Saturday, December 31, 2011

Faces, Places, and Characters

It's happened often, I'm sitting on my bed watching a movie and in walks an obscure secondary character, immediately my mind goes to work on who this person is. I ignore the dialogue and action until I have figured it out. Oh! now I remember! He is this character in this movie, etc, or she's from this mini-series or this movie trilogy that I can't stand. Sometimes I think it's cool that my brain recognizes all the faces, and sometimes names, of these actors and actresses. But most of the time it is just annoying. As in the case of Tom Hollander.
courtesy of
 Because I saw him first as Mr. Collins, I pictured the actor as a slightly obnoxious, very annoying and, well there is something so Collins-y about him! This picture of him was confirmed in my mind when I saw him as Lord Cutler Beckett in Pirates of the Caribbean  (forgive, me but I can't remember which two by name). Again, slimy unlikable guy, right? He just plays the bad guy so well! Besides, now-a-days it is so hard to see actors play more then one role. They are all character actors. Anyway, I admired this guys ability to act out these unbearable characters, but figured that he must be a little unbearable himself because he did it so well.
Then I saw him in Possession (sidenote: not worth watching in my opinion. Ending not worth sitting through the rest of it. Maybe my expectations were too high, due to the Gwyneth P - Jeremy N pairing.), well in Possession he wasn't altogether bad or good. He just was. If I remember rightly then he wasn't in the movie much at all anyway, but he is what I remember most favorably about the film.
 Now, being a new fan of Elizabeth Gaskell, I watched Wives and Daughters. Molly Gibson goes to live with the Hamleys (family friends?). Mr and Mrs Hamely have two sons. Osborne and Roger. Roger befriends Molly, while she develops a crush on the more fashionable, poetic Osborne. When you first become aware of Osborne he is painted much the same as other older brothers in Regency-Victorian literature. Careless, wasteful, etc... but you begin to see another side of him as the story progresses. In the end, I liked him better then the hero. (Without ruining it, Osborne has a good reason for not loving Molly back, and she gets over it quickly)
In closing, I want to say I know have a new respect for Tom's  ability to act. He played the good, the bad, and the annoying equally well.

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