So here’s the skinny on The Ten Best Actors of All Time Relay Race: a month and a half ago, Nostra from My Filmviews started a blogathon in which the 10 best actors of all time were listed at random, then passed to a new blogger. From there, the new blogger must remove one actor, before adding an actor to the list.
Having been passed the mantle by Chris from movies and songs 365, I’m the 10th blogger to get a crack at the list. Here is Nostra’s official breakdown of the blogathon:
"So what’s the idea behind the relay? I’ve created a list of what I think are the best actors. At the end of the post I, just like in a real relay race, hand over the baton to another blogger who will write his own post. This blogger will have to remove one actor (that is an obligation) and add his own choice and describe why he/she did this. At the end the blogger chooses another blogger to do the same. The idea is to make this a long race, so that enough bloggers get a chance to remove and add an actor. We will end up with a list (not ranked in order) which represents a common agreement of the best actors.
It will also mean that those who follow this relay race will get to know new blogs as well!"
And here is the progression of the list since March 13:
Here are the actors who have been selected:
Robert De Niro
Max von Sydow
Choosing an actor to add could go any which way. There’s Denzel, Penn, Nicholson, Pacino, Hackman, Fonda, Lemmon, you name it.
But Chris made a very good point: where are the foreigners? The possibilities are endless, but I’d simply be remiss if I didn’t include the always-superb Max von Sydow to this list.
The man’s filmography reads like a call sheet of masterpieces. The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, The Virgin Spring, Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light, Hour of the Wolf, The Passion of Anna – are all excellent films, and, more importantly for our purposes, all contain masterful von Sydow performances. But those are just a few of the movies he made with Ingmar Bergman. The Exorcist, Hannah and Her Sisters, Awakenings, Pelle the Conqueror, Minority Report, Judge Dredd (just kidding… maybe), The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Shutter Island – he’s amazing in them all.
Most recently, von Sydow was nominated for an Oscar for his silent performance in Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, a film I hated, but thought he was wonderful in.
But now for the hard part.
Who I Removed:
Jaina from Time Well Spent added Leonardo DiCaprio to this list a few weeks ago, and it is with great hesitation that I must replace him.
DiCaprio’s filmography can really be broken down into three distinct sections: there’s pre-Titanic, which I mostly enjoy (examples: This Boy’s Life, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, and especially The Basketball Diaries), post-Titanic, which I mostly hate (examples: Man in the Iron Mask, The Beach) and his “please take me seriously” phase that he’s in now, most of which I love.
For me, the turning point was The Aviator. I enjoyed him in Catch Me if You Can, thought he was as bad in Gangs of New York as he was in Titanic, but with The Aviator, I became a believer. Since then, he’s been solid in Blood Diamond, Body of Lies, Shutter Island, and Inception, and been flawless in The Departed and Revolutionary Road. He was good in J. Edgar, but the movie itself failed his performance dramatically.
At any rate, I’m a fan, and I know he’ll kill in The Great Gatsby and Django Unchained.
So, again, no dissing Leo, but if I’m comparing the careers of von Sydow and DiCaprio, it’s really no choice at all. Hopefully von Sydow sticks around as the blogathon continues!
Speaking of which, now that’s it my turn to pass this thing off, and I think Sati at Cinematic Corner is the perfect blogger to take this thing over. Have at it!