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RIP Bob Hoskins/Favorite Performance

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Jeff Breuer
RIP Bob Hoskins/Favorite Performance
on Apr 30, 2014 at 2:34:15 pm

I'm sure we all loved him in Hook and Who Framed Roger Rabbit and scratched our heads in Mario Bros. But what else did you love him in? Hopkins could be a leading man but also had a great career of picking up some really great supporting roles and developing some fantastic characters in that space. Hollywoodland is a movie that seems to have come and gone, but I really like it. I thought Hoskins command of Eddie Mannix really gave the role the strong, stoic and power that it needed without resorting to a two dimensional stereotype.


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Mark Suszko
Re: RIP Bob Hoskins/Favorite Performance
on Apr 30, 2014 at 3:51:38 pm

Mona Lisa Smile?


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Tim Wilson
Re: RIP Bob Hoskins/Favorite Performance
on Apr 30, 2014 at 8:16:43 pm

Close. :-) It was Mona Lisa, 1983.

He was nominated for an Oscar for that, and won a BAFTA and a Golden Globe. He's an ex-con whose old friend Michael Caine hires him to chauffeur his high-class prostitute to her jobs. It's grim stuff, but he and Cathy Tyson (nominated for a BAFTA and a Golden Globe for her role) really pull it off.

Bob is one of the last of this "I'll act in anything to have a job" generation of British actors that included Caine and Peter O'Toole. I was surprised that he was only 71 when he died, but his resume has all kinds of those kinds of "what??" roles: Son of the Mask (nominated for a Razzie!), Maid in Manhattan, Spice World, Super Mario Brothers, etc.

Not that there weren't other terrific ones. The Long Good Friday (1980) is sadly overlooked here, but very highly regarded in Britain -- #21 on BFI's list of the best British films of the 20th century. The other name above the title is Helen Mirren, which ought to be enough for you to Netflix it, right?

There was some controversy on a couple fronts. One was the perceived glorification of the IRA. It had been commissioned for TV, but the producer sued to stop it from airing because the cuts to make it broadcastable made it unwatchable. The American release was also going to have an American actor dub over Bob Hoskins' voice! George Harrison's Handmade Films stepped in to buy the rights, un-edit it so to speak, and release it theatrically.

Anyway, terrific Hoskins performance. Maybe my favorite, and despite a goofily rocky start, earns the acclaim it deserves in Britain, and is ripe for revival here.


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Tim Wilson
Re: RIP Bob Hoskins/Favorite Performance
on May 1, 2014 at 6:35:12 am

One I meant to add but forgot was Mermaids (1990).

Man, I really miss Cher as an actress. She did 8 roles in 8 years between 82-90 where she 100% stuck the landing: Come Back to the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean Jimmy Dean (WAY underrated), Silkwood (Oscar nom, but nobody was beating Linda Hunt that year), Mask (she won at Cannes with this, and should have gotten an Oscar nom), Witches of Eastwick, Suspect (playing a LAWYER, totes legit, too, in another WAY underrated pic), Moonstruck (Oscar winner of course) and Mermaids.

Mermaids looked like a wobbly landing at times because the movie was kind of wobbly, and in some ways a paler variation on Moonstruck, but still really sweet. Very much a Winona Ryder picture too, and a mighty, mighty debut for 9 year old Christina Ricci.

It's potentially a pretty lame sexist dynamic -- flighty woman needs stable man and is willing to settle for a shlub, because hey, no woman can find her way without a man to provide for her -- but two very grounded performances pull it off quite nicely.

The movie is much more focused on the mother/daughter (Winona) relationship, which also makes the relationship with Bob's character feel more organic. The shape of the story gives Bob's character room to breathe, without having to play to a "type," or be saddled with the burden of carrying the whole movie.

So, less than Bob's handful of great movies, but better than most of the rest. It's nice. Which is nice. Not enough nice in the movies.

(BTW, am I the only one who doesn't like Roger Rabbit? Wow, not nice. I was so impressed by so much of it that I wanted to like it, but really, really didn't.)


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Jeff Breuer
Re: RIP Bob Hoskins/Favorite Performance
on May 1, 2014 at 2:41:11 pm

As always, thanks for the education Tim!

[Tim Wilson] "It's nice. Which is nice. Not enough nice in the movies."
Yea, interesting perspective.

Jeff


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Tom Sefton
Re: IP Bob Hoskins/Favorite Performance
on May 1, 2014 at 9:12:54 pm

As always, Tim is right on the money. My favourite performance by Bob Hoskins has to be The Long Good Friday. He's like a British bulldog, acting as Harold Shand-a gangster looking to develop the broken down estates and shipyards of East London for the Olympics (imagine that in 1979/80!). The film is fantastic, and helen mirren is sultry and sexy as the gangsters moll.

He also delivered a fantastic performance in the first episode of season 3 of the BBCs series, The Street. It's written by jimmy McGovern (a great writer of gritty British dramas like Cracker, The Lakes and Hillsborough) and he is brilliant in it. It was one of his final performances.


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