Saturday, January 3, 2009

The joys of the well-cast movie

There's not much that can make a movie better than finding a movie where every actor seems to fit into his/her role perfectly. Bad casting (even of a talented performer) can mar an otherwise fine story. Geed casting--really good casting--can elevate a film from good to amazing. Here are a few of my favorites.

IRON MAN - Robert Downey Jr. as the troubled but charming protagonist was amazing. The rest of the cast, especially Gwennith Paltrow as the Pepper Potts, added tremendously.

DARK KNIGHT - Christian Bale is the best movie Batman ever IMO, but it probably won't surprise anyone that I think Heath Leger's Joker was (much) better. Gary Oldman was perfect as Detective Gordon, and Aaron Eckhart finally gave some life to IMO one of the most interesting villains form the comic books. (See Tommy Lee Jones in Batman Forever for a good example of horrible casting of a good actor.)

THE PRINCESS BRIDE - One of the most perfectly cast movies ever! It's not just the leads who are perfect in this movie, it's every single role down to the bit parts. I love the unorthodox choces, like Wallage Shawn as Vizzini, Billy Cristal and the wonderful Carol Kane as Miracle Max and his wife, but it's the casting of Andre the Giant as Fezzik that really makes the movie.

TOMBSTONE - This is my all time favorite western and features a beautifully cast band of brothers (Kurt Russell, Bill Paxton and Sam Elliot) as Wyatt, Morgan and Virgil Earp. The villains, led by Powers Boothe and Michael Biehn, are just as good. Then there's Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday, who stands out even in a movie full of stand out performances.

CHARADE - Any other actress than Audrey Hepburn would have been annoying in this role, but she makes you fall in love with her. Cary Grant is so perfect as the leading man that you don't even mind the fact that the character's name changes every other scene. George Kennedy, James Coburn, and Ned Glass manage a perfect blend of comic relief and genuine menace. It's another where every performance delivers.

A few others I like for casting would have to include ED WOOD, CASABLANCA, and THE MALTESE FALCON (though I did not like Mary Astor at all in her role).


1 comment:

Catherine J Gardner said...

I love 'The Princess Bride' - and yes, perfect casting.