March 8, 2005

Umm, How You Say, "Break Out Role"?

Cinecultist's newest film fascination, via the day job, is in the search for the hot young thing on screen. How to find these ephemeral figures about to burst onto the scene in that moment just before everyone else does? Our self-tutorial includes going back to watch the break out works of some currently over-played inhabitants of the mainstream. At least that's how we're spinning the realization that we spent Saturday night watching a war film directed by Joel Schumacher with our buddy Ilana.

Too sick still to navigate the E/V trains over the water to the G then to god-knows-where Greenpoint for what was surely a lovely housewarming get together, CC and Ilana ate Japanese food in the West Village before on Ilana's suggestion, taking in some Colin Farrell goodness via his first American role as Bozz in Tigerland.

Farrell has on display his very considerable talents in this film, and when we say "talents," we want you to imagine our most lascivious tone accompanying that euphemism. Damn, girl. What a physic on that one. Yet his performance and the buzz which surrounded it upon the film's release is more than just the sum of his looks. Farrell has the charisma only true screen stars can exude on film. A swagger punctuated with a tenderness and even an reluctant intelligence in his Vietnam-era bad boy army soldier character. What a surprise when a part could be just one note, particularly in these "war story as told by a sensitive, outsider writer type" movies. The war film isn't a genre which usually piques our interest, so when a film holds our attentions beyond the yelling and shooting it's a mean feat indeed.

Interestingly, this movie was also co-star Matt Davis' first film role in addition to being Farrell's first major part in US movie (before that he was probably most known in the UK for a role on the soapy "Ballykissangel" tv program). Davis went on to be the boring but hunky boyfriends in Legally Blonde and Blue Crush but has yet to really "break out," in that magazine buzz parlance. Davis is certainly good in Tigerland as the sensitive buddy but he doesn't have Farrell's magnetism. Is it only the really extraordinary who can escape the strictures of their good looks? Farrell may be in some pretty bad movies but you couldn't ever describe his characters as good looking but boring. Maybe the moral of the story is that it's not enough to have the physic of a Ken doll. Or maybe it's just that some people got it, and some don't, kid.

Ok, we're going to stop now before CC turns into some demented Robert Evans.

An Aside: Apparently, Anthony Lane can actually write less than totally snark-filled reviews. His talents are so demonstrated in his comments on Head On in this week's New Yorker [link not the perma kind so click now, while ye can]. He invokes the new German film in the same sentence with Lukas Moodysson's Lilya 4-Ever, so now we have to go see it.

Posted by karen at March 8, 2005 8:54 AM