Sunday, 17 February 2013
Encore Awards (2012 in Review): Forgotten Characters
I’m considering blessing my “Forgotten Characters” shenanigans with a new name since I always end up going through so much back and forth in deciding who and what qualifies. Acting from the sidelines is too long a name, but that’s probably the best definition I can think of because when I look at my ballot all of the performances aren’t necessarily bit roles but they’re all removed from the main thrust of their films but for various reasons they’ve stuck with me. And, since
Previous Citations in this category:
2011: Alison Pill in Midnight Paris (Runner Up: Audra McDonald in Rampart)
2010: Rashida Jones in The Social Network (Runner Up: Michelle Williams in Shutter Island)
2009: Matthew Beard in An Education (Runner Up: Mare Winningham in Brothers)
Here's what 2012 had to offer.
(Click on photos for review where available.)
Adam Brody in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (as Owen)
HIGHLIGHT: The entire scene where he meets Carrell’s Dodge is perfectly played from the “Who the fuck are you?” to the tearful “Jesus, you’re fucking her, aren’t you?” to the “What does he have a job? Mr. Job!”
Paul Dano in Looper (as Seth)
HIGHLIGHT: That lamenting plea for Joe’s help is hard to watch, especially because Dano – never fearful of going for the histrionic when necessary – is so effective in turning what was previously a “cool” futuristic lark into something worrisome and overly disturbing.
Samuel Joslin in The Impossible (as Tomas)
In a year of great debuts I’m especially curious to see what comes of Joslin’s career. The film is most interested in the trio of mother, father and oldest son but Joslin as the middle-child popping up throughout manages to effectively hold his own against his celebrated adult co-stars and offers such a deft take on childhood amidst the trauma.
HIGHLIGHT: I’m partial to his “I can’t – I’ve never looked after someone before. I’m scared” to McGregor which so nails what a traumatic experience the disaster is for even the most resilient child but it’s his brilliant line-reading of “They’re dead aren’t they?” opposite Geraldine Chaplin that signals a maturity beyond his years.
Bill Magnussen in Damsels in Distress (as Thor)
HIGHLIGHT: Any random moment from his performance would work. His “That’s education!” monologue is so effectively humorous whilst suggesting so many wiser things underneath and his emotional response to the rainbow is one of the brightest examples of how underneath all the satire Stillman’s film has a warm and beating heart.
Tilda Swinton in Moonrise Kingdom (as Social Services)
HIGHLIGHT: She’s great with the lines, yes, but the performance turns into something better with specific decisions she takes with pauses. A prime example the significant pause and tilt of the head when Scout Master Ward asks (of Juvenile Refuge), “Is that an orphanage?”
FINALISTS: Bob Balaban for expert comedic timing with his delivery in Moonrise Kingdom; Connie Britton for easy humour and charm amidst the imminent apocalypse in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World; Dan Futterman for subtly but effectively telegraphing slick assholery in Hello, I Must Be Going; Laura Dern for fleshing out a non-character with adroit skill in The Master; Ann Mitchell for endorsing the film’s main tragedy but still pulling attention to her personal plight in The Deep Blue Sea; Sönke Möhring for underplaying his personal dilemma and being equal parts jealous and happy for our protagonists in The Impossible; Julia Stiles for with expert line-readings shifting the focus of the narrative in Silver Linings Playbook
HONOURABLE MENTIONS: Melanie Lynskey in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World; Johnny Miller in 21 Jump Street
Do you remember any of the five from my ballot fondly? Which forgotten 2012 turns would you be most eager to make a case in defense of?