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Sunday, April 5, 2015
12 cinematic and television gems I found because of my actor crushes
|By Sati.||Sunday, April 5, 2015||articles, Burning Man, Dark Harbor, Dirty Filthy Love, Eden Lake, Fugitive Pieces, lists, London, Luther, Solaris, Soldier's Girl, Strange Days, Un Balcon Sur la Mer, Wonder Boys|
My way of watching films? See everything the actor I adore is in. I've recently acquired such obscure stuff with Stephen Dillane that I'm amazed I even managed to find it (and thanks to everyone who helped!). I don't care what imdb rating is. I don't even care what the movie is about. If he is in it, I'll watch it.
It's a technique I employed for years and while I have seen so much shit (Idris Elba really needs to be in better movies, seriously) there are several films which I watched and absolutely adored that I wouldn't have found if it wasn't for my love for that one particular actor who is in it. And almost all of those are completely unknown to the general public, so yet again let me shine a light on these true gems I found, hoping that you guys manage to find them and watch them:
12. Soldier's Girl (2003) (review)
seen for Lee Pace
Based on true events, Soldier's Girl is a shocking and horrifying story of real life crime. Pace, in his first big role, plays Calpernia Addams, a transsexual performer. A young soldier falls for her and the two start a relationship. What follows is a shattering story with beautiful performances and one of the examples of how horrible the intolerance and hatred can be.
11. Eden Lake (2008) (review)
seen for Michael Fassbender
Eden Lake is one of the most suspenseful and disturbing horror films of the past few years. Why? Because the things shown in this film could easily happen. The movie tells the struggle of two people - a sweet couple played by Kelly Reilly and Fassbender, who are being hunted by the demoralized group of teenagers. It's absolutely chilling.
10. Un Balcon sur la Mer (2010) (review)
seen for Jean Dujardin
I've seen a whole bunch of movies for Jean but this one was hands down the best find. The film is a charming romance story Happily married with a daughter, Marc is a successful real estate agent in Aix-en-Provence. One day, he has an appointment with a woman to view a traditional country house. A few hours later, Marc finally puts a name to her face. It's Cathy, the girl he was in love with growing up in Oran, Algeria, in the last days of the French colonial regime. Marc hurries to her hotel. They spend the night together. Then she's gone again. And Marc's mother tells him Cathy never left Algeria. She was killed with her father in a bombing just before independence...The film is a really lovely mixture of thriller and romance, with beautiful performances and cinematography.
9. London (2005) (review)
seen for Jason Statham
Jason Statham, whom I absolutely adore, gets a bad rep. People associate him with action movies and say he is not a good actor. That's not true. He can be incredibly funny, a proof of which is his work in early Guy Ritchie movies and apparently, in upcoming Spy. He is also able to meet the challenge of more complex parts, like his work here, in under seen, underrated and very atmospheric London. Ladies, Chris Evans is also here, so track this one down.
8. Luther (2010-2015) (review)
seen for Idris Elba
I started watching Luther right after I finished season 3 of The Wire and I was absolutely shocked when I heard Elba's accent. I was thinking 'Wow, he is pretending to have such thick English accent here!' and then I found Elba actually is English and the pretend accent was him sounding like an American in The Wire. Luther remains Elba's best work - he plays a good man with violent temper, a good cop with messed up personal life. And the best part of the show is his electric chemistry with Alice Morgan, splendidly played by Ruth Wilson. I cannot believe they are gonna ruin the show, twice - there is American remake in the works AND a feature film which is gonna destroy that fantastic season 4 ending.
7. Strange Days (1995) (review)
seen for Ralph Fiennes
A unique science fiction movie is a rarity. Even more rare is seeing a movie where Ralph Fiennes plays a laid back guy. Well, that's Strange Days for you. The film has awesome premise - set in the year 1999 during the last days of the old millennium, the movie tells the story of Lenny Nero, an ex-cop who now deals with data-discs containing recorded memories and emotions. One day he receives a disc which contains the memories of a murderer killing a prostitute. Lenny investigates and is pulled deeper and deeper in a whirl of blackmail, murder and rape. Will he survive and solve the case? - and amazing atmosphere plus bitchin' soundtrack. And Angela Bassett is in it. And the film's ending contains one of my favorite movie kisses of all time.
6. Wonder Boys (2000)
seen for Robert Downey Jr
This is such a delightful movie which contains one of the best performances from Michael Douglas. Douglas plays Grady Tripp, a professor/writer living in Pittsburgh who is struggling with writer's block. Whilst doing this, he also manages to get the chancellor pregnant. In the meantime, he and a college student, James Leer (Tobey McGuire) are trying to find a rare jacket once owned by Marilyn Monroe, and a college girl, Hannah Green boarding with Grady has a bit of a crush on him. Downey plays Douglas' colorful editor and he is really hilarious here. Also it's the only movie where you get to see Spiderman and Iron Man in bed together.
5. Dark Harbor (1998)
seen for Alan Rickman
This is honestly the kind of story Ingmar Bergman could make a movie about. A bickering couple (Alan Rickman and Polly Walker) drive fast through a downpour to catch the last ferry to their island retreat. In a flash, they recognize a crumpled body laying at the side of the road after much argument they stop, only to find a young boy (Norman Reedus) battered and bruised. An offer of summoning the police firmly rejected, the two help the boy as best they can although it certainly means missing the ferry... and so starts this thriller: a tale of twisted sexual attraction and ulterior motives.The film has terrific performances, incredibly intense scenes and very cool intrigue and twists and turns.
4 Solaris (2002) (review)
seen for George Clooney
This movie may not be for everyone - slow pace, cryptic story, lots of surrealism - but I found it to be absolutely beautiful. It's hypnotic and strangely hopeful, depending how you interpret the film's ending. Either way, even if it's not your cup of tea, it's worth seeing for gorgeous cinematography and incredible score alone.
3. Burning Man (2011)
seen for Matthew Goode
This is a true gem of a movie - incredible performances, gorgeous cinematography, fantastic and intricate story structure and haunting scone by Lisa Gerrard. It's a profound story of love, grief and returning to the world of the living after suffering loss and it has absolutely remarkable performance by Matthew Goode.
2. Fugitive Pieces (2007) (review)
seen for One True God Stephen Dillane
Fugitive Pieces is a beautiful film about Jakob, a writer, who, when he was a little boy, saw his family killed by Nazis. Years later Jakob is still haunted by horrible memories, mostly of his beloved sister who was taken away. It's a gorgeous film about going on in spite of the pain that is in one's past and I'm so grateful that unlike the novel the film has a lovely, happy, hopeful ending.
1. Dirty Filthy Love (2004)
seen for Michael Sheen
This one is actually in my top 100 favorite movies of all time. It's a small TV production but it's right up there with theatrical films when it comes to quality of the script and performances. It's the finest work of Michael Sheen's career and it also has incredible performance from always great Shirley Henderson. Sheen plays Mark, a successful architect whose life starts to collapse due to his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Tourette's Syndrome. Mark is obsessed with getting back with his wife and at the same time, at support group he meets Charlotte, a woman with problems of her own, who starts helping him. While the film has many quirky and funny scenes, it's also heartbreaking and the depiction of Mark's disease is very upsetting. But it all ends in a beautiful and hopeful way.
Honestly guys, track these films down. You're gonna be making me one happy bunny if you see them!
10 Actors I Would See In Just About Anything (aka welcome to Fangirl Heaven)