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THE FILMS OF ROBERT WISE
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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R


 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

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The Film Experience's 10th annual awards (2009 Film Year)

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

 Abbie Cornish
"Fanny Brawne"
BRIGHT STAR
Carey Mulligan
"Jenny"
AN EDUCATION
 Kim Ok-Bin
"Tae-Ju"
THIRST
 Gabourey Sidibe
"Precious"
PRECIOUS
 Tilda Swinton
"Julia"
JULIA
Film Experience's 10thManages to build a headstrong girl who is free of girlpower cliché. You love and ache with her. Bonus points: Her pride in that triple pleated mushroom collar.
A winning star-is-born performance. She's wonderful at oscillating between older than her years smarts and schoolgirl ignorance. Even at her most maddening, she's endearing.
 Every time you've got the character pegged, she reveals another queasy layer. It's a daringly big portrait of a relentless little sociopath. And you thought vampires were monstrous!
 So nakedly emotional, despite the initially impenetrable persona. The beauty of her acting is in the way she slowly lets in the light. Claireence finally sees herself as her own woman.
 Julia has two primary modes: Drunk, Lying. Tilda, though, has infinite resources in this miracle star turn. Bonus points: Gets the dark humor but never winks for audience love or laughs.
 
Gold: TILDA Silver: GABBY Bronze: ABBIE

Finalists: Catalina Saveedra gives heartbreakingly tiny but believable arc in THE MAID | Meryl Streep is buttery joy in JULIE & JULIA | Michelle Pfeiffer holds mortality at bay with great frivolous effort as the aging courtesan in CHERI | Penelope Cruz continues to dazzle from multiple angles for Pedro in BROKEN EMBRACES
Semi-Finalists: Helen Mirren does diva histrionics with the best of them in THE LAST STATION | Ellen Page's "Bliss" is not Juno, but feels just as real in WHIP IT | Charlotte Gainsbourg tears up her vocal chords and soul in ANTICHRIST

 

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

 Jeff Bridges
"Bad Blake"
CRAZY HEART
 Colin Firth
"George"
A SINGLE MAN
 Joseph Gordon-Levitt
"Tom Hansen"
(500) DAYS OF SUMMER
 Joaquin Phoenix
"Leonard"
TWO LOVERS
Jeremy Renner
"Sgt. William James"
THE HURT LOCKER
 So lived in and vanity-free that you sometimes have to look away. "Great American Actor" rep is fully earned. Bonus points: Never forgets the characterization when singing.
Beautifully captures both the piercing newness of grief and its banal aftermath. Resists overplaying his own rebirth. Bonus points: That devastating  call, his whole world vanishing.
With his physically dextrous, creative and funny star turn -- "You Make My Dreams Come True" is just one highlight -- he registers every beat of a hopeless romantic's hopeless romance.
 When your movie starts with a suicide attempt, you'd better find a way to internalize that despair or risk a one-note bore. This is a finely rendered portrait of one damaged soul.
 He doesn't sweat from the demands of the performance, just the heat of the desert. Renner is totally under this adrenaline junkie's skin... an itchy place to be. He'll always need another fix.
 

Gold: COLIN Silver: JEFF Bronze: JEREMY

Finalists: Ben Whishaw is all internalized feeling and enigmatic watchfulness in BRIGHT STAR. Like Fanny, you're always wondering about him | George Clooney has once again faced the criticism that he's merely playing George Clooney in UP IN THE AIR. But even so, he's getting better at it all the time.

Semi-Finalists: Sharlito Copley finds surprising layers to his all too human and then tragically inhuman character in DISTRICT 9 | Michael Fassbender provies HUNGER with its radical haunted center | Viggo Mortenson in THE ROAD is memorably haunted by the offscreen years | Hal Holbrook wasn't finished with Into the Wild. He paints another moving portrait of the twilight years in THAT EVENING SUN | Sam Rockwell doubles up for MOON, amusing perplexed by himself.

 

 

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

 Marion Cotillard
"Luisa Contini"
NINE (and "Billie" in PUBLIC ENEMIES)
 Vera Farmiga
"Alex Goran"
UP IN THE AIR
 Samantha Morton
"Olivia Pitterson"
THE MESSENGER
 Mo'Nique
"Mary Jones"
PRECIOUS
Rosamund Pike
"Helen"
AN EDUCATION
 Imbues her numbers with as much acting as singing. Just like you're supposed to in musicals. Bonus points: Turns "My Husband Makes Movies" into the languishing heart of the film.
A sexy revelation. She lives for a good game and a confident sparring partner. Bonus points: Adept at screen chemistry. Foesn't it feel like Vera's male co-stars always have to earn her? More please.
 The film strings acting vignettes together but her widow needs to stick. She does. Bonus points: At the mall, turning her army widow's introverted pain inside out to stunning effect.
This spellbinding turn is irreducible. This "monster" is no cliché but all too recognizably human. Mo'Nique fully details the mental illness and self-loathing turned poisonously outward.
At first glance she's mere arm candy, but this skilled actress offers delicious glimpses of Helen's limited worldview and her multifaceted reasons for taking Jenny under her seductive wing.
 

Gold: MO'NIQUE Silver: VERA Bronze: MARION

Finalists: Diane Kruger lays coquettish charm thinly over frayed nerves in INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS | The things that come out of Mimi Kennedy's mouth in IN THE LOOP! (including bloody tissues. lol)

Semi-Finalists: Mélanie Laurent is mostly used for iconography in INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS but the peak at the little girl who waited for the cream? Dynamite. | Penélope Cruz garbles her big number but the rest of her performance is sensationally funny/sad | Juliette Binoche works minimalist in SUMMER HOURS. You can feel her characters restless desire in every frame, like she's practically to get out of this movie and back to the unseen one that's hers... all this while serving the movie pulling focus | Juliette Lewis shades her threatened tough-grrrl cartoon in WHIP IT to perfection. Celia Weston's slurred line readings are pure joy as the continually sozzled mama bear in OBSERVE AND REPORT.

 

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

 Anthony Mackie
"Sgt JT Sanborn"
THE HURT LOCKER
Christian McKay
"Orson Welles"
ME AND ORSON WELLES
Paul Scheider
"Charles Brown"
BRIGHT STAR
 Stanley Tucci
"Paul Child"
JULIE & JULIA
 Christoph Waltz
"Col. Hans Landa"
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
 If the eyes are the window to the soul, this this underrated talent is the soul of the film. We see and understand Sgt. James' risk addiction through his exhausted worrying.
Never mind about the mimicry -- yes, it's good -- what works so well here is the way he lets Welles love of "Welles" continually bubble over. He's his own disciple, publicist and best audience.
He marks both gruff character of the man and the man's marking of his territory: John Keats. Bonus points: This he does while never neglecting the soft heart of this brotherly bond.
For having the good sense to know to do very little. He's so relaxed and winning here that he anchors the joyful fussiness of Meryl's star turn. Bonus points: "It was always Julia"
Each scene reveals yet more range in his big performance as the Jew Hunter Bonus points: That facetious diplomacy: he knows he controls each scene as do his victims, er, scene partners.
 

Gold: WALTZ Silver: MACKIE Bronze: SCHEIDER

Finalists: Woody Harrelson is a moving by-the-book alcoholic in THE MESSENGER | Michael Fassbender proves wonderfully suave as the critic/spy in INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (Three is my favorite chapter)

Semi-Finalists: Peter Capaldi as "Malcolm Tucker" in N THE LOOP | Ray McKinnon as "Lonzo Choat" in THAT EVENING SUN | James Gandolfini as "Lt. Gen. George Miller" in IN THE LOOP | Fred Melamed as "Sy Abelman" in A SERIOUS MAN

 

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