Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Alternate Best Actor 1948: Takashi Shimura in Drunken Angel

Takashi Shimura did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Doctor Sanada in Drunken Angel.

Drunken Angel is a notable turning point within Akira Kurosawa's career as he continued to move past the burdens of propaganda era Japanese cinema, though still within U.S. military censorship, beginning to achieve his international notoriety, but most of all just becoming all the more remarkable as a filmmaker. An asset towards this was of course within his discovery of Toshiro Mifune as the tuberculosis ridden gangster Matsunaga, but also within the expanded use of his even longer time collaborator Takashi Shimura. Shimura is actually the true lead, or the very least the titular lead. This is a very interesting performance from Shimura, particularly in regards to his work with Kurosawa, as it is not only one of the times he seems to play a character who isn't seen as an older man, but also is one of those against type performances before his type was realized. Shimura is allowed to actually play his age, being one of those actors who always seemed to play characters at least a decade older than himself, but also the role is far from the stoic mentors he become known for particularly in Stray Dog just one year later and Seven Samurai.

Now Shimura does play the part as the more morally righteous figure against Mifune, which was typically their dynamic pre-1960's. The role of Doctor Sanada though is not played by Shimura as a quietly earnest stoic sort. He is, after all the titular character, the "Drunken Angel", obviously a good man but also...a drunk. Shimura doesn't at all conduct himself as the "hero" even in the opening scene where we see him treating Mifune's gangster's bullet wound. Sanada purposefully makes it a painful operation while openly boasting about planning on overcharging. Shimura delivers this in turn portrays a complete lack of empathy in this initial moment, as he wraps every glance and delivers with a clear disgust. Shimura reacts not so much in a personal way, rather his demeanor illustrates a man viewing this gangster as he views any other lowlife. Shimura portrays this as a man having no waste of sympathy even creating a very real intensity in his eyes as he looks as his patient writhing in pain that he is inflicting. This isn't even lost by Shimura as Sanada pesters the man over a cough that may be tuberculosis. Shimura delivers this with mocking, though not overly so, tone again reinforcing the man irritability towards such wasteful men.

The opening scene reveals a darker side in Shimura's performance, however he does reveal the titular angel while Sanada gives Matsunaga a TB exam. Once Sanada discovers that the man may have the deadly disease, Shimura subtly pulls back on the disgust to develop the right hint of sympathy given the severity of the situation. Although Shimura does not wholly open up, he is particularly effective in his approach by so quietly assuming just the right hints of concern in his eyes, and even in his softer delivery while still speaking words mostly dismissive of the gangster. Shimura naturally reveals the good heart that defines Sanada, however this first scene is not an outlier in terms of portraying this rougher side of the character. Shimura, even as Sanada is on a theoretically positive duty to inform the gangster of his condition, portrays essentially this struggle between the man's virtues and his vices. Shimura is fascinating to watch here as his performance is so physically expressive, arguably more so than Mifune in this film which is saying something, and he thrives in this approach.

Now to be fair Shimura is always an expressive actor however this is usually honed within his face, although there's that of course which I'll get to, he is remarkable in his depiction of Sanada as this sous. Shimura doesn't hold back in this regard showing an absolute lust in his moments of drink as a man who is wholly desperate in this act as a severe addiction. Shimura even develops the man's physical stature as this weakly in how he shows that Sanada is indeed menaced by Matsunaga's violent outbursts. Although he doesn't show a man who truly cowers as he brings still such a palatable resilience in his delivery in these moments, however he doesn't hide the physical weakness of the man that reveals a genuine fear, if even mostly from instinct. The weaknesses of the man do not come from interaction with the troublesome individuals that live in his slum. Shimura delivers the difficulty of the man's experience at every point as this contradiction. There's wonderful slight moment early on as he looks for Matsunaga explaining he is the type of guy women go for. Shimura's whole manner is that of a defeated man, and even in his sardonic line of how women should prefer him, there is real pathos in Shimura's eyes that allude to perhaps more honestly within that sentiment than he would care to admit.

Sanada as a character, in turn is the noble sort in nearly all of his actions but no in attitude. Again Shimura is excellent in the way he brings to life this angle defined by his demons. His interactions rather with Mifune are great throughout the film, and very different from their typical dynamic. In this one when Mifune barks, Shimura barks right back at him which is rather remarkable. Shimura expresses so well Sanada not as a man who calmly informs people to do the right thing, rather demands it. Shimura again delivers this intensity of a man nearly broken by his circumstances whose outrage goes beyond a single case such as Matsunaga, but rather is screaming towards everyone who has failed to make use of his good will. This is in stark contrast to the few, yet important, moments where we see Sanada with another one of his TB patients who is actually listening to his orders for recovery. In these moments Shimura reveals such a quiet and quiet powerful realization of the sheer warmth within the man when it isn't hidden by his anger. An anger that Shimura reveals perhaps even deeper than at society but also perhaps against his own problems. Shimura never hides the pathetic nature of his character, even as he does unquestionable good.

The crux of the film comes as Matsunaga attempts reformation by trying to take on a former gang boss of the neighborhood, while also dying from his TB. Meanwhile Sanada only keeps his attempt to save the man essentially by yelling him into submission, while also dealing with the gang boss who is looking for his old girlfriend who happens to be the doctors assistant. Shimura effectively presents Sanada as a constant in these scenes showing that the man doesn't change his approach even when threatened with death. Matsunaga is instead the one to take action that leads to his death, though also does lead to the imprisonment of the gang boss once again. This leaves a final scene for Shimura which is one of the best of his career. It is an amazing scene as he keeps on bringing Sanada's temper into the moment, though calmed a bit, as he espouses his hatred of the way and waste of the Yakuza gangsters. His voice is disparaging, yet Shimura in that expressive face of his reveals the very real heartbreak in Sanada over the loss of his patient that delivers this final poignancy on his relationship with the gangster. Shimura delivers a great performance here as he finds essentially the diamond in the rough, not as a hero in a slum, but rather the kindness within a wretched man.

82 comments:

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

He's absolutely terrific here, glad to see him get another 5.

Charles H said...

Truly a great performance here, that should also be remembered along side his all time great work in Ikiru.

Calvin Law said...

*nods head in approval*

Saw both Disobedience and The Rider and liked ‘em both a great deal.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the production design of The Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur and Spartacus.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: What's your rating for Cate Blanchett in Carol. I recall you giving her a five on your initial viewing and went down to 11th on the ranking but wasn't sure whether she's a 4.5 or a 4.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: Your ratings for the casts of both films.

Luke Higham said...

Saw Christopher Robin, it was fine. Ewan McGregor is good as you'd expect.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Luke: Your rating for McGregor.

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: A strong 3.5.

Anonymous said...

Louis: your top 20 richard farnsworth acting moments

Matt Mustin said...

Louis: What are your thoughts on the cinematography of Live by Night? I thought it was the best part of the film, to be honest.

Matt Mustin said...

I watched The Death of Stalin. LOVED it. Beale and Buscemi and clearly leads to my mind, though.

Calvin Law said...

Like: strong 4.5’s for the three Disobedience principals. Going to need to give some thought to Jandreau in The Rider.

Anonymous said...

Also, excellent review. He and Mifune were excellent here.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: 10 otherwise good films that you feel were undermined the most by their endings.

Mitchell Murray said...

Calvin: Thoughts on each member of the Disobedience cast? I've given my ratings on Weisz and Nivola but am saving McAdams for the time being.

Calvin Law said...

Mitchell: Don't have time to give full thoughts now but I thought Weisz was terrific in an interesting sort of reactionary role, Nivola was very sympathetic and powerful in showing someone feeling completely out of sync with the new developments, and McAdams was great in showing the inner conflict of the character and her past brimming out into the surface, plus excellent accent work by all three.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: thoughts on Allan Dobrescu, Jeffrey Donovan (you've said he was great but if you've time I'd love to hear your detailed thoughts, his performance grew on me even more this time round) and Keir O'Donnell in Fargo Season 2? And your top 10 performances from the series, mine would be

1. Bokeem Woodbine
2. Kirsten Dunst
3. Martin Freeman
4. Billy Bob Thornton
5. Angus Sampson
6. Mary Elizabeth Winstead
7. Zahn McClarnon
8. Jean Smart
9. Jesse Plemons
10. Jeffrey Donovan

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Have you seen First Reformed yet.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Luke: What year do you reckon Louis will do next from the 2000s. I want to know if he'll do 2009 soon, cause there's a performance I might request.

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: 2009 will come after 2001, 2002 and 2000.

My 2009 Lineup is:
Darin
Rahim
Foster - The Messenger (Louis said he could go up)
Song Kang-Ho - Stoker
Willem Dafoe - Antichrist

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: And I personally want 2001 to come next for Paul Bettany in A Knight's Tale.

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: BTW, who did you have in mind.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Luke: A supporting performance from 3 Idiots, either Boman Irani or Sharman Joshi. Rewatched it today, and I think Louis might like the film a fair bit.

Bryan L said...

Luke: I've been meaning to ask: How do you come up with the "Films to Watch" lists? Asking because I'm also trying to fill out such lists for this decade, since I'm trying to watch as many 2010s films as I can and I've also taken some suggestions from your '10,'11','12,'16 and 2017 lists. (Thanks btw!)

Luke Higham said...

Bryan L: What I usually do is go to Letterboxd and sort films per year by highest rating.

Select films and a list of decades will come up. Once you pick a year, click sort by film popularity on the right hand side of the screen which gives you a list of categories such as Longest/Shortest length and Highest/Lowest rated.

By the way I'm making a list of films that Louis missed out on from the years he's completed so far.

Luke Higham said...

My 2009 Lineup is:
Darin
Rahim
Foster - The Messenger (Louis said he could go up)
*Song Kang-Ho - Thirst
Willem Dafoe - Antichrist

Bryan L said...

Luke: Thanks mate. I guess I have a reason to create a Letterboxd account now haha :D

Bryan L said...

Louis: Your present film roles for James Mason?

Anonymous said...

Luke: Rating for Cummings?
Bryan L: He would have been great as Reynolds Woodcock.

Matt Mustin said...

I second Jason Mason for Reynolds Woodcock.

Bryan L said...

James Mason as Woodcock? Sold.

Louis: Oh and would Marlon Brando be a good fit for Ali in a 50s version of Rust and Bone? I recall you mentioning that Jacky (Bullhead) would've been too quiet for him, but Ali seems to be more extroverted.

Charles H said...

I refuse to go through 2009 lead without Song Kang Ho and Hal Holbrook!

Matt Mustin said...

I saw The Shining tonight for the first time, which I thought was an absolute masterpiece, but the reason I'm posting about it here is because I want to know if anyone else besides me considers Danny Lloyd co-lead. That entire first act in particular is his story told from his perspective, and then it gradually shifts to Nicholson's perspective.

Luke Higham said...

Charles: I'll put Holbrook in my lineup and have Foster as a bonus.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: 3.5 as well.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Luke: Please add Wolf Children (2012) to the list of films Louis needs to see from years he finished.

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: Will do.

I'm starting off with 71, 85 and so on.

And I'll probably post them during the Silent performance reviews.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your cast for a 1990s Game Of Thrones

Charles H said...

Louis: What were your thoughts on the cast of Snowpiercer

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

The Ten Commandments - (Well as typical DeMille goes all in with his productions, and that sort of expense shows. This can easily bleed into becoming far too much in its garishness aka Cleopatra. Ten Commandments mostly avoids this, there is the occasional Egyptian set is a bit too much, but much of it is quite effective in creating the grand scale story approximately towards its biblical content. Stylized of course however effectively so for the most part, particularly in regards to the work involved with the plagues, where it is a combination of artful production design with great visual effects. It really is the most Godly material that delivers the most from the production team as the design of the valley, the bush, and the commandments themselves are all iconic for a reason.)

Spartacus - (One can quickly sense the lack of Kubrick from an inception level in the production design, not that it is bad however it lacks that idiosyncrasy he usually directs his teams towards. Now there is the occasional underwhelming matte painting, mainly within the campfire scenes, however the work is rather strong overall as a smaller scale yet still grand epic production. It's a little more bare bones in general, very much within epic style however without any of the excessive gaudiness found in previous epics.)

Ben-Hur - (The greatest of all sword and sandals production designs. It finds the perfect balance as it never goes overboard in the grandeur, nor does forget it, and pays as much attention to the smaller scale sets. For example the arena is indeed an amazing set representative of the "greatness of Rome" but with the right touches of grit within it as well. It actually is particularly effective in showing the difference between the more pristine style of the purely Roman sets, while showing the sort of wear that grows away from there. The film again pays as much attention with the "lower" sets whether that be even in a brief scene where it shows the horror of the dark cells of the Roman prison, or of course the realization of the rowing boat set. It feels like an epic of the period yet achieves a lived in a quality that takes beyond so many of its contemporaries.)

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

1. World War II story - The Straight Story
2. "Yes I did Lyle" - The Straight Story
3. Bundle of sticks - The Straight Story
4. Farewell to Kate - The Grey Fox
5. Price negotiations - The Straight Story
6. Book investigation - Misery
7. Talk with the priest - The Straight Story
8. Dealing with a thug - The Grey Fox
9. Deciding to leave - The Straight Story
10. Random Intruder - The Grey Fox
11. Words of encouragement - Comes a Horseman
12. Visiting Annie - Misery
13. Tractor breaking - The Straight Story
14. New inventions - The Grey Fox
15. Doctor Visit - The Straight Story
16. Meeting a most unusual woman - The Grey Fox
17. Turning down the offer - The Straight Story
18. Telling about the past - Comes a Horseman
19. Telling about Pop - The Natural
20. Receiving the call - Misery

Matt:

Live by Night, which I'd say is one of Robert Richardson's best shot films. I mean that boat in the bayou shot I'd say is one of the best shots of the new century. Richardson's work though is incredible in creating a real neo-noir visualization to the film. The right combination in that the shots themselves as framed and composed, though obviously different ratio wise, have very much the sense of a classic gangster film in their to the point approach. The lighting of the film is fantastic though as well, I especially love his contrast of the darker hues of Boston, against New Orleans where he delivers more vibrancy. Both though are fantastic in creating a real sense of place and time within the story.

Although I actually wouldn't even quite qualify the film as bad, and would love to see a extended cut if it exists, as besides a few bad supporting turns I felt the biggest problem was the rushed pacing.

Louis Morgan said...

Tahmeed:

1. A.I. Artificial Intelligence
2. Bunny Lake is Missing
3. Hereditary
4. Secret Window
5. Identity
6. Sunshine
7. Blazing Saddles
8. The Florida Project
9. Buried
10. Easy Rider

Hell in the Pacific would make the list, but I've seen the original ending which is a major improvement.

Calvin:

Dobrescu - (I really love his approach actually which is to play the character of Charlie in such a genuinely sweet way. In that even as he's doing bad things with his Uncle he plays it just as the absolutely earnest nephew. In this way he brings a natural haplessness within it by showing such a cheeriness is ill-fitting to a gangster. My favorite scene is the attempted hit where he has such a great moment with with cashier, and I like how Dobrescu brings just the reaction of a typical teen in the moment while also still conveying the anxiety of the boy trying to be something he clearly is not.)

Donovan - (Indeed quite great. Donovan manages to even employ some of his more problematic tendencies and makes them work within the part. That is when he goes a bit hammy, yet here he does well to only bring this out when it is either moment of an obvious bluster or that of severe intensity. These moments are indeed quite effective particularly in the cabin scene where he reveals such a madness in Dodd just through how spent he is, even beyond his vicious desire for revenge. He's great though in that he never becomes one note, and there was potential for Dodd to lean that way. Donovan though finds the right variation between moments of the forceful tough guy with his family, but also conveying the man's anxieties subtly within his performance that allude to even a certain vulnerability with such a despicable sort. My favorite portion of his performance is the whole cabin sequence particularly in regards to his chemistry with Dunst, where he shifts so effectively back to the hateful tough guy, back to facade of passiveness along with a very real fear at the times.)

Louis Morgan said...

O'Donnell - (He's pretty consistently entertaining if mostly one note, in portraying just the state of the hapless cop whose sold out. He's terrific though in portraying just the unease of the situation so well, and his anti-chemistry with Wilson is particularly entertaining. He however also wholly delivers, and earns the transitional moment of the character. O'Donnell delivers it well by portraying so well as this instinctual reaction to the severity and horror of the situation.)

1. Kirsten Dunst
2. Billy Bob Thornton
3. Bokeem Woodbine
4. Martin Freeman
5. Angus Sampson
6. Jesse Plemons
7. Zahn McClarnon
8. Jean Smart
9. Patrick Wilson
10. Jeffrey Donovan

Bryan:

Mason:

Yes, Reynolds Woodcock
M. Gustave
Uncle Hec

Yes a better fit for Ali, I'd say.

Anonymous:

Game of Thrones 1990's:

Robert Baratheon: John Rhys-Davies
Stannis Baratheon: Terence Stamp
Renly Baratheon: David Thewlis
Tyrion Lannister: Michael J. Anderson
Cersei Lannister: Miranda Richardson
Jamie Lannister: Sam Neill
Joffrey: Jude Law
Tywin Lannister: Patrick McGoohan

Daenerys Targaryen: Emmanuelle Beart
Jorah Mormont: Oliver Reed
Jeor Mormont: Freddie Jones
Sandor Clegane: Ron Perlman
Little Finger: Alan Rickman
Varys: Brian Cox

Catelyn Stark: Helen Mirren
Ned Stark: Anthony Hopkins
Robb Stark: Linus Roache
Jon Snow: Daniel Craig
Sansa Stark: Kate Winslet
Arya Stark: Samantha Morton
Theon Greyjoy: Christopher Eccleston
Balon Greyjoy: Nigel Davenport
Yara Greyjoy: Natasha Richardson
Euron Greyjoy: David O'Hara
Ser Rodrick: Patrick Godfrey

Davos Seaworth: Stephen Rea
Melisandre: Lena Olin
Bronn: Jon Finch
Grand Maester Pycell: Leo McKern
Maester Aemon: Michael Gough
Maester Luwin: Dan O'Herlihy
Barristan Selmy: Edward Woodward

Oberyn Martell: Antonio Banderas
Doran Martell: Edward James Olmos
3-eyed Raven: John Mills
Roose Bolton: David Warner
Ramsay Bolton: Andy Serkis
Olenna Tyrell: Honor Blackman
Margaery Tyrell: Sadie Frost
High Sparrow: Nigel Hawthorne

Charles:

I know I've given somewhere....

Matt Mustin said...

Louis: Maybe I misrepresented my feelings on Live by Night, because I actually liked it as well.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the costume design of The Heiress and All About Eve.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Is the final review coming tonight.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Hm, I guess my Fargo top 10 would be:

1. Martin Freeman
2. Mary Elizabeth Winstead
3. Kirsten Dunst
4. Bokeem Woodbine
5. Michael Stuhlbarg
6. Cristin Millioti
7. Rachel Keller (her death scene really stuck with me)
8. Angus Sampson
9. Colin Hanks
10. Keith Carradine

Anonymous said...

Charles:

"Snowpiercer"

Chris Evans - 4(Very solid work giving the right presence and passion to the hero. He also has an emotional monologue near the end which he delivers especially well)

John Hurt - 4(I think it is a requirement for dystopian films to have John Hurt, well at least it should be. Hurt brings such natural gravitas to the part, and he absolutely feels like a living reality in the futuristic setting)

Song Kang-ho- 3.5(I really should stop saying this about Kang-ho, but I will once again man Choi Min-sik would have been awesome in this role. Nevertheless he's very solid as basically the sub-hero, although he gives his part just the right mix of heroic passion and daffiness because of his character's habit)

Jamie Bell - 3.5(A nicely enthusiastic performance making his character properly likable allowing for his exit to really mean something)

Octavia Spencer - 3.5(Offers a nice bit of motherly warmth in the film, but offset with the right amount of hardship through the exasperation she portrays underneath it all)

Alison Pill - 3.5(A very unpleasant performance but in the right way. She is so sunny that it is scary making it rather fitting for what her character eventual does)

Tilda Swinton - 4.5(She might be my supporting actress win actually. She is an absolute riot and pretty much everything she does is hilarious. She brings the right twisted humor to the film and manages to lighten things up although in a rather dark way)

Ed Harris - 4.5(A great one scene wonder. Harris plays the part with an evil delight yet a great deal of charisma fitting for a man in his position. There is a huge buildup to his appearance and Harris does not disappoint)

Luke Higham said...

Charles: And Swinton went up to a 5 a few years ago.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Has your view on Winstead and Thewlis gone down or are they the same as they were before.

Mitchell Murray said...

Luke: I just thought of something in regards to Winstead, actually; In many ways, I consider her the female equivalent of Ben Foster, not necessarily in terms of her output, but more in terms of her career trajectory. She's someone who's been memorable even when the film around her isn't, who has consistently delivered and even received some mentions at times, but like Foster, has never gotten the exposure and notoriety she truly deserves. The fact that she was all but snubbed for her enjoyable work in Fargo only cements this in my view.

Luke Higham said...

Mitchell: I agree. I think Winstead will get nominated eventually whereas I worry that Foster may have to wait as long as Mortensen for his first.

Calvin Law said...

Winstead was the only part of Fargo Season 3 I loved. Everything else was fairly good or underwhelming IMO.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: surprised Source Code didn't make your list.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

The Heiress - (Exceptional costumes of course, and really what often takes great costumes beyond is how they are influenced by character as well as period. The Heiress features a proper combination of such with such luscious work evoking the period yet never being basic in its intention. The consumes are all wonderful yet never simply beautiful in a traditional way. This include de Havilland's costumes, which help to amplify the assumed "plain" nature of the character. This is revealed as her costumes are still beautiful yet always in rather quiet way so fitting towards the character. Also importantly the male costumes are also dynamic both again just in terms of appearance but also just the minor touches, such as just how appropriate every bit of finery on Richardson is, against Clift's that are just a touch "looser".)

All About Eve - (Well to somewhat annoy Reynolds Woodcock, I'd call the film rather chic. The work quite simply lives up to its calling of the most glamorous people, and in turn are clothed as such. In many ways as possible even as even Davis's pajamas are rather nice. Whether her pant suit, or her iconic evening dress Margot though is the proper representation of ultimate fashionista. Also notable though is exceptional work within the characters again, as shown in Margot of course, but really the dressing down of all other characters in comparison. This includes Eve, who progressively works towards Margot's equal in terms of costuming until the end of the film where one can ponder if she surpasses her. Simply exceptional, then contemporary work.)

Luke:

No, one should simply never forget how much I love season 2, cast included.

Calvin:

I didn't include Source Code because it includes a different sort of frustration where all it needed to fade to black to have a great ending, but chose to have a little more to the film. It's just a few minutes off, that hurts the final flow of the film, well removing a greater poignancy but is far less detrimental than the endings I listed above it.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: That's ok, I had thought Winstead would've been in your top ten but nevermind.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Probably a hot take of mine, but I think Take Shelter should have been on that list. That ending nullified the entire damn movie.

Calvin Law said...

I can actually somewhat agree with that. Endings seem to be Nichols' Achilles heel at this point.

Matt Mustin said...

Robert: I agree, but only because I think it goes on too long. I would've probably ended it with them looking at the sky and not let us see what they're looking at.

Anonymous said...

Louis: I'm not sure when the project was scrapped, but independent screenwriter and director Jim McBride wrote a screenplay set in the Rockies in the 1840s about mountain man Coups Cooper, real-life Austrian artist Louis Kurz, a stranded Englishwoman, and a young Native American man named “Walks with his Horses” who has embarked on a rite of passage Visionquest. The vision that he experiences involves seeing Coops Cooper behaving like a madman. At the same time, from Coops Cooper’s POV, Walks with his Horses seems equally crazy— and this becomes the beginning of his going native. Their fates remain forever linked. Much of the action is set in “a fort in the wilderness where trappers and Indians come for semi-annual bacchanals to trade goods, get drunk, gamble, and get laid.” McBride and Lorenzo Mans invented their own idiom, “trapper talk,” for the dialogue. Vanessa Redgrave and Bruce Dern were going to star and Nestor Almendros was going to shoot it, but he and Redgrave ran into Visa problems. During pre-production, the budget was cut, rewrites were demanded, and a series of disasters ensued, forcing the production to relocate to Canada, against McBride’s wishes. After a confrontation with producers, McBride, lacking the artistic freedom he needed, quit the project.

Thoughts on this?

Robert MacFarlane said...

Matt & Calvin: My big problem with that ending is how it goes against the very themes of the film concerning mental illness. If you view the ending as literal, then it justifies the delusions of Shannon's character and turns the whole affair into a second rate Twilight Zone twist. If you view it as metaphorical, it's still cheap and gross to end a movie about mental illness and irrational fear with another fake out. It's antithetical to everything that made what came before it powerful.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your top ten movie plot twists

Bryan L said...

Louis: Lastly, would you consider Walton Goggins to be the modern-day Warren Oates? He even kind of looks like Oates and I could easily see him play Oates in a biopic.

Anonymous said...

Bryan L: Well, he did cast Oates in Goggins' role in The Hateful Eight, so he likely does think of the latter as a modern version of Oates.

Anonymous said...

*For a 70's version IIRC.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Could Dafoe go up for The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: What rating out of 5 would you give The Last Jedi as a film.

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: He'll probably give it a 3.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your thoughts on this scene-
https://youtu.be/DllA_9KwGJM

Calvin Law said...

Louis: thoughts on the new It’s Always Sunny and True Detective teasers.

Mitchell Murray said...

Calvin: In regards to True Detective they didn't reveal too much about the story, which I appreciate. And I'm also glad Ali has another promising role under his belt, because after seeing the impression he made in "Moonlight" it will be very interesting if I can repeat that same presence over the course of a series.

Calvin Law said...

Saw BlackkKlansman. I thought the score was a bit telegraphed at points and some of the tonal shifts in the final act were a bit iffy, but overall I dug it.

Washington - 4.5
Driver - 4.5
Harrier - 2.5
Grace - 4
Pakkonen - 3.5
Eggold, Hauser, Atkinson - 3
Hawkins - 3.5
Buscemi, Garito - 3
Weller - 2
Belafonte - 3.5

Matt Mustin said...

Rewatched Infinity War. 3rd viewing. All my thoughts are the same, but I'm gonna bump Dinklage down to a 2.5. He's not bad, but he does feel kinda off. I think it's more the idea of the casting I liked than his performance itself.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Hard to say much given I haven't seen any of McBride's films, though the cast, and general idea certainly sounded interesting.

Bryan:

Yes.

Anonymous:

1. The Empire Strikes Back
2. Chinatown
3. L.A. Confidential
4. Diabolique
5. Seven
6. Persona
7. The Prestige (specifically the brothers)
8. Memento
9. Oldboy
10. The Sixth Sense

Tahmeed:

The best dialogue based scene in the film, as it makes use of the other films not for plot points, references or jokes, but rather wholly emotional material. In that we have the moment of the somewhat matured Rocket of volume 2, with the beaten down Thor of Ragnarok, that sounds like a wholly comedic pairing, which largely it is, yet succeeds in being a genuinely moving moment of sharing hardship. Also the moment....that confirms Hemsworth unquestionably as MVP upon revisiting the film.

Calvin:

True Detective is a whole lot, as to be expected, Ali looks promising at the least. I imagine there must be some cast surprises given just how few people we saw in the trailer. Anyway it is definitely still Pizzolatto in tone, however hopefully David Milch as co-showrunner will iron out his excesses or make them work the way Fukunaga was able to.

It's Always Sunny looks like as to be expected madness which is always good in my book, but hopefully we see a "in the flesh" Dennis very soon.

Michael McCarthy said...

Really glad to hear you've come around to Hemsworth as the MVP, do you have a new rating for him or are you saving him now?

Calvin Law said...

I’ll admit I didn’t find the first season of True Detective as impressive as most of this blog. Atmospheric and well acted for sure but I found the plotting and some of the dialogue a pretty hard sell I didn’t buy into. And the second season was just exceedingly meh.

Also glad Hemsworth is being potentially saved, and definitely upgraded. I’m also interested in a potential Washington review, not just because I liked him a great deal but also I think there’s an outside chance of him getting in.

Matt Mustin said...

Calvin: I actually agree with you about True Detective. I didn't see the second season but what I liked about the first season was Fukunaga's direction, and the performances from McConaughey and Harrelson. I have a *lot* of problems with the writing.

Calvin Law said...

Matt: glad someone agrees. I guess I probably raised my expectations too high. Also, I should definitely have to check out for example, Mad Men, but I do honestly feel that Cranston deserved his Emmy over McConaughey.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: thoughts on the Better Call Saul episode. Jimmy stuff feels like it might be turning its wheels a bit, but I still liked it, Jonathan Banks is returning back to prime form as the Mike stuff gains a bit of steam, and once again the cartel stuff was great, and Michael Mando really brought it, as is to be expected at this point, with another great performance.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: If you're saving Hemsworth, are you keeping Brolin as well, if not, could I have your rating and thoughts on him.

Louis Morgan said...

Michael:

Yes to the latter.

Luke:

Well the change of view only had to do with an upgrade in my view of Hemsworth than anything towards Brolin, besides supporting actor isn't exactly bursting at the seams at the moment, so I'll be holding on to both for now.

Calvin:

Cartel storyline/Mando are the MVPs once again with Kim's moral quandary perhaps a second in my mind (then again a good "The Verdict" reference never hurts). I liked the whole episode though anyways. Particularly as you mentioned Mike starting to kick into gear, though it doesn't seem like they're quite sure what to do with Odenkirk right now, the rest is working so well I don't mind.