Monday, October 20, 2008

The Big 5-0

Hey all! It's James from Out 1 Film Journal here to wish a happy 50th birthday to one of my favorite actors Viggo Mortensen. With the fresh intensity he brings to every role he is in, especially in the last few years with an incredible performance in A History of Violence (how did he not get an Oscar nomination!?) and his striking prominence in the burgeoning Lord of the Rings trilogy, it's easy to forget that good ole Viggo has been with us for a long while. Starting with supporting roles in Witness to Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3, Viggo really got things going in the mid 90s with strong, while still small, parts in Carlito's Way, Crimson Tide, and A Perfect Murder. Lucky for us, Peter Jackson helped launch Viggo into the bigtime. While remaining selective in taking roles, Viggo is always memorable and certainly nice to look at (especially in gruesomely awesome naked knife fights.) With his upcoming work in The Road, Viggo will hopefully cement his status as a greatly versatile and important actor in modern cinema.

If I had to pick a favorite role, I'd choose his subtle, yet incredibly stirring role as Tom Stall in the great David Cronenberg's A History of Violence. What's your favorite Viggo performance?

19 comments:

Michael Parsons said...

Although not technically his best, I have a real soft spot for his wonderful work in 'The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers'.
I thought he was monumental in that

NATHANIEL R said...

I think his best performance is probably A History of Violence

i have another soft spot (*cough* hard spot) for his tiny cameo in PSYCHO though. I don't know why --maybe cuz if you have to replace John Gavin, you know...

and because i had WITNESS memorized as a kid (my mom's favorite movie) I am also really fond of his debut.

Billy Held An Oscar said...

28 Days.

No doubt - far and away the best V.M. performance EVER !

Sparks flew when V.M. and Sandra Bullock appeared together.

Catherine said...

Definitely Aragorn. The LOTR trilogy was one of those defining cinematic moments for me, and none more so than the Fellowship. That initial sighting of Viggo, when he's still known as Strider, smoking his pipe in the darkened corner made such an impression on me.

Lisa said...

Eastern Promises - Viggo with a Russian accent? Hell yeah!

Catherine said...

Yeah, he was fantastic in Eastern Promises. I was really underwhelmed and slightly irritated by the film as a whole, but it was worth watching for his perf.

Also, bringing his neice to the Oscars? And responding to an interviewer's query of why, "Because I like her"? A-dor-able. I love that crazy polymath.

lawyer tony fernando said...

Best work to date: Yeasing my sexuality in my late teen years as Aragorn!

This photo drives me crazy!


I need to focus in movies and get my sex life out of the film experience.


OFF- NAT

Just watched Meryl Streep in A Prairie Homo Companion, and GOD i agree with your words in the subject, amazing!

James Hansen said...

I secretly love him in "Crismson Tide" and "Psycho" but that's just because I liked those movies in my younger days (and still do, for the most part.) I'll still take either of the Cronenberg films over anything else. But I also might take this single image (albeit from Texas Chainsaw 3) over anything other single image. Hard spot indeed, Nathaniel. I'm happy to sex up The Film Experience while you are away. :)

thombeau said...

He always brings the goods---and the hotness!---but my personal fave would be the LOTR trilogy. Iconic.

Michael said...

I would say my favorite performance of his is A History of Violence. And I do have a soft spot for his master chief in G.I. Jane - "Lieutenant, seek life elsewhere!"

Actually there has been several interviews with Viggo on TV here in Denmark these days because he's in the country promoting an exhibition with some of his photographs.

Tillykke Viggo (happy birthday Viggo) :-D

Alison Flynn said...

I love Eastern Promises as well. Viggo was kick-ass great in it.

LaVerna said...

I adored him in Eastern Promises and Hidalgo.

Deborah said...

Eastern Promises is an acting tour de force. No question.

But a little shout out for Viggo as the Blouse Man in A Walk On the Moon. Yowza!

NATHANIEL R said...

deborah -- i haven't seen the walk on the moon thingy in far too long. it's such a fuzzy memory but it definitely kicked diane lane's career back up a notch too so it's probably worth a reconsider as a point in each of their careers.

michael --hey i should revisit that one too. doesn't demi kick his ass in that?

lawyer tony --email me (why is your brazil blog empy? and other questions)

Anonymous said...

My favorite is also "A History of Violence", but the LOTR series turned me around in appreciating him, I hadn't thought highly of him before.

They had a picture up at Awards Daily of him in "The Road". Absolutely haunting. If the performance is a continuation of the photo, then I may have a new favorite.

gabrieloak said...

I would watch him in anything. I think I first really noticed him in A Walk on the Moon and made a note not to miss his movies. But it really was his appearance as Aragorn that sealed the deal for me.

Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

It's a toss up for me...either his role in "Lord of the Rings" or "A History of Violence". Both were excellent characters.

renrut said...

Has no one seen The Indian Runner? Possibly my introduction to Viggo and to Sean Penn's work behind the camera, and memorable for both. Apart from being a searing examination of violence, it offers Viggo naked and covered in Tattoos - a sight to behold!

NATHANIEL R said...

adding to queue ;)