Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Filmography: Colin Firth

Colin Firth is earning raves left and right for his portrayal of a gay man who loses the love of his life in A Single Man.

Amazingly enough, an Oscar nomination for this performance would be the first of his career. Firth has spent decades as an accomplished and impressive character actor who usually takes a backseat to the leads. One could argue, though, that without his solid supporting work, his costars would have had much harder jobs.

Firth turned in outstanding performances in The English Patient, Shakespeare in Love, and Bridget Jones's Diary and saw seven of his costars go on to Academy Award nominations. Hopefully this year it's his turn for a bit of Oscar glory.

1984 Another Country (Tommy Judd)
1987 A Month in the Country (Tom Birkin)
1989 Apartment Zero (Adrian LeDuc), Valmont (Valmont)
1993 The Advocate (Richard Courtois)
1994 Playmaker (Michael Condron/Ross Talbert)
1995 Circle of Friends (Simon Westward), Pride and Prejudice (Fitzwilliam Darcy)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To some, Firth is the definitive Mr. Darcy. The acclaimed TV miniseries version of Jane Austen's classic made him the thinking girl's pinup, launched him to stardom and had women everywhere wishing for a Mr. Darcy of their own.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1996 The English Patient (Geoffrey Clifton)
In Anthony Minghella's wondrous, Oscar-winning masterpiece, Firth plays the jilted husband of Count Almasy's beloved Katharine. Somehow we manage to relate to him, even as he stands in the way of the lovers and ultimately ruins their chance at happiness.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1997 A Thousand Acres (Jess Clark), Fever Pitch (Paul Ashworth)
1998 Shakespeare in Love (Lord Wessex)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ As another antagonist to a pair of star-crossed lovers, Colin Firth gives one of the films's funniest performances (the other being from Geoffrey Rush). One of his best moments as Lord Wessex is as he announces to Lady Viola that they are to be married. She is devastated, of course, as she loves Will Shakespeare, but Wessex is utterly oblivious and says callously, "You are allowed to show your pleasure." This is a villain you love to hate.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1999 My Life So Far (Edward Pettigrew)
2000 Relative Values (Peter Ingleton)
2001 Bridget Jones's Diary (Mark Darcy)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Bridget Jones's Diary is a loose adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, and Firth again tackles the character of Mr. Darcy (this time a lawyer and a resident of modern-day London), perhaps as a bit of an inside joke. Firth is yet again pitch-perfect as the antithesis of Hugh Grant's smugly charming Daniel Cleaver, and he proves himself an actor who doesn't take himself too seriously to start an all-out brawl to the tune of "It's Rainin' Men".
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2002 The Importance of Being Earnest (Jack Worthing)
2003 Girl with a Pearl Earring (Johannes Vermeer), Hope Springs (Colin Ware), Love Actually (Jamie Bennett), What a Girl Wants (Henry Dashwood)
2004 Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (Mark Darcy), Trauma (Ben Slater)
2005 Nanny McPhee (Cedric Brown), Where the Truth Lies (Vince Collins)
2007 The Last Legion (Aurelius), And When Did You Last See Your Father? (Blake Morrison), Then She Found Me (Frank), St. Trinian's (Geoffrey Thwaites)
2008 The Accidental Husband (Richard Bratton), Mamma Mia! (Harry Bright), Easy Virtue (Jim Whittaker), Genova (Joe)
In perhaps the worst movie of 2008, Mamma Mia!, it's Firth, not Meryl Streep, who saves the day. His hysterical moments are the only ones in this musical disaster worth watching.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2009 A Christmas Carol (Fred), Dorian Gray (Lord Henry Wotton), A Single Man (George Falconer)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ As a gay man who struggles to find value in his life after his lover dies, Colin Firth is said to be incredible. Snatching up the Best Actor prize from the Venice Film Festival and topping a list of best performances at Toronto over at indieWIRE, Firth's performance was described as "impeccable" and a "career-best" by EW's Oscar blogger, Dave Karger.


DEZMOND said...

love the fact that the trailer is without dialogues.
It seems that Tom Ford's first movie has a lot of style.

Can't wait to see amazing Matthew Goode and Lee Pace in the film.

Ellen said...

I love Lee Pace! I was so disappointed when they trashed the great show Pushing Daisies. What a mistake.

But Colin Firth is the real attraction here. It's about time someone sat up and paid attention to his genius. Glad to know I'm not alone in my worship of the man.

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