Sunday, August 5, 2012
Aaron Johnson: Red-Letter Replacement
My favorite films are usually character driven dramas. I generally shy away from any movie where the actor or actress is holding any type of automatic weapon in the poster. For some reason however, even with the Oscar nominations, nothing was really drawing me to see Albert Nobbs. I love Glenn Close, but I also often hate Glenn Close. It is her skill as an actress I guess, but she either blows me away in her roles, or annoys the shit out of me. Some of my favorite, and least favorite, performances have come from Close.
On a trip into the city recently, I went to the biggest DVD store I could find with a long list of movies, most recommended, that I wanted to buy. I paused when I walked by the cover of the Albert Nobbs DVD. In all that I had read, in all the clips that I had seen, I had no memory of the beautiful male face situated on the right side of the cover. Yes it was shallow, but like an actor holding a weapon can turn me off a movie, the face on the cover of Albert Nobbs turned me, in this case, to make a purchase.
I had known of Aaron Johnson a little bit already, read some things on the net, and saw him in some small roles. I was not prepared however, for how drawn I was to the actor, and his character Joe in the film. From the his first scene, slipping on the snow covered stairs and 'boiling' his way into Morrison's Motel, Johnson was immensely watchable. Glenn Close was incredible, but like Albert, was understated, trying no to stand out. It was the supporting cast, led by Johnson, Janet McTeer and Mia Wasikowska who really got to shine. Any movie that can have me like Downton Abbey's Mrs. Bates (Maria Doyle Kennedy) gets extra kudos!
It was a surprise to learn Johnson was not the original pick for Joe. The actor stepped in when Orlando Bloom bowed out after his wife became pregnant. Too bad for Orlando as he really needs a decent role not on a pirate ship, but Johnson prooved an exceptional replacement. I am not sure my love for Johnson will have me rushing out to see Savages, but it has me eagerly awaiting his turn in the soon to be released Anna Karenina.