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Roman Israel, Esq—the movie formerly known as Inner City

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  • pulp50
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    #1202172826

    I agree Denzel should be in the conversation, but at the very least when you say greatest living American actor, I think of DeNiro, Hanks, Nicholson, Hoffman, and Pacino before Washington.

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    M
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    #1202172836

    The late Philip Seymour Hoffman is better than anyone working today.

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    distain
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    #1202172847

    I agree Denzel should be in the conversation, but at the very least when you say greatest living American actor, I think of DeNiro, Hanks, Nicholson, Hoffman, and Pacino before Washington.

    DeNiro’s reputation has been sullied by nearly 2 decades of being a journeyman character actor (compared to his previous level). His career would need to have ended in the mid-to late 90’s for him to realistically hold onto the title. The world moves on, and you can’t live off nostalgia.

    Pacino. Great. Madly inconsistent at times. Can be an also be an incredible ham.

    Hoffman. Great. Hasn’t been particularly relevant in the last 25 years.

    Nicholson. Ultimate movie star. But does anything think he can play King Lear on a Broadway stage? Pacino could, Hoffman could, Denzel can. These are classically trained stage actors, with those chops. It’s out of Nicholson’s capability, and I feel that disqualifies him.

    Hanks. America’s dad. The only non-method actor of all the actors in this conversation, and boy does it show. He can’t go as deep as the others. It’s not is style of acting. The method guys dig deeper. He’s likable and enjoys being liked. But he doesn’t come close to hitting the shades of darkness and human depravity that all the others have reached at some point. Even when he tries to be “bad” (Cloud Atlas, The LadyKillers), it always feels like dress-up.

    Denzel’s incredibly consistent, still relevant, classically trained, great on stage as well as film, can convincingly play every shade of emotion/characteristic from all-American Hanksian-good guyness to Nicholsonian cynicism and darkness. I can see people preferring other options, but it’s very easy to see why he’s becoming the obvious choice for the title amongst many commentators.

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    Bee
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    #1202172856

    I agree Denzel should be in the conversation, but at the very least when you say greatest living American actor, I think of DeNiro, Hanks, Nicholson, Hoffman, and Pacino before Washington.

    Not Hanks. DeNiro and Pacino aren’t good anymore.

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    pulp50
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    #1202172862

    DeNiro and Pacino are still very much capable of giving good performances, though they’ve both done a lot of shit the last several years. Still doesn’t change how great their entire body of work is.

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    pulp50
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    #1202172863

    If we’re only considering recent work, then I’d say Joaquin Phoenix is the best living actor.

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    Jake
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    #1202172864

    De Niro and Pacino will always be in conversation as their work in 1970s and early 1980s at least is undeniable, no matter what’s going on now. De Niro was pretty recently nominated for an Oscar while Pacino has performances in TV movies that score him Emmy nominations. It could have been worse.

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    distain
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    #1202172878

    If we’re only considering recent work, then I’d say Joaquin Phoenix is the best living actor.

    I think many of the younger generation of actors ( like Bale, Leo, Phoenix) have hurt their chances of being vaulted into that stratosphere by choosing not to ever prove themselves in legitimate theatre, the Actors medium. Day-Lewis quit stage a long time ago, but even he had a good decade as a respected theatre actor, so no one can doubt his capability in that arena. All the 70’s guys (except for the more movie-starrish Nicholson) earned their stripes on stage (on or off-Broadway). Denzel has like 25 stage credits and a Best Actor Tony.

    Some people think it that stage legitimacy doesn’t matter anymore, but I think it does on some level when commentators disseminate whom can be considered the greatest actor living.

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    pulp50
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    #1202172884

    If we’re only considering recent work, then I’d say Joaquin Phoenix is the best living actor.

    I think many of the younger generation of actors ( like Bale, Leo, Phoenix) have hurt their chances of being vaulted into that stratosphere by choosing not to ever prove themselves in legitimate theatre, the Actors medium. Day-Lewis quit stage a long time ago, but even he had a good decade as a respected theatre actor, so no one can doubt his capability in that arena. All the 70’s guys (except for the more movie-starrish Nicholson) earned their stripes on stage (on or off-Broadway). Denzel has like 25 stage credits and a Best Actor Tony.

    Some people think it that stage legitimacy doesn’t matter anymore, but I think it does on some level when commentators disseminate whom can be considered the greatest actor living.

    K

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    Anonymous
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    #1202172894

    When was the last good performance from De Niro? Don’t say Wizard of Lies I hated that movie and he did absolutely nothing in it.

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    pulp50
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    #1202172914

    When was the last good performance from De Niro? Don’t say Wizard of Lies I hated that movie and he did absolutely nothing in it.

    He did nothing in it? What? It wasn’t a good movie but it was definitely a good performance. SLP still wasn’t that long ago, he was great there, and showed when he picks the right project he’s still one of the best. I didn’t see this, but he also received good reviews for the intern, and is generally considered the best part of his many bad projects in recent years. Not that the last 15 years are the only thing that matters anyways.

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    distain
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    #1202173073

    I think we are seeing that Fences probably pushed Denzel over the edge when it comes to the “greatest living actor” conversation for many. He may have lost the Oscar, but it was such a monumental, technically audacious and risky screen performance, that any lingering doubts as to whether he’d passed his peak or not were instantly erased.

    Wonder what Daniel Day-Lewis’ team is making of all this “greatest living actor” chatter for Denzel? They may need to get on the phone to Time Magazine for another cover.

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    M
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    #1202173149

    Day-Lewis should be done winning Oscars. Three competitive leading acting wins is enough for a lifetime acknowledgement.

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    M
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    #1202173150

    If we’re only considering recent work, then I’d say Joaquin Phoenix is the best living actor.

    The Master and Her are exquisite performances.

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    distain
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    #1202174915

    Day-Lewis should be done winning Oscars. Three competitive leading acting wins is enough for a lifetime acknowledgement.

    Maybe, but I doubt Day-Lewis sees it that way. He’s always in it to win it, and is low-key the most efficient Oscar campaigner this side of George Clooney.

    The whole “greatest living actor” thing (kicked off by that Time cover) helped Day-Lewis win his third Oscar. If he could work the “greatest living actor is retiring” angle, a fourth might be within his grasp. But that strategy loses a bit of it’s effectiveness if he’s in direct competition with a generational peer whom pundits are also making a claim to be the “greatest living actor” in Denzel. The last time Denzel was in a race with Day-Lewis, Denzel wasn’t recieving that kind of acknowledgement. This time he is, so it puts a much more interesting complexion on any race between the two, if it does come down to them.

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