the leading men of cinema

by chris_diaz

Created 07/05/12

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there’s no particular hierarchy or ranking in my top ten list -- they’re all number one in my book. the CRITERION COLLECTION gave me a chance to discover these awesome performances from films made all over the world for the first time or to revisit them again after seeing them in the theater for the first time. and it’s no coincidence that the directors turned in some fine work themselves, possibly their career best.

  • ryo ikebe is as cool here as steve mcqueen ever was at the height of his popularity.

  • joseph cotten is at once pitifully american yet poignantly all-world in his heartbreak.

  • benicio del toro gives a multi-faceted portrayal of che guevara. his portrayal is dignified, forceful yet in a subdued way, making his che so charismatic, you would want to read up more about guevara after seeing this film.

  • marcello mastrioanni gives a performance that makes it cool to be world-weary, over 40 years old and languishing in all the distractions of being a film director trying to figure out what his next film is about.

  • tony leung’s understated performance is one for the ages since it places just as much emphasis on companionship as it does heartbreak.

  • édgar ramírez gives the most pompous airheaded portrayal of a revolutionary with no ideology. and it’s so much fun to see how clueless and bumbling his carlos is.

  • jean-paul belmondo plays a character against type. his portrayal accentuates mind-games, yet staying chaste with GOD as his witness.

  • sandro panseri’s domenico reminded me a lot of buster keaton in his endearing decency. did you know panseri was not a professional actor?

  • jonathan chang gives a performance any adult actor would envy.

  • richard widmark is so good in this, he should be considered with the great well-known hollywood actors of the 1950s. right up there with cary grant, burt lancaster, robert mitchum and jimmy stewart.

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