Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Alternate Best Actor 1944: Alexander Knox in None Shall Escape

Alexander Knox did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Wilhelm Grimm in None Shall Escape. 
 
None Shall Escape is an intriguing rarity of the time which examines the then still ongoing World War II through the atrocities in the mainland by showing the rise of a Nazi officer.

At the center of the film is an unlikely lead played by the underrated and very talented Alexander Knox. Knox was nomination in 44 for his effective turn in the extremely positively skewed depiction of Woodrow Wilson in Wilson. I'll say it is no surprise that voters chose that performance, which again is a good one even within the limits of that role, give the old rule, that still stands to a degree, of voters sometimes going for "favorite person" rather than best performance. Where Knox managed to be compelling in the purposefully fluffy portrayal of Wilson, here he is equally compelling though in a far darker role in the depiction of the central character Wilhelm Grimm. A man we first see, once we enter flashbacks, into that of a German school teacher working in Poland. Knox does not immediately raise alarms in his calm dignified demeanor as Grimm returns speaking with a slight bitterness in his tone however seemingly not fundamental at first. This as we do get a brief scene between Grimm and his Polish fiancee Marja (Marsha Hunt). Knox uses the scene well to portray genuine affection towards her showing an important hint in Grimm, though quickly returning to a greater bitterness as he shrugs everyone else in Poland as lowly. 

The humanity quickly wipes itself away in terms of the writing of the piece however Knox is more gradual in his depiction of this. This as Grimm, after breaking the one human relationship we see initially, quickly goes to rape one of his pupils. In the moment of persecution, that leaves Grimm exiled and missing an eye though living, Knox is excellent by portraying  very honest sense of desperation. This in granting a seemingly humanity within it just by showing that this is a man doing all this in Knox's performance. He doesn't show any confidence rather a weak fear of the man as he begs local religious leaders to help him in his escape. Grimm returns home to his brother,an anti-Nazi, where Knox balances well the changes in Grimm. This as the bitterness is stronger than ever in his manner as each line delivery is lined with a venom. Knox though portrays it with an overt desperation of a man barely having escaped with his life now speaking passionately for the Nazi cause as though it is the only thing he can hold onto for himself anymore. This as even speaking to his brother, who is sympathetic by virtue of familial connection, Knox depicts a man defined by his wounds content with becoming truly evil man. This as he rises right along with the Nazi regime. 

Knox graduates this in his performance to a truly chilling point as he becomes a full fledged Nazi officer who condemns his own brother to imprisonment and prepares to return to Poland to reek havoc. Knox now shows a chilling confidence that now defines the bitterness of the man. This with a sense of a killer instinct within himself and a man comfortable in being a monster. Knox being terribly effective by showing the natural transformation of a quietly pathetic man to a thriving terror by the virtue of the power that supports his cruelty. Knox making for a wholly despicable villain by presenting with such an ease in the man's manner, and a distinct sense of satisfaction in speaking every order of his. This as he portrays a man whose become comfortable to abuse his power as he sees fit and almost a sense of jubilation in his new ability to kill without hesitation. Knox doesn't hold back in presenting the evil of the character but also doesn't use it as an excuse to go broad. Knox's calm in the role is remarkable and makes the character all the more vile. This in showing a man who isn't just mad, but rather is calmly and carefully implementing his planned atrocities. Knox's greatest work within the film though comes in the framing device where we see Grimm on trial for his crimes. There Knox again portrays a progression, the bitterness now worn overtly rather hidden by confidence, but no longer that same desperation of the younger Grimm. He rather presents a man whose become one with the hatefulness. This in his stellar final scene where Knox speaks every word with an incisive viciousness fitting per his cruel fiend. Knox excelling in crafting a most unique arc for the time, a man slowly becoming more acquainted with the very worst of himself. His final speech is short but one that Knox makes the most of to mark the end of this journey. This with Knox ending as a man becoming a kind of hatred incarnate.

82 comments:

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Ratings and thoughts on the cast.

Would you say this was Knox's strongest work from 1944.

Tim said...

You have often mentioned it in reviews itself, but could you compile a list of performances where you think the only reason for not nominating them would be the bad nature of the characters?

(nr 1 Frank Booth of course)

Emi Grant said...

I'm late to this, but I gotta add that much to my surprise, Phoenix is actually almost as tall as Bonaparte was, which was going to be a nitpick of mine if he wasn't. - Sincerely, a 5'7'' guy.

Emi Grant said...

Well, more like almost as short, but you get what I mean.

Luke Higham said...

Emi: You're making me feel even more giddy now. Honestly, I'll be sorely disappointed if Scott doesn't cast Fassbender for Wellington and get Cotillard for Josephine.

Mitchell Murray said...

Emi: Its sort of a well known joke now that Napoleon wasn't the little man that British cartoonists portrayed him to be. Most sources put him at about 5'6" - more or less average height in 19th century Europe - and like you said, Phoenix isn't far off himself at 5'8". If I was more hung up on height in general I might say something different, but as is, its merely a slight difference.
Sincerely, a 5'11" guy.

Tim said...

i actually read he was above average for his time

Mitchell Murray said...

Also, to respond to Tim's question, surely both of Robin Williams' 2002 performances have to be on that list.

Emi Grant said...

Mitchell: That is true. Now I'm really interested in seeing how his performance will pan out. - Sincerely, a now envious 5'7'' guy

Emi Grant said...

Also, that Hillbilly Elegy trailer? It's really rough. In other news, Dexter is getting a miniseries revival, and I literally just started watching the original show some weeks ago. I have some binge watching to do now.

Mitchell Murray said...

Emi: I never watched "Dexter" myself, but its curious that they want to reboot that series.

And yah...should "Hillbilly" turn out anything like we're predicting, I'm going to get major "Vice" and/or "The Descendants" flashbacks next award season.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Travers & Hunt - 3.5(Both give a moving portrayal of the straight forward honest humanity in reflection to the crimes of Grimm. Hunt is particularly good in portraying both aging of her character and her quiet distaste with the man Grimm becomes.)

Yes, by a slim margin as I do think his work in Wilson is rather impressive given how simply the role is drawn.

Tim:

Here's five that fit that bill:

Stephen Boyd - Ben-Hur
Dennis Hopper - Blue Velvet (At least why they deferred to Hoosiers)
Alan Arkin - Wait Until Dark
Lionel Barrymore - It's a Wonderful Life
Jeff Daniels - Terms of Endearment

RatedRStar said...

Such an underrated performer, probably the most unknown actor ever to be nominated for a leading Oscar.

RatedRStar said...

Louis: I feel a bit sorry for Alexander Knox since it appears he was blacklisted by Hollywood, not just for his liberal views. He also made a joke about then SAG president Ronald Reagan and that was all it took to end his Hollywood career which is pretty pathetic I think.

RatedRStar said...

Louis: I have a curious question for you actually regarding 1944, more specifically Barry Fitzgerald, Barry Fitzgerald realistically should been nominated just in Supporting, who do you think would have been the 5th Best Actor nominee alongside Boyer, Crosby, Grant and Knox if they had only allowed him in just supporting?

Anonymous said...

Louis what your thoughts on the color cinematography of Wilson?

Calvin Law said...

RatedRStar: Honestly, I think it would’ve been Fred MacMurray.

Louis Morgan said...

RatedRStar:

I would say it was between MacMurray or Walter Pidgeon for Mrs. Parkington. MacMurray because, despite its lack of wins, did do quite well in nominations and obviously a portion of the Academy was willing to recognize the more nefarious characters given Stanwyck's nomination and Charles Boyer's. I say Pidgeon solely based on that he could've repeated one more time as a ride along with Greer Garson, after having done so for Mrs. Miniver and Madame Curie.

Anonymous:

I mean it is a little harder to say decisively as the version of the film I saw clearly wasn't restored, as I doubt the washed out slightly blurry look was an actual choice. From that somewhat flawed perspective of it you can still sense in part Leon Shamroy's efforts. This as he tries to enliven the film through the composition of shots that is often far more dynamic than a typical fluff biopic at the time. Again the lighting and color palette is a little harder to judge due to the current print quality, but it looks decent, if washed out and a bit blurry, as is.

Robert MacFarlane said...

You know, the Academy never really had trouble nominating unlikable female performances now that I think about it. I think it’s probably an internalized misogyny from an older era, but you’d get stuff like Stanwyck in Double Indemnity, Fletcher in Cuckoo’s Nest, and (in a far more human sense of unlikable) Moore in Ordinary People.

Mitchell Murray said...

Robert: Perhaps, but they also never really had trouble nominating "unlikable" performances in the supporting categories; Think of the villainous (or at least antagonistic) turns given by, say, George C Scott in "The Hustler", Jack Nicholson in "Reds" and "A Few Good Men", Tom Berenger from "Platoon"....heck, one could describe everyone in the 2008 ballot as opposing or antagonistic...

It's a bit of a stretch, but it's there.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Was Nicholson supposed to be unlikable in Reds? I barely remember anything about that performance.

Mitchell Murray said...

Robert: More antagonistic than "unlikable", I would say, but still an opposing force to the ideals proposed by Keaton and Beatty's characters.

Matt Mustin said...

Mitchell: So yeah, "unlikable" and "antagonistic" are not the same thing.

Calvin Law said...

Agreed, a character can be both likeable and antagonistic. Charmless characters like Arkin's Roat and their female equivalents are what's being discussed here.

Calvin Law said...

Also from the previous post, my predictions for Louis' wins:

Picture - Mank
Director - Chloe Zhao
Actor - Anthony Hopkins
Actress - Frances McDormand
Supporting Actress - Youn Yuh Jung
Supporting Actor - Nicholas Hoult
Original Screenplay - Mank
Adapted Screenplay - The Father
Cinematography - Mank
Original Score - Minari
Visual Effects - Colour Out of Space
Makeup & Hairstyling - Mank
Production Design - Mank

Louis Morgan said...

Mitchell:

That's funny, O'Neill was the only character I think I liked in Reds...

Side Note: It's almost impossible for Nicholson to fit the aforementioned bill given his natural charisma.

BRAZINTERMA said...

My predictions for 2020 Louis' wins:

Picture: Mank
Director: David Fincher - Mank
Actor: Anthony Hopkins - The Father
Actress: Olivia Colman - The Father
Supporting Actor: Charles Dance - Mank
Supporting Actress: Youn Yuh Jung - Minari
Ensemble: The Trial of Chicago 7
Original Screenplay: Mank
Adapted Screenplay: Normadland or The Father
Cinematography: Mank
Production Design: Mank
Costume Design: Mulan
Makeup and Hairstyling: Mank
Visual Effects: Tenet
Editing: Mank
Sound Editing: Tenet
Sound Mixing: News of the World
Score: Mank
Song: would go to "No Time to Die", but now it was difficult to choose the best

Mitchell Murray said...

Calvin and Matt: Your right, that's more of what was being discussed. I'm sorry.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on these castings that never happened.

Ray Liotta as Tony Soprano
Matthew Broderick and John Cusack as Walter White

RatedRStar said...

Quite cool to see Tom Hiddleston and Jake Gyllenhaal as Tony nominees.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Thoughts on Garmes' work in this?

Anonymous said...

Louis: Also thoughts on Surtees' work in King Solomon's Mines. He won an Academy Award for that.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on this scene https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lw4OiJv6P98

Louis Morgan said...

Watched Enola Holmes which I found charming enough in pretty simple straight forward kind of way, which hey I'll take given how lot of the films this year have been. A fun little mystery to be sure, though I do wish they had Mycroft be more misguided than the full blown heel they make him here.

Brown - 4(A properly winning leading turn. She manages to balance well really all the parts of the performance to avoid some potential pitfalls. This in being energetic without being over the top. The right touch of intensity without coming off as trying too hard. A sense of fun within it without being cloying or overly comic. It's a wonderfully balanced turn that is more than worthy rendition of a heroine of this ilk.)

Cavill - 3.5(A fine pretty straight forward, if not simplified, rendition of Holmes. Cavill brings the right sort of dashing presence of his though balanced with enough of an underlying warmth within his work.)

Claflin - 2(Hated what they did with him anyways, and Claflin just goes full force into that. This playing the part with such a ridiculous misplaced intensity.)

Patridge - 2.5(Although he should be overshadowed to some point, he's a little too overshadowed I think. He's not terrible, but definitely quite forgettable.)

Gorman - 3(It's the thing that he does, but a fitting version of it.)

Also watched Shirley which is Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf haphazardly mixed with Swimming Pool to largely middling, if less than that results, though kind of pretty to look at. Again though its another a film that seems to use ambiguity as an excuse to really successfully develop its ideas in a properly cohesive or cathartic way.

Moss - 3.5(She overdoes some of the moments of the extreme personality, to come off as more of a character than an actual person with a mental disorder. Thankfully those are the outliers as more often she is effective enough in portraying the desperate emotional state of the character. This combining that incisiveness with just a brokenness that defines the role here, again as the re-work the writer as basically a form of Martha than an actual historical representation.)

Sthulbarg - 3(A far less desperate George as just a bile filled critic, this is in some ways standard jerk sthulbarg, but it work well enough.)

Louis Morgan said...

Young - 3(She's fine even as more of an idea of a character than really a fully realized one. She's good though in basically the different shades of a young woman, more so than a cohesive whole.)

Lerman - 2(Another Lerman performance, and another one I don't like. As the Nick is largely forgettable and woefully underwhelming in his few minor big scenes that he has.)

Luke:

Well given the success of those who were cast, I'd rather not think of it, but even with that in mind...

Liotta - (I think Liotta could've been quite great in the role honestly, though I think Tony benefits from Gandolfini's certain disarming quality, where you definitely would arm yourself with Liotta around. Liotta though I think definitely could've delivered on the concept of the character, and ran with a lot of the role, even though again the right man got the job.)

Matthew Broderick - (Sometimes against type doesn't work out, look at our current Fargo discussions, and I have a feeling that would've been the case here. This as there's nothing about any of his performances that suggest he could've pulled this off. This as even when he goes darker he still comes off as fairly "soft" and I just don't think he could've made that transition to the "danger" in the slightest. I do think he could've potentially delivered as the scared science teacher however, maybe anyways.)

John Cusack - (Cusack would've been better suited than Broderick, though less so an extreme against type performance from him. Cusack though I think likely could've perhaps done his best work, though I do think he would've been more of a man revealing his natural self than the full sense of transformation found within Cranston's masterful work.)

Anonymous:

Some striking shots here and there in terms of the framing composition. The film in general takes a rather dreary choice of a heavy emphasis on greys. This is well suited to the material however and grants the film an appropriate sense of dread with that. I don't think the cinematography makes the most out of this idea, but it does at least realize it to some degree.

Robert Surtees's work on King Solomon's Mines is one where I ponder the win came from some same reaction to location shooting or something, this as there isn't anything terribly special about his work here. Although not exactly the greatest of competition either. The composition and framing of shots, obviously in part from some workmanlike direction, are standard quite to the fault. The lighting is almost less than fine, as there's nothing dynamic in capturing the landscape. It's not bad, but it is rather bland. Rather forgettable work honestly from often a rather memorable cinematographer.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

I wished I loved the scene as I do love the concept of it, and McGregor's very good in it in terms of grasping the emotional context of the scene rather powerfully in his own work. Having Henry Thomas try to that Nicholson look and pseudo impression though sadly takes me out of the scene. I think its a shame, as just having him be his dad, without the frills of mannerism, I think could've made this an amazing scene, as it sinks for me every time it cuts to that unfortunate attempt.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Louis: Weirdly I didn't mind Thomas that much. Granted, I also like that they leaned heavily into the interpretation that Jack hated his family before he went nuts like Kubrick's version. It's easily my favorite scene in the film.

My God, that was almost a year ago. Aayone else feel like there's several months of their lives missing?

Emi Grant said...

Robert: I've hated this year on quite a personal level

RatedRStar said...

Yes this year has been what I would call a false start to the decade, however I would like to thank this blog, YouTube, Video Games, Rock Music and the upcoming PS5 for keeping me company lol.

Calvin Law said...

Watched The Trial of the Chicago 7. I have a few issues with it but overall found it really engaging and definitely packed a punch at the end, and a massive step up for Sorkin on the directing end. Some of the ratings here could definitely go up.

Cohen: 4.5
Redmayne: 4
Gordon-Levitt: 3
Abdul-Mateen II: 4
Keaton: 4
Langella: 3.5
Lynch: 3.5
Rylance: 4.5
Sharp: 3
Shenkman: 3
Harrison Jr.: 3

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: Microsoft is in for a complete arse kicking next month. The Bethesda acquisition isn't gonna help much.

BRAZINTERMA said...

Hey guys!
Tell me your Top 10 best supporting actress, lead actress and director from 1944 ...

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
10º Mary Astor - Meet Me in St. Louis
9º Faye Emerson - The Mask of Dimitrios
8º Agnes Moorehead – Mrs. Parkington
7º Marjorie Main - Meet Me in St. Louis
6º Josephine Hull - Arsenic and Old Lace
5º Anne Revere - National Velvet
4º Ethel Barrymore - None But the Lonely Heart
3º Jessica Tandy - The Seventh Cross
2º Claire Trevor - Murder, My Sweet
1º Gene Tierney - Laura

LEAD ACTRESS
10º Claudette Colbert - Since You Went Away
9º Lauren Bacall - To Have and Have Not
8º Katharine Hepburn - Dragon Seed
7º Marsha Hunt - None Shall Escape
6º Judy Garland - Meet Me in St. Louis
5º Celia Johnson - This Happy Breed
4º Ingrid Bergman - Gaslight
3º Lauren Bacall - To Have and Have Not
2º Tallulah Bankehead - Lifeboat
1º Barbara Stanwyck - Double Indemnity

DIRECTOR
10º Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger - A Caterbury Tale
9º Frank Capra - Arsenic and Old Lace
8º Fritz Lang - Ministry of Fear
7º Vincent Minnelli - Meet Me in St. Louis
6º George Cukor - Gaslight
5º Laurence Olivier - Henry V
4º Alfred Hitchcock - Lifeboat
3º Sergei M. Eisenstein - Ivan the Terrible: Part I
2º Otto Preminger - Laura
1º Billy Wilder - Double Indemnity

Matthew Montada said...

Calvin: I saw that you didn’t give a rating to Jeremy Strong? What would you give him?

PS: planning on watching Trial Of The Chicago 7 either today or tomorrow

Calvin Law said...

Matthew: He’d be a 3.5 for me.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Saw Trial of the Chicago 7, which I loved without reservation. Great return to prime Sorkin for me.

Cohen- 4.5
Redmayne- 4/4.5
Abdul Mateen II- 4.5
Rylance- 4.5
Strong- 4
Keaton- 3.5
Gordon-Levitt- 4 (loved what he did with his silent reactions, especially during THAT scene)
Lynch- 3.5
Shenkman- 3.5 (have so much affection for his delivery of "Then let me be the second")
Langella- 4
Sharp- 3
Harrison Jr- 3.5

Robert MacFarlane said...

I liked Trial of the Chicago 7, though that ending was mawkish as hell. Rylance MVP.

Anonymous said...

I also watched Trial of Chicago 7 (and agree with Robert on the somewhat out-of-tone ending), but I honestly thought that Redmayne was the MVP, and I haven’t liked a single of his roles before this, including The Theory of Everything. Everyone else was great too.

Calvin Law said...

I thought Redmayne’s accent was really wonky in parts but agreed that overall he was great especially in the second half.

Louis Morgan said...

I thought Trial of the Chicago Seven was altogether great. I'll admit being a mark for the whole thing as a historical piece and courtroom drama. But I think this was prime Sorkin, leaving a lot of his indulgences at the door, or actually using them effectively (such as found a lot of the one liners genuinely hilarious). I thought he really found the heart of the story effectively here, particularly loved how he distinguished each of the group. Although I will entirely agree the ending music was one terrible choice, as I think the ending would've played well without the music, or at least less overtly "inspirational" music. It honestly was the only sour note for me, but hey it is in keeping with Sorkin to overplay his hand at least once per project. Still easily my favorite film of the year so far.

Hmm... in the question of saving, I guess Cohen, Rylance, Redmayne, Abdul-Manteen. True ensemble, no one is lead and it would be a mistake to push anyone as such.

Gordon-Levitt - 3
Keaton - 3.5
Langella - 3.5
Lynch - 4
Sharp - 3
Jeremy Strong - (Not sure of exact rating, but can we all agree he was in fact played by Charlie Kelly)
Shenkman - 3
Harrison - 3

RatedRStar said...

Strong is high on Gold Derby for Oscar chances so probably best not to put any ratings for him full stop, I mean who knows who could get nominated.

Louis Morgan said...

RatedRStar:

Good idea, although my comment by him should not necessarily be taken as a criticism.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Thoughts on the cast.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Gordon-Levitt - (For me I think he was just fine. Honestly I think he might've slightly overplayed the sense of sympathy in the character, and might've been better to make him a bit grayer in those actions. I also felt his moments in the court he really lacked a proper incisiveness. Still I do think he still got the job done in a general sense in not being actively bad at all, I just think the role had a lot more potential that he doesn't tap into as the conflicted prosecution.)

Keaton - (I love Keaton as a performer, but that bit of MVP talk I think was taking things way too far. This as I do think he's good here, but honestly the role is built to coast on his presence. Now Keaton does coast effectively in bringing his sort of trademark cool wrapped within slight eccentricity that is fitting to the role that is meant to shake things up. He does do that, but again I think the idea of Keaton already sells much of the role more than Keaton's performance does.)

Langella - (Could go slightly higher as I thought he was quite good at being the hectoring fool. This in just bringing the sort of sense of self-satisfaction and constant annoyance whenever anyone happens to question that. Langella bringing the right sort of reserved petulance proper for a power abusing judge. I also quite liked his moment with Keaton in showing that same kind of petulance yet instead featured in a type of admiration instead.)

Well I had written the rest of the thoughts, but there was a internal server error for some reason when posting, so I'm annoyed at the moment.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: I've been seeing that lately.

Anonymous said...

Louis, You should probably consider using Microsoft Word or Google Docs if you're writing alot in one go in case you have these issues from time to time.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: I'd recommend Google Docs over Word. It's free and has an auto-save feature.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke & Anonymous:

Appreciate the recommends, though I've kept my responses before in a document before, though I always slowly lose my etiquette after awhile when nothing goes wrong for awhile, then something goes wrong again. Guess I'll get back on the horse...for awhile.

Anyways slighter briefer version of those thoughts:

Lynch - (Terrific as per usual honestly, as he brings the right affable presence towards the seemingly average guy of the group. He in particular I found made the most of his comic moments, particularly his deadpan delivery of his hilarious one liner to Cohen, and his reaction as he gets bombarded why he isn't the most likeable one after all. His standout dramatic moment though is well earned as Lynch earns the release, from his reactions throughout, but also as he does it as a normal guy whose just had enough with the right sort of sloppy apologetic quality in that.)

Sharp - (I think he's fine in being just sort plainly earnest, but he doesn't really stand out in that way either.)

Shenkman - (Designed to be overshadowed, and the execution of it goes the same way. He's fine though in being off to the side, and does make a good moment out of the aforementioned one.)

Harrison - (Although I imagine there might be a more definitive portrayal of Hampton soon, Harrison does a fine job in just providing the right sense of warmth in his interactions with Abdul-Manteen to help earn a later moment with the former.)

Aidan Pittman said...

R.I.P. Rhonda Fleming

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Thinking about it more, Trial of Chicago 7 is easily my favourite performance by Redmayne. I'll raise him and Lynch to a 4.5 and 4 respectively.

Calvin Law said...

Yeah I’m bumping up Lynch too now, and Abdul-Mateen. Also the more I think about Rylance and Cohen’s performances the more I like them.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your thoughts on this Aaron Sorkin interview?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-ETDTXUnB0&ab_channel=WIRED

Calvin Law said...

Louis: your thoughts on the 'my name is Max' scene from Fury Road? Rewatching it last night reminded me of how brilliantly that line in particular is delivered by Hardy. Not as some revelation to Furiosa but almost as an instinctual reaction and realisation of himself and his identity.

Matthew Montada said...

Loved Trial Of The Chicago 7. 9.5/10.

Cast Ratings:
Mark Rylance - 5
Sacha Baron Cohen - 4.5
Eddie Redmayne - 4
Joseph Gordon-Levitt - 3.5
Yahya Abdul-Manteen II - 4.5
Michael Keaton - 3.5
Frank Langella - 4
John Carroll Lynch - 3.5
Alex Sharp - 3
Jeremy Strong - 3.5
Ben Shankman - 3
Kelvin Harrison Jr. - 3

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Your 90s cast & director for The Trial of The Chicago 7?

houndtang said...

I'd never heard of this film but watched it based on this review. Quite compelling and pulls surprisingly few punches for the time. Knox was excellent in the role. He had a brief run as a lead actor in the 1940s but demonstrates he certainly had the talent to be a bigger name than he became. Years later he was 'Control' in the TV series of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: Your ratings for:
Canada Lee in Cry, The Beloved Country
Judy Davis in Impromptu
Anthony Hopkins in The Remains Of The Day
Jeff Bridges and Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit
Deanie Ip in A Simple Life
And Veerle Baetens in The Broken Circle Breakdown

Calvin Law said...

Knox was so good as Control.

Luke:

Lee - 4.5
Davis - 5
Hopkins - 5
Bridges - 4.5
Steinfeld - 5
Ip - 5
Baetens - 4

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: Thanks.

RatedRStar said...

Louis: Did you ever see Sister Kenny? I am very interested in seeing Alexander Knox for that film since that seemed to be his last truly Hollywood performance in a well received film, it got Rosalind Russell an Oscar nod 2 so.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

Love that moment as such a small personal moment after the momentous climax, and agreed regarding Hardy's reaction which he does makes all the more remarkable by making it as a moment of introspection within the connection.

Tahmeed:

It's a good interview in terms of Sorkin really outlining his personal approach/philosophy regarding how he writes. This as you can clearly see his approach as the playwright first, along with really "want/obstacle" approach to character.

Bryan:

Trial of the Chicago 7 directed by Martin Scorsese (side note I think I might've loved to have seen him do the actual film, as I have feeling the original choice of Spielberg probably would've made the same mistake as Sorkin with the ending, whereas Scorsese could've brought the needed detachment recognizing that the emotional connection is already there.)

Abbie Hoffman: Michael Imperioli
Tom Hayden: Robert Downey Jr.
Bobby Seale: Laurence Fishburne
Judge Hoffman: Jason Robards
David Dellinger: Craig T. Nelson
Richard Shultz: Timothy Hutton
Ramsey Clark: Dean Stockwell
Rennie Davis: Alan Cumming
Jerry Rubin: Jeremy Piven
William Kunstler: James Woods (Lazy choice I'll admit given he basically played the part in True Believer)

RatedRStar:

No, but I will when I get around to 1946.

RatedRStar said...

I am already getting a stomach ache thinking about 1946 lol.

Anonymous said...

Louis who do you think has the best chance of being nominated for Chicago Seven?

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

A real problem is all five have a decent case:

Rylance - (Classic crusading lawyer role, followup nomination for previous winner.)

Redmayne - (Has perhaps the central arc, and previous winner/nominee. If he can be nominated for The Danish Girl, one would have to imagine he could be nominated for this.)

Abdul-Manteen - (Although probably has the most limited screentime, he is aided by the fact that he's basically the focal point of all his scenes. Maybe Emmy residual goodwill as well.)

Cohen - (Pseudo-against type, though I'd argue in many ways the role plays into his usual type, but nonetheless comic actor going largely dramatic, also with an essential arc.)

Strong - (The showy comic relief part, maybe Emmy residual goodwill as well.)

So honestly the critics awards kind of need to help them out to decide who to push.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Thoughts on this?

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

Matt Mustin said...

I thought The Trial of the Chicago 7 was terrific, although I wasn't in love with some of Sorkin's choices as a director (playing the ending so overwrought, for one). The script is excellent (mostly. some of the one-liners didn't quite land and I take issue with one particular line he put in Abbie Hoffman's mouth) and the cast is phenomenal.

Rylance-5

Cohen-4.5

Redmayne-4 (Could go a bit higher on rewatch, but goddamn it, there's *still* some of those weird facial expressions of his here and there. This is the most I've ever liked him though, still having not seen "Theory of Everything".)

Gordon-Levitt-3 (He's fine, but he's also completely dominated by everybody around him. Also, and I can't explain this, he feels slightly miscast to me. I don't know how or why, he just kinda does.)

Abdul-Mateen II-4.5

Langella-4 (Honestly could go higher, this is really good work.)

Keaton-3.5

Strong-4 (I was *really* worried when this performance started, but he quickly won me over.)

Lynch-4

Sharp-3

Shenkman-3

Harrison-3

Robert MacFarlane said...

Two things I realized about Redmayne:

1. The weird facial expressions are just his face. I actually have a theory that his expressions will look better once he’s older and his face has weathered a little (think Mark Hamill)

2. His American accent is technically very good, but his natural pitch makes it sound weird. A little like Cumberbatch. I think it might just be a thing with certain Brits.

Matt Mustin said...

Robert: You're right about them just being his face, but he had one reaction towards Keaton that I thought was kinda bizarre even discounting that.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your 80's cast for Trial of the Chicago 7 with Pakula directing it and Goldman writing the script?

Bryan L. said...

Rylance would be my MVP as well for Chicago 7, though Redmayne is a close second. Cohens’ actually grown on me, since I felt he really gelled with the films’ tone (not that anyone else didn’t.)

Luke Higham said...

Saw Trial Of The Chicago 7, thought it was great. I am agreed on Louis' ratings though I'd go a tad higher for Langella.

Rylance - 5 (I suppose 2020 has been the year of Rylance as I loved both of his turns)
Cohen - 4.5/5
Redmayne - 4.5
Abdul-Mateen II - 4.5
Strong - 3.5

Calvin Law said...

I'll take a shot at the 80s one, directed by Philip Kaufman

Abbie Hoffman: Jeff Goldblum
Tom Hayden: Griffin Dunne
Bobby Seale: Denzel Washington
Judge Hoffman: Don Ameche
David Dellinger: George Dzundza
Richard Shultz: Mark Hamill (alternately switch him and Dunne around)
Ramsey Clark: Peter Falk
Rennie Davis: Alan Ruck
Jerry Rubin: Kevin Kline
William Kunstler: Ian Holm

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

A hilarious string of passive aggressive and rather polite trolls throughout the video.

Anonymous:

Abbie Hoffman: Eric Bogosian
Tom Hayden: Tom Hulce
Bobby Seale: Keith David
Judge Hoffman: Jose Ferrer
David Dellinger: Peter Boyle (Keep the actual casting on the not great docudrama version)
Richard Shultz: Richard Thomas
Ramsey Clark: Martin Landau
Rennie Davis: Paul Reiser
Jerry Rubin: Curtis Armstrong
William Kunstler: Donald Sutherland