Author Topic: Movie Questions For You to Answer  (Read 23777 times)

1SO

  • FAB
  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 28999
  • Marathon Man
Movie Questions For You to Answer
« on: July 06, 2011, 10:05:59 PM »
This idea is based on Roger Ebert's "Movie Answer Man" Column.
Every few days, I'll post a question that was submitted to Ebert and leave it for you to answer. Some questions will be more personally insightful. Some will call upon your movie knowledge. I'm sure all will lend themselves to humorous answers, if you choose to go that route. Put in your opinion when and how you wish. I'll ask a new question when I feel the conversation has died down.
Let's begin...

What great actors has America produced in the last 20 years? Who has emerged to unseat DeNiro, Pacino, Hackman, Duvall etc., the way they took the mantle from Brando, Tracy etc.? Which Americans are really pushing the envelope in a way that equals foreign contemporaries such as Daniel Day-Lewis and Javier Bardem?

Sam the Cinema Snob

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 23916
  • A Monkey with a Gun
    • Creative Criticism
Re: Movie Questions For You to Answer
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2011, 10:12:44 PM »
I think Joaquin Phoenix is one of the great contemporaries. He brings a vulnerability and openness to a lot of his performances that one rarely sees. While a lot of modern actors feel like they're acting, Phoenix seems more interested in immersing himself in a state of being. While he may not be as bold or daring as him. However, I do think his performances are changing in a different way. A way that isn't about pushing acting or what a performance can be, but more about challenging the notion that an actor acts.

Bill Thompson

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 17562
  • DOOM!!!!
    • Bill's Movie Emporium
Re: Movie Questions For You to Answer
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2011, 10:21:32 PM »
I don't actually consider Bardem to be that great of an actor, one epic performance surrounded by a lot of acceptable to good performances. However, of the current American crap, I'd say the best actor, and someone I would take over every person listed in this thread so far, is Viggo Mortensen. He can take on any role and make it believable, he can do funny, gravitas, everything.

Bondo

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 20011
Re: Movie Questions For You to Answer
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2011, 10:23:23 PM »
Wow, tough to take on a question like this that assumes the likes of DeNiro, Pacino, and Day-Lewis are good actors rather than over the top hams. I'm sure we've got people to step in for that already, but I'm more interested in who is going to step into the quality of the Tom Hanks and the Kevin Spacey types. So what American actors are going to carry us forward the next decade or two? Well, Leonardo DiCaprio was arguably the best actor of the 00s in terms of his full body of work, starting with things like Catch Me If You Can and going through Blood Diamond and last years double-header of Shutter Island and Inception. That isn't even counting all the other Scorsese.

Who else? Well, Matt Damon deserves some recognition. DiCaprio's Inception co-star Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a fascinating actor in his own right. Of course, one thing I notice about the listed actors is that they are all male. Is there a good reason to keep this discussion an all boys club or can we mention the impressive emerging talent of Elle Fanning and Dakota as well. You've also got Chloe Moretz who has burst on the scene in the past couple years. At the end of the day, I'm not all that sure why we care about American actors. Film is a truly globalized industry at this point. It seems increasingly irrelevant an actor's nationality if they can deliver the necessary performance and there are scores more really impressive younger actors and actresses out there around the world. There are plenty of people who can carry the banner for the next generation.

Bill Thompson

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 17562
  • DOOM!!!!
    • Bill's Movie Emporium
Re: Movie Questions For You to Answer
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2011, 10:27:37 PM »
Wow, tough to take on a question like this that assumes the likes of DeNiro, Pacino, and Day-Lewis are good actors rather than over the top hams.

I left this out, but I do agree with a lot of this. Pacino especially I've rarely found to be anything better than decent, while I do honestly believe that DeNiro's last ten years or so of work (sans Stardust) hurt his credibility a lot. Day-Lewis does have the tendency to be hammy, but I still like him and have found many of his performances to be quite great.

Sandy

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 10724
    • Sandy's Cinematic Musings
Re: Movie Questions For You to Answer
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2011, 10:29:42 PM »
I have Joaquin Phoenix at the top of my list as well. Sam's description is exactly right. I could only add--generous.
"Inside you there's a strength that lies."

smirnoff

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 23965
    • smirnoff's Top 100
Re: Movie Questions For You to Answer
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2011, 10:54:07 PM »
Woody Harrelson for me is that guy. Oh I don't know about "unseating" the legends, I don't think anyone can do that, but here's a guy taking roles at all ends of the spectrum and delivering memorable performances again and again. He's never been a big star, a popular face, but over the last 20 years he's quietly been winning.


1SO

  • FAB
  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 28999
  • Marathon Man
Re: Movie Questions For You to Answer
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2011, 11:40:28 PM »
I get the choice of Joaquin Phoenix. He's someone I thought of as I read the question. I just find he's trying way too hard to come off like he's pushing boundaries. Once I watched James Dean in Giant, I saw the performance Phoenix has been trying to give naturally his entire career.

I knew there would be debate over the names mentioned, and whether or not they deserve to be called "great directors". It's missing the question by getting hung up on details. I was offering a general list of the type of actors considered great. So it doesn't assume any of them are good actors so much as make the case that every generation has their handful of great American actors.

To answer the question myself, I would say Leonardo DiCaprio, even though I wish he was still making the riskier indie fare he used to be drawn to. (I guess The Beach cured him of that.) Joseph Gordon-Levitt certainly has a couple of bold choices on his resume. Chloe Moretz is an inspired choice. Let's see if she can keep it up these next few years.

Woody Harrelson is also inspired, but I feel like he fits more as a character actor then as a leading man. But you're right, he's done some great work in unexpected films lately.

What about Philip Seymour Hoffman? Do you think he qualifies? And while it's easy to dismiss Brad Pitt as a Hollywood Movie Star, you have to admire him taking on films like Babel, Fight Club, Tree of Life and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Yeah, I think I'd have to change my answer from DiCaprio to Pitt.

maņana

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 20857
  • Check your public library
Re: Movie Questions For You to Answer
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2011, 09:56:58 AM »
What great actors has America produced in the last 20 years? Who has emerged to unseat...
I wouldn't say unseat, but I think you can safely put Sean Penn and Philip Seymour Hoffman in the pantheon of great American actors. Less obvious to me, but certainly the cream of the current crop might include Denzel Washington, James Franco, Johnny Depp, John C. Reilly, Samuel L. Jackson, and Joaquin Phoenix. Also, if we're allowed to include television, James Gandolfini can't be overlooked.

By the way, those 70s guys only seem untouchable because Boomers wont shut up about them.  :)
There's no deceit in the cauliflower.

Antares

  • Elite Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4037
  • "Haec olim meminisse iuvabit."
Re: Movie Questions For You to Answer
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2011, 10:08:35 AM »
For the range of roles that he's played over the last 15 years, I'd have to say Brad Pitt. With Philip Seymour Hoffman a close second. There was a time when I would have said Johnny Depp, but  now he's so submerged in his own ego, I can't.