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.
After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own.
David O. Russell
Robert De Niro
Adam is a 27 year old writer of radio programs and is diagnosed with a rare form of spinal cancer. With the help of his best friend, his mother, and a young therapist at the cancer center, Adam learns what and who the most important things in his life are. Written by
Comedic, inspiring, dramatic, tearful, and effervescent
After playing a bad boy rocker with a full head of hair, Joseph Gordon-Levitt now plays a nervous Cancer-patient with no hair at all. 50/50 is loosely based on the story of Will Reiser, who wrote this film, and is telling us his story and struggle through the character Adam.
Adam is played by Levitt, a marvelous actor who is continuing his string of quirky, yet well made independent films where he plays an off-the-wall protagonist. Adam is twenty-seven and works for a Seattle radio company. He is informed that he has a rare form of Cancer called Neurofibrosarcoma, and is told he only has a 50% chance of living with it. Frustrated, but moving day by day in a seemingly calm manner with his buddy Kyle (Rogen), Adam continues his long journey only to be bothered by his annoying, self-centered girlfriend (Howard) frequently. Through thick and thin, Adam starts to cope with his disease and manages to stay calm for most of the picture.
We all have to die at one point. It's part of the life. But I can't imagine the sadness and calamity brought upon someone who finds out they have a rare form of Cancer and that their chances of living are fifty-fifty. At twenty-seven nonetheless. My mother, who has work in a Chemotherapy unit for about a decade, said that the youngest she has even seen someone die from Cancer is two and a half years old. Some people, hardly get to experience life at firsthand because of Cancer.
There are so many forms of Cancer, rare and common, harmless and not, that your chances of getting it are very high. Getting it is at random, but coping with it is even harder. While 50/50 has a heartbreaking, and is sometimes emotion-testing and tear-jerking, it still has a strong comedic relief thanks to Seth Rogen, who is rather unfairly bashed in a majority of his films.
The acting is superb by both leads, the parents of Adam played by Angelica Houston and Serge Houde are portrayed effectively and in a loving way, and the screenplay and Johnathan Levine's direction never fails or works against this film in any way. Three years prior he was creating good chemistry between Ben Kingsley and Josh Peck in The Wackness. Now, he's finally mastered in creating two characters that do nothing but sparkle when on screen together. You can't really call this a Seth Rogen film because while his comedy is here, his underlying sweetness shows through the cloth of this film more than it has ever done before. The last time he gave a performance this well done was in Sandler's Funny People.
Thanks to a wonderful third act in terms of direction and screenplay, you get an all out emotional breakdown from the characters and yourself. 50/50 has a way with making emotional moments not seemed contrived, but welcomed. I think out of everyone in the theater, my mom was more emotional than the average person in the general public which is understandable.
Many films have come out this year, and many have been ignored. Comedies and dramas alike have been swept under the bus with other blockbusters in theaters at the same time. I plan on doing a list of the top ignored and underrated films of 2011. I hope 50/50 doesn't make that list.