Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Alternate Best Actor 2002: Bill Paxton in Frailty

Bill Paxton did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Mr. Meiks in Frailty.

Frailty is a chilling directorial debut by Bill Paxton about a man (Matthew McCoanughey) recounting his childhood that involved his father claiming God has told him to kill demons in the form of people.

The one of a kind Bill Paxton cast himself within the co-leading role of the Meiks' father, who we initially meet in semi-idyllic settings where he lives as a single father, his wife having died in childbirth, with his sons Adam and Fenton. Paxton's performance beautifully sets up really the unnerving switch we will quickly see. Paxton creating this seemingly just warm and loving father. This in just an earnest demeanor as he hangs out with his two sons and has a generous caring demeanor. This quickly switches though as the film takes it turn, and exactly what this film is, is essential really to Paxton's performance. This is it is a horror mood piece, a scary sort of southern Gothic style story, not in a fully kitschy way, but in a definitely stylized fashion. I think one can almost take this as the type of performer Paxton was, which he had a style kind of within himself that was typically heightened. This made him far more ideal for certain roles more than others, however it definitely granted him an idiosyncratic presence that made him stand out nonetheless. This being ideal for his directorial debut here, where there is just something particularly skin crawling the moment Mr. Meiks wakes up his two sons in the middle of the night. This where he immediately begins to tell them of his vision from angel that he has been told that he must start killing demons on the earth and will be given tools to do so. Although this is technically lower key Paxton, Paxton is terrific in carrying that same earnestness before, but here speaking towards a concept that immediately raises more than just an eye brow.

Paxton though portrays the man with this sort of clarity of man that is in fact particularly disturbing as he shows his kids an axe and gloves given to him as weapons to destroy demons. Paxton speaks as though this would simply be a job for them at first. Paxton wisely does change this manner, though more info on why, later as he captures the first demon on the list, also seemingly just some woman. Paxton in the capture importantly actually shows more of a rush of emotion than any maniacal glee in the moment. When he shows her to their sons Paxton brings a certain undercurrent of fear into his own performance both upon looking at the woman but also after touching her allowing him to see her "true" nature as a demon supposedly. Paxton's delivery portraying this as not something wholly with conviction with the first kill actually. This in throughout the moment there is that undercurrent of a personal terror potentially at his own act, or potentially in seemingly the burden of his "mission". Either way though Paxton is terrifying though by making the emotional context so palatable and not portraying the moment with any distance. He rather shows very much the act of killing with his portrayal of Mr. Meiks as he goes about his perceived duty. This with the support of his one son Adam who claims also to be able to see the demons for what they are against his other son Fenton who claims to not see anything, which we as the audience also see.

Now as his mission continues and Mr. Meiks kills more people he claims are demons, while Fenton continues to doubt, Paxton's performance moves closer towards sort of the more extremes of the Paxton style. This entirely works in granting the sort of extremism needed as he paints Mr. Meiks fanaticism with this certain emotional desperation within it. This in speaking every word of his mission with a ferocity though within that an anxiety that makes it all the more unnerving as though the man is potentially trying to convince himself of his own mission. This element of his performance though actually basically has a double meaning. This as upon initial viewing it is easy to take Paxton on face value as just a desperate crazy man, but by the end of the film you learn that spoilers the demons are entirely real. With that in mind Paxton's performance works a bit differently as one can instead see that desperation as attached to both the burden of the duty and his genuine need for his son Fenton to see, the son who is in fact a demon. This informs Paxton's performance for the rest of the film as on initial viewing he is terrifying in creating the all the greater intensity of the man who is so emotional in speaking his zealotry like a deranged preacher, but upon re-watch he's a man with the same desperation trying to save his son. The key technically to this is when Fenton informs the local sheriff of the killings leading Mr. Meiks to kill the sheriff. After this kill Paxton presents Meiks differently as there is a sadness over it and there are no words that support his claims that it was an earned killing. This is against the final attempted demon kill where again Paxton shows in the view of the man, who is in fact not insane, in a way emotionally burdened still by his mission particularly as it pertains towards his son. Paxton's performance ends up working both was, and is actually quite powerful and disturbing both ways. This as Paxton portrait of a mental illness wrapped around in a wannabe zealot is chilling within that intensity he brings to it, but also works as a man being driven to a brink by the difficult calling he must fulfill. As much as the film itself is an impressive debut as a filmmaker, it's a shame his directing career was so limited overall, it is also an excellent example of his own talent as a performer. This in finding a role that effective wields his own unique presence to create a memorable impression as a deranged killer and as a burdened crusader.

100 comments:

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Ratings and thoughts on the cast.

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Thoughts on Paxtons' direction and the cinematography as well?

Mitchell Murray said...

Yet another actor I miss dearly, and yet another film I'm adding to the watch list.

Side Note: I watched "Cool Hand Luke" for the first time last night. It's been described as a classic "anti establishment" film, and in that regard, the movie is consistently interesting and enjoyable, and has one of the most memorable lead characters of 60's cinema.

Newman - 4.5
Kennedy - 4
Stanton - 3
Martin - 3
Hopper - 2.5

Anonymous said...

Louis, if Day-Lewis ever took a Shakespearean role on Film, which would he be best suited for.

Matt Mustin said...

Anonymous: He'd be a pretty amazing Richard III I think.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: I would've loved to see him tackling Hamlet in his younger years but nowadays, King Lear is the most obvious even though there's more likelihood of a Rylance portrayal (Which would be incredible to see).

Luke Higham said...

Matt: That would've been very interesting.

Lucas Saavedra said...

Louis: Could I have your top ten best directed comedy films?

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Saving McConaughey for the moment.

O'Leary - 4(Although I thought there were just a few brief ever so slightly iffy moments in his performance, largely this was striking work from him. This in just bluntly showing the seemingly most honest reactions towards what Paxton is doing. This in presenting just the outright horror and stress that builds up and deteriorates himself as he goes on. This though with the right emotional undercurrent of a son who just wants things to go back to the way things used to be. This in bringing the right the warmth that slowly removes itself to the seemingly senselessness of the terror he is witnessing.)

Sumpter - 3(Very straight forward however he is effective in just seemingly being the dad's son in every sense.)

Boothe - 3.5(He honestly doesn't have much to do, however if you want someone to help with creating a sense of dread in the film, look no further than Boothe. Boothe really is there just to listen but he excels with it.)

Bryan:

Paxton's direction is remarkably assured for a first timer, and he'd almost be a modern day Charles Laughton if not for his one other film (a charming enough followup actually). Paxton though very much makes the film, although one learns from his teachers and it goes to show the sense that James Cameron does have, in suggesting that Paxton not reveal the truth until much later in the film. That being essential. What Paxton does though is he makes the film. This from the present scenes that are just oozing in dread from the literal use of atmosphere in the rain soaked environment but the whole quietly unnerving styling. The past scenes are brilliant though in crafting this sort of nostalgia with horror. In he has some very iydllic settings though funneled through overt horror. Especially love the touches of the dark dungeons beneath the rural home. Honestly with a less deft hand I don't think the film would've worked at all, but Paxton finds a notable balance in making something truly unsettling without being gratuitous. This as the film's impact is in no way diluted, in fact I'd say it is strengthen, by Paxton actually showing barely any actual violence and leaving the right moments to the imagination.

Frailty is probably Bill Butler's best work after his 70's heyday of Jaws and Cuckoos Nest. Butler's work is fantastic. This in the composition of the shots that are off-beat yet don't bring too much attention to themselves. They rather grant within the slightly off angles just the right almost subconscious unnerving qualities. His lighting though is essential in crafting the dread of the future, and the particular quality of the past scenes. This with the notable contrast between light and the darkness. The light often in a way alluding to the darkness, with the incredible paired shots of the "heaven's light" leading to the demon killing axe. Marvelous work that creates such a lurid quality, while keeping a certain reality overall.

Anonymous:

I'd say he'd be most ideal for Iago and of course Richard III, that is, I'd just love to see his invention in creating the latter.

Lucas:
1. Dr. Strangelove
2. Hot Fuzz
3. Modern Times
4. The Wolf of Wall Street
5. A Christmas Story
6. Shaun of the Dead
7. The Big Lebowski
8. The Apartment
9. City Lights
10. Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Mitchell Murray said...

I'll be honest...I'm really surprised "A Fish Called Wanda" didn't make that list.

Louis Morgan said...

Mitchell:

While I think it is well directed, it is in the sense of a well directed in a straight forward fashion. I'd say I probably prefer it as a film to The Big Lebowski for example, but there you have the Coens, who can make the act of guy just throwing a strike something unforgettable just through their directing.

Mitchell Murray said...

Louis: Fair enough.

Also, I just came to a realization today: The high seas swashbuckler as a film genre sort of fizzled out after 2003. In that year we had the highly enjoyable first Pirates movie, and the excellent "Master and Commander", but ever since then.....well, it just seems that those kinds of films have all but lost their luster.

Matt Mustin said...

A Fish Called Wanda is all about the screenplay and the acting.

Mitchell: Interesting point. Let's bring those back.

Calvin Law said...

If we count Back to the Future or Ed Wood as comedies I would definitely put them up there too. For me personally, The Graduate although I know Louis isn’t as big on it as most.

Calvin Law said...

Also very glad to see Paxton get a good rating.,

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

Both Ed Wood and Back to the Future, despite being hilarious, I've never quite qualified as "pure comedies" so to speak.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: Agreed, they have a lot of other things going on in ‘em.

BRAZINTERMA said...

Hey folks!
Say your TOP 10 for best supporting actress and lead actress of 2002. Mine are:

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
10º Marcelia Cartaxo - Madame Satã
9º Miranda Richardson - Spider
8º Michelle Pfeiffer - White Oleander
7º Isabelle Huppert - 8 Women
6º Kathy Bates - About Schmidt
5º Rosario Dawson - 25th Hour
4º Samantha Morton - Minority Report
3º Claire Danes - Igby Goes Down
2º Emily Watson - Punch Drunk Love
1º Meryl Streep - Adaptation

LEAD ACTRESS
10º Catherine Zeta-Jones - Chicago
9º Jodie Foster - The Panic Room
8º Samantha Morton - In America
7º Meryl Streep - The Hours
6º So-Ri Moon - Oasis
5º Maggie Gyllenhaal - Secretary
4º Kati Outinen - The Man Without a Past
3º Lesley Manville - All or Nothing
2º Diane Lane - Unfaithful
1º Julianne Moore - Far From Heaven

Matt Mustin said...

I'm watching season 2 of Better Call Saul now and I think Patrick Fabian is actually quite underrated on this show.

(Also still watching Watchmen by the way, but I'm taking my time to savour it)

Emi Grant said...

Louis: Your thoughts on this scene from Charlie Wilson's War? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQ_4m2ocxhI

I often forget what the film is even about, but always come back to this scene for Hoffman and Slattery alone.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Back in the 60's, there was an ad for a biopic about English navigator Will Adams who was the first Englishman to travel to Japan. Peter O'Toole was to star in the main role, with Trumbo writing the screenplay and either Huston or Zinnemann directing the film. Mifune was also supposed to be in the film in a supporting role. Thoughts?

Mitchell Murray said...

Emi: EASILY the most entertaining scene in the film, and it shows why Hoffman was singled out since his deadpan performance works better than some of his more obtuse co-stars.

Emi Grant said...

Mitchell: I often feel the whole thing should have been about Gust, to be honest. I can't get enough about the two of them arguing.

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Thoughts on the “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” trailer?

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Have you given Community another shot yet, or do you plan on doing that later.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Have you started watching any other TV shows lately.

Anonymous said...

2002 was a very weak year for actresses. My TOP5 in both categories:

Lead Actress
1. Diane Lane - Unfaithfu
2. Lesley Manville - All or Nothing
3. Julianne Moore - Far From Heaven
4. Samantha Morton - In America
5. Jennifer Aniston

Supporting Actress
1. Claire Danes - Igby Goes Down
2. Rosario Dawson - 25th Hour
3. Alison Garland - All or Nothing
4. Miranda Otto - The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
5. Anna Paquin - 25th Hour

Anonymous said...

Brazinterma: 2002 was a very weak year for actresses. My TOP5 in both categories:

Lead Actress
1. Diane Lane - Unfaithfu
2. Lesley Manville - All or Nothing
3. Julianne Moore - Far From Heaven
4. Samantha Morton - In America
5. Jennifer Aniston

Supporting Actress
1. Claire Danes - Igby Goes Down
2. Rosario Dawson - 25th Hour
3. Alison Garland - All or Nothing
4. Miranda Otto - The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
5. Anna Paquin - 25th Hour

Robert MacFarlane said...

Anonymous: Glad someone mentioned Aniston, she really is fantastic in The Good Girl. She hasn’t even come close since.

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Also, thoughts on the “Judas and the Black Messiah” trailer as wel?

Calvin Law said...

1. Moon So-ri, Oasis 

2. Julianne Moore, Far From Heave
3. Oksana Akinshina, Lilya 4-ever

4. Lesley Manville, All or Nothing
5. Nicole Kidman, The Hours

1. Emily Watson, Punch-Drunk Love

2. Meryl Streep, Adaptation
3. Toni Collette, About a Boy
4. Kathy Bates, Love Liza
5. Rie Miyazawa, The Twilight Samurai

Calvin Law said...

In response to both trailers, both look great. And in the latter Kaluuya looks fantastic in particular.

Mitchell Murray said...

So in other news, I re-watched "Jojo Rabbit" tonight and have pretty much reinforced my support of the film. More than anything, I've come to appreciate the approach Watiti took with the subject matter, in both poking fun at the ridiculous Nazi ideology, but also portraying their regime as appropriately monstrous. I think filtering it all through a young boy's perspective really emphasizes this, as well; At once there's this naive innocence in Jojo as he goes through his 10 year old struggles, but also this unease of seeing him "parrot" words he doesn't yet know the meaning of. I've read criticisms of the movie denouncing it's "sympathetic" stances, and there should be condemnation for that if it's without context/with malice towards others. In the case of "Jojo Rabbit", however, I do feel the film is mostly successful at what it tries to say. As much as we can be tempted into simplifying WW2, and the nature of the Nazi party, the lives of the average citizen in that time shouldn't be so easily labeled.

Oh, and all of the film's major performances held up for myself.

Louis Morgan said...

Emi:

Easily the best scene in the film for me, and really the show of Sorkin's particular talent for the cinematic insult filtered through Hoffman's one scene in the film where he gets to properly let loose. I'll say I would rather have seen Gust's rise and "fall" in the CIA as a film altogether. Slattery is also good at playing, but not overplaying a classic Sorkin jerk. The only minor critique I'd lob is the "Never sick at sea" feels like an Icarus line for me, and Sorkin just going a bit too far in being clever.

Anonymous:

Sounds like a fascinating story, great potential casting and a great potential film. Shame it never came to fruition, out of those two directors, and the periods of their career that would've covered, I think I'd rather have seen Zinnemann tackle it.

Bryan:

Well the cast that I expected to be promising indeed looks like that, particularly Buckley. Some striking atmospheric directing it seems from here, hopefully it hits that Synedoche sweet spot, as it definitely seems like it is going for a similar ambition. Intrigued to say the least.

Tahmeed & Luke: Haven't seen anything new as of yet.

Bryan:

Kaluuya looks very promising to say the least. Overall gave me an Assassination of Jesse James vibe with Stanfield always off the side of charisma. Also intrigued to say the least.

Robert MacFarlane said...

As impressive as Kaluuya looks, I think Stanfield will end up the MVP. Also agree with Louis about the Jesse James vibes, especially the title. As for the movie, it’s now my most anticipated of the year.

Also, to Mitchell: As someone who dislikes Jojo Rabbit, my problem with it wasn’t that I thought they were too sympathetic to the Nazis. I just found it never got the tone shifts right, found it cloying and manipulative, and honestly found the humor kind of lame for Waititi. The last scene is where it really, really lost me. At that point I practically ran for the exit before the credits even began.

Calvin Law said...

I’m just glad we’re getting trailers again. My body is all primed for the Minari and Mank trailers to drop.

Aidan Pittman said...

Watched Boogie Nights, which was definitely a lot to take in, but... yeah, I loved it. It's Paul Thomas Anderson, what else is new?

Wahlberg - 4
Reynolds - 4.5/5
Moore - 5
Graham - 4
Reilly -4
Macy - 4
Cheadle - 4
Hoffman - 3.5/4
Hall - 3.5

Calvin Law said...

Aidan: what about Alfred Molina?

Matt Mustin said...

I have to be honest. Chuck's hospital scene at the beginning of Better Call Saul's second season finale is one of the more upsetting things I've seen recently. Part of that is the brilliantly disorienting way it's shot but most of it is due to Michael McKean's quite frankly AMAZING performance in it.

Matt Mustin said...

So yeah, season 2 is a definite improvement over season 1, especially those last 2 episodes which are both GREAT.

Mitchell Murray said...

Robert: And I can totally understand that, because it's very much a film with a particular tone and a particular target audience. The humour/execution of it's premise were never going to appeal to everyone, though at least we seem to agree on a few of the performances.

Also, the "Judas and the Black Messiah" trailer was very well done, and both Kaluuya and Stanfield seem promising.

Aidan Pittman said...

Calvin: I'd give him a 3.5 or a 4, a more limited role compared to his costars like Hoffman, but he makes the most of it.

Emi Grant said...

Matt: It all keeps getting better from there. Enjoy Season 3.

Robert MacFarlane said...

The Alita Army just tried to get me banned from Letterboxd for giving it half-a-star. I’m currently laughing my ass off.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Thoughts on these scenes from Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-5XmgX3f68
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rePI6SPe4F4

Robert MacFarlane said...

So I’ve been watching Outlander, and man does it... have a shit ton of rape.

Emi Grant said...

Robert: What even is Outlander?

Calvin Law said...

Louis: what are your thoughts on Lennie James in Blade Runner 2049? I was just randomly thinking that in such a small role he was pretty good.

Calvin Law said...

Also, Abe Vigoda in The Godfather (been on a rewatch binge and he stood out to me even more this time around, as did most of the cast).

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Well out of context I'm largely confused overall, though definitely can not clearly a lot of detail in the animation, and some remarkable directing particularly with the scoring, though as a whole I'm lost.

Calvin:

James - (Quite liked him, and again kind of the ideal sort "small part" performance in that he instantly tries to develop a character even though his appearance is brief. This in that we get in his manner this sort of cowardly and questionable shyster in every sense of it. Almost this sort of post-apocalypse Fagin in a certain way. Only a brief moment but James suggests a whole world this guy's coming from.)

Vigoda - (A good performance as basically just the quietly level headed capo. Vigoda is mostly there just as this sort of quiet support with a mentored sort of warmth in his manner in his moments of either telling the Coreleones something or being part of the planning. He's great though in his big moment in the sort of lack of warmth suggested, but not enforced when setting up the meeting with Michael, basically showing his colors without actually saying it as he's no longer supporting. Love his final moment with Duvall, in his face instantly suggests understanding his faith with that sad little plea that so wonderfully performed by Vigoda "For old time's sake").

Matt Mustin said...

Louis: What are your thoughts on the song "Always With Me" from Spirited Away?

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Calvin: The cast stands out better for me on every rewatch too. I've also grown to think that Duvall gives the best supporting performance in the entire film.

Calvin Law said...

Tahmeed: I agree. Robert was spot on all along. Also rewatched Part II today and Gazzo is an easy 5 for me now.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: Your rating for Line Of Duty's Martin Compston in Sweet Sixteen.

Calvin Law said...

Luke: a strong 4.

Luke Higham said...

Robert: Tobias Menzies is brilliant in Outlander. Balfe is a fantastic lead.

Anonymous said...

Louis, could Emily Watson go up for Punch-Drunk Love.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Could I have your tentative top 5 for 2016 Best Director?

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: And also, could I have your thoughts on this?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2GujJZfXpg

Matt Mustin said...

Confession: In accordance with the fact that 2002 is the year that's currently being covered, I just tried to watch Spider, the Cronenberg film. I got about 25 minutes in and I just couldn't take it anymore. Maybe it's the mood I'm in but BLEGH.

Michael Patison said...

Robert: I think Outlander is fantastic. The rape is occasionally questionable, but for the most part serves a purpose. I also appreciate how the wanton violence against "helpless" figures isn't confined to female characters.

Balfe is outstanding and makes the voiceovers really work, which I feel is key to making the show work as a whole. I also think Heughan is quite good. Menzies is very good, particularly at the dichotomy. Otherwise, I find all the other main characters to be capably acted. Skelton and Rankin struggled early, but they've become eminently capable now they've got more to do. Some of my other favorites have been Graham McTavish, Frances de la Tour, Maria Doyle Kennedy, and, of course, David Berry

Calvin Law said...

I thought Spider was solid, although I can definitely understand being put off by it.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Michael: Well, I finished the first season and decided that I kind of hate it. If it stuck to the harlequin romance stuff I would have given it a pass, but all of the sudden I’m thinking “Man, and I thought I hated Braveheart”. The acting from everyone is very good. That said, I’m sticking it through. I’m going full Sunk Cost Fallacy and watching it to the end.

Also I decided to start watching Kidding even though they just cancelled it. I miss watching Jim Carrey.

Michael Patison said...

Robert: I can totally understand not liking it. That said, the end of season 1 leaves an extremely bitter taste in anyone's mouth.

Matt Mustin said...

Is there more or less rape in Outlander than in Game of Thrones, because I had a problem with even the amount they had there.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Matt: WAY more.

Emi Grant said...

So, does anyone here remember Chaos Walking? That film Charlie Kaufman initially adapted from a novel which was completed but has been constantly delayed for the longest time?

Well, Kaufman's draft has been leaked (I think?) and I managed to get my hands on it through Reddit. Just in case anyone is interested in seeing the original version on what is more likely than not going to end up as a clusterfuck after several re-writes and development hell.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: Do you intend to watch The Tracker fairly soon because I'm so eager to get your opinion on Gulpilil there before Louis posts his review next.

Calvin Law said...

Luke: I would but I'm really having a tough time finding it online and it's not available on iTunes.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: Fair enough.

Calvin Law said...

RatedRStar: got it, cheers lol

Calvin Law said...

Luke: watched it now, quite dug it though I can’t see Gulpilil getting more than a 4.5, he’s great but it’s more of a director’s film overall.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: I really hope Ejiofor is not the only 5 from this lineup.

Michael McCarthy said...

Calvin: I’d say he has an outside chance, but I see him as a proper 4.5.

Mitchell Murray said...

On a more random note, I re-watched the scene Emi mentioned from "Charlie Wilson's War". For as much as I enjoyed Hoffman's ranting, it's still rather commendable that Slattery wasn't wholly overshadowed. It also reminded me of Slattery's involvement in one of the best "big name" voice casts of recent gaming.....shout out to my fellow "Dishonored" fans here.

Louis Morgan said...

Watched Waiting For the Barbarians which I definitely liked but didn't love. I'd describe it anyways as good not great, taking an old school approach in some ways, not in a bad way though, in telling its story between the disparity between cooperation and communication against brutality and force in the management of a foreign outpost. Although I haven't read the book I'd wager its content, and more so its approach which has sort of fable quality to it, might be more suited there. Still found the film largely well told and captivating for the part, by a large margin due to an essential anchor at the center of the film.

Definitely saving Rylance.

In turn releasing Cage from Color Out of Space.

Cage - 4(A good performance in terms of creating the sort of off-beat energy he typically brings to the role. This being suited well in granting the needed sort of oddness to his sustainable farmer type. He's good though in dialing that back in creating the right sense of discovery and horror as the changes begin to occur. This eventually leading to full blown mad Cage where he certainly delivers in that regard, though I think his time in this state is perhaps a little too limited within the film. This as Cage just seems to be getting warmed up with the character and sadly he takes his exit.)

Ratings for the rest of Waiting for the Barbarians cast:

Depp - 3.5
Pattinson - 3.5
Bayarsaikhan - 3.5
Scacchi - 3
Melling - 3

Matt:

Just a lovely, lovely song (Both lovelies needed). This in its quality as almost like nursery rhyme though with the complexity and depth within the instrumentation that is so much more. That is the main melody is so simple yet supported by the sheer vibrancy of the accompaniment. The lyrics themselves match that sort of intention in just again a beauty within the simplicity, yet more within that than may be expected.

Anonymous:

Maybe.

Tahmeed:

Well that is a rather glorious montage from the film to go along with the song, and one can certainly appreciate the film's animation all over again....although hmm I feel perhaps this was to influence my tentative a bit...

1. Martin Scorsese - Silence
2. Damien Chazelle - La La Land
3. Keith Maitland - Tower
4. Makoto Shinkai - Your Name
5. Denis Villeneuve - Arrival

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: I would never......okay fine, maybe xD.

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Thoughts on the cast for Waiting for The Barbarians and the cinematography?

Also, cast and decade of release for a David Lean version of the film?

Luke Higham said...

So pleased to hear about Rylance. :)

Bryan L. said...

I saw Barbarians the other day as well. I would've given Pattinson a 3 at first, since I felt like he didn't get too much to do, then I thought he made quite an impact with what he DOES have though, so I might bump him up.

Rylance would be a strong 4.5 for me, as he packs quite a punch in some of his more emotional scenes, while of course, delivering on that good ol' dignified Rylance presence.

Louis Morgan said...

Bryan:

Depp & Pattinson - (Both play basically representations of different sides of the military force more so than people, that is obviously the point to a degree, but maybe that is actually one of the problems with the film. Anyways though Depp is mostly just fine in portraying the cold distant unsympathetic authority, he really gets the extra .5 for his final silent reaction that he does a lot with. Pattinson on the other hand is the sadistic brute force is as good as he really can be. This as he borders on creating a person out of the idea. Now he's good at just bringing the intensity to serve the idea, but is effective in showing the change in manner when forced to reflect at all.)

Bayarsaikhan - (Again an idea in a way as this victim of an unsaid regime. She's effective in finding a balance though in being ethereal to a degree, but not entirely to the point of disbelief. There is enough of a grounded quality within her work to make up for it.)

Scacchi - (Nice seeing her in something, she offers a nice shading to her character in suggesting ulterior motives though there's too little of her overall to really make an impact.)

Melling - (Very minor role though I liked the sense of humanity he did suggest within his slightly reluctant soldier.)

Well put Chris Menges in an epic environment at you get the very best from it seems once again. This as he expectedly delivers on giving the film a remarkable sort of classic prestige look, though with the right Lean's style dynamic qualities within it. Whenever he really gets to push his hand, his work is incredible in terms of the sense of place and grandeur captured. The final shot in particular is just incredible work of old school epic proportions.

Waiting for the Barbarians 1960's directed by David Lean (With a major re-write by Robert Bolt):

Magistrate: Alec Guinness
Colonel Joll: Richard Burton
Officer Mandel: Richard Harris

Anonymous said...

Guys, with Tenet coming out later in the month, who will be the acting MVP.

Luke Higham said...

I have my fingers crossed that it'll be Branagh. He could well be the film's unsung hero.

Aidan Pittman said...

I really think it could be Washington, though it being Branagh as an unsung hero as Luke said wouldn't surprise me.

Matt Mustin said...

It's gonna be Washington or Branagh but I'm not seeing it later this month.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Despite his two Oscar wins, do you feel Menges is kind of underrated as a cinematographer? I don't see many people talk about him that much.

Bryan L. said...

I’m going to go on a limb and say Debicki, because I’m getting Cotillard-in-Inception vibes from her.

It’ll have to wait AWHILE for me, of course.

Matt Mustin said...

Louis: Where did you watch Waiting for the Barbarians? I didn't realize it was out.

Bryan L. said...

Matt: It's available to rent online now.

Any of Amazon Prime, YouTube, Google Play and iTunes should have it.

Anonymous said...

Tahmeed: My top 5 for 2016 Best Director

1. Martin Scorsese - Silence
2. Chan Wook Park - The Handmaiden
3. Denis Villenueve - Arrival
4. Makoto Shinkai - Your Name
5. Robert Eggers - The Witch

Calvin Law said...

Mine would be:

1. Martin Scorsese, Silence
2. Denis Villeneuve, Arrival
3. Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
4. Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge
5. Juho Kuosmanen, The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki

Matt Mustin said...

Just going from what I've seen:

1. Martin Scorsese-Silence
2. Damien Chazelle- La La Land
3. Denis Villenuve-Arrival
4. Barry Jenkins-Moonlight
5. Taika Waititi-Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Calvin Law said...

I really hate leaving Waititi, Maitland, Jarmusch and Park out of my top 5.Low-key a pretty competitive year.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Kind of, in that his best work doesn't get enough praise. I would say though he is someone who works best within a certain style. The more sort of pristine naturalistic he is the better. For example, speaking of 2002, his work in Dirty Pretty Things isn't great, but I would put the blame there on Frears overall choice. It goes to show his lack of comfort in sort of the "grunge" style I think though, although to be fair few cinematographers can really hit that style well....a reason to praise the cinematography in Safdie brothers films I suppose.

Michael Patison said...

Matt: Obviously not trying to force you to do something you don't want to do, but Outlander's rape scenes are very different to Game of Thrones'. I found that Thrones almost glorified rape as a means to make someone stronger. It's only ever made to feel like a product of characters rather than the setting (I argue it should be both).

Outlander, on the other hand, never glorifies the act (the scenes are immensely difficult to watch), but I find that it also uses rape to show how the world at the time didn't really care. It portrays it as a visceral weapon of oppression, never as something cool. It's also woven into the fabric of the story and the characters and the historical era it's depicting. It's never easy to watch, but it's also never included for titillation. It drives character struggles and the plot, but I've never found it to diminish the show.

Matt Mustin said...

Michael: OK...I still feel like you can establish that without showing it all the time.

Michael Patison said...

Matt: I don't necessarily disagree. I'm in a weird predicament where, when I'm watching it, I don't think it's overused, but looking back it does seem to happen a lot.

Robert MacFarlane said...

1. Martin Scorsese for Silence
2. Makoto Shinkai for Your Name. (I’m finally going to transition to your rules, Louis)
3. Barry Jenkins for Moonlight
4. Mike Mills for 20th Century Women
5. Pablo Larraín for Jackie

WOW that was hard to leave out Villenueve.

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