Showing posts with label harry potter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label harry potter. Show all posts

6 March 2014

Top 10 Ralph Fiennes Performances

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Today Ralph Fiennes is one of Britain’s preeminent acting talents, and a household name. However, like all great actors, there was a time when he was unknown and still searching for his breakthrough performance. In honour of The Grand Budapest Hotel, his latest film, we’re taking a look back to the start of his career, and the notable performances that brought him to stardom.

Schindler’s list (1993)

Originally Fiennes dreamed of becoming a painter and began studying at Chelsea College of Art and Design. Soon, however, he found his passion in acting, and quickly transferred to London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Here he was taught through Shakespearean theatre, and after graduation in 1987, he performed on live stage for several years. Although he made his first film appearance as a lead Actor in 1992’s Wuthering Heights, his performance in Schindler’s List elevated him to star status. In this role, Fiennes played the chillingly cold Nazi officer Amon Goeth, and for his performance, he was nominated for an Academy Award in the category of best actor in a supporting role, and also won the BAFTA in the same category.

Quiz Show (1994)

Springboarding off his performance in Schindler’s list, Fiennes partnered up with actor-director Robert Redford for the 1994 Academy Awards best picture nominee Quiz Show. In it, Fiennes stars as a fictional version of Charles Van Doren, a quiz show contestant who captivated America in the 1950s by winning week after week. The only problem? Van Doren was being fed the answers the whole time, and when a disgruntled losing contestant reveals the truth, their scheme, along with America’s illusion, came tumbling down—fast.

The English Patient (1996)

Fiennes returned to the Oscar spotlight in 1996, this time leading another Academy Award best picture winner, The English Patient. Fiennes plays an archaeologist during WWII who has been badly burned in a plane crash and is struggling for his life in a French hospital. As the plot turns, and Fiennes’ past is revealed in a series of flash backs, a dangerous love affair quickly unravels. For his performance, Fiennes was nominated by the Academy again, this time in the category of best actor in a leading role.

Red Dragon (2002)

In 2002, Fiennes returned to the villain role to mark another chapter in the story of Hannibal Lector. For Red Dragon, Fiennes donned a fearsome back tattoo and took on the alter ego of the Red Dragon—a serial killing schizophrenic heavily influenced by the work of Lector.

The constant Gardener (2005)

Like a chameleon changing colours, Ralph Fiennes transformed from villain to hero once again, showing his incredible dramatic range in The Constant Gardener. In a film nominated for 4 Academy Awards, Fiennes plays Justin Quayle, a British diplomat living in Kenya searching for the truth behind his wife’s murder. Although he believes her death to be the result of an affair, he soon finds the truth to be much more lethal.

Harry Potter (2005-2011)

Using his previous stints in Schindler’s List and Red Dragon as an audition, Fiennes next transformed himself into perhaps the most notorious villain in young adult literature—Lord Voldemort. As the dark lord, Fiennes brought to life a character feared by both wizards and muggles. On screen, his transformation from the love grieving Justin Quayle in The Constant Gardener to the reptilian Voldemort is truly remarkable, both in physical appearance and performance

The Reader (2008)

Since the end of World War II, many films have used Nazi Germany as subject material, but very few, if any, have told the story from this angle. When a teenage Michael Berg is befriended by a woman (Kate Winslet) nearly twice his age, their friendship quickly turns physical. The affair burns out bright and quick, but nearly a decade later, the two have a chance meeting where Michael Berg discovers that Hannah, the only woman he has ever loved, was once a Nazi guard at Auschwitz. As an older Berg, Fiennes attempts to come to terms with the woman he once loved, and tries to make penance on her behalf.

The Duchess (2008)

Teaming up with Kiera Knightly, Ralph Fiennes put on a wholly convincing performance as The Duke in The Duchess. As the menacing husband of Georgiana (Kiera Knightly), Ralph Fiennes seems to reflect the tranquil nature of his surroundings. When his wife fails to produce a male child however, Fiennes puts on a brutally real performance, slowly abusing his wife both emotionally and physically. Balancing off this performance by Fiennes, the film peels back the surface layers of Victorian era culture, and exposes the sexist precedents of the time.

The Hurt Locker (2009)

In 2009, Fiennes teamed up with Kathryn Bigelow to provide a brilliant cameo in the best picture winning film The Hurt Locker. As Jeremy Renner and his partner make their way across the Iraq desert, they come across Ralph Fiennes and his squad of hardnosed mercenaries. Wearing a headscarf and flak jacket, Fiennes turns out a memorable performance, and gives perhaps the best recitation of the line “Sniper!” on film.

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

In the new Wes Anderson film, Fiennes plays Gustave, a legendary Eastern European Concierge during the 1930s. As fictional locations, murders, and Futura typeface pile on in typical Wes Anderson fashion, Fiennes grounds the cast and centres the film. With Wes Anderson directing at the top of his game and utilizing a star-studded cast that includes Jude Law, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, and Willem Dafoe—just to name a few—The Grand Budapest Hotel is one of the most anticipated films of the year.


21 November 2012

Jude Law And Michael Gambon To Be Honored At British Independent Film Awards

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Recipients of both The Richard Harris Award and The Variety Award were announced today by Johanna von Fischer and Tessa Collinson, joint Directors, The Moët British Independent Film Awards.

Sir Michael Gambon will receive the Richard Harris Award and Jude Law The Variety Award at the awards ceremony on Sunday 9thDecember at Old Billingsgate.

The Richard Harris Award was introduced in 2002 in honour of Richard Harris and recognises outstanding contribution to British film by an actor.  Previous winners have included John Hurt, David Thewlis, Bob Hoskins, Jim Broadbent, Daniel Day-Lewis, Helena Bonham Carter and most recently Ralph Fiennes in 2011.

The honour this year is a poignant one, given that it was Richard Harris’s role of the beloved Hogwarts headmaster, ‘Dumbledore’ in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which Sir Michael Gambon bravely stepped into, following Harris’ passing in 2002.

Sir Michael Gambon’s career as an actor spans six decades, working across theatre, radio, television and cinema. Gambon’s iconic role in the television serial The Singing Detective won him his first of four Best Actor BAFTA TV Awards and roles in dramas such as Maigret made him a household name. The controversial The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover; The Wings of the Dove; Mary ReillySleepy HollowGosford Park; Layer Cake; Charlotte Gray and The King’s Speech are just a few of the credits that have established Gambon as a leading light of the British film industry.

His work in Hollywood includes Michael Mann’s The Insider; Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and Robert De Niro’s The Good Shepherd. Since staring in the Harry Potter franchise, Gambon is known by audiences of all ages around the globe. Sir Michael Gambon’s most recent film role was in Dustin Hoffman’s Quartet which will be released in the UK in January. He is currently on stage starring in All That Fall at The Arts Theatre.

Jude Law will pick-up the Variety Award which recognises an actor, director, writer or producer who has helped to focus the international spotlight on the UK.  The Variety Award was received last year by Kenneth Branagh and has previously been awarded to Liam Neeson, Sir Michael Caine, Daniel Craig, Dame Helen Mirren and Richard Curtis to name a few.

Jude Law is a quintessentially British actor who has become a truly international star. Never afraid to challenge himself, Law has worked with some of the world’s most respected filmmakers, including Steven Spielberg (AI: Artificial Intelligence); Martin Scorsese (Hugo & Aviator); David Cronenberg (eXistenZ); Sam Mendes (The Road To Perdition) Steven Soderbergh (Contagion) and Clint Eastwood (Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil). Jude Law made a huge international impression with his performance as Dickie Greenleaf in Anthony Minghella’s The Talented Mr Ripley for which he was nominated for Academy and Golden Globe Awards and was awarded a BAFTA for “Best Supporting Actor”. He again received Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations for his role in Minghella’s Cold Mountain.

In 2009 he took on Hamlet in the West End and later on Broadway.  He was nominated for an Olivier and a Tony Award as Best Actor. He was multi-nominated again for “Anna Christie” at the Donmar Warehouse in 2011 and will return to the stage in 2013 as Henry V for director Michael Grandage.  Law has consistently proved himself to be a versatile actor and has worked with a host of international filmmakers such as Wong Kar Wai (My Blueberry Nights), Jean-Jacques Annaud (Enemy at The Gates) and Fernando Meirelles (360). Yet Law constantly has a foot firmly planted in the British film industry with roles in Anna Karenina and Minghella’s Breaking & Entering, as well as playing the ever popular Dr Watson in Guy Ritchie’s hugely successful Sherlock Holmes and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, which has reinforced his status as one of the most bankable British actors working in cinema today. Jude is currently shooting the very British dark comedy Dom Hemingway in which he plays the title role. His other forthcoming projects include Side Effects - his second collaboration with Steven Soderbergh; Werner Herzog’s Queen of the Desert and Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Both Michael Gambon and Jude Law will be present at Old Billingsgate on the 9th December to receive their awards.

Previous winners of the prestigious Best British Independent Film award include Tyrannosaur, The King’s Speech, Moon, Control, Slumdog Millionaire, The Constant Gardener and This Is England.