best film: For now it’s Schindler’s List. It’s still relatively new out there so I’m not ready to say Wes Anderson’s gorgeous Grand Budapest is superior to Spielberg’s (equally gorgeous) 1993 masterpiece. This was Fiennes’ coming out party—a haunting portrayal. His Amon Goeth belongs on the all-time list of movie villains along with Hannibal Lector and Robert Mitchum’s dueling work in Cape Fear and Night of the Hunter. He’s a monster and it’s intricately performed by Fiennes.

best performance:  The Grand Budapest Hotel edges out his work in Schindler’s. They’re both excellent choices. It’s a dominant comedic performance in a visually spectacular auteur-driven masterpiece. That’s incredibly rare. He’s just in total command, exacting, funny, the dictation, the body language, the walk— it’s all so accomplished.

stylistic innovations/traits: That top five performance list is pretty ridiculous (and makes me think I’m a little ridiculous for having him outside of my top 50 actors list here). He’s unhinged in A Bigger Splash– so verbal that he never shuts up. Yet, he can turn around and do a haunting work like Spider with Cronenberg where he hardly talks at all—just mumbles and squints. That’s range. He can play villains (Schindler, In Bruges and Harry Potter), bastards (Coriolanus a bigger splash) and complex, (also bastardly), but ultimately sympathetic figures (Quiz Show, English Patient, Constant Gardener).  He’s the consummate pro. He started off with a bang in the 90’s (two Oscar winning films for best picture, leading man status) who has had a bit of a comeback of late (two of his best 5 performances since 2014). I can’t wait to see what he does next.

directors worked with:   Nobody multiple times in the archives but an all-star list of one-timers here including Wes Anderson, Coen Brothers, Spielberg, Greenaway, Minghella, Cronenberg and Sam Mendes

Top 5 Performances:

  1. The Grand Budapest Hotel
  2. Schindler’s List
  3. The English Patient
  4. Spider
  5. A Bigger Splash

Archiveable films

1993- Schindler’s List
1993- The Baby of Macon
1994- Quiz Show
1996- The English Patient
1999- The End of the Affair
2002- Spider
2005- The Constant Gardener
2008- In Bruges
2008- The Hurt Locker
2008- The Reader
2011- Coriolanus
2011- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
2012- Skyfall
2014- The Grand Budapest Hotel
2015- A Bigger Splash
2016- Hail, Caesar!