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Yoshifan823
Feb 19, 2007

by FactsAreUseless


In every thread, every review, and every conversation we have about movies, inevitably comments will come up about how good/poor the acting in whatever we just saw was. You hear a lot of words describing how it was, ranging from the basic (good, bad, great, terrible, awful, awesome, etc.), to the more in depth (believable, honest, wooden, scene chewing, overacting, disappeared, bored), but how do we know exactly what good and bad acting are? Is there one "school" of acting that's better than others, or is acting something that is down to opinion, same as the general quality of movies?

Now, I'm not gonna lay everything I have to say on you all at once, because I'd like to have some material for when this thread is on page three with 4 posts to it's name, but I want to start off with a comment I hear a lot, especially concerning some of my favorite actors.

"He Plays Himself In Every Movie": The Michael Cera Story

Michael Cera, weird little man he is, has been in the industry now for about 10 years, first starting out in Arrested Development playing a dorky, awkward young man, a good kid who had trouble with girls and people in general, and since then, it feels like we've been seeing him play some variation of George Michael Bluth in every movie since then, only recently, in movies like Magic Magic or This is The End, breaking out of this pattern, but my question is, "Why is that such a bad thing?"

There are a lot of actors who fall into this category, even beyond Cera, ranging from character actors to movie stars like Tom Cruise, and arguably, that's what makes them so bankable. But I argue that this consistency is the key that actors like Cera bring to their roles. We know Michael Cera, we know who and what he is, and we know the kind of characters he plays, which is a sort of cinematic shorthand, a way to cue the audience into things the way particular locations, quotes, sounds, or songs can. It also makes it easier to subvert their expectations when someone wants to play them in a role like This is The End, which presents Cera as an incorrigible coke fiend/rear end in a top hat. But this aside, what does this have to do with the quality of the acting job?

Not much, I'd argue. Obviously there's not the level of depth and change that performers like Daniel Day Lewis or Jared Leto circa Dallas Buyers Club (who I will delve into in a later post) have, but while playing the same or similar characters seems like a shortcut, I'd say it's much more a way to help an actor delve into their emotions. If you have a well-worn character, you're going to be able to delve into emotions in a way that someone playing a character far off from their own self won't be able to make. In essence, because the transformation into the character is not as strenuous, they're able to give a more realistic performance, and able to touch on feelings they might not be able to reach otherwise. This, like most other things related to judging the quality of acting, is not a 100% truism, because there are certainly actors who play themselves and use this as an opportunity to coast along, collecting a paycheck or just killing time, but I've never understood the complaint about people "acting like themselves", because acting is inherent in the job, and the gift of being able to act "like themselves", but in a different context, is something only a particular brand of actor can utilize.

So, I want to know, what tips you off to "good" or "bad" acting? Are you about believability? Transformation? Theatricality? Or are you less concerned about the "how" and more about the end result?

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Pierson
Oct 31, 2004



College Slice

Emotion and believability are big ones for me. Being recognizable as a human being takes precedence over whatever archetype the character is. This is most notable in the action genre but for me a character being a wooden log can really take me out of a movie more than a bad plot, bad CGI or bad anything else.

Examples from a recent and not-so-recent movie(s); Kit Harrington's character in Pompeii is established as the typical loner badass early on in the movie and he's boring as hell. He barely changes facial expressions and if you just focused the camera on his face you'd never be able to tell he was in extreme danger a lot of the movie. Even the toughest dudes in the world would react to being thrown into an arena vs many men in chariots or an entire city exploding around them with more than mild consternation and vague worry. That to me just isn't a compelling character I want to care about.

The counterpoint is pretty much any of Marvel's action stars, Dwayne Johnson (hey him again), and if you go back to the 90s Bruce Willis in the Die Hards. They all follow the standard badass hero template but they don't just beat up people; they have recognisable emotions and reactions to the things that happen around them. John McClane spends most of Die Hard being dog-tired and beat all to hell and acts like it. Tony Stark spends at least as much time wondering what the gently caress is going on as he does being Iron man and spends a lot of IM3 with PTSD from the horrible poo poo he's been through. Etc, etc.

Obviously this is more about general summer blockbusters and doesn't apply to different genres/films that have a purpose beyond 'extend a franchise and make a lot of money' but those the films that get made (and with my terrible local cinemas the only films I get a chance to watch in a theater), so that's my thing.

DrVenkman
Dec 27, 2005


I think being believeable is a big thing. I actually like Michael Cera a lot in Scott Pilgrim. He's way more confident a character than what he usually plays. He has some awkward exchanges, but he's not playing an awkward person.

I might get some flack but I don't care. I like Keanu Reeves. I don't think he's, for lack of a better word, good, but he's often invested in what he's doing. The same with Cruise. I can't remember the last movie I saw either of them in where they weren't committed 100%. And both can be used really well in the right role (People scoff at The Matrix but it wouldn't work as well if Reeves weren't grounding it the way he does).

As for Cage. Greatest living actor. People assume he's not in on the joke which annoys me, but the thing is he never lets you know that he's in on the joke. You either see it or you don't. Outlaw Vern coined the phrase 'mega acting' for Cage, and it wasn't an insult either. The idea is that it isn't 'over the top' but a very pointed performance. And it seems that Cage agreed with it.

quote:

Yeah, I think that makes sense. I often refer to it as outside the box, as opposed to over the top. The two things mean the same thing on one hand but one sort of celebrates the idea of breaking free and going into other forms of expression, whether they’re abstract or extreme or as this friend of yours calls mega acting. The other sort of implies you’re not being truthful to the part, but see, I don’t know how you measure something like that because life can be extreme and life can be mega.

A few people who have worked with Cage have talked about his acting style. I think Alex Proyas said Cage reads the script and tempers his performance accordingly to how ridiculous he thinks it is, whether the rest of the movie is with him or not. I think Drew at Hitfix said that he had to ask Cage about The Wicker Man and he just laughed and said that he roundhouse kicks a woman and punches another dressed as a bear, of course he knows how ridiculous that is.

SALT CURES HAM
Jan 3, 2011


Frankly, the only thing I care about is whether or not the actor is enjoyable to watch or brings some kind of emotion out of me.

Nicolas Cage isn't a great actor in the traditional sense, I wouldn't exactly cast him as Macbeth, but he's very rarely boring. Almost every movie with him in it is a lot of fun, and when it isn't, it's something that he couldn't have really salvaged anyways (like Season of the Witch); and almost every other time he's the literal best part of the movie.

Vampire's Kiss, for example, would not have worked with any other actor in it. A more subdued performance, even if it would have been more believable or naturalistic or whatever the hell, would have been terrible for that role. But instead of a subdued believable performance, we got... this. And it was loving incredible.

e: Posting this because, even though it's kind of ancient, it's basically a compilation of reasons why Nicolas Cage is the best thing to happen to film in the past 50 years:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOCF0BLf-BM

SALT CURES HAM fucked around with this message at Jun 6, 2014 around 17:53

Jenny Agutter
Mar 18, 2009



How much credit should we give to directors for bringing a certain performance out of an actor? Even when not going to extremes, like Roman Polanski asking Mia Farrow to walk through traffic in Rosemary's Baby, direction has a large influence on how an actor plays a part. Is it even possible to separate the two?

Binary Logic
Dec 28, 2000

Whatever tape you found in that VCR, it isn't mine.

Fun Shoe

I find the voice to be a huge factor in acting. There are some, like John Malkovich and Kevin Spacey who are so convincing because they sound as if they've thought over what they're going to say and they're loving serious about it. Then there those like Zach Galifianakis and Seth Rogen who are hard to take seriously and like they're always doing a joke or almost any line of their dialogue could be followed by a '...just kidding!'.

Voice is one of the reason I don't like Ben Affleck in the role of Batman. He tried playing a threatening heavy in Runner Runner but he just doesn't have an intimidating voice at all.

I usually like Keannu Reeves too but his performance in Man of Tai Chi was so aloof or cold or distant, he did not seem to bring his usual energy to that role and it was disappointing.

If you're going to speak of directors, have to mention Woody Allen because so often his leading actor takes on Woody's own vocal mannerisms and style.

SALT CURES HAM
Jan 3, 2011


Binary Logic posted:

If you're going to speak of directors, have to mention Woody Allen because so often his leading actor takes on Woody's own vocal mannerisms and style.

Fortunately without the child molestation.

Rabbit Hill
Mar 11, 2009

God knows what lives in me in place of me.

Grimey Drawer

One "good acting" tip-off is when the actors on stage/screen appear to be spontaneously speaking and reacting to the world around them, rather than behaving according to the already-known thread of the script.

One of my favorite character actors is Michael Kitchen, now probably best known for playing Foyle in the Foyle's War series, but he's played villains, romantic leads, supporting grey-moraled characters, etc. and he always always turns his characters into real people living in the present moment. It's like you can see him going through the process of making decisions (as the character), you can see him thinking and having mental revelations and shifting loyalties and all other sorts of dynamic internal processes that real people have in their daily lives. All of his body language and facial expressions seem like personal quirks of that particular character occurring organically in the moment, rather than gestures called for by the script.

I've never seen him be himself in an interview, and I couldn't begin to tell you what the guy is like in real life because he so completely disappears into his roles and makes them feel like real, distinct, individual living people. Is he gregarious and charming? Is he quiet and cold? Who knows?

Also, take the character of Foyle for a moment -- the character is emotionally very guarded and more cerebral. Michael Kitchen can be standing there with a poker face and (in-character) convey nothing, but to the audience, you somehow know exactly what's going on in his head. He's working on two levels. Compare that to someone like Kit Harrington, who stands there looking blank and conveys nothing, either in-character or to the audience.

HUNDU THE BEAST GOD
Sep 14, 2007

everything is yours


Good thread and one of my favorite things to talk about.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrkiBCusHs0

Tommy Wiseau has almost certainly seen Rebel Without A Cause. I bring this up because Dean's petulant, moody performance was so natural it was disruptive because it was so unlike what acting was in a big picture of the time. Sam Fuller could get away with this kind of acting, but he wasn't doing big pictures for WB. However, in a movie now it looks beyond stagey (see Wiseau's homage). Even film naturalism had to be stripped away in the 60's and 70's, the idea of dialogue with spontaneous "um's" and "uh's" looks like it's from a different planet:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2S2aMFcz4M

Bad acting is mugging. I don't think I'm ever impressed when an actor sounds as if her lines in disbelief, or speaking directly to the audience.

HUNDU THE BEAST GOD fucked around with this message at Jun 9, 2014 around 16:04

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another!


Fun Shoe

Binary Logic posted:


I usually like Keannu Reeves too but his performance in Man of Tai Chi was so aloof or cold or distant, he did not seem to bring his usual energy to that role and it was disappointing.


Don't want to derail about one specific movie, but I disagree about Man of Tai Chi. I thought Reeves' affect worked in that the character seems to have become somewhat bored with the underground fighting world. It shows in his fighting style too, it feels like he's bored of it all. Each move is deliberate and powerful, but he looks pissed off to even have to exert himself.

R. Mute
Jul 27, 2011



Busta Chimes.wav posted:

How much credit should we give to directors for bringing a certain performance out of an actor? Even when not going to extremes, like Roman Polanski asking Mia Farrow to walk through traffic in Rosemary's Baby, direction has a large influence on how an actor plays a part. Is it even possible to separate the two?
I think it goes beyond that, even. Roman Polanski doing that, Stanley Kubrick being insane, it directly influences an actor's performance, but equally important, for instance, is how scenes are shot. If your director/cinematographer decides to film a conversation by just jumping from one close-up to another, it's already limiting your actor's options. To go back to Patron Saint of Acting Nicolas Cage, imagine if the alphabet-scene in Vampire's Kiss if it was shot in a close-up. There are plenty of movies where dull direction and dull cinematography lead to dull acting. Maybe a great actor needs to be able to break through this, but that seems like a tall order.

Similarly, and continuing on with Nicolas Cage, a lot of actors are limited by casting decisions. I'm not even talking about type-casting. If it weren't for the quirks of some casting directors/directors, some actors would never be able to express their full range. I refer to Nicolas Cage because of Adaptation, naturally. We all knew he could act, but the role he played in that film was still pretty out there for him - and it worked. But you need someone to give you a chance.

I think there are a lot of very talented actors who just aren't able to show us their full ability.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another!


Fun Shoe

R. Mute posted:

I think there are a lot of very talented actors who just aren't able to show us their full ability.

Channing Tatum comes to mind recently. I'm sure there were people in his camp that argued against playing the kind of character he does in 21/22 Jump Street, and probably some at the studio that didn't want to cast him in it. Turns out he can be pretty drat funny when you give him a chance, but he could have gone an entire mediocre career without ever showing that(his career will probably still be mediocre but at least he's branched out a little bit).

Magic Hate Ball
May 6, 2007

ha ha ha!
you've already paid for this


Busta Chimes.wav posted:

How much credit should we give to directors for bringing a certain performance out of an actor? Even when not going to extremes, like Roman Polanski asking Mia Farrow to walk through traffic in Rosemary's Baby, direction has a large influence on how an actor plays a part. Is it even possible to separate the two?

It depends wholly on the film, which an actor is only ever a part of. Even the most bare, stripped down films show this, such as Swimming to Cambodia, where Spalding Gray sits behind a desk and talks for ninety minutes - there's still editing, and lighting, and a soundtrack that influences our perception. You can even contrast that to the relative visual spectacle that is Gray's Anatomy, where Soderbergh carts the mouthy neurotic around a variety of kooky sets and washes him with wild colors. Gray is Gray in both films but the films around him are wildly different, which is something that should always be taken into account. It's the Kuleshov effect, really. You look at Adam Sandler in an Adam Sandler film and you look at Adam Sandler in Punch-Drunk Love and he seems totally different, but he isn't, really, it's just that the context's shifted. Anderson very carefully wrote a film around the pre-existing Sandler character and cast it in a totally new light.

It's like how if you put a baroque candelabra on a baroque table, you'll have one thing (one thing), but if you put that same candelabra on a boulder, you have something totally different, and possibly new and interesting. The candelabra is the same but you're being made to look at it differently. A director can do the same with an actor. So no, I don't think it's possible to separate the two, because they always inform each other.

Zesty Mordant
Jun 7, 2007

hella greenbacks

Good and bad acting can be determined solely on the actor's ability to pretend the empty paper cup they are holding actually is filled with coffee.

Magic Hate Ball
May 6, 2007

ha ha ha!
you've already paid for this


Zesty Mordant posted:

Good and bad acting can be determined solely on the actor's ability to pretend the empty paper cup they are holding actually is filled with coffee.

Actors: Basically Just Mimes That Talk

Corek
May 11, 2013

SMG Macklemore Fanclub

Magic Hate Ball posted:

Actors: Basically Just Mimes That Talk

La Strada article on Wikipedia posted:

As was the common practice at the time, shooting was done without sound; dialogue was added later along with music and sound effects.[38] As a consequence, cast members generally spoke in their native language during filming: Quinn and Basehart in English, Masina and the others in Italian.[39] Liliana Betti, Fellini's long-time assistant, has described the director's typical procedure regarding dialogue during filming, a technique he called the "number system" or "numerological diction": "Instead of lines, the actor has to count off numbers in their normal order. For instance, a line of fifteen words equals an enumeration of up to thirty. The actor merely counts til thirty: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7. etc."[40] Biographer John Baxter has commented on the usefulness of such a system: "It helps pinpoint an instant in the speech where he [Fellini] wants a different reaction. 'Go back to "27",' he'll tell an actor, 'but this time, smile.'"[41] Since he didn't need to worry about noise while shooting a scene, Fellini would keep up a running commentary during filming, a practice that scandalized more traditional filmmakers, like Elia Kazan: "He talked through each take, in fact yelled at the actors. 'No, there, stop, turn, look at her, look at her. See how sad she is, see her tears? Oh, the poor wretch! You want to comfort her? Don't turn away; go to her. Ah, she doesn't want you, does she? What? Go to her anyway!' ... That's how he's able... to use performers from many countries. He does part of the acting for the actors."[42]

achillesforever6
Apr 23, 2012

#RXTREVOLUTIONFOREVER6


Binary Logic posted:

I find the voice to be a huge factor in acting. There are some, like John Malkovich and Kevin Spacey who are so convincing because they sound as if they've thought over what they're going to say and they're loving serious about it. Then there those like Zach Galifianakis and Seth Rogen who are hard to take seriously and like they're always doing a joke or almost any line of their dialogue could be followed by a '...just kidding!'.

Voice is one of the reason I don't like Ben Affleck in the role of Batman. He tried playing a threatening heavy in Runner Runner but he just doesn't have an intimidating voice at all.

I usually like Keannu Reeves too but his performance in Man of Tai Chi was so aloof or cold or distant, he did not seem to bring his usual energy to that role and it was disappointing.

If you're going to speak of directors, have to mention Woody Allen because so often his leading actor takes on Woody's own vocal mannerisms and style.
Yeah, for me Jeff Goldblum's style of talking makes me always want to watch him in movies. Too bad he always gets pigenhold in the same roles.

Binary Logic
Dec 28, 2000

Whatever tape you found in that VCR, it isn't mine.

Fun Shoe

achillesforever6 posted:

Yeah, for me Jeff Goldblum's style of talking makes me always want to watch him in movies. Too bad he always gets pigenhold in the same roles.

Knot always the same role:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xm7jp5A9Vks

Yoshifan823
Feb 19, 2007

by FactsAreUseless


A Word about Transformation, or "gently caress The Oscars"

So you want to win the Oscar for Best Actor/Actress, do you? Well, I'm sure you're a very good actor, and absolutely deserve it, but there's one thing you can do to boost your chances like nothing else will: Turn yourself into something else completely. Take for example, Jared Leto, from last year's Dallas Buyers Club. He played a transsexual, he won an Oscar. Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man transformed himself into someone with autism, and was rewarded thusly. Sean Penn played a gay man (this is a transformation in the eyes of the old-rear end voters in the Academy), Jamie Foxx played a blind man, and Daniel Day Lewis has made a career out of hiding himself in his roles. Now, I'm not saying these performances were bad, not by a long shot (some people have argued this about Jared Leto, but I haven't seen the movie, so I'll abstain), but there's that one consistency among these winners, in that they're all playing someone else. It's a degree of difficulty thing. Obviously the best actor is someone who can change themselves like this, right?

Nah. Transformation is great and all, but there's a very superficial message to be sent, where if you gussy your face up with makeup, shave your head, lose lots of weight, kiss a dude, or fake a mental illness, you're doing a better/harder job, when in reality, it's not necessarily "harder", just different. Reacting naturally and emoting convincingly are hard, no matter whether you're playing Abraham Lincoln or essentially the same person as you.

In short, gently caress The Oscars. There are lots of reasons, generally speaking, but this can be today's.

Binary Logic
Dec 28, 2000

Whatever tape you found in that VCR, it isn't mine.

Fun Shoe

Your rant should have included Charlize Theron's Oscar-winning transformation in Monster.

And the contrasting style could be illustrated by Meryl Streep, who doesn't transform but (usually) quietly and believably blends herself into a role so that is doesn't even seem like acting.

Binary Logic fucked around with this message at Jun 14, 2014 around 15:17

Pierson
Oct 31, 2004



College Slice

That's fantastic. Are there any more cool facts like this about the early days of film-making?

Ensign_Ricky
Jan 4, 2008

Daddy Warlord
of the
Children of the Corn


or something...


HUNDU THE BEAST GOD posted:

Tommy Wiseau has almost certainly seen Rebel Without A Cause. I bring this up because Dean's petulant, moody performance was so natural it was disruptive because it was so unlike what acting was in a big picture of the time. Sam Fuller could get away with this kind of acting, but he wasn't doing big pictures for WB. However, in a movie now it looks beyond stagey (see Wiseau's homage).

Read The Disaster Artist by Greg Sestero. Yes, Tommy has seen Rebel.

Repeatedly.

(And even then, his "YOU ARE TEARING ME APAHT, LISA!!" almost didn't get filmed because he couldn't keep the line straight.)

mobby_6kl
Aug 9, 2009

"You are the best poster... do not let anyone say otherwise."


Well I guess "YOU ARE TAKING ME APAHT, LISA!" conveys mostly the same result

HUNDU THE BEAST GOD
Sep 14, 2007

everything is yours


Ensign_Ricky posted:

Read The Disaster Artist by Greg Sestero. Yes, Tommy has seen Rebel.

Repeatedly.

(And even then, his "YOU ARE TEARING ME APAHT, LISA!!" almost didn't get filmed because he couldn't keep the line straight.)

It's a good aping of Jimmy Dean's performance. It's so high strung you wouldn't even recognize it as naturalistic now.

Zesty Mordant
Jun 7, 2007

hella greenbacks

Yoshifan823 posted:

A Word about Transformation, or "gently caress The Oscars"

Very true. Transformation can take a lot of effort, especially in walking the line between sincere portrayal and parody, but have some of these otherwise talented actors walk into a Starbucks in a scene in these or any other movies, and they'll be standing around lifting paper cups to their lips and tilting them back, nodding while they chat, and for most of them you'll be thinking, "That cup isn't full of anything. There's nothing in it. Look how quickly and thoughtlessly they move it around. It's empty. They're holding an empty cup and trying to make us think it's not empty. But it is"

achillesforever6
Apr 23, 2012

#RXTREVOLUTIONFOREVER6


There is also something surreal when you watch Mr. Frost where he plays a serial killer who may or may not be Satan
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGqL7YTrrPw

LloydDobler
Oct 15, 2005

You shared it with a dick.



Nap Ghost

Busta Chimes.wav posted:

How much credit should we give to directors for bringing a certain performance out of an actor? Even when not going to extremes, like Roman Polanski asking Mia Farrow to walk through traffic in Rosemary's Baby, direction has a large influence on how an actor plays a part. Is it even possible to separate the two?

I think the Star Wars prequels are the biggest argument in support of director/actor dependency. George Lucas managed to intentionally force crappy performances on an entire cast of powerhouse actors.

I mean, forget Black Swan, anyone who thinks Natalie Portman can't act needs to watch Hesher. Which is also an excellent example of understated transformation. She perfectly portrays the semi-smart but awkward uncared for girl with low self esteem. She can't even bring herself to ask for more hours at the food mart, just the exact opposite of assertive. She didn't get an Oscar nod for it but she probably should have.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another!


Fun Shoe

Zesty Mordant posted:

Very true. Transformation can take a lot of effort, especially in walking the line between sincere portrayal and parody, but have some of these otherwise talented actors walk into a Starbucks in a scene in these or any other movies, and they'll be standing around lifting paper cups to their lips and tilting them back, nodding while they chat, and for most of them you'll be thinking, "That cup isn't full of anything. There's nothing in it. Look how quickly and thoughtlessly they move it around. It's empty. They're holding an empty cup and trying to make us think it's not empty. But it is"

I've never looked into it but I always assumed Brad Pitt started the habit he has of eating in a lot of scenes because it is something to do that is real, and it forces him into a rhythm that comes close to actual speech patterns.

Alfred P. Pseudonym
May 29, 2006

And when you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss goes 8-8


I figured he was hungry.

bows1
May 16, 2004

Chill, whale, chill


Basebf555 posted:

I've never looked into it but I always assumed Brad Pitt started the habit he has of eating in a lot of scenes because it is something to do that is real, and it forces him into a rhythm that comes close to actual speech patterns.

I heard somewhere that he started that because he quit smoking and it helped him deal with it.

HalPhilipWalker
Feb 13, 2008
Does Christmas smell like oranges to you?

Basebf555 posted:

I've never looked into it but I always assumed Brad Pitt started the habit he has of eating in a lot of scenes because it is something to do that is real, and it forces him into a rhythm that comes close to actual speech patterns.

It also gives him something to do with his hands. It's the same reason why so many actors smoked back in the old days. Brando was famous for the things he'd come up with doing (best known example is petting the cat in the opening scene of The Godfather) in order to have something to do with his hands. One of the very practical decisions in a performance is what actors should do with their body and posture, and you don't want to just be waving your arms around while you're speaking. "Talking with your hands" looks incredibly unnatural and mannered, even back in the days when performances were really mannered.

KidVanguard
Jan 27, 2006

American Diaper


In Boogie Nights Julianne Moore said that she was able to seem like a bad actress in the porn scenes by purposefully not doing anything with her hands.

It's a really good scene to study the amount of acting it takes to "act bad."

dotchan
Feb 28, 2008

I wanna get a Super Saiyan Mohawk when I grow up!

For me, good acting is role verisimilitude--I see the on-screen presence as a fully-realized character and not an actor. It can be broken by bad acting, directing, screenwriting, or any number of stupid things that are not necessarily the filmmakers' faults. (For example, I am not a fan of sociopathic comedy so I hated Jim Carrey for years and it wasn't until Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind that I thought he actually could act in a manner beyond "zany madcap monkey cheese".)

Vargo
Dec 27, 2008

'Cuz it's KILLIN' ME!


dotchan posted:

For me, good acting is role verisimilitude--I see the on-screen presence as a fully-realized character and not an actor. It can be broken by bad acting, directing, screenwriting, or any number of stupid things that are not necessarily the filmmakers' faults. (For example, I am not a fan of sociopathic comedy so I hated Jim Carrey for years and it wasn't until Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind that I thought he actually could act in a manner beyond "zany madcap monkey cheese".)

If you want a similar revelation, watch Jack Black in Bernie, he just disappears into that role.

Hollismason
Jun 30, 2007

++Threadnaught++


Yeah Bernie is really goddamn good, and Jack Black especially is amazing in it.

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Grendels Dad
Mar 5, 2011

Popular culture has passed you by.

HalPhilipWalker posted:

It also gives him something to do with his hands. It's the same reason why so many actors smoked back in the old days. Brando was famous for the things he'd come up with doing (best known example is petting the cat in the opening scene of The Godfather) in order to have something to do with his hands. One of the very practical decisions in a performance is what actors should do with their body and posture, and you don't want to just be waving your arms around while you're speaking. "Talking with your hands" looks incredibly unnatural and mannered, even back in the days when performances were really mannered.

Not when you're Peter Falk in/as Columbo. I'm always in awe when I see him waving his hands while talking and it's a very impressive extension of his character.

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