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2.25.2013

Daniel Day Freakin' Lewis




So he did it again last night, and now for the third time. I just watched Gangs of New York (2002--sheesh, it's hard to think that film is now more than ten years old, isn't it?) this past weekend, and I came away amazed once again by just how good this guy is. 

I have always been genuinely impressed with Leonardo DiCaprio's acting skills, but the overall impression I left that movie with was just how far out of Lewis's league poor Leo was back then. Every time they were on the screen together, you couldn't help but notice Lewis's Bill "The Butcher" Cutting as a raw, magnetic figure. Lewis snarled his way through that film with that uncanny accent, that unabashed bravado, that acerbic nationalism. He did it with such panache that it's a wonder this latest win for Lincoln wasn't his fourth for best actor.

The BBC posted a great little write-up on the actor today. I had no idea that he's only taken six leading roles in the last fifteen years. It looks like he brings the same focus and intensity to his career that he takes to his craft. Here's an interesting snippet:
"When the imagination frees itself, you have no goddamn idea what's going to happen. So it's not a constrictive or restrictive way of working - quite the opposite."
He added that he found it far easier to stay in character during the filming process, saying: "What would drain me much more, in my case, is jumping in and out of that world that we've gone to such an inordinate length to create for ourselves."
While I haven't seen Lincoln yet, I'm really excited to do so. In fact, there are a great many films that were nominated last night that will be released on DVD in the next few weeks that will make for some fine viewing. The 2012/13 awards season seems to have trended back toward more artistic, serious fare. Alas, I've been to the movies more this year, but I've opted for the popcorn features. 

I've seen Mama ('B'), Side Effects ('B'), the Red Dawn remake ('C'), Killer Joe ('B'), and The Hobbit ('A-') in the last few months. I'm sad that I missed out on catching The Impossible in the theater. 

I saw a pretty great turn this weekend by Denzel Washington in Flight (2012), but I'll be honest--nobody is as good or as intense when it comes to embodying a character on the screen as DDL.

Congratulations on another win, Mr. Lewis. Looking forward to your next choice...

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