Underrated Actors Part 2: Colin Farrell
I wrote a post about Jim Carrey being underrated a while back, but I’ve been waiting to write another one on the subject until I had re-watched a particular movie. Did that last night so here it is.
Colin Farrell is an actor I’ve known since the BallyK days, yet he’s not often grouped together with collections of great actors,(those of you who included him in your St Paddy’s days posts excepted). I think, like a lot of actors, he falls into the trap of being so well known as a person that people almost forget that he’s an actor too. His wildboy persona seemed to overshadow his acting for a while back there, but now that he seems to have calmed down, we’re starting to see the talent first.
The movie that really made me sit up and take notice was Phone Booth. It’s just an awesome movie which is so full of tension that it’s probably a good thing it only runs for 77mins. It’s genius is in its simplicity: man answers phone, all hell breaks loose, but the entire film rests on one man and that man is Colin Farrell.
You barely notice while watching the film that it’s set entirely in that one little booth and the street around it. The camera almost never cuts away from Farrell. Even when he’s not part of the action the box-shot editing means he’s still on screen. With a lesser actor that might get boring, but Farrell gives an unexpectedly powerful performance which is both sympathetic and flawed. Difficult to pull off, especially when you have to do the whole thing in somebody else’s accent!
I’ve seen relatively few Farrell movies, and I know he’s been in some howlers, but I think Phone Booth alone proves that he is a very strong actor. I think his inclusion in the stella Parnassus line up shows that the movie world is starting to come around to him as a great actor as well as a colourful character. I’m on the look out now for more of his films to see if he is really as good as I think he can be. In Bruges is next on my hit list.