Saturday, 24 August 2019

Alternate Best Actor 2001: Heath Ledger in A Knight's Tale

Heath Ledger did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying William Thatcher in A Knight's Tale.

A Knight's Tale is a lightweight, though rather enjoyable film, about a commoner who attempts to make his way in the nobles only sport of jousting.

The gone far too soon Heath Ledger sadly was really only slightly past the end of the beginning of showing his considerable talent evident in his Oscar nominated turn and his eventual Oscar winning turn that came after his unfortunate passing. Those two performances showed an incredible range and ability to transform himself for a role. His performance as "sir" William here isn't quite as much of a challenge, but it does give Ledger the chance for something else. That something else being just a proper leading man turn. Ledger's performance actually reminded me a bit of his fellow Australian Chris Hemsworth as Thor, though once Hemsworth found his place in that role. Ledger though finds the right tone for this type of role from the outset. This in capturing this overarching charisma that falls upon two things really. The first being an ease in his presence and manner in the film found in the humor he delivers in the role. Ledger knows the tone, which just is a fun romp more than anything, and in that way brings this humor. It is with this complete ease where Ledger never clowns or postures. He just exists with it, bringing it so naturally as just part of William's outgoing and easygoing personality. A personality that not only wins over all his friends, but also wins we the viewers right over to the character as such an endearing lead.

The other thing though that is needed is still balancing the tone. Although the film is lightweight it isn't a farce, even with its purposefully anachronistic use of music, therefore one can't go too far on only humor. Ledger importantly also does deliver the needed earnestness within the role as well. He brings this really with the same ease, which grants the needed weight but doesn't weigh down the film. Take his initial speech where he persuades his comrades to help him on his seemingly impossible journey to become a knight as commoner. Ledger makes the speech convincing by only granting each word a real heart. The same goes for the central romance, which I think honestly could've been a bit beefed up on a writing end towards the character of William's love the lady Jocelyn (Shannyn Sossamon), but nonetheless it does still work. A big reason for this is Ledger's portrayal of William infatuation with Jocelyn. This again delivering such sincerity in every moment of interaction, right from the first time he lays eyes on her. Ledger helps it along being a basic romance, by never making fun of the idea in his work, instead he supports it with just the utmost conviction in these moments.

The film to be fair never gets too serious beyond Rufus Sewell's boring performance as the black knight villain, who should've taken lessons from Christopher Guest and Chris Sarandon on how to deliver a villain turn in a film like this, and William's relationship with his peasant father. The latter though is just another example of Ledger to shine in a low key way. This in the pivotal reunion scene, where William has found success and delivers the news to his now blinded father. Ledger again is wholly within the moment as just this most divine and honest spirit to the moment. This just accentuating in every moment the real appreciation of a son for his father and the bittersweet nature of the reunion. Beyond that though this is just performance to make William someone you absolutely wish to root for. Ledger does this in a seemingly effortless fashion. He does show when William gets hurt, it hurts, in turn making his victories all the more powerful because he shows us such a modest yet such an endearing hero to follow. When the audience for jousting matches cheer for William, it is easy to do so right along, because Ledger has made someone worth cheering for. Although I wouldn't quite put this performance up there with say Cary Elwes in the previously alluded to The Princess Bride, it does earn favorable comparisons to that work nonetheless. That in itself is a considerable success in my mind, and this performance a testament to Ledger's ability as a proper movie star.

130 comments:

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

I'd go slightly higher myself, but I'm still glad you liked him a fair bit.

Louis: Your updated ratings and thoughts on the rest of the cast, sans Bettany?

Matt Mustin said...

One thing I've noticed going back and looking at Ledger's performances, is just how charismatic he always was, and honestly one of the things that's so brilliant about his Joker is how he twisted and perverted that so beautifully.

Anyway, yeah, he's charming and fun here. Also, I agree about Rufus Sewell.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Love this performance and this movie. It might not be weighty material for him, but he is so damn charming. Please review Addy along with Bettany, I loved him almost as much.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the teaser trailer to the Breaking Bad movie sequel, El Camino?
https://youtu.be/lZKqMVPlDg8

Bryan L. said...

Louis and everyone: What kind of career do you reckon Ledger would've had by now (in terms of profile and opportunities)?

He seemed to search for good directors to work with when he was alive (Lee, Nolan, Gilliam, Haynes), so maybe something in the vein of what Dicaprio is doing?

Calvin Law said...

Damn I’ve missed Skinny Pete.

Yeah I’m all for a review of Addy too, he’s hilarious. And while his role may not be as substantial Alan Tudyk is fantastic too. Glad you took to Ledger.

Brazilian Cinema said...

My Overall Rank:

1. Jim Carrey in The Majestic
2. Selton Mello in To the Left of the Father
3. Tom Wilkinson in In The Bedroom
4. Jake Gyllenhaal in Donnie Darko
5. Gene Hackman in The Royal Tenenbaums
6. Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind
7. Billy Bob Thornton in The Man Who Wasn't There
8. Ethan Hawke in Training Day
9. Liu Ye in Lan Yu
10. Rodrigo Santoro in Behind the Sun

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Without spoiling Bettany's review, did you see that extended scene that I mentioned prior where Chaucher defends William.


And your 2010s cast.

Luke Higham said...

And I'm very happy he got a 4 from you, I perhaps might go a tad higher but I'm satisfied nonetheless with this review and rating.

Could I also have thoughts on the I Will Not Run scene.

Luke Higham said...

And yeah, Sewell's the only disappointment I had with it which is a shame because I've liked most of his work since then as well as Dark City.

Bryan L. said...

Boy, I'm starting to feel a little bad that I'm not over the moon about this film as everyone else here...

Bryan L. said...

I'll take a crack at a 2010s version though

William: Kit Harington
Chaucer: Domnhall Gleeson
Adhemar: Cillian Murphy
Jocelyn: Lucy Boynton
Roland: Nick Frost
Wat: Brian Gleeson

Bryan L. said...

Luke: Your ratings for each of The Hobbit films, and your thoughts on that trilogy as a missed opportunity?

Luke Higham said...

Bryan: I've loved that film since I was 7 years old so it's very hard for me not to.

I'll give my response to The Hobbit later on.

Just to add to that cast, Tom Hardy as The Black Prince and Liam Cunningham as William's Father.

Louis: I must add that with this performance, it's more disappointing that he didn't play Balian in Kingdom Of Heaven even though it likely would've conflicted with Brokeback Mountain.

Mitchell Murray said...

Yep, these are pretty much my thoughts on Ledger's performance, from what I remember of the film anyways. It was truly unfortunate how he was taken away so young, as Ledger really had a presence and style all his own; Transformative, intelligent, but also incredibly charming when needed. It's quite hard to think of someone like him in the industry now, or what his current career might've been following "The Dark Knight".

And I might as well take a shot at a 2010's version of the film:

William: Chris Hemsworth (An obvious choice, perhaps, but a fitting one I feel ala "Thor Ragnarok")
Chaucer: James McAvoy
Jocelyn: Rebecca Hall
Adhemar: Jude Law
Roland: Nick Frost
Wat: Domnhall Gleeson

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your 2010s casting choices for The Black Prince and William's Father.

Bryan L. said...

Luke: No rush :)

And yeah, Ledger would've been great as Balian, although he did turn down the lead role in Oliver Stone's Alexander, so maybe he just wanted to focus on smaller films then.

Luke Higham said...

Alexander was utter crap though. :)

Michael McCarthy said...

I’d like to see him a little higher but I do agree with everything in the review. I hope when Louis reviews his performance in Two Hands he’ll see the same amazing exercise in tonal navigation that I did.

I’d like to add though that I’m probably the only one who thought Sewell was good in this. I think he was going for less of a Basil Rathbone-esque baddie and more of a douchey rom-com villain, which I think worked for the film’s style. In that vein, he reminded me of a lot of people I know in real life, so I’d call it a success.

Luke Higham said...

Michael: Thanks for providing a 10th review for 99 Lead. Had 9 and was struggling to find another.

Michael McCarthy said...

Hold on, have I never used a winning request on Ledger in Two Hands? In that case I’m officially requesting it now for the last lineup I predicted.

Michael McCarthy said...

Also, has anyone else seen Ready or Not? I saw it earlier tonight and found it very entertaining, I hope Samara Weaving continues to get cast in interesting projects like this one.

Anonymous said...

Louis, who would you've cast as Count Adhemar.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Michael: You're not alone, I'd give Sewell a 3 for his turn in the film. While I do think he could have gone broader, he still did make an impression as a despicable enough douchebag to hate.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Louis, any possibility of Ben Kingsley going up for Sexy Beast.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Luke: Do you watch the Ashes?

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: Not really into Test Cricket, though I'm glad England won the 3rd Test.

Bryan L. said...

Luke: Thanks for the heads-up regarding Alexander

1. Carrey
2. Gyllenhaal
3. Liu
4. Yelchin
5. Ledger

Luke Higham said...

Bryan:

AUJ: 3
TDOS: 3.5
TBOTFA: 2.5

I'll do a what should've been improved for The Hobbit.

1. Should've used more practical effects instead of Green Screen
2. 2 instead of 3 movies
3. Give Bard a proper conclusion to his Arc
4. Get rid of the Kili-Tauriel sub-plot
5. Let The Hobbit be it's own story and less references to The Lord Of The Rings.
6. Remove Unnecessary Comic Relief (Alfrid)
7. Utilize Freeman's comic abilities more
8. More inventive creature designs
9. Del Toro should've been given the opportunity to leave his mark on the series

Luke Higham said...

I actually would've liked to have seen a single Hobbit film made by Studio Ghibli.

Bryan: There are a couple of positives with Alexander, Vangelis' score like Conquest Of Paradise is the highlight and I quite like the scene where he tries to inspire his army to head into Uncharted Territory.

Bryan L. said...

Luke: Thank you. The reason I'm asking is because I honestly don't even feel like bothering with The Hobbit trilogy, and I do quite like LOTR.

Plus, those runtimes are giving me a LOT of pause, especially since I'm aware of how relatively thin the novel is.

Luke Higham said...

Bryan: You still have strong performances from Freeman, Armitage and Evans but if you decide to skip it then I would still recommend watching the Gollum and Smaug scenes.

Michael McCarthy said...

Did anyone else hear about Tony Leung Chiu-wai being cast as The Mandarin in Shang-Chi? I think that’s pretty awesome.

Luke Higham said...

Michael: Yes, truly inspired casting. :)

Anonymous said...

Louis: Thoughts on this clip of the Japanese dub of Batman TAS? Believe it or not, the voice for Batman also voices Optimus Prime and Arnold in Japanese.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjjT28F-4Bc

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the cinematography of Sudden Fear and The Big Heat.

RatedRStar said...

Michael McCarthy: Love the casting.

Anonymous said...

Louis, see any new releases lately.

Lucas Saavedra said...

Louis: your present film roles and top 20 acting moments from Heath Ledger

Anonymous said...

Louis: your top 10 rhea seehorn acting moments

Calvin Law said...

Michael: my favourite casting choice of the year so far. Hopefully they won’t waste him.

Emi Grant said...

After what felt like an eternity, I've finally caught up with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. I'm relieved about the ending not being grotesquely wrong (perhaps just a bit inappropriate) and there's definitely some nitpicks there and there, but I mostly loved it.

DiCaprio: 5
Pitt: 5
Robbie: 3.5
Pacino: 3.5
Hirsch: 3
Qualley: 3
Olyphant: 3.5
Butters: 3/3.5
Butler: 3
Fanning: 3
Dern: 3
Russell: 3
Lewis: 3
Moh: 4
Hammond: 3.5

Calvin Law said...

I think I’ve settled on strong 4.5’s for both Pitt and DiCaprio. Maybe the former could go up but that just seems right for them in my books.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

By the way, I'd like to agree with everyone when it comes to wanting Mark Addy reviewed.
'The Pope may be French, but Jesus is English' has me in stitches every single time I hear it.

Bryan L. said...

Lucas: If by "present film roles" you mean 2010s roles that would've been a good fit for him, then you can find that list here

http://actoroscar.blogspot.com/2018/02/alternate-best-actor-2017.html

Robert MacFarlane said...

I saw Ready or Not. Basically was just a funnier, better version of You’re Next. Henry Czerny and Nicky Guadagni were the MVP’s for me. Hope to see them in more comedies.

Louis Morgan said...

Tahmeed:

Sossamon - 3(She's more than fine, luminous enough, but obviously the role is fairly limited. She doesn't take off within those limitations, but nor does she get fully buried by them. I will say though that Berenice Bejo, whose just there waiting in the wings the whole time, might've done more as she does as much with barely any lines and really a non-character.)

Tudyk - 3.5(Impressive accent work from him as usual, and to be expected from him as he can fit right in with an otherwise non-American cast. Tudyk past that has some nice humorous moments as a contrast bruiser towards Bettany in particular. He also delivers a nice bit of earnestness as well, particularly in his scene in writing the letter.)

Fraser - 2.5(Eh I thought she was fine, but I didn't think she added much to the part either way. There are chances for a bit more but she doesn't really seize them.)

Purefoy - 3(Nice bit of cameo work as he manages to deliver enough gravitas in his big speech to sort of earn the nearly deus ex machina nature of the scene. I also love his final reactions, particularly his cheer at the final dismounting.)

Cazenove - 3(Straight forward but moving in just playing it as earnestly as possible.)

Sewell - 2(Stand by that I think he takes the wrong approach in treating the material so seriously. This isn't to say he needed to goof off, but he's more of a stick in the mud then he needed to be. Yes we're suppose to hate him, and Sewell meets that requirement, but I would've liked to hate him and be a bit entertained by him as well.)

Tahmeed:

Some fine work from Charles Baker there at the very least. Given Better Call Saul's success despite the odds against it, in Gilligan I trust, so this got me excited all the more.

Bryan:

I think he would've continued to rise, and though we'll never know for sure if he would've won the Oscar (It seems like he very well could've since Brolin played the type of villain the academy does usually reward, Shannon's film flopped other than him, Hoffman had won very recently, and Downey would've frankly been a more atypical win though I could see it in a Kevin Kline way, though Ledger seemed to fit in quite naturally between Bardem and Waltz anyways.) It seemed like he was going the way of DiCaprio on finding auteurs given he was going to play Mr. O'Brien in Tree of Life originally. I think he probably would've been successful in that.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Yes, but best discussed later.

I mean just more than anything another example the earnest quality within Ledger's performance, in bringing that honest conviction in that declaration to the point you don't feel William is a fool in that moment.

The Black Prince: Richard Armitage
William's Father (For Hemsworth): Peter Mullan

Anonymous:

I mean Jason Isaacs is always there for perhaps an excessively obvious choice, as really the other go to Brit villain of the time.

Anonymous:

Yes.

Anonymous:

Honestly not a bad Joker particularly the laugh, if definitely a Japanese Joker. The same for Batman with the sort of concise intensity wanted.

Anonymous:

Charles Lang does some fine expected moodiness for Sudden Fear like a proper noir. This in particularly being effective in really amplifying it as the film goes on and it becomes the thriller. This accentuating the light in the darkness in the moments of Crawford's character's realizations that I emphasized brilliantly in the lighting and compositions of short. This effectively illustrating the illumination in the darkness. This also isolating her in the frame, creating tension itself within that.

Lang does perhaps even stronger work in The Big Heat, in delivering on the noir promise of the film in a rather spectacular way. This again as the film takes its darker turn, the lighting in turn becomes just that. This in emphasizing the increasingly intense state of both the protagonist and villain in the powerful contrasts. This again doing proper noir work in that display, particularly in the change from duplicity in the not such a two-face of Gloria Grahame's character. Lang's work brilliantly emphasizes the emotion in so many scene, more so than honestly sometimes Ford's performance does so.

Lucas:

Ledger:

1. Interrogation - The Dark Knight
2. Visiting Harvey - The Dark Knight
3. "Hit me" - The Dark Knight
4. A Better class of criminal - The Dark Knight
5. "Why so serious" - The Dark Knight
6. Blowing up the Hospital - The Dark Knight
7. Laughing to his death - The Dark Knight
8. Mob Meeting - The Dark Knight
9. Tonight's entertainment - The Dark Knight
10. Snuff Film - The Dark Knight
11. "I just want my phone call" - The Dark Knight
12. Congratulations to the commissioner - The Dark Knight
13. "Wish I could quit you" - Brokeback Mountain
14. Seeing his daughter - Brokeback Mountain
15. Ending - Brokeback Mountain
16. 4th Confrontation - Brokeback Mountain
17. "Can't Take My Eyes of You" - 10 Things I Hate About You
18. Initial tryst - Brokeback Mountain
19. Hearing out his wife's suspicions - Brokeback Mountain
20. Skip Changing his ways - Lords of Dogtown

Anonymous:

Seehorn:

1. Fight with Jimmy in the parking Lot
2. Chewing out Howard
3. Guilt over Chuck
4. Reflecting on her Law Career
5. Consoling a client
6. Asking about the prejudice toward Jimmy
7. Chuck's letter is read
8. Reacting to Better Call Saul
9. Turning down Jimmy's Offer
10. Reflecting on her job interview

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Did you mean to say he probably would've won or he probably wouldn't have? You confused me a little bit when you described the other nominees haha.

Also, it appears he actually left the role of Mr. O'Brien a month before he passed away. However, I've also read that he was supposed to meet with Spielberg regarding a role in a film about The Chicago 7, so the auteur theory still stands.

Louis Morgan said...

Bryan:

Yes, would've have won, as I forgot the "does not" for Brolin, as he played an overtly despicable type of villain that few win for rather than the charismatic kind that often do win, like Ledger.

Regarding the second point, it sounds like the reasons he left were associated with some of the factors that unfortunately led to his premature death, so in this "best timeline" view he probably would've played the part.

Luke Higham said...

Thanks Louis. :)

Bryan L. said...

Louis: By any chance, do you remember what your initial reaction was when you heard that Ledger was going to play The Joker? Just wondering.

And lastly, how do you think he would've fared as Llewelyn Moss? He was the Coens' first choice for the role, but he had just done several films in a row and decided to take a break.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Rating and thoughts on Arnold, Sinbad and Jake Lloyd in Jingle All The Way and Stephen Baldwin and Pauly Shore in Bio-Dome. I think I'd give Shore a 0. Quite frankly, I don't know why he even got a career.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on Carlos Sanz short performance in Stronger? And if the role he played was central to a film dedicated to Carlos, what actors other than Sanz would be a good fit for a 2010s version of said film?

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Could Paul Bettany and/or Ed Harris go up for A Beautiful Mind?

Anonymous said...

Louis: what are your thoughts on kerry condon in better call saul

Louis Morgan said...

Bryan:

I recall being open to the idea, since I liked him in all the films I had seen from him up until that point, but certainly skeptical to a minor extent in the sense I didn't know what to expect since he hadn't done anything like the part before. I do recall those who were fully against the idea, but the first trailer shut them all up.

I think he would've great there, as Coens don't really make many mistakes when it comes to casting, and he would've been well suited to the role as an average man. Of course Brolin was great, but I'm sure Ledger would've been as well.

Anonymous:

Schwarzenegger - 2(I wouldn't go lower on him as he really is someone who gives 100 percent regardless of the project. I'll give him credit even in that he tries to make the absurd tone work, but ends up getting into a lot of mugging because of that. He has an occasional moment where his comic timing does show up, but it is buried beneath just failing to make bad scenes work by trying to play them up.)

Sinbad - 1.5(I mean Sinbad really just gives a performance, which is hard mugging constantly in the styling of Sinbad. This really is just an expectation and exists based on the material he's working with. He's working with some bad material so it's pretty bad.)

Lloyd - 0(I mean just abysmal work. Just a performance that lacks any connection to reality or even the heightened reality of the film. Every delivery is false and every moment is awkward.)

Baldwin - 0(I mean atrocious doesn't begin to describe the I guess goofy man to Pauley Shore's straight man? Either way he's awful basically in trying to match his awfulness. The thing is evidenced by
The Usual Suspects he doesn't even appear to be a bad actor, but here he goes very far in a terrible direction.)

Shore - 0(That far in the direction of Shore, whose whole existence maybe the most severe instance of Hollywood nepotism ever committed celluloid. This being perhaps the nadir of his career we all had to bare for far longer than we should've. Here we get just a particularly grating example of his "charm" and non-existence timing. This fashioned through a loud constantly obnoxious performance that slowly wears at ones soul into they are just a hollow husk.)

Anonymous:

You can find that here:

http://actoroscar.blogspot.com/2017/12/alternate-best-actor-1965-jozef-kroner.html

I mean just get Sanz, but others Demian Bichir.

Tahmeed:

Probably not.

Anoynmous:

Condon - (Her performance is fine though rather limited. This as essentially just a straight innocence who keeps the distance from the majority of the darkness. Her performance however does work to that extent in providing just a direct honest emotion in a given scene. I won't say her work leaves a particular impact, however it works within the limits of the role.)

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Have you seen The Kid Who Would Be King yet.

Louis Morgan said...

Not yet, I'm currently focusing on 2001 films.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Could you let us know, once you've watched Spirited Away.

Luke Higham said...

We'll likely be waiting until the results but it'll surely be in his top 5.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: is there any chance Matthew Broderick and Denzel Washington could go up for Glory? I know you’re not his biggest fan of the former in general but rewatching it recently, I honestly can’t see anyone else in their roles.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Take it with a grain of salt, but apparently Richard Donner was considered to direct the 90's Judge Dredd movie. And while we don't really know who else was considered other than Stallone and Schwarzenegger to play Dredd, I always thought that Michael Ironside would have been a perfect choice to play him due to his voice and commanding presence. I've also heard that Michael Biehn auditioned for the role in the 2012 Dredd movie, but he would have been too old to play the role at this point. Ron Perlman would have also been perfect too.

Thoughts on this?

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on this:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yMJnsTx-TBg

Louis Morgan said...

Tahmeed:

Sure, since it's animated I'll make the exception.

Calvin:

Washington's more likely, but maybe for both.

Anonymous:

Not sure Donner could've saved the film, though it likely would've been more interesting at least as a chance for him to show off a potential combination of his action chops he had become more known for with the bit of sci-fi he did with Superman. Ironside would've been an excellent choice, as would've Michael Biehn, though in the 90's version. Would like Biehn frankly to be in more things now, but Urban was just right for the role, while Biehn potentially would've too old. Then again, like Perlman actually in Hellboy, as long he physically could've done it, it would've worked given the mask largely would've covered up his age otherwise.

Luke:

Well there are many thoughts that can be given to that trailer. Whereas Little Women, is something I know there's been many adaptations of, but haven't seen the majority of them, I have seen many of the Prince Hal story however. Michod and Edgerton are both talented (though hardly infallible based on Michod's last effort), but will they be able to find something new material that hasn't already been mined, then very well refined, by the likes of Olivier, Welles and Branagh? I'm not so sure. The aesthetic looks good on every front at the very least. A promising cast, though we can't gauge much from the supporting players here, but Edgerton as Falstaff, Mendelesohn as Henry IV and Pattinson as the Dauphin (especially with those locks) all seem like good ideas on paper. I'm not sold on Chalamet, who from the trailer looks a little bit like he's a kid playing dress up, and trying to posture with a Batman voice to "intimidate". Hopefully his performance works in context, but this wasn't a great sell for him anyways. Past that though, I hope quite frankly there's something new in the adaptation itself, which from this there could be. I hope there is somewhere, since again, the previous Henry V's and Chimes at Midnight have set a high standard.

Calvin Law said...

Interesting choice by Chalamet, I think his physical performance looks great actually but that voice is really bugging me, and not the accent. Everything else I’m pretty excited by though.

Omar Franini said...

1. Gyllenhaal
2. Carrey
3. Ye
4. Yelchin
5. Ledger

Louis: could Park So-dam and Cho Yeo-jeong could go up on a rewatch of Parasite?

Louis Morgan said...

Omar:

Yes.

Calvin Law said...

Yeah I could support that especially for Cho who I actually think I might’ve vastly underrated on the initial watch.

Calvin Law said...

Luke: your top 5 scenes from War and Peace?

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

Calvin: Unranked:
Ballroom
Pierre/Dolokhov Duel
I CHALLENGE YOU!
Pierre seasoning/savouring a potato
Ending

Emi Grant said...

I will say in regards to The King that Chalamet's accent it's actually bugging me a bit. Will watch for that supporting cast alone, though.

Louis: What would be your recommendations to eventually get started with the film adaptations of The Bard's plays?

Luke Higham said...

Emi Grant: Romeo And Juliet (1968) would be a great one to start off with.

Anonymous said...

Louis: For Biehn, would you like to see him in non-action stuff? Because I'm sure that he could be great in other genres other than action, sci-fi and westerns.

Also, what about Kurt Russell and Ron Perlman for Dredd for the 90's movie? I think they would have also been excellent.

Anonymous said...

I think I'm with Bryan on this one, I like this film, but I don't love it although I do enjoy Ledger, Tudyk and Addy.

Bryan L. said...

Anonymous: It's enjoyable to be sure, although for me, not to the point where I can join the chorus for this film.

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the following IASIP episodes?

The Gang Hits the Slopes (Love how they added their own take on the 80s ski movie like South Park did)
Mac Day
The World Series Defense
Charlie Goes America All Over Everybody's Ass

Louis Morgan said...

Emi Grant:

I'd say this would be a good starter set, in this order:

Romeo and Juliet (1968)
Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing
Chimes at Midnight
Throne of Blood
Olivier's Henry V (1944)

Anonymous:

I would love that, as I really think he has found himself rather underrated at this point, and really could use a Kurt Russellesque resurgence.

I agree, as both have the voice and chin chops for the role. I think Perlman would be most ideal, as he's obviously someone who doesn't mind having his face covered for a whole film.

Bryan:

The Gang Hits the Slopes - (Hilarious, and it didn't feel like it was aping south park. This making fun by just being such a film, with Dennis making for an amazing 80's villain. Plus the addition of subverting that by showing the 80's "pranks" as the criminal actions they typically were.)

Mac Day - (This episode I find takes too much to get going at times, but what gets it across are the country/city Mac juxtapositions every time. Plus the great Howerton delivery of you know what's badass? Being Alive)

The World Defense Series - (For me the funniest parts of the episode are the court interaction more so than the actual flashbacks, well other than the segue into a medieval torture dungeon, namely Dennis's and Mac's fight over strength ability.)

Charlie Goes America - (I actually don't like this episode that much, as the Dee/Charlie stuff I think gets excessively random, but unfortunately not in an overly funny way. The escalation of the Dennis and Mac anything goes bar, is kind of funny, but isn't as funny as the concept suggests it should be.)

Emi Grant said...

Luke, Louis: Thanks. I will keep those films and that set in mind. I look forward to eventually appreciate those works.

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the direction for Steve Jobs? Just wondering what you make of Boyles' side of things with that film, since you mentioned you had some reservations with Sorkins' screenplay several posts back.


And your reasons for Bryan Cranston as Atticus Finch and Nick Charles?

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: How close to a 5 was Cary Elwes for The Princess Bride?

Razor said...

Louis: Thoughts on Charles Vanel, Yves Montand in The Wages of Fear and Walter Matthau in Charley Varrick?

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your top 20 Alan Rickman acting moments.

Mitchell Murray said...

You know, I'd just thought I propose two questions of mine, with regards to this both year's awards season and the star of "The King":

1) I've seen Timothee Chalamet's actually be compared to Heath Ledger in terms of presence and style, presumably by his most ardent supporters. Does anybody here understand where there coming from with that, or can we just chalk it up to typical internet fanfare?

2) At this moment in time, how would everybody feel if Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert Downey Jr got oscar nominated for "OUATIH" and "Endgame", respectively? For myself, I'd be completely behind that recognition, even if the latter's chances are perhaps more complicated than they really ought to be.

Calvin Law said...

I think Chalamet is a good actor but I see nothing in his style that seems remotely similar to Ledger except I guess that they’ve both started out in ‘boyish’ roles and are charismatic, very good looking chaps?

Yes to Downey, and for DiCaprio I liked him a lot and I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing him get recognition for one of his lighter roles.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

I requested Downey, I'm pretty sure it's clear as to where I stand on his work.
As for DiCaprio, I'd more than support an Oscar nod for him. The man doesn't utilize his abundant charm and charisma as much as he should, which is a shame given that for me, Wolf of Wall Street is by far his best work.

Emi Grant said...

Mitchell: DiCaprio should totally be recognized. He has some scenes that are arguably among his best in his performance. A nomination would do just fine.

While a re-watch of Endgame would be necessary for me to fully settle on Downey's work, I could get behind him getting a nod. I just think it'd be unbearable to deal with the inevitable backlash he could get.

I'd agree with Calvin in regards to Chalamet.

Emi Grant said...

Louis: Thoughts on the second Joker trailer?

Luke Higham said...

Emi: I think Louis prefers watching the first trailer and then see the film. I haven't seen it yet but wouldn't want to be spoiled too much.

Bryan L. said...

Mitchell:

1) Nah, if anything, Chalamet seem more of a 90s-Dicaprio type, in terms of the hype that's being build around him. Talent-wise, the jurys' still out.

2) I'd like to see Dicaprio get nominated of course, and it's pretty likely he'll get in. As for RDJ, I wouldn't mind a FYC campaign for his performance, though it's probably not going to happen.

Emi Grant said...

Luke: Yeah, it probably does a bit. I think I could have done fine with just the first trailer. It's not bad or anything, but it does give away a bit too much.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Thoughts on The Laundromat trailer.

Bryan L. said...

De Niro does seem invested in Joker, I'll say that much.

As for The Laundromat, I wasn't expecting that tone tbh. Otherwise, eh this just looks like The Informant 2. Oldman in a leading role has me intrigued though.

Louis Morgan said...

Bryan:

Danny Boyle's direction of Steve Jobs is perhaps the least Danny Boyle style film one will see from him. This only with that early moment of cutting to the exit signs being a signal of his typical choice to have an overly kinetic editing style. He almost seems to throw that in as a gesture to his fans of that style, not being a fan of that style in most instances that is a very good thing. Boyle's direction other than that random moment, and his unfortunate choice of a final song, is one of the stronger elements of the film. This in just wise choices regarding invigorating around the dialogue, which is of course the focus. Boyle has the right confidence in the work, even in its shortcomings, in the way he presents the film. For the most part he takes the right moments to show his hand, whether it be the three different film stocks to make each sequence distinct, or his careful use of score to bridge gaps, or amplify the moments. He doesn't overplay the latter for example, knowing when to make a scene just a little more present through it, particularly the act 2 fight between Sculley and Jobs which is a highlight of both Sorkin and Boyle's career. In that scene, Boyle uses the music to support each dramatic moment of the sequence, with the cutting in this moment, underlying the emotion of the players and highlighting each moment of the present conversation. Now not every scene is as strong as that one, but Boyle's work persistently brings the best out of the ideas put forth by Sorkin. He can't save Sorkin's misguided crux to the film, and even plays a little bit into its badness through that final song choice. Otherwise than that though it's an excellent example of how to direct a dialogue driven film, as well as Boyle showing restraint as a filmmaker.

Cranston can do indignation like few others which would be great for Finch. I think playing fully as a loving father also could bring the best of him. For the latter the man has comic chops and could just be a great deal of fun for Nick Charles, though I'm not sure who'd be his Nora, as ideal present casting still has to be Gosling and Stone for the guaranteed requisite chemistry.

Tahmeed:

Not a split decision or anything in my mind. I feel very comfortable with the current rating for him.

Rickman:

1. Hans pretends to be a hostage - Die Hard
2. By Grabthar's Hammer (with meaning) - Galaxy Quest
3. "Call off Christmas" _ Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
4. The Prince's Tale - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II
5. Final Confrontation - Die Hard
6. Goodbye - Truly, Madly, Deeply
7. Never tell a soldier the cost of war - Eye in the Sky
8. Three Curtain calls - Galaxy Quest
10. Who is the man - Closet Land
11. Making Demands over the phone - Die Hard
12. Cut your heart out with a spoon - Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
13. By Grabthar's Hammer what a savings - Galaxy Quest
14. Sing song - Truly, Madly, Deeply
15. Final attempt - Closet Land
16. Need to concentrate - Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
17. John Phillips of London - Die Hard
18. Fake fighting - Galaxy Quest
19. And bring a friend - Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
20. Real Accent - King of the Hill

Louis Morgan said...

Razor:

Vanel and Montand - (Their performance work very much in tandem as two different types of lost souls. Montand more so emphasizing as a cynical edge of a man fed up with it all, against Vanel's portrayal of a man almost too cowardly to stand to that idea. Both work in this near anti-chemistry at times as we understand the two working together, however they always have this certain distance. Each accentuate that well Montand through disregard for the man's cowardice and Vanel portraying the man retiring into himself rather than face his shortcomings. The two are effective in creating a doomed friendship essentially as two men, who truly are forced into by circumstances.)

Matthau - (Matthau's performance is rather interesting in that it's him as basically an action hero. Matthau is terrific though by playing essentially into a certain "miscasting" as managing to play a certain goofiness of a man that many would underestimate, but with this cool intelligence in his eyes that suggests a far smarter than most. In addition though it is just an effective performance to follow as Matthau does great work in crafting investment into Charley, through his great short moments of quiet emotion regarding his losses throughout the heist process, and just making for a likable, though unlikely, anti-hero.)

Mitchell:

I don't see it all quite frankly, this even down to their appearance, where I'd say Ledger shed the sort of teenager appearance almost immediately, while Chalamet still looks like he's mid-teens. The internet fanfare surrounding Chalamet in general is at best overblown, with far too many expectations being set already for an actor who while has potential isn't necessarily a DDL (just look at some of the comments for The King on youtube), and at worst downright creepy at times.

Emi Grant:

Luke is correct, I'll be skipping it, since I already want to see the film, unless it gets completely panned or something (though I probably still will see it at some point for Phoenix.)

Luke:

I mean looks like tolerable Soderbergh at least, though very much his "fun" movies like Logan Lucky, The Informant and the Oceans movies, but I can never get too excited for one of his films. I will say it's always good to see Oldman in non-schlock with potentially a substantial role (I hope his Oscar win keeps getting him those).

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Maybe Diane Lane for Nora, if one were to go for an older version of the duo?

Psifonian said...

The Venice Film Festival's just begun, and I'm curious -- who do y'all predict is taking home the prizes?

My predictions:

Golden Lion: Martin Eden
Grand Jury Prize: Wasp Network
Silver Lion for Best Director: Lou Ye, Saturday Fiction
Volpi Cup for Best Actor: Mark Rylance, Waiting for the Barbarians
Volpi Cup for Best Actress: Mariana De Girolamo, Ema
Best Screenplay Award: Guest of Honour
Special Jury Prize: Ad Astra
Marcello Mastroianni Award: Eliza Scanlen, Babyteeth

Matt Mustin said...

Has anyone seen a movie called The Girl with All the Gifts? I just watched it and I was surprised how much I loved it.

Bryan L. said...

Matt: Haven't seen it, but Paddy Considine in a substantial role does have me intrigued. I'll check it out later on.

Psifonian: I'll go ahead and also predict that Ad Astra will take home the Special Jury Prize.

Anonymous said...

Louis: It's not a big of a deal, but would you say that when someone says that a certain actor doesn't sound authoritarian because he doesn't have a deep voice is an exaggeration? I mean, General Patton did not sound like George C. Scott and yet many people took him seriously even if he didn't have a deep voice if I recall like Scott did.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Thoughts on The Two Popes trailer.

Calvin Law said...

Definitely seems like a two hander as opposed to Hopkins being supporting.

Luke Higham said...

I think we're gonna have to add Driver and Johansson in Marriage Story to the Awards conversation.

Mitchell Murray said...

Luke: That's what I've been saying. Again, I'm hopeful that Johansson and Driver both deliver strong turns, should they're performances ultimately garner such attention.

Come to think of it, the fact that Johansson hasn't been nominated yet is kind of interesting; She had a fair amount of critical mentions between 98' and 05', and although I haven't always been her biggest fan, it's not as if she's completely devoid of talent.

Luke Higham said...

Guys, which 5 Actors do you see having a banner year.

Willem Dafoe
Chris Evans (Endgame & Knives Out)
Adam Driver (Marriage Story & The Report)
Brad Pitt (OUATIH & Ad Astra)
Scarlett Johansson (Endgame, Marriage Story and Jojo Rabbit)

Mitchell Murray said...

Luke: Pretty much every actor you just mentioned.

Although I might also add Florence Pugh (Fighting With My Family, Midsommar, Little Women) and Robert Pattinson (The Lighthouse, The King and Waiting for the Barbarians).

Louis Morgan said...

Bryan:

Although that wasn't the focus of Trumbo, I'd say there was enough there to indicate that being a good match, in addition to Lane having the right energy for Nora role anyways.

Anonymous:

It can be. I mean a deep voice doesn't hurt ever, but one can certainly sound commanding without one.

Luke:

I hate it because I know the script is unlikely to really find the paydirt in the central idea, which has a great deal of potential. Hopkins and Pryce both seem to be inhabiting their roles well, Pryce I'd say is setting himself up for a possible win, it's unfortunate that I don't have faith (no pun intended) that there will be any more depth than we see in the trailer to the roles. The trailer looks good on its own, but the cloud of Anthony McCarten prevents me from getting too excited for this.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Rating and thoughts on Bill Paxton, Helen Hunt and Cary Elwes in Twister.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: What are the films, whose consensus critical reception, do you find most puzzling in terms of your own taste? This can be based on their Rotten Tomatoes score. For me personally, four films I disagree with are:
Clue
Home Alone
A Knight's Tale
The Graduate (confession: I just think it's a tad overrated).

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Paxton - 2(The film is no one's finest hour, and quite frankly this is the type of role that plays against his strengths as a performer. This being just really a blank leading man, other than his storm sensing powers that come and go. He's not terrible here by any margin, but his work in no way invigorates the often ridiculous film with any real drama.)

Hunt - 2(The same goes for Hunt, where one can sense her attempting to make her big screen splash, which she would successfully do just a year later, however she too falls into the same issue as Paxton. In that her performance here just falls into corniness as a performer better at something just with a little more off-beat inherent in the role.)

Elwes - 2.5(Elwes knows what film he is in with his terrible American accent he's doing, and just smug troll face he does throughout his performance. Sadly the film doesn't really give him a lot to do in terms of having fun. Frankly though he would've been better in Paxton's role, and I think Paxton probably would've been a better fit for the "evil" storm chaser.)

Tahmeed:

I mean it happens all the time for the personal view negative, critical positive sense, so I'll leave those off, though I do want to take this chance again to denote just how baffled I still am by John Wick 3's reception, particularly those stating it's better than the first. Utterly baffling to me.

As for the reverse(I'll stick to post 1980's since there are many more with if you go by other original receptions for films like Apocalypse Now Vertigo, The Night of the Hunter and It's Wonderful Life, among too many others)

Clue
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
Ravenous
Spaceballs
The Thing

Also didn't include films that were poorly received due to a bad edit like Kingdom of Heaven.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: can’t beleive I haven’t asked you this before but what are your thoughts on the California Dreaming scene in Chungking Express? I firmly believe that QT’s choice to use an alternate cover in OUATIH was in large part due to his love for Chungking and believing that it would be impossible to top that use of it.

Calvin Law said...

And by that scene I mean the first scene that transitions between the two storylines.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Would have you liked if it had been Keith David that played Spawn instead of Michael Jai White? He voiced him for the HBO show and I'm sure that he could have worked perfectly in live-action. Tony Todd was also apparently considered.

Mitchell Murray said...

Louis: What would be your rating/thoughts on Mary Elizabeth Winstead's performance from "Smashed"? Although I felt her drunken scenes were a tad overplayed, it's a strong performance overall with the right naturalism and pathos.

Bryan L. said...

Mitchell: He covered Winstead's performance in that film here

http://actoroscar.blogspot.com/2015/03/alternate-best-actor-1972.html

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Thoughts on the trailer for The Aeronauts?

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

I mean Spawn is a film I'm probably more positive on than many to begin with, in that I don't think it's atrocious, but I will say White's performance wasn't the most dynamic. David would've provided, obviously, a stronger voice for the character, and potentially a bit more emotional weight that really was needed. Todd obviously has a striking voice too, but I don't think I have never seen him play a sympathetic role, a large one anyways.

Bryan:

Uhhh, I mean it doesn't look obviously bad, but there isn't anything of note to it. We've obviously seen determined Jones and eccentric Redmayne before, even in the same film. Action looked perhaps a little overly CGI, but not terribly so. Looks potentially fine, but disposable, hopefully it's more but didn't sell itself as such here.

Side Note from this trailer: I wish an enterprising filmmaker would realize that Tom Courtenay, who seems quite game for film again, is a great asset and would find him a good role, though kudos to Andrew Haigh on that front.

Matt Mustin said...

I saw The Art of Self-Defense. It's not for everyone, but I thought it was brilliant, and easily one of my favourite films of the year.

Eisenberg-5
Nivola-5
Poots-4

Emi Grant said...

Matt: Holy hell. A 5 for Eisenberg? I'm guaranteed to love it then.

Calvin Law said...

I watched The Dead Don’t Die. I was a bit meh on it, not one of Jarmusch’s best films but I certainly liked what it was going for, and I thought it achieved that in parts

Murray- 3.5
Driver- 4
Sevigny-3
Swinton-4 (could go up)
Buscemi-3
Waits- 3.5
Glover- 3
Jones- 3
Kane - 3
Pop- 3
Perez- 3
Gomez- 2

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Well, I'm glad The Art of Self Defense didn't apparently turn out to be some movie that was riding on the coattails of Cobra Kai. Colour me very,very intrigued.

Calvin Law said...

Louis and everyone: your top 10 scenes from the Harry Potter films? For me,

1. Slughorn’s confession to Harry (HBP)
2. Snape’s Memories (DHP2)
3. Going undercover in Ministry of Magic (DHP1)
4. Neville Longbottom’s speech (DHP2)
5. Time travel (PA)
6. Dumbledore vs The Inferi (HBP)
7. Hagrid’s first appearance (PS)
8. First visit to Ollivander’s (PS)
9. Sirius’ farewell to Harry (PA)
10. Voldemort’s resurrection (GOF)

Emi Grant said...

Joker's first reviews are pretty good and I'm glad.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Calvin:
1. The Prince's Memories- The Deathly Hallows, Part II
2. The final Patronus- The Prisoner of Azkaban
3. 'It is our choices that make us who we are' - The Chamber of Secrets (always loved Richard Harris's take, and this scene is the main reason why)
4. Three Unforgivable Curses- The Goblet of Fire
5. Dumbledore vs the Inferi- The Half Blood Prince
6. Ministry infiltration- The Deathly Hallows, Part I
7. First Quidditch Match- The Philosopher's Stone
8. Hermione and Hagrid return- The Chamber of Secrets
9. Neville Stands up to Voldemort- The Deathly Hallows, Part II
10. Dementor on the train- The Prisoner of Azkaban
11. 'You're not a bad person Harry' - The Order of the Phoenix (damn was Oldman underused in the films)
12. Teaching Harry the Patronus- The Prisoner of Azkaban
13. Returning with Cedric's body- The Goblet of Fire
14. The Weasleys leave Hogwarts- The Order of the Phoenix
15. Gryffindor wins the House Cup- The Philosopher's Stone

Matt Mustin said...

Tahmeed: Oh god no. The martial arts thing is a backdrop for a dark and ferocious satire.


Bryan L. said...

Matt: Glad to see some positive news about Nivola in that film. He's trending upwards.

I've also heard that it's sort of like a more comedic and indie version of Fight Club.

Matt Mustin said...

Bryan L: Pretty much, although it's actually dark to the point that calling it a comedy seems wrong.

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