Character actor Michael Shannon has been nominated for his second Oscar for his role in the 2016 thriller Nocturnal Animals. "No Small Parts" takes a look at some of the other characters he's played in the past.
The experienced doorman at the Atlantic Hotel is quite proud of his position, his responsibilities, and his uniform. One busy, rainy night, he has to take a short rest after lugging a heavy suitcase in from the rain. Unfortunately, his manager comes by during the short time when he is not performing his duties. The next day, when the doorman arrives for work, he learns that he has been replaced as doorman, and has been re-assigned to the less strenuous but purely menial position of washroom attendant. Stunned and humiliated, the old man struggles to carry on with his life. Written by
Der Letzte Mann is nothing short of the epitome of viewing pleasure. Beautifully shot, the urban landscape in which a noble doorman earns his keep (and humanity) is throughout dream-like, infused with a decidedly ethereal quality. Added to a magical visual backdrop is a haunting musical score, highlighted by sweeping cello chords which cut straight to the heart. With regard to prominent themes, the picture speaks volumes about the fragility of human existence and, specifically, human dignity. The shallow and arbitrary nature of a society bent predominantly on the acquisition and elevation of pecuniary wealth, as well as the perseverance of the individual through it all, is illustrated masterfully through both the zenith and nadir of the doorman's existence, as documented in this truly excellent work of the interwar period.
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