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The Lanham Factor The (ir)rational thoughts of a (not-so)mad man

I have an on-going debate with friends about artists, specifically actors, who are under-recognized (in some cases woefully so) by the critics and, in my (not so) humble opinion, the public in general.  I will likely make several posts over time regarding this topic but I want to start by mentioning one or two names now.  As always, feedback is appreciated.

Edward Norton gets the pole position for this topic.  I bet I haven't even seen 1/10th of his work and I still think he deserves more recognition than he receives.  He really puts himself into every part of every role.  It's one thing to play a part.  Edward Norton plays the many dimensions of his characters with flawless precision.  He truly seems to find the mask that the character puts over his true self, the way we all change for different situations.  If you don't believe me, watch American History X (which is on my to-watch list) or The Score.  He is versatile and consummate about his profession.

I imagine I'm going to get some varied responses for my second pick.  Leonardo DiCaprio is another under-recognized actor.  If you are judging his abilities on the quality of his movies, stop.  I didn't care much for Titanic and I certainly don't feel it was the “best” picture that year.  But his performance was so real.  He takes the script and the character and adds his own physical characteristics to make it work perfectly.  Watch his eyebrows, his nostrils.  They reveal emotions and aspects of the character that the dialog cannot.  DiCaprio does this with the skill of a master.

That's all for now.  Next time I'll probably mention Edward James Olmos as the perfect William Adama.  I may get crazy and say something about Vincent D'Onofrio!  Until then...happy movie watching!

Posted on Saturday, October 1, 2005 4:07 PM Entertainment | Back to top


Comments on this post: Under-Recognized Artists - Take I

# re: Under-Recognized Artists - Take I
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What, you have to be a man to be under recognized? I don't know about you, but Ann Archer on the female side is under appreciated. What do you think?
Left by Ann Archer fan on Oct 09, 2005 1:22 AM

# re: Under-Recognized Artists - Take I
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I haven't forgotten about them...I just haven't made it that far yet! You do identify a good point and that is that females are often overlooked. I think a big part of that is that women are not offered interesting roles as often as men. And when they are offered interesting roles, they are well-recognized for it. Take Julia Roberts as Erin Brockovich, for example. Yes, it's a stereotype and I would love to see more interesting roles go to women. One example is the role of Bobby Gorn on Law & Order: Criminal Intent. I often think that would be an interesting role to be played by a woman with the male character being the more traditional character.

In addition to Ann Archer, another example of a great female actor who might not be recognized enough is Jean Stapleton of All in the Family fame. She is amazing as Edith Bunker.

Thanks for the great feedback! I hope you'll check back for part two!
Left by Codesailor on Oct 09, 2005 7:26 AM

# re: Under-Recognized Artists - Take I
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How about Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio?
Left by Ann Archer fan on Oct 17, 2005 11:48 AM

# re: Under-Recognized Artists - Take I
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Mary Elizabeth is one of my favorite females. I fell in love with her in <i>White Sands</i> and love her many varied roles since. Mary Elizabeth is great! Who else ya got Ann Archer Fan? Keep 'em comin'!
Left by Codesailor on Oct 24, 2005 3:49 PM

# re: Under-Recognized Artists - Take I
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How about Madeleine Stowe?
Left by Ann Archer fan on Oct 24, 2005 8:34 PM

# re: Under-Recognized Artists - Take I
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I agree that Madeleine is an under-recognized actor but she's not one of my favorites. Don't get me wrong...she very very good. I just don't follow her like I do some others.

What about Angela Bassett? I just love her! She's very very good and brings a gritty toughness to most of her roles. I like how she's strong and weak at the same time?
Left by Codesailor on Nov 05, 2005 11:13 AM

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