The 85th Best Actor of All-Time: Alec Guinness

best film: Lawrence of Arabia is going to be the best film for a few actors as I said earlier when I got to Anthony Quinn. The Bridge on the River Kwai is a masterpiece- a stunning film- but it’s not on the level of Lawrence. Obviously to everyone 40 or so and younger Guinness is best known for Star Wars and that’s fine, too. The 1977 original and Empire are contenders for Guinness’ best film as well. I also think very highly of his 1940’s  Dickens’ adaptation work with David Lean. Perhaps I’m underrating Guinness on this list-

The 85th Best Actor of All-Time: Alec Guinness2020-07-03T10:30:26+00:00

The 86th Best Actor of All-Time: John Hurt

best film: John Hurt has worked with some great auteurs here from 1966 to 2016—a long career but his best film comes down to three choices:  Alien, Dead Man or Melancholia. I think, by a sliver, I’m going to go with Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man as his best film. Hurt isn’t lead in any of the three prime candidates (he’s lead in only four of the 22 films below in the archives) but he’s a great addition to all of them. best performance:   The two candidates are Midnight Express and The Elephant Man. If I’m forced to pick I’ll

The 86th Best Actor of All-Time: John Hurt2020-07-03T10:30:26+00:00

Equinox Flower – 1958 Ozu

Ozu’s first color film—very heavy on the reds mostly—but pops of orange, green and yellow as well- it’s a fascinating film Train station opening after an establishing shot of the city—then we go to a wedding and right away I noticed the orange-filled drinking glasses at the table to match the wallpaper The red teapot is everywhere Ozu also uses flowers here to block and clutter his mise-en-scene There’s one particularly interesting staging where he uses two rooms, at different depths, and each has a table on it and they create a plateau almost in contrast great shot of

Equinox Flower – 1958 Ozu2020-07-03T10:30:29+00:00

The 87th Best Actor of All-Time: Jean-Pierre Léaud

best film: The 400 Blows is the answer here because the main competition for Leaud is Godard’s Pierrot Le Fou and Leaud is no more than a cameo in that film. Day for Night, Last Tango, and Two English Girls are excellent films but can’t touch Truffaut’s debut and the ground-breaking landmark of the French New Wave that is The 400 Blows. best performance:   The 400 Blows. He’s 15 when The 400 Blows comes out but it’s a supreme work of acting for any age. The freeze-frame final shot is, justly, iconic and part of cinema history but it’s

The 87th Best Actor of All-Time: Jean-Pierre Léaud2020-07-03T10:30:29+00:00

The 88th Best Actor of All-Time: Robert Shaw

best film: Jaws is the pretty easy winner here but Shaw is in, and is excellent in, one of the best Bond movies (From Russia With Love) and two best picture winners (The Sting, A Man For All Seasons). Jaws though is what he’s best known for and rightly so. The second half of Spielberg’s masterpiece is largely the Robert Shaw show. Jaws is a film that continues to grow on me over the years (about a decade ago I wouldn’t have called this one of Spielberg’s five best—which now seems ridiculous) and it’s a film that flirts with

The 88th Best Actor of All-Time: Robert Shaw2020-07-03T10:30:29+00:00

The 89th Best Actor of All-Time: Richard Burton

best film: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is Burton’s best film and it is by a wide margin. This is the big problem for Burton—he wasn’t in too many great films—he was in a lot of good ones- but only one film that was in its respective years top 10. That’s awful for an actor of his character and talent. Virginia Woolf though is absolutely fabulous even if Burton’s achievement isn’t quite on the level it is for co-star and then wife Elizabeth Taylor or debut director—the wonder-boy auteur in 1966—Mike Nichols. best performance:   Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

The 89th Best Actor of All-Time: Richard Burton2020-07-03T10:30:29+00:00

The 90th Best Actor of All-Time: John Goodman

best film: The Big Lebowski but my most recent viewing of Inside Llewyn Davis blew me away so this could change over time. All five of his films with the Coen brothers have landed in their respective years’ top 10—what great collaborations. Barton Fink is probably the next closest and third best film in Goodman’s career. The Big Lebowski though gets better with age and repeat viewings and it’s a masterpiece. Goodman deserves equal credit with Bridges for the acting triumph here. best performance:   The Big Lebowski though he sets it on fire (literally) in Barton Fink and that’s

The 90th Best Actor of All-Time: John Goodman2020-07-03T10:30:29+00:00

Tokyo Twilight – 1957 Ozu

Ozu’s darkest film since at least A Hen in the Wind in 1948 His last B/W film and the lighting even looks darker here to match the devastating sadness and dour atmosphere in the film- it’s cold, winter, snow—can’t remember any other Ozu film like that— matches his films that have titles like Early Spring, Late Spring, early summer – we even have many characters with surgical masks (I’m guessing from the possible nuclear fallout but no idea really)—first time in ozu’s oeuvre for that Consistent camera 3 feet off the ground Hara and Ryu are both here- and

Tokyo Twilight – 1957 Ozu2020-07-03T10:30:29+00:00

The 91st Best Actor of All-Time: Casey Affleck

best film: The Assassination of Jesse James is a masterpiece and the best film of almost any year except for 2007 (which includes There Will Be Blood). Parts of it feel like a Malick film—it’s certainly that gorgeous and the crowning achievement of legendary DP Roger Deakins. Good Will Hunting, Interstellar, Ocean’s Thirteen, Manchester by the Sea and To Die For are all right there in terms of top 10 of the year quality but they can’t come close to the brilliance of Jesse James. best performance:   The Assassination of Jesse James is his best work despite the Oscar

The 91st Best Actor of All-Time: Casey Affleck2020-07-03T10:30:29+00:00

The 92nd Best Actor of All-Time: Donald Sutherland

best film: JFK is the only top 100 all-time film of Sutherland’s. Don’t Look Now and MASH are up there. Aside from Costner in lead, JFK is a sprawling ensemble with solid work from Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones and yes- Sutherland. His “Mr. X” or “X” and is crucial to the narrative and I love the scenes of Sutherland and Costner together. best performance:   Don’t Look Now. It’s an eerie performance and film (It’s a Roeg film) and Sutherland gets great moments of both internalized subtlety and externalized high emotion (that slow-motion death sequence). For me it edges

The 92nd Best Actor of All-Time: Donald Sutherland2020-07-03T10:30:29+00:00

The 93rd Best Actor of All-Time: Russell Crowe

best film: L.A. Confidential with The Insider close behind. L.A. Confidential isn’t auteur cinema but the narrative is one of the strongest of the 90’s and it features transcendent acting and writing. It’s a film that could have come out in the 30’s, 40’s, 70’s, 90’s or now—absolutely timeless. best performance:  L.A. Confidential though really there’s very little separating performances 1-5 below. Still, his performance as Bud White, a bruiser of a cop, I think goes down as Crowe’s best (at least to date). It’s a strong physical performance and Crowe’s career highlight coincides with supreme work from Kevin

The 93rd Best Actor of All-Time: Russell Crowe2020-07-03T10:30:29+00:00

The 94th Best Actor of All-Time: Roy Scheider

best film: Jaws but there’s times over the past decade where I would’ve answered The French Connection and All That Jazz. I’m confident now it’s Spielberg’s masterpiece but it’s close. It’s not quite Scheider’s best performance but he’s splendid here in Jaws. He’s the center of the film as we observe this crazy town, Dreyfuss’ cerebral intellectual and Shaw’s ex-Navy bastard of a man. The back half of the film the tension and Shaw take over the film but I actually think the first hour of the film is superior and it’s largely centered on Scheider’s work (and Spielberg

The 94th Best Actor of All-Time: Roy Scheider2020-07-03T10:30:29+00:00
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