Monday, October 23, 2006

Elite Opinion 2006 Best Actor Update

Lately there’s been a lot of discussion about the best actors of 2005-2006.

And when I say there’s been a lot of discussion, I mean I’ve been starting a lot of discussion. Of course as soon as I start one of these forays into idiocy I can’t end it fast enough, and usually end up pulling the plug with a personal insult and leaving with a headache for a parting gift.

It would seem a lot of you are confused about exactly which qualities separate an acting genius from an acting jackass. Thefollowing two lists outline firstly; the actors that most people think are fantastic and secondly, the reality of the situation. Let the re-education begin.

Actors You Think Are Awesome:

Johnny Depp

Because you think that acting is the ability to cry at will or dress up in elaborate costumes. Furthermore, you’re blown away by the talent required to play such a wide array of characters spanning both Edward Scissor-Hands, and a pirate in mascara.

Why You’re Wrong:
Because Scissor Hands was a fucking mute in mime pant and in real life, Depp really does dress and talk like a pirate in mascara. Seriously, the guy is nuts. He lives in France for Christ’s sake. Willingly.

Actual photograph of Mr. Depp picking up his kids from school, in 1998.

I know, he did do a great job in Fear and Loathing, but did you know that he spent months living with Hunter S. Thompson before shooting the role? Yeah, and I tell you what- you put the damn Pope in Hunter’s basement and after two weeks he’ll be stumbling, twitching and mumbling like a complete lunatic too.

Actually, bad example.

Don Cheadle

He’s the new Morgan Freeman, which makes him the best black actor in Hollywood.

Why You’re Wrong:
He did a terrible English accent in the Ocean’s Eleven flicks and Morgan Freeman isn’t a brilliant actor anyway. Both Don and Morgan play the wizened smarmy guy who knows just a bit more than you- and wants to hear you ask. No matter what character they play, when you see these two guys in a movie you know it’s only a matter of time before they get real damn serious and give some monologue that's supposed to be both sobering and chilling. Wah.

Russell Crowe:

He’s Russell Crowe and deep down, way deep, you’re afraid that if you don’t tell everyone he’s a great actor he’ll find out about it and then come and find you.

Why You’re Wrong:
You’re not. Who said you were wrong- Shhh-shut up, shut up… Did you hear something..

Kevin Spacey:

He’s been in a bunch of movies you like- and a lot more that you’re supposed to like. He can play a really big pussy, but when he yells- yowza! He’s got some power. And let us not forget the big twist from The Usual Suspects.

Why You’re Wrong:
He always plays the suburban, white, balding pussy that can, and will- at some point in the movie roar at some had-it-coming-antagonist and impress you with his vocal power. It’s all in the diaphragm kids, seriously. Sam Jackson does this too- only he never plays a pussy. Cause he’s Sam Jackson.

Jake Gyllenhaal:


“Oh and the gay cowboy flick, I mean I didn’t like it or nothing, but, I mean if that’s your thing that’s cool. I totally respect him as an actor. Cause I mean, it’s just acting. He was in that Marine movie too, with Ray, and he was straight in that, right?”

Why You’re Wrong:
God won’t cure cancer because of people like you. It’s just too much fun to watch you die slowly, from the inside out.

Donnie fucking Darko.

Actors Who Actually Are Awesome:

Ben Kingsley

He’s a goddamn knight.

It’s Sir Ben Kingsley. The British born actor was kneeling before the Queen right around the same time that Johnny Depp was dressing like a queen. And it’s easy to see how Kingsley earned the honor; he’s played The Vice President of America, a small handful of murderous, cold-blooded gangsters, a few unhinged psychopaths and um, Gandhi. How’s that diversity for you?

Why you don’t already know:
Because you were educated in the American school system and you think Gandhi is the guy who runs the Quickie-Mart on The Simpsons.

Sir Kingsley playing “Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi” in Gandhi.

Sir Kinglsey playing a Raptor in Jurassic Park.

Benicio del Toro

The man changes his appearance and voice more than you change your socks. For Beni no role is out of range and no character too far-flung. This guy takes his job more seriously than a neurosurgeon, and it shows.

Why you don’t already know:
Because half of the time you can’t understand anything coming out of his mouth. Whether it’s Spanish, baked-out drug babble or just unintelligible inflection, del Toro proves that a good actor doesn’t rely on lines- he relies on character.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman

His persona is unbelievable spastic. One film he’s a spineless punter and the next he’s a devious calculated bastard. Where most actors truly do play exaggerated or caricaturized versions of themselves, Phil plays a different human being entirely. I can guess what the Damons and Afflecks of the industry are like offset, but Hoffman- he could be anyone.

Why you don’t already know:
Far from Brad Pitt and far from giving a shit, he plays the odd roles and often the small ones. Of course with Capote and Mission Impossible: 3 he is finally getting real exposure- having said that, most people probably don’t realize it was the same guy in both flicks.

Haha, see.

Ralph Fiennes

Fiennes is another Brit whose skill is damn near shape shifting. Obviously Ray can cover the spread when it comes to playing an English Gent (ala Constant Gardner, English Patient etc.) but playing a monstrous serial killer (Red Dragon) or a literal out-and-out monster in the Potter flicks – well it takes something more than British teeth.

Why you don’t already know:
You don’t understand why Pearce Bronson isn’t getting these roles.

John Turturro

Are you serious? How about this:

She Hate Me (2004) .... Don Angelo Bonasera
2BPerfectlyHonest (2004) .... Sal/Roberto
Secret Window (2004) .... John Shooter
Secret Passage (2004) .... Paolo Zane
Opopomoz (2003) .... Voice
Ore 2: Calma piatta (2003) .... Andrea
Anger Management (2003) .... Chuck
Fear X (2003) .... Harry
Mr. Deeds (2002) .... Emilio Lopez
Collateral Damage (2002) .... Sean Armstrong
Monday Night Mayhem (2002) (TV) .... Howard Cosell
Thirteen Conversations About One Thing (2001) .... Walker
Monkeybone (2001) (voice) .... Monkeybone
The Man Who Cried (2000) .... Dante Dominio
The Luzhin Defence (2000) .... Aleksandr Ivanovich 'Sascha' Luzhin
Two Thousand and None (2000) .... Benjamin Kasparian
O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) .... Pete
Company Man (2000) .... Crocker Johns
Summer of Sam (1999) (voice) .... Harvey the Black Dog
Cradle Will Rock (1999) .... Aldo Silvano
Rounders (1998) .... Joey Knish
Illuminata (1998) .... Tuccio
He Got Game (1998) .... Coach Billy Sunday
O.K. Garage (1998) .... Johnny Candellano
The Big Lebowski (1998) .... Jesus Quintana
Animals and the Tollkeeper (1998) .... Tuxedo Man
Lesser Prophets (1997) .... Leon
Tregua, La (1997) .... Primo Levi
Grace of My Heart (1996) .... Joel Millner
Box of Moon Light (1996) .... Al Fountain
Girl 6 (1996) .... Murray the Agent
Sugartime (1995) (TV) .... Sam Giancana
Clockers (1995) .... Det. Larry Mazilli
Unstrung Heroes (1995) .... Sid Lidz
Search and Destroy (1995) .... Ron
The Search for One-eye Jimmy (1994) .... Disco Bean
Quiz Show (1994) .... Herbie Stempel
Fearless (1993) .... Dr. Bill Perlman
Being Human (1993) .... Lucinnius
Mac (1992) .... Niccolo (Mac) Vitelli
Brain Donors (1992) .... Roland T. Flakfizer
Jungle Fever (1991) .... Paulie Carbone
Barton Fink (1991) .... Barton Fink
Men of Respect (1991) .... Mike Battaglia
State of Grace (1990) .... Nick
Miller's Crossing (1990) .... Bernie Bernbaum
Mo' Better Blues (1990) .... Moe Flatbush
Catchfire (1990) .... Pinella

Oh and it goes on. I mean good god man. Let me put it this way: everytime you take a shit; John makes another movie. And a good one. And the character he played this time is nothing like the one he did last time.

Acting god.
Why you don’t already know:
Because you don’t think being a supporting actor qualifies you as a good actor.

I’ve got a headache.


Blogger anastasia said...

I have been trying to convince people of Benicio's fantastic acting ability...But, hey, I love Johnny Depp...only because he's beautiful. Ben Kingsley is awesome. Now, what about actresses?

4:31 PM  
Blogger Screamon said...

Actresses- well right. That's why we have Depp on the list.

12:51 PM  

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