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