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 only residents of young Nicholas' sea-side town are women and boys. When he sees a corpse in the ocean one day, he begins to question his existence and surroundings. Why must he, and all the other boys, be hospitalised?
A teenage girl with nothing to lose joins a traveling magazine sales crew, and gets caught up in a whirlwind of hard partying, law bending and young love as she criss-crosses the Midwest with a band of misfits.
This chilling fable about the rise of fascism in the 20th Century tells the story of a young American boy living in France in 1918 whose father is working for the US government on the creation of the Treaty of Versailles. What he witnesses helps to mould his beliefs - and we witness the birth of a terrifying ego. Loosely inspired by the early childhood experiences of many of the great dictators of the 20th Century and infused with the same sense of dread as The Others and The Omen, The Childhood of a Leader is an ominous portrait of emerging evil. Written by
I wanted to like this production, I really did . . . but . . .
I was intrigued by the context and concept of the story, particularly being very familiar with this era of history and the labyrinths of complexity of that time.
But try as I might to become engaged in this production, it just dragged on as a cardboard, lifeless attempt at rendering what could have been a spectacular creation of historically relevant drama and intrigue.
Not sure I can put my finger directly on the most obvious failure point, but it just didn't come to life for me.
Technically, the camera work was well done, the sets, stagecraft and all that was comparable to any decent BBC type of historical production, but the audio engineering here seems to have been a bit clumsy at best. But even that technical detail can be forgiven if the quality of the acting and the story itself can carry the production . . . which sadly, it doesn't.
The acting is stiff, monodimensional, reminded me of college theater plays. No, wait . . . actually, that isn't fair to some of the college theater productions I've seen in past years.
The supposedly important tension scenes just dragged on as useless time consuming segments sprinkled in between sections of potentially relevant (but equally flat and uninspiring) dialogue.
What an unfortunate waste of what could have been a great production.
Clearly the director (Brady Corbet) just didn't "get it". My best guess is that he was intently focused on delivering the obvious political message embedded in this character study into the culturally relevant psychodynamics of the time . . . but completely missed the target of actually creating a compelling delivery of the story.
Which is unfortunate, as I really wanted to like this.
Perhaps another attempt, with a different director and style of delivery . . .
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