Friday, 5 February 2010

Forgotten Characters 2:4

It’s always nice when stars who’ve been acting for years get recognised as serious actors. Sometimes it’s a bit ironic, especially when these very actors have been doing their job for years. When a film is a favourite of mine I can’t be accused of forgetting any of the characters but I’m sure that many of you may have forgotten this man’s excellent performance in his first of two Best Picture winners:
                 
Colin Firth in The English Patient
As Geoffrey Clifton
             
The English Patient is one story that occurs in nonlinear format – on one side Count Almásy (Ralph Fiennes) along with his “International Sand Club” explore the deserts in the prelude to World War II. As we learn more about Almásy and his relations with married woman Katherine Clifton (Kristin Scott Thomas) we see The Patient (Almásy) after being disfigured by a horrible plane crash. As the wife of our heroine Firth makes his first appearance as he joins Fiennes troupe with his wife. We immediately see that he is quite devoted to her, even if he is a bit ingratiating. The film is a love story between Katherine and Almásy but it never tries to make Geoffrey into a villain – though he is not perfect. There is a scene towards the middle when he realises the affair on the night of their anniversary, it’s short and he does not have any lines but Firth handles it well. His involvement in a fatal plane crash towards the end angers the audience, but we don’t lose sympathy. As beautiful as it is to watch Katherine and Almásy we realise that for all his faults Geoffrey’s is dedicated to his wife and the pain that he feels at her betrayal is palpable. Of course, it’s no wonder that the character is forgotten since he’s not the romantic lead, but having yet to see A Single Man I single this out as my favourite performance of Firth.
              
Do you remember Colin’s Geoffrey? Or have you yet to see The English Patient?
          
Previously Forgotten...

3 comments:

Runs Like A Gay said...

Talking about Colin Firth (and I've been planning on rewatching some of his older performances on the back of his nod - including this one) he was interviewed by Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode on BBC Radio 5 today.

During the interview he made a few comments regarding The Knig's Speech...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/kermode#playepisode2

In case you're interested.

CrazyCris said...

I remember the character, but not that it was Colin Firth!!! Didn't know him back then, and haven't seen the film in a while!

Here's one for you: can you spot Dr House in Sense and Sensibility? It took me a couple of viewings (without knowing he was in there, if you know it's faster)

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

runs like a gay thanks for the link!!!

crazycris re dr. house: i have to go check that one out.