Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Small Roles… Big Performances Blogathon

Ruth from FlixChatter is hosting a wonderful blogathon titled Small Roles … Big Performances. The purpose is to choose memorable performances by supporting actors -- preferably lesser-known actors -- that may have gone unnoticed by many people.

MovieBuff25 hasn't blogged for a while, partly because she's been busy writing a screenplay, so I was glad we decided to participate in this event together. She and I tweaked the rules, choosing actors in leading roles rather than supporting actors. However, these are all performances and films we feel deserve more attention. Please see this post for the actual rules for this blogathon.

MovieBuff25's Picks:

Aidan Gillen as Aidan -- Treacle Jr. -- Aiden Gillen is better known for his roles in Queer as Folk and Game of Thrones, but he shines in this under-rated British indie film.

From MovieBuff's Review: No one does slice-of-life drama and acerbic humor like the Brits, and the curiously named Treacle Jr. showcases this, as well as some damned good acting from the cast, particularly Aidan Gillen ... Aidan's the kind of guy most people stay away from. He's earnest, hyper, and completely free of any social graces. Aidan's naive and enthusiastic to a fault, but Tom soon discovers he has problems too ...

Sandra Huller as Michaela -- Requiem -- I haven't seen much discussion of this actress or this award-winning German art house film.

From Movie Buff's Review:  When Michaela first begins to suffer seizures, blackouts, and hallucinations, she manages to cover up the incidents.  Her requests for help from a priest invoke less-than-helpful response. She begins going out with a boy who promises, when asked, to stand by her, foolishly ignoring the conditions.

When her parents do discover her degeneration, they make the tragic decision to involve the church in her rehabilitation. While her stretches of coherency become rarer, she becomes a spiritual guinea pig for exorcisms and is denied the psychiatric care she so desperately needs.

Noah Taylor as Nate -- Red, White & Blue -- Noah Taylor, who I will always remember best for his brilliant performance in Shine, played a chillingly convincing sociopath -- with just the right balance of subtlety and cruel determination, in Red, White and Blue. He did, in fact, win an award for his work in this movie, but we still feel this is a relatively little known role that deserves more attention.

This film is reviewed here, and I also discussed this character here (he's #12 on the list).

QuirkyBibliophile's Picks:

Dwight Yoakam as Doyle -- Sling Blade -- Yoakam has garnered plenty of attention as a successful country music singer and songwriter, actor and director, but I feel this role hasn't earned the attention it deserves.  

Sling Blade is one of my favorite films -- there is something so raw and real about it -- and I am a big admirer of Billy Bob Thornton as an actor and director, although -- granted -- he's wasted his time on some real cinematic dog shit.

Doyle is the controlling, abusive live-in boyfriend of a hard-working single mom and a truly horrible wanna-be musician. When he's over-the-top bat crap crazy, like in the scene below, he is frightening and darkly comedic. However when he's calm, trying to be a "nice guy," he's even scarier. Every moment he was on screen, I felt the fuse shortening.

Aidan Gillen -- Buddy Boy -- Gillen seems to have gained a lot of attention from television work, including his role as Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish in Game of Thrones. However, I will always remember him best for his role as a mentally ill young man in this little known, rather bizarre Indie movie. 

I found myself being drawn into his dark world and his complex web of obsessions, delusions, and hallucinations. According to MovieBuff, in her review of this film, "Gillen ... plays his character sensitively and gently, as a fundamentally benevolent albeit strange outcast damaged by trauma and psychosis."


  1. Ahh, Red, White, and Blue. Noah Taylor was horrifying in that. The scene with the family..probably one of the most disturbing things I've ever seen.

    1. Agreed! When he asked the little girl "Which would you choose..." that killed me.

  2. The only performance I've seen is Dwight Yoakam's, but I totally agree. He was terrific in that role.

    1. One of the most memorable roles ever!"You know better than to talk to me like that when I'm hurtin' Linda." I actually loved every performance in that movie.

  3. Hey, I appreciate you taking part on this blogathon, even though you changed the rules :) I haven't seen any of these, interesting picks!

    1. Thanks for hosting this, Ruth, and thank you for being a good sport about us changing the premise. :-)

    2. Oh no problem at all. Btw, I'll add this to the main blogathon post now :)

  4. The only one I've seen is Dwight Yoakam as well. I really want to see Noah Taylor though. Nice choices.


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