Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Essential Performances of the ‘90s Tournament: Round Two, Showdown 16

A big thank you to the dozens or scores of you who have been voting. This is is the last poll in the second round of the Essential Performances of the 90s Tournament. At the moment there are nine other polls to vote for (HERE), and two closing tomorrow here and here are both close calls. So, head over to vote if you haven't yet.

The full bracket is HERE and if you’re new to the showdown, background on its genesis is HERE. If you’re interested enough and love any of the upcoming performances feel free to defend them on your own blogs and send me a link so (information HERE).

This poll closes next Monday.

There will be a one day break and voting will begin anew for Round 3 on Friday, you can send me links to your write-ups for round 3, too, if you didn't get a chance to submit for round 1.

Juliette Binoche in Three Colors: Blue (1993) as Julie de Courcy
Excuse me a bit, because I'm going to talk about Binoche performance that didn't make it into the bracket for a bit - her work in The English Patient. Binoche is an actor who exudes an irresistible warmth. It's a talent she put to good use in The English Patient where Nurse Hana demons and all is still incredibly lithe and charming. Julie, here, is not quite as lithe but Binoche's ability to exude warmth amidst all the sadness because a key calling-card in making this performance work as beautifully as it does. Also, she plays the piano in both films. Random: Also Juliette is one of cinema's best criers.

Ralph Fiennes in Schindler's List (1993) as Amon Göth 
And, la de da, I talk about The English Patient again. There Ralph is doing so well at turning an occasionally stolid character into something of a romantic hero. How? He can be charming without playing charming. It's an essential tool here, too, where this almost demon is not just a demon and where the script might engender more simplistic readings of the character Fiennes' ability to intrigue, charm and fascinate becomes key to the performance's goodness. Random: If few cry like Juliette, few have as flawless diction as Ralph when giving insults.

(Not so) Random: Naturally, the two were in The English Patient together. So, it's the Count vs the Nurse (just not for those roles.

Stevee (Cinematic Paradox) is a big fan of Ralph's performance here.
Paolo (Okinawa Assault Incident) zeroes in on some key intricacies of Ralph's performance.


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