Saturday, 21 November 2020

Alternate Best Actor 1994: Results

10. Robert De Niro in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein - De Niro is the best part of his terrible film, attempting to find some humanity in the concert of ridiculousness.
Best Scene: Listening to the family. 
9. Woody Harrelson in Natural Born Killers - Harrelson gives a convincing portrayal of a brutal madness, even if the character is rather limited. 

Best Scene: Interview.
8. Shah Rukh Khan in Kabhi Ha Kabhi Na - Delivers a nice charming turn as a somewhat atypical romantic hero given where the romance goes.

Best Scene: Accepting the situation.
7. Brandon Lee in The Crow - Lee tragically proves himself a capable leading man both delivering the intensity and charisma needed for the part. 

Best Scene: Before the kidnapping.
6. Kevin Bacon in The River Wild - Bacon gives a fine menacing turn bringing the right degree of sleaze with just enough charisma in there.

Best Scene: "There's no way"
5. Ge You in To Live - Although overshadowed to a definite degree, Ge You still gives a moving portrayal of man just making his way through trauma.

Best Scene: The hospital.
4. Tom Cruise in Interview With The Vampire - Cruise is surprisingly able to disappear into his role as his vampire who loves being a vampire.

Best Scene: Ending.
3. Temuera Morrison in Once Were Warriors - Morrison gives a terrific portrayal of both the brute and the charmer that allows a vicious cycle of abuse to exist.

Best Scene: Winning his wife over.
2. Xia Yu in In The Heat of the Sun - Xia gives a wonderful coming of age turn that amplifies every moment of his young man's journey into life and love.

Best Scene: "Party"
1. Ben Kingsley in Death and the Maiden - Good predictions Lucas, Tim RatedRStar, Anonymous, Matt & Jack. Kingsley delivers one of his best performances in both creating such a compelling question then delivering an unforgettable answer.
Best Scene: Confession.

Next: 1994 Supporting


Robert MacFarlane said...

Really the only two I’m curious aboout for 1994 Supporting are Bokeem Woodbine in Jason’s Lyric and Delroy Lindo in Crooklyn

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Ratings and thoughts on the rest of the lead performances.

Female Lead and Supporting top 20s with ratings and other 4+ honourable mentions

And your 1994 wins.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...


Louis: My reaction to this-

Anonymous said...

Louis, My request is Song Kang-Ho in Thirst (2009).

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on Hoop Dreams, Heavenly Creatures and Three Colours: Red.

Luke Higham said...

For Supporting:
Daniel Auteuil and Jean-Hugues Anglade in La Reine Margot
Delroy Lindo in Crooklyn
Bokeem Woodbine in Jason's Lyric
Jean-Louis Trintignant in Three Colours: Red
Maximilian Schell in Little Odessa or Anthony Hopkins in Legends Of The Fall

Emi Grant said...

Louis: Love that new Top 5. Any reason Robbins won you over?

Michael McCarthy said...

Is Christian Bale in Little Women on the table for a supporting review?

Anonymous said...

Louis, your thoughts on Legends Of The Fall.


Woh! Robbins wins! I am very happy for this surprise


Hey Louis!
Tell me from the year 1994 which are your TOP7 best:
- Score
- Poster
- Editing
- Blockbuster-film
- Screenplays (adapted and original)
- Cast
- Character of the year

Bryan L. said...

Louis: I don’t think I actually won. I changed my prediction at the very bottom of Kingsleys review.

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: Did you make a request from your previous win. (44 Lead)

Calvin Law said...

Going to give some thought to my request (will probably be something Asian/European), but pleased to see 8 of my top 10 make your top 10. Need to rewatch Heavenly Creatures.

Calvin Law said...

And I’m glad you hated Natural Born Killers.

Omar Franini said...

Louis: your thoughts on Vive L’Amour?

Calvin Law said...

As for suggestions for supporting:

Delroy Lindo in Crooklyn
Bokeem Woodbine in Jason's Lyric
Jean-Louis Trintignant in Three Colours: Red
Jack Thompson in The Sum of Us
Christopher Walken in Pulp Fiction (only if none of the other 'new' choices don't really tickle your fancy)

And not surprised to see Dafoe so low for Tom & Viv, definitely one of his weaker performances.

Calvin Law said...

Lastly, your thoughts on the editing to Hoop Dreams (another one of the most inspired nominations of all-time although that Documentary snub is absolutely bizarre).

Anonymous said...

Louis, Daniel Auteuil was my request from 1944 Lead.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on Michael Wincott in The Crow and Stephen Rea in Interview With The Vampire.

Luke Higham said...

And ratings too.

Tim said...

i must add that i would certainly have Jackson as a 4.5

Also, yes, 2010 has already been done twice, but i still request Clive Owen in Trust

Tim said...

also, it's already past the mid of November which means Christmas decorations have been out for a close to 4 months now, so i'm in the mood.

Is Richard Attenborough in Miracle on 34th Street a possible review?

my guess is that he is a 3.5, but man i like comparisions

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: I just double-checked too, and I didn't win the prediction either.

Matt Mustin said...

I've heard that "Cobb" is basically just a hatchet job on the man, is that true?

Robert MacFarlane said...

Matt: In fairness, there aren’t too many loving remembrances of the man beyond his baseball record.

Matt Mustin said...

Robert: Sure, but even so.


Hey Louis and guys!
Taking advantage of Robbins' victory in the Overall, tell me your rankings of the best performances of actors and actresses of characters originated in the works of Stephen King. My ranking ...

10º Piper Laurie‎in Carrie
9º Sissy Spacek‎ in Carrie
8º Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption
7º Anthony Hopkins in Hearts in Atlantis
6º Judy Parfitt in Dolores Claiborne
5º Ian McKellen in Apt Pupil
4º Christopher Walken in The Dead Zone
3º James Caan in Misery
2º Kathy Bates in Misery
1º Tim Robbins in The Shawshank Redemption

Louis Morgan said...


Depardieu/Polanski - 4.5/4(I'll preface this film would've been an amazing hour long anthology series episode, as a feature it drags a little in parts though overall is still effective. One of the major reasons being both leading turns. Depardieu is excellent here in playing a lot of different layers in creating a mystery of his character while also slowly revealing himself. This in presenting a man both playing close to his chest and confused at the same time. There though is a way he shows all the emotions the man is going through rather powerfully even as his manner changes. Love the way he begins as evasive then slowly becomes more aggressive in his disagreements. An effective revealing of the man just as the mystery seems to unwind himself. Depardieu revealing a man with a weight upon him both as an artist and a man that he reveals a greater truth about himself. Polanski in his best acting performance, that I’ve seen, offers a terrific counterpart as a man who is both more assured in his questions while seeming far less assured as a man. This as he delivers this desperation as a quoting fanboy of Depardieu while also being so incisive in his questions about the man’s state. The scene with the two just going at one another in this seeming game of wills is where the film sings thanks to both actors.)

Greenwood – 4.5(I’ll say overall I found the film more intriguing than completely successful in its rather grand intentions in terms of its approach, Greenwood definitely left an impression within this mix. Greenwood portraying I suppose purely the film’s intentions in presenting this broken man. This as he makes the man both so powerfully emotional in his state, while also suggesting the seemingly sleazy qualities as palatable. This all as part of the man as really this broken tapestry of a man fundamentally stricken by his loss to be left as a different kind of victim and perpetrator.)

Eccleston/McGregor – 4/3.5(Eccleston is very good in the initial scenes in the greatest moral quandary as the “nerd” to McGregor’s charismatic reporter. This in portraying the anxiety of the situation but also sort of the compromise in the moment of choice. This initially though in creating the real sense of anguish over what they’ve done, against McGregor who is effective in being basically the consistent one who sticks to himself, which is a little more morally questionable at first, though the least so by the end. In turn Eccleston, even if it is slightly rushed, delivers on bringing the more chilling intensity as he slowly creates this killer’s sense in his eyes as he changes.)

Koteas – 4(Koteas’s performance to is this different shades of sort of a strange emotional turmoil that the film slowly unweaves in its own way. Koteas’s portrayal though is effective a combination of the man of the future who is in a state of a desperate emotional randomness within the manner of a pimp. This against the flashbacks where Koteas brings a sort of bluster yet also innocence as a wannabe style philosopher.)

Louis Morgan said...

Finney – 4(This on its own is a good performance by Finney. He delivers the state of Harris sort of caught within his quiet depression, however it just, compared to Redgrave, feels like almost nothing in comparison. He’s more than fine in being decent in the role, there’s nothing obviously wrong with his work, he hits the notes, but he just never hits them in as insightful or as powerful of a way as Redgrave. This particularly in that the finale feels so muted, where you so feel it with Redgrave. It isn’t a bad attempt at trying out a character who previously was realized in a masterful performance, but its a far cry from that portrayal.)

Zamachoswki – 4(White, which I actually also quite enjoyed even if sleight seeming in comparison, which I’d say was intentional. Zamachoswki’s performance is one of creating this slow development of probably the most “sneaky” realization of confidence. This wholly works though in being this sort of hapless “hero” that is indeed more befitting of a comedy, which this middle film really is. Zamachoswki is wonderful in just quietly realizing this growth of a curious sort of confidence that wholly works in its own funny little way.)

Menshikov & Mikhalkov – 4/3.5(The film itself I thought really just sort of wandered along aimlessly until the ending, and not in a way that I would consider in at all compelling fashion. It doesn’t really come to life until near the end of the film. The two M’s are the best part though in the dueling performances. This as Menshikov gives such a cold and quiet portrayal of a seeming hatred, against Mikhalkov’s portrayal of a loving man. I wish this dynamic had been thoroughly explored as the two are good in the moments that properly exploit this.)

Dorff & Hart – 4/3(I’ll say Dorff has the advantage that you don’t really have an image of Sutcliffe in any particular way. Nonetheless Dorff is convincing both in accent and really just manner of a sort of the man who is adjacent to the passion. This as Dorff is good in the band scenes in portraying this combination of vague interest and disinterest at the same time. There’s a certain atypical indifference that he realizes as well as a man of a similar bent but not quite in the right line of thought. Hart is just fine as John Lennon in revealing the more cutting qualities of the man. Unfortunately he lacks really the needed charisma to really convince us, even in a prototypical stage for the man.)

Shawn & Pine – 4/3(Shawn is a rather interesting off-beat Vanya to be sure. This in finding a different sort of approach really to the whole man that in a way makes him far more desperate though still heartbreaking in his own way. Pine I thought was fine in delivering the needed quiet sort of charisma of the doctor but lacked really the urgency of the man. You never really feel he’s in the same state as Vanya here. He’s more than decent, but not nearly on the level of Olivier in the role.)

Lung – 4(Brings a Chisu Ryu quality to his work as the certain kind of father. This portraying this certain kind of warmth but also distance in the man who seems devoted more so to his cooking than his daughters, even though there is still the sense of that within the nuanced moments in his work.)

Louis Morgan said...

Nelson – 3.5(A few iffy moments in there occasionally, but largely a convincing portrayal of a far to wise child for his years. Finding though enough of a combination of the earnest kid with the the sort of man created by his situation.)

Roth/Furlong – 3.5/3(Roth I think in general is more than decent in showing the rough edges though with a certain humanity. He doesn’t quite find the sort of overwhelming charisma that hides the thug behind it all. He’s more just thug, which you could say is a choice however I don’t think it is ideal for the film that seems to desire more so the former. Furlong is better here than as a John Conner, this in basically doing what he later did in American X in a combination of adoration and concern for his criminal older brother.)

Cheung/Leung – 3.5/3(I’m sure there is an explanation for what is going on in this film, but good luck. I mean Wong Kar-Wai loves to be a little random, which I’m fine with but here I just thought it was unintelligible for the most part. The performances are fine, Cheung and both Leungs in fact. But any real investment was presented by the aggressively confusing narrative approach.)

Davies – 3.5(Didn’t really love the film, which I’m a little surprised was considered such a wunderkind hit for David O. Russell, and do question the interest so many dramatists have with incest. Anyways Davies does a more sympathetic version of his usual thing. It is a fine rendition of it.)

Garcia – 3(The film is a seriously sloppy attempt at a studio art film. Garcia is fine in his role as the caring but perhaps too domineering husband. The whole realization of the dynamic though is undermined by the film that never delves deeply enough in any aspect. Despite wanting to show the cracks always feels a bit glossy.)

Louis Morgan said...

Costner – 2.5(Boring film, Costner is okay.)

Anderson & O’Halloran – 2.5/2.5(Both are obvious amateurs in a high school acting type of way. This with all the expected stiltedness in a wrongheaded desire to try to not overact instead underacting. Anderson is a little more comfortable than O’Halloran however both fall short.)

Lee & Chen – 2.5(I mean there’s nothing wrong with their performances it is rather the film approach which is detached to more than a fault. Then again it is done in long takes so it has to be good right? Right?)

Jones (Blue Sky, Cobb) – 3.5/2.5(Jones is the best thing in the former creating at least a believable intensity in the constantly put upon husband with a palatable though repressed jealousy. The latter though is a complete mess of a film. Jones is equally all over the place. He occasionally finds a moment but also doesn’t find anything a lot of the time.)

Dafoe – 2(One of his most boring performances. Overshadowed by Richardson but also just forgettable here. This as I just watched the film a few weeks ago and I can’t remember most of his work due to his non-impression.)

Berg – 2(Thank goodness for the other lead, because Berg is a uncharismatic husk. It is no surprise to see why he turned to directing as he is quite lifeless onscreen as a performer.)

Cage – 2(Cage is all over the place here. It doesn’t help that the film puts his character in such weird places, unable to tell if it wants him to be funny or deadly serious. Cage kind of plays the whole thing the latter and in turn comes off as unintentionally ridiculous in the serious parts and rather dull in the funny parts.)

Pitt – 2(Pitt certainly wants this to be a star making performance, but as usual his attempts at this usually falter. That is the case here as he is asked to be so many things it is ridiculous. Pitt though just is over the top in the dramatic scenes, and coasts on his looks for all his “charming” scenes while seeming quite hollow. Honestly felt Aidan Quinn pretty much carried the whole thing on the shoulders even though he and the character constantly got the shaft. Pitt definitely is trying here, but this showed really his calling was never straight leading man.)

Renfro – 1.5(Just a black hole of charisma. I get the kid’s suppose to be not just a likable kid, but Renfro’s work is actively grating, more so than I think was intended.)

Wuhl – 1(Not sure who thought it was a good idea for Wuhl, who at best is fine in very small comic bit parts, would make for a good dramatic lead. He’s terrible playing every scene in his same way of looking always slightly surprised by everything look. When ever he’s asked to really act, its atrocious. He honestly mainly avoids it though just instead just seeming lost in the film’s attempted dark tone.)

Louis Morgan said...


1. Rena Owen – Once Were Warriors
2. Lina Fiorentino – The Last Seduction
3. Melanie Lynskey – Heavenly Creatures
4. Kate Winsley – Heavenly Creatures
5. Gong Li – To Live
6. Irene Jacob – Three Colours: Red – 5
7. Toni Collette – Muriel’s Wedding – 4.5
8. Natalie Portman – Leon: The Professional
9. Mia Kirshner – Exotica – 4.5
10. Winona Ryder – Little Women
11. Kuei Mei Yang – Eat Drink Man Woman – 4.5
12 .Valerie Chow – Chungking Express
13. Kerry Fox – Shallow Grave - 4
14. Chien-lien Wu – Eat Drink Man Woman - 4
15. Faye Wong – Chungking Express
16. Susan Sarandon – The Client – 4
17. Miranda Richardson – Tom & Viv – 4
18. Meryl Streep – The River Wild
19. Zelda Harris – Crooklyn – 4
20. Shirley MacLaine – Guarding Tess - 4

Supporting Actress:

1. Mamaengaroa Kerr-Bell - Once Were Warriors
2. Rachel Griffiths – Muriel’s Wedding – 4.5
3. Kirsten Dunst – Interview With The Vampire
4. Julianne Moore – Vanya on 42nd Street – 4.5
5. Uma Thurman – Pulp Fiction
6. Brooke Smith – Vanya on 42nd Street – 4.5
7. Jennifer Tilly – Bullets Over Broadway
8. Sarah Peirse – Heavenly Creatures - 4
9. Alfred Woodard – Crooklyn – 4
10. Ning Ling – In the Heat of the Sun
11. Diane Wiest – Bullets Over Broadway
12. Helen Mirren – The Madness of King George
13. Karin Cartlidge – Before the Rain - 4
14. Isabella Rossellini – Immortal Beloved
15. Sally Field – Forrest Gump
16. Alberta Watson – Spanking the Monkey - 4
17. Jeanie Drynan – Muriel’s Wedding – 3.5
18. Julie Delpy – Three Colours White – 3.5
19. Rosemary Harris – Tom & Viv – 3.5
20. Robin Wright – Forrest Gump

Why? I haven’t set the supporting lineup yet.

Emi Grant:

Well, I mean he was already my runner-up, didn’t really need to win me over, my original review held no reservations, the daring alone of taking what traditionally would be considered a “cold” approach that in turn created the most inspirational film hero since George Bailey, should’ve secured the win initially. I’ll say originally I wrongly deferred to my preferred actor between the two, even though Robbins definitely is the crowning leading male achievement for 94.


I’ve never forgotten a request, I felt no need to add him to the request list given I was literally about to do the leading lineup for the year.


I’m going to say, it’s doubtful.


I thought it was a beautiful looking film, that is extremely stupid. This in taking general ideas of what makes an epic and putting them in a blender, making one sloppy shake. It has a lot of themes, none of them well developed. They’re just kind of thrown together, just like the period. I found the villains in particular horribly developed, despite the film acting like we should just know their deal. The only thing, besides the impressive technical elements, I really liked was Aidan Quinn who seemed to really want to try to create a sense of a fraternal relationship, that sadly was not as well realized by Pitt and Thomas.

Louis Morgan said...


I found it honestly interminable. I’ll say the silent long take is the art film equivalent of an action film explosion. I mean both can be used well but just isolated it is mindless nothing. Just as the general public loves a good explosion, the critics love the long take whether or not it actually adds up to anything of merit when it comes to thematic development or exploration of character. This film I felt quite lacking in this quality, and I did not think it found meaning within the gradually paced, to put I lightly, film. I can love a good long take, but not everyone is Tarkovsky. I honestly think critics are too quick to praise a film just based on the execution of a long take that one must assume “has meaning”.


I mean the editing is the film, as the narration is actually the one think I take umbrage with the film, luckily the editing almost does it all with the narration filling in the few gaps not covered by footage. This as I almost think it didn’t need it as the film conveys so much without it. This as it so eloquently conveys each phase and each relationship just through the editing, sometimes without even people speaking within the cutting. The editing is how the film entirely succeeds and creates the documentary. That being no small feat, something other documentaries attempt, yet none as complex as Hoop Dreams or as effective.

Hearing about the whole scandal of its snub just shows the flaws of insular committee style nominating.



1. The Shawshank Redemption
2. The Lion King
3. Little Women
4. Exotica
5. The Hudsucker Proxy
6. Three Colours: Red
7. Legends of the Fall


1. The Shawshank Redemption (Andy embracing the rain)
2. Pulp Fiction
3. The Crow
4. The Lion King
5. Ed Wood
6. The Madness of King George
7. Forrest Gump

Razzie Poster Award: The River Wild


1. Hoop Dreams
2. Pulp Fiction
3. Leon: The Professional
4. Speed
5. The Shawshank Redemption
6. Shallow Grave
7. Heavenly Creatures

Blockbuster-film (Guess more than 75 million):

1. Pulp Fiction
2. Dumb and Dumber
3. Speed
4. Maverick
5. The Lion King
6. Clear and Present Danger
7. Interview with The Vampire


1. The Shawshank Redemption
2. Quiz Show
3. Once Were Warriors
4. In the Heat of the Sun
5. To Live
6. The Madness of King George
7. Little Women


1. Pulp Fiction
2. Three Colours: Red
3. Heavenly Creatures
4. Muriel’s Wedding
5. Leon: The Professional
6. A Pure Formality
7. The Last Seduction


1. The Shawshank Redemption
2. Once Were Warriors
3. Heavenly Creatures
4. Muriel’s Wedding
5. Pulp Fiction
6. Ed Wood
7. Quiz Show

Character of the year:

1. Andy Dufresne (Now, not then)
2. Mufasa
3. Forrest Gump
4. Jules Winfield
5. Scar
6. Ace Ventura
7. Red

Bryan & Tahmeed:

Appreciate the correction gentlemen.


Big time, just makes him look horrible in every way you can possibly imagine, although apparently that was thought to be the truth then (though most of the “muck” appears to be largely made up).

Michael McCarthy said...

Louis: Gotcha. Still haven’t seen the full movie myself but I remember liking what I saw.

Matt Mustin said...

Louis: "the interest so many dramatists have with incest" I KNOW, RIGHT?! What is that?

Calvin Law said...

What a year for Lead Actress that Jacob and Collette can't crack the top 5, but I'm certainly glad to see such a strong year on that front.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the Female performances. And Winona Ryder who I don't think you gave thoughts on before. And rating and thoughts on Jessica Lange in Blue Sky.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: This is probably the most upgraded Lead Actress overall that we've had so far. And we still have a couple more in Jennifer Jason Leigh and Isabelle Adjani.

Luke Higham said...

And I'm over the moon with Kate Winslet finally getting another 5.

Luke Higham said...

Oh and Calvin, congrats on viewing 4000 films, shame that the film you saw while reaching that milestone was not a good one.

Anonymous said...

Louis, Rating and thoughts on Jodie Foster in Nell.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Where would you rank Jamie Lee Curtis in True Lies.

Anonymous said...

Louis, Rating and thoughts on Liam Neeson in Nell.

Matt Mustin said...

A rewatch of Pulp Fiction has made Uma Thurman a 5 and my win for Supporting Actress. Also, I'm glad to see Willis switched over to lead.

Calvin Law said...

Luke: yeah I didn’t even notice, I would’ve tried for a more special film if I’d known otherwise.

Thurman’s a strong 4.5 for me and makes my lineup. I’m intrigued as to the Vanya performances though.

Also really awesome that two indigenous actors have won this year for Louis, wish the Academy would do that more often in turn. Indigenous actors from everywhere seem to get the shittiest treatment.

Anonymous said...

Luke, since you've said on a prior occasion that you tally the amount of 5s for each actor, can you tell me how many 5s has Louis given to each of the 4 acting categories in the bonus rounds so far.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: I actually did make a list up on Google Docs on that exact topic but didn't include upgrades at all which would've given Lead Actor abit of an unfair advantage since the majority of them have happened there.

Supporting Actress - 19
Supporting Actor - 27
Leading Actress - 68
Leading Actor - 62 (They were Equal until that huge upgrade for 94 Lead Actress)

Anonymous said...

Luke, Thanks.

Luke Higham said...

Nicol Williamson in The Bofors Gun is on that list since the film was still a proper bonus round viewing.

Bryan L. said...

I reached 2000 films myself a couple of months ago, and for the special occasion, I saw “Revanche”. (5/5)

Louis: Your thoughts on Clerks & Shallow Grave, and ratings & thoughts on anyone else of note in both?

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Also, your updated David O. Russell ranking?

Lucas Saavedra said...

Louis: you gave Jodie Foster in Maverick and Amanda Plummer in Pulp Fiction a 4. Are they still that rating? If so, where would they rank?

Lucas Saavedra said...

Also, would Ed Wood be in your top ten for screenplays? I'm surprised it isn't in the top 7 since you like the movie so much

Omar Franini said...

Louis: overall i agree with you on Vive l’Amour, i saw the movie back last year, it was my first Tsai and i didn’t know to expect. I didn’t enjoy the movie at first because it was interminable as you said and the pace was way too slow. I watched other movies from the Taiwanese director and started liking more his style/approach, or at least i thought it was more suitable for other stories such as What Time is It There and Rebels of the Neon God. I would still suggest you to check his other works.

If you find a decent copy could you also watch the following movies?
La Separation (the movie is fine, i just wish it were longer to explore the titular separation better, both Huppert and Auteuil are terrific though, two strong 4s for me)
I Can’t Sleep and U.S. Go Home (two very underrated movies from Claire Denis in my opinion)
Confucian Confusion (an enjoyable movie from Edward Yang, not my favourite from him but i would say it is still worth the time)
Casa de Lava (probably the most accessible movie from Pedro Costa)

Have you seen Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle? I loved Leigh’s performance in it but the movie isn’t that great overall.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Thoughts on William Daniels' work in Brute Force?

Anonymous said...

Louis - also what did you think of Muriels Wedding as a film overall? So glad you liked Collette and Griffiths

Louis Morgan said...


Fiorentino – (I’ll say in general the academy needed to move out of their comfort zone a bit for 94, as their lead choices were pretty underwhelming, and at the very least uninspired given the strength of the year overall. At least with Fiorentino there was some actual red tape that interfered with it. Now Fiorentino’s performance here is just outstanding in really making the femme fatale that might make all other femme fatale’s look at themselves in reflection. Her performance being defined by a core of ice cold greed being the central truth that Fiorentino performs the part. Everything else she does is “fake” and in that Fiorentino is brilliant in portraying these different sides of the phony characters. This whether it is as the overt seductress where she is more than a little convincing to say the least in her manipulations. Her greater manipulations come in the moments of seeming either a normal woman trying to move on, or that of the vulnerable woman. There Fiorentino is outstanding in playing a role in the role in showing the way she puts forth whatever she needs to in order to get what she needs. It is exceptional work that more than carries the film, it defines it.)

Lynskey & Winslet – (The whole film I was rather surprised by in general, although there are some connections both to explotation Jackson and LOTR Jackson in its production design and effects use, what we get is basically a portrait of repression and hysteria. Lynskey and Winslet being essential in this portrayal of a specific insanity that reveals itself through the narrative. Now in Winslet you have a seemingly supremely confident performance that is perfectly befitting her character who seems to confident within herself. Winslet’s great though in her portrayal though of even in this confidence there is always a striking undercurrent of youthful petulance. This in that to a degree she makes it a certain bluster of a young woman who is in many ways just shaken by the uncertainty of her existence. Lynskey is great on the other end of it in being this ball of vulnerabilities and awkwardness. This that she makes so natural as this state of equal uncertainty though more overtly shown. We then see together their chemistry that is so essential. This in the admiration Lynskey brings and the sort of power that Winslet portrays in this admiration. In this the way the two interact is a whole lot all at once, which is really essential in creating the tragic end result. This in part their interactions are just as kid and their sort of specific energy they bring is wonderful in creating that sense within the friendship. At the same time though the two realize the sort of uncertain mutual attraction within the connection. This in both present it as really a lack of understanding but almost a random sense of lust within a love for one another. This though leading to the end where both mutually support each other in their mutual desperation, however unlike most friendships it doesn’t help each other it rather amplifies the reaction to the desperation towards violent end. The two are incredible in creating the mass hysteria in their performances though just realized in their scenes together. This in creating a most unique onscreen spark of emotion that is not properly understood by the individuals themselves yet all the more palatable when repressed. They’re both excellent in realizing the end act in such a chilling fashion by showing it so naturally coming from a place of initial innocence.)

Louis Morgan said...

Jacob – (Quick side bar, I always hate the Hollywood reaction to a promising foreign star, “hey she was great in Red, let’s make her Wesley Snipes undeveloped girlfriend in US Marshalls!”. Anyway I loved Jacob’s work here that really is in many ways an atypical leading turn just in how reactionary and in a way supportive her work is. I loved this performance though in realizing in so much small moments and even silence such an overpowering sense of life. Her performance works so wonderfully by just how much clarity she reveals in the seemingly most minor of emotions in a certain sense. Her character isn’t going through the utmost tumultuous thing, yet the detail she grants within this is what makes it so special. This sense of life to her work, and particularly in crafting such uniquely great chemistry she has with Trintignant. This as in every one of her interactions with him there is such a sense of really human bonding, of love, not in the romantic sense, but in the purely human understanding of one another.)

Collette – (I think it is fair to say Collette’s got one of the greatest comedic to dramatic range out of any actress currently working. This shown quite clearly here where she is wonderfully charming and funny in portraying the most awkward of the awkward. This though in the first half of the film showing just every state of not quite knowing how to place herself at any point. Of course within this Collette does fine the right quiet undercurrent of the sadness behind it all. Collette’s terrific in making this unsaid quality within her work in presenting Muriel as basically always attempting to get along even as she’s technically just very sad inside at all times. She though gradually shows the change when she finally finds a true friend, striking absolute fantastic chemistry with Griffiths. This as you are granted both just their lovely warmth and the way you gauge some confidence within Collette’s performance. This confidence that ends up being really the crux of the second half of her performance. This as she initially presents as slowly growing toxic confidence that builds an ego, that slowly transitions to a genuine one in the wholly winning ending earned by Collette and Griffiths.)

Louis Morgan said...

Kirshner – (Honestly the most impressive thing is that I didn’t even notice she was the same character in really her three iterations. This as she’s that good in realizing each. This in the first in the seemingly seductive temptress of the club doing the schoolgirl routine. She’s equally convincing though as just the normal desperate woman behind it all. She’s though wholly different seemingly the more normal woman in the mid-flashbacks where she brings just a nice normalcy. She’s great though in her last iteration in the deepest flashback in wholly conveying the youth and broken innocence of the character.)

Ryder – (After watching this version I do have much to say at much of the flack the 2019 version received seemingly at behest of this version, which is also good, but...whatever I won’t get into it at the moment. Ryder anyways makes for a good Jo to be sure. Ryder carries herself I would say just with the particularly convincing qualities that make Jo as she grows up. This in the youthful willfulness of her creative spark that she brings such an endearing quality to. She naturally transforms though in the maturation as the woman trying to make her own name for herself. Finding the right naturalism in her Jo in creating the balance of the character really balancing herself in terms of individual strength but also personal need all the same. It’s wonderful work, and it’s a shame she was the surprise nod, as that she easily would’ve been the best choice of the nominees.)

Kuei Mei Yang & Chien-Lien Wu – (Both are good in their own ways in creating the experience of the two women trying to find love and dealing with the men in their lives. One creating a more introspective portrayal that is moving in the nuance of the journey, against the other who is more overt in the expression of the journey. Both actresses create a balance between themselves in creating the different wavelengths of the characters particularly as they relate to their onscreen father.)

Fox – (Good in portraying the seeming middle of the road while portraying the in the end most duplicitous of the three central characters. Fox is wonderful in playing though the different shades of a seeming innocence that slowly segues towards an overt greed. More than anything though she provides a nice balance between the dark internalization of Eccleston and the more overt qualities of McGregor’s performance. This in being sneaky as well in her own performance. )

Sarandon – (Easily the best part of her film, even if the character is a bit overwritten in a certain sense. Sarandon though really makes the most out of her pretty weakly written scenes. This in bringing the right upfront confidence but also with a sense of a sort of playful humanity. This being particularly important to balancing out Renfro’s decidedly unlikable performance.)

Richardson – (The film is horribly repetitive, but Richardson does her best to attempt to make it work. This just in granting some honesty to the repetitive scenes of her mental illness of different kinds. This which she realizes with a genuine quality even as the film doesn’t really have anything for her to do beyond this unfortunately, despite its length.)

Louis Morgan said...

Harris – (Just a nice charming youth performance to be sure in perhaps Spike Lee’s least abrasive film, which I quite liked actually. Harris provides a nice just sincere performance to the proceedings. Definitely a child performance in some ways but it works.)

MacLaine – (Unlike Cage, MacLaine is able to get the balance down quite effectively. This finding a balance in creating the grumpy qualities of the character in a humorous way, while also still finding a certain sense of the underlying sadness within the character. The film isn’t particularly good still but MacLaine artfully elevates it.)

Griffiths – (Griffiths performance provides one the greatest “best friend” rom com (though Muriel’s wedding actually isn’t that), performances. Griffiths finding the really endearing energy in being the flamboyant one to Collette’s performance that creates a believable sense of how she would bring her out of her shell a bit. Griffith’s is absolutely winning in creating the eagerness of the character with the right humorous touch in being abrasive in just the right way. She’s wonderful and naturally segues towards a more moving portrayal as the character is forced to temper herself somewhat tragically. Griffiths is excellent in moving to becoming this sort of quietly cutting moral center later on. Finding often in just reactions offering the right sense of indignation towards her friend’s failure to do the right thing. In turn making the ending all the sweeter.)

Moore & Smith – (Both are terrific in creating seemingly the opposite women, the one who meekly wants to be loved who is rejected against the one everyone wants, but rejects almost all. Moore brings the right charisma in the role to create this appeal, but balances it away from shallowness. This finding the right earnest emotion in her own rather internalized moments of desperation. Smith on the other hand shows the overt state of a quiet subdued desperation in the right sense of emotional turmoil kept in. This though she artfully balances in her portrayal of moments of personal strength in her own. Their best scene really being their one together where they play off each other so well in creating a real sense of the understanding between the two even as they are at odds.)

Woodard – (A proper no nonsense mom even if her performance doesn’t quite have a final scene in a way. Her performance though brings well this state of the willfulness where she creates the sense of frustration but also the power of her personality within the film. Just wonderful work in making the right impact.)

Peirse – (Good in portraying the woeful inadequacy in reaction to her daughter at every turn. What I really like about her work is that she manages to find the right humanity in the concern showing it to be genuine even as she seems to make the wrong decisions. She importantly shows just a mother unable to figure out what to do importantly maintaining the tragedy and horror of the final scene.)

Cartlidge – (I didn’t really care for the film, where it felt like “here’s a random personal issue” now someone gets shot. Anyway Cartlidge though is quite good in presenting just the visceral emotional desperation of her situation and most important capturing the horror of her final scenes quite potently.)

Watson – (Can’t help but feel this part was originally written as a step-mother than O. Russell decided to shock for shocks sake. This is as Watson plays it really more so than an actual mother at every turn, and in the former is where she is generally effective.)

Delpy – (Finds the right sort of comic tone in her strangely adrift but also incisive wife that can’t quite be pleased.)

Drynan – (Although fine in her early moments of just being put upon. She’s quite heartbreaking in just her simple reactions in her final scenes showing the disintegrating state of the character.)

Harris – (Her typical sort of period piece thing, but a fine example of it.)

Louis Morgan said...

Lange – 2(I kind of hated this performance. This as I felt Lange overacted every step of the way in creating this caricature of the lusty wife. This just hitting every note in such over the top broad strokes. This even in her later scenes of the changing really aren’t changing at all, but just continued to be these ridiculous notes of flamboyance. I’ll say the film itself isn’t Richardson’s finest hour being oddly a thriller and character drama crammed together. Lange’s work here just pure artifice and not in a way that relates to any truth.)

Hoop Dreams – (I’ll say slightly I suppose I didn’t quite love it as much as its reputation suggests. This as often stated the greatest documentary of all time, and as an avid Siskel and Ebert watcher, I was well aware of the film going in. I mean I think the dull narration honestly could only be gotten away with in a film that otherwise is as good as this one. This as the rest of the film is great in managing to artfully, again mainly through editing and juxtaposition, in not only covering so intimately the personal stories of the teenagers, but also just how many other topics it is able to cover within that. Whether that is overarching elements like race and exploitation within the basketball system, or the particularly personal in the relation with the parents.)

Heavenly Creatures – (I loved this film by Jackson who I felt was able to strike quite the balance in not making an exploitation of the murder but trying to grant a view of the horrible circumstances that led to it. This as he creates powerfully the sense of hysteria in his directing that grants you the perspective of both the girls, that shows both the spirited but also the destructive qualities of their fantasies. In turn though I think he balances this in keeping a sense of showing the failure of the parents with the right context of their own humanity. He importantly doesn’t villainize them, rather showing every one is kind a victim of a circumstance in a way.)

Red – (Just lovely in every way one can say in just the experience is so transfixing and yet so unique in its own way. This in finding kind of a complex way to tell a simple story, and granting such beauty to such simple moments. This in creating this fascinating kind of mystery towards the approach of the storytelling even as it maintains itself in a purely personal perspective. A perspective that so wonderfully realizes itself in such an articulate balance between purely visual moments, but also essential scenes of dialogue. I adored everything about the climax between the two central characters that was built on the stunning visual of the staging, from the storm to just the “red of it all, but yet never did this overcome the intimate beauty of learning the truth of “mystery” through a moment of such tenderness.)

Louis Morgan said...


Foster – 2(Well speaking of pure artifice….yeah I don’t believe this performance for a second. I find the whole thing feels like an idea of such a person fashioned for the most cloying and manipulative moments possible. Foster plays hard into every one of them in such an overtly calculated turn.)


Neeson - (Well this is a boring part, and Neeson plays it in an extremely boring way. He’s just lifeless here. I mean it isn’t a great part to begin with, but there is even a blueprint in Lew Ayres in Johnny Belinda a blueprint on how to do it. Well Neeson doesn’t do that.)

Luke & Lucas:

For Curtis apparently she was just deleted when I was copying over the old lineup for starters. She should be #11. For supporting I’ll admit I rushed a bit as it was the last thing I did before posting. Plummer should be #8 and Foster #14.

For Ed Wood I know what happened, as I couldn’t remember if it was adapted or original, and accidentally left it out of both lineups. It should be #2 in adapted.


Clerks I honestly think is only a minor step up from typical low budget schlock, this solely in Smith’s dialogue that is occasionally sort of cleverish, I guess, not always, and so often stilted as delivered. It really doesn’t have much insight, and really doesn’t develop itself into anything. It changes tones randomly, and a lot the scenes just kind of sits there. It really is a right time sort of film, by being one of the first to have characters talk like a “nerd” quite simply. This as the film itself isn’t anything great on its own, particularly the acting, which doesn’t have any hidden stars in the mix.

Shallow Grave is definitely one of Boyle’s best films where his style is not overdone and when it is more overt it actually is befitting to the circumstances. It is an effective off-beat sort of noir, of the type I like of the series of bad decisions in handling a “simple plan”. I do wish Peter Mullan wasn’t just a glorified extra in it, but nonetheless the three leads turn it into a memorable descent into a kind of madness.

Louis Morgan said...


1. Flirting With Disaster
2. Three Kings
3. The Fighter
4. Silver Linings Playbook
5. I Heart Huckabees
6. Spanking the Monkey
7. Joy
8. American Hustle

Louis Morgan said...


I will try to check those out. I tried to watch Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle but the copy I procured wasn't any good, though I'll see if I can find another way.


It's a wonderful little film, that was unexpected in many ways and quite surprising in some. This as the whole thing I expected more traditional coming out of one's shell rom com but there was a whole lot more to it, this particularly in the detail it granted to so many of the supporting characters. It cuts deeper in a lot of places than I expected, while also fulfilling what more I expected in being genuinely enjoyable and entertaining.

Calvin Law said...

Irene Jacob would've been such an inspired choice in Best Actress, it's a real shame they didn't go for her considering they quite loved the film. In fact, if they'd just gone a bit more international that year in the acting categories it would've been way cooler. Like, they clearly did in some of the technical categories, why not extend to the acting ones considering how boring some of their choices were. Also glad you enjoyed Muriel's Wedding.

Louis: your thoughts on the scene of Gareth producing the 'Not to be shown to the defence' evidence in 'In the Name of the Father'? While I agree that Thompson's role is pretty limited throughout I think she's genuinely amazing throughout that sequence (as are DDL of course, all the other bit players, and of course Sheridan's direction).

Calvin Law said...

And also your thoughts on Eat Drink Man Woman.