Monday, 13 August 2018

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 1948: Robert Donat in The Winslow Boy

Robert Donat did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Sir Robert Morton in The Winslow Boy.

The Winslow Boy is another, as to be expected it seems, assured and compelling stage adaptation by Anthony Asquith, this time about the case of a boy being expelled from a naval academy that slowly snowballs to become a matter of national importance in England.

Playing a barrister or a lawyer seems like a type of role that an actor will play at least sometime in their life, or perhaps they should given the nature of the profession. That of a showman in a certain sense, though with that with a specific intention that isn't entertainment but rather persuasion. This grants a performer a unique challenge, but also opportunity to essentially create a method of their own to fulfill this unique need. It is then with much appreciation that I find the underrated Robert Donat in such a role. Robert Donat enters into the film near the middle point of the film as the boy's father Arthur Winslow (Cedric Hardwicke) continues to seek justice for his son who was expelled from a naval academy for an alleged theft despite receiving no trail whatsoever, despite so many being against with his main support coming from his free spirited feminist daughter Catherine (Margaret Leighton). Sir Robert initially appears as just a potential barrister, who may not even have much of an interest in the case as he seems more concerned with his upcoming dinner appointment as he arrives to meet the family. Donat is particularly good at seeming indifferent with a certain calm that is so very suitable to that the sincere face of his. Donat presents a man though especially calm in this state which will soon mean far more than indifference as it can initially be misinterpreted as.

Before Sir Robert leaves, he interrogates the boy himself though in the manner of the prosecutor rather than the boy's prospective defense. Donat is mesmerizing in the scene as he plays it as essentially Sir Robert switching onto barrister mode. Donat is fantastic as he commands every moment with his still gentle in terms of his accent, yet now fierce in his pointed delivery, as Sir Robert goes about weeding the truth out of the situation. Donat's method of intensity is particularly effective as he brings so much ease within it yet with such palatable determination as well. There is overarching calm command in his demeanor as he makes it wholly convincing that he not only "breaks" the boy as he does, but also manages to grasp the situation through his approach. My favorite moment of this though is perhaps when Sir Robert is finished, and instantly switches back to the seemingly disinterested tardy diner. In this Donat reveals his approach within the part which is to play Sir Robert as a man who very much reserves his energy only to what it is absolutely pivotal to do so, while the rest of the time presenting the man of a strict ease and grace. This is not to say either are static though, however this setup is rather effective for Donat in terms of developing the personal power of the barrister.

Sir Robert out of court Donat does not show as someone you ignore still rather actually reveals his own persuasive ability even within this state. Donat in his calm delivery though finds its own incisiveness however he realizes this through a very dry wit. What's so wonderful in these moments is how presents the way Sir Robert is not phased in these moments. Donat's manner captures this inherent power through this as exudes the presence of man so assured within himself, and his own ability that he need not "show off". This makes it most dynamic then when we do so a more overt expression from Donat's performance. This is of course in the courtroom scenes where Donat delivers the more direct passion as you'd expect, with the right persuasive flavor within the appropriate potency in every word. Again Donat doesn't exactly break in either rather nearly weaponizes the character's emotions in a way, by essentially revealing the more direct emotion only when it is most useful. My favorite moment within this idea through Donat's performance actually comes not in grandiose speech, but rather a single gesture. That being when parliament speaks against giving the Winslow boy a proper trial by stating public safety should overcome individual rights. Donat says nothing, only closes a book, yet his reaction captures in a moment the severity of Sir Robert's conviction, and you can feel the outrage in the man even without muttering a single phrase.

Donat creates such a dynamic force in the film, and enlivens every scene through his captivating turn. Although Sir Robert doesn't have a major arc, Donat also excels in the bit we are granted of one. This largely being his own investment into the case, which is more obvious in the courtroom scenes, however Donat also has some wonderfully low key moments as he projects a growing empathy in the man's eyes as he explains his ongoing support of their endeavor. This is just a light touch, yet just another facet that Donat so effortlessly realizes in his performance. Donat's performance absolutely amplifies the material at every turn even when the material itself is perhaps imperfect. This comes in the final scene of the film where it attempts to insinuate a possible romance between the daughter Catherine and Sir Robert. An unneeded scene perhaps, however I can almost forgive it for how well it is executed by Donat and Leighton. The moment being that of playful banter as Catherine comments how little Sir Robert knows women when asking if she has dropped her feminist endeavors, to which Robert counters how little she knows men when she doubts the two will ever see each other again. Donat's delivery of the line is again filled with such a cool wit, but also his reaction is downright swoon worthy to be honest with the charm he infuses into the moment. It's a great moment due to Donat's performance, which is representation of the work he delivers in this film giving one of his best performances by never wasting an instance of potential within the part.

103 comments:

Anonymous said...

Louis: Ratings and thoughts on Hardwicke and Leighton.

Calvin Law said...

Yeah that last minute romance has always seem a bit pigeonholed to me, as well as a bit dated unlike the rest of the play (which I consider to be good but much lesser to The Browning Version and Seperate Tables). It's a good adaptation too, and I think you might have liked Donat even more than myself; he acquits himself beautifully in the role. Dan Stevens or Damian Lewis would be the perfect choice for this role nowadays.

Charles H said...

Louis: Your thoughts on tonight's episode of Better Call Saul

Bryan said...

Calvin: My Top 10 so far. (Haven't seen Blackkklansman, Sorry to Bother You, Hereditary, Leave No Trace and Incredibles 2, so this list will look different in a month or so haha.)

1. Avengers: Infinity War
2. A Quiet Place
3. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
4. Thoroughbreds
5. Deadpool 2
6. Game Night
7. Tully
8. Isle of Dogs
9. Black Panther
10. Tag

Charles H said...

Still yet to see Sorry to Bother You and Burning.

1. Leave No Trace
2. Shoplifters
3. Mission Impossible: Fallout
4. First Reformed
5. Avengers: Infinity War
6. Deadpool 2
7. Hereditary
8. Thoroughbreds
8. Game Night
9. Incredibles 2

Charles H said...

9 and 10*

Bryan said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the screenplay and production design of The Dark Knight?

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Could Donat still go up for Goodbye, Mr. Chips.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your thoughts on this review-
https://youtu.be/gFABajBNDJg

Calvin Law said...

My thoughts on the BCS episode: Jimmy stuff was fine, Rhea Seehorn's outburst was great (though honestly I'm more sympathetic to the other side now), I'm liked light Mike stuff as usual, but the highlight of the episode was easily everything involving Nacho, the Salamancas and Gus.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the trailer for Green Book, starring Mortensen and Ali.

Calvin Law said...

Looks promising. Ali looks great in an expected way, Mortensen seems like he's going in for a much more mannered turn than usual but you know what, no reason not to trust it'll turn out great, so I'll go along with it.

Mitchell Murray said...

Ali looks incredibly promising, and based on his Moonlight performance he absolutely has the charisma to pull of this kind of role. On the other hand, I'm surprisingly concerned for Mortensen who is clearly going for a mannered portrayal. Its the type of character James Gandolfini would've been perfect for, though I'm hopeful that Mortensen will find enough meat in the performance to create something worth while.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your top 5 Richard Harris interview stories.

Luke Higham said...

With Mortensen, I can't remember him giving a mannered portrayal before, so I'm interested to see if he could pull one off and there's no harm giving it a try anyway.

And Ali should be really good again.

Mitchell Murray said...

Luke: I suppose you could count "Eastern Promises" and "A Dangerous Method", as Mortensen was clearly altering his voice and physical gestures for both performances. Neither are quite to the level of "Green Book", though.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the cinematography of The Last Picture Show and Paper Moon.

Luke Higham said...

Mitchell: I find that only natural for their characters, whereas with this, it leans a little bit closer to OTT, though that might be the film's intention.

But I see what you mean and I need to watch his scenes again in A Dangerous Method.

Luke Higham said...

Anyway, I'm happy he's got another good role deserving of his talents and hope to see his fives total increase.

Anonymous said...

Louis: your top 10 jesse plemons and anna gunn acting moments

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Has anyone here seen Akeelah and the Bee? I caught it on TV tonight, and I was surprised by how much I liked the film, and Laurence Fishburne and Keke Palmer's performances in it.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Hardwicke - 4(His character in the end is slightly sidelined however I do quite like what Hardwicke does overall with the role. That is in his early scenes he creates this crusty sort of intensity of a strict father, however he doesn't over do this. Hardwicke rather just establishes the nature of the household well. He then is rather moving when revealing the natural transition to a warmer side of the man as he continues to support his son no matter. He shows this warmth growing somewhat intertwined with essentially this belief in his son following his own morality. Hardwicke eases off the edges of the character effectively though by always making such a honest transition throughout the film.)

Leighton - 4.5(Well the more I see of Leighton the more I have to say she is perhaps one of the most underrated actresses of the period. Leighton is an absolute delight here in a role that is technically sidelined in a sense, even though she sort of has her story, as she is positioned to be a consistent secondary support to the father. Leighton brings a real charisma within her performance, and has such a wonderful spirit in any given scene. Even in moments when she is just reacting to others Leighton manages to create a certain agency within the character's manner.)

Charles:

Seehorn was fantastic in this episode of course, though I'd also say Michael Mando deserves high praise for making Nacho such a surprisingly sympathetic character. I do like the tipping of the scale going with Jimmy towards Saul. The Mike stuff was standard, but fun still. I'll concur with Calvin though and say the highlight was the cartel elements as we see the show being more "poisoned" by the Breaking Bad virus, which is a good thing.

Luke:

Maybe.

Thought it looked very good actually particularly Ali, and Mortensen. Although I was a bit taken aback by Mortensen's New York accent at first, frankly settled in for me by the end of the trailer. Look forward to the film, as I quite enjoyed the two's interactions just from this snippet. Could go too overtly "manipulative", but hopefully it finds the right balance.

1. "She's Fine": The Doctor to Macbeth
2. "Fixing" the Golden Globes
3. On Marlon Brando's cinematic look
4. Drunken O'Toole and Harris on stage
5. Nature of an unusual jacket

Tahmeed:

Absolutely hilarious, though not entirely without legitimacy either even as a parody review, against the excessively cynical.

Anonymouses, Bryan:

Let me get you those soon.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: TAXI! :)

Though you haven't seen The Two Ronnies before, could I have your thoughts on this sketch.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=y0C59pI_ypQ

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Who are your favourite interviewers.

Anonymous said...

Louis: I'm curious, what do you think of Bud Collyer's voices for Superman and Clark Kent in the Fleischer Superman cartoons? A friend of mine has expressed disappointment over Daly and Newbern's voices sounding too light for Supes, but I actually like the fact that they're light in comparison to Conroy's Batman.

Also, he thinks that Delany's Lois was too unlikable because of her teasing attitude. Think he's exaggerating?

Matt Mustin said...

Anonymous: I think Tim Daly had the perfect voice for Superman, to be honest.

Matt Mustin said...

I saw Blindspotting. Absolutely brilliant film.

Diggs-5
Casal-4
Gavankar-3.5
Jones-3.5
Embry-3.5

John Smith said...

Louis, have you seen the second season of 'American Crime Story'?

Also, your top 10 favorite death scenes in game of thrones.

P.S Louis, Any thoughts on the emmys?

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Are there any James Mason performances that could go up to a five.

Omar Franini said...

Louis: your thoughts on Roma trailer?

Anonymous said...

Louis, can I please get your Top 10 male performances of the 90s?

Luke Higham said...

R.I.P. Aretha Franklin

Anonymous said...

Matt: Prefer Daly over Newbern, huh? Both are equal in my eyes.

Luke Higham said...

Guys, whenever the interim period before the Oscar Noms rolls around, have you decided on your recommendations or even one thus far.

Mine are:
Chicken Run
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Watership Down
The Plague Dogs
When The Wind Blows

Chose 5 as animated films usually aren't as long as Live Action.

Matt Mustin said...

Anonymous: I actually much prefer Daly over Newbern. I know some people will argue for the "world of carboard" speech for Newbern, but I'm actually not a huge fan of his delivery there. The writing is great, but something seems off to me about the way he performs it.

Mitchell Murray said...

Luke: You mean, in terms of movies to recommend to watch, that Louis hasn't discussed before, of any year? Umm.. just off the top of my head I'd suggest "You Can Count On Me", because I don't remember it being mentioned before on this blog, and I actually watched it today for the first time. It would be interesting to see if Kenneth Lonergan "redeems" himself of sorts in terms of direction, or if Louis feels the same.

Louis Morgan said...

Bryan:

Ah The Dark Knight's screenplay, something that requires nuance when in discussion of such. Is it a flawless, no, but then again a screenplay can contain greatness even if imperfect. Well with the Dark Knight we see a particularly ambitious work, and as such there can be something unwieldy when attempting greatness. Now there may be the more obvious flaws within the dialogue "NO MORE DEAD COPS" the line the internet decries so passionately. I have to admit though, I don't view line quite as terribly as the internet hordes do, it isn't Shakespeare but it's not the worst example of attempting to show a mob like hysteria within a press conference. There are other hiccups though along the way, particularly in the Dent/Rachel/Wayne dinner, which is one scene I will say perhaps should have been reworked in general. It is a scene I honestly sometimes skip when watching the film, as it is one scene that is burdened by the script that cannot be saved by Nolan's direction. It's exposition and interactions are clunky and awkward, with the discussion of the film's theme being mercilessly on the nose. There are elements also in the plot that are not as fine tuned, as other complex plotted thrillers like say Chinatown, or L.A. Confidential, though that is comparing this screenplay against two of the finest ever written. As a puzzle though each piece is not equal to each other, Lau, and the China expedition, though there are fun elements within that, the good with calculation line, the sequence itself as directed, but it does feel a bit of a detour within the plot rather than a wholly natural flow.

Louis Morgan said...

Exposition, which Nolan does rather like, though isn't necessarily as problematic as some make it out to be. We can see much of the strength within the film in exposition when better written such as in Alfred's "Watch the world burn" speech, or every time the Joker gets philosophical. Both of these have a key difference from the aforementioned scene which is the character is so wholly intertwined within what they speak, and we learn more of that character while also exploring the themes of the film. In addition what the film does thrive within is exploring these characters seriously without becoming weighed down by this sentiment. The decisions made by Bruce, Harvey Dent, and Gordon are explored with real detail, and character through the idea of the joker. The joker being a highlight of the script even if taken to even greater heights by Ledger. Joker is brilliantly written in every regard, whether it be his dark, yet still funny jokes, his revelations of his own beliefs, or his inconsistencies of story. The joker also within the plot is equally important as this active villain, particularly influential in this regard, who not only pulls tricks on everyone including his opponents, his supposed allies, and even the viewer. The chaos the joker creates within the plot is what takes the story elements of the Dark Knight to the next level, both in terms of crafting a compelling action narrative, but also in terms of its exploration of themes and character. Of course this is through immaculate planning, a trademark of the Joker since his first appearance in the comics, which requires assumption on the viewer's part, and allows nitpickers to nitpick with the specifics. For me, it just makes him all the more of an invigorating force in the film, plus never go too far with sort of the Joker's omnipresence in my view. I don't think the greatness of the film begins and ends with the Joker, nor does it end in terms of the strengths of the script. Unlike some, I do think the Two-Face plot is well aligned as it essentially brings us back to the central trio of heroes trying to save Gotham, and what it is they are willing to sacrifice to save it. The Joker pushes all aspects to those greater heights, a true catalyst within the screenplay, but even as such, he is still part of the screenplay. A screenplay not without faults, however its successes far outweigh them in my mind to be an essential part of a great film.

The production design in The Dark Knight, is probably the most sparse in terms of the Nolan trilogy given the sheer amount of location work. Location work that should not be hand waved either though in terms of set direction, which along with the cinematography lends just a bit of style within an overarching realism. That is the production design in a nutshell for this film though which stresses purpose above all else, but without sacrificing "looking good". The best example of that is the "bat trailer" and the "Bat Pod". Both are very much to the point in their minimalist style yet wholly work within the approach while looking appropriately cinematic still. That is the idea throughout the film that is continually successfully achieved in low key but dynamic work.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

The Last Picture Show, and Paper Moon, share a director in Peter Bogdonavich, but not in cinematographers with Robert Surtees handling the camerawork in the former and Laszlo Kovacs in the latter. The influence of what Bogdonavich wants as the director can be seen as an important overarching force, which seems to purposefully avoid evoking past black and white films, to create a more modern bent despite both being period films. This grants both films a distinct look for both the time and within the oeuvre of black and white films. Each achieve this with almost this touch of grit, not to much, but never do they have that pristine quality you'd see in films from the 60's. Surtees perhaps takes this idea further with some particularly daring, and effective lighting as well as framing and composition choices. There is some very careful, very dynamic shots achieved by Surtees with some careful stylistic lighting, while avoiding ever looking like a full blown noir. Kovacs work is less notable in that regard however still beautiful in its own right particularly in also evoking a certain grandeur, but also alienation within the American west. His work though is most remarkable in the more grandiose shots, that often subvert the typical grandeur in a way by being just a little off beat much like our conmen leads.

Anonymous:

Plemons:

1. Not right for each other - Fargo
2. Todd "visits" Andrea - Breaking Bad
3. Inflicting his will - USS Callister
4. Interrogation - Fargo
5. Confronting his father - Other People
6. Defending his own - Fargo
7. Todd's "threat" after the train robbery - Breaking Bad
8. Bringing his family to his apartment - Other People
9. Defeating his "mortal enemy" - USS Callister
10. Having to try - Fargo

Gunn:

1. Trying to take the kids from Walter
2. Last scene with Walter
3. Very awkward dinner
4. The pool
5. Trying to kill Walter
6. Crawl Space
7. The One Who Knocks
8. Fake Inspector
9. Todd comes for a visit
10. Money laundering scheming with Saul

Luke:

Rather hilarious nonsense, with some rather exact wordplay, masterfully performed in deadpan.

David Letterman
James Lipton (though his demeanor is unintentionally hilarious)
Craig Ferguson

Probably not.

Anonymous:

His voice work is good, and proper, if very much to the point. He brings the right heroic style command, while not overdoing it. There isn't too much nuance to it though, but that's not really his fault. The serials as essentially action pieces, the dialogue is nearly always to the point (purposefully so). His work is in turn rather limited.

I wholly disagree on Delany, who is pitch perfect in my mind, as Lois at her best (in my view) is essentially Rosalind Russell from His Girl Friday, which Delany captures so well.

John Smith:

No.

I've covered those before I believe.

I've made my lack of care for the nominations already. If you're talking in general, I don't think much of them, though I'll admit attempting to do for tv what the academy does for film, which is difficult though possible in my mind, is almost impossible since it is impossible to see everything. It is nearly impossible to see everything that is nominated even. Although, even with that in mind, they do a pretty terrible job with it. There are so many illogical snubs, and choices throughout the years that don't require in depth knowledge of tv offerings. For example things like Family Guy getting a best comedy nomination, yet the Simpsons never got one in its prime.

Omar:

Well given its almost wholly visual nature, all I can say is it looks stunning.

Anonymous:

1. Richard Farnsworth - The Straight Story
2. Martin Landau - Ed Wood
3. Richard Jordan - Gettysburg
4. Gene Hackman - Unforgiven
5. John Goodman - Barton Fink
6. Morgan Freeman - Seven
7. John Turturro - Barton Fink
8. Joe Pesci - Goodfellas
9. Philip Baker Hall - Hard Eight
10. Russell Crowe - L.A. Confidential

Anonymous said...

Louis: your top 20 kirsten dunst, juliette binoche and isabelle huppert acting moments

Luke Higham said...

Louis: I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

Luke Higham said...

Mitchell: Any year Louis has done so far during these bonus rounds and any documentary, animated or TV film.

Mitchell Murray said...

Luke: Gotcha

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your thoughts on this sketch from Chappelle's Show.
https://youtu.be/Epw0J45X-FI

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your rating and thoughts on Mary Pickford in Coquette.

RatedRStar said...

Luke: He definitely did not like her lol thats all Ill say lol.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the rain scene in In Cold Blood.

Anonymous said...

Luke: I'm pretty sure that he gave Pickford a 1.

Pickford - 1(The worst kind of old movie acting. She's terribly dull in almost every way carrying no presence and at all while allowing every line delivery just sort of lay there. This is the perfect storm of bad though because she's manages to still overact terribly, through her completely random use of making her eyes really wide that is extremely odd to witness)

Mitchell Murray said...

Just a random question for everyone here.. what's your opinion on the "Scream" movies. I just revisited the first two not that long ago, and admittedly I find them rather enjoyable. Don't get me wrong - they are dated and overly cheeky at points, and outside of Campbell much of the acting is variable, but overall I think the first two movies are entertaining for what they are. The third and fourth ones on the other hand...

RatedRStar said...

Mitchell: I really liked the first scream, I thought the acting was actually quite decent and the characters fairly memorable and its certainly a good murder mystery for the time, Scream 2 was just a bit meh for me because the killers were a little too obvious whereas the first one had a great gotcha moment in revealing the killers, I thought 3 was awful and just bad on every level, 4 was really odd because Neve Campbell was still decent but everyone else just overacts and the jokes just dont land, worst performance for me was Emma Roberts who is just awful and not menacing whatsover.

RatedRStar said...

Skeet Ulrich in the first Scream had a very Johnny Depp vibe to him, they looked very similar.

RatedRStar said...

The only performances I didnt care for in the first scream were Rose McGowan who has a nothing character and a rather bizarre Henry Winkler lol as a pervert headmaster type lol.

Mitchell Murray said...

RatedRStar: I actually think the killers in the first scream are fairly obvious and the second film has a little more mystery, mainly because of its abundance of characters. To be clear when I say much of the acting is variable its due to the performances that are somewhat exaggerated or annoying, if purposely so. Campbell, however, is the staple of the franchise for a reason, in that she's normally a constant regardless of the quality of the film (Though she's definitely at her most precarious in 3). I feel her Sydney Prescott is one of the strongest "final girls" we have both because of the decent writing behind her personality, and Campbell who is usually on point in regards to her reactionary scenes.

But like I said.. I'm not touching the third and fourth films with a ten foot pole.

Calvin Law said...

Scream - great opening, mixed on the second act or so, climax is pretty great.

Scream 2 is decent, Scream 3 is terrible, Scream 4 was good in its own way besides that atrocity of a finale.

Mitchell Murray said...

Matt: Honestly I thought Wahlberg was miscast as the seasoned, cynical Fletcher Chase. Someone like Kyle Chandler or Patrick Wilson would've been a better fit, as opposed to Wahlberg who simply seems indifferent throughout the whole affair. Duris was great and probably MVP, Williams was very effective, and even on his best day Spacey wouldn't have the same presence and warmth Plummer gives Getty.

Matt Mustin said...

Mitchell: Yeah, I agree with all of that. Wahlberg kinda seemed like he didn't want to be there.

Michael McCarthy said...

Louis: I don’t remember if you’ve given this before, but what are your rating and thoughts for Julia Garner in Grandma? I’m starting Ozark right now, and the more I see of her the more she intrigues me as a performer. Even in the aforementioned film, which I agree isn’t great, I find she brings an incredible emotional honesty to.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Thoughts on this?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6fzZWP6XgE

Anonymous said...

Louis: your top 20 richard farnsworth acting moments

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: The top ten Oscar wins for Best Director that you find the most deserving, and the ten you find the least deserving.

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: Is it based on solely an individual achievement or is it also for an entire career, because I wouldn't put Scorsese in the top ten for The Departed if it were just the former.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Luke: Individual achievements in a film.

Calvin Law said...

My list of most deserving would be -

1. Steven Spielberg - Schindler’s List
2. Francis Ford Coppola - The Godfather Part II
3. Milos Forman - Amadeus
4. David Lean - Lawrence of Arabia
5. Peter Jackson - The Return of the King
6. Mike Nichols - The Graduate
7. Bernardo Bertolucci - The Last Emperor
8. Alejandro Iñárritu - Birdman
9. Bob Fosse - Cabaret
10. Lewis Milestone - All Quiet on the Western Front

Anonymous said...

Cameron has to be in the top 3 for least deserving Best Director wins. His speech justifies that even more than his directing in Titanic.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: your thoughts on the ‘Danny Boy’ scene from Fargo Season 2? Just been rewatching the season and I think I’ve also come round to Angus Sampson being the most under appreciated aspect of the series.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Prefer one or two at the most at time. Anyways I'll leave Huppert anyways, as I'm kind of currently into diving into her work through the bonus rounds.

Dunst:

1. "It's a lie" - Fargo
2. Be Nice Stabs - Fargo
3. Melancholic stroll - Melancholia
4. Simply be that person - Fargo
5. Knowing - Melancholia
6. Not right for each other - Fargo
7. Nature of the earth - Melancholia
8. Watching the film - Fargo
9. Confronting her boss - Melancholia
10. Dreams argument - Fargo
11. On plans - Melancholia
12. Dinner after crash - Fargo
13. Final Scene - Melancholia
14. Choosing - Fargo
15. Wrong room - The Beguiled
16. just a UFO - Fargo
17. Understanding her husband - All Good Things
18. Preparing - Fargo
19. Reunion - Midnight Special
20. Relapse - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Binoche:

1. Cafe "compliments" - Certified Copy
2. Romantic reunion - Lovers on the Bridge
3. Speaking of "old time?" - Certified Copy
4. First time meeting - Lovers on the Bridge
5. Mirror - Blue
6. Fight with husband over footage - Cache
7. Speaking of her son - Certified Copy
8. Not so romantic reunion - Lovers on the Bridge
9. Argument with son - Cache
10. Visiting the artifacts - The English Patient
11. Talking to the waitress - Certified Copy
12. Dancing - Lovers on the Bridge
13. Pool - Blue
14. Erotic Photos - The Unbearable Lightness of Being
15. Breakdown at cafe - Cache
16. After the deaths of her friends - The English Patient
17. Watching - Blue
18. Visiting a book signing - Certified Copy
19. Ending - Blue
20. Shy sex - The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Anonymous:

Simply an outstanding scene that reveals such a profound tragedy in the moment, as we hear the failures that defined the man's life, though with the sentiment of hope, all before his execution, so brilliantly realized by Robert Blake's performance, amplified by the cinematography/director so poignantly through the literal tears of rain created by the lighting.

Anonymous:

Don't have the time write now to watch it, but definitely will.

Michael:

Eh for me, anything that wasn't named Sam Elliott was mighty wicked in that film aka just the representative of the worst tendencies of an Indie film.

Tahmeed:

Most Deserving:

1. David Lean - Lawrence of Arabia
2. Milos Forman - Amadeus
3. David Lean - The Bridge on the River Kwai
4. Lewis Milestone - All Quiet on the Western Front
5. William Wyler - The Best Year's of Our Lives
6. Francis Ford Coppola - The Godfather Part II
7. Bernardo Bertolucci - The Last Emperor
8. Clint Eastwood - Unforgiven
9. Steven Spielberg - Schindler's List
10. Peter Jackson - Return of the King

Least Deserving:

1. Vincent Minnelli - Gigi
2. Tom Hooper - The King's Speech
3. Ron Howard - A Beautiful Mind
4. Elia Kazan - Gentleman's Agreement
5. Danny Boyle - Slumdog Millionaire
6. George Cukor - My Fair Lady
7. Sam Mendes - American Beauty
8. Robert Benton - Kramer vs. Kramer
9. Sydney Pollack - Out of Africa
10. James Cameron - Titanic

Calvin:

One of the greatest scenes in that amazing series, references the Coens yet using it for a different effect this time in a more somber Danny Boy revealing the true failure of the gangster family. It is such poignantly rendered moment from seeing the faces of each of the family in the montage, but most of all the moment of Bear's anguish. Sampson is amazing, as he frankly creates more sympathy for Simone, by showing more honestly the uncle's realization of what he has done, or feel he had to do.

Charles H said...

I think the most deserving would be

1. David Lean - Lawrence of Arabia
2. David Lean - The Bridge on the River Kwai
3. Milos Forman - Amadeus
4. William Wyler - The Best Year's of Our Lives
5. Bernardo Bertolucci - The Last Emperor
6. Francis Ford Coppola - The Godfather Part II
7. Victor Fleming - Gone with the Wind
8. Lewis Milestone - All Quiet on the Western Front
9. Steven Spielberg - Schindler's List
10. Peter Jackson - Return of the King

Anonymous said...

I guess my top 10 favorite best director wins are the same as Louis'.

Louis: Your thoughts on the "Moto panekeku" and "Frozen banana" scenes from Inherent Vice.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: What's your favourite Binoche performance that you've seen so far. Lovers On The Bridge or Certified Copy.

Anonymous said...

Louis: your top 10 millie bobby brown acting moments

Anonymous said...

Louis: your top 20 bryan cranston acting moments

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: Here's the top 10 Cranston moments.

1. Crawl Space Laugh
2. "His Name is Hank"
3. "I did it for me"
4. Watching Jane die
5. Ending of Granite State
6. "Say My Name"
7. "Run"
8. After the fight with Jesse
9. Robot Gun
10. Sadist with newer magazines - Seinfeld

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Although you may not have the time to watch anime, would you be open to watching and giving thoughts on their opening sequences? (They're 90 seconds at most).

Luke Higham said...

Louis: What did you think of Dick Cavett's interviews with Robert Mitchum and Richard Burton.

Bryan said...

Louis: Well-written analysis of TDKs screenplay, since I too feel that the Hong Kong setpiece does feel a bit like a sidequest. Anyways, your thoughts on the voices of Downey Jr, Cage and Cruise?

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the Outlaw King trailer?

lol and does anyone know how good Chris Pine's accent is?

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: Can't wait for this. Pine's accent is good enough from what I saw and it's better than Gibson's in Braveheart. Still need to see the finished product though. I'm also looking forward to Dillane as Longshanks.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Who's your choice for Harvey Dent/Two-Face in a 2010s The Dark Knight.

Calvin Law said...

Pine, Pugh, and especially Dillane look promising.

Crazy Rich Asians #1 at the box office, can’t wait to see it - Asian cinema doing very well internationally this year, with Shoplifters and Burning’s success at Cannes too.

Mitchell Murray said...

Anonymous: Outlaw King looks solid enough, and given the performance David Mackenzie was able to get out of Pine in their first collaboration, I have faith in him tapping into that strength once more. In terms of the accent, its very subtle from the trailer, which is a relief since a lot of attempts at the Scottish dialect are simply overdone.

Bryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charles H said...

Anonymous: Pine and Dillane look promising, as for Crazy Rich Asians i've read the book so i have hopes for the movie.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I actually think Taylor-Johnson looked promising in that trailer. It looks like a role that's both within his range and the type of modest supporting performances I like seeing in movies like this.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Downright hilarious scene for Brolin and Phoenix sharing a great near anti-chemistry, as the two so strongly contrast in style, even though they come together in their investigative nature. I especially love their trade off between "getting high" or "framing a hippie" when breaking down the theories. The best though is just that is wonderful in its strangeness.

Frozen banana is again greatness of Phoenix and Brolin together with Brolin so adamantly, frankly even with menace, deep throats his frozen banana, against Phoenix's absolutely hilariously nearly horrified reaction to that.

Luke:

Certified Copy

Both are great interviews, the type we sadly don't get enough of these days as they honestly open up without falling upon lazy exploitation.

The Mitchum interview is wonderful, who is as down to earth as you'd expect him to be though incredibly astute all the same. Mitchum is a delight to listen to particularly in how effortlessly he keeps that trademark cool of his no matter what he is discussing.

Burton interviews are typically very painful to watch, not because he's a bad interviewee rather his candid illustrative nature, that could be entertaining, yet also reflected his personal demons. This is a particularly harrowing example of that closer to the end of his life where there are still very wonderful moments of entertainment, there is so much pain there.

Side Note: I like Cavett as an interviewer, though he could struggle with uncooperative guests like with Brando.

Colin Farrell

Bryan:

Downey - (Downey is interesting in that it isn't his specific accent, which is fine in itself, but really it is his idiosyncratic way of speaking beyond that makes his voice distinct. It's funny in that it always feels particularly natural from him. Also notable to note that this does not carry over to say his put on English accent, which is wonderful by the way.)

Cage - (Marvelous mad Elvis essentially.)

Cruise - (Cruise's voice is fascinating in that it is somehow both unusual yet usual. It's hard to describe how or why, but just is standard East coast, yet not quite. A weird balance much like his career as both the exceptional performer, yet often is the average man.)

Anonymous:

Brown:

1. Confronting "Brenner"
2. Fight with Hopper
3. Initially meeting the boys
4. Contacting Will
5. Reunion with everyone
6. Reconciliation
7. Reunion with Brenner
8. To close the gate
9. "mouth breather"
10. First Kiss

Cranston:

11. Telling Jesse to kill Gale
12. This isn't meth
13. First episode confession
14. Skyler trying to take the kids
15. Gus's threat
16. Trying to leave after Hank's death
17. Jesse confronting him over the poisoning
18. The One who Knocks
19. Random encounter with Jane's Father
20. Confrontation with Gus after his full measure

Tahmeed:

Sure.

Anonymous:

Loved everything about the trailer now I just hope it lives up to my expectation from it, which was already rather strong given the subject matter. I especially love the look of the costumes, the idea of Pine in the lead, and Dillane giving his own take on Longshanks. Although I still wish we had gotten the Foster/Pine reunion, I did not have a problem with Taylor-Johnson in the trailer.

Mitchell Murray said...

Not sure if this has been posted or discussed before, but whats everyone's thoughts on this?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqEF_Re-OcY

Personally, while the movie looks just so-so, I'm glad Winstead has gotten another solid leading role under her belt. After the likes of Smashed and 10 Cloverfield Lane - among others - I find it more and more curious why she isn't as big of a star as she ought to be.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your top 10 best and worst production design wins. Even though I'm not a fan of Shakespeare in Love (and no, it has nothing to do with SPR), its production design win was well warranted.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your thoughts on these anime openings-
https://youtu.be/kkEQ58iMmNg ('Dream of Life', from Bakuman)
https://youtu.be/2uq34TeWEdQ ('Again' from Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood)
https://youtu.be/c5rgwNvlrmo ('Hikaru Nara' from Your Lie in April)
https://youtu.be/dWk-VpK4hJo ('Tank!' from Cowboy Bebop)

Anonymous said...

Louis: Looking back on the liar revealed scene from A Bug's Life, it isn't really a lie, it's more of a misunderstanding. Flik never really lied, he basically screwed up, thinking that the circus bugs were warriors judging from that incident at the bar.

Atta is actually the real liar since she basically tricked him to going to look for warrior bugs when she only wanted him away from the colony.

How do you think much better the scene would have been if: The colony finds out that they're circus bugs and not warriors and think Flik's a liar, only to have Atta reveal that she lied to Flik, saying that his quest was just to get rid of him. Then Flik would feel betrayed and leave on his own accord. That would've been more interesting and also would've taught Atta a huge lesson.

Also your ideas on how to improve the overall film aside from this one scene.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: thoughts on the Better Call Saul episode? Was overjoyed to see the return of a certain somebody, and thought it was very well paced, intense and juggled the various storylines well, still setting up stuff mostly but I don’t feel like it’s turning its wheels.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the Hold The Dark trailer starring Jeffrey Wright.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Past film roles for Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Mads Mikkelsen and Viggo Mortensen. (Can't remember if you've given Viggo's before)

Anonymous said...

Louis, your Top 10 Clint Eastwood performances? Also, your thoughts on him as an actor?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: Clint Eastwood - (Eastwood is a brilliant actor who seems particularly astute in terms of understanding his own limitations and abilities as an actor. He has a set range to be sure, but throughout his career he proven his ability to know exactly how and where to stretch himself as a performer. Eastwood's basic presence is one of a kind in itself as he's managed to really make himself one of the iconic images of cinema with that steely glare. Eastwood's work is rarely simplistic though stretching within the best roles in often very remarkable ways.)

Bryan said...

Luke: I believe Louis picked Mortensen as his 90s choice for Terry Malloy, and 00s for Harmonica (Once Upon a Time in The West). And Mikkelsen as his 2010s choice for Roy Batty, which I can see since he seems to be the modern-day Rutger Hauer.

Mitchell Murray said...

Anonymous: You know, for as much flack as he gets sometimes, Eastwood really is a very disciplined actor who absolutely understands what he can and cannot do. I think a lot of actors who get criticized for "playing themselves" could learn something from his choices.

Matt Mustin said...

Mitchell Murray: Eastwood really is amazing, because he has a very specific range, but over the years he has found so many variations within that.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Best Production Design Wins:

1. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
2. The Last Emperor
3. The Red Shoes
4. Barry Lydon
5. Black Narcissus
6. Star Wars
7. Mad Max: Fury Road
8. Doctor Zhivago
9. Ben-Hur
10. Gone with the Wind

Honestly lots of amazing winners.

Worst:

1. Alice in Wonderland
2. Gigi
3. Sayonara
4. My Fair Lady
5. Cleopatra
6. Hello Dolly
7. Camelot
8. Cavalcade
9. Oliver!
10. Cimarron

Tahmeed:

Bakuman - (I'm confused....nice enough song though.)

Full Metal Alchemist - (I suppose I'm a bit confused again, though I think I have heard the faint remnants of the plot. Great animation, even as the characters keep doing their Jonathan Demme close up to the pov. Song I thought got a little lost along its way, though delivers a pleasant enough melody in there at first.)

Your Lie in April - (Again wonderful animation, both the painted and the fluid. Again utterly confused like a senile old man when it comes to the actual content. Again nice little song, a little bust I would say in its way, particularly in terms of repetitious, but still nice.)

Cowboy Bebop - (Now this I understand, not because I know the plot, but rather can appreciate what I'll have to believe is some Johnny quest influence both in its wonderfully jazzy spy style theme. Amplified though by the great style of the semi-art deco images, which I have no idea what they mean still.)

Anonymous:

Well I think that would have been a far more effective and interesting way to have approached that. Overall I think the film needed just to play it a little less safe in general, as pseudo Seven Samurai/Magnificent Seven/Three Amigos remake it was, and have more fun with the idea.

Calvin:

I thought it was terrific episode on every front, particular with that certain return. Again Michael Mando was incredibly impressive with the whole Nacho story line bridging to Breaking Bad in a great way. Jimmy's side heist was fun, and I felt the final scene packed a proper punch.

Luke:

Well love seeing Wright in a lead role, the film itself looks completely mad, hopefully in a good way.

Mortensen:

Don Birnam
Larry Slade
President Jordan Lyman

Mikkelsen:

Ming the Merciless
Blixen brothers
Dr. Christian Szell

Coster-Waldau:

Denys Finch Hatton
Jack Gurney (The Ruling Class)
Tony Wendice

Anonymous:

1. Unforgiven
2. The Outlaw Josey Wales
3. Dirty Harry
4. The Beguiled
5. Pale Rider
6. In the Line of Fire
7. A Fistful of Dollars
8. Gran Torino
9. The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
10. For a Few Dollars More

Robert MacFarlane said...

Louis: I'll be honest with you; the only anime I think you should definitely watch is Paranoia Agent. Mostly because it's the only full series made by the late Satoshi Kon, and that one I genuinely believe you'd take to. When you get around to the movies he made, give that show a try.

Matt Mustin said...

Robert: He might like Cowboy Bebop.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I also think he might like the original Fullmetal Alchemist if he gives that a try, it's way more accessible and western-way in its thinking than Brotherhood.

Bryan said...

Louis: Cages' voice is a force of nature when he's at his best. Lastly, who would you have cast instead of Mark Ruffalo in Spotlight? And would the ensemble have made your Top Ten Ensembles of the decade if it hadn't been for him?

Anonymous said...

Bryan L: Ruffalo could have been a lot better if he hadn't given a mannered performance. I recall someone saying that Oscar Isaac would have been great.

Louis Morgan said...

Robert:

I'll keep the recommendation in mind, thanks.

Bryan:

Oscar Isaac

Quite possibly.