What is the most significant "Performance of a Lifetime in the Role of a Lifetime"? - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 45 Old 06-03-2012, 05:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoey67 View Post

Fun brain exercise, just top of my head there are many timeless that defined films :

Good, bad, ugly - Eastwood
Enter the dragon - Lee
Superman - Reeves
Scarface - Pacino
Indiana Jones - Ford
T2 - Arnold
Die hard - Willis
Leon - Portman
Pulp fiction - Jackson
Gladiator - Crowe

Some of these are debatable, like Russell Crowe and Clint Eastwood. And a lot of them didn't win any award. I'm not sure Crowe's turn in Gladiator was his "performance of a lifetime", yes he did win the Oscar, but his career is far from over yet and since then he has made a few commendable performances as well. Don't get me wrong I love Gladiator, I just think it's perhaps not the "best" performance of his career.

And...Christian Bale in Equilibrium??? "performance of a lifetime in the role of a lifetime"? Please!...

Again no academy award winner, but regarding Schwarzenegger, I would say his defining performance/role of a lifetime was actually the first Terminator, not T2.


May I add Philippe Noiret for Cinema Paradiso who won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor. His filmography include a lot of amazing performances actually, but this one, to me, is the most significant, because the film is kinda special to me, and a real masterpiece.

Someone mentioned Amadeus as well and F. Murray Abraham, who won the Oscar. But let's not forget Tom Hulce's Mozart portrayal. He was also nominated for Best Actor but Abraham won.

Funny there's a lot of talk about Pacino in the Godfather, but um, how about Brando???

Here are a few names I'd add to the list:
Charlton Heston in Ben-Hur
Liza Minelli in Cabaret
Anthony Hopkins in The Silence Of The Lambs
Kathy Bates in Misery
Natalie Portman in Black Swan
Michael Douglas in Wall Street
Marion Cotillard in La Môme
Gregory Peck in To Kill A Mockingbird.

There's also Dustin Hoffman, who won for Rain Man, but I don't think it was 'the role of a lifetime' for him...they are too many!

...Natalie Portman and Marion Cotillard are too young actually, but, so far... we'll see what they come up with in the future
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post #32 of 45 Old 06-03-2012, 01:11 PM
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Sean Connery-From Russia with Love. Should have been nominated, and wasn't. This film created the Bond that existed for over 45 years by every othe performer who has portrayed him since. Even Daniel Craig. But just a little bit.

Christopher Reeve-Superman. Best portrayl EVER of The Man of Steel

Clark Gable-Gone with the Wind. The ROLE OF ALL ROLES FOR ALL TIME went too him. He was nominated, but LOST. WOW!! One character. One actor. And I don't think anyone was even REMOTELY CONSIDERED for the role Rhett Butler. There may have been tryouts. But that was just for show.

George C. Scott-Patton. Born too play Patton. Arguably the Greatest role for an actor destined to play him. Could argue that with the above about Clark Gable as Rhett Butler

Kathy Bates-Misery. Again. just seemed to be born to play the role of a pudgy, fanatic, lunatic that at times seems lovable.

Roy Scheider-All that Jazz. Just Watch it.
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post #33 of 45 Old 06-04-2012, 12:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwsat View Post

Let me make clear what I mean by the Performance of a Lifetime in the Role of a Lifetime. In order to qualify, the performance of a lifetime in the role of a lifetime must have, deservedly, won the performer an Oscar but the performer has never again turned in a performance that has come close to matching the Oscar winning one, much less garnered another Oscar nomination.

I've seen almost every Best Actor/Actress/Supporting Actor/Supporting Actress Oscar-winning performance with the most notable exception being Marion Cotillard's 2007 Best Actress Oscar-winning performance in La Vie en Rose. For whatever reason I just haven't caught it. But the list below is what I think fits your interesting parameters.

There were other performances by other actors that I believe nobody else would have performed as well and truly seemed the role of a lifetime. But in some cases those actors won other Oscars (Marlon Brando for On The Waterfront, Diane Weist for Hannah and Her Sisters, Tom Hanks for Forrest Gump...), so that disqualifies them for this particular challenge. And there were still other "one hit wonders" who won Oscars for their performance that I honestly did not think were all that great or that there weren't several other actors who could have done as well or better.

But this list represents what I believe were the very best Oscar-winning performances by actors who, unless I missed it or just goofed, never won another Oscar and in this instance gave the performance of a lifetime that no other known actor could have surpassed or who at least gave such a fine and personalized performance it is difficult if not impossible to imagine anyone else in the role without it being diminished well below Oscar-worthiness:

Best Actor:
Ernest Borgnine

Marty
1955

Rex Harrison
My Fair Lady
1964

Paul Scofield
A Man for All Seasons
1966



Best Actress:
Judy Holliday

Born Yesterday
1950

Shirley Booth
Come Back, Little Sheba
1952

Barbra Streisand
Funny Girl
1968



Best Supporting Actor:
Charles Coburn

The More the Merrier
1943

Barry Fitzgerald
Going My Way
1944

Harold Russell
The Best Years of Our Lives
1946

Walter Huston
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
1948

George Sanders
All About Eve
1950

Timothy Hutton
Ordinary People
1980

Haing S. Ngor
The Killing Fields
1984

Martin Landau
Ed Wood
1994

Javier Bardem
No Country for Old Men
2007



Supporting Actress:
Hattie McDaniel

Gone with the Wind
1939

Jane Darwell
The Grapes of Wrath
1940

Josephine Hull
Harvey
1950

Patty Duke
The Miracle Worker
1962

Estelle Parsons
Bonnie and Clyde
1967

Ruth Gordon
Rosemary's Baby
1968

Beatrice Straight
Network
1976
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post #34 of 45 Old 06-04-2012, 02:20 AM
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Boy, a tough thread....I need to meditate on this one....

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post #35 of 45 Old 06-04-2012, 07:13 AM
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Haley Joel Osment - The Sixth Sense (1999)

You could probably find several child actors who had one defining role and were never heard from again or whose following roles were minor in comparison.

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post #36 of 45 Old 06-04-2012, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
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I thought hitchfan's comprehensive list was well thought out and I agree that most of those on the list deserved being included. One quibble comes to mind, though.

While I was discussing this thread yesterday with my college student grandson, who is a fellow movie nerd, he mentioned Javier Bardem's chilling performance as Anton Chigurh in No Country For Old Men, as hitchfan has done. I told him I wasn't sure Bardem belonged on the list because he was brilliant in several very different kinds of roles. For example, as a womanizing painter in Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona and as Uxbal, a man who foresees his own death, in the lovely but very dark Biutiful. Further, Bardem is even now only in his early 40s and so has plenty of time to win, or at least be nominated, for more Oscars.
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post #37 of 45 Old 06-04-2012, 09:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oink View Post

Boy, a tough thread....I need to meditate on this one....

Stop meditating and tell us what you think!
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post #38 of 45 Old 06-04-2012, 05:56 PM
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post #39 of 45 Old 06-04-2012, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwsat View Post

I thought hitchfan's comprehensive list was well thought out and I agree that most of those on the list deserved being included. One quibble comes to mind, though.

While I was discussing this thread yesterday with my college student grandson, who is a fellow movie nerd, he mentioned Javier Bardem's chilling performance as Anton Chigurh in No Country For Old Men, as hitchfan has done. I told him I wasn't sure Bardem belonged on the list because he was brilliant in several very different kinds of roles. For example, as a womanizing painter in Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona and as Uxbal, a man who foresees his own death, in the lovely but very dark Biutiful. Further, Bardem is even now only in his early 40s and so has plenty of time to win, or at least be nominated, for more Oscars.

I know exactly what you mean and that was a dilemma for me, too. But in the end I sided with the impact of that first big impression of Bardem in NCFOM. The hair (his idea or not), the difficult to place accent, the strikingly evil looks, the line delivery, all of it just seemed like the exact right guy in the exact right place at the exact right time to turn him into a star and win an Oscar to boot. I don't think any other, more familiar actor would have made such an impression and I don't believe if American audiences had first gotten to know Bardem from the other roles you mentioned that his NCFOM performance would have been as notable or the movie nearly as good. I also think it was one of those performances that kicked up the entire movie several notches on all other levels. Like Walter Huston in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

He could make a dozen other hit movies and win another Oscar or two, but if they place his wax figure in the museum, that'll be the character/role they'll choose to display. In a way, that was part of the criteria I used for most of the choices I made.
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post #40 of 45 Old 06-04-2012, 09:49 PM
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Forest Whitaker in 'Last King of Scotland' seems to fit your rather narrow criteria. That guy was easily as creepy and crazy as the real Idi Amin and won an Oscar for it. He was also nominated for a Razzie for his less than stellar role in 'Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000' further qualifying his one hit wonderness...
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post #41 of 45 Old 06-05-2012, 03:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

I definitely liked him more the further back you go. Colors, At Close Range, Bad Boys - but especially, Carlito's Way. Perhaps because he was so unrecognizable, and it was just a great, supporting role. Unfortunately, for just those very reasons, he's probably not even going to be on the list here for that.

I agree and IMPO thought his role in Carlito's way was his best work and my personal fav as the sleeze ball lawyer but his stoner Jeff spicole is what kick started his career. And it's the same with Leon and Die hard as it catapulted Portman and Willis into mega stardom.

But it's all subjective in the eye of the beholder to each his own as someone thought my pick of Crowe and Eastwood was debatable yet he thought Douglas in Wall st was worthy. To me Gladiator and Good, Bad, Ugly are timeless iconic classics not only in here but in hundreds countries worldwide whereas IMO Douglas's performance and Wall st was just another "good" film domestically and has not endured the times. Same with Black swan, it will be forgotten in a few years.
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post #42 of 45 Old 06-05-2012, 05:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoey67 View Post

IMO Douglas's performance and Wall st was just another "good" film domestically and has not endured the times. Same with Black swan, it will be forgotten in a few years.

Maybe but we don't know yet...And I'm confident it's gonna be another film than Black Swan a few years from now. The OP iirc also said the actor/actress in question should have won an award for his/her performance. Natalie Portman didn't win any award for her Leon performance. I don't think it's "the role of a lifetime" for her because the film simply made us aware of her. Was it a great performance? Of course. I do think her turn in Black Swan is a superior performance.

I chose Wall Street for Michael Douglas because people still talk about Gordon Geckko in 2012, and will continue to do so. This film defined an era too and I think Douglas was perfect in it. Wall Street has become an important film of the 1980s but only time could tell, and his Geckko's portrayal has a lot to do with it imo.
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post #43 of 45 Old 06-06-2012, 12:45 PM
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Val Kilmer should have won the Oscar for The Doors, so I'm going to add him to the list anyway. tongue.gif [Besides I needed to test my posting abilities in the new forum wink.gif ]

[ed. wow that's weird how the emoticons are offset above the text.]
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post #44 of 45 Old 06-06-2012, 07:55 PM
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I would nominate the stupendous performance of Robert Shaw in Jaws despite the fact he was inexplicably not even nominated by the Academy in 1975. While he had many excellent roles, and even a standout or two, none were of the remarkable character of Quint and the spell-binding presentation of the "Indianapolis" monologue.

Billy Bob Thornton in Sling Blade, which he was not only born to star in, but also write & direct. Thornton did win an Oscar for that one and seems to have been out of sight in anything near that caliber lately. Perhaps he will be back, as he is beyond one-hit-wonder status, I think. Dwight Yoakam knocked it out of the park in that one too.

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post #45 of 45 Old 06-06-2012, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oink View Post

Boy, a tough thread....I need to meditate on this one....

Agree - Many great choices here - thanks for reminding me of how much good work made it through
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