Anyone who knows me knows I love movies, I mean I really love movies.† If I had the time, I would probably go see one every night.
And I love everything that goes into making movies Ė crafting of a good story,†choosing actors and shooting locations, the music, the cinematography, basically everything.† While I donít claim to be any sort of cinematic expert, I feel like I have seen enough films and have enough interest to have a decent internal barometer as to what constitutes a good movie and a bad one.
Now donít worry, this isnít going to be another boring column about the hits and misses of 2007.† Instead, I am going to use this space to make a pretty bold statement: Daniel Day-Lewis is the greatest actor of our time.
Donít get me wrong, Philip Seymour Hoffman is right near the top of the short list, one that also includes guys named De Niro, Williams (think more Good Will Hunting than Jacob the Liar), Crowe, and Depp.
Lewis however stands above the rest for his unbelievable ability to blow me away with every performance.† Walking out of Paul Thomas Andersonís There Will Be Blood this weekend was no exception and†I am not sure how†the Academy will not honor him with another ‘Best Actor’ nod.† His Daniel Plainview character was a carefully-crafted mix of evil, greed, and tragic solemnity.† Every scene was convincing and captivating, a remarkable feat considering the story was fairly ho-hum.† Lewis doesn’t act, he channels, and†no one does it better.
If you see There Will Be Blood and somehow need more convincing, rent Gangs of New York (his performance as Bill the Butcher was quite literally the only redeeming feature of that mess of a film) or My Left Foot (itís hard not to assume Lewis ctually has cerebral palsy in real life he is so convincing as Christy Brown).
The other thing I love about Lewis is his eccentric back story that accompanies his life - he has sort†of evolved into the Bobby Fischer of acting.† He does like two films every other decade or when the third moon of Jupiter can be seen in the Northern Lights, whichever comes first.† Forget the Hollywood Hills, Lewis prefers the streets of Florence, Italy.† There he makes shoes and knits shawls (the former is true anyway) and simply comes out to act when he wants (usually after Hollywood heavyweights beg him to, that must be nice).† And like Fischer, I think he does so just to reclaim his title as grandmaster thespian.
If Lewis keeps delivering performances with the same ferocity as There Will Be Blood, I bet he will keep that title for a long time to come.† I bet he makes a mean pair of shoes too.
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