Thursday, 28 November 2019

Alternate Best Actor 1999: Results

5. Tom Cruise in Eyes Wide Shut - Cruise fulfills the general needs of his performance however never seems ideal for the general needs of his character. 

Best Scene: His confession.
4. Nicolas Cage in Bringing Out the Dead - Cage delivers the more expected extremes of his insomniac paramedic, however it his more subdued moments that perhaps leave the strongest impression.

Best Scene: Saving the dealer.
3. Anthony Hopkins in Titus - Hopkins delivers both the needed gravity for any Shakespearean performance, but with a sense of fun needed for the work that is Titus Andronicus.

Best Scene: Some nice pies.
2. Heath Ledger in Two Hands - Ledger delivers a terrific early star turn that manages to effortlessly balance the romantic, dramatic and comedic elements of his film.

Best Scene: Confronting Pando.
1. Jim Broadbent in Topsy-Turvy - Broadbent gives an absolutely winning turn in his approach as a humorous man who takes himself very seriously.

Best Scene: His inspiration.
Updated Overall

Next Year: 1999 Supporting


Luke Higham said...

Ratings and thoughts on the rest of the lead performances you've seen.

Your Female Lead and Supporting top tens with ratings and other 4+ honourable mentions.

Your 1999 wins.

Carlyle (Ravenous)
Bonus: John C. Reilly

Luke Higham said...

Louis: You forgot to put results in the title.

Luke Higham said...

Where did Denzel Washington in The Hurricane go, he's no longer on the overall ranking.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Could a rewatch of The Sixth Sense lead to a possible upgrade for Haley Joel Osment?

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: I asked him before and he said no.

Michael: Washington's up to a 4.

Jack Narrator said...

I think Tom Cruise beats Sam Rockwell.

Luke Higham said...

Jack: If that doesn't happen, please accept the final result and not insult Louis' opinion.

Lucas Saavedra said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the always sunny season 14 episodes apart from the premiere?

Who do you think would have been a better fit for Bill Harford instead of Cruise?

What are your lowest 4.5, 4, 3.5 and 3s for the 1999 lead ranking?

Philip Seeymour Hoffman, William H. Macy and John C. Reilly - Magnolia
Robert Carlyle - Ravenous
Gary Cole - Office Space
Anthony Wong - The Mission
Harry Lennix - Titus
Bryan Brown - Two Hands

Luke Higham said...


Lowest 4.5: Norton
Lowest 4: Pitt

Robert MacFarlane said...

I’d like to see Peter Sarsgaard re-evaluated for Boys Don’t Cry.


Robert Carlyle - Ravenous
Peter Sarsgaard - Boys Don’t Cry
Ray Winstone - The War Zone
Anthony Wong - The Mission
Timothy Spall - Topsy Turvy

Luke Higham said...

Louis: What did you think of Following.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

One thing I'm really hoping for is that Rickman goes up for Galaxy Quest, as unlikely as that might seem. On rewatches, I've felt he stood out even more than Rockwell.

Calvin Law said...

Lucas: He’s answered you on the previous post now :)

Bryan L. said...

Louis: I know you don’t really like DOR, but will you consider checking out Three Kings before the rounds over? Or at least put it in the “Maybe” file?

Bryan L. said...

Luke: I hope he took to the film, although I feel he must’ve been more impressed by Alex Haw.

Luke Higham said...

Bryan: Haw's eight places below Theobald.

Emi Grant said...

Robert Carlyle - Ravenous
Anthony Wong - The Mission
Harry Lennix - Titus
Peter Sarsgaard - Boys Don't Cry
Philip Seeymour Hoffman, William H. Macy and John C. Reilly - Magnolia

Anonymous said...

What are Louis's thoughts and ratings on the cast of American Beauty, aside form Spacey that is?

Bryan L. said...

Anonymous: Those thoughts are on many different posts, so just type in “” on your browsers search bar with each actor from the film and you should be able to find them.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: Once you're on a post, hit CTRL/F then type in the name of the actor, it'll save even more time.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Review Sarsgaard as well. You have enough time to do 7 reviews before the Oscar Nominations announcement.

Anonymous said...

Louis: I recall you saying that you would have preferred if Lynch had made Batman instead of Dune and how Robin Williams would have been a much better Joker than Nicholson. I'm assuming that for a Lynch Batman movie, you'd cast Williams in the role?

Also, I also heard that Cronenberg was apparently interested in directing American Psycho with Brad Pitt in the role.

Omar Franini said...

Louis: your rating and thoughts on Julianne Moore in The End of the Affair and Emily Watson in Angela’s Ashes? And thoughts on All About My Mother and the cast if you have seen it.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Rating and thoughts on Janet McTeer in Tumbleweeds and Meryl Streep in Music Of The Heart.

Matt Mustin said...

I saw Knives Out, which I flat-out loved. De Armas is unquestionably lead, and I would say Craig is too, although he's borderline.

De Armas-5

Matt Mustin said...

Don't even have to think twice about giving Craig a 5, by the way. It's not the most complex role in the grand scheme of things, but I adored everything he did.

Matt Mustin said...

(Obviously, that should be 3.5 for Curtis)

Louis Morgan said...


Note: Some performances I had seen a long time ago, just had forgotten to put them in the old lineup.

Puri - 4(A rather effective portrayal of a seemingly warm man who slowly self-destructs into a person defined by questionable tradition. Puri is terrific in being so quietly warm and comedic in most of his scenes, yet naturally segues to quite the terrifying state when becoming the "man" of the household as this vicious fool.)

Fiennes - 3.5(I mean, kind of refer to my comments on Sunshine, but limit to one performance.)

Everett - 3.5(Everett does well with the material, even as the direction keeps a limit on the life of it. Everett though brings sort of slick charm, with the right degree of sarcasm within it to grant the appropriate wit to the proceedings even if the cast is in general a bit confined.)

Leguizamo - 3.5(I have to say overall the film was pretty good, all except the actual killer scenes which were often atrocious, particularly the talking dog scene which has to be the worst direction ever by Lee, even more so than the ending of Jungle Fever. Anyways Leguizamo gives a fine turn here though in portraying a man both far too self-absorbed to be sensitive, yet is, becoming just this waste of a man in both degree. He brings a nice naturalism here and avoids the typical over the top qualities that smashes so many of his performances.)

Angela Ashes's Boys to man - 3.5(All acquit themselves well in a film that is a terrible slog to get through, yes it is tough subject matter, but this is a lifeless version of it. This is despite the cast acquitting themselves right down to all three performers who give earnest and effective turns.)

Brody - 3.5(Fine turn in portraying the sort of state of portraying both an ego and an out of place disconnect. This capturing both sort of a youthful foolishness yet also charm at the same time. Brody in a way makes the appropriate mess of a man who cannot quite be who he wants to be or who he thinks he is either.)

Grant - 3(Fine Granting, which I'll honestly take in the world of Richard Curtis cheese that is hard for me to ever stomach. Although watching so many of his written films, one must say he really is a auteur writer, but that's just me digressing because this performance is all that you expect nothing more or less.)

Hawke - 3(I mean a fine turn though Hawke has little more to do than look from a distance with a sense of despair. Still Hawke basically always delivers.)

Theobald & Haw - 2.5(Both do come off as amateur in that Theobald lacks the needed charisma for a lead, while Haw has that he plays it up just a bit too much and too surface, whereas I preferred the bit of internalization Theobald did bring. Still it becomes why neither would really take off as actors though neither are bad.)

Louis Morgan said...

Hoffman - 2.5(I'll give him credit for not being atrocious, because his film is atrocious, absolutely atrocious as this bad thriller disguised as a human drama. This making such thin characters at every point. Hoffman definitely tries but is dealing with tissue paper. For playing a drag queen, this could've been horrendous and it is not, so kudos there, but it never really goes beyond being that of a dime drag act in itself due to the writing and direction.)

Dafoe - 2.5(Some have said he's like Raul Julia in Street Fighter, and I can see the attempt. The material, and I'm sure direction though make Dafoe go too far even for this type of performance to the point I sadly got even tired by just how obviously and over written in a way his character was. Dafoe is the only thing I could slightly stomach in what was a downright horrible film in every respect, but that is saying very little.)

De Niro - 2.5(Mostly tired De Niro, then doing stroke work which isn't bad, but again is stuck in this character that amount to only that anyways.)

Law - 2(Law's American accent is once again terrible, but what's worse is he seems completely out of his element here at every point. A Cronenberg lead just needs an intensity that we don't get from Law here, and the points in which he attempts it are laughable. It is a downright underwhelming turn that borders always on very bland. It is always strange though that you can see Law thriving with Cronenberg in a supporting role, but as the lead he leaves much to be desired. Although I will say that it doesn't help that eXiStenZ plays almost like a bad parody of a Cronenberg film.)

Cunliffe - 2(The film would have some major problems anyways, but Cunliffe's nearly lifeless performance brings a black hole in the left center of every scene. This is despite having some great co-stars to work with, but Cunliffe just plays one note throughout. This making a hollowness around the character to which so much of the drama should live. Of course in a way his underwhelming turn makes me perhaps appreciate his main co-star all the more.)

Reedus and Flanery - 1.5(Both manage to overact and be bland at the same time. It doesn't help them that they're are not working with characters, they're working with nonsense ideas of a horrible screenwriter thinking he's writing the "coolest dudes ever". Both don't help matters themselves though either, living in the awfulness of their film every step of the way.)

The Following doesn't fall into one of the great directorial debut films for me, though you can definitely see the talent of Nolan within such extreme confines regarding budget and cast. It though rather though feels like a collection of interesting ideas that allude to a far greater storyteller waiting to breakout. It falls very much into something like "Who's That Knocking At My Door" in that you see the limits of the "student film" of it all, even though the potential is there, but also leaves an unsatisfying film. It also doesn't benefit from having a Harvey Keitel either. Not a bad film, and really quite great if you consider the circumstances, but definitely just a primer before Memento.

Louis Morgan said...


1. Cecilia Roth - All About My Mother - 5
2. Lara Belmont - The War Zone - 5
3. Hillary Swank - Boys Don't Cry
4. Emilie Dequenne - Rosetta - 4.5
5. Rachel Weisz - The Mummy
6. Nicole Kidman - Eyes Wide Shut
7. Reese Witherspoon - Election
8. Linda Bassett - East is East - 4
9. Janet Mcteer - Tumbleweeds
10. Julianne Moore - The End of the Affair - 3.5


1. Melora Walters - Magnolia
2. April Grace - Magnolia
3. Sigourney Weaver - Galaxy Quest
4. Sissy Spacek - The Straight Story
5. Toni Collette - The Sixth Sense
6. Chloe Sevigny - Boys Don't Cry
7. Shirley Henderson - Topsy-Turvy
8. Cameron Diaz - Being John Malkovich
9. Lesley Manville - Topsy-Turvy
10. Susie Porter - Two Hands


Emily Watson - Angela's Ashes
Patricia Clarkson - The Green Mile
Gweneth Paltrow - The Talented Mister Ripley
Courtney Love - Man on the Moon


It is one I've kinda have seen, but I will seek it out before I'm done with the year.


Yes, actually, as it's a shame Williams, a comic book fan, never got to play a proper comic book role. I think he would've taken it very seriously, and Lynch could've theoretically got the absolute best out of him.

I mean I could definitely see Pitt in that role.

Louis Morgan said...


Moore - 3.5(I mean terrific accent work to be sure. I will say though I thought Stephen Rea stole the show from Fiennes and Moore. Moore does a decent enough attempt at trying to create a proper Celia Johnson type turn, but doesn't come close in terms of internalization of the relationship. In that we are only grants a slight sense of it and it never quite captures the power or poignancy one would wish. It is a fine turn, but not much more than that.)

Watson - 4(Very much an expected role of the dutiful mother, warm, broken in a way, but also still supportive. Watson does so much with saying so very little throughout the film yet makes an impact with her work. As mentioned before I don't think the material makes much of the situation other than to make it dreary, however the emotion within that is made absolutely honest within Watson's work.)

All About My Mother I actually thought was quite good, and I'm not big on Almodovar, typically because his storytelling is so scattershot, purposefully so, but doesn't mean I have to like it. This time though I thought it worked in creating sense of the greater mess of it all by showing Manuela's attempts to maneuver it all, creating something rather compelling through that focal point through each intensely difficult situation she has to deal with in it all.

Roth - 5(I thought she was downright amazing in every respect, in just one of these performances that in a way maneuvers the film itself. This in one just giving such a charismatic turn that owns every scene. But what is so remarkable is how her performance so effectively creates the sense of every complex relationship, and gives sense to each of them. Everything works because Roth makes it work through her measured performance which is able to go from these moments of sort comedy, nostalgia, love, or heartbreak with such ease. It is such a calmly powerful turn consistently throughout, that absolutely made the film itself work for me by the precision of her ability to create something tangible in each and every element of the film.)


McTeer - 4(Although I didn't get too much out of the film itself McTeer certainly delivered on her end. This being southern lower class character, but also bringing a natural character in that. This without overplaying it or becoming too much of a caricature even as the film sort of encourages it. McTeer though manages to always bring more genuine moments of emotional desperation in some of her acts to sort of weight and balance the character at essential times, and to keep her from becoming just this absurd idea of a person rather than something genuine.)

Streep - 3(Eh she's fine here. She does a different voice, natural enough here. The whole film though felt so perfunctory in its choices for the inspirational teacher genre, that the scenes themselves barely even gave Streep the typical expectations of big speeches or anything like that. Streep does her part well enough, but also doesn't elevate the material in the slightest.)