Sunday, 3 February 2019

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 2018: Linus Roache in Mandy

Linus Roache did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Jeremiah Sand in Mandy.

Mandy is the psychedelic revenge fairy tale about lumberjack Red (Nicolas Cage) seeking justice after a cult steals his girlfriend, fittingly named Mandy (Andrea Riseborough).

Linus Roache, who is perhaps best known for his quietly respectable turn as Thomas Wayne in Batman Begins, unleashes a complete 180 in his portrayal of Jeremiah Sand the cult leader, of a handful of people, with obviously more than a few delusions in his head. Roache initially appears in the film as his cult rides along in their mystery van passing by Mandy to whom Jeremiah takes a keen interest in. Roache's performance is initially as what you'd expect from the cult leader in his casual lean looking off into the distance as though lives with this greater perspective on the world. His physical performance having this burden in the way he leans as though he is posing for a renaissance painting of Christ being taken off the cross, though Jeremiah would probably consider this to be a self-portrait. When he first speaks to one of his disciples, requesting the addition of Mandy to his disciples, Roache speaks in an excessively calm, spiritual tone, as though he is a new age healer. Roache exuding the theoretical zen state of a man who just is simply beyond the normal human, or at least that's what he'd tell you. Of course this setup makes Roache's break down of this absolutely hilarious as whines in a decidedly more earthly fashion, and his performance is more akin to a spoiled teenager than a messiah. The lack of eloquence in Roache's shift is comic gold, just as it is effective in revealing the hollowness of his act.

Sand steals away Mandy, by naturally making a blood sacrifice of one of his followers to a group of demonic bikers, as one does, who kidnap her for him. Of course before meeting her he naturally has her sufficiently drugged up before "witnessing him". Roache is quite simply amazing in this scene in every thing he does is absolutely brilliant here. This is in his whole presence he concocts up with his posture, and pose of a man so cocksure (pun intended), in his place of his delusion of grandeur in his moment. Nearly every delivery, Roache infuses such an overload of confidence through his way of milking every nonsense phrase in his own personal testament towards his own greatness. Now I write nearly, because my favorite element of Roache's work is how he doesn't really make Sand even that good at being a z-rate cult leader. He brings these little cracks in his portrayal of this that again illustrate his true nature, but also are quite simply funny. In this moment initially when he plays a song, written and sung by Sand himself of course, about himself to Mandy by prefacing that it's like the Carpenters but better. In that moment, Roache shifts nicely just for a second from a man selling himself as a demi-god, to briefly just trying to sell his single, which is simply wonderful. Roache though is a magnificent mess in the moment, that by the time he decides to show us, and Mandy his full Roache, that what becomes so laughable is the sheer unearned confidence that Roache infuses into the moment of *ahem* exposure.

Jeremiah's show doesn't impress Mandy, even when under the influence, leaving again Roache to reveal just the spoiled brat. This is brilliantly portrayed though by Roache as the intensity he brings in the sense of pathetic desperation as she laughs him, becomes frightening even if pathetic, as he reveals the danger of breaking his delusion.  The viciousness then he brings is this horrible mix of trying to have moments of his false spiritualism with just the outrage of a weak boy. Roache capture the sheer horror of the moment as he enacts his vengeance on Mandy and Red for the "slight" in his snide delivery, and in his eyes that seem mesmerized by the cruel punishment he is delving out. In the moment he expresses almost this jubilation whiel trying to recapture his "glory" in the moment, and Roache makes it a terrifying moment of Jeremiah lusting to recreate his ego by his terrible act. Of course after that Jeremiah essentially becomes the "final boss" that Cage's Red makes track down once he destroys his series of henchmen. Thankfully though we get one more magnificent scene with Linus Roache's performance. This being when Red slowly confronts him. This beginning with Jeremiah trying to take control by espousing his nonsense that Roache unleashes as a zealot in fear, trying hard to hold onto his face. When this obviously does not work as Red begins to physically assault him, Roache is amazing he melts to Jeremiah at his most "normal" as he begs for his life just like any man would, well weak man, only to become a bit more pathetic as he offers a sexual favor in return. It's a fantastic moment though as there is no surface ego, or even the petulance of the brat, just a very scared fool. When that too doesn't appear to work, Roache's final desperate attempt to return to the egomaniac is glorious as he is able to express such venom while attempting, and failing, to reach some mental upper hand. Mandy is a film with an utterly insane tone, and I don't think any performer rides this madness better than Linus Roache. His portrayal of Jeremiah is simply incredible as he wholly convincing in creating the cult villain the film needs, doing so with all the appropriate pomp and circumstance, while also managing to just being extremely entertaining in revealing the many cracks within this facade.

30 comments:

Matt Cofrancesco said...

Yes!

Luke Higham said...

Wow, this was way more positive than I was expecting.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Could you give your rating and thoughts on Cage.

Bryan L. said...

Oh damn!

Louis: Has Riseborough gone up?

Calvin Law said...

He really was great. Your review actually made me appreciate the more comedic elements of his performance a lot more - first time around I was just straight up terrified and disgusted by his batshit yet pathetic cult leader routine. For a 1960s retro casting of this I would take Kurosawa as director, Mifune as Red, Masayuki More as Jeremiah, Machiko Kyō as Mandy...hey, wait a sec. And for a 1970s version with Nicolas Roeg as director, Donald Sutherland as Red, Patrick McGoohan as Jeremiah, and Veronica Cartwright as Mandy.

Also, Louis: could I have your extended thoughts on the score and makeup work on Mandy?

Calvin Law said...

Also, Kenjiro Ishiyama as Caruthers and Takashi Shimura as the chemist. Y'all know you DEFINITELY want to see this film.

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Also, could you see Brando as Red in a 70s version of this film? Think A Last Tango in Paris

Calvin Law said...

I could see Brando more as Jeremiah, frankly.

RatedRStar said...

I am gonna be taking a bit of a break from the blog and the internet in general, going to get mental health treatment due to my increasing depression from work which is actually starting to really affect me now so, hope it goes well.

Luke Higham said...

Hope you get better Daniel.

Calvin Law said...

All the best Daniel - your health is of utmost importance! Get well.

Charles H said...

I didn't expect you to like him this much, although i agree with everything that's said in your review. I would probably give him a five now that i think about. He really is outstanding.

Emi Grant said...

RatedRStar (not sure if you'd like me to call you by your birth name), I hope everything goes well for you. Try to get the best out of mental health treatment and get everything out there. I've just been in treatment this past few days and it has helped me incredibly. I sincerely hope everything works out for you.

I apologize if it does come out of nowhere and seems even somewhat fake from me, but I've come to appreciate life some more this past few days, and just hope everyone can get the opportunity of being helped.

Emi Grant said...

In a less personal note however, I'm quite content with this review, and I'm even considering giving Roache another chance. Glad Louis liked him and the film that much.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I’m pretty neutral on the film itself, but I loved what he was doing.

Mitchell Murray said...

I still need to re-watch the film, but I do remember Roache being quite striking in his short screen time. Not sure if i'd give him a 5, though.

Mitchell Murray said...

Emi Grant: Here here.

Mitchell Murray said...

Also, just found this interview of Richard E. Grant which i found quite enjoyable. Not sure how many people have seen it, but here it is.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9g9M4agZptY

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

1. Yeun
2. Bridges
3. Roache
4. Crowe
5. Henry

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Also Daniel, I hope you'll get better soon man. There is nothing more important than being happy and healthy, and we'll be here when you'll be back. :)

Charles H said...

Daniel: Good luck to you, mate.

Mitchell Murray said...

Daniel: Bon chance, mon ami.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Louis: Your current top 10 for 2018 Lead and Supporting Actress?

Unknown said...

Louis: I just want to ask for your expert opinion on the following short-animated documentary a group of Youtubers from Vietnam made recently. I don't know but I saw lots of potential in the material why showing the emotional factors required for such contents :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVYFlYU2RIQ (Don't forget to turn on the English subtitles @@)

Tks in advance :)

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: I'm not sure if you've ever given it before, but could I have your thoughts on the preferential ballot system Academy voters use for Best Picture? Do you think it's a better system than voters just voting for their favorite film?

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your 2010s choices for these John Hurt roles?

John Merrick
Malcolm Scrawdyke
Kane
Winston Smith
Jellon Lamb

Robson Nakazato said...

1. Waits
2. Nicola
3. Hornsby
4. Hoult
5. Bogdanovich


1. Yeun
2. Bridges
3. Roache
4. Crowe
5. Henry

Bryan L. said...

Robert: Here are my Top 10 Lead Actress rankings for 2018, if you don't mind

1. Olivia Colman (5)
2. Toni Collette
3. Rachel Weisz
4. Emma Stone (All three are lead to me)
5. Melissa McCarthy
6. Mackenzie Davis
7. Anya Taylor-Joy (4.5)
8. Yalitza Aparicio
9. Charlize Theron
10. Olivia Cooke

Haven't seen Vox Lux, Destroyer, On The Basis of Sex, Mary Queen of Scots, or...uhhh...The Wife

Louis Morgan said...

Bryan:

No.

Calvin:

Mandy's score is amazing work by Johannsson and a testament to the talent that was tragically lost so soon. It is of that techno bleeding almost in his work that creates such a distinctive sound. This being an atmospheric powerful work with an overt style, though this never becomes cumbersome. It instead grants almost a neo-80's style in a way in the exact realization of the synth styling that is almost sort of the full capitalization of that techno approach that's been more frequent in the past years.

Downright masterful makeup and hair styling work. This is in that you get some great overt work that being in the proper blood, guts, gore, and the creation of some pretty gnarly monsters. This is just artfully done as even the way the blood is splattered on Cage's face, just accentuates the madness that builds in his character so magnificently. There is also just some great subtle work particularly in regards to Mandy and Jeremiah's little subtle tweaks that are just brilliantly done. Whether that is the slight scarring on Riseborough, or the melting eye shadow on Roache, it is just fantastic work.

Bryan:

I must concur with Calvin.

RatedRStar:

Wish you the best.

Robert:

Let me get you that once I re-watch The Favourite.

hoang:

That's is some rather impressive work I must say, and I'll assume within some limited resources given the limitations within the actual literal animation. The use of art, which was beautiful, though was quite effective in terms of the methods of transitions and the like in terms of creating motion in the animation. Most of this was quite remarkable all except for the distortions on the general, those looked just a little distracting honestly. Nonetheless striking work with certainly a great deal of potential therein.

Tahmeed:

I will say on one hand I like it because it forces voters to treat Best Picture as a different category than best director with a different view of the specific accomplishments. So in that way I like it. On the other hand I'll admit though I don't like the general idea of sabotage voting that seems petty at best that comes with it. So it's a bit of a trade off, but I guess I'd rather it stays to force that separation between Picture/Director (not in terms of winner always but rather forcing voters to treat them differently when voting).

Anonymous:

John Merrick: Paul Bettany
Malcolm Scrawdyke: James McAvoy
Kane: Damian Lewis
Winston Smith: Domhnall Gleeson
Jellon Lamb: Sam Neill

Unknown said...

Louis: Thanks for the honest opinion on the Video clip link I sent yesterday :)