Monday, 24 July 2017

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 1954: Fredric March in Executive Suite

Fredric March did not receive an Oscar nomination, despite being nominated for a BAFTA, for portraying Loren Phineas Shaw in Executive Suite.

Executive Suite is a rather effective drama about the power struggle that ensues in a successful company after their president dies without leaving an obvious successor.

Executive Suite follows the several vice presidents of the company dealing with the calamity. The two strongest figures shown in the film are William Holden's McDonald "Don" Wallin against March's Shaw. Now March's performance is essential to the film in more ways than you may initially expect. Now on one hand this is simply an engaging performance, as March tends to be when he dials it back a bit playing to his strengths as a performer. That is what March does here as he carries his very distinct and assured presence to the role of Shaw. March brings that confidence to the role to create Shaw as a powerful figure in the company. March is innately compelling here as he offers such an efficiency in his performance, so rarely wasting time on the wrong emotions which is quite fitting to his character. This is part of March's performance which is always very much on point and straight forward in a remarkable way. In that there is nothing dull in this as March in particular makes the technical dialogue involving the company not only effortless in his delivery yet always comprehensible. When in the early scenes of the film Shaw figures out what happens and takes immediate action, March brings an incisiveness not only in words but also through his very assured physical body language as he carefully breaks down the reasoning behind his actions.

Now this is where March's performance though goes beyond in terms of how it amplifies the film. There are elements to the film that could have made it potentially into a more hamfisted morality play particularly in the role of Shaw. March's work is what avoids this problem. It would easy to imagine Shaw being made into an overt villain, but March wisely avoids this and in turn avoids simplifying the drama. March importantly always plays the role as a man who believes he is doing the right thing throughout the film. Again in that early scene where he establishes basically his authority, where technically Shaw is just assuring that the company will not collapse, March presents a confidant man yet not an egotistical one as he could have been here. There is a sense of righteousness but not a sanctimonious self-righteousness. March brings what is a genuine passion within his words that reflect the will of a man who is looking beyond himself even as he does take steps to try to secure his position as president. When he's making his moves within the story Shaw moves with precision but again March plays these scenes by emphasizing how Shaw working towards his goal. When he negotiates even with the less savory men of the company, March delivers his lines in a direct fashion again reinforcing that this is not a game to Shaw, but something he feels must be done.

The plot comes to a head with the final voting to determine who will be the next president and what their exact vision for the company is. Shaw offers his vision which is essentially to keep things as they are but in doing so ensuring the greatest dividends to their stockholders. In this explanation March gives it all the sincerity and certainty of a seasoned and intelligent businessman. There is no purposeful stubbornness in March's approach but a very direct earnestness behind the explanation. Now this is a low key earnestness to be sure, but March uses that so well to give his view that paints Shaw as a reasonable man who wants what he believes to be best for the company. Even as the first vote does not exactly go his way March is very good in revealing a bit more emotion in Shaw. March even in this stays true to his approach and plays this emotion most strongly as a quiet frustration that they are making things more difficult for the company. I particularly like his scene with Louis Calhern's more amoral board member, where March just presents such a genuine disbelief that the fool would sabotage his own desires by voting against him. March portrays no real anger, but rather reinforces the nature of Shaw by only being confused by the man's actions. When Holden's Don presents his view with a stirring speech, March earns the acceptance in Shaw due to his reactions not being of a man being defeated but rather taking in the idea and seeing that they could work towards the success of the company. March's performance here keeps the film from becoming too black and white by providing a real opposition to what becomes the final message. He never allows Shaw to be a straw man by not only delivering his view as a reasonable alternative but also creating three dimensional character who is merely doing what he believes is the right.

95 comments:

Anonymous said...

Louis: Rating and thoughts on the rest of the cast

joe burns said...

It sounds like an excellent performance!

Is that Clark Gable on the bottom?

Luke Higham said...

Joe Burns: Robert Shaw.

You've been away too long.

Luke Higham said...

This could be the first Bonus Lead lineup without a five.

Charles Heiston said...

I think Guinness or Quinn could surprise. Although the top 5 in Louis' lead line up for this year is untouchable.

This is my favorite March performance.

Calvin Law said...

Nice, gonna check this one out too.

Louis: your top 10 Ralph Richardson acting moments.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: What did you think of that Grey Worm/Missandei scene.

Michael McCarthy said...

Really dug March here. Honestly even though the film is fine as is, I think it could have been fascinatingly subversive if it was from March's character's point of view. Like, the same story, but we find out more about Shaw's background and personal life and Holden's character's outlook is presented as oversimplified idealism.

Michael McCarthy said...

Also, I'm hoping for a 5 for Guinness. I probably like the performance more than most for personal reasons but I would argue that it's kind of ahead of its time.

Luke Higham said...

Michael McCarthy: I hope you're right. It's a terrific performance and one that I completely forgot about when '54 came up.

Louis: Are there any re-watches planned for '92 aside from The Crying Game and maybe The Last Of The Mohicans.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I hope Boggart can go up in the rankings, I always found him rather tragic in Caine Mutiny. Also hope McMurraycan go up.

Anonymous said...

Louis: your top 10 Raul Julia and Christoph Waltz acting moments.

Anonymous said...

So, guys, here's a scene and a trailer from the Death Note live-action movie.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTLnDIeSZr8

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: I've read some Pre-Release reviews and it's not looking good, they even had issues with Stanfield.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Do you think you could upgrade Bogart to a 4 for his performance in The Caine Mutiny?

Anonymous said...

Luke: I'm reading that Stanfield's performance borders on parody, which means that Robert probably won't like it.

Charles Heiston said...

Anonymous: I'm a pretty big Death Fan and that doesn't look great to me. And hearing reviews it's something i won't keep my hopes up for.

Michael McCarthy said...

Concerning the Death Note movie, all I'm really hoping for now is that they keep in Light's line, "I'll take a potato chip...AND EAT IT."

Anonymous said...

Detroit and Logan Lucky are getting great reviews as expected =)

Robert MacFarlane said...

I've read the spoilers for the movie, and it sounds like they did everything I didn't want them to do, especially with Light. I'm still curious, but I ended up spending the past two days writing an American adaptation in my head.

Robert MacFarlane said...

My idea for Death Note would be as an anthology series. The structure would be that each season deals with a new Death Note user. The first season would be about Light, but once he dies, the next season moves on to a character like Mikami or Misa. The story would essentially be the first few volumes of the manga, but also as a pseudo-character study about sociopathy. I'd end it around the time whenever Misa would have entered the plot, since of Light's best moments happened before that point.

Calvin Law said...

I don't know much about Death Note, but it does seem that most of these adaptations of well-known/beloved source materials would be better served by anthology television series.

Robert MacFarlane said...

From the spoilers and reviews I've read, it sounds like Wingard condensed the plot into a rushed, awkward package while making it into a weird horror comedy whenever he could. If he wanted to do the latter, he probably should have just thrown out everything except the notebook and did that.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your rating for Lea Thompson in Back To The Future Part II.

Calvin Law said...

I think I've finally realized the core of why Breaking Bad is so great. Your sympathies keep changing. I'm so invested in Walt's predicament, and yet whenever he manipulates Hank and Jesse, or even Skyler, it's really irking me and making me sympathize with them. He's a magnificent bastard.

Also, Louis and everyone else, what are your thoughts on the characters of Lydia and Ted Beneke? I really despise them so far, but I'm not sure how much of it is the performances themselves (I'm only on episode 5 so maybe the former changes a bit).

Calvin Law said...

And damn, fucking hell Todd.

Michael McCarthy said...

There's always been something about Laura Fraser's performance as Lydia that never quite worked for me.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your top ten Actor's Directors currently working and of all-time. E.g. PTA, Martin McDonagh

Calvin Law said...

Louis: your thoughts on 'Face Off', 'Live Free or Die', and 'Dead Freight'.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the songs "The Touch" and "Instruments of Destruction".

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: While I do know that BB's 'Ozymandias' is your favorite episode of TV, could I have some extended thoughts on it?

Anonymous said...

Tahmeed: You know, I've been watching My Hero Academia and it's pretty good.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Holden - 4(He's good here in that he does not make Don excessively the "goodguy" either though he of course also presents himself as the guy who believes himself to be right. Holden actually does find a bit of a complication in basically finding a certain natural inclination not to take a stand at first. He shows this just to be the man whose kept his frustrations towards the company in until his big speech, which Holden delivers quite effectively though I would say it's a good speech not quite a great one.)

Pidgeon - 3.5(Does more than a fine job as usual as the man who believes he's taking the right option by supporting Holden's ideas. Brings the right sort of natural warmth to his role that works well as sort of the elder statesman who would rather encourage the leader than lead himself.)

Douglas - 3(In typical Douglas form he does have some moments where he goes a bit too big for his own good, but he reigns himself in most of the time though and certainly still gets across his character's constantly nervous state of essentially the salesman.)

Stanwyck - 3.5(Would be higher if it were not for her breakdown scene that does feel a bit too overcooked. She's good though in portraying her character's state of vapidness with only the slight decline into a depression or upswing back into that almost fugue state of someone who has lost all their passions for life.)

Calhern - 3.5(Calhern tends to be good in these amoral roles and that's the case here as the brings the right sleaze into his portrayal of the narrow view of the man who only cares about the decision in terms of how it directly effects his finances. Calhern's good though because of how unabashed he is in it showing a man quite comfortable in his greedy state.)

Jagger - 3(Actually underused here though I did like him in his brief screentime in portraying just the stubborn state of his character who is just doing what he's going to do seemingly no matter what.)

Foch - 4(I was rather impressed by her work here given that she really doesn't say anything of note, her performance is basically a series of reaction shots and her character going through very straightforward lines of doing the secretarial work. What is impressive is that Foch finds her character within those reactions and effectively portrays not only her emotional changes throughout the events, but also her quiet influence upon them.)

Winters - 4(As per usual she's great even though she only has a few minutes of screentime Winters makes her impact as you'd expect her to. Winters really realizes the brassy personality so well and even makes her chemistry with Douglas not only feel genuine but also ends up making that relationship rather moving as well. She's not a one note mistress, but rather portrays an honest affection and portrays so well her character as sort of an inspirational force.)

Allyson - 3.5(Allyson I also found did rather well within again the limitations in creating a convincing relationship with Holden, but also created an agency in her role. When she speaks to her husband she never plays it with a confusion, but rather her own awareness creating the right sense that she is trying to influence her husband even in what might seem like more superfluous moments.)

Joe:

Hey Joe.

Calvin:

Richardson:

1. Sloper interrogates Morris - The Heiress
2. Durrance's realization - The Four Feathers
3. Sloper reveals his feelings towards his daughter - The Heiress
4. Baines tells Phillipe of his African Adventure - The Fallen Idol
5. Confronting Willems - Outcast of the Islands
6. Baines denies his stories - The Fallen Idol
7. Conspiring with Richard - Richard III
8. Carson dresses down Wilde - Oscar Wilde
9. Becoming lost in the desert - The Four Feathers
10. Being turned down - The Citadel

Louis Morgan said...

Lydia is kind of intolerable, part intentionally, part not so much I will admit which I think does come Fraser's performance which feels like a step below when it comes to that cast. I actually like Cousins as Beneke, though his character is not the most likable.

Face Off - (I actually don't think this is one of the great Breaking Bad episodes, there are some minor quibbles I have in it, but it's still a great episode as TV goes. As it is a successful final climax that does feel fitting and satisfactory. As usual the moments not only are steeped in character, the look is as powerful as the blast in many ways, yet is always so entertaining all the same.)

Live Free Or Die - (A great new chapter that again wastes no time in setting off our characters to their next path. I love that the episode returns to some of the straight pure "fun" more common in the earlier seasons, showing perhaps the path of Walter and Jesse returning to the old days. It only gets better with Mike being made a full time partner as the three play off each other so well. That is only part of it though and I love the framing flash forward that suggests things to come with that moment perhaps only being respite in the character's journey.)

Dead Freight - (One of the best episodes of the series. The episode could be a full plot to a heist movie with how wildly entertaining it is in depicting the setup, the planning then the execution of the heist. As usual with Breaking Bad though it shows the thrill of crime, but then so bluntly shows that it will always pay in horrible ways you would not imagine.)

Luke:

They're still in the show?

Well see when we get there.

4

Anonymous:

Julia:

1. Kiss of the Spider Woman - Kiss of the Spider Woman
2. Opening - Kiss of the Spider Woman
3. Goodbye - Kiss of the Spider Woman
4. Remembering Mara - Kiss of the Spider Woman
5. "It was Tuesday" - Street Fighter
6. Diarrhea - Kiss of the Spider Woman
7. Pax Bisonica - Street Fighter
8. "You Came here expecting to find a mad man, Instead you found a GOD!" - Street Fighter
9. Romero's final sermon - Romero
10. The Mamushka - The Addams Family

Waltz:

1. Visiting Monsieur La Padite - Inglorious Basterds
2. Surprise appearance - Inglorious Basterds
3. "Fur Elise" - Django Unchained
4. Qohen tries to understand the purpose of the Theorem - The Zero Theorem
5. Speaking Italian - Inglorious Basterds
6. Killing the Sheriff - Django Unchained
7. The shoe fits - Inglorious Basterds
8. Qohen meets with management - The Zero Theorem
9. Bingo - Inglorious Basterds
10. King's arrival - Django Unchained

Anonymous:

It's possible.

Anonymous:

The Touch - (I mean this song is amazing, perhaps not in the RIGHT ways per say. I mean after all somehow Mark Wahlberg singing it terribly makes it better. By on a side note couldn't they at least given all of us a second cover by Wahlberg given his appearance in Transformers, perhaps randomly breaking out in any given scene, but I digress. This is some beautiful eighties cheese in every way from the fairly nonsensical lyrics to the commonly odd choices in instrumentation, and transitions. Still this song is something special with all its random riffs, and passionate singing nonetheless.)

Instruments of Destruction - (This one is also pure eighties, yet I will say far less appealing in this. Feeling far more a rather severe knockoff hair metal sound that does not really stand out on its own with some lyrics that make the Touch sound like "Hey Jude". There is still some fun to be had, but it's pretty messy in a far less endearing way.)

Louis Morgan said...

Tahmeed:

Let me get back to you on that.

Calvin Law said...

Well I see what you and the rest love about Mike now that I've seen 'Say My Name'. He was great these past few episodes, though I'd still say that Cranston's my MVP for Season 5 so far. '

Louis: In a UK version of BB (and I assume Better Call Saul), I assume there'd be no better choice for Mike than Mark Rylance eh?

Matt Mustin said...

Louis: I'm glad you mentioned "Fur Elise" as one of Walt's best scenes. The horror he shows building inside with just his face is pretty extraordinary.

Calvin Law said...

Michael and Louis: agreed, I completely forgot how great he was in that scene.

Calvin Law said...

*Matt

Michael McCarthy said...

Calvin: I actually think I'd go to with Ray Winstone for Mike.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Working:

Paul Thomas Anderson
David Lynch
Quentin Tarantino
The Coen Brothers
Martin McDonagh
Nicolas Winding Refn
Wes Anderson
Andrew Dominik
Jeff Nichols
Michael R. Roskam

All-Time:

Ingmar Bergman
Paul Thomas Anderson
David Lynch
Billy Wilder
Quentin Tarantino
The Coen Brothers
William Wyler
Elia Kazan
David Lean
Robert Altman

Calvin:

Sadly he's no longer with us, but Bob Hoskins.

Calvin Law said...

Oh gosh, Hoskins would have been perfect.

Calvin Law said...

Winstone would be great too. And Peter Capaldi as Saul.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

Actually I'd say Rylance would be the perfect Walter.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the conversation scene between Hunsecker, Falco and Senator Walker in Sweet Smell of Success.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: agreed, with maybe Riz Ahmed as Jesse.

Matt Mustin said...

If we're going with this UK Breaking Bad thing, maybe Toby Jones as Todd.

Calvin Law said...

Mark Addy as Hank, Ruth Wilson as Skyler.

Michael McCarthy said...

Isn't Toby Jones a little old for Todd? I can totally see him as Gale though.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Taron Egerton as Todd.

Calvin Law said...

Eddie Redmayne as Todd would be surefire entertainment, for better or worse. Imagine him doing that bizzare grin of his while waving; chilling.

Matt Mustin said...

Yeah, actually Toby Jones is a bit too old. I agree with Calvin, Eddie Redmayne could probably work.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your 2010s cast for Where Eagles Dare, A Bridge Too Far and Saving Private Ryan.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Where Eagles Dare:

Smith: Guy Pearce
Schaffer: Jon Bernthal
Ellison: Rebecca Ferguson
Schmidt: Diane Kruger
Turner: Clive Owen
Rolland: Ralph Fiennes
Christiansen: Andrew Lincoln
Jones: Bradley Whitford
Kramer: Thomas Kretschmann
von Hapen: Daniel Bruhl


A Bridge Too Far:

Browning: Ian Glen
Dohun: Ben Foster
Vandeleur: Jack Davenport
Urquhart: Richard Dormer
Horrocks: Benedict Cumberbatch
Stout: James Franco
Frost: Michael Fassbender
Gavin: Chris Evans
Cook: Chris Pine
Ludwig: Sebastian Koch
Bittrich: August Diehl
Dr. Spaander: Max von Sydow
Kate ter Horst: Carice van Houten

Saving Private Ryan:

Miller: Joel Edgerton
Reiben: Michael Angarano
Horvath: James Badge Dale
Jackson: Nicholas Hoult
Goldberg: Emory Cohen
Wade: Will Poulter
Upham: Sam Riley
Ryan: Jack O'Connell

Calvin Law said...

I'm thinking David Mackenzie for that A Bridge Too Far remake.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: thoughts on Lavell Crawford and Bill Burr on Breaking Bad?

Calvin Law said...

Also you guys were right about Odenkirk bring particularly good in showing how the underworld affects the characters.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your casts for 1940's versions of A Bridge Too Far and Where Eagles Dare.

Anonymous said...

Just watched Dunkirk. What a great film.
Ratings:
Whitehead: 3,5
Glynn-Carnay: 3
Lowden: 3,5
Styles: 3,5
Barnard: 3,5
D'Arcy: 3,5
Keoghan: 3
Branagh: 4
Murphy: 4
Hardy: 3,5
Rylance: 4,5

Robert MacFarlane said...

I'm a little more than halfway through Strangers Things, and I don't really think I like it.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

A great scene to be sure that sets up so well Hunsecker's particular sort of power among all as he controls and demeans everyone so specifically all with that sense of superiority within it. Even when he suggests as though he is helping the senator there is the sense of control and power in this with such a powerful ego within Lancaster's work.

Calvin:

Burr and Crawford - (The comic relief sidekicks to the comic relief, but not at all redundant. They technically are even more straight forward in this than Badger and Skinny Pete, since there's no pathos to them nor should there be. These two are here just to be funny and that they are, though I will say they are used just the right amount in the series overall. Crawford being such a hilariously unassuming "muscle", while Burr offering his expected random intensity that is used so well here as the bumbling henchman. I particularly love his reaction after Ted's makes a most unfortunate dive.)

Anonymous:

Luke:

Where Eagles Dare:

Smith: Laurence Olivier
Schaffer: Robert Mitchum
Ellison: Vivien Leigh
Schmidt: Ingrid Bergman
Turner: George Sanders
Rolland: Herbert Marshall
Christiansen: James Mason
Jones: Leo G. Carroll
Kramer: Conrad Veidt
von Hapen: Norman Lloyd


A Bridge Too Far:

Browning: Charles Laughton
Dohun: Dana Andrews
Vandeleur: John Williams
Urquhart: Ralph Richardson
Horrocks: Robert Donat
Stout: Joseph Cotten
Frost: Trevor Howard
Gavin: James Stewart
Cook: Kirk Douglas
Ludwig: Walter Slezak
Bittrich: Otto Preminger
Dr. Spaander: Jean Hersholt
Kate ter Horst: Malene Dietrich

Anonymous said...

Louis what would be your choices for the UK Breaking Bad villains?

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Well in this fantasy assumption I'd say you'd have to change more than a few things and replace say the cartel with some sort of Irish connection so with that in mind:

Tuco(equivalent): Aidan Turner
Hector(eq): Stephen Rea
Eladio(eq): Ciaran Hinds
Gus(eq): Mads Mikkelsen(Allude towards a background in Bosnia)
Jack: Mark Strong

Calvin Law said...

I was thinking Burn Gorman or David O'Hara would be a fantastic equivalent to Tuco.

Calvin Law said...

And yeah, was thinking with Stephen Rea with Hector as well. I was thinking also that Peyman Moaadi could make a pretty great equivalent to Gus.

Matt Mustin said...

Calvin: David O'Hara would be perfect.

Calvin Law said...

Well just finished Ozymandias. Lived up to the hype and more. Incredible direction, devestating opening, incredibly taut pace throughout, and that phone call from Cranston was all-time great acting. Also, everyone was on their A-game in this episode, especially Mitte, Gunn, Bowen, and Norris.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Anonymous: Really glad you like it. It gets better as it goes along, and the second season has twice the episodes. :)

Louis: Could I have your thoughts on "Ozymandias" now.

Calvin Law said...

Well I just finished the whole series. Amazing finale, and Cranston/the writing behind Walter White and how things wrap up was so brilliant and satisfying.

My ranking of the cast overall:

1. Bryan Cranston
2. Aaron Paul
3. Giancarlo Esposito
4. Dean Norris
5. Bob Odenkirk
6. Jonathan Banks
7. Anna Gunn
8. Jesse Plemons
9. Mark Margolis
10. David Costabile
11. Matt L. Jones
12. Charles Baker
13. John de Lancie
14. Betsy Brandt
15. Raymond Cruz
16. Jere Burns
17. RJ Mitte
18. Maximino Arciniega
19. Steven Michael Quezada
20. Lavell Crawford
21. Bill Burr
22. Krysten Ritter
23. Jim Beaver
24. Michael Bowen
25. Robert Forster
26. Steven Bauer
27. Christopher Cousins
28. Jeremiah Bitsui
29. Laura Fraser
30. Emily Rios

Calvin Law said...

Would you guys recommend jumping right into Better Call Saul, or giving it a bit of space first?

Robert MacFarlane said...

Okay, finished Stranger Things. I tapped into its wavelength near the end, but overall I was bewildered by the enthusiastic reception it got. The 80's pop culture allusions were even more obnoxious than Super 8 (though not nearly as insincere as that was). The characters were largely thin, but a few were surprisingly subversive. My ranking of the main cast:

1. Millie Bobby Brown
2. David Harbour
3. Joe Keery (Side Note: Steve is best written for my money)
4. Charlie Heaton
5. Matthew Modine
6. Gaten Matarazzo
7. Ross Partridge
8. Cara Buono
9. Wenona Ryder
10. Natalie Dyer
11. Caleb McLaughlin
12. Finn Wolfhard

Calvin Law said...

Keery's grown on me a bit. I found some of his actions too unforgivable the first time round (insulting Jonathan's whole family as a bunch of losers was a step too far for me), but I've come to appreciate the clever writing behind his character.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Robert: Glad to see you sorta liked the show, although I disagree a tad on your placement of Modine, Wolfhard and Ryder.

Calvin Law said...

While I liked Wolfhard and Ryder a lot more than Robert, my love for their performances has dissapated a bit. They both have great moments, but some iffy ones as well. My revised ranking would be:

1. Millie Bobby Brown
2. David Harbour
3. Charlie Heaton
4. Gaten Matarazzo
5. Winona Ryder
6. Finn Wolfhard
7. Matthew Modine
8. Joe Keery
9. Caleb McLaughlin
10. Taserface
10. Ross Partridge
11. Cara Buono
12. Natalie Dyer (her performance did not stay with me upon re-watch)

Calvin Law said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBB-buUOsmQ

Suburbicon trailer...wow this is bizarre looking (in a good way, I think)

RatedRStar said...

That was really odd but a fun trailer lol.

Saw the Stronger trailer as well, Jake Gyllenhaal will not stop with Oscar bait roles lol its like he has an obsession now lol.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: He's the new DiCaprio.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: your thoughts on Betsy Brandt, Jesse Plemons, RJ Mitte, and Michael Bowen on Breaking Bad, as well as the ending to Granite State.

Luke Higham said...

And I was certainly intrigued by the Suburbicon trailer. I wonder if Damon will finally go above the 4 star rating for either this or Downsizing.

Michael McCarthy said...

I found a performance to use one of my (I believe) three winning requests I've been saving on: Heath Ledger in Two Hands for 1999 Lead. Wonderful little performance in a film I ended up liking a lot with a few reservations.

Matt Mustin said...

Calvin: It's up to you regarding Better Call Saul, but I think you could probably jump right in.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your top 10 favorite performances by actors you usually find disappointing, ie. Sandler in Punch Drunk Love, Franciosa in Career, etc.

Anonymous said...

Michael in what years did you win those 3 requests? I believe you I just want to know where you won them?

Michael McCarthy said...

Most recently I got one for 2003 Lead, I can't remember the other 2 off the top of my head but I just had it in my mind for a while that I had 2 that were unused. I don't know if Louis keeps track but if he does and I'm mistaken I'm sure he'll tell me.

94dfk1 said...

Tahmeed: I'm expecting George Clooney in The American to appear on the list Louis replies to you haha.

Charles Heiston said...

Tahmeed: I agree with 94dfk1. Clooney in The American should appear on that list, an unexpected great performance.

Luke Higham said...

Charles: Clooney's one of those actors that I wish I could like more, but alot of his work is the same to me and prefer to see him play against type more often.

Can't say the same for Sean Penn. I liked him alot in Dead Man Walking and The Thin Red Line but I just can't stand him as a person.

Charles Heiston said...

Luke: I've only liked Cooney in the film i mentioned. He's really bland to me everywhere else. While Penn i have the capacity to like. But it's repetitive with him too.

Anonymous said...

Luke: Penn is one of those actors that should be kept on a leash.
Charles: I liked him in O Brother, Where Art Thou? Didn't like him there?

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your top 10 worst movie deaths.

Luke Higham said...

Let me guess, Cotillard in The Dark Knight Rises, Marsden in X-Men: The Last Stand, Pitt in Meet Joe Black and Portman in Revenge Of The Sith.

Anonymous said...

R.I.P. June Foray
Luke: Josh Lucas in Hulk will also likely be in the list.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your top 10 samuel l jackson acting moments

Louis Morgan said...

Tahmeed:

Although of course the episode is part of a cog in the glorious machine that is Breaking Bad's entire series this is such a centerpiece for its greatness. Now in terms of sheer visual and all that we have that certain extra touch offered by Rian Johnson's deft direction. That sets everything up but that is but part of it. As always the episode is entertaining despite what is within it, when we have Walt's lonely walk through the desert there is even a touch of humor, that feels natural and doesn't feel at all disconnected. The series always comes further with again that poignant call back with Jesse and Walt still having fun in the same spot before it harshly, yet so effectively, changes back to the presents see where we have the results of Walt's behavior. In this confrontation, which so well acted by all, we get really what Walter is. In that he isn't truly the man who knocks as he tries so desperately to save Hank, yet he is not a good man as we see a few minutes later when he has no such mercy for Jesse. The show though earns both moments and both are such powerful climaxes or near climaxes of two of the central relationships of the show as we see how far the tentative friendship with Jesse has fallen and we see Walt in his end with Hank. The latter in particularly is one of one of the most heartbreaking moments in a television show as we really see Walter just the scared man from the first episode again, and we have that moment of a final recognition of sorts between the two before the end. Norris's delivery of "You're the smartest Man" gets me every time. That is in contrast where we have Walter at some of his most chilling in his treatment to Jesse first with that cold nod, then later when he decides to twist the knife in his heart. This shouldn't make sense per se but the show has brought us to this natural place of this complicated man and executes brilliantly.

Now the rest of the episode doesn't quite have that impact, but that would be literally impossible really to achieve. It is incredible in its own right as again something comes to a head so effectively as we see as Walter finally cannot finally justify his actions in any way, and we are given his whole world collapsing into nothing. I love the final moment in particular because of how quiet it is as we see Walter simply seemingly fade into nothing at the end of the road.

1. Spencer Tracy - Bad Day At Black Rock
2. Sean Penn - The Thin Red Line
3. George Clooney - the American
4. Adam Sandler - Punch Drunk Love
5. Jean Claude Van Damme - JCVD
6. Hayden Christensen - Shattered Glass
7. Ryan O'Neal - Paper Moon
8. Anthony Franciosa - Career
9. Charles Bickford - The Days of Wine and Roses
10. Clifton James - Lone Star

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

Brandt - (Early on I can't say her work or character were my favorite aspect of the show. She had a tendency to maybe go a touch broad, but never too far and kind of worked for that sort of slightly kooky aunt type. Furthermore though when she needed to work with the more dramatic material she absolutely delivered and this became all the more evident later on particularly in the last half of season five where she knocked all of her pivotal scenes out.)

Plemons - (This is a pretty brilliant performance actually, and for me was an early mark at the notable actor he'd become. Plemons really gives a truly unique performance, as he easily could have been this pathetic weasel type. I instead love his take as almost this A-student to Walter White, A, only in terms of his enthusiasm though. Plemons though made this work so effectively and so chilling in portraying such a sheer earnestness to the character whether he was taking notes from Walter, issuing a threat, or committing a horrible act.)

Mitte - (I think his performance worked quite well as a point of someone just being completely out of the loop almost the whole time. He finds the right care in this and I liked really the chemistry he shared with both Cranston and especially Norris. The Uncle/Nephew relationship was actually one of the most genuine in the show I'd say. Again though his consistently worked really in a way to eventually pay real dividends later on particularly in the final season as well, as seeing him finally realize what his father is particularly harrowing.)

Bowen - (Might as well be a wrench, in that I think his performance wholly works as really the least complex villain in the show, yet that is exactly what he should be. They start as just a tool for Walter, and just act as one that got out of hand. Bowen realizes this so well as his sadism is very direct and to the point. He kills people, but just merely does it, there is no remorse, there isn't even real a proper hatred other than he's a hateful guy. Bowen accentuates this so effectively to create a terrifying blunt force.)

The Granite State ending is an all time great cliffhanger, with such a beautiful use of the full theme finally, to give us seemingly finally the Walter we can root for again even if for a moment. It sets up that finale perfectly and in such a rousing fashion.

Anonymous:

1. "Dad?" - The Godfather Part III
2. Talia - The Dark Knight Rises
3. Car ping pong - Meet Joe Black
4. Broken heart syndrome - Revenge of the Sith
5. Cruel Window - The Towering Inferno
6. Broken Cage - Mortal Kombat Annihilation
7. Balloon man - Live and Let Die
8. Cardboard man - Hulk
9. What did the assistant do to deserve that? - Jurassic World
10. Glitter Xavier - X-Men 3 (though death by cutaway is pretty bad too)

Anonymous:

I think I've covered that before let me check.



































RIP June Foray