Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Robert Ellis: The Genius of Gary Oldman

Oldman as Stansfield in LEON: THE PROFESSIONAL
Last week I was clicking through cable channels when I spotted one of my favorite movies, LEON: THE PROFESSIONAL, directed by Luc Besson, with lights out performances by Natalie Portman, Jean Reno, Danny Aiello, and the remarkably talented, Gary Oldman. 

A few months back we spoke about what a wonderful ride Gene Hackman has had. But after watching Oldman's performance in LEON: THE PROFESSIONAL, I can imagine how much fun this actor is having as well.

Gary Oldman as Drexl in TRUE ROMANCE
 His filmography reads like a list of some of the best films ever made on the international stage. We all know about his roles in the Batman series, and even Harry Potter. But what about the beginning? What about his brilliant performances in SID AND NANCY, BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA, the frightening pimp drug dealer in TRUE ROMANCE, and his brilliant portrayal of Ludwig van Beethoven in IMMORTAL BELOVED. Talk about range.

Oldman as Ludwig van Beethoven
I can remember watching Oldman play the role of Drexl Spivey when TRUE ROMANCE first came out. I couldn't take my eyes off the screen. I couldn't take my eyes off Oldman, with his dreadlocks, his scarred face, that blank eye, and that smoking jacket. And what about the way he spoke? That amazing dialect he came up with. Fear and terror oozed out of the actor's every pore and it was thrilling to watch. Cut that against his portrayal of Ludwig van Beethoven, and the unforgettable scene when the audience realizes that one of the greatest musicians who ever lived, maybe the greatest of them all, was deaf.

What would the history of film look like if Gary Oldman hadn't wanted to perform? What if he hadn't had the guts to walk into his first audition? Sometimes it's important to raise a hand and say thanks to such a remarkable talent like Gary Oldman.

Sleep Loose,




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