Friday, September 29, 2006

Who Will Get Recognized in Flags of our Fathers?

In the famous picture of the flag raising at Iwo Jima, six men are in the picture (although the famous shot makes it appear as though there are only 5).

It's got to make you a little curious approaching award season with a film this caliber which actors are going to be noticed and recognized in a cast heavy film like this one.

Here's a listing of the 6 men in the picture and the character who will be playing them.

John Bradley - Ryan Phillippe
Franklin Sousley - Joseph Cross
Harlon Block - Benjamin Walker
Ira Hayes - Adam Beach
Rene Gagnon - Jesse Bradford
Sgt. Mike Strank - Barry Pepper

In the billing listed on the poster Phillipe, Bradford, and Beach get listed. Also the book "Flags of Our Fathers" is written by James Bradley, son of John Bradley (played by Phillipe).

As the biggest name in the bunch, it's reasonable to assume Phillipe's presences, but with a crew of characters all playing young marine's men, I imagine that Adam Beach's character will stand out.

Ira Hayes (Beach) was a native American who was very shy and different from most of the other men in the marines. I imagine this will make for a quality presentation in the film.

Although Joseph Cross is not listed on the poster, I wouldn't be surprised if he is championed by at least a few critics come year end because he also plays the lead in the bizarre memoir-based film Running with Scissors.

I am surprised that Jesse Bradford's character got billed over Barry Pepper, but perhaps the script leads to Bradford having a larger role. Jesse Bradford plays Rene Gagnon was a French-Canadian mill worker from New Hampshire. He is the one you cannot see in the picture hardly at all.

And Benjamin Walker? Until this film, I'd never heard of him. He'll be playing Harlon Block a Seventh-Day Adventist from Texas. Perhaps his role in the story is small because he certainly has less acting credits to his name then any of the other 6 flag raisers.

Pictured Right are: Ryan Phillipe (John Bradley), Joseph Cross (Sousley), Adam Beach (Hayes), Jesse Bradford (Gagnon), and Barry Pepper (Strank). Benjamin Walker is not pictured because I could find no picture of him.

Other known-name actors who appear in the film are: Jamie Bell, Melanie Lynskey, Paul Walker, Ken Watanabe.

(Ken Watanabe is the lead in Letter to Iwo Jima, Clint Eastwood's companion project to this film)

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Ando said...

I'm about 2/3 of the way through this book, and can see Phillipe, Pepper, and Hayes all fitting the roles nicely. I don't know enough about the other actors to know if they'll be any good.

Anonymous said...

I had to smile when I read RC's piece. The simple answer as to why some actors are billed over others is that out of the six flag raisers in Rosenthal's famous photo only three of them survived Iwo Jima. Eastwood's movie is principally about those three men. You can probably work out which ones survived from the actors billing on the poster!

Jordan M. Poss said...

Adam Beach will probably be good as Ira Hayes. When I first heard that Eastwood was making this film, he's the first one I thought of for the part. Good casting, in my opinion.

Great... now I've got Johnny Cash's "Ballad of Ira Hayes" stuck in my head...

I just hope the film is a bit more subtle than the book, early on, about who makes it off the island and who doesn't. In reading Flags of Our Fathers, some of the tension was sapped by my foreknowledge of who would die and who wouldn't. Still a good book, though.

Yaseen Ali said...

I was thinking the same thing recently, but this might be one of those situations where a "big" film gets no acting noms at all (Return of the King, Seabiscuit and Master and Commander were all Best Picture nominees in the same year and couldn't even get one!).

But if Flags of Our Fathers manages to avoid that problem, you are correct, I would also say that Adam Beach has the best chances.

Emma said...

Hopefully none of them. They're just not hot. :P

Jessica said...

I love Adam Beach. Just watched Smoked Signals again for the upteenth time.

RC said...

Beach seems like the obvious winner...

and you typically think the people who get movie buzz for films like this, get it because they're "hot?"

In that case...I assume you're hoping Jack Nicholson doesn't get buzz for the departed either because I'd imagine he's not "hot" to you either...except, I'd expect him to get significant buzz this year.

Anonymous said...

I wish Barry Pepper had a larger role...I really like him and his work.

Ryan said...

I agree Barry Pepper is awesome

Anonymous said...

I think that Melanie Lynskey should get a nomination in the Best Supporting Actress category. I'm sure that I am not alone in wanting to see her get her shot at Oscar glory.

Billy Hillhouse said...