Saturday, 7 September 2019

Alternate Best Actor 2001: Liu Ye in Lan Yu

Liu Ye did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying the titular character in Lan Yu.

Lan Yu is an interesting though I wouldn't say wholly successful film following the homosexual relationship between a closeted older man Han Dong (Hu Jun) and a young student, the titular Lan Yu.

Liu Ye plays the younger man and is technically the secondary role within the film. This is as the perspective of the film is mostly told within Han's view of his relationship with Lan Yu, but how each stage of interaction with him leaves this impact. Liu Ye's performance then is many ways essential as he has very limited screentime, even though I would say it is still a leading role, to realize Lan Yu's character. This being a particular challenge since as written the role could've easily become one note in one way or another. This being that Lan Yu almost seems a specter at times in his appearances and it likely would've been a mistake to make the role too ethereal in nature. Thankfully Liu Ye makes no such mistakes approaching the role with a strict honesty. This forgoing any false mannerisms or posturing to make Lan Yu into the "young lover" to stand out, but instead strives to do so by just offering a very human portrait of this young man. This is evident from one of his earliest moments where we see the men's initial tryst. This is a key scene for the film, and expressed through Liu's performance that creates the sense of discovering in the moment. He doesn't make is just this physical act, but rather this powerful moment within his eyes of conveying this being an essential moment in his life.

Liu Ye's performance is then one about consistency but a consistency of a note that is rather remarkable. This being granting the importance of the relationship within the character of Lan Yu, who does not see it as a meaningless fling, affair or otherwise. This is rather a life changing experience. That is evident in their first tryst but also from then on. Liu grants the needed dynamic with Hu Jun's more guarded performance by portraying Lan Yu as someone who doesn't hide his emotions and wears them most evidently. Liu's work then is powerful through how blunt it is, however this must be said is notable in the restraint he shows within this once again. There is one of his greatest moments of his work is simply in reaction to hearing Han's more muted or at lest compromised emotions regarding their relationship. Liu captures the despair so effectively by portraying as this searing distress. This as his work emphasizes above all that for Lan Yu this relationship is for him the love of his life and an ever life changing experience. Liu Ye, even when he has certain periods of being absent from the narrative, always leaves the lasting impression on the film.

This all the while Han cannot forget about him neither does the viewer due to what Liu Ye accomplishes when we do see Lan Yu. His portrayal manages to create a particularly needed authenticity within the realization of Lan Yu's struggle. This is even with these technical "jumps" in places based on when Han meets him again. Liu Ye is terrific in portraying this certain maturation within Lan Yu. Liu's work again excels though by making this impressive impact in such a calm yet potent way. When Lan Yu essentially stakes his emotional claim around the idea of the relationship, Liu's delivery is reserved yet piercing. This as within every word there is this concise emotional intensity, that doesn't come out in anger, but rather a vulnerability. A vulnerability that reveals Lan Yu really is only seeking this happiness with the one he loves without exception. Liu excels in portraying Lan Yu's lack of compromise through his portrayal as just this raw emotion of someone trying to find his happiness. Liu's work manages to earn the place of Lan Yu as this nearly haunting presence in the film, not by making Lan Yu this dreamlike idea of perfection, but rather this honest portrayal of a purity of an soul that will not bargain with his truth. Lie Ye gives a fantastic turn here as even though he's not the main focus, he in a way makes himself as such with such ease. This in creating his own separate, and technically far more poignant portrait, not of a man refusing to be himself, but rather a man who can only be who he is.

114 comments:

RatedRStar said...

Liu Ye is the youngest ever best actor nominee at the HK film awards very underrated performer. Louis what are your thoughts and rating on Hu Juns work, I dont like him in any of his other performances apart from this.

Mitchell Murray said...

Here's another film to add to the list, I suppose.

Speaking of which, in reference to best actress years I mentioned in the last post, has anyone here seen "Nell"? I ask because 94' is perhaps the next best actress year I'm looking into, and the responses I've read about the movie/Foster's performance have been all over the map.

Calvin Law said...

Knives Out is getting very good reviews. And glad you liked Liu!

Bryan L. said...

Calvin: I'm glad to hear that. Seems like the fall movie season will at least try to make up for the lackluster summer we've had.

Bryan L. said...

Luke: Your rating and thoughts on John Noble in Return of the King?

Anonymous said...

Louis: Could you give your thoughts on the adult actors in the It mini-series?

Calvin Law said...

Louis: could I have your thoughts on the following Breaking Bad scene - https://youtu.be/0yr-KJWLTUU? One of the funniest ones in the whole series IMO.

Luke Higham said...

Bryan: A 2, my thoughts are about the same as Louis and I wholly agree that Paul Scofield should've played Denethor.

Bryan L. said...

Luke: You think Jeremy Irons could've worked as Denethor as well?

And your 2010s choice? Rylance perhaps?

Luke Higham said...

Bryan: Yes to both. DDL would've been great as well.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Did you ever watch the original Thundercats animated series? If so, could I have your brief overall thoughts on it?

Calvin Law said...

Terrence Malick’s next film: Mark Rylance will be playing Satan, Matthias Schoenaerts is playing Saint Peter, and Géza Röhrig will be playing Jesus. I mean...it’s like Christmas came early this year.

Emi Grant said...

"Mark Rylance will be playing Satan".

I'm in.

Anonymous said...

Louis: your top 20 James mcavoy acting moments

Bryan L. said...

Calvin: Oh god, I hope that film actually comes through.


BTW, I am pleased to announce that I have gotten the blog bug and without further ado...

https://bryansfilmandetcblog.blogspot.com/2019/09/mcu-ranking.html

Anonymous said...

Louis: What are your thoughts on Bong Joon-ho as a director?

Calvin Law said...

Louis: thoughts on these three alternate casts:

The Man With the Golden Arm directed by Derek Cianfrance
Frankie: Bill Hader
Zosh: Michelle Williams
Molly: Zazie Beetz
Sparrow: John Magaro
Schwiefka: Peter Sarsgaard

Quo Vadis directed by Gavin Hood
Richard Madden as Marcus Vinicius
Lily James as Lygia
Iain Glen as Petronius
Ben Foster as Nero

Attack! directed by Kathryn Bigelow
Lt. Joe Costa: Sebastian Stan
Captain Cooney: Simon Pegg
Lt Col. Bartlett: Joel Edgerton
Lt Woodruff: John Boyega
Pfc Bernstein: Adam Goldberg

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the cinematography of Videodrome and Aliens.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: I know you don't watch the show, but could I have your thoughts on this scene from How I Met Your Mother? It has quite a powerful bit of acting from Jason Segel.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNWz-hrztvU

Mitchell Murray said...

Tahmeed: Apparently, Segel wanted to be kept in the dark about Hannigan's lines, so his reaction in the video was entirely unrehearsed.

Emi Grant said...

Jojo Rabbit is getting mixed reviews, guys.

RatedRStar said...

I dont think that is entirely a huge surprise, it looks like it could be one of those cult films types.

Unknown said...

Tahmeed: I knew exactly what scene that was before I even copy/pasted it aha.

Anyways, that scene is why I'd consider Jason Segel as the MVP for Season 6. Props to him for delivering on the emotions, where he indeed wasn't informed as to what Hannigan was going to say.

Anonymous said...

Bryan L.

The above comment is mine btw. Having technical difficulties commenting under my name rn.

Louis Morgan said...

RatedRStar:

Hu Jun - 3.5(I'll say part of the reason the film didn't fully work for me was his performance. He does a fine performance in hitting the emotional moments of a given scene. He doesn't bring you into his character though in conveying a truly internalized portrayal of repression. He's more than fine in hitting the moments, but he doesn't delve deep enough into the role to leave the needed impression to really pull you into his story. It's a good performance but not a great one, which I do think was possible with the material.)

Anonymous:

Thomas - (Not his finest hour, as he just comes off as rather bland with his Bill, though I'll say an overarching problem here is the common overacting in all the young crew. This is in particularly reacting to Pennywise where they all go way over the top in acting freaked out. This making all of them pretty cheesy. Thomas's talent occasionally reveals itself, like in the ending a bit but it's a weaker turn from him.)

O'Toole - (She probably has the worst of it, then again it's rather difficult to make a line "Why is it so mean?" work. Her performance though certainly isn't the case for that, and her portrayal is pretty horribly cheesy throughout.)

Ritter - (Ritter's charisma appears a bit, and there are glimpses of a decent performance here, but he too falls into the cheesiness of it all.)

Anderson - (The absolute worst of the cast as he not only has his horribly cheesy overacting we also get some absolutely atrocious comedic moments from him, that are just one groaner after another.)

Christopher - (Often a capable actor here, but he's just one ridiculous face after another. The closest he comes to being okay is his confession scene, but even that just doesn't quite come off as an authentic bit. Again someone with hints of decent performance, but too bogged down by the constant overacting, especially in his death scene.)

Reid - (Less over the top acting, a bit of it anyways, but not enough to really be a remarkable performance in anyway. He at least is less bad I suppose, which I guess is something.)

Masur - (The best adult performance as his face of dread is at least something and he is actually creepy enough in his scene. It's still a bit much, but as all the performances fall short, his falls a bit less short I suppose.)

Calvin:

Hilarious bit of awkwardness as attempted smoothness from Odenkirk with Saul completely failing to be charming, and instead is quite a bit insulting. Especially loved the complete lack of amusement from Skyler and Walt.

Louis Morgan said...

Tahmeed:

Never did.

Well I haven't seen the show, but that's certainly some strong acting from Segal.

Anonymous:

McAvoy:

1. Apologizing to his "brother" - Filth
2. Breaking down the competition - Filth
3. Phone Sex - Filth
4. Psychoanalysis - Filth
5. Goodbye video - Filth
6. Narco bust - Filth
7. Was a good person - Filth
8. Complaint to the chief - Filth
9. Drag - Filth
10. Talking to his future self - Days of Future Past
11. Seeing the bereaved mother - Filth
12. Seeing his wife - Filth
13. Final talk with Mystique - Days of Future Past
14. Dance - Split
15. visiting his psychiatrist - Split
16. Talk with Magneto on the plane - Days of Future Past
17. The proper woman - Split
18. Insulting Amin to his face - The Last King of Scotland
19. The real man - Split
20. Basement - It Chapter 2

Emi Grant:

Not really surprising given the subject matter and the idiosyncratic style of Waititi, what I'm glad to see is that those who love it really love it. The reactions definitely aren't those of a critical flop, but rather semi-divisive, with passion on the positive side, which is all I need quite frankly. It doesn't appear that it'll be that much of an awards player, maybe Original screenplay, you never know, but it didn't think it would be.

Calvin:

Fascinating choices for MWGA, though I'd imagine Gosling would get that role, and be great, but Hader is someone who'd I'd love to see take such a role.

Great cast for Vadis, especially love the idea of some Foster debauchery. Not so sure about Hood however. who seems best for straighter dramas.

Great cast and director for Attack, can't question any of those.

Anonymous said...

Louis, see any other 2019 releases lately.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

It is easy for me to say that Bong Joon-ho is one of my favorite working directors, and would easily make my top ten directors whose first feature debuted in the new millennium. This in his achievement, which perhaps speaks to my own taste heavily, in joining the ranks of directors who are able to wield such varied tones in the same film. All his films can be thrilling, hilarious, heartbreaking, haunting, you name the feeling, Bong is able to explore it, but in the same film he's doing a complete antithesis of that as well. This daring is already something I love, but his success is why he's a great director. He has crafted his own idiosyncratic style in both the stories he chooses to tell and how he tells them. He's the greatest of the three sort of "international" South Korean directors, and the only one who fully successfully turned international in making a, mostly English, feature. Although I still need to see The Host, Barking Dogs Never Bite, and Mother, all his other films are such unique cinematic experiences, that I either enjoy thoroughly or downright love. His work doesn't pigeonhole itself, allowing even his social explorations to have more nuance than most filmmakers do in that regard. This allowing both text and subtext in that regard. Of course above all a powerful visual filmmaker, that probably also supports his international appeal, as his work is so often at its most powerful in silence. He's true storyteller, and off-beat in the best ways. When I heard of Parasite's reception, I purposefully didn't look into it at all, because the best way to experience a Bong Joon-ho film, is blind going in, but with your eyes wide open once the curtain draws.

Anonymous said...

Louis: What are your thoughts on this deleted scene from training day https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsbDW1tbAwI

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Well that's some of the best acting I've seen in a Deleted Scene, this side of Mickey Rourke's deleted scene in The Thin Red Line. Usually with deleted scenes, that aren't part of say studio hatchet job, I get why they were deleted, but I have to say that it is an excellent character building moment for Harris, that grants a bit more humanity to him. I also have to give credit to Washington who nicely creates the sense of the real trauma in Harris, just as he does his boisterous thing to "laugh it off".

Anonymous said...

Louis: your thoughts on this deleted scene https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTxIEATokus

Calvin Law said...

Holy shit, that’s an amazing deleted scene.

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Apparently, John Lithgow was one of the candidates for the part of Gene Cosineau in Barry before Winkler got the part. How do you reckon he would've fared in that role? I think he might've given off a more pretentious vibe.


Also, your thoughts on "Glengarry Glen Ross" and Sally's speech by the pool from the same show?

Calvin Law said...

I like Lithgow a lot but he wouldn’t have been right for the role. In fact if he was cast in the series I could see him more as Fuches (though Root was perfectly cast).

Bryan L. said...

Calvin: Actually, yeah, he would've been a better fit for Fuches, as Lithgow progressively growing darker from his typical presence could've equaled what Root has done. I'm glad casting went the way it did though.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

It's fine but I can see why they deleted it, as it doesn't add much to the film.

Bryan:

I think he definitely could've worked as well, but I think Winkler's innate likability really is an essential ingredient there. Lithgow probably would've been funny, but a lot colder.

Glengarry Glen Ross's is a hilarious bit of terrible acting, playing the scene at the exact opposite of how Blake should be played, making him more a slightly stilted, school motivational speaker.

Less sure of to which scene you are referring to.

Calvin Law said...

I think Bryan’s referring to Sally’s rant at Barry between them rehearsing his lines for his audition, which is just amazing acting IMO

Bryan L. said...

Yep, the one Calvin is referring to.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Are you loving Band Of Brothers so far.

Calvin Law said...

Saw Good Boys. I actually quite liked it.

Tremblay - 3.5
Williams - 3.5
Noon - 3.5
Everyone else: a collective 3

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: I enjoyed it as well, I'd go slightly higher on Tremblay though.

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Also, your rating and thoughts for Keith David in Crash? It almost felt like his performance came from a better film.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Louis: Can you give your thoughts on the kid cast and Curry in the 1990 It?

Matt Mustin said...

I haven't seen It Chapter 2 yet, but is Bill Hader less annoying than Finn Wolfhard? Because I'm watching the 2017 film again, and I really can't stand him.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Aliens's cinematography falls into the James Cameron school of cinematography who seemed to avoid working with the same cinematography twice, or perhaps they avoided him. He also seemed to avoid the sort of big name cinematographers, which seems to potentially fall into his egomania that is well known and documented. Now if compared to Alien, Alien's cinematography is a step down, in that isn't as moody as that film. He has definitely good cinematography and is on the upper tier of the Cameron's aesthetic. This usually having the lighting always accentuating, one's sweat, and usually stylized by piercing through something like a grate. All more than decent examples of that, even if it isn't as dynamic in terms of that or the composition of shots as its predecessor. It's a step down to merely very good cinematography however, with the Cameron with to the point, and effectively so, compositions and framing, and that very specific lighting, that is well done, though usually copied by others to rather detrimental extents in lesser films.

Mark Irwin's cinematography is also one that falls into the Cronenberg style which emphasizes an uncompromising grit, and a lack of glamour at every point. The work is distinctive then, even if definitely not "pretty" as even the moments of overt lighting are off putting. This is a difficult trick however, that this film does pull off, as it is not lazy, like other horror films, that make this an excuse just to be truly ugly. This is not that film that gives this harder edge purpose, amplified by particularly striking, if often very to the point, framing and composition of shots that grants the film a particularly direct horror.

Bryan:

David - 2.5(A very limited part that is similar to Ving Rhames in Casualties of War, though not as potent as that one. He does a fine job of offering some strict cynical, yet also honest directness in his performance, that works a lot better than many of the over the top small roles.)

Anonymous said...

Louis: What are your thoughts on these deleted scenes from the green mile https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-SrcNSPnDk

Calvin Law said...

I imagine working as a cinematographer under Cameron is bloody difficult. Man’s got so much talent but can also imagine arguments really getting out of hand.

Louis Morgan said...

Robert:

Brandis - (He's very good actually in portraying the intensity of the grief that pervades the character. He emphasizes the stutter far less than his eventual successor, however his performance works in terms of portraying the grief most directly. This actually is in line with sort of what works about all the child performances and not so much the adults. This two fold in that each creates a real sense of the fear of Pennywise, through far less over the top reactions, but also conveying a real sense of dread that isn't just some blank stare.)

Perkins - (Less luminous than her successor, however her performance very much works more so as part of the gang. In this sense the performances here are less distinctive in a certain way, in that each character is less so a type, even if the qualities of the role still exist. This isn't a criticism on either film honestly though, as both child performances work in their differing approaches. Perkins is an example of this that gives just a moving portrayal of the character's internalized distress, but also that warmth created between the friends of the losers.)

Faraizl - (Again his performance is considerably downplayed compared to what Grazer would do, but he works as a less "charismatic" hypochondriac so to speak. He also gives a moving portrayal of the young man who is earnest even if downtrodden in this specific way. Again, what works in these performances is how just sort of honest they are in a film about a killer clown from outer space. It is far less heightened but his approach works as well.)

Crane - (Again his performance again emphasizes less so sort of the "distinctive' element of his character, but still works in the lower key approach. This quietly in just portraying again the fear in a convincing way, but more so the moments with Bev, where he is so genuinely sweet in creating the sense of the crush as well as the attempt towards comforting her.)

Louis Morgan said...

Taylor - (It was nice of them to maintain his historian role, even though then new adaptation decided to backtrack on that in the sequel anyways. His role, with that little bit more of meat, still isn't the most substantial of the losers, however he too offers that same sort of direct honesty. Again very unshowy, but good in that way.)

Heller - (Poor Stan too doesn't get the most, but he again offers a nice sincerity within really being the perpetual doubter. He doesn't over do this but provides it without falling into sort of the obvious notions of such a role.)

Green - (Obviously the most known now post this, but I wouldn't not necessarily say he stood out more among the young cast. I will say though he is far more tolerable than I thought Wolfhard was in the role. This as Green provides the humor in a less abrasive way, and really in a more kiddy sort of way with all the different voices, that certainly works.)

Curry - (The stand out element of the miniseries, and quite likely why it is remembered still even well so many other King TV adaptations have long been forgotten. Although I won't quite say I get scared by this performance, as the clown is never something that has really scared me(Pee Wee's Big Adventure is probably the best bet in that), Curry's performance works as a wonderfully creepy and humorous bent to it. This as he portrays Pennywise as this gleeful and maniacal, demigod who is having the time of his life basically in his "playground". Curry in turn is hilarious in being effectively off-putting in the mix of just being oh so entertaining in his scenes of "messing" with the kids and the adults, where he brings the right edge even in those moments to sort of foretell his true intentions. This along with when he does show his true intentions more bluntly where Curry is fantastic in bringing such sheer venom in every one of Pennywise's more hateful lines. Curry is clearly having the time of his life with his performance, and it is endearing in that sense. His performance though does work beyond that as creating his version of Pennywise, that has a little bit of allure in his scenes with Georgie and the little girl, but is more so the focuses of this creature having a good laugh at the expense of all of his victims.)

Matt:

Well not to give too much away, but being actually funny helps.

Michael McCarthy said...

I gotta say, Brandis was the MVP of the 1990 version by a mile.

Also, I had an idea for a mid 2000's version of It: Chapter 2, what does everyone think of this cast?

BIll: John Cusack
Beverly: Molly Ringwald
Ben: Rob Lowe
Eddie: Anthony Michael Hall
Richie: Judd Nelson
Mike: Andre Braugher
Stanley: Andrew McCarthy
Bowers: Kiefer Sutherland
Pennywise: Doug Jones

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

A brief moving moment there to be sure, but I think they made the right move cutting it out therefore leaving Coffey's execution to be sort of the stab you through the heart moment.

The same goes for that other moment, however Coffey's final scene was already emotional enough, that I can see why that was cut.

Calvin Law said...

Michael: That cast is amazing, Braugher and Jones in particular.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: your thoughts on Hooli CEO Gavin Belson’s direction and screenplay for Captain Fanrastic

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Thoughts on this 2010s cast for Repo Man?

Directed by Panos Cosmatos (A more overtly comedic take on the 80s film he did)

Otto- Will Poulter
Bud- John Hawkes
Leila- Hailee Steinfeld
Miller- Jimmi Simpson
Lite- Russell Hornsby

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Oh and thoughts on Sallys rant in Season 2, Episode 7 of Barry as well?

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your thoughts on these anime openings:
https://youtu.be/2---3Iysnqg (Haikyuu opening 1)
https://youtu.be/uMeR2W19wT0 ('Unravel' , the first opening from the anime Tokyo Ghoul)

Anonymous said...

Louis: What are your thoughts on James Coburn in Monsters' Inc and Miguel Ferrer in Mulan? Coburn probably gives my favorite performance in that film.

Matt Mustin said...

Saw It Chapter 2. It's a giant mess, which I'd be willing to forgive if it were the tiniest bit scary, but wow, is it not at all, in fact there were times during the "scary" moments where I had to stop myself from laughing out loud. The acting is good, but outside of that, man...

Chastain-3.5
McAvoy-3.5
Hader-4.5
Ryan-4
Mustafa-4
Ransone-4.5
Skarsgard-2.5
Grant-2
Lillis-4
Martell-3.5
The rest of the kids-3

Matt Mustin said...

Also, there's a couple cameos for some reason, one which I thought was AWESOME and one which I thought was the opposite of awesome.

Matt Mustin said...

Oh, one more thing about It Chapter 2. What in the FUCK was that song doing in there?

RatedRStar said...

Saw Chapter 2 as well, absolutely hated most of it outside of the acting lol, is it possibly the longest ever horror film?

Calvin Law said...

Louis: your thoughts on David Dencik, Paul Ritter, Robert Emms/Sam Troughton, Donald Sumpter, and Ralph Ineson on Chernobyl?

Calvin Law said...

Got my tickets for early screenings of A Hidden Life and A Beautiufl Day in the Neighbourhood. Alas, Jojo Rabbit and The Lighthouse were sold out in advance.

Anonymous said...

Louis: So it looks like it'll be John Toll who will shoot the next Matrix movie. Thoughts on this?

Louis Morgan said...

Matt:

Such a bizarre inexplicable choice, that definitely seem made up in the editing in the worst possible way. When it happened I thought "did that really just happen?".

Calvin:

Well surprising for the executive his screenplay has a real every man's touch. Seriously though it's terrific screenplay for him particularly in terms of his refusal to Indie expectations. Now within it is just an effective exploration of the singular character of Ben Cash, but he manages to write interesting aspects to each of the kids even if ever so briefly. It works as that exploration through the crux of the plot, which isn't just that. The death of the mother is effectively interwoven within the character's motivations, but also the way it directly challenge's Ben's life choices. That is where the film shines the most in that Ross finds a balance in the depiction of Ben. He grants that neither Ben's life, nor a modern law is perfect, and both have their flaws. He gives fairness there and subverts the "get the normies" that is such a tired choice that results in lazy writing. Ross avoids that and gives one of the best films in the "atypical" lifestyle Indie genre.

Belson's direction also surprisingly has the soft touch, very unlike a CEO. Seriously again though Ross's work here is good, in a very straightforward way. His choices are typically to the point, relying on the strength of his screenplay and performances, and it works in that sense. One should never hand wave this as his choices support the story and the character. He never gets showy, nor does he need to. He knows how to hone in on the emotions of the situation, and it's a solid, unfussy bit of work from him.

Dencik - (A good performance but really there just for the presence. He delivers on the fairly limited view of that we get of Gorbachev however.)

Louis Morgan said...

Ritter - (A good bit of sort of smug insufferable work from him. This just giving the right sort of confident smugness to support that actions of the man and the refusal to accept his own incompetence even as he becomes a sacrificial lamb.)

Emms/Troughton - (Both are good in somewhat limited parts in conveying either sort of the state of malaise of being confident within the system, or the fear of finding himself in a rather perilous situation.)

Sumpter - (Pretty much always love me some Sumpter, still most underrated GOT performance! Anyway Sumpter's work is brief but makes an impression even within the limits of that. This just with the sort of assurance of cowardice essentially he brings. This conveying the sort of command the man has in essentially avoiding eventual responsibility.)

Ineson - (Not a lot of Ineson but the man always makes an impression it seems even the smallest of roles. This is certainly the case here as well, making the most out of just some key reactionary moments.)

Bryan:

Strong cast, and Cosmatos would bring the right madness to match the material I think.

Pretty amazing scene for Goldberg as she manages some pretty unwieldy material there in that she manages to make moments of the rant both funny and also very sad at the same time. Managing to find just the pitch perfect tone of the near breakdown and making sort of the stream of consciousness of it seem so natural.

Tahmeed:

The first, the song seemed a little random, and generic (at least from my limited experience of mostly you presenting me with these clips). The rest of it seemed a touch straight forward of some, certainly decent animation of some very straight forward volley ball play.

The second was a little more eye catching for me, even if very minimalist, but eye catching on the characters on a beautiful backdrop. Song didn't do too much for me here either though, again a little random.

Anonymous:

Coburn - 3(He has an amazing voice anyways which helps a great deal to begin with. It's used well though here where he brings appropriate gravitas as the mentor type that shifts natural to a more duplicitous sort.)

Ferrer - 3(Shan Yu is a pretty one note "I'm evil" villain, but speaking of amazing voices, Ferrer makes great use of his inherited pipes to add some real menace to rather basic lines.)

Anonymous:

Eh, after being given the thankless task of trying to find rhyme and reason within the cluster of nonsense that was Jupiter Ascending, I can't get too excited for potentially wasting Toll's abilities.

Anonymous said...

Louis what are your updated Oscar predictions now that so many of the films have been screened?

With reasoning.

Anonymous said...

Louis: I decided to do some research and it seems like there were people who really loved the idea of Nicolas Winding Refn directing a Punisher movie with Liev Schreiber as Frank Castle.

Some people even suggested that Michael Ironside would have been an ideal choice for the character if a Punisher film had been made in the 80's. I mean, he did have the height and the voice for it.

Thoughts on these ideas?

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Alright, with the risk of unseen contenders like Little Women, 1917 and The Irishman.

Picture:

Marriage Story
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
1917
The Irishman
Little Women
The Farewell
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
The Two Popes

There isn't an "The Artist" type front runner right now, so at least this race is interesting at the moment. I'll say Joker and it's Golden Lion makes it a tempting choice as well, but I'm just not so sure. Marriage Story seems primed for the mainstream enough film from an idiosyncratic director to get his big time breakthrough with the academy. I guess OATIH is the pseudo front runner, but it obviously has major detractors, however the passion seems there to get into the first phase. Hoping 1917 is great and it is sort of the technical juggernaut for the year. The Irishman, with that runtime now, that cast, that de-aging seems primed for something, not sure what though. Eh I could see the embrace for Little Women just by the shaping of the year, if it's well received of course. The Farewell for the little Indie that could, hopefully. And rounding it out A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, maybe an embrace for Rodgers after ignoring the doc last year. Two Popes has gotten the reception so far, and putting here agrees with the prediction down below.

Director:

Quentin Tarantino - Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Martin Scorsese - The Irishman
Sam Mendes - 1917
Greta Gerwig - Little Women
Noah Baumbach - Marriage Story

Sure this group, why not. There isn't a decree "on high" winner like last year, so we'll see. Return for Scorsese and Mendes for possible technical marvels/dramas. Sure. Welcome back to Gerwig, sure. Welcome to the club for Baumbach, sure. Tarantino, finally getting his director win, not so sure, but I could see him being nominated for it.

Actress:

Cynthia Erivo - Harriet (Winner)
Saoirse Ronan - Little Women
Awkwafina - The Farewell
Scarlett Johansson - Marriage Story
Renee Zellweger - Judy

Harriet didn't get "great" reviews but Erivo was praised enough to see getting in here. Ronan could continue her early success if Little Women is a thing. Again Farewell as the indie that can, could be a good thing for Awkwafina. Marriage Story seems like it could be big, and finally a chance for that strong contingent of support for Johansson back in 2003 to get her in here. Judy was more than decently received so a welcome back for Zellweger could be in order, especially with such a role.

Louis Morgan said...

Actor:

Johnathan Pryce - The Two Popes (Winner)
Taron Egerton - Rocketman
Leonardo DiCaprio - Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Adam Driver - Marriage Story
Robert De Niro - The Irishman

The never nominated Pryce has the narrative, the McCarten screenplay, the popular figure, to get that win I think. Egerton has a momentum problem potentially, but he could get in if the other contenders don't cement themselves, though I can see him getting forgotten in the end. Driver seems like a potentially easy nomination given the relative ease of his nomination last year, and the year he'll be having. De Niro, is a big question mark, but if he delivers it will be something notable. Otherwise there's ole' Phoenix, but that requires both overcoming the genre bias, the forthcoming onslaught of "think pieces" and potentially his own words depending if he is willing to play the game or not. DiCaprio has the reviews, and the reception.

Supporting Actress:

Laura Dern - Marriage Story (Winner)
Annette Bening - The Report
Florence Pugh - Little Women
Shuzhen Zhou - The Farewell
Meryl Streep - The Laundromat

If Marriage Story is big Dern is an easy bit of representation for the film as both a nominee and winner. Then again maybe rewarding "overdue" Bening, even if the Report seems like it could fall as an overall contender. Pugh if Women is a thing, and they support her notable breakout. Shuzhen Zhou is probably wishful thinking over something lame like Robbie for Hollywood, but eh a man can dream. The Laundromat isn't particularly well liked, but Streep only needs a bit of buzz to get in over far worthier contenders in far more major films (looking at you Florence Foster Jenkins over never been better Amy Adams).

Supporting Actor:

Brad Pitt - Once Upon A Time in Hollywood (Winner)
Al Pacino - The Irishman
Anthony Hopkins - The Two Popes
Tom Hanks - A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Willem Dafoe - The Lighthouse

Pitt seems like potentially the safest thing from his film, even with the category fraud, that as fraud goes is easier to swallow than many. Pacino looks like he has juicy role, and I think if the chips fall in the right way I could see him getting his second win as Pitt's role isn't a typical winner by any means. Hopkins also seems to be fraud, but has the reviews right with Pryce. Hanks, I'm already regretting predicting, given how easily they've ignored him. But hey, recognizing him and Rodgers in away is a two for one sale potentially. Dafoe I've deferred to The Lighthouse, which as an overall contender is difficult despite the critical support, however Dafoe's gotten in consecutively as the sole nomination for his film, so I think he could do it again. If the film does more, maybe he could finally get his win as well.

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Your thoughts on Ford & Ferrari's chances? The reviews seem to suggest it'll be a crowdpleasing type of film.

Also, how about Todd Phillips and company getting nominations for Joker? They do love the guy who made Anchorman, so it's not a complete stretch.

Lastly, do you think Parasite will be South Korea's first nomination in the Foreign Language category? And maybe...juusssst maybe...Best Picture? Ok, now THAT might be a stretch.

Mitchell Murray said...

...looking at you Florence Foster Jenkins over never been better Amy Adams..."

Yah that still stings a bit even now. Also, let's not forget that Streep is in "Little Women", so...I mean...were just going to have to accept this right now, aren't we.

Still, I'm just glad that this year's award season already looks WAY stronger then last years. This should hopefully be more akin to the 2016 or 2017 line ups then the 2018 one's, so fingers crossed.

Louis: On that note, and without having seen the film, obviously, what do you make of the reception Scarlett Johansson's been getting for "Marraige Story"? You obviously have voiced your reservations about her before - and generally, I'm inclined to agree with them - but I'll admit her performance has me very intrigued. Not only does it look like a more matured turn on her part, with her strong dramatic work in "Endgame" I think it might also suggest a new and better chapter in her screen career.

Anonymous said...

Calvin Law: Your thoughts on Fleabag and The Marvelous Mrs Maisel seasons 2

Calvin Law said...

Fleabag - (well I’m always a sucker for fourth wall breaking done right and dry British humour so this was up my lane to begin with. It’s an absolutely hilarious show down to its smallest side characters as we essentially watch a misanthropic ‘angry young woman’ dealing with relationship issues, family matters and life as it is, with the highlight being her dealings with the priest with Andrew Scott giving a career-best turn. Its consistently funny but what takes it a step further is how seriously it takes its subject matter. Even when Fleabag shows her most horrible side, it keeps her oh so human and takes her to surprisingly heartbreaking places. All of course amplified by the some of the best writing and acting of the year so far by Phoebe Waller-Bridge)

Maisel Season 2 - (I will say both seasons so far have been excellent, the show takes a great concept and really pushes it to its full potential and I can’t wait to see how it’ll continue to ‘expand’ so to speak. It’s largely all about its lead turn with Rachel Brosnahan giving an amazing turn and I hate that I have to give my full support to Waller-Bridge this year as, as she gives a dynamic and sympathetic turn while genuinely not only being funny, but becoming progressively even funnier onstage as her character grows in confidence. Beyond that the series is great at giving a real vibrancy to its surrounding characters and setting. You get a real sense of this particular standup comedy scene and why and how everyone is set in their respective places, and makes for a particularly vividly realised comedy show. Season 2 despite a bit more of a slow pacing to begin with ended up being a particularly interesting exploration of the directions Midge’s newfound fame takes her and the potential cost of comedy. Eagerly anticipate Season 3.

RatedRStar said...

Ford V Ferrari looks like one of those films that just dont really translate to Oscar nomination too well, similar to how Rush ended up i think.

Louis Morgan said...

Bryan:

Ford & Ferrari got good reviews, but I'd say probably would need to be a default sort of nomination, in that staying there if other potential "passionate" nominees fall by the wayside. This is as well it got plenty of praise, it didn't get sort of a center point for a campaign to kind of push it forward.

Now Joker does seem to have the passion, and given the guy who made Dumb and Dumber also did so well last year, previously films doesn't matter much. Phoenix though is prickly, and the material is already generating controversy (legitimate or not). Given Green Book's success though I think sort of Twitter/"think piece" reactions might matter less, despite often being so loud. But even with that it still needs to overcome genre bias, which it already has with the Golden Lion (although they also gave Polanski a win so they were obviously in a mood prod at least a bit), so I do think it can do it, but not sold yet.

My own adoration for Parasite is going to prevent me from getting my hopes up for the film, too much. I will say it at least has already been submitted by SK for their official submission so it has overcome the first hurdle. Unfortunately the foreign language branch make boneheaded decisions all the time. Palm D'Or win helps though so, finger crossed this final gets in, which it's ridiculous that South Korea hasn't gotten a nomination there yet. The outside categories feels definitely like a stretch, the only one I can even buy at this point is Bong in director just based on Pawel Pawlikowski making it in last year.

Mitchell:

Regarding Johansson, I'm all for an actor I haven't loved in the past, having a turn around towards a great performance. She's received praise in the past I have not agreed with however, but I will say I've been liking some of her work more recently than in the past anyways so I hope this is the next step upwards in terms of performance quality for her.

RatedRStar said...

Louis: That supporting lineup looks like an almost dream lineup lol its like 1973 Best Actor in terms of star power lol.

Mitchell Murray said...

While we're on this topic, I might as well throw in my acting predictions:

Best Actor -

Robert de Niro (The Irishman)
Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood)
Adam Driver (Marriage Story)
Taron Edgerton (Rocketman)
Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes)

Best Actress -

Awkwafina (The Farewell)
Cynthia Erivo (Harriet)
Lupita Nyong'o (Us)
Scarlett Johanson (Marriage Story)
Saoirse Ronan (Little Women)

Best Supporting Actor -

Willem Dafoe (The Lighthouse)
Robert Downey Jr (Avengers: Endgame) - A man can dream, can't he?
Tom Hanks (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood)
Al Pacino (The Irishman)
Brad Pitt (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood)

Best Supporting Actress -

Annette Bening (The Project)
Laura Dern (Marraige Story)
Florence Pugh (Little Women)
Zhao Shuzen (The Farewell)
Meryl Streep (The Laundromat)

Luke Higham said...

I'll be really surprised if the Supporting Lineup (Louis) isn't the one we end up having.

I don't see RDJ's Oscar push amount to anything.

Pesci could get in at the expense of Dafoe or Hanks.

Bale has an outside chance. I've heard praise for Letts as a scene stealer though this year's too difficult to get in for a first-timer.

Luke Higham said...

And if De Niro doesn't deliver in The Irishman, It better be Phoenix taking that 5th slot.

And I have Antonio Banderas as an outlier for Pain & Glory who could potentially take Egerton's place.

Mitchell Murray said...

Also, I'd just like to say that I don't think Tarantino will be nominated as a director next year. OUATIH is a good directing job on his part, but I can't see him having an enormous amount of support among this field, or more specifically, with the backdrop of recent events.

Omar Franini said...

Calvin: your cast ranking for the second season of Fleabag? Sian Clifford is my MVP but i really liked Waller-Bridge as well.

I’d be very surprised if Phoenix doesn’t get nominated, i’ve seen Joker in Venice and while i have some reservations about the movie, none of them concerns Phoenix’s outstanding work, and I think his performance can overcome the future controversies the movie will cause.

Calvin Law said...

Omar: (could you also give your thoughts on the other films you saw at Venice?)

1. Phoebe Waller-Bridge
2. Andrew Scott
3. Sian Clifford
4. Kristin Scott Thomas
5. Brett Gelman
6. Olivia Colman
7. Bill Paterson
8. Fiona Shaw
9. Christian Hillborg
10. Jo Martin
11. Hugh Dennis
12. Hugh Skinner
13. Angus Imrie

Omar Franini said...

Calvin: yes, my competition ranking (haven’t seen Guest of Honour);

1. Ema (5/5)
2. Waiting for the Barbarians (4,5/5)
3. J’Accuse
4. Martin Eden
5. A Herdade
6. Saturday Fiction (4/5)
7. Joker
8. La Mafia non è più quella di una volta
9. About Endlessness (3,5/5)
10. Ad Astra
11. Il sindaco del rione Sanità
12. No. 7 Cherry Lane
13. La Verité
14. The Perfect Candidate (3/5)
15. Marriage Story
16. The Laundromat (2,5/5)
17. Gloria Mundi
18. Wasp Network
19. Babyteeth (2/5)
20. The Painted Bird (1/5 imagine Come and See directed by Lars Von Trier)

Omar Franini said...

I’ll give some brief no-spoilers thoughts.

Waiting for the Barbarians: loved the movie, i didn’t mind the slow pace and i really liked Guerra’s direction.
Rylance: 5
Depp: 3,5
Bajarsajhan: 4
Pattinson: 3

Ad Astra; i should really rewatch the movie because i was not impressed by Pitt, i thought he was dull and i couldn’t emotionally connect with the character. The movie techs are marvellous, some sequences are very well crafted and the cinematography has nothing to envy to Gravity.

Marriage Story; i didn’t like the movie, it has so many Baumbach’s cliché and i think some supporting performances were atrocious. I had problems with the writing of Johansson’s character but i can’t say more without getting into spoilers. The same goes with some editing choices. But i feel like i’m in the minority here, as everyone i’ve met in Venice loved the movie and the overall critical reception is more than good.
Driver: 4,5
Johansson: 3,5
Dern: 4 (she has a limited scene-stealing role, i can see her winning if Marriage Story starts getting momentum towards a Picture win)
Alda: 3,5
Liotta: 3
Everyone else: 1/1,5

Gus B. said...

Predictionwise

PICTURE
The Irishman
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
A Hidden Life
Marriage Story
1917
The Two Popes
Parasite
The Farewell
Joker
> The Report

DIRECTOR
Martin Scorsese - The Irishman
Quentin Tarantino - Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Terrence Malick - A Hidden Life
Sam Mendes - 1917
Bong Joon-Ho - Parasite

LEAD ACTOR
Joaquin Phoenix - Joker
Adam Driver - Marriage Story
Jonathan Pryce - The Two Popes
Leonardo DiCaprio - Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Antonio Banderas - Pain and Glory

LEAD ACTRESS
Renée Zellwegger - Judy
Scarlett Johansson - Marriage Story
Awkwafina - The Farewell
Lupita N'yong'o - Us
Cynthia Erivo - Harriet

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Brad Pitt - Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Willem Dafoe - The Lighthouse
Anthony Hopkins - The Two Popes
Al Pacino - The Irishman
Gary Oldman - The Laundromat

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Annette Bening - The Report
Laura Dern - Marriage Story
Shuzen Zhou - The Farewell
Meryl Streep - The Laundromat
Florence Pugh - Little Women

Calvin Law said...

Is it wrong that I kind of want to see The Painted Bird now?

But I appreciate the thoughts, a lot of films I hadn’t even heard of you’ve now brought to my attention!

Calvin Law said...

And my predictions,

PICTURE
The Irishman
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Marriage Story
1917
Little Women
The Two Popes
The Report

DIRECTOR
Martin Scorsese - The Irishman
Quentin Tarantino - Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Noah Baumbach - Marriage Story
Sam Mendes - 1917
Bong Joon-Ho - Parasite

LEAD ACTOR
Joaquin Phoenix - Joker
Adam Driver - Marriage Story
Jonathan Pryce - The Two Popes
Leonardo DiCaprio - Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Antonio Banderas - Pain and Glory

LEAD ACTRESS
Renée Zellwegger - Judy
Scarlett Johansson - Marriage Story
Awkwafina - The Farewell
Cynthia Erivo - Harriet
Saoirse Ronan - Little Women


SUPPORTING ACTOR
Brad Pitt - Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Tom Hanks - A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Sterling K. Brown - Waves
Al Pacino - The Irishman
Willem Dafoe - The Lighthouse

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Annette Bening - The Report
Laura Dern - Marriage Story
Shuzen Zhou - The Farewell
Florence Pugh - Little Women
Jennifer Lopez - Hustlers

Emi Grant said...

I'll wait at least a couple of months before I start predicting, but I appreciate the faith on Banderas that some of you seem to have.

Calvin Law said...

Emi: I’m going to see Pain and Glory tomorrow probably so I’ll post on here my thoughts once I have :)

Matt Mustin said...

Are they campaigning Hanks in Supporting?

Luke Higham said...

Matt: I'm pretty sure he is. They're campaigning Matthew Rhys in Lead.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: I've been meaning to ask, are those screenings you mentioned at the London Film Festival.

Calvin Law said...

Luke: Yup. Some tickets are easier to obtain than others, let’s just say that, and also I can only go for the weekend ones.

Emi Grant said...

Calvin: Well, hope you like it. I hate not having someone else to talk about it.

RatedRStar said...

Christian Bale is apparently being campaigned in Lead now, stupid decision to flip flop between categories.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: Well, there's absolutely no chance for him now.

RatedRStar said...

Luke: I agree I think Bale is out of the running now, should have just kept him in Supporting.

RatedRStar said...

I also think that Scarlett Johansson might be the favourite now at the moment to win Best Actress since Harriet is getting pretty average reviews, and plus Cynthia Erivo has no card to pull to make her overdue or anything.

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Your reasons for Ben Mendelsohns' past film roles? I get the feeling you had the same idea for him as when you gave Michael Shannons.

Omar Franini said...

Calvin: The Painted Bird it’s really bad, you get to see this kid getting mentally, phisically and even sexually abused by every person he meet for 3 straight hours; we don’t feel any pain or emotion for the main character as the director is more concerned in showing horrible things happening to this kid. A very disgusting and miserable experience, i wouldn’t suggest the movie to anyone.

Is Dafoe campaigned in supporting for The Lighthouse?

Louis Morgan said...

Omar:

No word yet officially on Dafoe's placement, therefore A24 is wasting precious time on mounting a campaign for a film that desperately needs proper campaigning. One can imagine that placement, though both are probably leads in truth, Pattinson seems to be sort of the "primary" lead so to speak from the marketing. Rare is the double lead run even an occurrence these days, and probably because it would be very difficult for either to get if they did run them that way given both shared the high praises.

Calvin Law said...

Thoughts on the Watchmen trailer Louis? Roy Orbison cheat code once again (but I do think it looks like it has potential).

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on that scene where Bruce is watching newsreels of the Harvey Dent accident in Batman Forever. It cracks me up how Batman was supposedly sitting in the court room the whole time.

Also, you forgot to post your thoughts on those Punisher movie ideas (A Refn Punisher film with Schreiber in the title role and a 80's movie with Ironside in the role.)

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

I mean, I have no idea what it is exactly, but intriguing is at least one of the things with what seems like a sequel to the source and that cast (though I have a feeling there won't be much Irons). And yes throwing in Orbison is a cheat as always, but hey always goes down smooth.

Anonymous:

Comical in a bad way really, much like many of the "serious" moments in that film.

I mean Punisher is an idea that shouldn't take much to work at a basic level. Ironside would've helped things, even though he looks more like a Punisher villain than the Punisher. Schreiber would kill the role I'd imagine, and the material would be right within Refn, so either likely would've been far better than the Punisher's we've been given so far in the features.

Calvin Law said...

Fassbender and Waititi collaborating. Could be a great comeback!

Bryan L. said...

Calvin: Just what the doctor ordered. At the very least, he'll for sure give a good performance. In Waititi we trust!

Matt Mustin said...

Louis: What are your thoughts on Mike Myers in Inglourious Basterds? I watched it again recently, and I love just about everything about the film, but I feel he's completely distracting, despite the scene actually being pretty well-written.

Luke Higham said...

Could Gregory Peck possibly go up for The Boys From Brazil.

Bryan L. said...

Matt: I also recently rewatched the film and it reminded me of his scene in last year's Best Picture nominee...and not in a good way.

Anonymous said...

Louis: A friend of mine told me that Lawrence Bayne's performance as Cable reminded him of Robert Patrick. Could you see Patrick work in the role? Much like Biehn, I think he's one of those actors who ought to be in better stuff.

Louis Morgan said...

Matt:

Myers's performance isn't very good, as it shows sort of the fine art of the overtly stylistic turn. This is as Fassbender pulls it off, but Myers doesn't. Myers just overdoes it leaning into broad sketch like performance at times, as his work has a winking quality to it that is all wrong. This compared to Fassbender who is steadfast in the purposefully overtly British manner, Myers makes fun of it a bit, and in turn falls short because of it.

Anonymous:

I'd say so, even though he seems a bit "slim" for the part, he certainly has the right edge for the character.

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