Saturday, January 31, 2015

2014 Denny Awards - Pt 2 - Most Compelling Performances (Male)

Part 2/3 of my Annual "Denny Awards" ;-)
(Other Years' Awards)

Part I - Best Films

Part II - Most Compelling Performances / Character Roles (Male)
Part III - Most Compelling Performances / Character Roles (Female)

CHILD (male)
    Most Compelling:

             Félix Bossuet [IMDb] []* as the initially orphan boy Sébastien in Belle and Sebastian (orig. Belle et Sébastien) [2013] [IMDb] []* who along with Belle, a big furry sheepdog (also initially "a stray"), team-up to take on the Nazis in a French Alpine town somewhere near the Swiss border in possibly the cutest Resistance movie EVER.

    Honorable Mentions:
              Noah Wiseman as Samuel 7 y.o., rather "hyper" / "with a very active imagination," probably A.D.D. in the Australian low budget children's thriller / scary  / horror movie The Babadook [2014].

TEEN (male)
    Most Compelling:

               Toni Revolori as the young "lobby boy" Zero Mustafa in The Grand Budapest Hotel [2014].  We've all "been there" as we've all had to start life / adulthood "somewhere."  Though "Zero's" life was by no means without tragedy, he was fortunate at least to have run into such useful /  interesting mentor.
    Honorable Mentions:
               Ellar Coltrane as the central character, Mason, Jr, in Boyhood [2014], who we watch "grow-up" in this very, very unique movie, filmed with the same cast over 10 years.
                Jesus Sanchez-Velez as Ricky, Jr, in Stand Clear of the Closing Doors [2013] a 13-y/o Hispanic boy, moderately autistic, living with his family in Rockaway Beach, NY, near the subway stop ...
                Tomasz Ziętek [IMDb] []*, Marcel Sabat [IMDb] []*, et al as Rudy, Zośka, et al, in Stones for the Rampart (orig. Kamienie na szaniec) [2014], members of a POLISH BOYSCOUT GROUP that fought as part of the Polish Home Army resistance during WW II.  This was the "Red Dawn" movies but FOR REAL.
               Dylan O'Brian as the central character, Thomas, in The Maze Runner [2014], probably (IMHO) the most interesting of the boy-oriented "post Apocalyptic" book series made into movies during these past few years.

     Most Compelling:
               Filip Pławiak [IMDb] []* as the late-teen/young adult Adam Sikora in One Way Ticket to the Moon (orig. Bilet na Księżyc) [2013] representing ALL THE YOUNG PEOPLE ACROSS COMMUNIST-ERA CENTRAL / EASTERN EUROPE WHO OFTEN FOUND THAT THEY HAD TO "GROW-UP REALLY FAST" in order to find freedom or even to save their lives.  
     Honorable Mentions:
                Geová Manoel dos Santos [IMDb] []* as Jeison in August Winds (orig. Ventos de Agosto) [2014] an Afro-Brazilian young man living in a small coastal village in North-Eastern Brazil living with very few possessions and also very, very few cares in the world.
                 Zenzo Ngqobe as the listless / unemployed J-burg, South Africa residing 20-something Joseph / Atang Mokoenya who is asked by his father to bury him to back in their home country of Lesotho in The Forgotten Kingdom [2013]
                 Daniel Radcliffe as good/patient guy Wallace in the Rom/Com What If ... [2013].
                 Riccardo Leonelli [IMDb] []* as Angelo in Foreign Body (Obce ciało) [2014] an Italian young adult / professional in love with a Polish young woman his age who he met as part of one or another Catholic Young Adult Movement existing these days.  She, however, is not sure, wondering if she's being called by God to be a nun.  He, both quite nicely and perhaps QUITE HEROICALLY ... WAITS.  An excellent film about a young Catholic man who's trying very hard to be true to his faith.

ADULT (male)
    Most Compelling:

                  Michael Keaton as Riggan Thompson in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) [2014] an actor who's become famous (and lived off the fame) for playing a cartoonish superhero Birdman "CAAAW..." and is really desperate to reinvent himself and be(come) taken  seriously as a (serious) actor. 
    Honorable Mentions:
                   Kevin Kline as Matthias Gold in My Old Lady [2014] a 50 something serial loser who's never amounted to anything in life who finds to his surprise that his dirt-bag (yet far more successful) father had bequeathed him an apartment in Paris, 'cept (of course) there's "a catch."  But the catch, of course, proves interesting.
                     Ethan Hawke as the father in Boyhood [2014] who had to "grow" himself over the years to become a father worthy of the name.

ELDER (male)
    Most Compelling:
                     Brendan Gleeson as Fr. James in the Graham Green-like story Calvary [2014].  Sentenced to die in a weeks time by an anonymous voice in the Confessional one Sunday morning, he spends the rest of his time, doing exactly what he's always done in the rural Irish coastal town where he's been parish priest -- simply continuing to "mind the flock" even if it's not necessarily all that grateful.   
    Honorable Mentions:
                       Patrick Stewart and y Ian McKellen as the aging rivals in the Marvel comics based X-Men: Days of Future Past [2014], seeking to "set things right" for future generations before they pass.
                        Irrfan Khan as Saajan Fernandez, older, always probably somewhat stiff and perhaps overly-proper, but now also, recently, widowed in The Lunchbox (orig. Dabba) [2013], whose life gets unexpectedly interesting again when the wrong lunch box arrives at his desk one day at his office in Mumbai.  But, of course, that lunchbox was intended for someone else ... A great story about the challenges of "doing the right thing" at any age ... 
                       Robert Duvall in the title role in the film The Judge [2014] about a judge in a small town in Southern Indiana who's tried to live life in an ordered and honest way and has sought to teach this to his children (now grown) and grandchildren.
                       J.K. Simmons as the "mentor figure" Fletcher in Whiplash [2014], who will truly stop at nothing to "leave a mark" in his students.

    Most Compelling:                       

                Tomasz Ziętek [IMDb] []*, Marcel Sabat [IMDb] []*, et al as Rudy, Zośka, et al, in Stones for the Rampart (orig. Kamienie na szaniec) [2014], members of a POLISH BOYSCOUT GROUP that fought as part of the Polish Home Army resistance during WW II.  Again, this was about the heroism of the "Red Dawn" films but FOR REAL.
    Honorable Mentions:
                  Brendan Gleeson as Fr. James in Calvary [2014].  No matter what others may do, one can still live honestly and in peace with God and (most of) his people.
                  Robert Duvall in the title role in The Judge [2014].  Again, honestly has its rightful place of honor.
                  J.K. Simmons as the "mentor figure" Fletcher in Whiplash [2014].  Nothing justifies destroying OTHER PEOPLE for an ideal.  One should "work on oneself" first.
                   Bradley Cooper as U.S. Navy Seal Chris Kyle in American Sniper [2014] if nothing else, a complex (hence compelling) hero.  He saved a lot of people by killing a lot of other people, in a mission that wasn't entirely honest to begin with (the people that he killed had their point of view / and often patriotism as well).
                   Luke Evans as Vlad the Impaler in Dracula Untold [2014].  Vlad arguably sold his soul to the Devil to try to protect his people from the Ottoman Turk invaders. 

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1 comment:

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