' ' Cinema Romantico: Flashback: The 1997 Prigge's (Top 10 Performances)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Flashback: The 1997 Prigge's (Top 10 Performances)

In keeping with the topic established yesterday, today we return once again to the past and the...

Top 10 Performances Of 1997

1. Kate Winslet, Titanic. Triple dog duh.

2. Dustin Hoffman, Wag the Dog. He's riffing on the persona of famed producer Robert Evans, to be sure, but not only is Hoffman ceaselessly hilarious, he finds, almost unbelievably, a soulful core underneath it all, culminating in his final scene which is funny but also grandly moving.

3. Julianne Moore, Boogie Nights. Well meaning but clouded by a druggy haze, she is perhaps cinema's first motherly addict.

4. Mark Wahlberg, Boogie Nights. Fully and improbably conveys the sweeping arc of change his character undergoes.

5. Kevin Kline, In & Out. Taking Tom Hanks' Oscar speech about his high school drama teacher being one of the finest gay men he's ever known and running with it, Kline plays a high school drama teacher outed by his former pupil (Matt Dillon) in his Oscar speech. Kline's co-star, Joan Cusack, playing his bride-to-be, got the Oscar nod because it's okay to nominate comedic performance in supporting categories but not leading ones. Please. This was a truly brilliant turn. Seriously. Watch this.

6. Robert Forster, Jackie Brown. Stoic. Reasonable. Human. And ultimately, poignant. 

7. Robert DeNiro, Wag the Dog & Jackie Brown. Bobby D.'s Last Stand. I remember even then thinking that if anyone else had given THESE two performances in the same year - so wildly different but so perfect and so subtle - they would have been hailed in every cinematic circle known to mankind. But because it was DeNiro back when he was still recognized as a Heavyweight Champ, sadly, it was just kind of acknowledged with a half-nod. "Oh yeah. DeNiro gave two great performances again. Moving on." If DeNiro gave these two performances in 2012 people would think he was taking steroids. (What?)

8. Jude Law, Gattaca. Am I the only one who still thinks Jude's ferocious work as the paralyzed, bitter ex-Olympian is still his career high point?

9. Holly Hunter, A Life Less Ordinary. I get the sense H.H. might be just a little......off-kilter. And this role is as off-kilter as it gets, which is to say her skills harmonize with it perfectly. Also, I really, really, really, really, really like to pretend Hunter improvised the tobacco chewing all on her own without telling anyone.

10. Toni Collette, Clockwatchers. Rarely has social awkwardness been so, uh, awkward on the silver screen. (I mean that as a good thing.)


Nicolle said...

In & Out--love that movie!

Dave said...

If you think Kline deserved a nod for In and Out (and I agree, he did), then you should note that he ALSO did The Ice Storm that same year. Which makes him look as versatile and talented as your pal DeNiro. That's a pair of good, dirty, old-fashioned double-dogging this year. Both actors deserved far more praise than they actually got in '97.

BTW, Ice Storm needs to be on your list in here somewhere. Fix that, please.


Nick Prigge said...

Nicolle: Yes. In & Out is indeed fantastic.

Dave: Touche. Kline WAS great in that movie, and so different from what he did in In & Out. I remember the movie itself though leaving me a bit.....cold. And I know it's SUPPOSED to leave you cold but.....I probably should re-visit it. It's been many years since I saw it.

Andrew K. said...

I can't argue with someone on the topic of best Jude performance, especially when it's one like this which IS one of his best.

(PS. Of course he doesn't give as good a performance as Kate, but I always feel a bit put out that Leo's performance is just past over. As I've said before, their performances are so much more significant they manage to make their characters standout against all those overwhelming special effects.)

Nick Prigge said...

That's a good and true point about Leo, and I DO like his performance in that film. I guess I always just end up thinking of it as Kate's film in spite of the good work he does and so mentally I give him the shaft. Which isn't fair at all, but I think that's what happens.