Tuesday, 27 September 2022

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 1981: Dennis Hopper in Out of the Blue

Dennis Hopper did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Don Barnes in Out of the Blue.

Out of the Blue is a brutal but effective film about a teenager Cebe (Linda Manz) attempting to exist within a wretched home life. 

Dennis Hopper acts and directs for the third time, and from what I've seen the most impressive work in terms of the latter skill. Hopper though plays an important role as Cebe's father Don who opens the film in a most curious and shocking way. As we witness the daughter and father riding together in his truck and Hopper brings this generous almost goofy energy to the dad being playful with his daughter before driving headfirst into a school bus filled with children, while he had been drinking of course. We don't meet him again until a little while into the film as Cebe and her mother visit him in jail. Hopper has a way of playing pathetic characters, as it seems like he can somehow cut right to it. In the scene, though he seemingly cuts towards something a little better it would seem as seeing his wife and daughter. There is a sense of palatable sadness in Don as he tries to speak to his daughters warmly. Hopper is great in the way his delivery trembles so much as he's speaking, attempting to talk to his family. Hopper is excellent in showing the man barely able to control his emotions as he actively falls apart in front of them. Hopper is great in this scene as he sets the audience up for a fall in a way, as he suggests a deeply flawed man however one who does care for his family regardless of the rather horrible crime that he committed. 

As the film goes on it is the unraveling of this life and the mysteries revealed of this state of Cebe in this world, a world that she always seems trying to escape in some way whether that is in music or putting herself in potentially dangerous situations. Hopper's performance then itself is an unraveling of sorts as Don gets out of prison. Hopper's first scene isn't all that alarming as he shows the man enjoying his freedom, greeting all those around, except Hopper's work is just almost a little too comfortable as the drinking killer, even if accidental, now drinks again without hesitation. This is broken when one of the fathers of the children Don murdered, Hopper is very specific in the act as he doesn't portray any overwhelming guilt in Don. Rather Hopper delivers his act of self-deprecation in front of the man isn't repentance it is basically this callous attempt to avoid the idea and not accept any real guilt. Hopper doesn't show a good man feeling at this moment, he portrays a man who almost treats the man as an inconvenience, there is some emotion but it is all frustration for himself rather than genuine feelings towards the man who he very much wronged. But we still have the central relationship with Cebe's right? Well, that is where one would be very wrong. 

Of course, Hopper presents seemingly the loving father with just how warm he is with Manz in every regard, he embraces her almost a as constant, and always seems truly an affectionate man, though one again casually drinking as he's driving once again. What is impressive is Hopper's complete natural segue in his behavior becoming this anger at his cheating wife with just this ease of his performance that makes it a simple part of his natural state. Hopper in the successive scenes makes an interesting choice where he basically presents this progressive drunkenness of Don that goes hand and hand with the descent of his behavior. Hopper shows greater anger, more of a slurred speech, and just a state of a certain despondency. Hopper almost portrays the drunken state as the man returning to this as his natural state, where we get to a most disturbing sequence. Hopper's sloppy drunk is terrifying as he so effortlessly shows the man going from just random drunk talk to suggesting the rape of his daughter. This informs the entirety of his performance though where it becomes clear that Don has been sexually abusive to his daughter the whole time. Hopper makes this most disturbing revelation as he has been in fact revealing the whole time by the closeness of the moments with Manz along with the blithe disregard for any kind of sense of decency at any time. Hopper makes this most unnerving because he shows this isn't some master plan from the character, no cloak and dagger, rather it is just part of his grotesque state of man, who isn't immediately alarming yet reveals himself to be the lowest of the low basically enabled by his drunkenness and self-loathing, yet never really guilt. Hopper creates Don as a man who exists in a simple state of almost detached horribleness, connected just enough to commit his crimes yet largely disconnected to the point of barely even recognizing them as crimes. It's a chilling portrait because while you don't see the revelation coming, when it happens Hopper has made it all make sense.  

99 comments:

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Sounds like he was close to a 5, seems like a very intriguing performance to examine.

Louis: Ratings and thoughts on the rest of the cast?

Tim said...

your thoughts on Hoppers Direction?

Marcus said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the "It was the look on their faces" scene from The Prestige?

Calvin Law said...

Yeah he's fantastic here, in all capacities.

On the subject of Bad Day at Black Rock, I'll add to it by saying I think it was the best handling of that kind of racial subject matter, period, and that fact that it came out in the same era as say, Breakfast at Tiffany's, just goes to show that sometimes it's not really about 'it was a different time', some directors/writers etc. were just more attuned into how things should've been done over others.

Calvin Law said...

Also, I saw The Quiet Girl yesterday which I loved and that's one I recommend everyone watch as a potential gem before they check off their 2022 lists (not least because I think it has a great shot at the International Film Oscar nom).

8000S said...

Louis: Your thoughts on Gordon Willis' work in Klute and The Parallax View.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Have you seen any 2022 releases in the past 6 weeks.

Ytrewq Wertyq said...

To also reference the topic of Indiana Jones from previous post, I hope Harrison Ford will be better in the upcoming 5th part than in Kingdom of Crystal Skul, so that the series (and his whole career, really) will come to conclusion on a high note. Judging by how passionate he seems to be about it as of now, we could be up for a big suprise once it hits the theaters.

RatedRStar said...

44% percent for Amsterdam on Metacritic hahaha lol, no positive reviews out of 5 so far, get the feeling that you won't see this on Oscar morning.

Luke Higham said...

Thank Christ! :)

Luke Higham said...

At least now we're near guaranteed a stronger lead lineup overall than last year.

Mitchell Murray said...

I asked this on the last post, but I'll repeat it here everyone: What are your thoughts on this cover of "Simple Man" by Jensen Ackles? I like it as the softer, soulful performance from Ackles is fitting with the story/tone being conveyed by the lyrics.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SniMv8EGiY&ab_channel=PinkLyrics

Luke Higham said...

Thoughts on Blonde and the cast with ratings.

Calvin Law said...

I watched Blonde. Left me cold pretty much entirely for its one note approach as a character study, though I did love the score, and de Armas does some impressive recreations of Marilyn onscreen.

Anonymous said...

Fincher's The Killer goes to 2023, right? Because I think it is unlikely that it will be released at the end of 2022 because so far very little has been reported, nor has a teaser or official image been released.

Matthew Montada said...

Calvin: ratings for the cast of Blonde?

Tim said...

Mitchell: he's certainly got a pretty nice timbre that i would like to hear for a song that requires more power behind it. Then again, maybe this style might also be the one that fits him the most?

Personnally i'm not the biggest Lynyrd Slynyrd person, bit if i way to hear this alone i would think it would be a normal country song. Not exactly my favorite, but i can listen to it fine.

I think it was mixed a bit weirdly though the background music was a bit too loud especially going into the bridge

Calvin Law said...

Matthew:

de Armas - 4.5
Brody - 3.5
Cannavale - 3
Samuel - 3
Nicholson - 4

Louis Morgan said...

Saw Blonde as well LOVED the aesthetic, thought de Armas was very impressive (though I think trying to get the voice right holds her performance back just a bit but her physical work is stellar), but....I think Dominick might just be Michael Cimino, sadly. The thematic point of the film is obvious and repetitious and so once you get what it's going for, you understand and then you just observe. Occasionally the sheer beauty of what's onscreen carries it, but it's not enough to carry three hours of exploring the same damaged psyche in what is in the end a fairly cursory and somewhat needlessly exploitative fashion (the over the top made up stuff seemed really unnecessary since there was already enough pain in Monroe's life). Maybe the fever dream approach could've worked if it had been cut WAY down, but as is, while isn't bereft of worthwhile elements (the cinematography in particular is just dynamite), there are some great isolated moments, I could never recommend this film.

de Armas - 4.5
Cannavale - 3.5
Brody - 3.5
Samuel - 2.5
Nicholson - 3.5

Tim said...

thoughts on the cast?

Louis Morgan said...

Tahmeed:

Farrell - 3(She's overall fine, but for me it felt like this role could've had a greater impact than she really delivers. Her work feels fairly on the surface and I think could've cut deeper.)

Gordon - 3.5(Quite good at just being grossly sleazy in the worst ways and this perpetual enabler of Hopper's character. Gordon differing his performance from Hopper by presenting a man who doesn't really even need drink to be his sleaziest)

Tim:

Hopper's direction here I'd say is most similar to Peter Bogdonavich's for The Last Picture Show in terms of creating a sense of place, but for a sense of a desolate space. The only thing that is missing is the black and white filmography, which is a masterstroke that Hopper's work doesn't quite have. Having said that Hopper's work is fairly remarkable here by being so matter of fact in his use largely of natural sound and natural sense of place. His approach to scenes are these slow build of conflict of real people just fighting. The most traumatic scene for example is quite shocking because Hopper doesn't put much on it, rather he shows it as that particularly unpleasant development of just in a primary state of being. Hopper's very light handed approach works well because I think to have been any firmer it would made it overtly melodramatic, which he surprisingly avoids for the most part, even with a most intense ending.

Marcus:

An all timer ending as far as I'm concerned as you see the contrast between really the motivations which Borden's was essentially to prove his capability, where Angier's specifically was for seeing the audiences appreciation. What I love though is that I'd say Nolan has a degree of sympathy in his presentation of Angier, despite his horribleness, by showing that particular aspect so purely, really almost as a filmmaker of Nolan's ilk is in fact to make an audience believe the unbelievable even if for only moment.

Louis Morgan said...

8000's:

I don't love Willis's work for Klute, there's some great shots in his idea of the splash of light in the color here and there, but more often than not I think this is an example where his overarching idea of cinematography falters just a bit, in that there are moments where I just go "yeah can't really see what's going on". Not all the time, but I don't think this film was the best example of his approach. Not that it is poorly shot, but I definitely don't love it.

Now the Parallax View I think goes to showing their refinement as a collaboration. One being the intensity of some of their choices in terms of the brilliantly composed grander shots, but also in his approach here of the bits of light in the darkness are far more distinct and pointed here. Here it totally works and feels far more immaculate, while also so potently creating the atmosphere of the shady paranoid world of the film.

Tim:

de Armas - (The material itself is actually pretty thin at times. Yet what she does in creating the real palatable sense of Monroe's physical energy is extremely impressive. There is a potent intensity about it even that is just marvelous. That is combined within her portrayal of all the anxieties that she is filled with which Armas is quite effective in creating the same intensity in the state of the opposite of that glamor. I will say the only problem is the film forces her mainly in these two notes, though I do think de Armas does find some nuance when she can, unfortunately the opportunities are a bit too limited on the whole. Her vocal work is again her weakest aspect, as you can her hear get it at times, yet then her natural accent cuts through, which is unfortunate because it is the only aspect of her performance that I would say you can feel the effort.)

Cannavale & Brody - (Although their relationships are both underwritten I did think both managed to give some sense of an actual human within their early moments despite the film again not really diving being a surface limit with both individuals, particularly not including DiMaggio's return near the end of Monroe's life seems like strange thing not to include. Still both suggest that if there had been an actual depth to the piece that they would've been up for it.)

Samuel - (His performance on the other hand is more emblematic of the excess and feels like too much of an over the top idea of a person than a genuine person at any point.)

Nicholson - (She too doesn't have too much to work with other than intense insanity which she is able to portray effectively, though I prefer Nicholson at her more naturalistic. Still in a more overt turn, I thought she did more than decently in creating the despondency of the character, if even again I wish there had been a bit more there.)

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Thoughts on Armas’s Oscar nom chances now that you’ve seen the film? Seems like the films’ even colder than Spencer was, so it might have a harder time reaching out to Academy members. Ana de Armas at this point may have a “welcome to the club” argument in her favor, but even then…

Anonymous said...

Louis, are you saving the leads of RRR by any chance?

Bryan L. said...

Anonymous: He said he’ll try and see a version in the original language first before giving full thoughts.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Louis: How likely is Caine getting a review for The Prestige? I fell like his work is the one I appreciate more and more on each viewing. Especially when he finds out the truth.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Caine's work in The Prestige is probably my favorite mentor performance by him, even more than Children of Men.

Bryan L. said...

2006 is the poster child of Caine’s mentor-performances, both within and against-type.

Louis Morgan said...

Bryan:

The only thing in her favor, other than strong personal notices and the fact that she's playing a noted real person, is that she's probably Netflix's best shot at an Actress contender. That is something. Having said that, Netflix may need to forget the race, as the film is even colder than Spencer, and to only exacerbate the unfriendliness of the film for the Academy voter, it is VERY NC-17, and not in a way that I imagine most voters would find very appealing.

Robert:

Very probable.

Perfectionist_ad said...

Out of curiosity, since you guys brought up Caine and 2006, what is your guys' pick for your favorite supporting performance of 2006??? Mine would be Carell in Little Miss Sunshine.

8000S said...

Louis: Not sure if he would have dedicated himself to a television series, but what do you think of Gene Hackman as Walter White in an 80's version of Breaking Bad?

Calvin Law said...

Perfectionist: Jackie Earle Haley in Little Children for Supporting Actor, Carmen Maura in Volver for Supporting Actress.

I don't think de Armas is getting in, because while playing a real person is one thing, putting said portrayal in a narrative like Blonde's is honestly a detriment I would say, where even something like Spencer I would argue has more warmth and less overt cruelty to its central figure, and there are other real person performances this year that will most likely take precedence.

Emi Grant said...

To add my two cents to Blonde: I just think it was painfully boring. So much so that it couldn't bring itself to say anything about its central figure other than midlessly cycling through misery for nearly 3 hours.

Idk if I would call Armas' performance even better than her work in Knives Out or BR2049, but she did well. While I wouldn't mind her getting nominated, I won't find myself being terribly excited for it.

I do think she'll probably need a huge awards boost to even make it given the current reception of her movie.

Side note: I rather liked Brody as Arthur Miller, though. Why don't they make his biopic with Adrien instead?

Emi Grant said...

Perfectionist: I second your pick of Carell for Sup. Actor, for Sup. Actress I'd go with Adriana Barraza on Babel.

Calvin Law said...

I try to avoid the word misery porn these days since it's often misused, but I do think it applies to this one.

Louis Morgan said...

8000's:

Well of course, though the transformation would be less surprising.

Calvin:

It's a fair description, sadly my concerns for why it kept getting pushed back just ended up being true, I can see exactly why Netflix was not in a hurry to get it out and at the very least had been trying to get Dominick to re-edit.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Would Blonde likely be your biggest disappointment of the year.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

No that would be Love and Thunder. I had kind of given up hope on Blonde being great with its constant release delays, it was worse than I expected it to be however.

Shaggy Rogers said...

Perfectionist: David Bowie in The Prestige for Supporting Actor and Mia Kirshner in Black Dahlia for Supporting Actress.

I saw Blonde and what a sour disappointment of the year, it's the Mank (most inferior) of 2022. Only De Armas is saved. Dominik was not the right director for the film, if it had been made by Pablo Larraín it certainly could have been better.

8000S said...

Louis: It seems like Guillermo Del Toro still wants to bring At the Mountains of Madness to the big screen, and is still rewriting the script. Thoughts on this?

If anything, At the Mountains of Madness has great potential to be a fantastic movie, and is usually considered to be one of Lovecraft's most adaptable works.

BRAZINTERMA said...

Hello Louis and folks!
Let's talk about some 1981 movie translations in non-English speaking countries. The names that were in Brazil were:

They All Laughed = Much Laughter and Much Joy
Pennies From Heaven = Money From Heaven
Blow Out = A Shot in the Night
Thief = Profession: Thief
Das Boot = The Boat: Hell at Sea
Road Warrior = Mad Max 2: The Hunt Continues
Stripes = Heavy Recruits
Cutter's Way = Murder Case

The list goes on...

BRAZINTERMA said...

Southern Comfort = The Final Showdown
Ragtime = In the Age of Ragtime
Garde à Vue / The Inquisitor = Citizen in Custody
Body Heat = Burning Bodies
Out of the Blue = Years of Rebellion
Scanners = Scanners: Your Mind Can Destroy
Eyewitness = Fatal Witness

BRAZINTERMA said...

Outland = Outland: Titanium Command
... All the Marbles = Tough Dawn / Tough Fall Girls
Buddy Buddy = Friends, Friends, Business Apart

Louis Morgan said...

Also decided to finally make a letterboxd account, if at the very least to create an easy access point for my thoughts on new films, though I will still post those here as well (they'll probably be the same thoughts though going forward), and for some random reviews here and there.

https://letterboxd.com/LouisMorgan/

8000's:

I mean I'm generally interested just for the visuals, though I hope he's just a little more reserved with the CGI than he was with Crimson Peak (which I think is that film's biggest failing).

Luke Higham said...

Happy to see you've joined Letterboxd. More content to look forward to. :)

Matthew Montada said...

Louis: very happy to see you using Letterboxd, Louis! Just gave you a follow request :)

Anonymous said...

Louis: From the Oscar telecasts you've watched live, which acting nominees do you think had the best clips of their work shown?

Tim said...

thoughts on the "Knock on the Cabin" trailer?

i might have a (at first) weird comparison: The Fisher King. Hear me out!

I have just re-watched that film yesterday (if that's not a sign, I don't know what is?), which for me works really well for about 2 hours, if you just see it as the story of a traumatized man trying to help another one. For that part, it's pretty grounded and works really well if you just see the legend of the Fisher King as a metaphor; it can totally work with it in that regard. Only afterwards it gets problematic for me (not just Jeff Birdges' extremely rushed character arc in the third arc, but also the entire handling of the symbolism in the last third; but that ain't the point right now))

The problem for me arrives when in the last third as the religious symbolism becomes literal (and targeted towards the wrong character, but i digress again) that that film falters for me.

I have the same fear with Knock at the Cabin.

Shyamalan is the kind of Director where i always peek up whenever his name is mentioned, the end-result be bad or good, i don't care.

The thing is: i fear this film might be pretty grounded for most of it's runtime (being about religious extreists) but might later on become too literal in that regard.

If it were to remain in the questionable state that the characters are in according to the trailer i may love it; if it were to become too religious towards the end i may hate it

Thinking about Old, i liked the prmise, but hated the handling of it

Emi Grant said...

Yoooo! Let's go, Louis! Welcome to Letterboxd!

Apologies in advance if you end up encountering my terrible profile's reviews, lol.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Anonymous: I know you didn't ask me, but I think the best Oscar clip is probably when they chose the 'I abandoned my child' scene from TWWB for Day-Lewis.

Tim said...

my general Shyamalan thought btw:

Have not seen his early work: not seen it

The Sixth Sense: pretty much a masterpiece. One of my favorite films and generally not one i find any actual problems in

Unbreakable: despite an anticlimactic ending, still really effective deconstruction of the idea of a superhero

Signs: really creepy idea with some of Mel's best acting- Already explained why i find the ending pretty good actually

The Village: mostly good athmosphere, but the ending twist is kind of unneeded (explained that one too already)

Lady in the Water: so bad it's funny (especially everything about M. Night's character

The Happening: Despite the "what? Nooooo" kind of acting, kind of interesting first half, really anticlimactic and boring second half

The Last Airbender: Garbage

After Earth: Garbage, though i blame that more on Will Smith

The Visit: kind of fun; some reeeeaaallllyyy obvious twists, but also a really good athmosphere (except for the little boy rapping, that parts i muted)

Split: I liked it. That's it *shrug*

Glass: I would probably have liked it more if it came out 20 years ago. Still had fun though (as a hater of the general idea of modern superhero-movies, it must be said); still found enough enjoyment in it

Old: had enough pretty creepy ideas, but sadly ended up too close to my thoughts on LinW

Mitchell Murray said...

Tim: Not that dissimilar from my thoughts on Shyamalan, to be honest.

As for "Knock at the Cabin", I must say if the trailer didn't mention his name, I would have guessed Shyamalan directed it based on the dialogue. There's just a certain structure or wording to his scripts that is very distinctive, if a bit stiff/unintentionally funny in his worst efforts. Beyond that, I don't have especially high expectations for the film. If it's good, then cool; If not, well...I wouldn't be that surprised either. The most intriguing part for me is Bautista, who in terms of genres/films he's appeared in, has been making some interesting career choices that people may not have immediately guessed from his stature/WWE fame.

Anonymous said...

Louis: thoughts on the Bones and All trailer

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Willem Dafoe - At Eternity's Gate
Everyone 2019 (Amazing montages there, wish that had become the go to format such a sleek and great way to show off the nominees.)
Javier Bardem - No Country For Old Men
DDL - There Will Be Blood

Tim:

I couldn't convince myself to watch Glass, or Old, doubt I will convince myself on this one, despite liking Bautista as an actor.

Anonymous:

One that if I don't like it, I'm likely to hate it. Having seen all of his feature films, except his critically panned first two films, and not loved any of them, can't say I have too much faith. Having said that I've heard great things about Rylance, who despite being barely featured still stood out in that trailer, so I am interested. Also Stuhlbarg looks surprisingly convincing as a redneck type.

Matt Mustin said...

Louis: Stuhlbarg kinda can make himself into any type he wants, it seems.

Bryan L. said...

I’m just glad to see Stuhlbarg doing films again. He was in everything from 2009-2017.

Also, not a knock on him in any way, but I love how he secured top-billing for Dr. Strange II when he’s not in it much.

Michael McCarthy said...

Not related to anything, but I just rewatched Coen’s Macbeth and I’m absolutely raising Alex Hassell to a 5 SPECIFICALLY for his last smirk to Fleance after finding him in the grass.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Based on Nightmare Alley, do you think Cooper would be a good choice for Rourke's role in a 2020s Angel Heart?

8000S said...

Tahmeed: Dafoe has to be Cypher for that 2020's Angel Heart.

BRAZINTERMA said...

Hello Louis and folks!
September to the end, say your predictions of the Oscar nominees 2023:

INTERNATIONAL FEATURE
All Quiet on the Western (Germany)
Argentina 1985 (Argentina)
Bardo (Mexico)
Decision to Leave (South Korea)
Mars One (Brazil). I hope it's Corpus Christi, Better Days and Lunana from the Oscars 2023.

ANIMATED FEATURE
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
Strange World
Turning Red
Wendell & Wild

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Glass Onion
She Said
The Son
The Whale
Women Talking

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Babylon
The Banshees of Inisherin
Everything Everywhere All at Once
The Fabelmans
TAR

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Jessie Buckley - Women Talking
Claire Foy - Women Talking
Stephanie Hsu - Everything Everywhere All at Once
Vanessa Kirby - The Son
Sadie Sink - The Whale

LEAD ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett - TAR
Olivia Colman - Empire of Light
Danielle Deadwyler - Till
Michelle Williams - The Fabelmans
Michelle Yeoh - Everything Everywhere All at Once

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Paul Dano - The Fabelmans
Brendan Gleeson - The Banshees of Inisherin
Judd Hirsch - The Fabelmans
Ke Huy Quan - Everything Everywhere All at Once
Ben Whishaw - Women Talking

LEAD ACTOR
Austin Butler - Elvis
Colin Farrell - The Banshees of Inisherin
Brendan Fraser - The Whale
Hugh Jackman - The Son
Bill Nighy - Living

DIRECTOR
Damien Chazelle - Babylon
Todd Field - TAR
Martin McDonagh - The Banshees of Inisherin
Sarah Polley - Women Talking
Steven Spielberg - The Fabelmans

PICTURE
Babylon
The Banshees of Inisherin
The Fabelmans
TAR
Women Talking
Avatar: The Way of Water
Elvis
Everything Everywhere All at Once
Top Gun Maverick
The Whale

BRAZINTERMA said...

My mistake, I replace Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin) in place of Vanessa Kirby.

8000S said...

BRAZINTERMA: If Avatar 2 gets nominated for Best Picture, I just might blow my brains out.

BRAZINTERMA said...

8000S: Avatar 2 will depend on public reception to be nominated.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

8000S: I'm definitely not taking that bet. I wouldn't count on it to get nominated right now, but I guess we underestimate Cameron at our peril lol.

Anonymous said...

A Community movie is happening on Peacock.

Michael McCarthy said...

Anonymous: IT SURE IS.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Robert Eggers' Nosferatu has been revived.

Louis Morgan said...

Tahmeed:

Based on Nightmare Alley, very much so.

Luke:

I mean I'm still excited due to Eggers, but Taylor-Joy being replaced by Depp is a serious casting downgrade.

Tony Kim said...

Louis - what are your thoughts on this interview with Andrew Dominik?
https://www.bfi.org.uk/sight-and-sound/interviews/im-not-interested-reality-im-interested-images-andrew-dominik-blonde

Robert MacFarlane said...

One thing I've noticed about Dominik is that he's gotten really resentful that Jesse James has grown so much in stature because it wasn't "his" cut. Starting to believe it's masterpiece *in spite* of him.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Have you started watching Community?

Louis Morgan said...

Tony:

Like I said Michael Cimino. I mean someone who says "Now people are expecting something a lot more salacious.", I mean dude did you watch your own movie, anyone who shoots the fellatio scene the way he shot it, and says that, completely lacks self-awareness. And dismissing Jesse James as "not his movie", I guess no wonder he's been on a downward slope. I must concur with Robert, seems like the "interference" actually is what made Jesse James come together as a masterpiece.

Tahmeed:

Not yet, though I probably should, though to clarify, is there any viewing order suggested, or just season 1 episode 1.

Michael McCarthy said...

Louis: I’d definitely recommend just watching from the beginning, even the bad episodes are pretty good in their own way of that makes sense at all.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Louis: Make sure to pirate Advanced Dungeons and Dragons in season 2, it’s pretty pivotal and was pulled on streaming.

Louis Morgan said...

Michael & Robert:

Thanks, I'll keep that in mind.

Tony Kim said...

Louis - What do you think of these alternative casting choices for Walter White?

Philip Seymour Hoffman
Michael Stuhlbarg
Robin Williams
Delroy Lindo

On the subject of Community, I'd agree that you should start with S1E1, with the caveat that it's substantially different from the show it becomes later on.

Louis Morgan said...

Tony:

Hoffman I think could've been great as he certainly could do submissive sap to kingpin with relative ease, and would have the charisma and even comic chops needed for the part.

Stuhlbarg I think could do early Walter, I'm not sure about later Walter.

Williams could do both meek and menacing, however his menacing was more introverted psychopathic than gangster killer type, so I can't fully see him.

Lindo definitely would've had the range for both sides, though maybe too physically impressive to be as believable for when Walter gets menaced, however I think he definitely could play meek.

Shaggy Rogers said...

Louis: Tell the decade and cast of Nightmare Alley if it was directed by Billy Wilder and George Stevens.

Matt Mustin said...

There's a lot of people who still stand by Killing Them Softly as a great movie, but... it's not.

8000S said...

Louis: Speaking of Nosferatu, what are your thoughts on Murnau's direction of the 1922 version?

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the scene where Mike warns Jimmy about proceeding any further with Walter?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQVkx8fQ0mU

And the scene where Saul does so anyway?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDX61C8Rcgw

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Great to see Rollins upgraded to a 5 for Ragtime :)

Luke Higham said...

Pleased for Rollins. :)

Matt Mustin said...

Finished the second season of The Americans, which I LOVED even more than the first one. This is an incredible show, could end up an all-time favourite if it maintains this quality.

Cast Ranking
1. Matthew Rhys
2. Keri Russell
3. Owen Campbell (He brings a lot of emotion whenever he appears and is just absolutely flat-out amazing in his final scene)
4. Michael Aronov (Comes in and out, but his major scene is completely heartbreaking)
5. Lee Tergesen
6. Noah Emmerich
7. Holly Taylor
8. Annet Mahendru
9. Costa Ronin
10. Lev Gorn
11. John Caroll Lynch
12. Margo Martindale (Not much of her, but good like always)
13. Aimee Carrero
13. Alison Wright (Liked her a lot more this season because her performance felt more consistent and much less random, but she's still far from the most interesting character)
14. Richard Thomas
15. Reg Rogers
16. Wrenn Schmidt
17. Susan Misner
18. Keidrich Sellati (Honestly, not even really bad, he's just basically an afterthought half the time)

Calvin Law said...

What more can a man say to Rollins being upgraded to a 5 besides thank you and what a good use of a fruit basket.

Shaggy Rogers said...

Hey guys
Well now with Rollins high let's go back in time to October 26, 2011 and tell your rankings of the 1981 Supporting Actor nominees. My ranking:

1. John Gielgud
2. Howard Rollins
3. Jack Nicholson
4. Ian Holm
5. James Coco

Ytrewq Wertyq said...

Louis: your past and present roles for Steve Zahn and your thoughts on him as an actor?

Bryan L. said...

Regarding Dominik/The Assassination of Jesse James, I’ve always had the impression that Brad Pitt himself had a big role in the film turning out the way it did, with him being a producer. He even had a clause in his contract stating that the films’ title would not be changed at all. Based on Dominiks’ comments, seems like it may be true.

Anonymous said...

Shaggy:
1. Rollins
2. Gielgud
3. Holm
4. Nicholson
5. Coco

ruthiehenshallfan99 said...

Welcome to letterboxd, Louis!

Very late to that party haha


Saw The Paradine Case, and of the movies I've seen, it's easily my least favorite Hitchcock. This was a Selznick production, and for the first time for me... that's a negative. It feels like Hitchcock just coasted along with this one, but hey, the cinematography was great. I'll give cast ratings a bit later.

Marcus said...

Louis: Considering Breaking Bad, El Camino and Better Call Saul together, what would you say are your top 15 performances across the three of them?

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your ratings and thoughts for The Greatest Beer Run Ever cast?

Matt Mustin said...

Watched In The Soup (1992). It meanders a little in the middle, but not too much, and overall it's an intriguing and off-beat movie with a fantastic performance from Seymour Cassel.

Buscemi-4(Perfectly cast as the nebbish wannabe filmmaker and does a good job of finding the right tone of the film, especially in his narration, but the film belongs to his co-star)

Cassel-5(Amazing work. He juggles all the different elements of this character perfectly and shapes them all into an endlessly fascinating performance.

Beals-3.5

Patton-3

Jarmusch-3

Kane-3(Pretty much her usual thing, but I enjoy that)

Boyar-3.5

Tucci-1.5(Massively annoying)

Rockwell-2.5(He's not in it much and the role is literally just "simple mentally-challenged person" complete with a safety helmet, but honestly Rockwell makes it as genuine as it possibly could have been. But there's really not much of him.)

Calvin Law said...

I just watched The Greatest Beer Run Ever too. Kinda makes me appreciate something like A Taxi Driver a bit more in terms of tonal shifts, or something like Da 5 Bloods in terms of how it depicts Vietnam (though both aren't perfect films). Efron was solid though.

Matthew Montada said...

Calvin: ratings for the cast of The Greatest Beer Run Ever?

Calvin Law said...

Efron: 3.5
Crowe: 3.5
Murray: 3
Everyone else is either okay but kinda dull or too broad and annoying

Louis Morgan said...

Shaggy:

Stevens 1950's:

Stanton: James Dean
Molly: Natalie Wood
Zeena: Ida Lupino
Helen Walker: Rita Hayworth
Grindle: Raymond Massey
Pete: Van Heflin
Clem: Thomas Mitchell

Wilder 1960's:

Stanton: Jack Lemmon
Molly: Tuesday Weld
Zeena: Cloris Leachman
Helen Walker: Ava Gardner
Grindle: Melvyn Douglas
Pete: Donald Pleasence
Clem: Robert Preston


8000's:

Silent direction is a little different given the image is everything, and this instance Murnau is at least in part crafting the genre, though there were horror films before this, it is an essential step. The fundamental choices of Murnau are around the character of Orlok. The major choice being turning from the suave vampire Dracula, to the rat like Orlok who is defined by the plague, something he supplements particularly in the ship sequence. where Murnau punctuates his movements with rats. The character though represents basically this dying rot, and that is even found in his depiction that always emphasizes his unnatural corpse like appearance, a truly undead creature. This imagery being new at the time, with the unnatural Orlok's stair walk still being just a chilling visual. Now outside of the scenes with Orlok the film isn't as inspired, more overall straight forward though in terms of being made with a talented silent filmmaker that was Murnau.

Louis Morgan said...

Bryan:

That's the best pre-finale flashback scene, as we see Saul's interest isn't in the money with Walter, but the thrill of the "untapped potential" and kind of wild act, seeing how just like Walter's pride was his downfall for Saul it was insatiable urge for the trick, the shortcut, the con.

Other than seeing the difference in Odenkirk's performance (he plays Saul a bit more nefariously at the beginning of the scene, in the Breaking Bad scene which I don't think it's entirely situational rather natural evolution of his performance). The scene originally is designed almost as a threat offer, with particularly how Odenkirk opens, though one could argue it is him "making the sale" as he switches more to the Saul we know as he ends the scene that is fitting to the later made scene, as the guy who really just wants in.

Ytrewq:

A reliable enough presence actor, although I would say typically he's a big pigeonholed as slightly goofy guy, where I think he has an inverse relationship with his comedic sensibilities where the worse the material the harder he is trying to make it work, the bigger he gets, which gets sometimes too big, but decent material he finds a more subdued, though still heightened manner. His dramatic work is hard to fully gauge as his Rescue Dawn performance is entirely great and I've never seen anything else from him that comes close to it, however I haven't seen him fail to reach such a performance either, just the opportunities haven't been there. He has been more than decent in his more limited dramatic roles.

Marcus:

1. Bryan Cranston
2. Aaron Paul
3. Rhea Seehorn
4. Jonathan Banks
5. Bob Odenkirk
6. Giancarlo Esposito
7. Michael McKean
8. Anna Gunn
9. Michael Mando
10. Tony Dalton
11. Dean Norris
12. Mark Margolis
13. Jesse Plemons
14. Betsy Brandt
15. Robert Forster

Tahmeed:

Efron - 3.5(I've actually typically mostly liked his attempts to sort of breakout his expected type, but he's yet to have truly great material to work with (well other than Chris-R's monologue of course). Sometimes with a performance you need to look at the assignment, and for this assignment I have to say he really did to try to do his best. I think he caught up with a little bit of the badness of his co-stars in the opening scenes, though never gets fully pulled down with them. Once he gets away from the rotten ensemble I thought he managed the tone a bit better than the film in terms of switching between moments of comedy, which I thought he did well by playing it as straight within the sense of the character just being a bit dumb, and the heavy dramatic moments, as heavy-handed as they are, I think he hit them with the right straight forward emotion.)

Crowe - 3.5(He gives the hardboiled war photographer performance of a better film. He plays he totally straight and gives a decent authenticity to his work even while it is absent in the film. Unfortunately he isn't in the film all that much, but when he and Efron are together the film comes closest to genuinely working.)

Murray - 2(See I thought he was bad just like the rest of the New York crowd with it all tipped too much towards caricature, making the sort of random dramatic lines feeling extremely phony. Although looking at the history of Murray's performances in general it seems like it is best if he just avoids heavily accented work in general.)

Ytrewq Wertyq said...

Agree on Zahn in comedies, but even if this type of material gets trashy, he can be interesting: I've recently watched National Security and SZ's increasingly frustrated reactions to Martin Lawrence's truly insufferable character (the only live action performance of Lawrence I've seen and with that I've likely seen them all, really) were the only thing supporting that shitty movie, up to the point I started full-on cheering when Zahn delivered The Line during the garbage boat scene.