Thursday, May 08, 2008

AN HOMAGE TO GARY OLDMAN

My favorite actor of all time is Gary Oldman. To me, he is absolutely unequaled. I first discovered him in the 1988 movie Criminal Law where he starred alongside Kevin Bacon and his performance in this film astounded me. I had to then backtrack and see Sid and Nancy and his performance in that film was riveting. He next made a name for himself as Lee Harvey Oswald in JFK and in 1992; he starred in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which will forever be one of my favorite movies. I actually saw it in the theater 6 times and have lost count of how many times I’ve watched it on video. Following Dracula, he had a string of other movies, all with minimal success yet to great critical acclaim. Then, Immortal Beloved was released. This is my absolute favorite of all of Gary Oldman’s movies and his performance is absolutely masterful. The passion and depth that he brought to his portrayal of Ludwig van Beethoven garnered great accolades from not only some of the toughest critics in Hollywood but also from his fellow actors. What is constant about a Gary Oldman performance is his gift as a virtual chameleon where he transforms himself so convincingly into each carefully selected role. Whether it's a sadistic murderer in The Professional or the dreamy Reverend Dimmesdale in The Scarlet Letter, the mastery of his craft is amazing… Younger viewers know him as Sirius Black in The Harry Potter movies and I’ve read in interviews that his children are thrilled that he was cast in that role. I’ve also just discovered that he will be in the new adaptation of A Christmas Carol, along with Colin Firth (another favorite of mine) and Jim Carrey, as Ebenezer Scrooge. Upon first learning this, I wasn’t thrilled with Jim C. being cast in this role but I will reserve further judgment until I see the movie. One thing is certain; which ever role Gary Oldman has, he will undoubtedly stand out among the others. Below is a Movie Internet mini Bio on Mr. Oldman.
Gary Oldman, the son of a welder and a homemaker, won a scholarship to Britain's Rose Bruford Drama College, where he received a B.A. in theatre arts in 1979. He subsequently studied with the Greenwich Young People's Theatre and went on to appear in a number of plays throughout the early '80s, including "The Pope's Wedding," for which he received Time Out's Fringe Award for Best Newcomer of 1985-1986 and the British Theatre Association's Drama Magazine Award as Best Actor for 1985. His film debut was in the 1986 biopic Sid and Nancy (1986), wherein he played Sex Pistol Sid Vicious, picking up the Evening Standard Film Award as Best Newcomer. In 1988, he received a Best Actor nomination from the British Academy of Film and TV Arts for his portrayal of '60s playwright 'Joe Orton'. His ability to transform himself physically and his command of accents have allowed him to play a broad range of characters and a number of historical figures, including, in addition to those mentioned above, Lee Harvey Oswald (JFK (1991)) and Ludwig van Beethoven (Immortal Beloved (1994)).






To see a glimpse of Gary Oldman's performance in Immortal Beloved, go to this YouTube Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3olmA0xRvM

14 comments:

Caroline Hayes said...

I do so agree with all you say. i had seen Gary in Dracula but not really noticed him until I saw him in "Immortal Beloved" a month ago. Since then I have bought all of his the films that Amazon could sell in a UK format. I have seen so many excellent films that I would not have bothered with because of the violence. He was superb in all of them [though Scarlet Letter] was pretty boring. I am so grateful to him for broadening my film horizon and which him all the best for the future. Hope he gets his Oscar before too long.

Rebecca said...

Thanks for stopping by Caroline. Yes, many of his films are extremely violent and I've had a hard time sitting through a few but he always carries them. His performance in "Romeo is Bleeding", for one, is just mesmerizing...Oh, the ill-fated "Scarlet Letter"... He was brilliant in that in spite of a very mediocre performance from Demi Moore. IMHO,in more than a few of his movies, he is the light throughout them. He has certainly been the redeeming element in some.( no pun intended there...LOL)...It is an absolute shame that he has never received an Oscar. It is a crime that he didn't receive one for "Immortal Beloved." Have you seen "Rosencrantz and Gildenstern or Dead?" That movie is so quirky and he's hysterical in that.

He also has a great quote:
"My passion and energy get mistaken for anger."
- Gary Oldman

willow said...

Yes, isn't he absolutely fabulous? We get a kick out of him as Mason Verger in Hannibal. I own many of his films and they are ones I watch again and again. He is one of those rare veteran talents that I consider a true actor not just a star.

Loved this post, Rebecca!

Rebecca said...

Oh, Willow, he is indeed fabulous! I really adore him...He was so wicked in "Hannibal"...Did you know that the scenes at Mason's estate were filmed at the Biltmore?...I'm glad you have a nice Gary Oldman library:-D

willow said...

(had trouble sending my last comment, so if this is a repeat, just delete) Yes, those scenes from the Biltmore were wonderful! Another movie that was filmed there is The Swan with Grace Kelly and David Niven. I've been to the Biltmore once about 12 years ago. It was amazing...I need to plan another trip. I would love to go when it is decorated for Christmas!

Blog Princess G said...

Ah!! Gary Oldman is one of my favourite secret boyfriends and has been lo these many years! I've never seen Hannibal or the Scarlet Letter, but everything else, from Sid and Nancy on is a revelation. What superb taste you have Rebecca. :)

Rebecca said...

Thanks, BPG! He completely stills the show in "The Scarlet Letter." Rent it just for him...You wont be sorry:-D....

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

Dear Rebecca, I'm afraid to admit that I have no idea who this actor is; I'm just not up-to-date on today's constellation of stars....

I did see the Harry Potter movie; thank goodness, otherwise I would have to tell you that I haven't seen any of his movies! All the other movies you mention here, are new to me. My movie-going days more or less ended once my daughter was born...I usually watch my old favourites from my video collection...I've missed a lot, I know....

He is handsome, though!

Rebecca said...

Lavinia, rent "Immortal Beloved." You will love this movie and IMO, it is his best. Go to the youtube link and watch this clip to get a glimpse of his depth. He is extraordinary in the role...

Yes, I think he is VERY handsome.

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

Okay I will watch that youtube clip. Isn't youtube wonderful? I recently have been watching old Carol Burnett episodes; her comedic talents, and those of her guest stars, were incredible.

You know, in the black and white photo you have posted, he looks a little like the lead singer from Simple Minds..!

Rebecca said...

Lavinia, you're right! He does favor him a bit...Oh what was his name? Jim Kerr! That's it...

Youtube is very addictive...I've found so many pop videos from bands in the 80's that I loved like: Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran,U2, Big Country, and the R and B group Debarge...etc...The list goes on....

I loved the Carol Burnette Show...My favorite parodies were "Rebecky and Went with the Wind."...Hysterical...

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

I remember that one...Didn't she come down the stairs wearing the gown made out of drapery...but the curtain rod was still on it, slung across her shoulders? Hilarious...

I also loved Mama's family skits, with Eunice, Mama, Ed...

rochambeau said...

Just dropping by to say hi Rebecca!
Are you a mother? If so happy Mother's day.
I send you happy thoughts.

Haven't tried Earl with lavender yet!! Didn't know it exists. Sounds divine. You probably already know this that nuance in Earl Grey is Bergamot. I like it very much.
Thanks for the hot tip.

Sending smiles.
Constance

Rebecca said...

Constance, thank you for the well-wishes..Yes, I'm a mom to two ( 10 year old son named David and 16 month old Daughter named Katherine.)

I hope your mother is still doing well...
Blessings...
R