Thursday, September 02, 2010

The Fifties for 2010: Best Ensemble

Accomplices, with ace anchoring from Descours, Meurisse, Melki, and Devos, echoing each other across plotlines, plus sharp supporting turns to boot;

Animal Kingdom, for the family group of competitors, allies, and backstabbers (all the same people), but also the police, the lawyers, the girl's parents...;

Everyone Else, where the two frenemies are as fully realized as the two protagonists, and the couple with the boat evokes a whole lifetime in mere minutes;

Greenberg, where the concentric circles of strong acting include Leigh and Duplass from Greenberg's past, and the raft of kids he charms and alienates;

Toy Story 3, where the interplay among the regulars remains a franchise highlight, but the daycare and Bonnie's room yield new galleries of agile voicing.

Honorable mentions to the very game actors who realize Lanthimos's perverse vision in Dogtooth and bring real personality to it; to the patricians in I Am Love, eying each other mostly with affection but not without suspicion; to the rogue's gallery of criminals, schizos, bystanders, and phantoms in A Prophet; and to the warm, funny, thoughtful collection of performances in The Kids Are All Right, which aren't all perfect and rarely hit their peaks at the same time, but thrive off of each other's talent and each other's dissimilarities.

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Blogger Joe Reid said...

For me, Animal Kingdom runs at the head of the pack, neck-and-neck with the cast of Winter's Bone.

Beyond Lawrence and Hawkes and Dickey -- all worthy on their own -- the entire community is full of really lived-on, complicated people. I'm thinking of the neighbor lady, or Scary Santa Claus, or Ree's pragmatic (but surprisingly loyal) pregnant friend, down to a pair of above-average child actors playing her siblings. The whole community seems so grimily real -- even Sheryl Lee!

8:59 AM, September 02, 2010  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

I probably ought to have included the Winter's Bone cast as an Honorable Mention, at least. I forgot how much I liked the neighbor lady. I did, however, think that Scary Santa Claus was a liability (scary to me because of how he was shot and edited, but not in performance), and the best friend bugged me almost as much as that other curly-haired girl who is the first person who agrees to show Ree to whatever house she's trying to find. Despite strong directorial vision, and some excellent perfs, the cast as a whole didn't "sell" me all the way.

10:11 AM, September 02, 2010  
Blogger Andrew K. said...

I left Greenberg particularly impressed with Rhys Ifans who I've always tended to ignore (not deliberately). I'd add Nowhere Boy and Agora to the list. I'm interested in what you'd think of the latter, it's still my favourite movie of the year thus far (though I haven't seen that much); but a number of blogger friends loathed it.

(Other than Joan, I felt like Toy Story cast was on autopilot too much, except for the new additions in some spots. But that movie really didn't hit me with the poignancy others found.)

12:51 PM, September 02, 2010  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

@A:EE: I skipped Agora, despite some compunctions about it, and Nowhere Boy hasn't bowed yet in the States. I know a lot of people responded to the TS3 ensemble the way you did—though that's not meant to imply your opinion is only valid because I've heard other people express it! Just that I have a sense not everyone is on the same page about this ensemble, or even this film, despite all the cashflow and critical laurels.

As for Ifans: I've responded in exactly the same way in the past, and before I say more - tune in tomorrow!

4:07 PM, September 02, 2010  

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