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Top Ten Greatest Performances Of All-Time (Diana Drumm)

Our two week series continues with our native of New Hampshire…

8. Geoffrey Rush in Quills

quills-geoffrey-rush

Geoffrey Rush is nuts. Like really. No seriously. Not that I’ve met the man, but just look into his eyes. Those aren’t the eyes of your run-of-the-mill actor who studied mime, even in Australia. There’s a madness. A charismatic, bizarre madness which made him perfect to play a fictionalized Marquis de Sade locked away in an insane asylum in Quills, a performance exuding his exquisite brand of off-hinge.

As De Sade, Rush jumps, leaps, and bounds. He spurts lascivious language, caressing you with each curled consonant. He makes over-the-top exaggerated gestures, that you follow like a spurned pup, only to be rivaled the character’s innate undercurrent of human frailty. Beneath his bombast, the Marquis is a troubled soul looking for respite, whether that be through lust or writing, and to disrupt a system that cruelly tossed him aside for his admittedly unsavoury tastes. He is passion embodied; however outwardly seedy, there is a core of basic bordering on transcendental yearning. And Rush captures all of this with a flicker of his eye, a wave of his arm and a jaunty step to and fro.

What do you think?

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Written by Diana Drumm

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Robert MacFarlane

I’m just going to assume you’ve never seen Dead Ringers, because to have Jeremy Irons on a “Best Performances of All Time” list and NOT have him for his dual performances in Cronenberg’s fucked up masterpiece is sheer lunacy.

Sam Coff

WOW. Great list, Diana!

Love the blend of classic and modern, and I especially love how your list functions as a sort of “Best Actors Ever” list.

And, of course, Geoffrey Rush for everything :-D

Jason Fattorusso

Happy to see both Rush fur Quills and Ledger for BBM. But the one person I was super happy to see for his role? Brando

Greg Cwik

I see your list and raise you with mine, which might raise some eyebrows with its plebeian popularism:

(Mind you I just made this right now, in five minutes)

Al Pacino- “The Godfather Part II”
Robert De Niro- “The King of Comedy”
Joaquin Phoenix- “The Master”
Live Ullmann- “Persona”
Faye Dunaway- “Chinatown”
Roy Scheider- “Jaws”
Isabelle Huppert- “La Pianiste”
Ellen Burstyn- “Requiem for a Dream”
Heath Ledger- “Brokeback Mountain”
Jack Nicholson- “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”

jessied44

I finally decided to go at this from the gut/heart level since picking “best” many of which have appeared on other lists is just impossible. So here are the 10 films that when flipping dials, I simply cannot go past without watching at least for a few minutes simply because in most cases it is two great actors/Actresses bouncing off of each other or great music with excellent acting 1. Same Time Next Year 2. Casablanca 3. Lion in Winter 4. All That Jazz 5. 84 Charing Cross Road 6. The Chosen 7. Chinatown 8. L A Confidential 9. Usual… Read more »

Roberto925

Great list!!!

Zohar Orbach

I love how you chose Ledger’s performance in BM. It’s one of the most subtle & heartbreaking performances I have ever seen, and combining her with his turn in TDK and his hollywood debut in ’10 things’ is a perfect display of his greatness. I love this project in general – performances lists are a great passion of mine. In my longlist I have, I guess, Lawrence in ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ (I adore Chastain in ZDT, but Lawrence is still my one of most deserving wins in this millenium), Mary-louise Parker in ‘Angels in America’ (A Tv miniseries, but one… Read more »

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