CINEMATIC PASSIONS’ 2010 ACTING AWARDS
Just before I begin, I’d like to make an announcement.
This year I’ve decided on a different way of doing things. I did see a lot of excellent ensemble acting. But nothing that I really wanted to single out in a specific manner.
Everyone is certainly entitled to their own personal views. From my perspective, this was a lousy year for film. However, 2010 was an incredible time for groundbreaking works of cinema.
So in that particular spirit, I have created the AWARDS OF MERIT. I only give acting and film accolades here. But this is a very unique cinematic period where a lot of bold concepts and new ideas are taking place.
I really wanted to recognize that.
These shall be given to the innovators, the visionaries, the men and women that genuinely pushed the envelope and came up with something extraordinary.
This year, CINEMATIC PASSIONS’ AWARDS OF MERIT are presented to:
Now to the rest….
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
MARK RUFFALO – THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
MARK RUFFALO possesses enormous soulful depth in THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT. You don’t see it immediately. However, it comes to light slowly and effortlessly over time.
At first you think this foxy unfettered motorcycle riding restaurant owner – who picks up chicks at the drop of a hat and can have virtually any woman he wants – will be satisfied gliding through middle age in much the same condition.
But then he meets the two children that he fathered through sperm donation and falls for their married lesbian mother JULES (JULIANNE MOORE).
This is an extraordinarily attractive guy who is coming to the realization that there is far more to life than drifting through an endless series of flings and playing man about town.
PAUL is definitely a charmer. But he learns some valuable lessons on his way to becoming a grown up.
That is the genius of MARK’S multilayered performance.
“I am what is known as a fiery redhead. Now, I hate to make this a matter of appearance and go all womanly on you, but there you have it. And me standing up like this is in fact just that redheaded fieriness leaping to the fore. Credence? I will give credence to their cause. My God! Their cause all ready has credence. It is equal pay. Equal pay is common justice and if you two weren’t such a pair of egotistical, chauvinistic, bigoted dunderheads, you would realise that. Oh, my office is run by incompetents and I am sick of being patronised, spoken down to and generally treated as if I was the May Queen. Set up the meeting!”
When MIRANDA RICHARDSON finished that particular monologue, the people at my screening applauded.
But that’s totally understandable.
MIRANDA has always possessed a magnificent command of the screen. She portrays strong complicated women and makes them even more intriguing and complex.
She has done the same with MP BARBARA CASTLE, her latest cinematic creation.
In THE KING’S SPEECH, COLIN FIRTH hits the screen like a bracing breath of fresh air.
KING GEORGE VI is an eminently reluctant monarch. BERTIE (as his family refers to him) had no choice in the matter. His brother EDWARD (GUY PEARCE) abdicated the throne to marry the divorced socialite WALLIS SIMPSON.
He was next in line. It’s a tremendous burden that he must bear.
BERTIE is shy, lacks confidence and is filled with an anxiety of dreadful proportions. Well into his thirties, he is plagued by a terrible childhood stutter. He certainly doesn’t feel that he’s cut out to be one of the most powerful men in the world.
But with the help of an unorthodox speech therapist (GEOFFREY RUSH), BERTIE is able to conquer his difficulties and successfully broadcast a stirring address on the eve of the Second World War.
This performance is hilarious, touching and masterful.
BERTIE begins as a quiet somber man who – despite his wealth and privilege – is emotionally scarred from various boyhood experiences. By the end of the film, he is truly a king.
COLIN FIRTH is magnificent beyond measure.
MICHELLE WILLIAMS is an extraordinarily talented performer who brings something indefinably different to each new role.
Petite, gorgeous CINDY has had a rather rough history with men. She’s been through a lot with too many people. She comes from a dysfunctional family. There appears to be a history of abuse.
She struggles with her self esteem, but she’s motivated and disciplined. CINDY longs to make something of herself. She wants to be a doctor.
When DEAN (RYAN GOSLING) arrives on the scene, she’s immersed in her studies and just breaking up with a boyfriend. Rushing into someone else’s arms doesn’t seem particularly wise. But she is intrigued by DEAN.
She finds out she’s pregnant, is determined to terminate it, then discovers she just can’t go along with that line of reasoning. DEAN is madly in love with her and is willing to accept her on any terms available.
She’s falling for him too. This makes the most sense at this juncture. Why fight it? They get married.
CINDY’S resolve hardens over time. She doesn’t get to be the doctor of her dreams. She’s a nurse. But that doesn’t mean that she’s abandoned her goals.
DEAN is content to be her husband and a good father. He paints houses. He can be with his wife and daughter when that’s done. The rest of the time he can drink. He has no real ambition. In six years, he hasn’t grown in any respect.
CINDY needs more. It’s like she’s taking care of two kids instead of one. She feels like she has to be the person holding everything together. It’s not enough.
But DEAN can’t change…and CINDY can not go on like this.
This is a complex role in a uniquely beautiful motion picture. MICHELLE rises to the challenges admirably. Her work in BLUE VALENTINE is amazing.