Michael Shannon among NYT’s breakthrough picks

Posted by · 1:52 pm · November 2nd, 2008

The New York Times has compiled a list of what they deem the five outstanding breakthrough performances of the season. It makes for interesting reading — sure enough, there are some performers from otherwise high-profile Oscar-bait films, but there are some surprises too.

I’m pleased to see them singling out François Bégaudeau, the star and real-life subject of “The Class,” who projects remarkable warmth and gravitas on screen for someone who has never acted before. Meanwhile, their most under-the-radar selection is Freddy Rodriguez, apparently the standout of an ensemble pic I must confess I hadn’t heard of, called “Nothing Like the Holidays.” As a fan of Rodriguez’ low-key work in the much-missed “Six Feet Under,” I’m intrigued.

The Times’ other three picks are all in rather more baity titles: Alison Pill in “Milk,” an actress who has been bubbling under for a while now; French ingenue Alexa Davalos in “Defiance,” whom they liken to a young Liz Taylor; and finally, an actor who has long been in my Best Supporting Actor predictions list, Michael Shannon in “Revolutionary Road.”

In Richard Yates’ novel, the character of John Givings is small but absolutely incendiary: a supposed paranoid schizophrenic who refuses to comply with the rigidly defined etiquette of 1950’s suburbia. Shannon has been an exciting, imposing presence in such films as “Bug” and “Shotgun Stories,” and I always thought his brooding intensity would make him ideal casting here. According to the Times, he makes good on the promise:

(Shannon) provides some of the movie’s most thrilling fireworks … Playing a man who is mentally ill is an opportunity to chew the scenery, but Mr. Shannon does something else, infusing John with such tormented authority that the character becomes classical: he’s the movie’s Cassandra and Greek chorus at once.

Well, that’s got my attention. In a lean category seriously wanting for contenders — beyond the slamdunk nomination for Heath Ledger — Shannon looks more and more like a surefire nominee. Read the rest here.

→ 15 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

15 responses so far

  • 1 11-02-2008 at 2:18 pm

    Matthew Lingo said...

    I’ve always admired his work, it’s great to see him get some attention.

  • 2 11-02-2008 at 2:44 pm

    tony rock said...

    so this writer has seen Revolutionary Road? Where’s the review?

  • 3 11-02-2008 at 2:49 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Just because someone has seen a film doesn’t mean the review is immediately up, Tony. We work in a business of nuance and embargoes. Patience.

  • 4 11-02-2008 at 3:09 pm

    NYLA said...

    I’m always floored by Shannon’s work on the NY stage. “Bug” was a mind blowing experience on the stage and the film was under-appreciated, imo. I’m definitely looking forward to ‘Rev Road’ and his performance.

  • 5 11-02-2008 at 4:35 pm

    Marvin said...

    He was really good in Bug!

  • 6 11-02-2008 at 4:43 pm

    Adrianna said...

    I was kind of skeptical about people mentioning Michael Shannon’s chances, until I realized he was That Guy – the one I’ll stay looking at the credits just to see who played the part. Hurrah – I’m glad he’s got a more high profile part.

  • 7 11-02-2008 at 7:21 pm

    Beatrice B said...

    Yes, that NYtimes article was quite interesting. I am writing down my must-see holiday’s films for this year. I am really glad they recognized Freddy Rodriguez talent especially this is the first film he executive produced.

  • 8 1-18-2009 at 12:37 pm

    Promo said...

    wonderful think))

  • 9 1-19-2009 at 2:35 pm

    Ksana said...

    Good night, bloggers =)

  • 10 1-20-2009 at 2:54 am

    Olala said...

    Where I may to find blogs on this topic?

  • 11 1-20-2009 at 3:18 am

    Ron said...

    He should be nomed for this breakthrough role. He was really good in Shotgun Stories but he is exceptional in Rev Road. I would really disrespect the academy if they really nom an undeserving new comer like Patel of Franco over him. Both gave good performances but to me Shannon is like Richard Jenkins. Some one who has been there in many good movies but never had his shot… Well Shannon got it and demolished it. The great thing is if you have seen his other performances he is really dimensional and Revolutionary Road takes him in a direction of unexpected power over a movie. Between Rev Road, Bug, and Shotgun Stories he should definatly find business rather pleasant.

  • 12 1-20-2009 at 1:41 pm

    Uyit said...

    It’s difficult to understand..

  • 13 1-21-2009 at 2:16 am

    Ultra said...

    So nice!

  • 14 1-21-2009 at 7:06 am

    Leyla said...

    Yes, it’s true, I know!

  • 15 1-22-2009 at 2:27 am

    Light said...

    Super! I’ll make similar post in my blog