Sunday, July 27, 2008

UMA 2007: Part III


Death at a Funeral
Matthew Macfadyen, Keeley Hawes, Rupert Graves, Andy Nyman, Ewan Bremner, Daisy Donovan, Alan Tudyk, Jane Usher, Peter Dinklage, Kris Marshall, Peter Vaughn, Thomas Wheatley and Peter Egan
The performances by themselves aren't exactly awards-worthy (except for, perhaps, Tudyk) but they all work so well together. They made this British comedy what it was.

Death Proof
Kurt Russell, Zoe Bell, Tracie Thoms, Rosario Dawson, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Sydney Tamiia Poitier, Vanessa Fertilo, Jordan Ladd and Rose McGowen
Perfectly accustoming themselves to the aesthetic of the film. Despite the devide of the film, they all felt like they were in the same film and were actually all friends.

Nikki Blonsky, John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Elijah Kelly, Zac Efron, Christopher Walken, Amanda Bynes, James Marsden, Brittany Snow, Queen Latifah, Allison Janney, Taylor Parks and Paul Dooley
Much like Death Proof above, everybody in the cast felt like they were on the same crazy wavelength and the interactions between the cast benefited the movie greatly.

Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, JK Simmons, Allison Janney and Olivia Thirlby
Some of the more exterior characters (Rainn Wilson, I'm looking at you) don't work at all, but the major cast members work their arses off and feel like family.

This is England
Thomas Turgoose, Stephen Graham, Joe Gilgun, Andrew Shim, Vicky McClure, Rosamund Hanson, Andrew Ellis, George Newton, Kriss Dosanjh and Jo Hartley
Each and every one of them commits, making the film feel like it was actually made in 1983.

Honourable Mentions: Atonement (McAvoy, Knightley, Ronan, Garai, Redgrave, etc), Gone Baby Gone (Affleck, Monaghan, Freeman, Harris, Ryan, Madigan, etc), The Darjeeling Limited (Wilson, Brody, Schwartzmann, Murray, Huston, etc), A Mighty Heart (Jolie, Khan, Punjabi, etc), No Country for Old Men (Brolin, Bardem, Jones, Macdonald, Harrelson, etc).

This is England


Bruce Campbell
"Maître d’"
Spider-Man 3
Providing Spider-Man 3 with one of it's only working bits of comedy, Campbell provides great in-joke.

Tom Hanks
The Simpsons Movie
Okay, maybe I'm cheating, but his voice cameo is just one the many hilarious moments here. "The US Government has lost its credibility, so it's borrowing some of mine"

Gene Jones
"Gas Station Proprietor"
No Country for Old Men
Blows Javier Bardem off the screen in his one scene (funnily enough, the one scene awards shows used over and over again for Bardem), which is not easy.

Max von Sydow
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
In just two brief scenes acting legend Sydow gets the tear ducts working on overdrive as the father of a disabled man.

David Willis
"Abel Sunday"
There Will be Blood
I couldn't tell that this was only Willis' fifth acting performance in nearly 30 years, but it was and that makes it more impressive.

Honourable Mentions Michael K Williams was menacing in Gone Baby Gone and I got a big hoot out of Martin Henderson, Steve Coogan and Bill Nighy in Hot Fuzz.

Max von Sydow in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Tom Hanks in The Simpsons Movie
Gene Jones in No Country for Old Men


Fanny Ardant
"Fanny Forestier"
Paris je t'aime (segment: "Pigalle")
Feels like a full length movie performance condensed down to five minutes. I wanted more more more!

Margot Martindale
Paris je t'aime (segment: "14ème Arrondissement")
Heartbreaking turn by this character actor is the opposite of Ardant above. Feels like it is perfectly tuned to the short run time of the segment. She gives just enough.

Vanessa Redgrave
Briony Tallis (older)
Brings the film's conclusion to fruition with her subtle take on Briony. Feels like she understand all of Briony's 70 years in her brief coda.

Kristen Wiig
Knocked Up
I don't know who she is, but she was hilarious as the sardonic agent friend of Katherine Heigl's character.

Grace Zabriskie
"Visitor #1"

Honourable Mentions: Maïa Simon provided the best five minutes of The Witnesses, Michelle Williams and Julianne Moore added spark to their moments in I'm Not There, Anjelica Huston was deadpan in The Darjeeling Limited, Caroline Sihol's short take on Marlene Dietrich was fun to watch, Mary Steenburgen's "Visitor #2" in INLAND EMPIRE was more bizarre oddity. Dariya Lesnikova in The Italian ~ Toni Lamond in Razzle Dazzle ~ Charlene Yi in Knocked Up ~ Clea DuVall in Zodiac

Margot Martindale in Paris je t'aime
Grace Zabriskie in INLAND EMPIRE
Fanny Ardant in Paris je t'aime


Nikki Blonsky
"Tracy Turnblad"
Shows a natural spirit and joyousness on screen in the role that has made others famous. Even if she doesn't become a moviestar, I hope she gets something.

Sam Riley
"Ian Curtis"
Coming out of nowhere to blow away even the most veteran of actors in this biopic role that will make him a star, no doubt.

Saoirse Ronan
"Briony Tallis"
While the serious child routine will frustrate people, I hope she doesn't go down the Abigail Breslin/Dakota Fanning route any time soon with cutesy teen movies and romcoms.

Maia Thomas
"Lavinia Smart"
Currently she has nothing else on her resume, but I hope she does something very soon because I thought she had a really interesting feel on the camera.

Tang Wei
"Wong Chia Chi"
Lust, Caution
Yet another newcomer without another credit on her CV. What's up with that? Especially after the textured and powerful performance Wei gave.

Honourable Mentions: Assorted members of the This is England cast, Emma Booth and Khan Chittenden were welcome arrivals in Clubland, I look forward to seeing more of Veronica Sywak from The Jammed, Georgia Groome was mighty impressive in London to Brighton, Christopher Mintz-Plasse was like a '80s nerdy sidekick personified in Superbad, Irene Chen impressed me with The Home Song Stories, Jim Sturgess has already built on his strong debut of Across the Universe and Matthew Zeremes was impressive in the otherwise quite barren Burke & Wills.

Sam Riley in Control
Tang Wei in Lust, Caution
Maia Thomas in Noise


Ben Affleck
Gone Baby Gone
Impressive command behind the camera, showing his true calling may be there. Will wait to see if she can create such a sense of place outside of his natural Boston.

Andrea Arnold
Red Road
Creates on the most frightening and devastating worlds within Red Road, can't wait to see where Arnold goes next after this and her Oscar-winning short Wasp

Peter Carstairs
September doesn't look or sound remotely like the work of a first-time director, so I can only imagine what sort of stuff he will be capable of in the future.

Sarah Polley
Away from Her
Who saw this coming from the mousy little Canadian arthouse actress? When you're able to direct the likes of JULIE CHRISTIE to a near Oscar win on your first try you're doing something right!

Matthew Saville
Where to go from here? It'll be hard to top this fine thriller debut, but I'm excited nonetheless considering the range he's demonstrated in his short films too.

Honourable Mentions: Anton Corbijn used his music video experience to great use with Control, Sean Ellis is a name I'll keep an eye out for after Cashback, Scott Frank did a lot with so little on The Lookout, Paul Andrew Williams did bleak well on London to Brighton and Mark Lee guided The Bet with panache.

Matthew Saville for Noise
Sarah Polley for Away from Her
Peter Carstairs for September

...more awards to come...


leah said...

this is sort of a juvenile school girl comment but i can't remember a time i didn't have a big sloppy crush on 'bruce campbell', i even fancy him in 'bubba ho tep' where he plays an old geezer! gross, what's wrong with me?

far more mature discussion of film to follow, i'm sure.

(kam, you do a bang up job on your blog, i'm always impressed; it must take a lot of time and care)

leah said...

no idea why i put bruce campbell in quotation marks...i'm pretty sure he's a real guy

J.D. said...

Yay, Kristen Wiig!

Glenn said...

hah, thanks Leah. Bruce Campbell doesn't exist as a real person, just as a persona known as "Bruce Campbell". Those Old Spice ads confirmed that, I think.

JS said...

I agree with you about Grace Zabriskie in INLAND EMPIRE.

"jqfj09pksf&*mfozxj02Q@amazing," indeed.

And maybe I'm just becoming more and more of a fan but I lit up when I saw Diane Ladd in that brightly lit gossip show segment.