/ Who is the best living actor?
My vote goes with Daniel Day Lewis.
Michael Le Vell
I'm not very good at picking a 'best' though, I can think of lots who it's too hard to choose between.
Wrong'un wrong'un wrong'un .
Sean Penn ? or maybe Al Pacino in his prime !
Actress I would say possibly Charlize Theron !
> Paddy Considine
Based largely on Dead Man's Shoes
No - you? Do tell
Good call, it's easy to forget that he's English. Damn fine method actor.
Which reminds me, that Stephen Graham is good too
Ah yes, Just looked on IMDB and see it's another Shane Meadow's job, I have seen it a few years ago now.
Can't remember it so will seek it out again.
You are James Tomlinson and I claim my £5 :-)
Coolio (I know another famous person!)
Out of interest, what's SM like to work with. I understand he's very forgiving and allows the actor to find their own character as much as possible. But really, he's a director, what's he really like?
Actors ? All pretty much a muchness.
The mega-stars only got there because the system needs them.
Tony Blair - a performance that so many found so believable for so long
Ian McKellan. As anyone who has seen him on stage will testify.
William H Macy.
Method Actor? Yes when Dustin Hoffman was in Marathon Man with Lawrence Olivier, he kept going off just before shooting a scene for a run around the block.
Larry getting more and more pissed off with this eventually queried him on it, on being told he was just trying to get into the part, Sir Larry said.
"Boy, have you never thought of acting?"
> Which reminds me, that Stephen Graham is good too
If SG is the bloke in Made in England, he is a BRILLIANT actor. Either that or he's a complete nutter in real-life.
Chuck Norris, obviously.
Couldn't possibly pick one, but including stage as well as screen, I'd list these as my contenders:
> Gary Oldman
tom hanks is up there
> tom hanks is up there
I hate Hanks with a vengeance! I can't think of a single film he's been in that (for me) wouldn't have been better with someone else.
As for Sean Bean, for me by far his best work was the recent TV stuff - Red Riding, and that thing where he played a Transvestite accused of murder (or accessory to murder?). He was seriously good in that.
Javier Bardem or Daniel Day Lewis
Matt Damon (in a Team America voice)
Phillip Seymour Hoffman
Actress would need to be Charlize Theron. Claire Danes does come damn close though.
> Matt Damon (in a Team America voice)
Seconded but Daniel Day Lewis probably edges it.
And my man is the spitting image of Matt Damon in fact i slag him with the team America voice.
As far as I can see no one has mentioned Robert de Niro. His choice of films and roles is questionable these days, but in his prime he was unmissable and totally dominating. Even my father, who disliked the films of his, when he saw him play Al Capone in 'The Untouchables' agreed that he was brilliant.
Greatest living thesp is Juliette Binoche though. I've seen her play theatre, and I've seen almost all her films. She is totally convincing, intense, likeable, sincere and supremely talented. A towering talent that never fails to make any piece she is in that little more wonderful.
Examples: Les Amants du Pont Neuf, Trois Colors Bleu, Cache and Paris.
Has to be Brian Blessed
Apocryphal story, made up by William Goldman to illustrate how Goldman didn't get on with Hoffman. Your version manages to mangle even Goldman's story which actually had it that Hoffman stayed awake for 36 hours in order to look knackered for a scene, and Olivier saying (in a friendly way) "My boy, why not just ACT?"
Hoffman probably did resort to such Method methods but I don't believe Olivier responded like that. It was just filler for Goldman's first volume of rubbish, bitter, vain and truth-bending memoirs.
Good calls on Stephen Graham, Juliette Binoche (though I'm not sure that I've even seen her in anything good since about 1998! Chocolat was nigh-on unwatchable and she was awful in Breaking and Entering). But yes between 1987 and 1997 she ruled :-) Saw her on stage too, but I think this thread must be about movie actors.
Daniel Day-Lewis has Irish citizenship btw - not sure if that means he's no longer English though...he's a good call, it can be easy on these threads to ignore the "obvious" ones.
Alyson - Julie Walters? Seriously? Contender for best living actor? To each her own I suppose, but I didn't see that one coming!
I'd like to nominate Michelle Williams, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Miranda Richardson, for sheer versatility and an ability to totally disappear into their roles. I was more than halfway through Brokeback Mountain before even wondering "is that Michelle Williams?" and I still doubted it, until credits rolled.
Another vote for Ian McKellen. Stage experience beats method acting any time.
And as for actresses, Juliette Binoche seconded.
Stage craft and Method acting are not mutually exclusive!
No offence, but it seems that you don't really know what Method acting is:
DDL used Method for stage acting, culminating in his breakdown onstage in Hamlet. Binoche's finest role (Les Amants du Pont-Neuf) incorporated many Method techniques.
> Apocryphal story, made up by William Goldman to illustrate how Goldman didn't get on with Hoffman. Your version manages to mangle even Goldman's story which actually had it that Hoffman stayed awake for 36 hours in order to look knackered for a scene, and Olivier saying (in a friendly way) "My boy, why not just ACT?"
> Hoffman probably did resort to such Method methods but I don't believe Olivier responded like that. It was just filler for Goldman's first volume of rubbish, bitter, vain and truth-bending memoirs.
Ok, and you might be right, but I heard the story from a slightly pissed LO in a club after a shoot we were doing in Manchester. Though I have to admit, even though I loved Sir Larry he was always the showman.
Hi Al. Yes, you and I have had this conversation on this forum before. Maybe it did happen like that. Maybe Olivier was being a showman. Maybe Olivier read Goldman's book and liked the story enough (or even started to confuse truth with Goldman's version of truth!). I've certainly read a lot of stuff from convincing sources discrediting a lot of Goldman's OTHER tales, and both of his volumes of memoirs smack of "Walter Mitty" syndrome. Certainly Olivier comes from the "old school" of acting and was simply bemused by "The Method". I don't know that it makes him a better actor than Hoffman.
Have you seen "My Week With Marilyn"? Branagh is pretty rotten as Olivier IMHO, and aside from Williams' amazing performance, it's a weak film...but the underlying story of Olivier wanting to understand how to be a "movie star" just as much as Monroe wanted to understand how to be a "serious actress", is kind of interesting. I think you'd like it.
Another suggestion - Samantha Morton
Juliette's greatest role was in Three Colours Blue. I went along to see this firstly on my own at the Cornerhouse in Manchester. Then I went again with a (male) friend who is gay. He was astounded by her and said that "you just can't not watch her". True, her more recent films have seen a drop off of quality. This really started with 'The English Patient'. But she can still excel in smaller roles. See her in Paris, and she is wonderful. And even the smaller part she has in Haneke's 'Cache', where thet scene of her outburst against her husband is mesmorising.
I don't take too much away from your view that 'Les Amants du Pont Neuf' was her greatest role. As you may remember we've conversed on this film before. And, indeed, this film began the obsession that has turned into a 20 year plus obsession that I have with the adorable Ms Binoche. Her acting in this is exceptional. But I always have the knowledge in my head that she was having an affair with the director at about this time, and I believe much of this film is a eulogy between the two, both in the writing and the acting. And the 'doomed love' central message.
Ha ha, I could write about Juliette for a Media Studies dissertation! :)
Definitely. He's amazing in Doubt.
And F Murray Abraham. The most deserved Oscar winner ever
Ok, maybe a small joke.
First name that came to mind was the same as many others Daniel Day Lewis. There has been many other greats and al Pacino and Robert de Niro have come close a few times but DDL continues and continues.
I can't believe there arent more Clint fans on this forum :(
Cheers Paul. I apologise, I'd forgotten that we'd had the Les Amants du Pont-Neuf conversation before. I take your point. Though I don't think she was "having an affair" with Carax - they were simply girlfriend and boyfriend surely?!
I thought she was superb in The English Patient and a very well deserved Oscar winner - are you saying that it was weak, or that things went downhill AFTER that?
As for Haneke, I much preferred "Code: Unknown" and also her performance in that, compare to Hidden/ Caché.
THAT said, I was thinking earlier today that this thread is (somewhat inevitably) about film actors in the English language, and that possibly Daniel Auteuil might take the real honours...
Back to la Binoche, I agree that she still has huge capacity to shine. What's the "Paris" thing you mention?
Well, I love Clint, but IS he the best actor ?
Thousands of actors have ' the tools for the trade' but never get a chance to show/use them in a film costing tens of millions in production costs.
What everyone is saying is that they LIKE a particular actor and that's just personal choice.
I still stand by what I said earlier in the thread that actors are very much a muchness and will shine given the opportunity !
Clint Eastwood isn't living.
He's been dead for years, it's just that no one has the heart to tell him yet. He keeps talking to empty chairs too, the man is absolutely hatstand.
From what I can remember and I've read, at the time that Binoche was shooting 'Les Amants du Pont Neuf', she was in a longer term relationship with Andre Halle, the father of her first child. I believe she finished the liaison with Carax, and this affected him so much that it was several years before he returned to film-making. All this could simply be rumour and gossip, of course. Binoche is (in)famously private and quite prickly too with members of the press who quiz her on her private life.
I know 'The English Patient' is well regarded; I've never shared the appreciation of this, however, and I've watched it several times trying to see whatever it is that I'm maybe missing. Her acting in the film, though, is superb, so that is perhaps more to the point. To my mind, 'The English Patient' was her first major international film and role, and the one that set her career on a different trajectory from the more experimental and cerebral films of her peak. It was only a short hop from 'English Patient' to 'Chocolat'.
She was great in 'Code: Unknown', but of the two films I much prefer 'Cache'. The latter film is almost all about the quality of the acting and the way the characters are affected by the voyeur in their midst. Binoche was totally believable as the frightened and distracted wife who is finding out more than she knew about her husband.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_(2008_film) - Paris. A wonderful film with the great Romain Duris. Highly recommended.
and for one of the best actiresses I have seen.....Imelda Staunton. Absolutely riveting in Vera Drake- the biggest missed Oscar of the century (no doubt a victim of its subject matter rather than the acting).
> As far as I can see no one has mentioned Robert de Niro. His choice of films and roles is questionable these days, but in his prime he was unmissable and totally dominating. Even my father, who disliked the films of his, when he saw him play Al Capone in 'The Untouchables' agreed that he was brilliant.
My vote goes to steve buscemi.
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