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Easy to Recognise, But...

Big movie stars are great fun to watch, but it's the character actors who enrich the real quality films. These are the folks whose faces are familiar, and so are their names, but names and faces are difficult to put together. This week we're happy to tell you about three of these folks and a few of the films they have graced.

Chloe Webb

cwebb.jpg (7145 bytes)Webb's first role, in the 1986 film Sid and Nancy, gained her wide attention and that year's U.S. National Society of Film Critics' best actress award. Since then, she has contributed to a number of films, without becoming anything like a household name. Among those films:

She's So Lovely n_83.gif (876 bytes)

A tale of some of life’s more fragile and desperate citizens, She’s So Lovely is not your typical love story. Despite the fact that it’s often hard to figure out who to pull for, this is a terrific film.

The Newton Boys  n_69.gif (876 bytes)

America's most successful bank robbers blow up banks in the 1920s. With a capable cast The Newton Boys is playful and glib, but ultimately it's too simplistic and conscientiously unfounded. From the director of Dazed and Confused and Before Sunrise.

Nathaniel Parker

nparker.jpg (2818 bytes)Another English actor, Parker was born in London. He's the brother of actor/director Oliver Parker, who directed him in the 1995 version of Othello. The other review we present here (Into Thin Air) has little in common with Shakespeare other than the theme of tragedy.

Into Thin Air: Death on Everest n_78.gif (876 bytes)

A gripping docu-drama about two ill-fated expeditions to the top of Mount Everest. We know the outcome from the start, but it's still hard to take your eyes from the screen as the expeditions stumble into disaster.

Othellon_86.gif (876 bytes)

Shakespeare’s play is brought to the screen again with excellent performances by Laurence Fishburne, Irene Jacob and Kenneth Branagh. Purists might find fault, and car chase fans will be disinterested, but it’s a good choice for the rest of us.


Pete Postlethwaite

ppostlet.jpg (4622 bytes)This 50-plus year old actor started out as a teacher before pursuing an acting career, first on stage and then in film. He was a Shakespearean actor for years and burst into prominence with his Oscar-nominated performance in the 1992 film, In the Name of the Father. Postlethwaite has a distinctive face and an intense presence when on screen. Here are three recent films he has appeared in:

Amistadn_83.gif (876 bytes)

The story of African mutineers as they fight inhuman conditions aboard a slave ship, then must later battle for their freedom in American courts. The scenes aboard ship are much more dramatic than the courtroom scenes that conclude the film.

Brassed Offn_82.gif (876 bytes)

The impending death of Grimley’s coal mine draws the colliery band members together just as their community is torn apart. The film’s politics are blatant, but the character’s dilemmas are honest and believable, while the acting is uniformly exemplary.

Romeo + Juliet n_71.gif (876 bytes)

This MTV-style interpretation of Shakespeare's classic love story has an audacious opening sequence, but the surfer dude accents strip much of the language of its majesty. This movie is beautiful to the eye but hard on the ears.





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