Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Alternate Best Actor 1963: Steve McQueen in Love With the Proper Stranger

Steve McQueen did not receive an Oscar nomination, despite being nominated for a Golden Globe, for portraying Rocky Papasano in Love With the Proper Stranger.

Love With The Proper Stranger is a decent enough semi-comic drama about a relationship that almost accidentally develops due to a one night stand.

The film itself can be noted as an example of a straight drama featuring Steve McQueen in a leading role. McQueen being more typically associated with epics, spectacles and war films. This is a much lower key affair even by "dramatic" McQueen standards, as even his more noted dramatic turns, later on, were typically in film with some sort of grander scale to them. McQueen's just a basic layabout musician looking for a job as we open the film and is a bit befuddled as he runs into a young woman paging him. She's Angie (Natalie Wood), whose not paging for a job but rather finding him to let him know she needs him to find an abortionist after their one night stand. Not a great meeting point for either of them, as Rocky's initial reaction is trying figure out who the woman is before confusion of the sudden bit of responsibility that has fallen upon him. This initial reaction seems to inform McQueen's whole performance which I suppose you might say is a bit of an antithesis of the typical McQueen, in that he makes Rocky decidedly uncool. This might seem a grievous waste of the King of Cool, however it does offer an interesting alternative as he takes a decidedly atypical approach from his usual screen presence.

McQueen usually is someone who owns the screen without trying, and that is typically just a given with him on screen. That is not the case here, as he does not make Rocky some hip cool musician, but rather almost a bit of a doofus. This approach actually is more fitting than expected, as the guy asks another lady friend to try to find an abortionist for Angie, and is obviously not exactly the sharpest tool within any shed. McQueen then very much"tries" more than usual in giving what in some ways feels like a more "active" performance from him. This is as he makes Rocky almost look out of place in a given scene, of trying to play the part of the pseudo respectable romantic. This right down to McQueen's physicality which is bereft of his typical ease, to this cumbersome manner of a non too bright man. Instead of owning a given scene, McQueen awkwardly exists within them, which again actually works in creating a character outside of his typical oeuvre. It is a different sight from McQueen as he comes off as almost petulant, which is quite different from the ultimate man's man that typically defined the McQueen presence.

Steve McQueen's dash outside of his comfort zone is a tad limited here, only as the film does favor Angie more in the narrative, with his only major scenes coming when he directly shares the screen with Wood. McQueen actually doesn't have amazing chemistry with Wood, which I'll again say actually fits the role of Rocky once again. The two are not suppose to be a dream couple by any measure, in fact the first real bonding we see of them as they wait together before being able to see an abortionist. McQueen however is effective in cultivating the certain connection in these moments of interaction. This with this slightly humorous awkwardness as physically he still keeps the same distance, however McQueen uses his eyes towards an understanding and an eventual warmth. Again, it never becomes this rapturous love affair, but rather this slow growth of feeling really between the two. McQueen's performance realizes the difficulty of the situation in every moment, while also slowly finding any ease within the interactions.  He's then effective in the moment of going to the abortionist, who is even shadier than originally expected, to where Rocky, concerned for Angie's safety insists they leave. This is an important moment in McQueen's work as he does not fall into tough McQueen, which would be dishonest to the character. He instead remains consistent in even this more heroic act, he delivers it with a hesitant voice, and without physical command. It is still of a fairly hapless man, but one who finds a better self in the moment. The film after this moment becomes a bit rushed as Rocky is willing to marry Angie, however she rejects his proposal as dishonest. The rest of the film is this dance, with Rocky gradually proving his sincerity. These scenes honestly are a little strangely paced, however McQueen does prove his measure in them. The two have a date of sorts where Rocky's compliments towards Angie come off as insults, unintentionally and in this McQueen finds a genuine charm in each delivery of Rocky's messy earnestness. This along with in his eyes finally conveying a want for her, rather than just a bit of responsibility. This all gets rushed a bit more as the film smashes towards the big romantic gesture of Rocky's that comes off as almost an afterthought in the film's bizarrely handled climax. McQueen's slightly befuddled face though again is rather enjoyable, as we see him present himself with a banjo and bells, with a sincere offer to marry. This isn't extraordinary work by McQueen by any measure, however it is an interesting side to him as a performer. Although limited by the part, McQueen does use it to show off a bit of range outside of his typically dominating presence as the King of Cool. 

87 comments:

Lucas Saavedra said...

Louis: ratings and thoughts on the cast of
Game Night

Bryan L. said...

Lucas: You can find those thoughts in the review for Christian Bale in Vice

Calvin Law said...

Thoughts and rating for Wood?

Bryan L. said...

Louis: What do you think are ten examples of films with good/great direction that saved a mediocre/underwhelming screenplay? Like Baby Driver, for starters.

Bryan L. said...

Matt: I've seen Dragged Across Concrete as well. I echo your thoughts on the film, although my ratings would be a little different.

Gibson- A strong 4
Vaughn-3.5 (I agree)
Kittles-3.5
Carpenter- 1.5 (I didn't hate her, but definitely a weak link)
White- 2.5
Holden- 3
Kretschmann- 3 (Wish he had a bit more to do)
Johnson- 3 (Wouldn't have minded another scene with him)
Kier- 2.5

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on this Kurosawa clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-McmgQbee0

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Also, would Ryan Gosling be your 2010s choice for this role?

Anonymous said...

Louis: What are your thoughts on the direction and screenplay of unforgiven

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the Espresso and Cowboy scenes from Mulholland Drive.

Calvin Law said...

Saw Always Be My Maybe and Booksmart. Enjoyed it, definitely two of the better crowdpleasers of the year.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Alright here we go. To write my love for Unforgiven's screenplay will seem underwhelming to me, no matter the situation, given how great it is. This is to the point I believe David Webb Peoples was wholly robbed of the Oscar, despite The Crying Game being a great screenplay by Neil Jordan. Unforgiven's screenplay doesn't begin in any one point in its brilliance. A bit like Chinatown, which I wrote about in the last post, it makes the ultimate entry within its genre while also being a subversion of the genre. We do have a great "hero" in William Munny, a great "villain" in Little Bill (the two sided bill's just being of the many subtle yet amazing touches in the work). We do have a proper revenge plot. A proper western setting. A proper narrative, but it is so much more than that.

Take its deconstruction of the western lead, in the separation realization of four different characters within the script. We have the young kid Schofield, who wishes to make a name, yet it is nothing but a phony from any onlooker. He will never be a legend, but perhaps has a greater humanity than any of them in his moment of realization of that. Then we have English Bob (whose inclusion was questioned by critics of the time, yet I think they failed to see the scope of the film). A cockney brute in Gentleman's clothing, who speaks the big game, is somewhat capable within it, but is far less than the "legend" he presumes to be. Little Bill follows who is closer to the legend, but still falls short, and falls prey to the idea of crafting one's own narrative with the "legend maker" Beauchamp. Then we have the true legend of William Munny, whose stories are actually more "impressive" than remembered, but the man who doesn't care that they are remembered at all.

In William Munny though there is another complex portrait even beyond how he fits within the rich exploration of the western archetypes. This in the retired killer, who is unsuccessful as the peaceful farmer, as we see him struggle in the mud, almost in defeat as fails to wrangle a hog. We see come and nearly die, as he attempts, and fails to be the killer based just on a sight of success, though weighed upon by his past sins his wife had purged from him. They return though in his sickness and nightmare of the angel of death, where he is not killed by it, but you might say becomes it as he returns capable of killings once again. This process, that goes fully into the past Munny when snapped into by the death of his friend, we see not the typical western hero, but cold blooded alcoholic murderer. The lowest form of humanity, whose redeeming feature, is he only happens to be killing those who deserve it, however "deserve's got nothin to do with it", is Munny's philosophy, the philosophy of a true killer, and the true western legend.

Louis Morgan said...

That dissection and arc, is more than to hold its own, but the film doesn't waste an aspect of the material. You take the main revenge plot where the film is of this nuanced grey, as the prostitutes demand to be treated like people, however lack any sympathy for even the decidedly less guilty cowboy, who tried to make amends. Or in the character of Little Bill, who on the onset appears as the corrupt sheriff, but actually has a defensible moral stance in terms of his motivation, though with the methods of the villain. This is brilliantly reflected in the man's personality and actions throughout, as he's affable to a point, capable of "keeping the peace" but a complete failure as a builder of a house or of civilization

The screenplays ability to realization that symbolism, that never weighs down the narrative is truly extraordinary work by Peoples. Every element of its deconstruction does so in a film rich with character, and engaging in every moment of the plot. You can find it great as just a revenge thriller, but it is so much more. This right down to the dialogue, which has some of the single greatest lines in cinema. "It's a hell of a thing, killing a man. Take away all he's got and all he's ever gonna have", " That's right. I've killed women and children. I've killed just about everything that walks or crawled at one time or another. And I'm here to kill you, Little Bill, for what you did to Ned.", are two especially remarkable examples. I mean could quote the whole film honestly, just as I could go on and on, due the sheer vibrancy, and potency of the screenplay. It's work that only find even more genius within it, every time watch the film, and think about how much it says within the genre, while just making one exceptionally great piece of cinema.

Give me some time on Eastwood's direction, which also deserves all the praise.

Bryan L. said...

Funny that Eastwood has one of the most deserved Best Director wins on his resume...and one of the lesser ones...

Matt Mustin said...

Would Throne of Blood be an OK place for me to start with Kurosawa, considering I'm already a fan of Macbeth to begin with?

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

Wood - 4.5(One of her better performances, as she relays much more into her natural charisma, which is where she shines as a performer. She occasionally falls into her tendency to overact a bit in the big moments, however she makes up for it really in the "day to day" moments of her performances and her interactions with McQueen. She finds a real naturalism within the situation both in terms of creating the humorous awkwardness between the two leads work but also the certain emotional stress that develops from everything that going around with him and her family. Her sort of "oscar" moments are honestly her weakest, where she goes just a bit far with them, but she does make for it with just how genuine the rest of her work feels.)

Bryan:

He just about played the part, in a more likable version, in La La Land.

Baby Driver
The Birds
Bram Stoker's Dracula
The Go-Between
Kiss of Death
The Omen
The Shape of Water
Sanshiro Sugata
Sicario
Shutter Island

Anonymous:

Sage advice from a master, but it is very much a key element within his greatness as a filmmaker. This is as his great consistency, which probably outweighs any other prolific filmmaker, can be seen within his devotion to the screenplay (though his first film is a notable exception in that department).

Anonymous:

Nothing more disturbing than bad coffee in a David Lynch film. Great work from Angelo Badalamenti (an example of Lynch never wasting a bit of inspired casting), as we don't get a spit take, but a revolting expulsion of coffee, as though a rejection of any matter of taste as they're set on "that girl". Just the greatness of Lynch though, in how he paces the scene, with the sad sack waiter presentation, to just he matter of tasting, before that reaction then a brilliant general explosion of madness.

The Cowboy scene, is another example of Lynch brilliance, I mean whole films is. Wonderful horror of the most idiosyncratic sort, with that lovely trademark of the electrical distortion as the cowboy appears. The cowboy who seems human, yet is uncanny in how he doesn't appear to fit in a proper reality. What he is saying both doesn't matter, yet matters so much, in what the cowboy is as, maybe the world's weirdest executive demanding an actress, or an otherworldly entity making demands. This with the most haunting of instruction, even with seemingly the simple demand. Lynch mastery at hand, as it is so strange, yet so captivating, as you don't even need to interpret it, it is so engrossing even on its own direct terms, yet the allowance for such, only makes it all the more fascinating to behold again and again.

Louis Morgan said...

Matt:

Well Yojimbo is my typical recommended entry point for Kurosawa, but his take on Macbeth is also a great place to start.

Calvin Law said...

I’d start with:

Yojimbo
Stray Dog
Rashomon
Throne of Blood

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your ranking of the 3 seasons of Stranger Things, and your expanded thoughts in Season 3. My ranking would probably be:
2
1
3

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Could you give thoughts on the Midsommar cast.

Luke Higham said...

And Thoughts on Nyong'o and Duke in Us.

Matt Mustin said...

Louis: Hold off on the Midsommar cast please, because I'm going to see it tonight.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Give thoughts on the Midsommar cast tomorrow instead.

RatedRStar said...

Its been 34 years today since Live Aid, has anybody here seen the original Live Aid 1985, I think its between that and Woodstock as the best ever music show.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: I've seen some of it but the only segment I've watched consistently over the years was Queen.

Bryan L. said...

RatedRStar: I've only seen Queen's set, and it was mainly because of that unfortunate Best Picture nominee.

RatedRStar said...

There are so many good performances from Live Aid =D Queen is obviously the famous one but I think most of the performances range from decent to good.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Any Missed Opportunities in Ewan McGregor's career.

Bryan L. said...

Luke: For starters, a better script and direction for the prequels, although McGregor managed to keep his head above water in those.

Emi Grant said...

Louis: Would you really consider Sicario to have a not great screenplay? I've always thought it was one of it's better elements.

Bryan L. said...

Emi: For me, it's one of the lesser elements of the film, since the plot itself seemed pretty confusing at times. It's really elevated by the performances of the trio and the technical side of things.

Emi Grant said...

I'd have to disagree. I wouldn't say it's a masterpiece but it's strong enough to allow the main trio and Villeneuve to realize the great film it is.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Sicario’s screenplay is nihilistic, sexist bullshit and frankly I don’t even think the impressive direction can make up for it.

Emi Grant said...

It is definitely nihilistic, I'll give you that (I like it, though), but the "sexist" part of it was actually written on the spot, to be fair. Which I don't think benefited the story as a whole.

Louis Morgan said...

Tahmeed:

1
2
3

Luke:

Nyong'o - (Her performance is very much what makes the film in many ways, and although I have not great affection for the obvious twist involving her role, even that is something she's utilizes especially well in her performance. Now as the "us" she's great right down to the throaty voice, and omnipresent stare, that says I'm odd, but also that there is this extreme bitterness that sets her apart from the other doppelgangers. She's simply an effective "horror monster". Her lead turn though is just great work in a practical sense off the bat in terms of creating just a sympathetic understanding to the role and circumstances. Much like Kaluuya in Get Out, she delivers the needed reality that nicely sets up the horror. This is further supported by her terrific work in creating the sense of horror throughout, but also being very present even in the action scenes. She always "acts" within them never just being a part of them. Her performance though does go further though in the nuance she finds in realizing the twist on her end, in just some very minor, but in the end essential, reactions where there is a sense of a different sympathy or awareness in her performance. Outstanding work, that's honestly easily my favorite part of the film.)

Duke - (Duke is just pitch perfect comedy relief. In that he doesn't overdo the comedy. He makes for a believable goofy dad, who is also a very funny goofy dad. He never turns to a sitcom though finding the right balance. This is especially important in the horror scenes as he never goes goofy in those key moments, unless they feel naturally earned like his reaction to using the flare as a gun for example. Duke plays each scene as a character in the reality of the film, and brings so much needed humor through that.)

RatedRStar:

Hey the concert was so good, that the Queen set did trick people into thinking Bohemian Rhapsody was anything of note, as any "glowing" reaction to the film noted LiveAid most strongly, and the real concert is better.

Luke:

Just that his Obi-Wan take was wasted. McGregor otherwise really has been more or less at the level that his talent dictates, pretty much throughout his career. I guess if he doesn't play Quasimodo, that'll be a missed opportunity.

Charles:

No. As it is in the film, I think the plot does little more than bringing us to the set pieces, which are made amazing by Villeneuve's vision. It's a pretty generic, and at times needlessly hard to follow.

That by the way is disregarding the actual written screenplay, which was pared down by someone, probably Villeneuve. He wisely reduced Alejandro's role, which contains every revenge seeker cliche in the book in the original screenplay (the film opens with a revenge speech by him, he wakes up in cold sweats, etc.), and left only a few of the cliches. Much of what makes the character interesting actually is del Toro's world weary approach which differs quite a bit from the exposition dumping omnipresent super killer of the screenplay.

The elements of Robert's objections are actually far worse in the original screenplay, as the assault (Jon Bernthal's scene) is far more sexual in natural, and Alejandro's final scene with Kate in the screenplay also is sexualized.

The final film also mostly removes the hamfisted yet sloppy messaging in the screenplay. (It is still apparent, but just like Alejandro's back story it is reduced to a quick speech Brolin practically runs through in the very same scene.) The original version it was as blatant and as poorly done as in Wind River, where Alejandro does a big speech about how drugs are bad mmmkay.

Emi Grant said...

Well, I'm now lacking trust on the source I had for the scene...and perhaps a bit on Sheridan as a writer.

Anonymous said...

Louis: How would have you improved The Paradine Case and Spellbound? Would you have gotten Garbo to play Todd's role if the part had been better written?

Calvin Law said...

Taylor Sheridan should definitely stick to smaller scale stories with his writing. His strengths are most apparent when he’s writing about the intimate (the brothers in HoHW, the father-to-father talks in Wind River).

Matt Mustin said...

I saw Midsommar. I guess I'll be contrarian on this one, because I loved it, although I will grant the detractors that the script is flimsy at best. Honestly though, I thought Aster's direction was pretty amazing actually, as I found myself completely transfixed the entire time, even when I knew what was going to happen. I honestly couldn't take my eyes off the screen, even at points where he probably wanted me to, I was so fascinated by everything that was happening.

Also, easily my sound mixing win at the moment, I'm not sure how likely that is to change.

Pugh-4.5
Reynor-1.5
Harper-3
Poulter-2
Blomgren-???(I'm not sure if this worked or not, but it was interesting)

Robert MacFarlane said...

Louis: Oh wow, I had no idea about Sheridan’s original draft. I’ll give Villeneuve even more credit then, because hoo boy.

Matt Mustin said...

Reynor is co-lead, by the way.

Bryan L. said...

Matt: Interesting that you liked the film, yet still feel the same way about Reynor as the ones on here who didn't care for it

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Your present film roles for John Wayne, Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson?

Matt Mustin said...

Bryan L: The film really is all about Aster's direction for me. Reynor's character is not particularly good as written, but even in that he's one note, and the times where he's asked to do more, he really fails.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the Midsommar cast.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the final scene from Steve Jobs?
https://youtu.be/XdzguMjIfy0
Honestly, rewatching the scene, and seeing how Fassbender makes it work, he's probably an easy choice for me out of the 2015 Lead Actor nominees.

Calvin Law said...

I really hate that scene, and unfortunately I don’t think Fassbender makes it work at all. Although no one could’ve really.

Anonymous said...

Louis, Your rating and thoughts on Whoopi Goldberg and thoughts on Sissy Spacek in The Long Walk Home.

RatedRStar said...

Louis: What were some of your other favorite performances of Live Aid?

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Have you continued watching Deadwood and have you seen Too Old To Die Young.

Luke Higham said...

Lashana Lynch is the next 007.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

England win the Cricket World Cup!
As a person who enjoys football more, that was some match.

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: Saw the last hour of it, really thought England had choked beforehand but incredibly pleased for them to finally win their first. Gutted that Djokovic won Wimbledon again.

Emi Grant said...

Tahmeed: Fully agree with you on Steve Jobs.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Thoughts on these two Japanese dub clips of the gun shop scene in Terminator 1 and which voice do you think sounds better?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euMgUlTYKPQ

Mitchell Murray said...

Luke: In response to that casting, I must say I'm rather indifferent - Not because of the new take on 007, mind you, but mostly because I haven't seen Lynch in anything besides "Captain Marvel", which she was only alright in. Craig was getting old for the part, honestly, so this was bound to happen at some point. Right now Lynch is in the perfect spot for me because I've seen so little of her work; Thus, I have neither great expectations nor great caution for her eventual performance. Still, as much as I really hate to categorize actors in this manner, had I known they were serious about making a female Bond, I would've been backing Emily Blunt as a prime choice.

Michael McCarthy said...

Gotta disagree about Lynch, for me she was the MVP of Captain Marvel. In a relatively brief time she brought an enormous vulnerability to her role without ever compromising her character’s strength and stoicism. I’m totally on board for her as 007.

Matt Mustin said...

I've got no problem with the new OO7 thing, but I really wished they had saved that for the film itself rather than revealing it beforehand. Unless it's some kind of Red Herring.

Emi Grant said...

Not really sure on how to feel about the new 007 casting. I can't say I've ever been fully passionate about the franchise and I'm also unfamiliar with Lynch. Difference is, I don't think I'll watch Captain Marvel anytime soon, so my first impression on her will probably be on that big film.

Best of luck to her, though.

Calvin Law said...

Mitchell: She’s not playing the new Bond, it’s just a plot development cause Craig’s Bond has retired at the start of the film.

I agree with Matt, only thing I’m annoyed by is the spoiler.

Matt Mustin said...

Calvin: Craig's Bond has been retired and/or dead in all of these movies.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Thoughts on this.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kwHxSNuiJgk

John Smith said...

Saw Midsommar and loved it. Put me in a trance and was fascinating study of culture, family and mental health. The romance aspect didn't feel like a great love story but it makes sense. She is with him i think mostly because of her insecurities and he is with her because he is to scared to be honest and has a weak will. And i think Blomgren gives a very intresting suporting performance that subverts expectations but also keeping us on the edge because of the aura he exudes. The cinematography was amazing, the long takes flowed and there was always something happening within the frame and the films great use of editing and i liked the way the movies mood changed with the flow of the charachters emotinal state. Was very effective in showing how people act in a lucid state of mind, something that was brilliantly by the team that made this film.

Pugh:5
Reynor:3
Poulter:3
Harper:3.5
Blomgren:4.5 (Very good actor who is having his moment.Is great in a show called 'Gösta' that was made for HBO. He is showing an ability to play many diffrent kinds of charachters considering how diffrent his charachter in 'Gösta' is compared to 'Midsommar'.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

For Paradine Case, recast Valli (probably Peck as well) who just seemed bored. Making Mrs. Paradine far more manipulative I think would created a better narrative regarding the lawyer "getting too deep" into the case. Also bother to give any importance to the subplots which just seem completely superfluous.

For Spellbound, reduce the psychobabble down considerably, for example let the dream scene actually play out as a dream. The film tends to over explain, even more so than Psycho did. Also maybe make the villain more active than he is.

Garbo would've been a better fit for Valli's part than Todd's.

Luke:

Pugh - (The writing even for her character actually is excessively limited, we are given her trauma, and that's about it. We really don't delve deeper into her family history, and her relationship with Reynor is extremely limited (probably purposeful, but that was a mistake as well). Pugh though manages to set her place in the film by making the emotions of her character so consistently honest. This is in creating the earliest moment of sheer devastation. Then naturally progressing to the state of spurts of distress and a growing bitterness. She manages to at least bring something within the idea of the growing closer to those around her in portraying an earnestness towards something other than her past. She then excels into the final sequence, which I found a rather tiresome affair personally, but she consistently hits her emotional marks. This is even in the final exact reaction shot, which wholly works because of how well Pugh delivers the moment.)

Reynor - (He does not have great part to work with to begin with. His accent constantly slips, but that's easy enough to overlook. The problem you notice that when he's not doing anything interesting here. He just looks in this general daze even when the character is not on drugs. His drug acting though is even underwhelming strangely enough, as he never really even seems present in the part. He furthermore really flops hard when trying to deliver his "my thesis" passionate(?) moments, that are suppose to inform the character's motivation. An absurdly weak motivation, which Reynor makes nothing of.)

Harper - (He doesn't have much of a character either but he at least garners a certain sense of intrigue in his performance. Where Reynor just gives basically the same expression no matter what's going around him, Harper at least creates a sense of discovery and an eagerness to know more.)

Poulter - (He's out of a different movie, that really seemed like Aster added the character, or the humor of the character, last minute since he just sticks out like a sore thumb. Poulter's already in a rough spot, and he can't really make the comedy feel natural within the context of his scenes. He furthermore just seems a bit stilted in general, including his American accent.)

Blomgren - (The Swede with the most screentime and I felt he managed to essentially give the villagers from the Wicker Man performance effectively. This though with less of a demonic quiet hostility, and more of a demonic affability.)

Louis Morgan said...

No, I haven't gotten any further with Deadwood. As for the Refn, I've heard it's middling (at best, even from Refn fans) and don't really desire to sift through 10 hours of that.

Regarding the King's Man trailer, looks wholly unspectacular. I mean Fiennes looks more than decent as usual, but there was nothing stood out to me from that trailer, and given how I felt about the last film, there needed to be something.

Calvin:

Agreed regarding Sheridan. Also if he intends to be a Stanley Kramer message filmmaker, which seems to be the case, he needs to find ways to weave it more naturally into the story. Hell or High Water is the only time I think he manages to do that, and even then he comes close to going too broad with it.

Tahmeed:

I happened to re-watch the film fairly recently, and I think Sorkin's choice to try to make his relationship with Lisa the crux of Jobs as a person was a major mistake. Disregarding any historical accuracy or lack thereof, it is easily the weakest material, especially in the third act, where to quote Michael McCarthy it tries to turn him into Ebenezer Scrooge. I actually think the conversations regarding that with the other characters is actually worse, especially the Stuhlbarg stuff. Sorkin tried to give the "heart" to Jobs through that, but failed in my mind. Where he isolated Mark Zuckerberg for his personal sins in The Social Network, here it shows it galvanizing him to greater heights.

For me the stuff that works is Jobs and his relationship with Apple as a company. His scene with Daniels in Act 2 in particular, still is amazing. The Lisa stuff though just frankly feels forced to me, this final scene particular, especially Boyle's song choice. I think Fassbender does a more than admirable job (no pun there) in the scene, I even like the "I'm poorly made" song, but it doesn't come together for me, though no fault of the acting in my view.

Anonymous:

It's been about 20 years since I've seen the film, I'd need a proper re-watch on that one.

RatedRStar:

Queen (including the Mercury/May followup)
Elvis Costello
David Bowie

Anonymous:

Not that is a major gap, but I'd go with the first Arnold, both don't sound quite right as even dubs go. The second shop owner though I thought was the best dub of either, as it sound much more lived in and well not as overtly dubbed.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Right, I forgot she was considered for Valli's part.

Anyway, your thoughts on the cinematography of Dersu Uzala.

Mitchell Murray said...

Louis: What would be your top 20 acting moments of William Hurt, Sigourney Weaver and Holly Hunter?

Mitchell Murray said...

Also, in regards to Michael's comment, I will say Lynch did a decent job with what little was she given in "Captain Marvel". The problem I had with her character/sub plot mainly stemmed from how it was executed; I mean, we're literally shown a collage of "greatest hits" from the two women's past, with ex positional dialogue no less. I don't know... for as much as I liked the film's attempt at such a dynamic, it never really became earnest or engaging enough in the grand scheme of things. And again, Lynch isn't at fault - she does try hard in the part, and I'll also admit much of my disconnect was unfortunately because of Larson.

Louis Morgan said...

Bryan:

Wayne:

Marcus Hamilton
John Ruth The Hangman
Jack Reacher

Marvin:

Marshall Eamons
Bigfoot Bjornsen
Charlie Costello

Bronson:

Cory Lambert
Eli Sisters
Alejandro Gillick

Anonymous:

The cinematography, crafted by a team, is a precursor to Kurosawa's epic work of the 80's, in terms of the specific and prominent use of vibrant colors. This is a little more low key than in those two 80's effort yet still remarkable in granting a unique appearance to the film. This as the colors, tweak just slightly towards stylish while still maintaining a general naturalism. As to be expected, Kurosawa direction doesn't waste an element of the frame, with the cinematographers meeting this challenge, with each frame being truly a painting from epic shots of scenery or a sunset, to even men around a fireplace which have such dynamic compositions and framing.

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Your 70s cast and director for Midsommar?

Calvin Law said...

Louis: have you been watching Legion? Out of curiosity despite not caring for the season 2 I decided to check it out. I don’t think I understand anything that’s going on really but it is striking, and Dan Stevens is thankfully brilliant as per usual.

Calvin Law said...

Also: how would you guys rank the main cast of LOTR and The Hobbit trilogies taking into account (if they appear in both) their overall work? For me,

1. Sean Astin
2. Ian McKellen
3. Sean Bean
4. Bernard Hill
5. Richard Armitage
6. Andy Serkis
7. Martin Freeman
8. Elijah Wood
9. Luke Evans
10. Benedict Cumberbatch
11. Christopher Lee
12. Ian Holm
13. Viggo Mortensen
14. Evangeline Lilly
15. Billy Boyd
16. Brad Dourif
17. Ken Stott
18. Miranda Otto
19. John Rhys-Davies
20. Cate Blanchett
21. Sylvester McCoy
22. Aidan Turner
23. David Wenham
24. Hugo Weaving
25. Dominic Monaghan
26. Karl Urban
27. Liv Tyler
28. Lee Pace
29. Orlando Bloom
30. Stephen Fry
31. John Noble
32. Ryan Gage

Robert MacFarlane said...

Currently laughing my ass off at how many Emmy nominations Game of Thrones got this year. At least they made up for snubbing Turner, Allen, and Christie, but LOL. Also, Stephen Dorff getting snubbed is some real bullshit.

Calvin Law said...

Kit Harington nominated for Lead Emmy lmao. Rhea Seehorn snubbed fucking hell. Very happy for Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Jodie Comer though.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Well of they’re going to go THIS populist, at least this means Joe Keery and Maya Hawke will probably be nominated next year.

Calvin Law said...

Robert: certainly hope so.

Ah well at least Allen and Christie were deserving.

Calvin Law said...

Also I have to say out of that Supporting Actress category Julia Garner is easily my favourite choice (and I don’t even really like Ozark). Shaw was fine but not really a standout, Christie and Williams were good, Turner was meh (hurts me to say), Headey had nothing to do.

Louis Morgan said...

In regards to Emmy: Guess they didn't get the memo on Game of Thrones. The year of the makeups when it comes to the drama category especially for Turner. But really Allen and Christie both had better seasons (but at least they were among the better performers of the season). The one time where Clarke's nomination is actually more deserved than most. Harington's nomination though is ridiculous, especially over his fellow Stark Richard Madden for The Bodyguard.

Of course the makeup even extends to Michael McKean in Better Call Saul, who while deserving of recognition for that role in the past, he really didn't get to do much in his guest spot. But hey, he's more deserving than the one other nominee I've seen in his category (Kumail Nanjiani, who I thought was pretty terrible in that Twilight Zone episode, the only episode I saw of that show)

Glad to see the Chernobyl love though, though while Skarsgard was very good, would've taken Stephen Dorff over him (who sadly you had to watch past the first two episodes to see just how great he was in True Detective).

And honestly overjoyed at the Barry love, with Hader, Goldberg, Winkler, Carrigan and Root all being extremely deserving

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

I'm loving season 3 so far honestly, and I didn't really care for 2 (especially its ending). I've found they've gotten closer to the right balance again in terms of the mind binding direction with actual plot development intertwined, like in season 1, where in season 2 I felt they went way overboard just being "trippy".

Anonymous said...

Louis what would be your ranking of the Emmy nominations in the categories you've seen more than one of the nominees in?

Calvin Law said...

Yeah Madden was very good in The Bodyguard. Robb just can’t catch a bloody break?

Louis: your thoughts on Madden’s performance in The Bodyguard and the series as a whole.

Calvin Law said...

McKean’s nomination was blatantly a poor excuse for not nominating him for Season 3. Rainer Bock and Tony Dalton would have been much more deserving. Also I guess Jonathan Banks was good as per usual but there’s definitely others I’d have preferred in his place, glad to see Esposito back in the mix though.

Giuseppe Fadda said...

I have really mixed feelings about all these acting nominations for Game of Thrones. On one hand, I'm happy to see Turner, Christie and Allen get finally recognized; on the other hand, it's just... too much, even though the acting was one of the least problematic elements of the last season. Harington and Headey were not bad but... they barely had anything to do, the former due to monotonous writing and the latter due to non-existent screen-time. I think Allen, Christie, Williams and Coster-Waldau (in spite of the awful writing) were great, Turner was a bit sidelined but I thought she was pretty terrific in Episode 4. Dinklage was good, not particularly remarkable. I'm actually especially happy for... Clarke? I haven't been a fan of her work in some of the seasons but I think she actually killed it this time. And I think van Houten's nomination is nice.

As for the rest... I have a lot to see (Fosse/Verdon, When They See Us, Escape at Dannemora, True Detective, Ozark, Fleabag just to name a few) but I am SO happy for Jodie Comer's nomination. She is electrifying in Killing Eve (and Oh is splendid as well). Also happy for all of the Sharp Objects and Chernobyl acting nods.

Louis Morgan said...

Drama Series:

1. Bodyguard
2. Better Call Saul
*major gap*
3. Game of Thrones

Limited Series:

1. Chernobyl
2. Fosse/Verdon

Drama Actor:

1. Odenkirk - Better Call Saul
*Enormous gap*
2. Kit Harington - Game of Thrones

Limited Series Actor:

1. Jared Harris - Chernobyl
2. Sam Rockwell - Fosse/Verdon
3. Mahershala Ali - True Detective

All very good actually.

Supporting Actor Comedy:

1. Stephen Root - Barry
2. Anthony Carrigan - Barry
3. Henry Winkler - Barry

Amazing lineup just from those three.

Supporting Actor Drama:

1. Giancarlo Esposito - Better Call Saul
2. Jonathan Banks - Better Call Saul
3. Alfie Allen - Game of Thrones
4. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau - Game of Thrones
5. Peter Dinklage - Game of Thrones

Supporting Actress Drama:

1. Gwendoline Christie - Game of Thrones
2. Maisie Williams - Game of Thrones
3. Sophie Turner - Game of Thrones
4. Lena Headey - Game of Thrones (not her fault, but how much can one do with looking out a window and drinking?)

Guest Drama:

1. Michael McKean - Better Call Saul
2. Kumail Nanjiani - The Twilight Zone

Supporting Actress Limited Series:

1. Emily Watson - Chernobyl
2. Margaret Qualley - Fosse/Verdon

Calvin:

Yeah Dalton or Bock would've been much better choices for guest. Mando should've been the number 1 for supporting actor from Saul, but hey I'd put Banks over any of the GOT guys for season 8 (who had some great moments with Bock).

Louis Morgan said...

Bryan:

I'd rather just watch the Wicker Man, but...

Midsommar directed by Robin Hardy:

Dani: Judy Davis
Christian: Richard Thomas
Josh: Joe Morton
Pelle: Stellan Skarsgard
Mark: Tom Hulce

Calvin:

Madden - (I'd say he definitely has a wheelhouse, though that wheelhouse being the very dependable leading man type, which isn't anything to sniff at. He's great within that context here, though actually goes further along, showing an even greater range. This as he certainly delivers on the charisma once again, being absolutely fantastic in that regard in the opening scene of the series. Madden delivers on sort of that initially calming presence so well, while being able to still convey his own very real fear within the situation. I was surprised then by Madden though going far further than that in portraying the real demons within the character. This in not only showing as this given within the man but the progression as the series goes on. This while also being able to bring sort of that needed presence in creating engagement within sort of the investigation. Madden manages to pull off both nearly flawlessly, and I was especially impressed by how moving he was in creating the depths of the character's despair as the story went on. The highlight of really both sides of his work being the sequence in the last episode involving the "vest" where I thought he was downright amazing in conveying the sort confidence within his determination to survive, along with the slowly externalized fear of the situation, and his personal anguish that is still searing away at him. I thought he was great, so I'm glad he at least got that Globe win, but it's a real shame he missed out here.)

Luke Higham said...

Louis: So glad you really liked Bodyguard and Madden. What did you think of the rest of the cast.

And I would recommend watching Line Of Duty. Keeley Hawes, Thandie Newton and Adrian Dunbar are all terrific.

Matt Mustin said...

Got around to watching Fargo Season 2, which I loved. I'll give kind of a very rough top 10 for the cast. It's tough, though, because I thought everybody in it was outstanding.

1. Patrick Wilson
2. Bokeem Woodbine
3. Kirsten Dunst
4. Jean Smart
5. Zahn McClarnon
6. Jesse Plemons
7. Cristin Milioti
8. Jeffrey Donovan
9. Nick Offerman
10. Ted Danson

Matt Mustin said...

*Just* missing the top 10: Angus Sampson, Rachel Keller, Kieran Culkin.