Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Top 10: Steven Spielberg's Undecorated Performers

As previous mentioned, this year's Golden Globe ceremony honored Steven Spielberg with the Cecile B. DeMille award, honoring him for his life-time of achievement in cinema.

Yet, I was thinking today about all of Spielberg's great films and realized that he has never lead a single actress or actress to win an Oscar. Yet, the roles and characters he creates end up being famous...far more for the stories then the big acting sequence. But I thought I would do my best to create a a list of 10 performances in Steven Spielberg films. Feel free to disagree, suggest amendments, and create your own list.

1. Ralph Fiennes as Amon Goeth in Schindler's List
2. Whoopi Goldberg as Celie Johnson in The Color Purple
3. Tom Hanks as Captain John Miller in Saving Private Ryan
4. Liam Neeson as Oskar Schindler in Schindler's List
5. Leonardo DiCaprio as Frank Abagnale Jr. in Catch Me if You Can
6. Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park
7. Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook in Hook
8. Drew Barrymore as Gertie in E.T.
9. Samantha Morton as Agatha in Minority Report
10. Tom Sizemore as Sgt. Mike Horvath in Saving Private Ryan

Who'd make your list?


Art said...

Definitely Fiennes. That was an incredible performance.

superdave524 said...

Didn't like the popcorn movies? Shoot, you had to like Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters and Robert Shaw in Jaws.

Michael Parsons said...

Has to be Goldberg for me.

I never knew that! Amazing little fact, and rather shocking. Goldberg and Oprah all the way!

Will said...

Very interesting post here.

I remember watching The Color Purple and thinking "what HAPPENED to this woman? Whoopi was wonderful way back here!" Unfortunately, I haven't really cared for her in anything since.

Fiennes, absolutely. Christopher Walken, who sadly didn't win for Catch Me If You Can even though he was nominated.
Possibly even Tom Hanks for The Terminal. Djimon Hounsou for Amistad. Christian Bale for Empire of the Sun. Matt Damon in Saving Private Ryan.

Loren Eaton said...

Loved, loved, loved Catch Me If You Can. The part where DiCaprio is urging Walken to chastize him is heartbreaking.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the Goldberg mention. She was absolute perfection in The Color Purple.

Notas Sobre Creación Cultural e Imaginarios Sociales said...

Never thought of him as an actor's director, but I'll have to join the Fiennes bandwagon. He was just phenomenal and I thought Mathieu Almaric and Daniel Craig were fantastic, if not too showy in "Munich".

Anonymous said...

Robert Shaw in Jaws for sure. Also, its not a typical Oscar-type role, but can you imagine anyone other than Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, especially in Raiders? "Its not the years. Its the mileage.?

Lorna said...

This was my favourite:

9. Samantha Morton as Agatha in Minority Report

RC said...

@ Art, it's crazy to think that Tommy Lee Jones won an Oscar for the fugitive over Ralph Fiennes...it sounds like there's some agreement that this was a great performance.

@superdave - I did consider Richard Dreyfuss...but he just barely missed the list...good call though...he's right there. And Robert Shaw was completly overshadowed by the mechanical shark.

@Will, I thought about Hounsou, but I like him better in Gladiator, Blood Diamond, and In America so didn't feel justified putting him down here. Walken, Damon, and Bale are all worthy. I enjoyed Hanks in the Terminal, but some how Hanks has a huge challenge of playing anyone other than Hanks in my mind.

@Jose, good call on Munich...I wasn't really sure if anyone stood out to be enough in that movie to make this list.

@Lifeofando, I'm with you on Ford. He too almost made the list, he played the part exactly like it's written...and probably better (as we can see in the way other actors, like Kate Capshaw interpreted her part)

@Lorna - thanks for supporting the smaller role of Morton! She was perfect in this role.

Anonymous said...

While Drew's performance in E.T. was memorable, I thought Henry Thomas had to do the real heavy lifting for that movie to work ... and he did it brilliantly.