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GAME THIRTEEN: Kevin Spacey in The Usual Suspects VS Kristin Scott Thomas in The English Patient
Moderator: Ruth of FlixChatter
Seed 3: Kevin Spacey in The Usual Suspects (1995) as Roger "Verbal" Kint
Seed 14: Kristin Scott Thomas in The English Patient (1996) as Katherine Clifton
GAME FOURTEEN: Geena Davis in Thelma and Louise VS Jude Lawe in The Talented Mr Ripley
Moderator: Paolo of Okinawa Assault, Paraphrased Kulchar
Seed 6: Geena Davis in Thelma and Louise (1991) as Thelma Yvonne Dickinson
Geena Davis in Thelma and Louise should get credit for being the kind of person who we wish was our friend because she constantly surprises us. Thelma airs her grievances against her husband Darryl – she makes it sound a bit like contempt, eventually becoming aware of her anger and discontent. Yet in an earlier scene she also spins her grievances around as an invitation to her best friend Louise to have fun and…justify adultery. Unfortunately, bad things happen to her. Davis enduring these uncomfortable moments telegraphs Thelma’s fear of uncertainty while still being emotionally and spiritually connected to Louise. Despite of this trauma she has the same moments of lapsed judgment as she would have before the important parts of the movie have happened. She can even make a good impression of a puppy after all of that. And with this obliviousness, innocence come a sense of freedom. She’s ‘young at heart,’ dressing like Lolita during the movie’s first scenes without looking pathetic. Davis also fulfills that side of Thelma, someone who is used to being passive – even while under Louise’s influence - yet learns from the men in her life who haven’t treated her as kindly. She absorbs J.D.’s (Brad Pitt) cartoonish energy in one of the scenes while her deeper voice betraying, in a good way, a sense that it’s an older woman emulating a younger man’s dominance. She pulls it off, this quality of hers helping us within Thelma’s transformations, redefining what it is to be feminine and strong.
Seed 11: Jude Law in The Talented Mr Ripley (1999) as Dickie Greenleaf
Jude Law here has that same devilishness that he would exhibit in more obviously evil turns such as the one in Road to Perdition. He’s still a bad boy three years earlier, his character, Dickie Greenleaf, prodding the other characters around him without expecting them to do the same. He’s perfection, the manifestation of the homoerotic invitation fitting for the middle of the twentieth century, gazed upon by Matt Damon’s titular character in The Talented Mr. Ripley. He accomplishes that callousness of the 1%, as our introduction to Dickie is him opening his eyes slowly to Tom Ripley, every move slow and graceful. His privilege also means that he can surround himself with subversive culture. Law makes Dickie embrace it, fashion and Italy, his personality like a limited invitation to a jazz party. We eventually see a young man with big physical gestures, submitting to the volatility of his whims. But being American royalty is about pretending to be comfortable in his own skin as he does. It’s also about precariousness, and when his character is threatened, which is almost all the time, Law tries to keep Dickie’s composure yet he eventually knows to throw away his comfortable cloud. His petulant screams towards Tom and his reaction to what Tom does to him shows that Law can turn up the volume, those moments always more memorable as opposed to when he is at ease. He disappears before we reach the hour mark, haunting the movie without needing to earn our sympathy.