Sunday, October 7, 2007

Now the real talent . . .

My list of the top Actors:

(in no particular order)

1. -- Morgan Freeman
2. -- Liam Neeson
3. -- Ben Kingsley
4. -- Anthony Hopkins
5. -- George C. Scott
6. -- Gene Hackman
7. -- Denzel Washington
8. -- Patrick Stewart
9. -- Paul Giamatti


Nicole said...

Love Morgan Freeman. You forgot the best! Johnny Depp and Russell Crowe. Love Denzel, and nobody does sophisticated creepy like Anthony Hopkins. Paul Giamatti's solid.

Like Keri Russell and Rachel McAdams for up and comers. Keri Russell was phenomenal in "The Magic of Ordinary Days" (a Hallmark movie). Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman in the right roles are decent.

Nicole said...

Oh, and Keira Knightley shows a lot of promise. She was perfect in "Pride and Prejudice". Gretchen Mol does understated very well. Rosamund--I forget her name!--the older sister in "P & P" is a solid actress, too.

Dayle James Arceneaux said...

Nicole, I agree with you on Johnny Depp. I wouldn't call him the best, though.

I stongly disagree with you on Russel Crowe. His performance in Gladiator was that same stoic going through the motions non-acting that Kevin Costner does.

I haven't seen The Magic Or Ordinary-I'll have to give it a shot. Not crazy about Reese. Nicole Kidman was good in Malice. ** sidenote: She sure looked a lot better when she wasn't so thin.

Dayle James Arceneaux said...

Nicole, I must admit to some shame, that I have a bias toward male actors. I also have a bias toward male singers.

Not sure why. But I must admit the reality.

Thanks for heads up on these actresses. I'll have to watch thier work and broadening my horizons.

I also think comedic actors are overlooked. That's my next post.

Nicole said...

Nothing wrong with the bias. You like what you like. There happen to be fewer good actresses right now, although in the distant past, there were a lot more good female actors.

I'll argue for JD because of his immense versatility. He has chosen not to play the "handsome hero" his entire career with few exceptions, although he easily could have.

Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner do have one thing in common: a tremendous screen presence when they're in the right roles. Russell has far more versatility, but Kevin can definitely cut the mustard when he selects the right role.

I liked Nicole Kidman in "The Interpreter", but I don't like her choice of roles, so I haven't seen most of her films.

Dayle James Arceneaux said...

Nicole, I'm leaving the presence factor out when I judge acting.

And, besides, I don't think Crowe has much. The all time presence champ is John Wayne -- With Clint Eastwood and Sean Connery near the top of the list.

Anonymous said...

I've always liked Tom Hanks, cuz he seems to become the character more than other actors. It's like I forget it's Tom.

Mark Harbeson said...

I think you missed the boat on Crowe. This guy played an overweight whistle-blower in The Insider, a brutal tough-guy cop in L.A. Confidential, a Roman Gladiator, a mentally unbalanced genius in A Beautiful Mind, a family-man boxer in Cinderella man, and a charming villain in 3:10 to Yuma, and was absolutely convincing in every role. That's amazing versatility. I think he has incredible range.

Tom Hanks and Christian Bale are excellent actors as well. When I was growing up, Harrison Ford was my absolute favorite...except he hasn't made a good movie in about 15 years now.

I'm finding myself enjoying Matt Damon more and more now.

Dayle James Arceneaux said...

I don't know, Mark. A bunch of mediocre performances no matter how diverse does not equal great acting.

I used to think Tom Hanks was really great, but lately his body of work is losing its luster. He is really good, though.

I like Christian Bale, but I think he's just a good actor, not a great one. I do like the intensity he brings to his roles.

Harrison Ford is a tough one. Because he really can act. But he's been in too many movies where he's just too stoic.

I guess the kicker for me is that Baldwin played Tom Clancy's "Ryan" better than Ford. That shouldn't have happened.

Matt Damon is miles ahead of Tom Cruise or Ben Afleck. But, he's still not great.

Mark Harbeson said...

Man, you're tough on these guys. We'll have to agree to disagree on Crowe. I don't think his performances are mediocre at all.

Nicole said...

Screen "presence" is a part of the whole acting gig. Without it you go unnoticed in your best efforts. It's that indefinable something that only the best have, and the next level only have occasionally.

Paul Newman (in his day), Johnny Depp, Russell Crowe, Denzel Washington have it. Other good actors and even some mediocre actors have it occasionally.

Dayle James Arceneaux said...

Nicole, it's a part of it. No doubt. But I think it's easy to discern if the presence is the driving force or if it is talent enhanced with presence.

Two words: Elvis Presley. Incredible screen presence. Couldn't act. Although he did a decent job in one film. But his great presence does not equal great acting.

Good conversation everybody. Very subjective subject.

Janet Rubin said...

I really like Bruce Willis, Robert Duvall, Paul Newman, Gregory Peck. I love Tom Hanks because he is so versatile, can play just about anything. I loved, loved, loved Jimmy Stewart.

Janet Rubin said...

Oh, and Bill Murry cracks me up.

Dayle James Arceneaux said...

Hey Janet. Bill Murray is one of my all-time favorties. He is often underrated because of the comedy thing. I think that takes more talent than drama.

I think Tom Hanks is the modern day Jimmy Stewart.

I can't argue with your other mentions either.

Janet Rubin said...

Every Christmas I HAVE to watch Scrooged with Murray. I love Groudhog Day and pretty much anything he is in, EXCEPT for Lost in Translation. I did not get that movie. Seemed seriously pointless.

Dayle James Arceneaux said...

I'm almost ashamed to admit I like this movie, but I Bill Murray was brilliant in Meatballs. The pep talk speach he gave them by the fire was hilarious.