Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Alternate Best Actor 2018: Matt Dillon in The House That Jack Built

Louis: Matt Dillon did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying the titular character of The House That Jack Built.

Verne: Why did you say that?

Louis: Force of habit I suppose, probably why I'm in this current situation.

(Sounds of two people wading through unpleasant water...smells)

Louis: I have to say this is a pretty pleasant dark pit, reeks a bit, strangely blurry for a real place.

Verne: Why seems appropriate for where we are.

Louis: Hell?

Verne: No the mind of Lars van Trier, it's easy to get the two confused I know.

Louis: They do seem to go hand in hand in their general unpleasantness.

Verne: Are you sure you want to continue then, as it doesn't get brighter from here...perhaps tell me about how great Toshiro Mifune is some more...

Louis: I might have done that enough at this point, though not too much, no no but really I gotta make it through this sludge, that's why I'm here. I mean I did review Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl.

Verne: That certainly is a trial in itself, however I believe that was made by Satan.

Louis: Hey Tom Hooper isn't that bad.

Verne: Well he shall ever be known as Satan for beating David Fincher you know, and he too dwells in the dark. Care to see his adaptation of Cats?

Louis: Please no, let's avoid that.

Verne: Don't worry that's the 90th layer of hell filled with cheap wallpaper. We're currently only in the 75th just halfway point towards the collective dramas of Adam McKay.

Louis: I thought we weren't in Hell?

Verne: As I said it is easy to confuse things here.

Louis: Well it certainly feels that way.

Verne: Do you not appreciate Henry: Portrait of  Serial Killer?

Louis: I'd say I do an extent, unpleasant as it, but this is more Henry by the way Monsieur Verdoux. 

Verne: Who doesn't love Chaplin?

Louis: Well we do have fast motion walking, title cards, fooling around with a cop, and just messing with props in a way one would assume you're suppose to laugh at.

Verne: You refer to Chaplin's The Circus?

Louis: No this is The House That Jack Built. Of course we see him bash people's heads in, choke women to death, and just other random acts of brutality. All in graphic gory detail....but with still that same sort of silliness as a Tramp skit.

Verne: Well what leads you to talk of this then?

Louis: Force of habit, and we are in the right place in von Trier's mind.

Verne: But title says you're talking about Matt Dillon.

Louis: Yes but it necessary to speak of one, to even broach the other.

Verne: Then you best post a picture of him, lest your more ritually minded readers become perturbed.

Louis: Very well.

Louis: There he is.

Verne: Yes and why is he here exactly?

Louis: That's a good question, watching this film is perhaps the definition of some sort of masochism. But falls into the idea of separating the elements of the film from the whole.

Verne: Why how do you feel about the whole here.

Louis: Well it's a piece of garbage, where you watch a director masturbate in front of you for over two hours. Not the pleasant experience.

Verne: Could we not just say naval gazing?

Louis:  No, for von Trier, the bit of the ribald is always needed.

Verne: You don't seem to care for the film, then why was it not on your worst of the year list?

Louis: Well that would give von Trier exactly what he desires now wouldn't it. A man who says he's sympathizes with Hitler, for the sake to be the the level of edginess near that guy in your high school who drew pictures of people with knives sticking out of their eyes.

Verne: It appears you're getting off topic.

Louis: I suppose so, as I'm suppose to be talking about Matt Dillon.

Verne: A fine actor.

Louis: I don't have a problem with him. In fact I find he does an utterly splendid job of delving out the finest bit of excrement out of his mouth. I mean it is really impressive how Dillon can espouse with such precision. I haven't seen such notable passing of mouth waste than that old atheist episode of South Park.

Verne: Is the film not a confession by von Trier that his work is excrement though, Jack does go to a fiery demise after all.

Louis: Should be a fairer point than it is. He does love to splice murders with "fine art"...much like von Trier like to combine the putrid with artistry. But I'm suppose to be talking about Matt Dillon. Who as I said does a fine job of speaking von Trier's delusions into the world. His work is devoted. He knows what he needs to do in the part, and technically become this thing in the film that one can witness an artistry, if misguided in its use.

Verne: Devotion is good is it not?

Louis: It is, and I appreciate the art of performance even in separation from any atrocious thing it may be intertwined with.

Verne: Raul Julia in Street Fighter?

Louis: No do not compare the two! Street Fighter has far more value. But I will admit Dillon's performance is an intriguing waste of time as he portrays the shades of von Trier's obnoxious treatise. Dillon is on the top of any form of creep it appears von Trier wishes to relate. This could be the sleazy charmer, Dillon is that. It could be the random creep, Dillon is that. It could be human guano with delusions of grandeur that results in more guano. Dillon is all these things, as he should be, and is convincing in making them one reprehensible act. His act though more forgivable I suppose. 

Verne: How much of this performance does he simply funnel von Trier's voice you think?

Louis: Long enough to be an impressive display of consistent detached misanthropy, to the point no one can say Matt Dillon did not do his job.

Verne: Sorry to break topic, but was that Monsieur Verdoux comparison.

Louis: Something as tiresome, in the serial killer explaining his crimes by evoking the great murderers of history, as some excuse, to which Chaplin's wrongly put forth. He did not do so with as much of a blithe disregard for good taste. That brings me back to Dillon though who does a remarkable work in realizing the same blithe, even darkly humorous, edge in his performance. Mind you it makes the film no less tolerable but within his own bubble one could easily foresee this portrayal of evil being used for good instead of evil.

Verne: You view the works of von Trier as evil do you.

Louis: Not quite, but his general, and frankly random callousness. A man with with no hardships in his existence, though with the attitude of some survivor of a massacre that never occurred. It is that approach, that amounts to no more than a guy who shoves a rotting rabbit's head in your face just to disgust you.

Verne: Again though are Jack's views not in the end proven to be untrue?

Louis: Not really, as von Trier shows his own films as these great art creations as supported by Jack's voice over, and in the end denounces nothing. He aspires to be Jack and just an attitude is more worth an eye roll, than a gasp. He is correct though in showing how obnoxious a man can be who insists upon his own brilliance. The idea that any one would have to ponder on Jack's thoughts is as laughable as it is disgusting.

Verne: Are you not here to talk of Dillon?

Louis: I'll admit I keep getting side tracked, difficult not to, as Dillon is isolation what one would explain as a compelling turn, it is the material around him that just wastes away any interest so very quickly. His performance maintains a consistent quality and elements one would typically describe as chilling.

Verne: You don't describe him as chilling here.

Louis: No, as the film is too tiresome to become chilling, even if what Dillon does in his own place should theoretically be so. Dillon is not even one note, he does find the appropriate variation within the various states of Jack's temperament. He even does convey what one would assume is a great emotion as Jack stares off into Heaven in one moment. Again who really cares, but Dillon's work is on point on his end of things. His performance is frankly more than the tiresome act that is the film. His performance although plays with that callousness does so in attempt to create a singular creation that lives in itself, rather than some lame self reflective nonsense.

Verne: It sounds as though you like his performance?

Louis: Technically I do, and it is a performance that would've been nice to witness in an actual film rather than an obnoxious exercise, that really would have been fitting if at the end of the film it cut to von Trier eating a carrot and going "Ain't I a stinker". It is a most impressive tool for a tool.

Verne: Then what rating would you give him, you know if you don't put the Mifunes up you will be asked.

Louis: A 4.5.

Verne: Where's the picture.

Louis: This film doesn't deserve it. Why are you here anyways?

Verne: Looking for work after Jim Varney died. Thought von Trier's mind is a good place as any to find work.

Louis: Eh good luck with that I'm off to write about The Other Side of the Wind, now there's some director mastur.....naval gazing one can enjoy.

Verne: But we must continue this discussion....let's watch the film again.

(Louis sees fiery pit, and jumps in.)


Michael McCarthy said...


Well now I have to watch it.

Louis Morgan said...

Consarn it!

Matt Mustin said...

Am I going crazy?

Psifonian said...

You know what's funny? After I left the theater, I pretty much had the same complaints and views on it that you did. But over time, it's actually grown on me. Like a benign tumor, the kind you could have removed but because it's cosmetic, your insurance won't cover it, so you might as well keep it because it's on a part of your body nobody would look at anyway. It's hugely flawed, but I adore its epilogue and some of the sequences in it (namely the second and third "acts") are among LvT's best work. But yeah, damned if it doesn't need an editor and a hacksaw.

Also, Ganz is amazing and deserves more love from you.

Calvin Law said...

Okay, this was a brilliant review. I am glad however, that I took your advice literally.

Instead, I chose to watch The Guilty, and I really loved it. I'm changing both my set of predictions:

1. Reilly
2. Cedergren
3. Considine
4. Hawke
5. Huston

1. Gosling
2. Foster
3. Coogan
4. Fonte
5. Dillon

Calvin Law said...

Also, Jessica Dinnage would make my top 10 supporting actresses of 2018.

Calvin Law said...

And I've just realised that Matt Dillon has a track record of two decent/good ratings for two films Louis hated on here lol

Robert MacFarlane said...

This review reminds me of Unshaved Mouse and his Disney reviews. I mean that as a high compliment.

Michael McCarthy said...

In all seriousness though, if Bale and Malek could only manage 4s due to their films constrictions, I'm genuinely fascinated to see a performance that gets a 4.5 in the garbage fire this film looks to be.

Charles H said...

I'm certainly hesitant to watch it considering Michael's point.

Luke Higham said...

1. Gosling
2. Foster
3. Coogan
4. Fonte
5. Dillon

Luke Higham said...

Brilliant review. :)

Anonymous said...

Louis: Ratings and thoughts on the Female Performances in Nancy.

Bryan L. said...

1. Gosling
2. Foster
3. Coogan
4. Dillon
5. Fonte

RatedRStar said...

I saw the film yesterday when I got home, I cringed at the dialogue in this, it was painful, the repetitive nature of oh here is a woman/man, watch me chat for a bit and then kill her/him, bring her/him back to the freezer, take some pictures, repeat, it was boring for the most part.

The violence isn't actually that gruesome at first, I would say there were 2 hideous scenes in the film though, one is the flashback duckling scene that everyone has mentioned.

Louis: I actually think the most gruesome looking scene in the film is when he is doing his taxidermist routine on the kids face to make a smile, that shot was hideous for me that.

RatedRStar said...

Out of the five Trier films I have seen this is easily the worst, and I didn't like Nymphomaniac or Dancer in the Dark.

Razor said...

1. Gosling
2. Foster
3. Fonte
4. Coogan
5. Dillon

RatedRStar said...

1. Hawke
2. Considine
3. Cerdergen
4. Reilly
5. Huston

1. Gosling
2. Foster
3. Coogan
4. Fonte
5. Dillon

Luke Higham said...

I predict fives for Reilly (The Sisters Brothers), Coogan, Cedergren, Hawke, Gosling, Considine and Foster. I wouldn't rule out Huston or Fonte either.

And with Foster, I predict this will be his 5th best performance, just slightly ahead of The Program.

Luke Higham said...

And Phoenix as well, because I do recall Louis saying the film had two extremely memorable protagonists.

Charles H said...

After giving it a thought, i'm really hoping for a five for Huston. I'm confident everyone else will get fives except for Fonte and maybe Reilly for Stan and Ollie.

Calvin Law said...

I dunno I feel like Reilly and Coogan will get the exact same rating. Different for Sisters Brothers I’d say since Reilly gets the meatier character and more focus.

Matt Cofrancesco said...

Louis: What is your favorite Chaplin performance?

Matt Cofrancesco said...

Did not even realize Chaplin was mentioned in the review, that's weird

Emi Grant said...

Well, at least watching that absolute piece of burning garbage was worth it to get this review. The only thing related to the absolute piece of burning garbage that has brought me any joy. Good job, Louis.

Dillon did as good as he could have, it shouldn't make sense how he strikes such devoted work on this a.p.b.g. I'd go with a soft 4.

Calvin Law said...

Jason Momoa is going to play Duncan Idaho. Yeah that’s the first casting choice I’ve heard which makes me go hmmmm so far. Stacked cast though.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Saw Happy Death Day 2U. Messier than the first, but there were still quite a few belly laughs. Jessica Rothe still deserves to be a much bigger star. Or at the very least she should get more comedic roles. Her style is like Gillian Jacobs mixed with a velociraptor. I love it. (Also, I want them to play sisters).

Robert MacFarlane said...

Oh yeah, Rothe is still my #2 for 2017 Lead Actress. I die free.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke, Calvin, Robert, Emi:



Riseborough - 4.5(This is actually a very strong performance from her that could have easily devolved into a whole lot of artificial tics. Instead Riseborough manages to find an honesty in the initially rather off-putting nature of the character. The emotional dishonesty of the character, is realized with such honesty of Riseborough's work that exudes such a palatable desperation at every point. I love that she doesn't go into the easy route of caricature as the film moves to its potentially skin crawling narrative. This is as the woman essentially trying to force a family for herself. Although it never truly becomes not skin crawling Riseborough finds the right balance between the on edge mental state of the character, with such a genuinely human element in her moments of seeking a real connection with others.)

Smith-Cameron - 4(She gives an often rather moving portrayal of essentially this subdued love and acceptance. In that she manages to convey it as something always within the character as something she so powerfully wants to let out towards the woman she really wants to believe is her daughter, but does so well to convey the logical repression that keeps her from going further.)

Dowd's fine but barely in it.


Would've preferred to see someone like Liev Schreiber, or if they want a big brawler, I honestly would've rather have seen Dave Bautista there, as I've seen far more range from him than from Mamoa.


The Great Dictator.