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Showing posts with label actor type. Show all posts
Showing posts with label actor type. Show all posts

Friday, February 25, 2011

I Love Robert Duvall! . . . & Type is Unnecessarily Maligned

This is Acting
I love Robert Duvall. Let me say it again. I love Robert Duvall. He was phenomenal in *The Apostle*, wonderful in *The Godfather*--where he even speaks some spot-on (standard) Italian--magnificent in several other films. Has he ever not been good? A few days ago, I saw him in *Get Low*, where at the end, he breaks your heart with a story he tells. And that moment made the film come together. In all of actordom, he is one who constantly blows me away. He and Katharine Hepburn [The Lion in Winter--I don't know that there *is* better acting than that. Stage Door, calla lilies--wow].

Montgomery Clift in I Confess
Yes, Pacino is great; he was superb in Serpico and The Godfather films and so many others. Clift is great. Judgement at Nuremburg alone is proof of that. Lemmon is great. Wonderful in so many films with Wilder and Mathau, phenomenal in Costa-Gavras' Missing. But Robert Duvall is really the pinnacle for me. Yes, he has his ticks (the outbreath "woos"), but how can he not? Who doesn't? Acting doesn't exist in a vacuum. Some of you has to go into the role. As with any job. What marks great acting or a great acting performance or a great actor for me is not the ever-touted Range but Depth: believability. It is not a character, it is you. You have to be present & present as whoever you are portraying.
Jack Lemmon in The Apartment

When Whoopi Goldberg stabbed a knife into that table in The Color Purple, that moment felt thunderously real. When Beatrice Straight gave her 8-minute monologue in Network (for which she won an Oscar), those emotions felt genuine. [Faye Dunaway and Marlene Warfield were also superb here.] This is the deepest sort of acting. It is not us watching your acting. It is us not even realizing you're acting. It is us believing you feel the things that you are showing us. That's what makes it real. [cf. Robert Duvall!] Much much easier said than done.