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.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 8 so far )
I’ve been meaning to write a post along these lines for a while, and with A Christmas Carol making Jim Carey a hot topic at the moment I thought I’d finally get on with it.
Most of the world know Jim Carrey for his “rubber-faced” antics (I swear that term was invented to describe him) and his over the top form of comedy which makes him a definite love-hate figure for a lot of people. Whether or not his particular style of comedy appeals to you, (and I’m slightly ashamed to say it does to me) you have to admit, he’s good at what he does. What interests me is that there tend to be moments in his films which belie a more serious talent behind all the funny voices and flailing limbs. I’m wondering if I’m the only one who thinks that maybe, just maybe, Jim Carrey is actually a pretty good actor.
My main evidence for this is The Truman Show. Carrey’s role is pretty serious throughout, with only a couple of his trademark gags. The rest of the performance is a really sincere portrayal of a man discovering everything in his world is a fabrication. I don’t want to ruin the movie for those who haven’t seen it (and I highly recommend you do) but the final scene in the boat is really well performed, and very held back for someone who is so renowned for being off the wall and out of control. In the gag reel to Liar Liar he picks up on his tendency to over-act, but it seems to me that the Jim Carrey we know is just part of the character, and if he’d chosen a different path, we might just know him as another good actor.
In recent years, it does seem that Carrey is trying to be taken more seriously, with films like Eternal Sunshine, which again is a very straight role for someone like him. He’s not always gone down well (The Number 23-oops) and he seems to be kind of stuck in this stereotype he’s created for himself. Perhaps that’s why he’s taken on a lot of voice over work recently, with Horton Hears a Who and A Christmas Carol.
I’m not saying Jim Carrey is one of the best actors of his generation, but I do think that people tend to overlook him because they think of him as a clown rather than an actor. I think films like Truman and Eternal Sunshine show that actually, he is a better actor than most give him credit for.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 19 so far )