- No Country For Old Men
- Taxi To The Dark Side
- There Will Be Blood
- My Brother Is An Only Child
- The Diving Bell And The Butterfly
- Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street
- Gone Baby Gone
Is there a more deliciously enjoyable performance than Daniel Day-Lewis chewing all the scenery in Paul Thomas Anderson’s fascinating Upton Sinclair adaptation There Will Be Blood? Day-Lewis has always been something of an overcooked actor, sucking up too much of the air around him, but the role here suits that style perfectly and makes for a masterpiece of a performance.
Honour Roll: Don Cheadle, Talk To Me; George Clooney, Michael Clayton; Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street; James McAvoy, Atonement
Yet another biopic performance, but there is no denying that the spirit that Marion Cotillard brings to the Edith Piaf film La Vie En Rose is a hell of lot more than just a good imitation. Sure, she does a terrific job of lip-synching the songs, talking like Piaf, and aging into a terrifying mess by the end of the film…but what of the smaller moments? Just look at her face when Marlene Dietrich pays her a compliment and this future legend is met with one of her favourite idols; it lifts you right out of your seat.
No Country For Old Men is the best Coen Brothers film since Fargo, a perfectly smooth, brilliantly realized tour de force that shows the filmmakers leaving behind their irritating irony to make a blistering, unforgettable dramatic thriller. At its heart is a bone-chilling performance by Javier Bardem whose menace gets directly under the skin; you’re really convinced that he is playing the devil, and I dare anyone to feel safe when they’ve finished the movie and go back to a real world that could possibly contain bad people like him.
Honour Roll: Casey Affleck, The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford; Ben Foster, 3:10 To Yuma; Hal Holbrook,Into the Wild; Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton
As the corporate shill who has to wear the brave face of a corrupt company in Michael Clayton, Tilda Swinton gives a performance that is barely detectable; she maintains her cool reserve when dealing with enemies, but corrodes in private and, thanks to the hiring of one of the most interesting British actresses ever to appear on screen, the effect is never overstated. Swinton’s collapse in the film’s final reel is pure magnificence, and thankfully is leading to more fascinating performances from this abundantly talented actress.
Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, No Country For Old Men