Wednesday, May 13, 2009
I Was Gonna Say....
I had my Jive planned out. Even though the 81st Academy Awards were held two months ago, I still wanted to voice my disappointment over Mickey Rourke not winning the Best Actor Oscar for his awesome, true-to-life performance in "The Wrestler." I was then going to delve into my personal preferences and what I felt constituted an acting performance being labeled as "Great." I was gonna elaborate by suggesting that a performance was more impressive to me when the actor developed the character out of his/her own imagination...unlike Jamie Foxx in "Ray", which I considered to be a glorified impersonation. I was gonna cite all of my favorite performances such as Robert DeNiro in "Taxi Driver", Bill Murray in "Groundhog Day", Diane Keaton in "Annie Hall", Nic Cage in "Adaptation", Daniel Day-Lewis in "Gangs of New York" etc etc...none of which portrayed a real-life character with a plethora of footage to mimic. And no, Charlie Kaufman doesn't count and Donald Kaufman wasn't real. There was a good chance that somewhere in that Jive I would have more than likely digressed by stating that I was not impressed by an actor receiving an Academy Award nomination based on "physical transformation." I would have cited Tom Hanks in "Cast Away" and defended Mickey Rourke by telling you that he has always been muscular. I was really gonna talk some Jive by stating that Joaquin Phoenix's portrayal of Johnny Cash and Philip Seymour Hoffman's impersonation of Truman Capote couldn't hold a candle to Bill Murray's in "Lost in Translation." It was gonna be quite obvious that I didn't respect these so-called "great performances" where an actor studied a subject and imitated them on screen. What has changed? Well...I recently saw Sean Penn's performance in "Milk." What an inspiring, moving, and splendid performance that was. It was one of the decade's finest. I will say that.