Anonymous said...

*The Punisher

Luke Higham said...

Robert: I'm glad you enjoyed it. For me personally I wish the final act was much more satisfying than it was.

Anyway, my cast ratings.
Ehrenreich - 3.5/4 (Accent issues aside which I'm not bothered with since its an 18/21 year old Solo, he captures the essence of the character very well. His chemistry with Glover, Harrelson and Chewbacca is great as you would hope for it to be yet I didn't care about his relationship with Clarke, not that her character was badly written or anything but she really doesn't do it for me as an Actress and their chemistry is only serviceable in my opinion)
Harrelson - 3.5
Clarke - 2.5
Glover - 4 (Wish there was more of him as he did an even greater job of capturing that very same essence. Billy Dee Williams would be proud)
Walter-Bridge - 3
Bettany - 3 (I'm sick and tired of his talents being wasted and his villain isn't memorable. I'd much rather have seen Michael K. Williams portrayal as an Alien gangster instead)

Did love the cameo near the end and I hope we'll see him in a future film.

RatedRStar said...

Truly, Madly, Deeply is one of my mothers favorite films so she will be pretty happy with this =D.

Luke Higham said...

My updated Supporting lineup is:
Rickman - Prince Of Thieves & Close My Eyes
Dreyfuss - Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead
Garcia/Jacobi - Dead Again
Swayze - Point Break
Andrew Strong - The Commitments
And a special review for Pesci in JFK.

RatedRStar said...

I got to see "What We Do in the Shadows" might be the best vampire movie ever lol I loved it that much.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I’m on the opposite side of Luke with Clarke: I had issues with the way Qi’ra was written but thought Clarke was finally really good in something for once, and I bought her chemistry with Ehrenreich. Also, I didn’t hear any issues with Ehrenreich’s voice.

Calvin Law said...

Bryan: If Schoenaerts can sing, for sure.

I'm seeing Solo next week with a very open mind. I actually think I've heard more positive things about Ehrenreich than Glover.

Luke Higham said...

Robert: I didn't have a problem with his voice, I meant that I didn't care if it wasn't a wholly successful replication of Ford's voice when getting the essence right was more important.

Perhaps Clarke's work in Game Of Thrones clouded my Judgment but I stand by it for now.

Calvin: I've read reviews saying Ehrenreich was miscast. Glover has received more positive feedback all-round.

Luke Higham said...

Robert: Your thoughts on Ehrenreich and Glover.

Luke Higham said...

Has anyone ever seen Dogma. If you have, what did you think of Rickman. He could be a possible review for '99.

Louis: I recommend seeing Rasputin: Dark Servant Of Destiny. Rickman's superb there.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Glad you liked Rickman in both of his performances. I too hope you review him for Prince of Thieves.
Louis: Could Michael Clarke Duncan go up for The Green Mile.

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: In regards to Duncan, Louis said no not that long ago.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Thoughts on this?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bk8a_C0ao9Y

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Well with one episode left I'll say I've liked the series, though I thought it took a bit to find its footing, and got considerably better when Danny Boyle stopped directing. The first few episodes though suffered from excessively on the nose choices in the storytelling, and in terms of exploring the characters that neared towards caricatures at first. Thankfully as the series goes on they are developed far more three dimensional characters.

In comparison to All The Money in the World, it tread similair material in parts particularly in regards to the senior Getty, which I actually think the film handled better. What the series though does take is a completely different direction in terms of the actual kidnapping particularly in the character the youngest Paul. This alternate approach I found often fascinating particularly in the exploration of the Italians which went into far more detail that was carried by Romain Duris's Cinquanta. This develops the players far more and far more effectively so in terms of creating its own captivating, and very different depiction of each step of the kidnapping. It successfully finds its own perspective which is far more from the inside out than in the film where it was much as the reaction to.

Charles:

Great Mifune.

Anonymous:

The concept could work in something far more stylistic overall. The film's tone can't handle it though and makes it rather silly as the assassin gives a warning two seconds before he tries to kill him. It could have perhaps even worked if we saw him specifically make a threat for Frank to do something, like leave town, then have a bit of time then he comes back. As it stands it's an illogical scene, though did have the potential to be a cool scene if reworked.

Michael:

I'm not to sure about the "unknowns", though I hope they'll prove themselves particularly Ransone (which I can only go on his performance in Inside Man which tells me absolutely nothing). Chastain was obvious but there's nothing wrong with that. Hader's great casting. McAvoy wouldn't have been my first choice for Bill, honestly I'd say he'd be more suited for Eddie, as I prefer skeevy McAvoy however he certainly could work.

RatedRStar:

Happy to hear that.

Anonymous:

Just goes to show really the process it takes to make a film work and how a concept really can fail with just a few tweaks in the wrong direction. That animatic is really unpleasant both in making Woody so ridiculously unlikable, but even how they make the other toys react almost like a lynch mob gives the whole thing a particularly unnerving tone.

Mitchell Murray said...

Luke and Robert:

Just thought I'd ask you guys, since your the only ones who have seen Solo, if you think Anthony Ingruber would have made a better young Harrison Ford than Alden Ehrenreich? I mean, check this video out and tell me its not eerie.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwLv993khfI

Matt Mustin said...

Louis: What's your thoughts on Taika Waititi's cameo in Hunt for the Wilderpeople?

Stefan Klein said...

@Mitchell: I've seen Solo, too. While I'm nowhere near as qualified as Luke or Robert to answer your question (in German theaters you rarely find an original language version)... I sometimes had the weird feeling of seeing a young Dennis Quaid or even Chris Hemsworth playing Han with Ford's (German) voice. So yes, Ingruber would have been an intriguing choice.
Anyway, my problems with the film had nothing to do with Ehrenreich, whom I'd give a 4. Thinking about it, Luke's ratings are pretty much on the mark. I'd go a little higher for Clarke, where I second Robert. And maybe lower for Bettany, which has absolutely nothing to do with his performance.

Calvin Law said...

Never a good idea just to choose someone for a role just because they look/sound like a younger version. By all accounts Ingruber doesn't have the experience or star power of Ehrenreich so I don't see why they should have chosen him, since even from trailers (seeing it next week) I'm already getting the Han vibe from him.

Charles H said...

I'm going to catch the movie next week. I think Ingruber would've been good by pure assumption. But Ehrenreich seems a tad underwhelming according to Luke, since i would've liked to see a great young Solo instead of just a good one.

Matt Mustin said...

Calvin: THANK YOU. I'm so sick of this whole "well, they look the part" attitude towards casting. So what. This isn't cosplay. There needs to be more than that.

Luke Higham said...

Mitchell: I would've liked to have seen it but I agree with Calvin here.

Bryan L said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the voice of Dennis Hopper?

Bryan L said...

Louis: Oh and your 2010s choices for these 80s Scorsese leads?

Paul Hackett
Jesus
Jake Lamotta
Rupert Pupkin

Anonymous said...

Calvin: Reminds me when people wanted Zane for Luthor. The problem is that Zane can't act to save his life.

Mitchell Murray said...

I get the looks versus talent argument - I mean, there's a reason Ashton Kutcher wasn't recognized for his Steve Jobs despite looking just like the guy. Still, I can't help but feel Ehrenreich will be a little underwhelming as Solo, since I just don't see him having the charisma or presence for the part.

Calvin Law said...

Mitchell: Have you seen Hail Caesar and Beautiful Creatures? He has both in spades.

Mitchell Murray said...

I rewatched Hail Caesar just recently, and I liked Ehrenreich, but I'd have to see more than that one performance to be sure.

Mitchell Murray said...

Oh and just as a shout out, I'm onto 2010 for my blog.

Louis Morgan said...

Matt:

One of the my favorite scenes in a film I adore. The eulogy itself is already hilarious its severely inept religious metaphor attempt, but what makes it pure comic gold is Waititi's performance that brings such conviction to every word of the ridiculous sermon.

Bryan:

Hopper - (Hopper's voice isn't the most specially pleasant however there is something low key distinct about the rusty if not even squeaky intensity that defines its sound.)

Paul Hackett: Paul Dano
Jesus: Adam Driver
Jake Lamotta: Joel Edgerton
Rupert Pupkin: Joaquin Phoenix

Stefan Klein said...

Just to clarify: I completely agree with Calvin on the Solo casting (or casting in general). And yes, the Han vibe is definitely there.

Luke Higham said...

Robert & Stefan: I'm putting Ehrenreich up to a 4. My MVP is Glover.

I saw Solo again with my brother last night and since I have to be unbiased here, I'll give Clarke a 3, she had good moments with Ehrenreich and Bettany. Still doesn't make me a fan of her.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Are you in the midst of watching The Best Intentions or have you finished it.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your Best Song winners for 1978 and 1997.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Also, is there any possibility of Hellfire and Bells Of Notre Dame being tied for 96.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your top five favorite characters from The Simpson, and South Park.

Bryan L said...

Louis: Driver definitely has the presence, and Dano would knock it out of the park. And your 2010s choice for Bing Crosby? I feel that he's just on the borderline between Lead and Supporting with De Niro.

Bryan L said...

*Jerry Langford.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Present film projects for which these classic directors would be perfect for?
William Wyler
Stanley Kubrick
Raoul Walsh
Alfred Hitchcock
Otto Preminger
John Huston

Anonymous said...

Louis: Interestingly enough, in the stage play of Glengarry Glen Ross, Joe Mantegna played Pacino's role and Robert Prosky played Lemmon's role. Even though Pacino and Lemmon were great, think it would have been interesting to see Mantegna and Prosky reprise their roles?

Bryan L said...

Anonymous:

Kubrick:
Inception
There Will be Blood
Ex Machina
Watchmen

Hitchcock:
Shutter Island
Don't Breathe
Side Effects
Gone Girl

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your top 10 episodes of The Twilight Zone

Matt Mustin said...

Louis: What are your specific thoughts on The Honeymooners and in particular the performances of Jackie Gleason and Art Carney?

Anonymous said...

Just out of curiosity Louis, when are you planning to watch Solo?

Mitchell Murray said...

Well I'm going to attempt and divert from Solo for a second, and instead ask has anyone seen "Game Night"? I just watched it tonight and its quite the enjoyable little movie honestly. Its the ideal comedy for its type since I found it funny for one, but fairly clever and charming as well. If you buy into its zany premise, like me, I think your in for a treat.

Bateman - 3.5 (Solid straight man performance, as Bateman's style works well to balance out the more colourful members of the cast.)

McAdams - 3.5/verging on 4 (The main reason for the discrepancy is that their are a couple moments where McAdams is a little shaky. However considering her main task was to be as cute as a button, she certainly accomplished that. She hasn't been this bubbly in a while, and I find it quite enjoyable that she can still have this energy to her persona in her relative age. She's been exploring the dramatic side as of late, but here she's allowed to have fun and for me it was a nice change. Also of note is her strong rapport with Bateman.)

Chandler - 3.5 (Another good turn from this guy, as he hits the right comedic notes, and does well when asked to do more.)

Plemmons - 3.5 (A one trick performance, but quite the effective one at that.)

Morris - 3 (Solid support, but I distinguish him here mainly for his UNCANNY Denzel Washington impression.)

Bunbury/Magnussen/Horgan - 3 (Again, there all game, if limited.)

Michael McCarthy said...

Louis: What are your #11-15 films for 2005 and 2007?

(I promise I'm not gonna ask this a bunch of times like I did a few years ago.)

Bryan L said...

Mitchell: I watched Game Night a couple of days ago. My thoughts are the same as yours.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your top 5 actors that need to be in a good movie again.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Probably Not.

Tahmeed:

The Simpsons (Based on Season 1-12):

1. Homer
2. Mr. Burns
3. Bart
4. Lionel Hutz
5. Principal Skinner

Honorable mention to Hank Scorpio for best one-off character.

South Park:

1. Randy Marsh
2. Cartman
3. Butters
4. Stan
5. Jimmy

Bryan:

Bill Murray

Anonymous:

William Wyler - Hacksaw Ridge
Stanley Kubrick - Ex Machina
Raoul Walsh - The Drop
Alfred Hitchcock - Gone Girl
Otto Preminger - The Social Network
John Huston - The Revenant

Anonymous:

Sure, but I'm glad the casting went the way that it did.

Anonymous:

Matt:

The Honeymooners I will stand by as certainly a pinnacle of the sitcom of old, though of course I should note I am only referring to 39 episodes referred to as the classic 39. Of course there are elements of the time, such as plots about the financial problems from getting a phone, however it was quite daring for its time. This is in terms of the actual style of the time which eliminated many of the more typical moralizing tropes of the time, but also in terms of the power dynamic between husband and wife. Although Alice was a housewife within the show it was notable that she was in fact dominant in the relationship anyways, but also actually a part of the comedy rather than just a reactor to it. Now it was also just daring in terms of the comedy which was highly influential towards really the best sitcoms of later years like Seinfeld, and It's Always Sunny. Part of that though of course from the performances of Jackie Gleason and Art Carney whose was the original wacky neighbor. Their dumb and dumber routine, which certainly built of Laurel and Hardy, though successfully transported it to a more "realistic" style, though that was just as hilarious in creating more of an overt cruelty in a way to some of the comedy, that also made it all the funnier. Their dynamic though most worked by how good each was separately. Gleason bringing comedy technically through the despicable wannabe tyrant, that he made enjoyable by so effectively being such a sad sack within it all. Then Carney creating one of the all time great fools in every respect. Both though were particularly notable as physical performers, all the more notable given the live limited space they were working with. Both were capable of comedy gold just from dancing to a song, just through the way they did, and where masters of the idiot buddies fools that you can see direct connection between Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton to a George Costanza and Cosmo Kramer, then even further to perhaps Frank Reynolds and Charlie Kelly. Of course influence matters not if it has been far too surpassed to matter, however, even with some of the technically dated setups, the humor holds up through that original daring, and the greatness of Carney's and Gleason's performances.

Anonymous:

I'll see it eventually.

Michael:

2005:

11. Kingdom of Heaven (Director's Cut)
12. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were Rabbit
13. Broken Flowers
14. Munich
15. The Beat that My Heart Skipped

2007:

11. Gone Baby Gone
12. 3:10 to Yuma
13. Once
14. Sunshine
15. The Lookout

Anonymous:

1. Michael Fassbender
2. Matthew McConaughey
3. Christoph Waltz
4. Nicolas Cage (always is in the need even after a good one due to his prolific style.)
5. Gary Oldman (Similar to Cage)

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Just finished seeing Clue for the first time. I loved the film, and it's easily one of my favorite ensembles of all time.

Louis: Which one would be your favorite ending to the film?

L Rime said...

I saw Solo yesterday. Ya'll talk about Emilia Clarke the way ya'll talk about Joel Kinnaman(though unlike Clarke, he's legit great in his own tv show, The Killing). Lol. Clarke was okay. Probably a bit better than I expected her to be based on the trailers. Ehrenreich was the best part of the movie though. I liked Glover too but I thought Ehrenreich had the best performance.

As for the plot, without going into too many details just in case anyone here hasn't seen it yet, I have the same problem with it as I did Rogue One. It's a little over the place and not quite sure what narrative it wants to tell. It's also a very safe movie. But that's really how you can describe the entire Disney era of Star Wars, except for The Last Jedi. Which people on the internet still complain about because it takes actual risks. Whatever.

Anonymous said...

Louis: I'm not sure how familiar you are with the Garfield character and franchise, but Bill Murray voiced the character in two films. He accepted the role because he thought that one of the screenwriters was one of the Coen brothers.

Would you like to see a Garfield movie written and directed by the Coens?

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Top Ten Twilight Zone Episodes:

1. Nightmare at 20,000 Feet
2. Time Enough At Last
3. Walking Distance
4. Nick of Time
5. He's Alive
6. The Obsolete Man
7. The Howling Man
8. A Penny For Your Thoughts
9. The Shelter
10. The Night of the Meek

Tahmeed:

Happy to hear you enjoyed it. Logically speaking the first ending makes the most sense (in the second that's asking a lot of one person and in the third the physical position of the killer at the time prevents him from being able to shoot the singing telegram girl), the third is the best when it comes to the jokes though from Plumb's reaction to "who'd I kill", to "Good shot Green" and of course Michael McKean's delivery of his final line.

Anonymous:

I'd be happy to see any film the brothers set their minds to, including a Garfield film.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Speaking of the Twilight Zone, your thoughts on Rod Serling's voice.

Calvin Law said...

Here's my cast for a hypothetical Coen Brothers 2010s Garfield:

Garfield (voice): John Goodman
Jon: Alden Ehrenreich
Liz: Angela Sarafayan
Normal (voice): Charlie Day
Arlene (voice): Sarah Gadon

Calvin Law said...

Last night's Westworld episode was really solid. Thought it might have balanced a few too many subplots at once, but there were plenty of standout moments, and I thought Bernard's journey has become really compelling.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Have you seen any new releases lately.

L Rime said...

I'm interested in his thoughts on First Reformed. Not sure if he's seen it yet. Though I'm not sure if there's gonna be a wide release, so it might be a while.

Mitchell Murray said...

L Rime: First Reformed has a timely premise, an respected leading actor, the writer who wrote Taxi Driver, and is being distributed by A 24 - in other words, I'm surprised its not being released in December.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

The set standard for mystery or horror introduction/narration. Serling's voice being the perfect blend in terms of the needed refinement for a proper narration, though with this certain darkly vibrant bent that so naturally, and in such an unassuming way, creates this sense of intrigue or dread.

Calvin:

I'll have to concur for the most part, I actually liked the mix rather than the strictly Bernard/William, Maeve/Dolores break we had been getting for awhile. The developments of this episode I found were all pretty compelling, even in the story lines I found were sagging in the previous episodes, particularly with that ending.

Luke:

No.

Anonymous said...

Louis how would you rank the cast of Trust?

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your top ten individual tracks from film scores, like the Finale Theme from Dragonheart and so on.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Trust:

1. Harris Dickinson
2. Brendan Fraser
3. Luca Marinelli
4. Donald Sutherland
5. Andrea Arcangeli
6. Silas Carson
7. Amanda Drew
8. Anna Chancellor
9. Nicola Rignanese
10. Francesco Colella
11. Michael Esper
12. Laura Bellini
13. Sarah Bellini
14. Giuseppe Battiston
15. Mauro Lamanna
16. Hilary Swank
17. Donatella Finocchiaro
18. Rob Brydon

Calvin Law said...

Louis: your thoughts on Dickinson, Fraser, Marinelli, Sutherland, Swank, and Brydon.

Mitchell Murray said...

On that note, Louis, which octogenarian Canadian actor do you think played Getty better and why?

Luke Higham said...

I'm really hoping for a surprise five review next before Snipes.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the voices of Frances McDormand, Laurie Metcalf, John Goodman and Patrick Warburton.

Emi Grant said...

Louis: Your Top 10 South Park Episodes and your thoughts on them

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Emi: His top 5 would be this-

1. Child Abduction Is Not Funny
2. Scott Tenorman Must Die
3. Woodland Critters Christmas
4. Good Times with Weapons
5. Make Love, Not Warcraft

RatedRStar said...

Rob Brydon as Richard Nixon is such a bizarre choice, I was quite surprised to see Big Suze from Peep Show herself Sophie Winklemen as well in Trust.

Emi Grant said...

Tahmeed: That's a nice top 5

Robert MacFarlane said...

Zack Snyder is now officially adapting The Fountainhead.

Well, this explains why his Superman was an asshole.

Louis Morgan said...

Tahmeed:

1. "Gabriel's Oboe"/"On Earth As It is Heaven" - The Mission (Ennio Morricone)
2. "Journey to the Line" - The Thin Red Line (Hans Zimmer)
3. "Main Theme" - Lawrence of Arabia (Maurice Jarre)
4. "Tara's Theme" - Gone With the Wind (Max Steiner)
5. "Main Theme" - Schindler's List (John Williams)
6. "Scene D'Amour" - Vertigo (Bernard Hermann)
7. "Tears in Rain" - Blade Runner (Vangelis)
8. "A Gift of Thistle" - Braveheart (James Horner)
9. "Finale" - Dragonheart (Randy Edelman)
10. "Gonna Fly Now" - Rocky (Bill Conti)

Made one composer only rule, still drove me insane, and still am pained by certain omissions.

Calvin:

Dickinson - (Dickinson, along with his runner-up, is the most different from his ATMIW counterpart. The writing certainly heavily contributes to that as this paints Paul the younger as much more of an active agent, although that too was alluded to in the film so this take makes all the more since both as the writing and performance are concerned. Dickinson embraces this approach and gives a far more compelling performance than Plummer (Charlie), who was nearly invisible. Dickinson though is the most dynamic element within and throughout the story. His performance is essential in terms of creating the terms of who Paul is from the get go, as a potential heir to the senior Getty, but also a failure in that all the same. Dickinson delivers a purposeful excess of confidence in the early episodes that finds both the appeal and the problem of the young man. There is a certain charisma within this that Dickinson brings, but also the sense of the confidence still hiding some intense doubts and desperation as well. Dickinson is terrific in that he is rather unlikable from the initial outlook by showing Paul with the strongest facade and then throughout the series makes you care about him by removing that to reveal who the young man really is. He begins by showing essentially the player, trying to play everyone including his rich grandfather, there are occasionally earnest moments, but he defines it as this young man essentially trying to be on his grandfather's level far before he possibly be. He's great in the way of showing the kidnapping purges from this, which he makes a particularly painful process by showing the spurts of the confidence as a gradual decay rather than instant change. Of course Dickinson importantly also shows this side in the more truly private moments before the kidnapping, showing the way the young wastes away within his false existence. He wholly earns the more somber, and more genuine individual he is at the end of it all, and also earns are concern in the end. Fantastic work that is one clear win of the mini-series in my mind.)

Louis Morgan said...

Fraser - (I will admit it took me a bit to get exactly what he was going for, not that I disliked what he was doing outright however I was not sure what its purpose was. Now I'll understand if this performance didn't work for everyone, but it really worked for me in the end. Now the one key element that became clear to me was Fraser's choice essentially to give two performances, which he does make distinct within the series, one basically as this nearly impartial, yet somewhat moralizing, observer of the past, and the other more directly of Fletcher Chase in the moment when interacting with people. Fraser makes this distinct between the moment he addresses those in the story, and when he addresses we, the audience. In the moments of "reality" Fraser manages to find this certain presence of essentially playing Chase as lazy yet precise. In that he exudes this unassuming confidence of a man well aware of the power at his disposal and knowing exactly how to use it. This is in contrast though to his scenes of comforting Gail, which Fraser naturally builds this quite understanding and warmth, yet with this certain distance to emphasize both a professionalism and earnest concern. Now this is all in contrast with the narrator Chase who is just highly entertaining in making fun of and analyzing the situation. Fraser makes the most of these by bringing this certain cheekiness to it all, and adding a much needed bit of fun to the series in general. He doesn't simplify this either though with his portrayal of the bit of morality that he does underlay even in his more blunt moments. He manages to build it to the point of Fraser final remarks on the youngest Paul absolutely devastating as he reveals a more somber side to his Greek chorus.)

Marinelli - (Anyone in need of a Bond villain? Well Marinelli was certainly a surprise here who is the polar opposite of Romain Duris's character from ATMIW. Marinelli brings a truly disturbing intensity though the way he works it around is most effective as he finds this certain thrill within his own work as a man who loves being a vicious criminal. He carefully never becomes one note even though he makes the menace of the character a constant. He finds within that though the workings that make him all the more threatening by showing just how scary he gets when he becomes frustrated or even when he starts scheming. Marinelli energizes every scene he is in through his dynamic work that is this threatening villain throughout, but he does develop him beyond that towards this portrayal of a growing ambition. An ambition that he is able to convey both when it tempers his violence but also when it amplifies it as this psychopath essentially who knows how to use his psychopathy to his advantage.)

Louis Morgan said...

Sutherland - (To answer Mitchell's question as well, I did prefer Plummer's take on the elder Getty despite having less time (in more ways than one), and less material to work with. Plummer's overarching take of the misguided moralizer I found more captivating than Sutherland's take as essential a man with only a vague hint of a soul. Now I still liked Sutherland to be sure in the role. He brings that same needed persuasive power to the role, and certainly delivers that edge needed for the richest man in the world, who made the wealth himself. Sutherland mostly sticks to this colder approach throughout everything involved with Getty, even his disappointment with his children he portrays more as though he can't believe they are not as cold as he is. I will say Sutherland plays this convincingly, but I will also say I did not find that as potent as Plummer's approach to the role that found a greater tragedy in the way Getty skewed perspective broke him. Sutherland isn't one note, he brings some moments of concern, only in the most extreme moments, but even these Sutherland presents as just these antique emotions excavated from a long dormant conscience. Again Sutherland does this well actually, but if anything this performance made me appreciate what Plummer did all the more.)

Swank - (The character is most similair in terms of the two adaptations of the story, and in turn I greatly preferred Michelle Williams's performance. Williams simply brought more sense of the frustration, and genuine concern. There was a real urgency to her work, not to mention she was better cast, and only furthered amplified that within her performance. Swank isn't bad in the role though, there is a few strange line deliveries in there still but for the most part she's okay particularly her scenes with Dickinson. She never makes that much of an impression though that the part really was capable of as so well evidenced by Williams's work in the role.)

Brydon - (Just a weird bit of casting and weird performance. There's not much of him anyways, but he's not the most convincing Nixon.)

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

McDormand - (Following her friend Holly Hunter, though in a lower key way, she just has properly natural and wonderful voice.)

Metcalf - (Similar to McDormand in that just wonderfully honest.)

Goodman - (A proper voice in terms of the sheer range of what it can be used for in its deep intensity, whether it be for great comedy, drama, or intensity. Goodman's voice can do it all, and in such a distinctly powerful way.)

Warburton - (One of the most naturally hilarious voices around. There is just something so funny about Warburton's voice that is commanding yet slightly off that makes it so unique. Also it is worth noting it does have quite an emotional range as well as evidenced by his great work in Venture Bros.)

Emi Grant:

1. Child Abduction Is Not Funny - (Indeed it is. This episode just has the highest laugh per minute rate in its technically prescient yet wholly absurd take on the central theme. Tweak's dad reenactment of Silence of the Lambs is probably the single greatest laugh I got from the entire series.)
2. Scott Tenorman Must Die - (An episode that only South Park could do honestly. As I love the sheer darkness of the revenge yet how it is funneled through the idea of "ah that crazy kid" yet to still such a surprising extreme.)
3. Woodland Critters Christmas - (Again only in South Park, and hilarious with every pitch black turn it makes, while still maintaining some semblance of the Christmas spirit through its perfect use of narration.)
4. Good Times with Weapons - (The anime animation is worth about hundred laughs to begin with, but this episode is a great example of South Park at its best. In that it takes a genuine thing with kids, doing something dangerous then trying to hide an injury to avoid getting in trouble. Of course it takes that idea to such a hilarious extreme. One of my favorite jokes has to be the cut from the anime to the "real" animation after Kenny's special ninja star throw)

Louis Morgan said...

5. Make Love, Not Warcraft - (Again hilarious use of alternate animation. Has so much fun though in creating the "intensity" of the conflict while also always mocking it along the way. Throw in Randy's stupid side quest of a "NOOB", and you have one of the funniest episodes.)
6. All About the Mormons - (I mean it essentially made them make their Tony winning musical as well, though covered the moral of that here in just a quick twenty minutes. This episode is interesting in it is great by being a rather clean, and rather funny excessively earnest depiction of the origins of the book of Mormon as well as Mormons.)
7. Casa Bonita - (Again a hilarious episode in terms of being both genuine in terms of the childish motivation of Cartman, but amplified to a ludicrous extent through Cartman's methods of keeping Butters out of the loop.)
8. Asspen - (A most pleasant, if not even that absurd technically speaking, 80's ski movie in South Park form. Couldn't ask for me in its use of the tropes, and really just the use of the tropes. Oh and the timeshare B plot is also funny, and rather accurate)
9. Lil' Crime Stoppers - (Anther one of just taking the child game "playing cops" and taking to such a ridiculous extreme. Hilarious again through the extreme juxtaposition of the kids who never stop playing even as the situation becomes all the more dire.)
10. Red Sleigh Down - (All the Christmas episodes are great, and this one is no different in its retelling of Black Hawk Down, and Three Kings, though with you know the key figures of Christmas. Really it's just that, which is more than enough for comic gold.)

Anonymous said...

Louis: Who would be your cast for that 40's Gangs of New York with Dieterle as director? Cagney has to be Bill the Butcher.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the food preparation scene in Goodfellas. I'll admit, that scene always makes me hungry whenever I watch the film.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Anonymous: The worst offender in that regard is The Godfather novel. Reading the vivid descriptions of Italian food, is especially torturous on a fast xD.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Okay, so I've been watching season 1 of Westworld. I'm 7 episodes in and am mostly digging it so far. Newton is the MVP from the episodes I've watched.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Amsterdam: Kirk Douglas
Bill the Butcher: James Cagney
Jenny: Margaret Lockwood
Boss Tweed: Edward Arnold
Happy Jack: Pat O'Brien
Priest Vallon: Walter Huston
Monk McGinn: Thomas Mitchell

Anonymous:

Ah yes the sort of scene that sets a film apart as great, despite seeming superfluous essential in terms of adding that extra layer of vibrancy to the characters, and the world. Well also yes a rather appetizing scene to be sure.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: When will the next review be posted.

And what do you think of the idea for a PTA Star Wars film.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Could I have your brief thoughts on the 5th season of Silicon Valley, and how it compared with the 4th season.

Bryan L said...

Luke: When's the next year from the 70s that will get covered in the bonus rounds? I have a performance in mind that I want to request in a year from that decade. I just hope that I have time to win a prediction before that year comes up haha.

Luke Higham said...

Bryan L: 1975 I believe.

What do you have in mind.

Luke Higham said...

And the 70s are coming after the 30s and 40s.

Bryan L said...

Luke: Thanks. The performance I want to request is from 1978, so it looks I do have time to win a prediction, assuming the cycle for the bonus rounds continues as is.

Luke Higham said...

Bryan L: 1978 supposedly comes after 75.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Well I for one, obviously, would love to see the mentally extreme individuals of the galaxy far far away. That of course will never happen, and if it ever did he would be fired half way through since Lucasfilm seems to hire directors like Jack Lipnick from Barton Fink.

Tahmeed:

Overall I preferred it, even though it started shaky, I found that it realized its footing and came together closer towards season 2 and 3 in terms of concise storytelling while still being funny. It didn't reach quite those heights but was a major step up from 4's messiness.