What is a GREAT performance???

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  • ENGLAND
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    #1201988498

    I’ve decided to create a topic where we can discuss what a great performance really is. Many have their opinions but I am not understanding what they are trying to say. For instance, many on here have said that Jamie Foxx performance in Ray was bad and he did not deserve his Oscar. If his performance was bad, then what is a good performance?

    When I went to acting school, I was told that I must find the humor in every scene and I must find a way to include myself within the performance. Finally, the teacher told me to refer to myself as the character and never let anyone call me by my name while on set. Was that good advice?

    Why is “hammy” so bad? Plus, what is “hammy?”

    Should a great Oscar win simply mean that the BEST performance won or is it okay for a great performance to have won the Oscar, regardless if many think it was best.

    How was Meryl bad in Iron Lady but Charlize Theron one of the greatest ever in Monster?

    I simply want to see what you guys do consider to be great performances.

    • This topic was modified 7 months ago by  ENGLAND.
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    Bee
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    #1201988510

    Who said Jamie Foxx was bad? That was one of the most deserved Best Actor wins this century. And Meryl was deserving of her Iron Lady win in spite of the film itself being mediocre.

    Hammy is something like Bryan Cranston in Trumbo. Instead of digging deep into the character and his life, he exaggerates his quirks and tics in an unnecessary way. It’s a surface performance rather an incandescent, personal one. It works for some roles because of the way the character is written or if a real life person truly acted that way.

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    Mircea Bocioaca
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    #1201988515

    Generally, when I believe the character, I’ll say it’s a good performance.

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    Karl Vincent
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    #1201988524

    The key trait is vulnerability. In my opinion.

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    Anonymous
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    #1201988538

    Hate me if you want but Shailene Woodley gave a great performance in The Fault in Our Stars.

    There are different kinds of great performances like she gave such a natural and well realized performance.

    Tom Hanks in Cast Away is another just great performance.

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    ENGLAND
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    #1201988569

    Who said Jamie Foxx was bad? That was one of the most deserved Best Actor wins this century. And Meryl was deserving of her Iron Lady win in spite of the film itself being mediocre.

    Hammy is something like Bryan Cranston in Trumbo. Instead of digging deep into the character and his life, he exaggerates his quirks and tics in an unnecessary way. It’s a surface performance rather an incandescent, personal one. It works for some roles because of the way the character is written or if a real life person truly acted that way.

    There were multiple people that told me Jamie Foxx was bad in Ray and he did not deserve his Oscar. I ranked him at #3 behind Whitaker and Day-Lewis in the 00s but many told me it was a bad performance.

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    GusCruz
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    #1201988596

    The problem with that Jamie Foxx performance is that it was all surface. You could see the engines turning. And that bad script didn’t help. But he was very good on Collateral, which is the performance he should have won his Oscar for.

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    ENGLAND
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    #1201988630

    I’ve seen some say if Emma Stone wins, it would be cool sidereal bad. Was it a BAD performance?

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    GusCruz
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    #1201988651

    I’ve seen some say if Emma Stone wins, it would be cool sidereal bad. Was it a BAD performance?

    In my book, she doesn’t do anything that needed to do right. So I qualify it as a mediocre performance at best.

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    Andrew Carden
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    #1201988656

    Foxx as Ray Charles was about as convincing as Eddie Murphy as Stevie Wonder on SNL. Truly one of the all-time worst winners in that category.

    For the finest in film reviews and awards analysis, please visit me at The Awards Connection!

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    Andy Macca McGaw
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    #1201988665

    A book I have says that great performances are a mystery to everyone but the actor, that the audience cannot perceive why certain performances are so good and respond with them.

    That being said, I think a good performance has to do with convincing the audience that a certain character could be real, that the story and characters could be fact or fiction. Think Arquette in Boyhood, Waltz in Inglorious Basterds, Bardem in No Country for Old Men or Spacey in American Beauty.

    Real people, usually historic figures that we have no idea of how they were, as we have no records of how they spoke or how they behaved, are harder to play, as the actor has make to it seem that they are the living, breathing embodiment of that person. Blanchett does this brilliantly in Elizabeth, and others such as Abraham in Amadeus, Hurt in The Elephant Man and Hepburn in The Lion in Winter do this well.

    People that we do have videos or sound recordings of are possibly even harder, as they have to cast aside their own image enough so that the audience truly believes that they are said person. Mirren in The Queen, Firth in The King’s Speech, Foxx in Ray and Rush in Shine are the best examples of this.

    All in all, a great performance differs according to the character being played. They all must be natural, fleshed-out performances, bringing out everything the actor has to offer. The differences between a good and a great performance is the absence of caricature and melodrama. Either can make a good performance; Spall in Mr Turner or Cranston in Trumbo are good examples of caricature, and Taylor in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is an example of melodrama done well. Natural performances come from within both the character and the actor, not just one or the other. On top of that they must display empathy with character, so that we can display empathy with the performance. That is a great performance? idfk

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    queenbee
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    #1201988766

    This is a ridiculous thread. Art is subjective. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

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    ENGLAND
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    #1201988837

    This is a ridiculous thread. Art is subjective. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

    There point of this thread is to see what others think. It’s simply a discussion.

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    dinasztie
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    #1201988851

    For me, a great performance means someone existing on screen in a realistic way, without useless mannerisms. A great performance is when an actor understands it that there’s nothing more important or interesting than their own personality. Also, this has a lot to do with cultural identity and traditions. If you compare an American and a European production, you can feel the difference – Americans do it with so much more intensity, which could be too much for me (not saying I’m not a fan, it’s just that it is not always my preference). There are exceptions, of course – Amy Adams comes to mind right now and you can see how often she’s criticised for being “underwhelming” – shoot me, but I believe she should have won the Oscar for American Hustle. Jane Fonda after Horses but before her comeback – the fact that she lost the Oscar for The China Syndrome is ridiculous – she’s immaculate there. Meryl certainly is a good example, but she’s a bit too obvious. Julianna Margulies from tv. That’s why I’m obsessed with Isabelle Huppert, she’s able to create reality with basically nothing – and for me, that’s a sign of greatness and the ulitmate bravery: in The Piano Teacher SPOILER her bravery didn’t come from the fact that she smelled a semen-filled tissue or cut her vagina with razor blades, but the fact that she didn’t make fuss of such behavior – she portrayed it as an everyday activity that is essential to the character. For me, it’s never about an actor “living” a character, but creating reality.

    Greatness for me also has to do with humility and being a great team player. Hannah and Her Sisters is an instant example – everyone got some moment to shine and everyone knew when to hold back or give everything. The whole movie was performed with intelligence and sensitivity.

    So greatness=reality+intelligence+sensitivity. Easy. 🙂

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    Marco B.
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    #1201988853

    Great idea for a topic.

    To say that perception of art is subjective is already a (subjective) opinion. There are certain kinds of art where consensus is universal (ex., as another user rightfully pointed out in another topic, Sistine Chapel in Rome is a masterpiece of Reinassance art and it would be very difficult to deny that) and others where it isn’t.
    One important factor is time, I guess. Often contemporaries aren’t able to appreciate a great artist, who will be recognized only years or decades later (just think at Van Gogh). The issue of beauty and art of course will never be solved, not even Kant managed to do that, because there isn’t a definitive answer to it, like always in philosophy. We would also need an expert in these studies to offer a critical and effective take on it.

    I can only offer my experience. Three performances deeply affected me, pushing me to say “this is the best acting I’ve ever seen”: Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood, Isabelle Huppert in The Piano Teacher and Emily Watson in Breaking the Waves. At the end, it all comes down to intensity to me. These three characters irradiated an impression of truth, depth and substance more than any other to me. I did not relate to them directly, but that’s what a great, extraordinary performance seems to have: the capability of portraying not only a particular human being, but a significant trait of whole mankind, and its complexity.
    And, interesting enough, the large majority of those who saw these performances would agree that it is some excellent acting, so there’s maybe room for general consensus even in this very specific kind of art.

    • This reply was modified 7 months ago by  Marco B..
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