Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Alternate Best Actor 1938: Claude Rains in White Banners

Claude Rains did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Paul Ward in White Banners.

White Banners is a fairly standard drama of the period about family finding more than to be expected from a homeless woman who becomes their housekeeper.

The film is technically positioned around the various influence of the somewhat mysterious housekeeper Hannah (Fay Bainter), who in particular endeavors to help the family patriarch/teacher/inventor Paul Ward by Claude Rains. Rains is firmly in non-villainous mode here, which he can ease into as easily as when playing a fiend. Rains making for a rather charming lead to be expected with his refined manner that feels just right for this certain type of intellectual. As usual Rains goes further though than is quite required by the role as he has a bit of fun with the idea of the professor as being slightly a bit eccentric within his inventions. Rains doesn't overplay this but rather brings this certain flourishes, particularly charming flourishes, of a bit of a cheeky style. This nicely grants a bit more towards the character who overall is what one can refer to as a "great guy", who just wants to help those around him for the most part while also making his inventions. The "worst" thing about the man is that he is slightly frustrated that no one takes his inventions seriously, although Rains even portrays this as the man taking it all with rather good humor suggesting that perhaps he doesn't even take it as seriously as he could.

The main thrust of the story then is essentially the housekeeper Hannah pushing those in and around the household to be their best selves including encouraging Mr. Ward's inventions. This leads only a pretty minor arc to work with for Rains as he goes from a quietly passionate charming generous man, to a more openly passionate charming generous man. Rains does this well to be sure but there isn't too much asked of him other than to be his charming self. Now that is sort of more than enough for Rains to make an impact as Rains is rather delightful in these sort of roles bringing such a joyous energy that he works so naturally within his usual refined manner. The only hiccup within the arc is when his protege inventor Peter (Jackie Cooper) lies to him and gives up the secrets to their inventions which other steal. Rains even portrays his moment of anger as wholly reasonable and within character for Ward. Rains is actually particularly good since he conveys the anger of such a man so well by creating as this very internalized direct intensity for the moment that is very reserved fitting for a man who tries never to be angry. This is quickly fixed though leaving only Ward to take over Hannah's role by encouraging her back in the end, and this Rains excels with since he already stood as such a warm figure from the outset. In the pantheon of Rains's performances this is not an overly notable one, but it is a good one to be sure, as to be expected.

115 comments:

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the cinematography of Five Easy Pieces, The Long Goodbye, Close Encounters of The Third Kind and Blow Out.

Giuseppe Fadda said...

Rating/thoughts on the rest of the cast?

Luke Higham said...

Louis: When do you exactly plan on reviewing Paul Dano in Ruby Sparks.

Luke Higham said...

1. Raimu
2. Gabin
3. Stroheim
4. Laughton
5. Rains

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Luke: Cool pic! :)

Louis: Could Ryan Reynolds go up for Deadpool 2.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

1. Raimu
2. Gabin
3. Stroheim
4. Laughton
5. Rains

Mitchell Murray said...

Anyone have thoughts on the full "Beautiful Boy" trailer?

For me, it looks promising enough, and right away Chalamet is going for a completely different approach than he did in "Call Me by Your Name". I think its going to be very tricky for him to pull off this role, given the balancing act of being bratty and sympathetic he seems to be aiming for, but he could do it. Carell, meanwhile, appears to be far more in his element and the naturally low key presence he so often employs looks perfectly suited for his part. Also I want to say Carell is the lead and Chalamet is supporting, but I can't be sure at the moment.

Anonymous said...

Louis: your top 20 benedict cumberbatch and samuel l.jackson acting moments

Calvin Law said...

The editing for that opening conversation seems a bit weird, but that might just be a trailer thing. Otherwise I think both performances look exceedingly promising.

Luke Higham said...

The Germans are out. Hahaha. :)

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: Thanks. :)

RatedRStar said...

It is quite funny to see them go out but deep down I wanted the Germans to go and face Brazil next round, now likely Brazil will have easy fixture versus Mexico or Sweden if they get through

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: I don't see Brazil getting an easy victory against either team. From what I've seen from this tournament is that we shouldn't underestimate anyone.

Emi Grant said...

Everyone's thoughts on the Mandy trailer?

It looks insane, and Cage definitely seems back on track.

RatedRStar: If Mexico gets their sh*t together, they might actually put up a fight.

Mitchell Murray said...

Mandy looks freaky as all hell, and a role that Cage appears well suited for.

Luke Higham said...

I've had my eye on Mandy since January and Cage could possibly give a career-best performance here.

Bryan L said...

Emi: The Mandy trailer looks like we could be in for something unique and special, and I hope Cage gets some positive buzz for once.


Bryan L said...

Louis: What are some past films that you think Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone would be also be a great fit/pairing for? Those two just have that indescribable "it".

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your cast, director, writer and cinematographer for a 1970's Public Enemies.
Bryan L: Maybe they could work in Cagney and De Havilland's roles in The Strawberry Blonde.

Matt Mustin said...

Bryan L: Any screwball comedy.

Calvin Law said...

Kind of obvious, but about a decade ago Rebel Without a Cause. And maybr something like The Three Days of Concord.

Bryan L said...

I could see those films with the two of them. Speaking of The Three Days of the Condor and Dunaway, how about Stone as Evelyn and Gosling as Jake in an early 2020s version of Chinatown, since I think Stone might be a bit young for the part now? (Although Gosling would be in his early 40s by then though)

Calvin Law said...

Directed by John Carroll Lynch, with Lynch in John Huston's role.

Charles H said...

1. Raimu
2. Gabin
3. Stroheim
4. Laughton
5. Rains

Mitchell Murray said...

Just thought I'd give a heads up to those who've been following my blog - I'm going to be taking a break for about a week, but I have posted the 2011 best actor line up for you guys to make predictions.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your top ten Ben Whishaw and Cillian Murphy moments.

Bryan L said...

Calvin: I can second that, since he had a great visual eye in terms of making every location in Lucky have an identity of their own (the bar, Lucky's house, the diner, Lucky just walking around town, etc.) I'd like to see what his next project will be.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: your thoughts on Ramin Djawadi as a composer.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Can I get everyone’s bottom five performances of the year so far? Mine are:

1. Deric McCabe in A Wrinkle in Time
2. Joshua Leonard in Unsane
3. Oscar Isaac in Annihilation
4. Gina Rodriguez in Annihilation
5. Chris Pratt in Infinity War

Matt Mustin said...

Robert: I've seen like four movies from this year, and none of them had outstandingly bad performances in them, so I can't answer that yet.

Calvin Law said...

1. Oscar Isaac, Annihilation
2. Scott Eastwood, Pacific Rim Uprising
3. Gina Rodriguez, Annihilation
4. Paul Rudd, Mute
5. Tessa Thompson, Annihilation

Luke Higham said...

Robert: Haven't seen enough though I would say Spall and Smith from Fallen Kingdom.

Charles H said...

I've only seen 3 movies this year so far, and McCabe & Opray would be the worst at the moment.

Mitchell Murray said...

Robert: I'm with Matt and Charles on this one. I've only seen Game Night, Deadpool 2 and A Quiet Place, though believe me - I'll play catch up sooner or later.

Calvin Law said...

Isaac's performance is so astoundingly lifeless it's kinda worth checking out. I actually felt bad for Portman in their scenes together.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Thoughts on Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind direction and screenplay?

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Five Easy Pieces's cinematography is rather low key, fitting the sort of realistic approach to the material. Laszlo Kovacs's work in terms of the lighting choices of the film for example are pretty understated and sort of the general aesthetic featured in most contemporary set films of the period. What is most notable about the work is quite honestly the framing and composition of every given shot that seems to seek to accentuate the performances. Although even this is still pretty low key, but effective in its approach. Good work, but overall not excessively remarkable.

The Long Goodbye is a brilliant piece of work by Vilmos Zsigmond though almost hidden in its daring approach that being the constant camera movement. This could easily be a dizzying or nonsensical effect. Zsigmond's work though so brilliantly realizes this singular approach that grants the film a semi-documentary style, purposefully subverting the noir roots as so much of the film does, while in no way sacrificing its more dynamic aesthetic by doing so. Zsigmond even within this style crafts so many engrossing shots, and that movement only makes these all the more impressive.

If one chose to claim Close Encounters of The Third Kinds as Zsigmond's crowning achievement, I probably wouldn't argue much. So much of the film is dependent on his work honestly in order to create the wonder and also the terror of the aliens. The lighting of the specific overtly artificial only with the aliens present grants such an impact. Every scene with something extraterrestrial is simply stunning, and the boy in the glowing doorway is one of the iconic shots of cinema for a reason. Of course Zsigmond's work doesn't end there as grandiose framing and composition of every shot is truly remarkable. What is most remarkable though is how he achieves this within such mundane settings such as that iconic shot which looks incredible even outside the orange glow of the aliens.

Blow Out is a testament to Zsigmond's talent as well though in terms of proof of adaptation of purpose, the film is far from the grandeur of Close Encounters, and instead seeks to craft a certain exploitation style. Now of course we get some old tenets of Zsigmond's work with his always stunning framing and composition of every shot here as well. He somehow can make something interior of a car so dynamic, and his listening to the owl shot is simply brilliant. These are throughout though and frankly he turns up his styling here a bit more than usual to match DePalma's camp tendencies. He realizes some very askew and twisted choice in terms of the composition of certain scenes that are consistently effective particularly in terms of amplifying the film's style. Of course last but not least is the lighting here, which does the same with the neon vibrancy that is just wonderful to look while fitting the spirit of the film so well.

Louis Morgan said...

Giuseppe:

Banter - 4(Her performance is interesting as this sort of supporting lead as her character is clearly the crux of the film even though her active role is often to be working in the margins of the story. Banter though is quite effective in bringing such an earnest, yet low key warmth to her character. She brings a certain shading in interactions that create this genuine concern, but with this sense of some other idea in her. Banter creates this mystery within the role that she has something more to her even though we don't know exactly what it is. When it is revealed it is a natural reveal by the way Banter essentially takes that subtle unknown, and brings it forth as this genuine unease.)

Cooper - 2.5(Cooper's "mid" period is a little awkward at times as he seems like he is going for a similar style to Mickey Rooney from the same period. It is strange in that you can sense a greater naturalism at times, yet with far less charisma to back it up. That is only at times as Cooper often becomes very stilted in the dramatic moments that expect a bit more from him which is unfortunate as there are several pivotal moments where he underwhelms in terms of the needs of the part.)

Luke:

Like life in Jurassic Park, I will uh find a way.

Whishaw:

1. "leading" his troops - Richard II
2. awaiting his demise - Richard II
3. weight of a gun - Cloud Atlas
4. Defeat - Richard II
5. Banishments - Richard II
6. Attempted murder - Cloud Atlas
7. seizing power - Richard II
8. Opening of Sixsmith - Cloud Atlas
9. Shooting - Layer Cake
10. Holding court - Richard II

Murphy:

1. Head injury negotiations - Peaky Blinders
2. Attempted revenge - Peaky Blinders
3. Final talk with Campbell - Peaky Blinders
4. The execution - The Wind Shakes the Barley
5. recovery - Peaky Blinders
6. Rippner's true intentions - Red Eye
7. Almost had it all - Peaky Blinders
8. The Inception - Inception
9. Kitty's visit to mother - Breakfast on Pluto
10. His parents - 28 Days Later

Tahmeed:

Probably not, though I did like him a lot.

Mitchell:

I didn't much care for it as the trailer reminded me of the Manchester By The Sea trailer. To clarify though, even though I did not love that film, that trailer, also distributed by Amazon, focused on essentially all the extremes of the drama making it look more melodramatic than it was.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Emi:

Loved that trailer, Cage unleashed with a film that seemingly is as mad, count me in.

Anonymous:

Cumberbatch:

1. Revealing his past trauma - Patrick Melrose
2. Mother's funeral - Patrick Melrose
3. Seeing Joan the Last time - The Imitation Game
4. Gathering his father's remains - Patrick Melrose
5. Suicide attempt - Patrick Melrose
6. Infiltrating the Circus - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
7. Returning to rehab - Patrick Melrose
8. "Am I a Machine" - The Imitation Game
9. Telling truth to his mother - Patrick Melrose
10. Confronting the "healer" - Patrick Melrose
11. End of the party - Patrick Melrose
12. Breaking it off - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
13. Very awkward flirting - Patrick Melrose
14. Going home drunk - Patrick Melrose
15. Figuring it out - The Imitation Game
16. Seeking another fix - Patrick Melrose
17. Smile during "La Mer" - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
18. Funeral reception - Patrick Melrose
19. The Spy Game - The Imitation Game
20. Interrogation in the Circus - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Jackson:

1. Doing the right thing - Pulp Fiction
2. Snowy demise - The Hateful Eight
3. Django's fate - Django Unchained
4. They called me Mr. Glass - Unbreakable
5. Playing Poirot - The Hateful Eight
6. Last breakin - Jungle Fever
7. Ezekiel 25:17 - Pulp Fiction
8. His history - The Hateful Eight
9. Confrontation with Jackie - Jackie Brown
10. Dinner table - Django Unchained
11. I hurt your feelings John Ruth? - The Hateful Eight
12. Blackmail - Hard Eight
13. Stealing from his mom - Jungle Fever
14. No money - Jackie Brown
15. Foot massage discussion - Pulp Fiction
16. You wanna make a deal? - The Hateful Eight
17. Discovering the hack - Jurassic Park
18. Meeting David - Unbreakable
19. Calvin's demise - Django Unchained
20. Wander the earth - Pulp Fiction

Bryan:

Modern day Nick and Nora.

Calvin:

Well putting aside his work in Iron Man, which is pretty forgettable though not bad, his most recent television work is among some of the most memorable from either tv or film. His work on Game of Thrones is incredible whether it be the unforgettable theme, or the stunning work that so effectively thematically embodies the figures it represents. Whether it be "The Rains of Castamere", "Winter is Coming" or "Light of the Seven" to just name a few. Each serves as effective of a representation of that as the costumes or production design. It is brilliantly atmospheric yet melodically powerful work throughout. His Westworld work is nearly as impressive in creating such a brilliant score that manages to capture the western style but combined with a sci-fi aesthetic. The work is also notable for his absolutely fantastic arrangements of classic rock songs, that is another testament to just how underappreciated the art of arrangement is.

Robert:

1. Rafe Spall - Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
2. Justice Smith - Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
3. Gina Rodriguez - Annihilation
4. Paul Rudd - Mute
5. Oscar Isaac - Annihilation

Anonymous said...

Louis: Thoughts on Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind direction and screenplay?

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your top ten Sam Neill moments.

Bryan L said...

Louis Your Top 10 Films from Directors that you usually find disappointing? (i.e. Silence of the Lambs from Jonathan Demme)

Omar Franini said...

1. Raimu
2. Gabin
3. Laughton
4. Stroheim
5. Rains

Robert MacFarlane said...

Louis: Is there any chance for Williams to be reassessed for Good Will Hunting? I actually think that performance aged rather well.

Matt Mustin said...

Robert: He's easily, *easily* the best part of that movie.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I’ll be honest, I actually love the movie. Yeah, it has it’s rough edges, but I’m still moved by it.

Matt Mustin said...

Robert: Don't take this the wrong way, but you are one of the last people I would expect to like that movie.

Matt Mustin said...

It just doesn't seem like your thing at all.

Charles H said...

Good Will Hunting is a film that aged with me pretty well too. Although i think it sinks into the melodrama too much. But Williams & Damon were fine to me.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Public Enemies 1970's directed by Peter Yates, written by Paul Monash, and shot by William A. Fraker:

John Dillinger: Steve McQueen
Melvin Purvis: Michael Douglas
Billie Frechette: Aurore Clement
J. Edgar Hoover: Dean Stockwell
Charles Winstead: Lee Van Cleef
Baby Face Nelson: Beau Bridges
Alvin Karpis: Richard Jordan

Anonymous:

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is interesting to examine as you see the two separate parts of Gondry's direction against Kaufman's writing. If there is a major aspect I'd say Gondry avoids more so than say Spike Jones's collaboration is Kaufman's somewhat more juvenile gags. Those are fairly toned down. Gondry's direction is interesting in that it is very much something that evokes memory, and dreams throughout. This is both in the mind scenes and out of them, though he certainly makes a separation through the frequent use of visual effects in the memory. Overall though that isn't made overly distinct with this purposeful sort of lucid dreaming against the more overt. This approach not only creates the right sense in terms of crafting something wondrous, yet also real, and somewhat alienating at times style to the material. The film is about romance, but with all its flaws. Gondry's work achieves that certain melancholy however with a distinct tenderness quietly sewn throughout, as has his spectacle moments, but also knows when to step back in a way to allow the performances to have their moments so to speak.

Now of course Gondry is working with a brilliant layered screenplay by Kaufman. Of course on the outset the "pitch" so to speak is already so very remarkable, and then he works from that to so well humanizes that central sci-fi conceit. The structure itself is so well realized, and this fascinating trick as he layers these intertwining circles, separated and broken through time not just of the central romance but rather every romance, or at least attempted romance, within the film. The use of time, and in doing so creating the sense of memory/memory loss, is so well used as they broken loops. The central loop though that we are given the reversal of, as well a false version of, that so effectively creates both the investment into the relationship, a mystery within in it, but also showing the cause of the failure of it. Kaufman's work is mixed between creating this high concepts, but within that are moments of wonder, of silliness, tenderness and heartbreak. As with any great screenplay though as well refined the central story is, and how brilliantly it is structured, it has that extra layer within the little details. This here in the "technicians". On one end giving these characters life so naturally, but that in terms almost hides their purpose. The doctor and his secretary is there to get that tape in the end, which is made so natural by granting those characters their own personalities beyond that purpose. Kaufman's work wastes no text granting everything both life and purpose throughout, intertwined so well as a puzzle that is complicated yet never loses its more humble intention in its realization of the central relationship.

Anonymous:

1.The Boar - Hunt for the Wilderpeople
2. Threat for every Shelby - Peaky Blinders
3. "say it again" - Hunt for the Wilderpeople
4. Rape - Peaky Blinders
5. Ricky's Apology - Hunt for the Wilderpeople
6. Sentence - A Cry in the Dark
7. Charles sets everything Right - Restoration
8. Trying to talk his way out of it - Peaky Blinders
9. Confrontation with the police - Hunt for the Wilderpeople
10. Spanley's story - Dean Spanley

Bryan:

1. Ed Wood
2. The Silence of the Lambs
3. Apollo 13
4. Pennies From Heaven
5. Sex, Lies and Videotape
6. Inside Man
7. Galaxy Quest
8. Trainspotting
9. Speed
10. The Mummy

Robert:

Possibly, though probably only to a certain extent.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the scene with Ben in Blue Velvet.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Matt: You should know by now that I have no taste whatsoever.

Charles H said...

Louis: Your top 10 Gregory peck acting moments

Anonymous said...

Louis: your thoughts and rating on pam grier in jackie brown

Anonymous said...

Charles: I believe he has posted his 10 Peck moments before, but I can't find out where they are.
Anonymous: Grier's a 5.
Louis: Thoughts on this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NL4fNFZkqbI

Luke Higham said...

Guys, once 1938 and 1948 are finished, what's your most anticipated year from the next set.

1975, 1980, 2013, 1963, 2001, 1952, 1994/99, 1931, 1943

1963 for me.

Luke Higham said...

And I don't mind if any of you want a year to be pushed forward except for 1987 (Remember that I asked for 2005 and 2003 before 2008 which was the first 00 year in the alternates).

Set 5: 1978, 1987, 2014, 1966, 2002, 1950, 1994/99, 1934, 1944

Set 6: 1970, 1981, 2015, 1964, 2000, 1955, 1996, 1933, 1945

Years like 2007, 1962 and 1939 should be left to the end and we'll most likely finish with the Silent Era round.

Luke Higham said...

Charles:

Peck:

1. "Do your duty" - To Kill a Mockingbird
2. In their shoes - To Kill a Mockingbird
3. After the attack - To Kill a Mockingbird
4. Cross examining Tom - To Kill a Mockingbird
5. The Mob - To Kill a Mockingbird
6. Shooting the dog - To Kill a Mockingbird
7. "I AM A DOCTOR" - The Boys from Brazil
8. You're going to rot - Cape Fear
9. Old soldiers fade away - MacArthur
10. The traitor - The Guns of Navarone

Bryan L said...

Luke: From Set 4- 2013 and 1994 (My birth year :D)
From Set 5- 2002 and 2014
From Set 6- 2000 and 2015 (Obviously more acquainted with recent decades, although I do like the fact that I've discovered some gems like Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia thanks to the Bonus rounds)

Anonymous: I'm starting to think I'm getting on the same wavelength as everyone on the blog, because I came here to ask Louis his detailed thoughts on Stockwell in Blue Velvet haha.)

Luke Higham said...

From Set 5: 1966
From Set 6: 1970

I chose 63 as it potentially has one of the strongest Lead Lineups on paper.

66, primarily for the first Tarkovsky performance review and 70 with Alain Delon, Nicol Williamson and maybe Alec Guinness.

Charles H said...

Luke: Thanks

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your ranking of the Japanese animated films you've seen.

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: Do you think Spirited Away could top Grave Of The Fireflies. I'm also interested in Princess Mononoke.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Is Roy Cheung Lead or Supporting for Prison On Fire.

Luke Higham said...

This France/Argentina game is giving Spain/Portugal a run for its money.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Luke: Argentina gave a good fight, at the very least :).

As for Spirited Away, I'll really be sure once I rewatch it.

Luke Higham said...

My 1987 Lead Lineup (I really hope Cheung is Supporting)
Cary Elwes - The Princess Bride
Robert Downey Jr. - Less Than Zero
Martin Short - Innerspace
Mickey Rourke - Angel Heart
Gaspard Manesse - Au Revoir Les Enfants
Christian Bale - Empire Of The Sun
Terry O'Quinn - The Stepfather
Richard E. Grant - Withnail And I
Klaus Kinski - Cobra Verde
Ed Harris - Walker or Bruce Campbell - Evil Dead II

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on Bruce Campbell's cameos in Spider-Man 1, 2 and 3.

Anonymous said...

Luke: 1963 is probably one of my anticipated years.

Who do we have for 1999?

RatedRStar said...

Luke: Roy Cheung is supporting

Lionel Messi =(

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: These are the requests
Jim Broadbent - Topsy-Turvy
Nicolas Cage - Bringing Out The Dead
Anthony Wong - The Mission (Could be Supporting)
Ralph Fiennes - Sunshine

For the Lineup:
Jim Broadbent - Topsy-Turvy
Nicolas Cage - Bringing Out The Dead
Tom Cruise - Eyes Wide Shut
Denis Lavant - Beau Travail
Ray Winstone - The War Zone

Bonus:
Ralph Fiennes - Sunshine
Anthony Wong - The Mission (If Lead)

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: Thanks for clearing that up.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one here who wants a tie between Nicholson and Pacino for 1975 Lead?

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Anonymous: I'd love for Pacino to take the overall, although a tie would be more possible than that.

Matt Mustin said...

Anonymous: I kinda don't want anymore ties.

Luke Higham said...

I'm not bothered with ties, then again, I couldn't care less who Louis chose when a performance I loved getting a five rating is more than enough.

Bryan L said...

Anonymous: I honestly wouldn't mind a tie between the two, since I too am undecided on which performance I love more.

Charles H said...

I'd say a tie would be fine. Both are on the same level.

As far as today, sad for Argentina.

Michael McCarthy said...

Oh, right:

1. Jean Gabin
2. Raimu
3. Charles Laughton
4. Erich von Stroheim
5. Claude Rains

Luke Higham said...

1. Gabin
2. Raimu
3. Laughton
4. Stroheim
5. Rains

Luke Higham said...

Michael: Your Ratings for Gabin, Raimu, Laughton and Stroheim.

Anonymous said...

Inherent Vice (1970's version, directed by Robert Altman)
Doc: Elliot Gould
Bigfoot: James Coburn
Coy: George Segal
Shesta: Sally Kellerman
Kimball: Lily Tomlin
Sauncho: Eli Wallach
Hope: Geraldine Chaplin
Mickey: Keenan Wynn
Sortilege: Shelley Duvall
Aunt Reet: Claire Trevor
Petunia Leeway: Kim Hamilton

Calvin Law said...

Saw Soldado. It's not bad but nor is it particularly good. Average action film.

Del Toro: 3.5
Brolin: 4
Keener: 2.5
Modine: 2
Donovan: 3
Moner: 3

Louis Morgan said...

Also saw Soldado, I actually liked a lot of individual moments, even if as a whole it ended up coming up short for me.

Brolin: 4.5
Del Toro: 4 (Both leads)
Donovan: 3 (Actually should've been used more, I feel)
Moner: 3.5
Garcia-Rulfo - 2.5

Matthew Modine, Shea Whigham and Catherine Keener are in it but have very little to do.

Anonymous:

One of the greatest scenes of all time. Everything is brilliant about it from the acting, to the design of the room, and of course that use of music. It is so beautifully grotesque and is such luscious example of undiluted Lynch. The scene is genuinely disturbing, but also genuinely, if very darkly, funny as well. It is frightening in creating the sense of the imprisoned state of both Dorothy and Jeffrey of the moment, against Frank and Ben's bizarre flamboyant behavior, yet never feels flippant in this juxtaposition. What is most remarkable about the scene is the end of it though, which probably deserves a "thoughts" all on its own.

Anonymous:

An interviewer actually getting Lynch to open up, by not focusing on trying to get interpretations of his films, is always fascinating, and if not rather entertaining with bit of Lynchian humor, such as The Fly/the fly, which makes the interview rather off-beat therefore quite appropriate for Lynch. Lynch's opening words though are the most interesting in terms of discussing limitation against challenges, even reflecting on the usefulness of a certain type of producer, and of course the unfortunate state of Dune.

Tahmeed:

Grave of Fireflies
My Neighbor Totoro
Nausicca of the Valley of the Wind
Your Name
Only Yesterday
Akira
Porco Rosso
*Gigantic gap*
Digimon: The Movie
Pokemon: The First Movie
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

Calvin Law said...

Thoughts on Porco Rosso? I think it's one of Ghibli's most underrated, and the English version has great work by Michael Keaton and Cary Elwes.

Calvin Law said...

Oh yeah, and thoughts on Soldado and its cast.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

I liked Porco Rosso, though it is my least favorite Miyazaki film I have seen so far. Having said that I actually quite loved its first two thirds. Obviously the whole film is beautifully animated though with the flight sequences being particularly spectacular in that regard. The story though I found compelling though of the character study of the coward in war now continuing as this certain curmudgeon. Where it left me a little underwhelmed though was the third act finale and the "duel" between the pilots. It seemed perhaps a touch too random for it own good, and had little emotional investment within it, unlike Rosso's description of his wartime experience that comes just before it. That is quite the apex within the film leaving the rest seem almost like an epilogue rather a truly satisfying reckoning for the characters. I didn't dislike the ending, but just felt it was a bit too much of anti-climax.

Soldado on the outset isn't nearly as well directed or shot, though I don't think either Stefano Solima or Dariusz Wolski do a terrible job of trying to replicate the style set by Villeneuve. It comes off as kind of the second episode of the series, after the pilot was defined by Villeneuve and Deakins. The pivotal return though is Taylor Sheridan who I think bites off more than he can chew in the way he constantly pivots within the story and it becomes far too messy as he never focuses long on a single thread. This was perhaps to show the mess that comes from this type of involvement, but it just seemed genuinely sloppy at times. I did like the parts of the various threads we got though, I merely wish we had stayed with any idea a little longer as I did think many individual scenes had some good writing behind them, for the most part, but the way they come together is flawed.

Also the film features a little too extreme of a break in terms of a "suspension of disbelief" moment.

Brolin - (The year of Brolin! Brolin to me was the highlight as I felt they did allow Graver to expand beyond where we saw him in Sicario. Brolin excels within his reprise both bringing what he offered in the first film again, but naturally meeting that expanse. He is particularly effective in the moments that sort of test Graver to go one step beyond, which are mostly left to Brolin to convey the decisions the character makes given they are pretty swift. Brolin succeeds in that through some key reactionary moments, and I found his performance actually surprisingly emotional in the end.)

Del Toro - (Now I will say the expansion with Alejandro was less interesting overall only because they really gave less time to it. Again Del Toro delivers with the sort menace and intensity of the character in his specific way. He also does use the few chances he is allowed for more expansion well particularly in his scenes with Moner, which are a bit standard at times, but Del Toro really plays them quite effectively. My favorite moment of his is calling back to the character's past, particularly his signing scene, where does find a certain poignancy within the character's loss.)

Donovan - (Again thought he delivered his acerbic one liners rather well, and wish they let him just a bit more to do.)

Garcia-Rulfo - (Not much of a part, and just kind of a very general menace nothing more.)

Moner - (I actually think she needed a bit more of a character to work with as her scenes with Del Toro needed more time to develop beyond the limits. I did like her performance though as she delivers the intensity of the character without coming off as trying too hard, while importantly conveys a genuine fear even while making the sort of "toughness" of the character believable.)

Michael McCarthy said...

Gabin: 5
Laughton: 4.5
Von Stroheim: 4 (Really needed more to do. Also probably not truly a lead performance.)

Give me a little more time to think on Raimu.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you saw the Digimon and Pokemon movies? Did someone force you to watch them?

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Well not exactly by force, but not exactly by my own violation either back in the day.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your thoughts on "It's not our time yet" scene from Deadpool 2. That scene had to have the best version of "Take on Me" I've heard.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your top 10 George Clooney moments?

Luke Higham said...

Russia knocked out Spain. WTF.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Could you please watch Wolf Children (2012) when you have the time. It's a stellar film, with some of the best direction I've seen in any animated film. It works brilliantly as a tale of parenthood, and it's also a meaningful metaphor at the same time about growing up in a mixed race background.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

I'm still finding it hard to process that the quarterfinals don't have Spain, Portugal, Argentina or Germany. The hell is going on?

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the production design and costume design of Barry Lyndon.

Luke Higham said...

I think Barry Lyndon will win 4 awards. Cinematography, Production Design, Costume Design and Makeup & Hairstyling.

Anonymous said...

I'll admit to liking Barry Lyndon more than Louis does.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: These are his thoughts on the film if you haven't read them.

Barry Lyndon is a flawless film on the technical side of things. The cinematography, the costumes, and the production design are all immaculate. The story itself should be interesting in its focus of this conman making his way up through schemes and his personal charm. The problem is two fold, though in the end could have been solved by fixing only one side. As one would expect Kubrick is cold and clinical in his style. This usually works in his films as the emotions come from the performances. The problem is the emotional center should be Barry, but the problem is he's played the vapid Ryan O'Neal. There's no reason to believe he could charm or trick anyone as he seems quite happy to be just part of the scenery. He keeps the story from being engaging because he seems as detached as Kubrick is. Now this is not say the whole film does not work. Marisa Berenson and Leon Vitali do provide some emotional elements to the film, but neither are in the film enough to make up for O'Neal. There are still some exceptional sequences in there, the final dueling scene in particular, but the strengths cannot fully outweigh its fundamental flaws.

Anonymous said...

Luke: Yeah, I have read his thoughts on Barry Lyndon already.

Bryan L said...

Anonymous: That Inherent Vice cast is gold.

Louis: Are there any actors that you think are the modern-day Richard Attenborough (or have the potential to be)?

Luke Higham said...

Bryan L: Paddy Considine for me.

Bryan L said...

Luke: I thought of Considine as well, since he's quite talented and can be seen as underrated. I hope he gets a meaty role in a high-profile film soon.

Luke Higham said...

Bryan L: He looks very promising in Journeyman.

Charles H said...

How odd this is, Spain, Portugal, Germany, & Argentina all get knocked out. Next Japan will beat Belgium? This World Cup is weird

Anonymous said...

Charles H: I'm not surprised that Portugal got knocked out. They depend too much on Ronaldo.

I wonder if The Leopard will win Best Cinematography over Hud when we get to 1963.

Matt Mustin said...

Louis: What's your thoughts on the score for Catch Me If You Can?

Calvin Law said...

Saw a bit of Journeyman on the plane, was super tired so only got through about 20 minutes or so but he did look super promising from those minutes.

Alex Marqués said...

Has anyone seen The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel? Brosnahan is wonderful.

Calvin Law said...

Haven't but I've heard great things about both her and the show. Brosnahan was fantastic on House of Cards, although I hated what they did with her character in Season 3 (which was incidentally around the point where I stopped watching the show).

Alex Marqués said...

I was surprised to learn she was the same actress from that show (it's been a while since the last time I watched House of Cards).

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Just watched Hot Fuzz for the first time, absolutely loved it.

Louis: Will you review any of Simon Pegg's performances from The Cornetto Trilogy for the bonus rounds.

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: I think it's rather likely he'll be reviewed and possibly upgraded for Shaun Of The Dead, which as far as I know is considered the best of his 3 turns. I love him in Hot Fuzz and The World's End but I'd prefer for those spots in their respective years to be given to an unseen performance.

And I'm pleased you loved it.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Luke: Also, I rewatched Spirited Away yesterday. I don't think it will top Grave of the Fireflies' emotional impact, but I do consider it Miyazaki's best.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Clooney:

1. Ending - The American
2. Conversing with priest - The American
3. Picnic - The American
4. Failed assassination - The American
5. Speech - Hail Caesar!
6. The Opening - The American
7. Near hanging - O Brother Where Art Thou?
8. Pool demise - Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
9. "Not permission" - Good Night and Good Luck
10. Reunion with the family - O Brother Where Art Thou?

Anonymous:

Well it is the thing with Kubrick, and why he is one of my favorite directors even though I don't love all of his films, given how well crafted his films are even beyond dramatic intention. Lyndon's production design is particularly notable this as part of the truly "every frame a painting" in a nearly literal sense. A great deal of support for this comes from the stunning production design work that directly evokes period though technically with a slight twist in accentuating the grandeur of such a period. The extent of the work is truly remarkable as even in the outdoor sequences I'm sure there was mind paid to set decoration given how painting portrait even those shots are made, which includes simply what is in the background itself.

The costumes are set to match in just how daring they are in capturing the garishness of period, and even with such a sheer quantity with that attention to detail with each. Again it doesn't just evoke the period, but the best of the period while finding a style in that in granting this beyond pristine formality where every costume is simply stunning.

Bryan:

Well I would say there is no clear air apparent, although I do think there was a reason Anthony Hopkins was his go to actor, however Considine is a pretty good answer as well, particularly since he also has directed, as well as has done both leading and supporting turns seemingly at random. Considine like Attenborough is also very talented with sort of that similar type of covert range both in terms of his effectiveness in genre, but also the intent of performances.

I'd say Paul Bettany might have also had the potential but sadly his career, just in terms of the roles he gets, has not lived up to it.

Matt:

A very notable score within Williams's oeuvre as he eschews his typical grand orchestral choices for a different style. I would say along with JFK it is perhaps his most remarkable departure from his typical stylistic choices as a composer. It's a brilliant alternative score from Williams though with his alternate sort of 50's jazz approach that not only feels period appropriate, but also lends the right playfulness to the film. It is almost like a fun noir sound with a definite sense of intrigue but never too dark in that sense. The choice in alternative instrumentation choices, for Williams anyways, are particularly notable. It's a score that doesn't jump to your mind as a "JOHN WILLIAMS SCORE" but rather is a great score by John Williams. It's wonderfully daring work for him, something I wish he'd do with more of his latter day Spielberg collaborations, the Post for example could have really used a different style from him.

Tahmeed:

Although I know some have taken issue with that aspect of the story, as a plot point, however I think the film's execution of it at the very least was rather remarkable. It became a surprisingly emotional moment, given the comedic tones leading up to, yet wholly sold in the moment by that cover, the visual styling, and the Reynolds's emotional work.

Glad to hear that, I actually would like to, as I think Pegg's work in the trilogy is worthy of a closer examination.