Performances of Real Life People.

Biopics, miniseries, walk-on appearances. Who captured someone and who fell on their face? The winners, the losers, and the tries that stay with you.

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This was a short part but I loved Gillian Anderson as Lucille Ball in American Gods – and as David Bowie and Marilyn Monroe

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Tim Burton’s Ed Wood about the life of the infamous director is one of his best films. Johnny Depp is endearing in the title role as the director whose boundless enthusiasm exceeds his limited talent. It’s Martin Landau who steals the show though as Bela Lugosi.

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@Serein It’s his finest acting. Johnny so utterly conveys the zany mystique of that iconic director. His facial expressions, rapid moves, and the pitch of his voice slingshot him to the next level.

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Wes Craven plays himself in A New Nightmare (aka A Nightmare on Elm Street 7) and is just not believable.

(Actually, he’s really believable as himself, but I think he was just so happy to be there he couldn’t repress it enough to act sufficiently spooked. He did a better job playing the rugby-shirted weirdo janitor in Scream.)

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I thought the two actors playing the title roles in this movie from 2018 were both excellent –

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Mmm… May I pose a thought? Is Wes’s Wes Craven excited by himself appearing in the movie or the character finally sitting down with his leading lady hoping she accepts the part? One might consider his energy creative neurosis on diving in so deep on the project and that spilling over as he explains it to the woman he needs. I applied it to the recklessness of New Nightmare’s (1994) Wes not Craven the actor. My interpretation.

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I so wanted to plunge into this. I haven’t yet. How was their chemistry together?

Well, the scene I’m thinking of is when they’re discussing Freddy being “actualized” as it were. The point at which they should all be worried they’re gonna die. However, it’s been a while since I’ve seen it, so I may just need to watch it again. It’s kind of a master class on Wes Craven was not just a plug-and-play horror director.

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@moviegique Which is the exchange I borrowed the picture from. I’ve seen this a few not recently but Wes in the film is fearful, excited, and my bead on the enthusiasm is the character Wes Craven is in over his head and also jazzed by the inspiration this project is giving him and that is my read of the character. He is high that this story is just surging out of him and possibly staving off this threat by making “his” vision a reality.

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If true, it puts an interesting twist on things.

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I thought they worked quite well together. The film focuses more on the waning days of their careers so it’s not just the actors reprising some of L & H’s funniest bits. The movie humanizes “the boys” and shows the negotiations and accomodations necessary for any successful long term partnership.

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Which of the three you liked more?

Lucille Ball is the performance that stuck out to me. It was uncanny. I might have actually watched Being The Ricardos if they’d put Anderson in it (Gillian Anderson is one year younger than Nicole Kidman)

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Ob: Robert Downey, Jr. in Chaplin

Nobody knew he had those kinds of chops back then.

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I’m not a huge Jim Carrey fan… I like his short-form stuff but find most of his movies annoying. But he really disappeared into the role of Andy Kaufman in Man on the Moon. To the point where I think of scenes from the movie and remember Kaufman’s face instead of Carrey’s.

I second RDJ in Chaplin.

Paul Giamatti and Judah Friedlander as Harvey Pekar and Toby Radloff in American Splendor.

For small parts, I have to mention Vincent D’Onofrio as Orson Welles in the aforementioned Ed Wood. He was so accurate I thought they’d put Depp into some actual footage of Welles. I was even more impressed when I thought it was D’Onofrio doing the spot-on voice, but it was Maurice LaMarche.

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I think that adds to it, actually. You saw it and you thought “What am I seeing/hearing?” Is this some old clip of Welles they’ve edited like Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid? It’s kind of shot that way, too, like, Depp isn’t shaking his hand or getting chummy.

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And let’s not neglect Lisa Marie as Vampira, the Undead Mother Goddess of Bad Movie Enjoyment.

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I thought whatsisface did a pretty interesting take on pianist/composer Glenn Gould in Thirty Two Short Films …. Didn’t really much resemble GG physically, but it was an interesting take, even though the movie was almost pure fiction.

And, while “liberties” were taken, one of my favorite actors, George C. Scott, really brought Patton to life. Maybe not exactly Patton’s life down to every detail, but still an impressive performance.

I suppose Roy Scheider as a fictionalized Bob Fosse in All That Jazz can count as well.

Exactly right!

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