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11-25-2012, 12:15 AM
Eternal Sunshine
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Originally Posted by SB164 View Post
There's quite a few films I have to watch over the holiday season, namely Lincoln and The Master. From all the reviews that I've read though, Joaquin Phoenix's performance just sounds so volatile, so unique, and most importantly, unpredictable (James Dean comes to mind when thinking of an actor who was utterly unpredictable on-screen. Ironically, River Phoenix was once compared to Dean.)

In short, it seems as though Phoenix poured his absolute heart and guts out for that film, making himself vulnerable in the process. It seems as though he made that role entirely his and only his (much like Daniel-Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood actually). Is that an accurate enough judgement of Joaquin Phoenix's performance?

Whereas on the other hand (and I may be criticized for saying this) an actor such as Liam Neeson could've likely portrayed Abraham Lincoln as well as Daniel-Day Lewis and we'd all politely give him a round of applause because of his fine performance of a larger-than-life figure.

Just to note though, I may be completely off-base here because I've yet to see either film and I'm only speculating.
It is pretty accurate. I don't really know how to approach Lincoln, it still confuses me. DDL was awesome in it, no doubt. He can't be any worse than "awesome", ever. He had the voice (or so most people think? I guess no one really knows exactly how he sounded), the mannerisms, the personality that has been recorded in history text books down pat. But I think the effort to recreate the character took away from the content of the film. It was more about every subtle personality trait getting presented, than the story/movie. I guess the most direct way of saying it is that it was trying to be as accurate as possible instead of being as entertaining/ honest as possible. This is in contrast to PTA drawing from Oil! and some of John Huston's docs for his last two films. I haven't read Oil!, so I don't know exactly how much is organic and how much is borrowed, but I am assuming (please correct me if I'm wrong) that PTA had a very broad idea of the character and just let the pros do their thing. I know from interviews that Freddie Quell is almost entirely born out of JP's interpretation of what he and PTA discussed. The bad posture was all on him, I think the speech/mouth thing was from JP organically, too. Because of the freedom, it makes it seem a bit more true to life. Freddie Quell could be one effed up WW2 vet suffering from PTSD, alcoholism, as well as other various illnesses (mental and other wise). This is where I prefer JP over DDL. I could've read Spielberg's story in a text book. PTA made a unique story based on a few happenings/ people/ events, and let it grow from there. I think the acting reflects that. And that's no knock on Daniel Day Lewis, because he deserves to all the praise he gets.

edit: Not Spielberg's "story" (I know he didn't write the screenplay), his final product.

Last edited by Eternal Sunshine: 11-25-2012 at 12:37 AM.
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