Friday, 31 July 2020

Alternate Best Actor 2002: Olivier Gourmet in The Son

Olivier Gourmet did not receive an Oscar nomination, despite winning Cannes, for portraying Olivier in The Son.

The Son follows a carpenter instructor taking interest in one of his students at a rehab school.

The Dardenne brothers take a matter of fact approach in their film-making, though their actual subjects typically touch the melodramatic in terms of content though not in execution. We have that here as we have Olivier Gourmet portraying the character of Olivier. Now Gourmet is the directors' most frequent collaborator, though the sizes of his roles differ. This is his largest as the lead, and leading to the point that the directors essentially stay within Olivier's view almost throughout the film. Now the central crux of the film is a rather extreme one this as the boy that Olivier takes interest in was imprisoned originally for having killed Olivier's son in a robbery. Gourmet's performance is a curious and fascinating one. This as even with this knowledge his character is not one we can immediately understand. This is that he has no inner monologue and most of his spoken words a perfunctory. This as he largely talks about directly what he is doing as a carpenter rather than revealing anything about himself. This then leads us to examine Gourmet's work which essentially must create so much of the film's drama, almost all of it through his mostly silent performance. This as we immediately see him it appears he might just be a rather firm and tough teacher. This with a sense of conviction in his manner of a good teacher though with a force about him particularly as he speaks to the certain boy Francis.

This is though as we follow him it is obviously not just any normal student as he not only demands that the student spend more time with him in the school, we follow Olivier as he follows him around. Gourmet though is incredible in the way his manner is a whole lot of things at once in these scenes of following the boy around. There is firstly the weight of his expression that bares a grief that is unspoken but obviously within him. There is the awkwardness of a man essentially being a stalker without really the ability or manner appropriate for such an act. This in as he moves around in fidgeting and nervous way. Gourmet's performance emphasizes that while the man is doing this, there probably is not an assured sense of why he is doing this. There is though in that a strange conviction about it, an intensity that Gourmet brings. This intensity that is particularly well realized as it is not of some traditional revenge seeker, but rather a man with a sense of confusion and though also hate in intensity. We see this stalking inter-spliced with the moments of just Olivier teaching. There he's terrific in showing the man more so in his normal state where he offers almost even a warmth just in the manner in which he attempts to show the boy the methods of his craft. This though even there is still the sense in his eyes the man's focus upon the boy that obviously isn't normal.

We are not told Olivier's plan, even when called upon it, Gourmet accentuates the confusion and more than anything an inability to speak in the moment. This naturally intensifies when he takes Francis on a road trip to pick up wood, and this extended sequence is tremendous work from Gourmet. This as Gourmet's, again basically silent, performance takes us through the steps in his mind as he looks upon the boy. There is a great moment where he takes almost a instinctual attack by stopping the car short. In the moment Gourmet's eyes just intensifies for a second showing it as this almost subconscious moment. Through the trip though inter-spliced between questions about craft Olivier does ask about the boy's crimes. Gourmet delivers this so well with a calm understatement of just man conversing with the troubled boy, though again with his eyes he finds the nuance of someone looking for answers. Eventually he takes the boy to the secluded supply area where Olivier suddenly reveals his connection to the boy as the father of his victim. I love Gourmet's delivery again even in this is almost random as though his mind has just pulled this from him. We see the same as he then attempts to chase the boy who naturally runs upon hearing this. Gourmet is fantastic by how natural he makes the complete chaos he displays in Olivier's "plan". This as he speaks that he won't hurt the boy wholly earnestly, however it is with a real intensity that when he does catch the boy he begins to choke him. Gourmet's performance makes sense of the senseless essentially, as any behavior is given a truth about it by showing the man's mind as randomly trying to come to a personal conclusion on his wound. The problem is there is no real solution. Gourmet is incredible as Olivier doesn't kill the boy, however immediately afterwards his whole scene of breathing alone says so much. This as Gourmet is searing with the sense of anger still in the man even as the man returns to essentially his life by preparing the wood again. The final moment is essential in this as when the boy returns, his look is not one of forgiveness but rather we see a man choosing to move forward. This is a truly striking performance as Olivier Gourmet work create an honesty in a man basically being senseless in reacting to senselessness. He avoids being vague, but rather finds something truly powerful in a man wandering around trying and failing to figure out what to do.

56 comments:

Calvin Law said...

Fascinating review, I really want to watch this now.

Luke Higham said...

So pleased you really liked him here. :)

Anonymous said...

Louis, ratings and thoughts on anyone else of note.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

It is really a one man show in terms of focus, though everyone else is fine.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

This seems like an even stronger year than expected, and I'm glad about that.

Anonymous said...

Louis, have you seen Paul Greengrass' Bloody Sunday. If you have, thoughts on the film and cast with ratings. If not, I'll wait for the results.

Bryan L. said...

Louis: To hop on a question from the previous post, your thoughts on the following casting choices?

Matthias Schoenaerts as Alisdair Stewart
Emma Stone as June (A Matter of Life and Death)
Jason Bateman & Rachel McAdams as the Groundhog Day leads
Stacey Keach as Lancey (The Cincinnati Kid)
August Diehl as Hans (M)

Mitchell Murray said...

Bryan: At the risk of furthering her weird typecast as a time traveller's lover...I do approve of Bateman and McAdams for "Groundhog Day".

Also I just want to mention two things briefly;
1) I greatly admired "Two Days, One Night", so I'd be more than willing to check out another film from the Dardennes.
2) Does anyone here was "Stuntman React" off of Corridor Crew? They just released a new video, and man do they rip apart the carnival fight scene from "Birds of Prey".

Mitchell Murray said...

*watch*

BRAZINTERMA said...

Hello folks and Louis!
We are now in August and I think it is a good time to start making the first predictions for Oscar 2021:

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Nomadland
Dune
Hillbilly Elegy
News of the World
I'm Thinking of Ending Things
- Surprises: Those Who Wish Me Dead, West Side Story or Greyhound

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Mank
The Trial Of The Chicago 7
On The Rocks
The French Dispatch
Soul
- Surprises: Ammonite, Da 5 Bloods or C'mon C'mon

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy)
Saoirse Ronan (Ammonite)
Rashida Jones (On The Rocks)
Olivia Colman (The Father)
Amanda Seyfried (Mank)
- Surprises: Gaby Hoffman (C'mon C'mon) or Ariana Debose (West Side Story)

LEAD ACTRESS
Michelle Pfeiffer (French Exit)
Frances McDormand (Nomadland)
Kate Winslet (Ammonite)
Ana De Armas (Blonde)
Jennifer Hudson (Respect)
- Surprises: Marion Cotillard (Annette), Viola Davis (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom) or Sidney Flanigan (Never Rarely Sometimes Always)

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Tom Burke (Mank)
David Strathairn (Nomadland)
Chadwick Boseman (Da 5 Bloods)
Richard E. Grant (Everybody's Talking About Jamie)
Sacha Baron Cohen, Mark Rylance, Jeremy Strong or Michael Keaton (The Trial Of The Chicago 7)
- Surprises: Jesse Plemons (I'm Thinking Of Ending Things) or Steven Yeun (Minari)

LEAD ACTOR
Delroy Lindo (Da 5 Bloods)
Gary Oldman (Mank)
Anthony Hopkins (The Father)
Tom Hanks (News of the World)
Bill Murray (On the Rocks)
- Surprises: Joaquin Phoenix (C'mon C'mon) or Will Smith (King Richard)

DIRECTOR
David Fincher (Mank)
Denis Villeneuve (Dune)
Chloé Zhao (Nomadland)
Spike Lee (Da 5 Bloods)
Wes Anderson (The French Dispatch)
- Surprises: Sofia Coppola (On The Rocks), Aaron Sorkin (The Trial Of The Chicago 7) or Steven Spielberg (West Side Story)

PICTURE
Mank
Dune
Nomadland
Da 5 Bloods
The French Dispatch
The Trial Of The Chicago 7
News Of The World
On The Rocks
Ammonite
West Side Story
- Surprises: Tenet, Hillbilly Elegy or Soul

What about you? Tell your predictions

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

I have but I do not give thoughts on a current year of films until the results.

Bryan:

Matthias Schoenaerts as Alisdair Stewart - (Certainly has the quality for pent up lust.)

Emma Stone as June (A Matter of Life and Death) (Most definitely has the right qualities for it, though theoretically I'd want her to do more later on.)

Jason Bateman & Rachel McAdams as the Groundhog Day leads - (Yes yes, the former would be ideal for curmudgeon to genuinely good guy transformation, and the latter is the type of role she does well with.)

Stacey Keach as Lancey (The Cincinnati Kid) - (I mean I'm always up for more Keach, could definitely see him pulling of the ease of power in the character.)

August Diehl as Hans (M) - (I mean most certainly has both the intensity, but also capable of the pathos as well.)

Calvin Law said...

RIP Wilford Brimley

Aidan Pittman said...

R.I.P. Wilford Brimley

Matt Mustin said...

RIP Wilford Brimley. "It's the job of a general to BY. GOD. GET. THINGS. DONE."

Calvin Law said...

Brazinterma: My predictions at this point would be,

Best Picture:
Mank
On the Rocks
Nomadland
Da 5 Bloods
The Trial Of The Chicago 7
News Of The World
Minari
Annette
Hillbilly Elegy

Best Director
David Fincher, Mank
Chloé Zhao, Nomadland
Spike Lee, Da 5 Bloods
Paul Greengrass, News of the World
Sofia Coppola, On the Rocks

Best Actor
Delroy Lindo, Da 5 Bloods
Gary Oldman, Mank
Anthony Hopkins, The Father
Bill Murray, On the Rocks
Will Smith, King Richard

Best Actress
Frances McDormand, Nomadland
Kate Winslet, Ammonite
Jennifer Hudson, Respect
Jessie Buckley, I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Ana de Armas, Blonde

Best Supporting Actor
Steven Yeun, Minari
Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7
Tom Burke, Mank
David Strathairn, Nomadland
Richard Jenkins, Kajillionaire

Best Supporting Actress
Olivia Colman, The Father
Rashida Jones, On the Rocks
Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy
Saoirse Ronan, Ammonite
Amanda Seyfried, Mank

Best Original Screenplay
Mank
The Trial Of The Chicago 7
On The Rocks
Stillwater
Minari

Best Adapted Screenplay
Nomadland
Hillbilly Elegy
News of the World
I'm Thinking of Ending Things

Maciej said...

RIP Wilford Brimley

Luke Higham said...

RIP Wilford Brimley

RatedRStar said...

RIP Wilford Brimley

Tim said...

R.I.P. Wilford Brimley

Mitchell Murray said...

Rest in peace, Wilford Brimley.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: If Day-Lewis ever came out of retirement, what would be the dream project/role/collaboration.

Shaggy Rogers said...

Brazinterma: My predictions and the favorites that can win

Best Picture:
Mank (WINS)
Nomadland
Da 5 Bloods
The French Dispatch
News Of The World
On the Rocks
The Trial Of The Chicago 7
Minari
Ammonite
Hillbilly Elegy

Best Director
David Fincher, Mank (WINS)
Chloé Zhao, Nomadland
Spike Lee, Da 5 Bloods
Wes Anderson, The French Dispatch
Paul Greengrass, News of the World

Best Actor
Delroy Lindo, Da 5 Bloods (WINS)
Gary Oldman, Mank
Anthony Hopkins, The Father
Bill Murray, On the Rocks
Joaquin Phoenix, C'mon C'mon

Best Actress
Frances McDormand, Nomadland
Michelle Pfeiffer, French Exit (WINS)
Kate Winslet, Ammonite
Jennifer Hudson, Respect
Ana de Armas, Blonde

Best Supporting Actor
Steven Yeun, Minari
Tom Burke, Mank (WINS)
David Strathairn, Nomadland
Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7
Jeremy Strong, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Supporting Actress
Olivia Colman, The Father
Rashida Jones, On the Rocks
Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy (WINS)
Saoirse Ronan, Ammonite
Amanda Seyfried, Mank

Best Original Screenplay
Mank (WINS)
The Trial Of The Chicago 7
The French Dispatch
Minari
C'mon C'mon

Best Adapted Screenplay
Nomadland (WINS)
Hillbilly Elegy
News of the World
I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Blonde

RatedRStar said...

Shouldn't peoples predictions be like in October or November since the Oscars and all of the ceremonies have been pushed back?

Bryan L. said...

RIP Wilford Brimley

"So maybe you can understand why I get a little irritated when someone calls me away from my golf..."

Tim said...

your thoughts on Channing Tatum as an actor?

Also your thoughts on the "I'll have what she's having scene from When Harry Met Sally"

Jack Narrator said...

Best Picture:
Dune
Da 5 Bloods
The French Dispatch
Hillbilly Elegy
Mank
Minari
News of the World
Nomadland
On the Rocks
The Trial Of The Chicago 7

Best Director
Denis Villenueve, Dune
Wes Anderson, The French Dispatch
David Fincher, Mank
Paul Greengrass, News of the World
Chloé Zhao, Nomadland

Best Actor
Tom Hanks, News of the World
Anthony Hopkins, The Father
Delroy Lindo, Da 5 Bloods
Bill Murray, On the Rocks
Gary Oldman, Mank

Best Actress
Amy Adams, Hillbilly Elegy
Jennifer Hudson, Respect
Frances McDormand, Nomadland
Michelle Pfeiffer, French Exit
Kate Winslet, Ammonite

Best Supporting Actor
Chadwick Boseman, Da 5 Bloods
Tom Burke, Mank
Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7
David Strathairn, Nomadland
Steven Yeun, Minari

Best Supporting Actress
Olivia Colman, The Father
Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy
Gaby Hoffman, C'mon C'mon
Rashida Jones, On the Rocks
Saoirse Ronan, Ammonite

Best Original Screenplay
The French Dispatch
Mank
Minari
On The Rocks
The Trial Of The Chicago 7

Best Adapted Screenplay
Hillbilly Elegy
I'm Thinking of Ending Things
News of the World
Nomadland
Those Who Wish Me Dead

Louis Morgan said...

RIP Wilford Brimley "In addition to being a post master...I'm a general"

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

I mean I'll take the miniseries of Disraeli/Gladstone with him and Mark Rylance.

Otherwise give me reunion with PTA or Scorsese.

For a new director for him, I'd love to see him work with Inarritu or Martin McDonagh.

More than anything I'd just like to see him again, I mean I'd love to see him take on a few supporting roles again honestly.

Tim:

I mean the qualities of Channing Tatum really are in question, and I don't think he's someone whose talent was dormant was for lack challenge. I think rather he's someone whose worked for it, which also happens. That is the case for him, as his early work is pretty bland much of the time, though mid-decade started to find his stride. This in part in playing less earnestly and more comically even in not comedic roles plays a lot better towards his natural charm. Although he's been good in other things, right now Foxcatcher is somewhat of an outlier in terms of that height he hasn't come back to it yet, though he has been challenged to that extent either. That performance though showed a far greater emotional range than known and an intensity he was able to bring forth. Right now though he typically is now he is better served by his material, though still awaiting if Foxcatcher was a one time height, or if he's gotten a second wave in him.

The scene works in microcosm, as essentially a sketch scene though I actually agree with Roger Ebert that it doesn't fit tonally in the rest of the film, as it's broad comedy in a film that is otherwise far more low key. Well done as broad, from Meg Ryan Orgasmacting to Reiner's mother's punchline, but logically it doesn't make sense within the film.

Matt Mustin said...

Ive actually never really found that orgasm scene all that funny.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Here is a weird tidbit I just found out: Brooks was actually run as lead for Broadcast News but the Academy nominated him in Supporting anyway.

Bryan L. said...

Louis: If DDL had worked at the same rate in the 00s/10s as he did in the 80s/90s, what would be some roles you would've liked to see him in?

Louis Morgan said...

Robert:

Suppose that explains why he was snubbed by Globes that year, although the lead lineup there makes me question things still....and it still doesn't explain how Rob Lowe got nominated for playing simple Jack.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Speaking of Lowe: What are the bottom ten performances you’ve discovered since bonus rounds?

Louis Morgan said...

Bryan:

Not at all based on the quality of the performances that did play the part.

Father Ferreira (which he was going to play originally)
Monsieur Gustave (If only to get people to stop saying he can't do comedy).
Father Flynn
Don Logan
Tom Hanks's Cloud Atlas parts

Robert:

10. Raquel Welch - Fantastic Voyage
9. Debra Sandlund - Tough Guys Don't Dance
8. Elliott Gould - The Touch
7. Jack O'Connell - Eden Lake
6. Jeremy Strong - The Happening
5. Wings Hauser in Tough Guys Don't Dance
4. Frank Collison - The Happening
3. Rob Lowe - Square Dance
2. Carol Burnett - The Front Page
1. David Mendenhall - Over the Top

Louis Morgan said...

Robert:

Note: Didn't include new years since then, or else the demon spawn duo of Corden and Wilson would've made it for Cats.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Have you given thoughts on all of them?

Bryan L. said...

Robert: Sandlund & Hauser (actoroscar.blogspot.com/2018/11/alternate-best-actor-1987-steve-martin.html)

Jack O'Connell, Collison & Strong (actoroscar.blogspot.com/2018/04/alternate-best-supporting-actor-2008_29.html)

Mendenhall (actoroscar.blogspot.com/2018/12/alternate-best-actor-1987-results.html)

Anonymous said...

Louis: I've read that Bay didn't use Welker because he felt his original take sounded too cartoony and not realistic. Eventually, he did get him back for the recent movies.

Thoughts on the new voice he used here and this voice that he used for Galvatron in this commercial?

https://www.behindthevoiceactors.com/movies/Transformers-The-Last-Knight/Megatron/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K424Dmj0jTc

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

The latter is essentially just his Megatron voice. The former sounds like he was directed basically to do what Weaving did, though it does sound like with a bit more nuance...at least nuance capable in a Michael Bay film.,

Robert MacFarlane said...

Louis: What are your full thoughts on Welch and Burnett? I’ve heard the anecdote about Burnett apologizing on a flight showing the film for her performance.

Michael McCarthy said...

So now that I’ve watched The Morning Show and Euphoria, here are my rankings of the Emmy nominees for drama categories. Anyone who feels inclined may do the same or ask me about my rankings.

Series:
1. Better Call Saul
2. Succession (though I might categorize it as a comedy)
3. Stranger Things
4. The Handmaid’s Tale
5. Killing Eve
6. The Crown
7. The Mandalorian
8. Ozark

Actress:
1. Jodie Comer
2. Zendaya
3. Laura Linney
4. Jennifer Aniston
5. Olivia Colman
6. Sandra Oh

Actor:
1. Billy Porter
2. Jeremy Strong
3. Brian Cox
4. Sterling K. Brown
5. Steve Carell
6. Jason Bateman

Supporting Actress:
1. Laura Dern
2. Sarah Snook
3. Meryl Streep
4. Helena Bonham Carter
5. Fiona Shaw
6. Thandie Newton
7. Julia Garner
8. Samira Wiley

Supporting Actor:
1. Matthew Macfayden
2. Mark Duplass
3. Billy Crudup
4. Kieran Culkin
5. Nicholas Braun
6. Giancarlo Esposito
7. Jeffrey Wright
8. Bradley Whitford

If I catch up in time, I’ll post a ranking for the comedy nominees.

Matt Mustin said...

I have a hard time believing that Jeremy Strong is good in something.

Matt Mustin said...

Also, is Ozark not worth watching then?

Michael McCarthy said...

Matt: To be fair, the lead actor category could be stronger this year, but Strong is indeed very good in Succession. It’s a perfect role for him.

As far as Ozark, this past season was probably the best but it’s not at all essential viewing. Also, the performance that made this season the best was snubbed.

Matt Mustin said...

Michael: Who would that be?

Emi Grant said...

Michael: Seeing 8 nominees for Supporting Actress Drama and not "Rhea Seehorn" there genuinely makes my blood boil. Could I ask where would you rank Odenkirk, Seehorn and Dalton within the nominees?

Michael McCarthy said...

Matt: Tom Pelphrey

Emi: 1st for Odenkirk, close 2nd for Seehorn and 3rd for Dalton.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Michael: Where would you rank Keery and Hawke if they got in? Also Janet McTeer.

Also, am the only one who cannot get through a single episode of Big Little Lies? The dialogue alone.

Mitchell Murray said...

Michael: Absolutely agree on Pelphrey; That cab scene alone was the best acting season 3 had to offer.

That being said, I do appear to be the most fervent supporter of "Ozark" on this blog spot. I simply like the show overall, in spite of it's faults, and I certainly seem to like Garner and Bateman more than most.

Louis Morgan said...

Robert:

Burnett - (Her performance is that of one note screeching at the top of her lungs every moment she is onscreen. Although it in itself isn't funny, it wouldn't be as bad, but she's trying to be serious here where it is all the more of a failure of a performance. This as she has no variation just wide eyed crazy looks and yelling every single line she has. Made all the worse because she is simply actively grating every moment she is onscreen.)

Welch - (Her performance is one among many struggling with thin characters, but she's the worst, as she's manages to make even less than what already wasn't there. Her performance just being hilariously bland and hollow. This to the point in the scene where she's under physical distress Welch's delivery is so bland and seemingly disinterested it is comical.)

Michael McCarthy said...

Robert: 4th for Keery, 3rd for Hawke, last for McTeer.

Mitchell: I actually think Bateman and Garner are both quite good, but they both seem to be hailed as giving career-best performances here which I don't agree with for either of them.

Mitchell Murray said...

Michael: I mean, "The Gift" is still Bateman's strongest work by a clear margin. I only know Garner from "Ozark", though, so I can't really comment on that "career best" claim.

Luke Higham said...

Mitchell: I think he's referring to The Americans which is one of those shows that some say isn't as talked about as it should be.

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