Friday, 7 December 2018

Alternate Best Actor 1987: Results

10. Gaspard Manesse in Au Revoir Les Enfants -Manesse gives a fine natural turn however his performance is largely limited as the perspective of a mostly naive young boy.

Best Scene: The ending.
9. Steve Martin in Roxanne - Martin gives a surprisingly respectful sendoff of the Cyrano character re-imagined as a fireman, though I perhaps wish he stayed even truer to the spirit of the original.

Best Scene: Smelling fire.
8. Joe Mantegna in House of Games - Mantegna is limited by the character however he gives effective portrayals of the many different sides of a con man, from the sucker, to the smooth operator, and even just the slime ball beneath it all.

Best Scene: "Thank you sir, may I have another"
7. Klaus Kinski in Cobra Verde - Kinski as usually makes an impact in his emotionally raw turn however his work is constricted by the film's distant perspective character.

Best Scene: How to spear
6. Martin Short in Innerspace - Short gives an absolutely hilarious portrayal of an especially unlikely hero, but he also naturally finds some dramatic substance in his character's journey towards confidence.

Best Scene: The dream in reality.
5. Christian Bale in Empire of the Son - Bale gives a dramatic and compelling portrayal of the gradual maturation of a young boy through the horrors of war. His work though often seems strangely at odds with Steven Spielberg who seems often too timid to make a story about the loss of innocence.

Best Scene: After the bombings. 
4. Terry O'Quinn in The Stepfather - O'Quinn is in a garbage film however he breaths a genuinely chilling life into a man who thrives on the love of family but does so through killing them.

Best Scene: Who am I?
3. Cary Elwes in The Princess Bride - Elwes gives a somewhat underrated turn, in a highly regarded film, as his work captures just the perfect tone between earnest charisma, and sly comedy.

Best Scene: "Drop your sword"
2. Richard E. Grant in Withnail and I - Richard E. Grant delivers a marvelous feature film debut in his varied comical, yet not without pathos, portrayal of an actor trying his best to play the play that is his life.

Best Scene: Hamlet in the rain.
1. Mickey Rourke in Angel Heart - Rourke tops this list with ease in his charismatic yet also brilliantly exhaustive portrayal of a vicious mental and moral decay of a man as he descends towards hell.

Best Scene: "I know who I am"
Updated Overall

Next Year: 1987 supporting


Luke Higham said...

Downey Jr.
Sutherland - The Lost Boys

Ratings and thoughts on the rest of the overall.

And your Female Top tens with ratings and other 4+ performances.

Luke Higham said...

And your winners for 1987.

Mitchell Murray said...

Good ranking as usual.

Also, as it relates to the recent Golden Globe nominations I saw Blackkklansman today. For a while I actually forgot it was a Spike Lee piece, say for the final montage. In any case the movie is quite effective, finding a good balance of commentary, drama and humour mainly thanks to some assured casting (Topher Grace, most surprisingly).

I'll remain silent on Washington for now but Driver is really good. Not amazing work, per say, but certainly an enjoyable turn from one of today's most interesting actors.

Matt Mustin said...

Regarding the Avengers trailer, did anyone else find the brief glimpse of Downey's performance particularly intriguing?

Bryan L. said...

Matt: Oh I definitely did, and that glimpse made me especially excited for his performance in the film. I think Renner could also be a standout.

Anonymous said...

Louis: New films recently?

Also have you seen Roma? If so thoughts?

Louis Morgan said...


Nicholson - 4(This is definitely *big* Nicholson which I typically don't go for however it does I felt worked here given the tone of the film, and the nature of the part. He is essentially a character just loving his own debauchery so Nicholson's gleeful approach just seems right for the part for once, and his moments of excess are right for the devil doesn't avoid really calling attention to himself at any point.)

Quaid - 4(His accent is a little wonky at times however this is a pretty good performance from him, again though seeming as though he is doing his own Nicholson. This time it is a little more natural though finding a real thriving charisma within the role, and just giving one of his most dynamic turns here. In addition though he absolutely delivers in the most emotional moments especially his deft portrayal of the character's writing guilt over his long history of being involved in corruption.)

Hopkins - 3.5(A splendid performance by him just bringing that quiet charm he can bring. The role doesn't ask too much of him but he gives a sweet respectable turn as to be expected.)

DeVito - 3.5(The only part worth while if you ask me as DeVito's hilarious "Killer face" is the one joke that works in the film.)

Dreyfuss - 3.5(Does his best to sell a pretty mediocre film with a least a proper passionate "lawyer" performance. He doesn't have much to work with, but what does do is good.)

Grant - 3.5(Grant has the more interesting performance as the aggressively sexual man originally who changes himself to societal standards. I like though that Grant's work does not vilify his character in the later scenes still creating enough of an understanding and sympathy in his interactions with Wilby.)

Phillips - 3(He certainly gives an earnest performance, but he really doens't make too much of an impact. Not a star making turn though he is decent.)

Falk - 2.5(Horrible film, greatest sin being a horrendous waste of Tom Courtenay, but Falk is also there. He tries to bring a bit of charm, but it is a pointless endeavor.)

Swayze - 2.5(He actually does try to sell the film, however it just still feel a bit too much even in this attempt.)

Crystal - 2.5(Crystal coasting that really doesn't do much but look a little confused occasionally. Very surface work that doesn't add up to much.)

Stallone - 2.5(He actually does try to bring some conviction to the absolutely ridiculous plot of the film. That is perhaps the problem though as it becomes a little boring when perhaps going ridiculous would have been the right approach.)

Mendenhall - 0(Yikes is this kid annoying.)


1. Holly Hunter - Broadcast News
2. Holly Hunter - Raising Arizona
3. Cher - Moonstruck
4. Glenn Close - Fatal Attraction (still need to re-watch)
5. Ellen Barkin - The Big Easy - 4
6. Emily Lloyd - Wish You Were Here - 4
7. Cher - The Witches of Eastwick - 4
8. Michelle Pfeiffer - The Witches of Eastwick - 4
9. Susan Sarandon - The Witches of Eastwick - 4
10. Lindsay Crouse - House of Games

Supporting Actress:

1. Joan Greenwood - Little Dorrit
2. Faye Dunaway - Barfly
3. Veronica Cartwright - The Witches of Eastwick - 4.5
4. Angelica Huston - The Dead - 4.5
5. Olympia Dukakis - Moonstruck
6. Kathy Baker - Street Smart
7. Carroll Baker - Ironweed - 4
8. Joan Chen - The Last Emperor
9. Dianne Wiest - Radio Days - 4
10. Meg Ryan - Innerspace


Can You Ever Forgive Me, which I loved.

No to the latter.

Emi Grant said...

Anonymous: Roma is being released on the 14th.

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Ratings and thoughts on the film and the cast sans Richard E. Grant?

Matt Mustin said...

Louis: SO glad you loved Can You Ever Forgive Me. It really surprised me.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Thoughts on those Female performances.

Luke Higham said...

And Bancroft in 84 Charing Cross Road.

Giuseppe Fadda said...

I've seen Destroyer. Perhaps not for everyone, but I loved it.

Kidman - 5
Stan - 3.5
Kebbell - 3
Maslany - 3.5
McNairy - 3.5
Whitford - 3.5
Pettyjohn - 3

The cast is uniformly good but it's Kidman's show from start to finish. Stan and Maslany are particularly strong in their brief screen-time though.

RatedRStar said...

Louis: Donal McGann might be worth a look in The Dead if you put him in supporting.

Deiner said...

Louis your thoughts and ratings on:
- Anne Bancroft in 84 Charring Cross Road
- Anne Ramsey in Throw Momma From The Train
- Barbra Streisand in Nuts
- Goldie Hawn in Overboard
- Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing
And can you check out The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne? I LOVE Maggie Smith in that movie.

Deiner said...

Oh, and Christine Lahti in Housekeeping <3 can't believe I forgot her!

Luke Higham said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Luke Higham said...

Louis: During Supporting, could you watch:

Escape From Sobibor (Arkin/Hauer)
Fatal Attraction (Re-watch for Glenn Close)
Near Dark
Evil Dead II
Walker (Ed Harris)
The Lonely Passion Of Judith Hearne
Babette's Feast (Won Oscar and Bafta for Foreign Language Film)
Anna (Best Actress nominee)
Prince Of Darkness (John Carpenter/Donald Pleasence)
Bad Taste
Blind Chance (KieĊ›lowski)
Opera (Dario Argento)
Where Is My Friend's House?
Boyfriends And Girlfriends (Eric Rohmer)
The Hidden (Kyle MacLachlan)
A Chinese Ghost Story
City On Fire
The Brave Little Toaster
Some Kind Of Wonderful
The Year My Voice Broke (Noah Taylor)
A Better Tomorrow II
Law Of Desire
Three O'Clock High
Under The Sun Of Satan (Gerard Depardieu)
Beatrice (Julie Delpy)
Someone To Watch Over Me (Ridley Scott)
Best Seller (James Woods)
Tin Men
The Whales Of August (Davis/Gish)

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Have you watched Escape From Sobibor.

Anonymous said...

Luke: Isn't Escape From Sobibor a television film?

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: It is, but Louis has been watching TV films during the bonus rounds and it's the only one from the year that looks at least somewhat interesting and Hauer won a Golden Globe for it.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the production design for The Prisoner of Zenda and the Adventures of Robin Hood.

Louis Morgan said...


McCarthy - 5(Well the promise of her somewhat dramatic turn in St. Vincent was evidently no fluke at all with this outstanding performance she gives her. I go honestly go a long time on the virtues of the film, and McCarthy is one of the greatest of them. She takes a truly horrible character in that it is entirely a misanthrope. McCarthy doesn't hide this in the slightest with the turn, in fact bringing such a strong conviction in terms of her scenes of being a horrible person. She shows it as essentially just the nature of Israel to disregard others in this cruel way. Although she does bring some natural comedy within this at times, which completely works, it is remarkable how nuanced her portrayal of this is. There is a sadness to it of course, but there is also this comfort she portrays in the woman who almost thrives in having no one to deal with. The cruelty of this is made so exceptionally natural in her work, this is an example of a performance that may be too good (in a good way) in that she never hides who Israel is. It is then all the more remarkable that she someone makes you slowly empathize with her even though she never cheats the character. It's quite a trick and rather difficult to explain how she even does this, since she is playing a bad person and not even with the help being a proper grandiose villain. She's technically that mean cat lady, but what a vivid realization of such a mean old cat lady it is. There is not a single moment in her journey that is taken for granted in McCarthy's performance, that finds substance within the woman being human, even if she's not a very good human. There is such a real poignancy she finds in those fits of sympathy, and never does that feel forced at all. It is almost a surprisingly powerful turn, not so much in terms of say doubting McCarthy's talent, but rather in terms of taking this character and making her resonate as she does despite the nature of the individual at hand. Amazing work, that I wish would maybe upset at a few of the upcoming awards.)

Everyone else is good though their roles are minor.


Barkin - (I wish the film had her take less of a back seat in the final scenes, though she is good even when in a more supportive quality with Quaid. Her early scenes though are easily the best where she manages to effectively balance this certain believable professional willfulness that comes into conflict with her personal life vulnerabilities. I wish the film took this even further as this conflict that Barkin does express is very well handled, it just is lost a bit by the end of the film when it reverts to a more traditional romance. To their credit though she and Quaid have very good chemistry.)

Lloyd - (She gives an interesting turn as the overly sexual woman for her time creating this sort of force of personality within it. The film however doesn't really allow her to express this beyond a certain point. They mostly just have her interact with others that sadly doesn't let her really delve much deeper with the character. It is a good performance, but limited at every point.)

Cher, Pfeiffer, Sarandon - (The three all have good charisma and do well with the material they have. That is portraying the sort of change in expression through their interaction with the devil is Nicholson. They have good chemistry together in this particularly in finding the right combination between this sort of intrigue and concern that slowly becomes imbalanced.)

Louis Morgan said...

Cartwright - (Steals the film and I wish there was more of her. Again you won't find someone better at portraying emotional distress than Cartwright as he terrified screams are certainly just on a whole different level. This time though for a bit of a different purpose as this sort of hysterical mania. Cartwright brings this to life brilliantly though essentially making herself the most fascinating character to the point I wish it had perhaps been about her entirely. At the very least I wish her exit wasn't so swift.)

Huston - (Side note this is remarkable swansong for John Huston, one of his best directorial achievements, making up for Prizzi's Honor and making a proper sendoff similar to Kurosawa's late work in its approach. Any way Angelica Huston though is a particularly memorable turn. She does well with the accent and everything, but what takes her performance far beyond it what she does in this largely reactionary work. The thing is though she succeeds in creating so much in this reflection that goes far deeper than a simple expression at any point. Wholly realizing the power in this person more intertwined in her memory with the past and the dead, than her present circumstances.)

Bancroft - 3.5(Just like Hopkins it is fine mildly charming work. It is very low impact though in both the dramatic and even charm. It is mostly a film of people reading letters, which Bancroft brings enough emotion to carry but there is not at lot asked of her here.)

Wiest - (Wiest gives an enjoyable little turn here doing her best Allen style caricature, though with a bit of a mild pathos she does find in her performance to make a bit more than just a few laughs.)

I've seen Escape from Sobibor, Babette's Feast, and Opera.

I also have seen the Brave Little Toaster at one time, and I don't think it's one that is essential to revisit.


Ramsey - 3(She's fine though I don't really see the nomination here. It is essentially what she did with The Goonies though just a bit more aggressively grotesque. What she does is amusing enough, but again not something I think should have been Oscar nominated.)

Hawn - (Been a bit too long since I've seen it though I recall being an endearing turn from her.)

Grey - 3(I'll give her credit in really trying to sell the more dramatic elements of the story, she doesn't quite fully succeed, though God bless Jerry Orbach for actually pulling it off, but her efforts aren't wholly wasted.)

Streisand - 2(Oscar bait gone awry. This role seems tailored made for any performer with all the big scenes she has throughout in being this aggressively personality of so many extremes. It ends up just seeming these different scenes for her to act in as a showcase than singular character. In addition her performance feels like a whole lot of posturing even beyond lacking a real cohesion in her work. Every scene you feel the wheel turning of making it a big scene in one way or another.)

I'll certainly try to get to those.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on Escape From Sobibor, Babette's Feast and Opera with ratings/thoughts on the casts.

Louis Morgan said...


There isn't anything notable about Escape from Sobibor in terms of the overall direction, however the potency of the story, and the strength of the performances still turn in a rather the harrowing experience of a story I'll admit I was not aware of before seeing the film. Although I could theoretically see a "better" film told with this material it is still a powerful film.

Arkin - 4.5(A quietly moving performance by him here as he plays it very close to the chest. Depicting a man who come to terms with his existence, at least as much as one can. This is realized by this powerful inherent emotional power subtle interwoven in his work. It quietly awakens to a more direct passion though as Arkin depicts this rise of intensity in the man. This creates the most remarkable transformation towards leading the escape. When he finally becomes the hero so to speak, it is incredibly potent, yet also wholly earned by Arkin's devoted work.)

Hauer - 4(He's not in the film for all that long, however once he shows up it is hard to take your eyes off of him. He makes for a proper badass that still feels appropriate within the realm of the material. Hauer delivers that cold determination in that way only really he can. He does offer some moments though of a more overt emotional intensity that relates to the character's past. These brief yet poignant in showing what his steely eyed soldier has lost.)

The whole cast is uniformly good, even the briefest part.

Babette's Feast is very much a mood piece, though I'd say I prefer The Dead about the two "important" dinner films. The film is very low key yet emotional and really is mostly there for Gabriel Axel's direction that is fairly remarkable. I liked the film which managed to find a certain quiet poignancy through moments of small interactions rather than big dramatics. I especially love the atmospheric work in terms of giving a sense of place, and even in just the realization of a proper meal.

All the performances are good, but very much work in a particular more representative sort of way.

Loved Opera's direction, which is especially lurid by Dario Argento. He creates such unforgettable murder scenes, and really gives a vivid sense of his horror setting. The actual story here though is pretty weak one it reveals itself. Not to the point that it ruined the film even, Argento's overall style is kind of enough substance. The substance is pretty stupid.

Marsillach - 3.5(She makes for a fine scream queen, more of a stare in petrified terror queen. She's good though in portraying this reactions believable while never becoming truly one note either. Unfortunately the actual developments for her come from the stupid plot points that she does not do too much with.)

Charleson - 3(He's a fine red haring for a couple of scene. Bringing the right calm ego for his opera director. I wish he had gotten a bit more to do because I did like the moments he had.)