Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Alternate Best Actor 1999: Heath Ledger in Two Hands

Heath Ledger did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Jimmy in Two Hands.

Two Hands is an underrated off-beat crime film, following a young wannabe gangster, who immediately screws up a job for a local gangster.

Well as with any Australian actor who breaks out internationally, there are ought to be an "early" catalogue of their work on their home turf. Unsurprisingly Heath Ledger falls into this group, as the same year he started the beginnings of his international breakout in 10 Things I Hate About You, he appeared here in perhaps overall a more substantial role as Jimmy. The young man trying to make his name through crime is a good starter role for many an actor, however for Ledger this quite a bit different than one might expect. This in that Ledger's work has more in common with a romantic lead than say Ray Liotta in Goodfellas, which actually makes for a rather intriguing off-beat turn for this type of story. It also allows for Ledger to utilize his substantial charm. This is something I mentioned in A Knight's Tale, however where it was weaponized by him in a way there, here it is realized within a sort of haplessness of the youth of the character. Ledger is wholly winning in this regard bringing such an likable eagerness even in the earliest scenes as the man attempts to make an impression with the local crime boss Pando (Bryan Brown). Ledger speaks of this desire though with an innocence that crafts such a likability for Jimmy, as we can see only the sights for a successful life rather any notion of becoming a true violent criminal or anything of that ilk.

Ledger's terrific by showing just as much interest in Jimmy in meeting up with the hopeful photographer Alex (Rose Byrne). This in bringing though a similar enthusiasm that has that same naivety in a way that very much accentuates the hopeful youth of the young man. Ledger exudes that beautifully here in portraying very much Jimmy as a young man with so many chances for the future, though perhaps not exactly thinking of the best way to achieve that. This as fortunes almost instantly shift for Jimmy, as he bungles his first job for Pando by losing 10,000 dollars, due to leaving the cash when he thought he had a potential chance to meet up with Alex early. After the initial intensity of attempting to find the money, having screwed up royally which Ledger depicts quite naturally though there is initially a little shift. This shift as Jimmy ponders just telling Pando what happened thinking he'd understand. Ledger is downright hilarious in this moment by once again accentuating really just how good natured Jimmy is as a person, and that thinking through this logic makes absolute sense for the young man. The dog eat dog world of the gangster just doesn't make sense to him, and Ledger delivers this as the honest world view of the optimistic young man.

This is even as he is targeted for death for his bungling, he still goes about to still see Alex for a date. This leads to a rather wonderful, and low key scene between Jimmy and Alex where they haven't had a care in the world for the moment as they speak to one another. Their chemistry is absolutely lovely as Ledger again is so charming through portraying this certain shyness in Jimmy as he broaches every moment of the conversation still, and the sheer exuberance as the two seem to find something special in each other. They play off each other perfectly in creating the sense of the mutual attraction in the two, and the understand of the two between each other as they speak of their dreams. Of course such dreams are potentially quite short as the date leads Jimmy right into the hands of Pando and his crew, who plan to kill him, despite Jimmy's pleas of getting the money through running a job. This in which we get two scenes of them dragging into the forest, split through their placement in the film, both which are highlights for Ledger. The first being just a darkly comic bit of brilliance as Ledger delivers Jimmy's attempt at a save through a phone number he doesn't know, with the same sort of attitude of a man attempting to ensure the man at the box office that he does have tickets to the show. Ledger's great in showing that the situation still hasn't fully dawned on Jimmy. When we do see this though, Ledger is incredibly moving in portraying again the strict honesty of Jimmy's pleas befitting a young man who really shouldn't be in the gangster's life.

Jimmy manages to just barely escape that demise in order to hook up with a few other local hoods by robbing a bank in order to get Pando his 10 grand. This whole aspect of the film being pretty terrific as a crime comedy, though never so broad that it breaks the overall tone of the film. Ledger adds to this greatly in just his casual manner as he sits along with his fellow "toughs" as he explains the need and use of a shotgun for a bank robbery. This nothing compared to the robbery itself, which manages to be a downright hilarious, though still tense, sequence. Ledger is surprisingly essential in this through his largely silent, and entirely masked performance. Ledger's body language though throughout the scene is pitch perfect in accentuating Jimmy's inexperience but also the ridiculousness of the less than professional bank robbers. Ledger's pitch perfect in the haplessness both of the entry as even his "proper" use of the shotgun feels a bit artificial. It becomes far greater comedy when one of Jimmy's partner's knocks himself up, leaving Jimmy to juggle more than a few things to make a swift escape. Ledger's inability to hold the shotgun, the money, and drag the other man, is properly labored and wrings out every bit of humor he can from the scene. With that great bit of climactic comedy, we are also given a great bit of dramatic climax as Jimmy brings the money to Pando, while also closing their relationship by brandishing a gun before leaving. Ledger has again two fantastic nearly non-verbal moments, first his threat to Pando where his face just bears the distress of the betrayal of the whole life and the anguish now presented towards Pando as threat, rather than fear within Jimmy. Ledger only topping that though with his expression leaving the place with just this sincere sense of relief in his expression fitting a man whose lifted a great burden of both his debt, but also of a life he never belonged within. This is a terrific performance by Heath Ledger as he manages the film's tone effortlessly, creating just an immensely likable lead we want to see succeed within the story of this atypical film. It's a proper winning turn from Ledger in every sense, showing that while all definitely appreciated his talent at the end of his all too short career, it was evident right from the start.

78 comments:

Luke Higham said...

Ratings and thoughts on the rest of the cast.

Michael McCarthy said...

Even though he’s *definitely* a 5 for me, it looks like you appreciated the performance and the film for all the same reasons I did, which is nice to see.

I hope you’ll save Brown, I think he’s worthy of a review for the “gun in the wash” scene alone.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I know some of you gave Park So-dam a 5 for Parasite, but I'm I the only one who gave Cho Yeo-jeong a 5? She's so damn funny. I can't decide who'd be my Supporting Actress win.

Michael McCarthy said...

Robert: I could buy a 5 for Cho. At the moment she's a strong 4.5 and somewhere in the #4-#6 range on my supporting actress lineup. And agreed, she's pretty hilarious.

Calvin Law said...

Always enjoy reading about a film that’s as good as the performance. Low-key Aussie thrillers are usually my thing so I’m glad Michael and yourself recommend this highly.

And as much as I loved the Parasite ladies (and Tilda Swinton in David Copperfield), Zhao is my super easy #1 for me now. Though Jojo Rabbit tomorrow could just as easily shake things up!

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

This actually sounds like he was close to a 5. I'll definitely check it out after my mid terms end.

As for Parasite, Park was an easy 5 for me (and my win for the year so far), but Cho could very easily go up to a 5 for me on rewatch as well. I have a feeling I underrated her initially, as I found a lot of her scenes to be among the funniest in the film. It's an absurdly strong ensemble, to say the least.

Luke Higham said...

I really hope we get a 3rd five for the Lead Overall. Don't let me down Jim Broadbent.

Lucas Saavedra said...

Louis: your thoughts on this Funny Or Die video with Michael Shannon:
https://youtu.be/dngOH9G4UPw

Bryan L. said...

Louis and everyone: Your 2019 cast & director for Watchmen? Hard mode: You can't "Irishman" Jeremy Irons and cast him haha

I'll start. Directed by Drew Goddard

Rorschach: Damian Lewis
Nite Owl I: Kevin Bacon
Nite Owl II: Finn Wittrock
Dr. Manhattan: Jim Sturgess
Ozymandias: Armie Hammer
Silk Spectre I: Jena Malone
Silk Spectre II: Elizabeth Banks
The Comedian: Matthias Schoenaerts

Anonymous said...

Louis: your top 20 martin freeman acting moments

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

The crew - 3(All are effective in bringing enough of the right balance between casual menace and genuine buffoonery. Finding the right balance in showing that such idiots can be dangerous as long as they have the will, and the weapons to do it.)

McClorey - 3.5(Relatively limited role in terms of dialogue, however I felt she managed to sell her character's entire arc through just some key reactions, particularly in her final scene against contrast to Ledger's)

Byrne - 3.5(Again just wonderful chemistry Ledger that works best because of how the two compliment each other so well in their scenes through just an honest affection.)

Porter - 4(Just wonderful in her part in offering sort of the needed blunt reality in her scenes with Ledger. This in showing no sense of naivety in her discussions about Pando to Ledger, and being this great contrast to every one else's more ludicrous notions.)

Vidler - 4(I thought he was fantastic in his minor role, also just great casting as Ledger's brother. I love though Vidler's delivery of every one of his scenes that manages to also bring such humor in his sort of dark glee respecting the mistakes of himself and his brother, but also offers this haunting inspirational quality in his work as he explains sort of his philosophy of life. I especially loved his final reaction looking over Ledger, which I find quietly moving in granting a sense of the love of the brothers even though we never see the two truly interact.)

Robert:

I'm with you completely on Cho.

Lucas:

Yeah saw that one when it came out, and yes a fantastic use of Shannon intensity "mis"spent on such a ludicrous thing.

Bryan:

I will Irishman both him and Smart thank you very much. Hey, come on, I cast Irons as Ozymandias in the 80's Watchmen before he was even cast in the show, so I should be able to keep it! Seriously though, I'd probably just keep Haley and Morgan (two guys who deserve to carry over to any rendition), whose ages don't really matter much for those roles, then recast Silk Spectre I and Ozymandias just, as honestly Crudup, Wilson, even Gugino, I think both could've been great with a better director at the helm.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Do you know when you'll be able to see The Irishman in theaters or will you be forced to watch on Netflix.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

1. The elevator - Fargo
2. Lester Kills his wife - Fargo
3. Sending his wife in - Fargo
4. Yeah - Fargo
5. Ending - An Unexpected Journey
6. Not understanding the story - Fargo
7. Philosophy with Malvo - Fargo
8. Final confrontation with Malvo - Fargo
9. Riddles in the Dark - An Unexpected Journey
10. Interrogation by Numbers and Wrench - Fargo
11. Not killing Gollum - An Unexpected Journey
12. Stapler action - Fargo
13. Calling Malvo - Fargo
14. Talking with Smaug - The Desolation of Smaug
15. Thorin's end - Battle of the Five Armies
16. Not asking - An Unexpected Journey
17. Figuring out the riddle - Fargo
18. Unexpected guests - An Unexpected Journey
19. A new job - Hot Fuzz
20. Trying to leave - An Unexpected Journey

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Ah I remember that cast. Anyways, what do you think of Snyder’s decision to change the ending and not show the squid at the end of his film? And who do you think could’ve been a better fit to direct?

Bryan L. said...

Luke: I think he said that Netflix films come out at the same time as they do in theaters near his area. Or something like that

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Just looking over the showtimes until the 27th, it isn't even showing anywhere near me that day, so Netflix it will be, but still have plenty to see in the theater anyways with A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and Knives Out.

Bryan:

Well out of Snyder's decisions for Watchmen, that was hardly the worst thing, as Dr. Manhattan frame job, while not bereft of problems isn't completely without logic. Although earlier claims by some that the Squid would not work in a cinematic sense have been proven very VERY wrong by Lindelof and crew. I actually don't think Snyder was completely off the mark as director, although all his mistakes are easy to identify, that is because I don't think he's talentless he just seems to lack any sense of the human condition. I've said it before, he's someone honestly who needs a co-director to work with the actors, and make sure the human elements of the story work, not just the visuals, which are remarkable...for the most part. Or maybe just get Park Chan-wook or someone to do it (although he made the mistake of casting Matthew Goode in a substantial role as well...).

Calvin Law said...

I can’t believe Lindelof has completely won me over once more. And just to have some fun with it,

Rorschach - Walton Goggins
Nite Owl II - Joseph Mazzello
Silk Spectre II - Rachel Brosnohan
Dr Manhattan - Benedict Cumberbatch
Adrian Veidt - Richard Madden
The Comedian - Ehhhhhhhh

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your updated top 10 animated films.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Could I have your thoughts on the direction of (500) Days of Summer?

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the screenplay for The Hunt? I noticed the only 2012 win the film has is Best Picture, so I’m wondering where else the film came close to getting another one besides Mikkelsen lol

Calvin Law said...

Loved Jojo Rabbit, even though I might have a few reservations, none too major, and I actually thought the ending was perfect. Roman Griffin Davis is a Star and easy 5 for me.

Calvin Law said...

Also guys who’ve seen it without spoiling too much for the others: did Sam Rockwell’s character know what had already happened when he came by?

Louis Morgan said...

I think he knew the Gestapo were coming by, so he wanted to help JoJo, but didn't know the whole situation initially. My read on him was more as a disaffected soldier, sorta a Mason/Warner in the Iron Cross type, rather than anything more.

Calvin Law said...

I’ve been reading more on him and Allen’s characters and I actually really like the subtext there. Honestly the few issues I have with the film are a bit with the pacing at points but thinking more about it I love it all the more.

Mitchell Murray said...

Thoughts on the cast, Calvin?

I was wanting to watch the film in the theatre, but there are a surprising lack of showings from any of the cinemas near me.

Strangely, I might actually be watching "Marraige Story" on netflix before "Jojo Rabbit" if things don't change.

Calvin Law said...

Mitchell: It’s late so I’ll do ratings for now.

Davis: 5
McKenzie: 4.5
Johansson: 4.5
Rockwell: 4.5
Waititi: 4
Merchant: 3.5
Wilson: 3.5
Yates: 3.5
Allen: 3

Bryan L. said...

Mitchell: I’ve seen it too, and my ratings would be the same as Calvins. Though I’d give Wilson a 3, because I think shes kind of flat in her last scene, but she’s fine otherwise. Oh yeah...I loved the film as well.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

1. The Secret of NIMH
2. Grave of the Fireflies
3. Spirited Away
4. Pinocchio
5. Watership Down
6. NausicaƤ of the Valley of the Wind
7. My Neighbor Totoro
8. The Plague Dogs (Also perhaps one of the saddest films ever made)
9. Only Yesterday
10. Coraline

Tahmeed:

Very much Marc Webb making THE modern romantic comedy style, in that it is slick in its style, its musical number and general energetic tone. Although it also features the unfortunate elements of an overactive supporting cast, and perhaps hitting the mark too closely. This is to the point that perhaps this makes the supposed intention of the film fairly easy to miss given just how snappy everything around Tom is to see him as a self-destructive and controlling film. In that there is a conflict seemingly between script intention and Webb's approach particularly in his "Happy", here with go again approach. This isn't as extreme as say John Lee Hancock/The Founder situation, as Webb seems to have the general idea there, but it just becomes a little vague due to all the flash around it.

Bryan:

Well I will say my #1 of the year is typically the easiest choice to make for me, in that it is almost visceral reaction on my part in terms of just the experience that leaves this impression that I know when I feel it every time. There are technically some objective things within that, but what they add up to is that feeling. The Hunt is that film for me with 2012, even if I technically think the screenplay of The Master is a greater achievement, as is Anderson's direction, not that those features in the Hunt are anything to sniff at. The Hunt's screenplay is itself terrific in this just showing the destruction of one's life in detail from a witch hunt. It manages to break this down in a relatively simple but effective way in how it builds, and expands to overwhelm our protagonist. This with a natural realization of the abandonment of friends and that emotional decay. It isn't a flashy screenplay however it serves its purpose well, with the combination of Vinterberg's deft direction and Mikkelsen's unforgettable work that brings that "#1" reaction out of me. Vinterberg would be my #2 in director, though the screenplay would honestly be my #4 behind Zero Dark Thirty and Seven Psychopaths.

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Your thoughts on Vinterbergs direction for the film? And yeah, I figured the script/direction were in the Top Five for sure.

Matt Mustin said...

I've thought about giving The Hunt both screenplay and director, but I kinda can't deny Anderson. I think Skyfall is going to stay my Picture win, though.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Thoughts on The Plague Dogs and ratings and thoughts on the cast.

Bryan L. said...

Luke: Your Top Ten Animated Films?

Luke Higham said...

I'll give my top ten later today Bryan, once I'm out of work.

Louis: I'm so glad you loved The Plague Dogs. Honestly, the ending broke me. And I hope you'll review John Hurt in future, as well as Christopher Benjamin.

Anonymous said...

Louis, where would The Plague Dogs sit in your 82 top ten.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Did you see the Unedited version. The one that kept the farmer shot in the *blank* scene. Your thoughts on that as well.

Luke Higham said...

Bryan: In no particular order:
Watership Down
The Plague Dogs
When The Wind Blows
Grave Of The Fireflies
Spirited Away
Princess Mononoke
The Secret Of Nimh
The Hunchback Of Notre Dame
Beauty And The Beast
Fantastic Mr. Fox

Calvin Law said...

Mine would be:


1. Pinocchio
2. Watership Down
3. Wall-E
4. Grave of the Fireflies
5. My Neighbour Totoro
6. Spirited Away
7. The Iron Giant
8. Princess Mononoke
9. Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit
10. Mary & Max

Bryan L. said...

Luke: Thanks. Also, what happened to your post about Lord of the Rings: Return of the King? I happened to read it once and thought it was pretty good, but it’s not there anymore when I click on your profile.

Luke Higham said...

Bryan: I did that as a technical college project about 6 years ago and got rid it of because I never took it up a hobby like Louis, Calvin and yourself have. I do however appreciate that you liked it though.

Luke Higham said...

*as a hobby

Bryan L. said...

Luke: Ah, got it. If I remember correctly, you mentioned that there’s several tones in the film that Peter Jackson handles quite well to make it part of one whole. Thought that was a nice shoutout.


Also, my Chazelle ranking is up, if anyone wants to take a look

Louis Morgan said...

Watched A Beautiful Day in The Neighborhood, a sweet little film that's essentially A Christmas Carol if the spirits were replaced by Mr. Rogers.

Rhys - 4.5
Watson - 3
Cooper - 3
Plunkett - 3

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Thoughts on Rhys.

Calvin Law said...

Yeah I could easily bump Rhys up. Louis what did you think of the framing device for the film?

Louis Morgan said...

Bryan:

Best way to describe Vinterberg's direction is soulful. It is unfussy and avoids obvious manipulation. Beautiful to look at, but pointed in terms of just realizing the honest of the emotions of the story. It instead finds such a powerful blend between a naturalism with only sort of pushing his hand in essential moments, such as the use of music in the church, or the near final shot of the unknown attacker. Vinterberg has the right confidence in Mikkelsen much of the time to let so many scenes live with him, only reinforcing the power of staying within him with this careful empathy that leaves such a striking impression.

Luke:

The Plague Dogs is beautifully animated of course, but just such a powerful story of friendship/hardship, realized within the tale of the dogs on the run however through a very harsher lens than usually is such a story. This in creating the sense of the confusion of both dogs who just want a happy life, and the struggles to become potentially feral while having so many forces fall upon them. The tenderness between the pair is what makes the film, and creates such an unforgettable impression as a survival film of a very different ilk.

The unedited, which supports sort of the blunt brutality of Rosen's choices, which does make the violence grotesque, but rather a blunt truth. This is as it is off-putting however within the idea of the reality of it. That scene being particularly harrowing not only the situation, but crushing of a potential hope in a matter of seconds.

Rhys - (His performance is essential as the Ebenezer Scrooge of the piece, though of a different sort. I think honestly if his performance didn't work though the film would've completely floundered since it would have been easy to make his character extremely corny. Rhys though brings the needed reality in his own work to provide a balance in the film. This is in the intensity of the character's bitterness and anger, he balances well as a guy who is trying to do the right thing, yet is just festering within the things he can't let go of. Rhys makes so many moments work because he offers such a genuine truth within this emotional desperation. The same is true though in his transformation which he nicely doesn't show as this over the top shift, but rather this wonderful realization of a better life through accepting the ability to be sad and angry in a healthy way. Rhys's performance manages to synthesize the Roger's message in a way by showing so naturally these moments of the man coming to terms with his anger and heartbreak in this convincing way.)

Calvin:

I liked that choice a great deal, and I think it was really required in kind of granting the film from the outset a magical realism, needed no matter what for the way Rogers is used throughout the story.

Michael McCarthy said...

A 4.5 for Rhys? Hell yeah, I want to see this even more now.

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Thoughts on the rest of the cast? I thought you were going to take more to Cooper, unless it’s an oversight

Anonymous said...

Louis thoughts on the Indie Spirits noms?

Calvin Law said...

Michael: He’s perfectly cast.

Matt Mustin said...

I saw The Irishman, which I thought was AMAZING, and probably the single most profound cinema experience I've had all year. De Niro is off the charts brilliant, giving my favourite performance I've seen from anybody all year. Pesci and Pacino are also great, Pesci in particular, who I would say is now my Supporting Actor win.

EASILY my pick for Best Adapted Screenplay.

De Niro-5
Pacino-5
Pesci-5
Romano-3.5
Graham-4
Keitel-3.5
Cannavale-3
Paquin-3
Plemons-3

Matt Mustin said...

Louis: Is Hanks definitely supporting?

Bryan L. said...

Matt: That’s to be expected when you have Steven Zaillian write the script lol. What did you make of the de-aging effects?

Matt Mustin said...

Bryan L: I thought they were slightly distracting for about 30 seconds and then I never thought about them again. Overall they're amazing.

Louis Morgan said...

Bryan:

Watson - (Fine as the mostly supportive but struggling wife. A more limited role but does a fine job with it.)

Cooper - (I did think he was more than fine in the role, but I'll say the emotions around his character were carried more so by Rhys for me.)

Plunkett - (I think they could've actually used her a bit more in that she exuded her real life counterpart so well, and instantly gave an insight sort of the more common day, yet in that way perhaps all the more extraordinary, side to Rogers.)

Anonymous:

Quality wise: all about the Farewell in best film and Zhao for Supporting actress, Eggers in director and The Lightouse for cinematography. Also REALLY looking forward to seeing Uncut Gems.

Prediction Wise: Well good gets for the Lighthouse, since if it didn't get in here, I would've doubted all chances going forward. Dafoe in particular needed this, to help establish him in the race and in that category, and he'll probably have the Indie Spirit win at the end of the season at the very least. Pattinson I think we'll have a more difficult time translating no matter what. Sandler's nomination here though could potentially be something if he's sort of the "critic's pick" it will be interesting to see how that could go for him, as with the right amount of passion I think he could get a "Last second" spot in an outside chance.

Farewell almost performed to expectations, though no Wang in director suggests it probably won't over perform as the season goes on, same with the snub for Awkwafina, who I still will predict for Oscar as the Spirits usually snub an Oscar contender randomly like Melissa McCarthy last year or Jeff Bridges in 2016.

Other notes worth noting:

Marriage Story's Altman win makes it had to gauge the overall passion there, though worth noting that Baumbauch didn't get in director either so the passion isn't overwhelming either.

Zellweger makes it into actress, and I keep my sneaking suspicions that she'll be getting Oscar #2.

Waves only gets Supporting Actress, worth noting mainly that Brown missed potentially shrinking Supporting Actor a bit more.

Louis Morgan said...

Matt:

Not unquestionably so, in that Rogers is this force throughout the film, but I do think he is always in support of Rhys's story to the point that is where I would place him.

Calvin Law said...

Hanks is very easily supporting for me, and I’m really glad to be honest. Hopefully he’ll get in.

And agreed with Matt on the effects, in fact I’d say it’s some of the best use of them to date.

Calvin Law said...

Also while Plemons was more than fine, I’m almost 100% sure there’s a lot more of him on the cutting room floor.

Matt Mustin said...

Calvin: I would say it *is* the best use of them to date, especially considering how prominent they are. And agreed on Plemons, there's definitely a lot more of him somewhere.

Matt Mustin said...

And I have to say, De Niro is my overall MVP, but Joe Pesci...he's really something special here.

Calvin Law said...

Pacino is easy MVP for me, but I agreed that both the other chaps showed some amazing range here.

Matt Mustin said...

I guess this is what my current lead and supporting top fives look like.

Lead:
1. Robert De Niro in The Irishman
2. Robert Pattinson in The Lighthouse
3. Willem Dafoe in The Lighthouse
4. Roman Griffin Davis in Jojo Rabbit
5. Aaron Paul in El Camino


Supporting:
1. Joe Pesci in The Irishman
2. Robert Downey Jr. in Avengers: Endgame
3. Song Kang-ho in Parasite
4. Al Pacino in The Irishman
5. Alessandro Nivola in The Art of Self-Defense

Calvin Law said...

Mine isn’t actually all that dissimilar.

1. Dafoe
2. Pattinson
3. Griffin Davis
4. Diehl
5. Schoenaerts/Paul

1. Pacino
2. Hanks
3. Pesci
4. Song
5. Evans

Bryan L. said...

Matt: I still don't know whether I "really like" or "love" Nivola in The Art of Self-Defense haha. Also, I suppose there's some competition for your #1 film so far?

Matt Mustin said...

Evans *barely* missed out for me.

Bryan L. said...

*some new competition

Matt Mustin said...

Bryan L: I liked The Art of Self-Defense as a whole more than most people, I think.

Right now I'm saying my number one is The Irishman, but that may just be because it's fresher in my mind. I still think Parasite is a masterpiece. It doesn't make my decision any easier that they both have endings that are pure, haunting poetry.

Matt Mustin said...

By the way, I almost want to add a .5 to Paquin's rating just as a "screw you" to people complaining about her lack of dialogue. She makes the absolute most out of every second she has.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

I'm glad that half of Louis's top ten animated films are Studio Ghibli works, and I'm especially happy about Spirited Away and Only Yesterday's placements :)..

Also, it's really intriguing how there isn't a clear consensus so far on the MVP for The Irishman. I'm hyped for the 27th, to say the least :)

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your top 10 World War 2 films.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Films specifically about the war effort, rather than set during the war so no Schindler's List, Casablanca, Army of Shadows and such.

1. The Bridge on the River Kwai
2. The Thin Red Line
3. Stalag 17
4. Das Boot
5. Inglorious Basterds
6. Come And See
7. Dunkirk
8. Letters From Iwo Jima
9. Where Eagles Dare
10. From Here to Eternity

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the production design and cinematography of The Room.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: I'm happy you're reviewing Hurt and Benjamin but what did you think of James Bolam as The Tod.

Luke Higham said...

And your thoughts on the Ending.

Bryan L. said...

Luke: Your ratings for Dumbo, Aladdin and The Lion King, all 2019? Also, Maleficent: Chapter Two?

Luke Higham said...

Bryan:
Dumbo - 2
Aladdin - 3
The Lion King - 2.5
Maleficent 2 - 1.5

Anonymous said...

Well apparently 1917 is great too.

Calvin Law said...

Glad to hear that George MacKay is getting raves for it too.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Bolam - 3.5(Bolam indeed delivers the needed cunning to be expected of a fox in his vocal work, though also this slight roughness within it, but the sense of a "street smart" element. This is to the point while you see Snitter's slight dismay with him, Bolam offers an honesty about his work that makes The Tod's fate rather harrowing particularly after his earnest boasting delivery of his final line.)

The ending is heartbreaking, though technically ambiguous, it is hard for me to accept the happy ending, however incredibly moving and poignant it is in how it works through the moment of Rowf offering the optimism instead of Snitter, even if his "sight" is perhaps not an illusion at all, just not of the earth.

Anonymous:

Well, I'm not sure words can cover such an achievements but I will try. I mean in the production design you have a lot of interesting choices, like choosing to make the main room and bedroom sets perhaps inspire the future porno sets used by The King's Speech, is an interesting one. The same to use spoons to suggest the soft demeanor of Johnny that cannot compare to the sharpness of Mark, or a spiral staircase to nowhere, representing obviously that Johnny's life to leave nowhere. There is also the idea of having fake rooftops with obvious green screen reflect the artificiality of the character's lives. I mean most would call it lazy and cheap looking, but people from an alternate dimension could call it genius.

The cinematography obviously went over an arduous process with three different cinematographers, until Wiseau find the last one who was willing to concede to his vision, or you know was willing just to get paid for making garbage, either interpretation is okay. As most films of its ilk go, one must say the scenes are lit, in that there is lighting. Interesting choice to have blurry shots, always interesting to do that. There may never be sense to any camera choices or movements, or lighting, but it is all there. That can be said more than some productions, so there...I guess.