03 January 2017

Belle du Jour (Luis Buñuel, 1967)

One of Buñuel best and most famous films, made during the extremely fruitful Francophone period that ended his career, Belle du Jour stars Catherine Deneuve as a frigid Parisian housewife who can only find sexual release by whoring herself out on weekday afternoons (when her surgeon husband is at work.) Deneuve is ravishing and impenetrable as Belle, and Michel Piccoli is wonderfully smarmy and sleazy as a socialit who wants to bed Belle until he runs across her at the upscale brother where she works, after which he finds her too tainted to be worthy of his desire.

15 October 2012

The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2012)

quell transitive verb \ˈkwel\ - to thoroughly overwhelm and reduce to submission or passivity.
To paraphrase Nixon aide H.R. Haldeman, "every leader needs a son-of-a-bitch, and I'm his (Nixon's)" Just as Nixon had Haldeman, Bill Clinton had Dick Morris, and LBJ had Bobby Baker, Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the titular Master of Paul Thomas Anderson's latest film, has Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix), a man who appeals to the leader's baser instincts, and who does the bits of dirty work that might ordinarily sully his reputation. 

The relationship between these two men, the cerebral Dodd and the animal-like Quell, forms the core of the movie. We meet Quell first, at the end of World War II, relaxing and biding time with his fellow sailors as hostilities have finished and they are waiting to leave for home. We learn he has something of an awkward relationship with women, and that he has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. He wanders from job to job for several years, always an outsider, never knowing his place. Then, by chance, he meets Dodd, and their lives are changed as their destinies become intertwined. I say "destinies" with deliberateness, as Dodd is the leader of a nascent movement (read, "cult") that believes that humans, or their spirits to be precise, have been around for over a trillion years, that everyone has had many past lives, and that humans are bound by their destinies. (If any of this sounds familiar, there's a reason for that).

Quell becomes Dodd's premier disciple, in the sense that he is the person most wholly devoted to Dodd as a person and a leader. Dodd's wife Peggy (Amy Adams) several times questions her husband's theories, pointing out logical inconsistencies or breaks from past dogma, while his son Val (Jesse Plemons) dismisses the entire enterprise out-of-hand, once telling Quell that The Master is "making this all up as he goes along."

But Quell has none of these doubts; he's seen what it's like to have nothing to live for, and Dodd gives his life purpose. As someone whose life has been a series of failures, lacking in goals or community, Dodd’s cult and the group that forms around it is just what he needs. What gives the narrative life is the reciprocal need that Dodd has for Quell. As much as the Master preaches and exhorts against the animal aspects of humanity, it is precisely these animal qualities that attracts the scholarly Dodd to his unpolished acolyte. The two form an unholy bond, one that worries Dodd’s family and other disciples. They see Quell as a negative influence, not just on Dodd himself, but also his movement. Ultimately, Dodd probably comes to the same realization; by the film’s end he has come to understand that Quell is an animal force that cannot be contained, and that, for the good of his movement the two must separate.

In many ways, The Master is both a parallel film and a sequel to PTA's previous work, the oil-and-religion-soaked masterwork There Will Be Blood. Both deal with the relationships and conflicts between religion and faith on the one hand, and capitalism, power, and greed on the other. While There Will Be Blood's Daniel Plainview is more overtly ambitious than The Master's Lancaster Dodd, both carry the weight of modern American history on their back, and both seem implicitly aware of this. Whether or not Anderson is consciously trying to create a treatise on the twin American obsessions of faith and greed, he has certainly given us two magnificent movies in a row that present American individualists at their greatest and worst.

Also, like There Will Be Blood, The Master has some of the best acting in any American film of recent memory. Not content with one performance of the stature of Daniel Day Lewis' this time, Anderson gives us twin performances, by Phoenix and Hoffman, that could each claim a best acting award next Spring. And, again, Anderson's film is accompanied by a masterful score by Jonny Greenwood, quickly establishing himself as one of the finest film composers working today.

01 April 2012

Duel to the Death (Ching Siu-tung, 1983)

It’s a familiar tradition that a nation or people find themselves a champion, one that would represent them in individual combat against an individual from another people. Ching Siu-tung‘s Duel to the Death presents just such a battle, between a champion swordsman from Japan and one from China. Every ten years, according to the story, these two individuals fight for the honor of their nation. In this tale, the fight is rigged in such a way that the Japanese champion, Hashimoto, will win. Since this is a tale of honor, the two combatants discover the plot and join together to foil it, before fighting their own battle.

At this point I should tell you that Wuxia is not even remotely my genre. I love Asian cinema, but my exposure to this type of film essentially begins and ends with Wong Kar-Wai’s Ashes of Time.

That being said, I truly enjoyed Duel to the Death. It presents a somewhat hackneyed tale, yet in its predictability lies a great deal of truth in what cinema can tell us about how societies interact. The final scene, in which the two swordsmen fight their duel on an ocean-swept cliff, makes me want to explore this genre further. I suppose there can't be much higher praise for a film than that.

03 January 2012

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (David Fincher, 2011)

Having already seen the 2009 version by Niels Arden Oplev I was a bit reticent to screen a big budget Hollywood version of it. Nevertheless, Fincher's version is an excellent film in its own right, and is entertaining enough to satisfy fans of the earlier version. (Having not read any of the books I can't say whether fans of the novels will be satisfied.)

That the movie is so entertaining is, I think, part of the problem. This is a movie that is lacking in soul, not a problem for many films, but for one with such a weighty theme, enough to give me pause. I don't know if we really should be entertained by two-and-a-half hours of brutality towards women, even if the bad guys lose in the end. Fincher certainly has a history of making hugely entertaining movies about the gruesome and grisly (his first two features were Alien3 and Se7en, after all), but The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo isn't a fantasy piece, and violence against women isn't a subject for light entertainment. That the film (like its Swedish predecessor) doesn't shy away from the ugliness of this is a testament to good intentions, if nothing else.

13 December 2011

Melancholia (Lars von Trier, 2011)

A few years ago I was fortunate to be in attendance at the Wexner Center when Lodge Kerrigan spoke at a screening of his film, Keane. (If you've not seen it, do so. It's one of the best American films of the last decade.) During the Q&A I thanked Mr. Kerrigan for not exploiting the main character's mental illness, by playing it for cheap laughs, like in a Robin Williams vehicle. Anyone who's dealt with mental illness, either personally or with a family member, knows that it's not funny.

But what about an artist who exploits their own mental illness? Van Gogh clearly suffered from some sort of psychological malady, yet his ability to channel his fears, dreams, and hallucinations into his work is an important part of why it's so compelling; we get a window into the world of someone not like us, and it's hard to resist.

Melancholia is a work of self-exploitation. Von Trier, while suffering from a bout of depression, was struck by how people suffering from depression handle stressful situations with seeming calm. Since even the worst reality imaginable, i.e., the end of the world, isn't as bad as their perceived reality, why get all bothered about it?

The end of the world in Melancholia is the destruction of Earth, caused by the collision into it of a much larger, 'rogue' planet, named Melancholia. The various characters anticipate or reject the possibility of this calamitous event to varying degrees, and their reaction to its inevitability is determined by various things, not the least of which, their mental 'health.'

Justine (Kirsten Dunst) is not mentally healthy. We discover this as we meet her, on her wedding day. As the film opens, she is two hours late to her reception, and spends the rest of the evening sulking, hiding, and avoiding most everyone, particularly her groom. One person she wants to talk to, her father, played by a well-disguised John Hurt, hasn't time for her, preferring to flirt with two young women named 'Betty.' By the end of the evening Justine has managed to quit her job, have perfunctory, anonymous sex with an erstwhile co-worker, and (unsurprisingly) alienate her new husband (Alexander Skarsgard, son of von Trier-regular Stellan Skarsgard, who himself plays Justine's boss.)

In the second part of the film, ostensibly focused upon Justine's sister, Claire (played by the ever-wonderful Charlotte Gainsbourg), the Melancholia-as-planet plot comes to the fore. John, Claire's impossibly wealthy husband, played by a suitably buttoned-up Keifer Sutherland, eagerly anticipates Melancholia's 'fly-by.' A believer in the 'non-sensationalist' variety of scientists (the ones who tell everyone there's no danger, that Melancholia will pass by the Earth with only the smallest of incident), John tracks the patch of the rogue planet each night with an expensive array of telescopes, initiating his and Claire's son into his stargazing hobby. He has warned Claire to not go online, that the scientists predicting doom and gloom are only angling for attention. Predictably, John is least able to cope with the truth of things.

(Incidentally, Melancholia may be von Trier's least misogynist film, coming on the heels of Antichrist, by consensus his most misogynist one. To be sure, Melancholia is by no means a feminist work, but, taken in the aggregate, the male characters are a far less appealing bunch than the females.)

As it becomes clear that Melancholia will not avoid Earth, the benefit of Justine's melancholia becomes clear - she just doesn't care that she, and every other living creature in the universe, is about to die. "Life is evil," she states blankly. The calm that she exudes is actually a saving grace, of a sort, to her sister and nephew. I don't really think von Trier is trying to make a statement here, that, perhaps, the depressives among us are actually capable of helping the rest of us through life's calamities, but I simply think he's investigating an interesting concept in the most extreme way possible.

Whatever the purpose of the film, I think that von Trier has gifted us with something special. "A beautiful film about the end of the world," (the movie's tagline) doesn't even approach the magnificence that has been achieved. Special mention should be made of the performance of Dunst, who was required to carry the emotional weight of the film, and does so admirably. She was awarded Best Actress at this year's Cannes festival, and it would be churlish to say the award wasn't deserved. For her performance, combined with Manuel Alberto Claro's photography, make Melancholia worth seeing. Everything else is a bonus.

16 May 2011

Really good foreign language films, 2001-2010


Read My Lips (Jacques Audiard)
The Piano Teacher (Michael Haneke)
What Time Is It There? (Tsai Ming-liang)
Time Out (Laurent Cantet)
In Praise of Love (Jean-Luc Godard)
Y Tu Mamá También (Alfonso Cuarón)
Fat Girl (Catherine Breillat)
Millennium Mambo (Hou Hsiao-Hsien)


On the Occasion of Remembering the Turning Gate (Hong Sang-soo)
Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki)
Blisfully Yours (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
Bad Education (Pedro Almodovar)
Distant (Nuri Bilge Ceylan)
The Son (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne)
Friday Night (Claire Denis)
Ten (Abbas Kiarostami)
man on the Train (Patrice Leconte)
The Man Without a Past (Aki Kaurismaki)


The Return (Andrey Zvyagintsev)
Blind Shaft (Li Yang)
Crimson Gold (Jafar Panahi)
The Story of Marie and Julien (Jacques Rivette)
Strayed (Andres Techine)
The Five Obstructions (Jorgen Lett and Lars von Trier)


Samaritan Girl (Kim Ki-duk)
3-Iron (Kim Ki-duk)
The World (Jia Zhangke)
Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
Talk to Her (Pedro Almodovar)
Kings and Queen (Arnaud Desplechin)
Notre Musique (Jean-Luc Godard)
2046 (Wong Kar-wai)


Tale of Cinema (Hong Sang-soo)
The Child (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne)
Cache (Michael Haneke)
Three Times (Hou Hsiao-Hsien)


Still Life (Jia Zhangke)
Volver (Pedro Almodovar)


4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu)
Summer Hours (Olivier Assayas)


The Class (Laurent Cantet)
35 Shots of Rum (Claire Denis)
A Christmas Tale (Arnaud Desplechin)
Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson)
Gomorrah (Matteo Garrone)


The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke)
In Prophete (Jacques Audiard)
Broken Embraces (Pedro Almodovar)
White Material (Claire Denis)
The Girl on the Train (Andres Techine)


Uncle Boonmee  Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
Carlos (Olivier Assayas)

01 April 2011

Southland Tales (Richard Kelly, 2006)

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

Southland Tales is a monumental mess of a movie. It's a huge, colossal disaster. I really can't think of any way to describe it. Set in a contemporary, post-apocalyptic America which, after a number of orchestrated nuclear attacks, has devolved into a Balkanized police state watched over by a PATRIOT Act-on-steroids aided government, the film concerns the actions of Boxer Santaros, a politically connected actor, played by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, along with a group of anti-government rebels known as the "Neo-Marxists." And it's narrated by Justin Timberlake.


The Rock and Mr "SexyBack".

And the hits keep on coming - Wallace Shawn plays a possibly evil, definitely mad, scientist, who harnesses the oceans to generate all the power the U.S. War machine will ever need, Jon Lovitz plays a racist cop in a blonde wig, and Sarah Michelle Gellar plays a porn star who hosts a The View-esque daytime talk show (with a panel of other porn stars who discuss current events while sitting on deck chairs along Venice Beach) who shacks up with Boxer and with him co-writes a script about a psychic L.A. Cop.

The plot is predictably a mess. Three years after the attacks, and on the eve of the 2008 U.S. Presidential election, Boxer, the son-on-law of GOP VP candidate Bobby Frost, goes missing in Nevada and then re-appears several days later. California and its 55 electoral votes is the key to the election. (Don't bother doing the electoral math necessary for that to actually happen.) The Neo-Marxists kidnap Boxer, and hope to use him to swing the election. The government has a mole inside the Neo-Marxists. Some people take some high-tech drugs and Timberlake lip-syncs a song by The Killers. There's a zeppelin. Then the world is falling apart. A cop who has a twin doesn't have a twin, they're duplicates of each other, and if they cross the streams touch it would be bad. They do, and then maybe the world ends, "not with a whimper but with a bang."

OK, I liked the part when Timberlake danced around the room and lip-synched. It was something approaching reality.

If anything the film is something of a time capsule of the Bush years - the liberal paranoia, the conservative jingoism, the stale romanticism of the anti-war movement. It's the low-brow, outre counterpart of Aaron Sorkin's preachy TV show, Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip, a show that ranted for 40 minutes every week at how stupid Middle America had to be to vote for Bush, twice. Looking back on that time, just a few short years ago, is like staring at a photo of yourself from when you had a really bad cold and were all sweaty and pale and feverish. It's you, but a you you barely recognize and would prefer to not if given the choice. But I really think I'm giving Kelly too much credit here. The guy can't write a script to save his life and his concept of drama or genuine human relationships makes the Geico caveman commercials seem sophisticated. But he somehow latched onto the zeitgeist of the aughts in a weird way, and ran with it, for 144 minutes and $17 million. I can only wonder what I'd have thought of the film had I seen it in a first run.

I don't think I'm surprising anyone when I state that Southland Tales isn't a very good movie. There's too much bad writing and bad acting for it to be objectively considered a quality motion picture. And quality notwithstanding it's at least 40 minutes too long. But it's also, in stretches, incredibly entertaining. The absurdity of it all guarantees it - the fact that so many big names, if not big talents, are attached to it, that it actually got green-lit, that someone thought up all this crap, is astonishing, and on occasion astonishingly funny. I mean, it played at Cannes, for God's sake. In competition. Never mind that it's an awful movie, somehow, somebody somewhere stuck it up there against The Wind That Shakes the Barley and Volver.

Film history is laden with directors making an acclaimed movie and then, given something approaching carte blanche, making a giant failure on their next effort. Southland Tales is no Heaven's Gate - no studios were harmed in the making of this picture - but it's far worse.

22 February 2011

Sunrise: A Tale of Two Humans (FW Murnau, 1927)

Sunrise: A Tale of Two Humans is a story told almost entirely in stereotypes. This is intentional. The story is very basic, and cluttering it with nuance or surprise would detract from his impact. A man is tempted. He overcomes temptation, but almost loses everything anyway. Once he realizes what could have been lost his life is changed forever. The end.

The beauty of the movie is in its simplicity, and its execution. I got to see it again last night as part of the Wexner Center's Film History 101 series.

21 February 2011

The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)

As I write this, David Fincher's The Social Network is almost sure to win the Oscar™ for Best Picture. So, I'm late to the party, but I just watched it for the first time the other night. I don't know; I don't think it was that good. It benefits from a decent Aaron Sorkin script, but I don't think the multiple depositions as a framing device worked well. I kept waiting for that to finish so we could get on with the story, which, of course, never happened. The framing device was the story.

We're supposed to come away with the idea that Zuckerberg is kind of an asshole (or at least his ambition is to be one) but that he really doesn't have it in him because he's deep down, a nice guy. He just wants to be liked, which is why he invented Facebook in the first place. That's great, but I don't care and it doesn't make him interesting. It makes him dull.

The other thing we're supposed to understand is that Zuckerberg is at the forefront of a generation of tech geniuses who, unlike their forebears, don't just invent something great and then cash in, they stick with it and actually, you know, run things.
"I'm the CEO, bitch"
Except that Bill Gates is still (effectively) running Microsoft, ditto Jobs at Apple, Bezos at Amazon... So there's not a whole lot special about Zuckerberg except that he's still really young.

The first fifteen or twenty minutes of The Social Network are breathlessly good, but then the structure of the film starts to weigh it down like ankle weights, and it never recovers. Once it's over you feel unfulfilled, not because that it was a bad movie, just because there wasn't enough to it to satisfy.

01 January 2011

Film log - 2011 edition

  1. The Magnificent Ambersons (Orson Welles, 1942) ***** 2010.01.18
  2. The Godfather Part II (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974) ***** 2010.01.10
  3. Laura (Otto Preminger, 1944) ***** 2010.01.23
  4. Eastern Promises (David Cronenberg, 2007) ***** 2010.02.06
  5. The Big Lebowski (Joel & Ethan Coen, 1998) ***** 2010.02.05
  6. White Material (Claire Denis, 2009) **** 2010.01.21
  7. Charlotte et Véronique, ou Tous les garçons s'appellent Patrick (Jean-Luc Godard, 1957) **** 2010.02.06
  8. Bellamy (Claude Chabrol, 2009) **** 2010.01.20
  9. Murder, My Sweet (Edward Dmytryk, 1944) **** 2010.01.16
  10. In Bruges (Martin McDonagh, 2008) **** 2010.01.02
  11. Winter's Bone (Debra Granik, 2010) **** 2010.01.01
  12. The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010) *** 2010.02.20
  13. True Grit (Joel & Ethan Coen, 2010) *** 2010.01.27
  14. Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010) *** 2010.01.17
  15. Atlantiques (Mati Diop, 2009) *** 2010.01.21
  16. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Edgar Wright, 2010) *** 2010.01.02

31 October 2010

21 July 2006

September 26, 2006

Facets is releasing a DVD of Bela Tarr's masterpiece, Satantango. I won't be buying it.

10 July 2006

Crimes and Misdemeanors II

I finally saw Match Point last night. While rigorously avoiding any reviews of the film, I went into knowing that

a) Woody has gone on record saying it's his best film, and
b) A large number of self-described 'non fans' really like this movie.

I'll attempt to briefly discuss both points.

1. The film, and Mr. Allen's attitude concerning it.

In my opinion, Match Point is far from Allen's best work. Now, it is indeed a very good movie, but it's hampered in part by poor pacing, clunky dialogue, and a not very good performance by Scarlett Johansson, who is clearly out of her depth in a film of this quality. The film itself is in many ways a retread of Allen's earlier, superior work, Crimes and Misdemeanors. It shares a major plotline with the earlier film, and the film's primary theme is identical. It's so similar, in fact, that I knew within a half-hour exactly what would happen for the next 90 minutes. While not a huge liability, this did render some of the more poorly paced sequences even more interminable.

So, why does Woodly like it so much? Probably because it's the most mature exposition of the recurring theme that the universe has no moral compass, that there is no inherent reason that good should triumph over evil. The New York Times critic AO Scott has written well about this, if you're interested. Also, after being in something of a creative slump for more than a decade, Allen seems to have really enjoyed working in London instead of New York. His films have long been better appreciated in Europe than in America, so it's only natural that he move production to that continent. It is of course somewhat ironic that the filmmaker who most heavily iconizes the city in his films would end up abandoning it, but I have to admit that London has given his films a freshness.

2. The "non-fanboys attitude concerning the film.

For a variety of reasons, the young generation of cinephiles raised on DVDs of Kevin Smith, Quentin Tarantino, and Wes Anderson films have no time for Woody Allen. They proudly claim to be ignorant of his work, and to not enjoy at all what they've seen. Yet, Match Point is a film this group seems to like in spite of themselves. I'm guessing there are two main reasons for this. First, their willful ignorance of Allen's work translates into a genuine ignorance of his work. They know the stereotype of his films (nebbishy New Yorker sleeps with attractive women who find his neuroses sexy, upscale Manhattanites discuss culture at Elaine's, etc) without knowing the content of them. They are unaware that Annie Hall and Manhattan set the mold for adult romantic comedies, that Crimes and Misdemeanors, Deconstructing Harry, and Husbands and Wives are masterpieces of late-20th Century drama, and that Allen's craft, casting, and writing is the equal of anyone's in the last 40 years of cinema, that his body of work matches those of Truffaut, Bertolucci, Chabrol, and other European masters. Then they see a film like Match Point, and are surprised they like it. Well, it should be no surprise. Match Point is a fine film which any cineaste should enjoy.

The second reason is easier to understand. These film nerds lust after Scarlett Johansson. They'll see anything with her in it, and any slight chance of seeing her breasts is enough for them. Sad and pathetic, but it's hard to expect much more from a crowd that loves films like Kill Bill and Clerks.

09 May 2006

Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances

Peter O'Toole as T.E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Marlon Brando as Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront (1954)
Meryl Streep as Sophie Zawistowska in Sophie's Choice (1982)
Al Pacino as Sonny Wortzik in Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
Bette Davis as Margo Channing in All About Eve (1950)
James Cagney as George M. Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
Dustin Hoffman as "Ratso" Rizzo in Midnight Cowboy (1969)
James Stewart as George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
Gene Wilder as Dr. Frederick Frankenstein in Young Frankenstein (1974)
Robert De Niro as Jake La Motta in Raging Bull (1980)
Daniel Day-Lewis as Christy Brown in My Left Foot (1989)
Jack Nicholson as "Badass" Buddusky in The Last Detail (1973)
Katharine Hepburn as Eleanor of Aquitaine in The Lion in Winter (1968)
Robert Duvall as Mac Sledge in Tender Mercies (1983)
Tom Hanks as Josh Baskin in Big (1988)
Cary Grant as T.R. Devlin in Notorious (1946)
Denzel Washington as Malcolm X in Malcolm X (1992)
Emily Watson as Bess McNeill in Breaking the Waves (1996)
Paul Newman as Frank Galvin in The Verdict (1982)
Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part II (1974)
Giulietta Masina as Cabiria in Nights of Cabiria (1957)
Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands in Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Russell Crowe as Jeffrey Wigand in The Insider (1999)
Humphrey Bogart as Fred C. Dobbs in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
Greta Garbo as Ninotchka in Ninotchka (1939)
Maria Falconetti as Joan of Arc in The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
Marlon Brando as Paul in The Last Tango in Paris (1972)
Rosalind Russell as Hildy Johnson in His Girl Friday (1940)
Peter Sellers as Chance the Gardener in Being There (1979)
James Stewart as John "Scottie" Ferguson in Vertigo (1958)
Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles in Ray (2004)
Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
Dustin Hoffman as Michael Dorsey/Dorothy Michaels in Tootsie (1982)
Buster Keaton as Johnny Gray in The General (1927)
Philip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote in Capote (2005)
Faye Dunaway as Evelyn Cross Mulwray in Chinatown (1974)
Gene Hackman as Harry Caul in The Conversation (1974)
Carole Lombard as Maria Tura in To Be or Not to Be (1942)
Laurence Olivier as Richard III in Richard III (1955)
Nicole Kidman as Suzanne Stone Maretto in To Die For (1995)
Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction (1994)
Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver (1976)
James Dean as Jim Stark in Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
Charlie Chapman as a Tramp in City Lights (1931)
Reese Witherspoon as Tracy Flick in Election (1999)
Tom Hanks as Chuck Noland in Cast Away (2001)
Jack Nicholson as Randle Patrick McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
Bill Murray as Phil Connors in Groundhog Day (1993)
Liv Ullmann as Elisabet Vogler in Persona (1966)
Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Henry Fonda as Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
Emma Thompson as Miss Kenton in The Remains of the Day (1993)
Daniel Day-Lewis as Bill "The Butcher" Cutting in Gangs of New York (2002)
Katharine Hepburn as Tracy Lord in The Philadelphia Story (1940)
Sidney Poitier as Virgil Tibbs in In the Heat of the Night (1967)
Jodie Foster as Sarah Tobias in The Accused (1988)
Max Von Sydow as Lasse Karlsson in Pelle the Conqueror (1987)
Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley in Aliens (1986)
Catherine Deneuve as Severine Serizy in Belle de Jour (1967)
Diane Keaton as Annie Hall in Annie Hall (1977)
Ralph Fiennes as Amon Goeth in Schindler's List (1993)
Gary Oldman as Sid Vicious in Sid & Nancy (1986)
Gena Rowlands as Mabel Longhetti in A Woman Under the Influence (1974)
Paul Newman as Fast Eddie Felson in The Hustler (1961)
Jack Lemmon as Jerry/Daphne in Some Like It Hot (1959)
Holly Hunter as Jane Craig in Broadcast News (1987)
Spencer Tracy as Henry Drummond in Inherit the Wind (1960)
Cary Grant as Dr. David Huxley in Bringing Up Baby (1938)
Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard (1950)
Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Meryl Streep as Karen Silkwood in Silkwood (1983)
Judy Garland as Esther Blodgett, A.K.A. Vicki Lester in A Star Is Born (1954)
John Travolta as Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever (1977)
Madeline Kahn as Lili Von Shtupp in Blazing Saddles (1974)
Julie Christie as Diana Scott in Darling (1965)
Burt Lancaster as J.J. Hunsecker in Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
Morgan Freeman as Leo Smalls Jr., A.K.A. Fast Black in Street Smart (1987)
Toshiro Mifune as Sanjuro Kuwabatake in Yojimbo (1961)
Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in The Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
Jeanne Moreau as Catherine in Jules and Jim (1962)
Kate Winslet as Clementine Kruczynski in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
George C. Scott as General George S. Patton Jr. in Patton (1970)
Hilary Swank as Brandon Teena in Boys Don't Cry (1999)
Anjelica Huston as Lilly Dillon in The Grifters (1990)
Jessica Lange as Frances Farmer in Frances (1982)
Robert Walker as Bruno Anthony in Strangers on a Train (1951)
John Wayne as Ethan Edwards in The Searchers (1956)
Christopher Walken as Nick Chevotarevich in The Deer Hunter (1978)
Gong Li as Juxian in Farewell My Concubine (1993)
Jeff Bridges as Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski in The Big Lebowski (1998)
Jane Fonda as Bree Daniels in Klute (1971)
Clint Eastwood as "Dirty" Harry Callahan in Dirty Harry (1971)
Joan Crawford as Mildred Pierce Beragon in Mildred Pierce (1945)
Peter Lorre as Hans Beckert in M (1931)
Angela Bassett as Tina Turner in What's Love Got to Do with It? (1993)
Judy Holliday as Billie Dawn in Born Yesterday (1950)
Ben Kingsley as Don Logan in Sexy Beast (2001)
Barbara Stanwyck as Phyllis Dietrichson in Double Indemnity (1944)
Steve Martin as Navin Johnson in The Jerk (1979)
Malcolm McDowell as Alex DeLarge in A Clockwork Orange (1971)