Chaplin: an Oscar-worthy performance

Sure, it’s one of those really insane things. My newest hot button leads me to do things I wouldn’t have considered before. I wasn’t even aware of this movie until a couple months ago. It was dubbed by a friend as Robert Downey Jr’s best performance.

It’s not that I’d mind seeing “Scent of a Woman” to understand why Al Pacino won the Oscar that year… but I don’t really see the need. This was an acting masterpiece, no doubt about it.

Been watching some old YouTube clips from the past couple years. Appearances and such, all very interesting. I think its pretty much safe to say that I’m always going to prefer his later movies to the older ones.
Truth of the matter is that it was maybe an hour into the movie before I started settling into the storyline. Seeing that particular character rather him acting… translation: I saw Chaplin rather than the guy who played a drug addict. Scary stuff.. it’ll probably be a good few months before I can completely get over it and not see his face in there while he’s in other roles.

As far as movies go, its probably one of the best I’d seen in a long time. I also suppose it means that I need to watch some old Charlie Chaplin films at some point. He truly was one of a kind that revolutionized the film industry. It was also the first time I saw how they used to edit movies. Snipping segments from a film and gluing them back together, i.e. the cutting room floor clichĂ©. It makes you appreciate a lot of things. Particularly the silent films. It seemed that was Charlie Chaplin’s calling and he was very set against selling out to the “talkies.” There is something to be said about physical comedy telling a story rather than narration or dialogue.

I was watching the opening credits and I saw a lot of familiar names. But the only other person I recognized right away was Kevin Kline. The way they set up the ending credits was really clever because they told you who played what part and what happened to their characters. I never saw Anthony Hopkins in a role where he played a good guy, so that was pleasantly surprising.

If I’m being honest now, my memory’s been a little tampered with so I don’t remember too much. Ferris Bueller just happened to be on as soon as this movie ended. I guess it’s going to be a curse for a while, but for the oddest reason, I kept picturing, well what if RDJ was cast in this movie. Technically, he was one of many considered to play Ferris Bueller. Maybe it has something to do with that 80’s hairstyle he had, its hard to get it out of my head. And for a while, it will be.

Clearly the TV gods have spoken because I checked just about every movie I could think and they won’t be showing any other John Hughes movies or any more recent RDJ films. Considering I just sent a fan letter his way, I’d say I’m a woman possessed. The YouTube clips will probably tide me over for a while, but its just outrageous.

There was a time when Prince had that kind of hold on me. I have nothing to show for it except for a 10th of my harddrive and 20 something CD’s… oh yeah, and a couple movies and a purple bedroom. And this blog. Not really being used for its intended use, but oh well.

Then out of more obscene curiosity, I checked into all of the brat pack movies to see if, possibly, there were more possible roles. Then I found the most interesting thing about Pretty in Pink…

Andy and Ducky were together at the end of the original script. But apparently the audiences thought that Blaine and Andy were a better couple, so it was completely rewritten. Then there was also a little pressure from the studio. I don’t know, I think I still feel that the original ending was better. Word on the street, though, is that RDJ was considered for the role and if they had the original ending, he would have played Ducky instead of Jon Cryer.

Somehow I also get the feeling after reading a little of the synposis that The Pick-up Artist is out of the question. It’s already too soon and I really should talk myself out of it. I doubt I’ll sit through Weird Science again to get a feel for RDJ’s character. It certainly wasn’t good enough for me to want to watch it a second time. Talk about an improbable plot.

And just for the hell of it, I copy/pasted his entire reporteire into the same Word.doc I wrote the fan letter in. Woman possessed, remember?
The grand total is 10 movies right now out of perhaps 40/50… a handful I probably won’t even bother with. But I’d seen everything from Iron-Man to present, including a small cameo of Tony Stark at the end of the Incredible Hulk with Edward Norton. I dunno, I kinda liked him as the Hulk. I don’t know why they want to cast someone else. I guess maybe it’s because he’s not Lou Ferringo, the one the only original.

Chaplin definitely will be up there as far as his movies ago. After Tropic Thunder and Iron-Man 2, I’d place at my third favorite of his movies so far. It’s been a nice ride so far and I can’t wait to see what else the future holds.

So I’m going to proceed reading the Wikipedia page on Charlie Chaplin, something I should have done before watching the movie. But I skimmed it to be sure he wasn’t one of those people that died before their time. The ending was a little bittersweet in a way, but at least it was easily settled into.

According to his Inside the Actor’s studio, he watched all of Chaplin’s films and knew them backwards and forwards. It’s pretty obvious that he did do his research. It certainly was the springboard he needed to get critical acclaim and drop his Brat Pack image. He truly was the same actor who would later play Sherlock Holmes, he had that amount of dedication. If nothing else, that is what I find truly inspiring.

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One Response to Chaplin: an Oscar-worthy performance

  1. I’m happy you enjoyed the movie. I’ve seen it 3 or 4 times over the years and each time I’m amazed at how completely RDJ “became” Chaplin.

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