Great Performances

GREAT PERFORMANCES: WARREN BEATTY IN BULWORTH (1998)

By John H. Foote Watching Warren Beatty dressed up in gangsta clothing, rapping his political speeches was often hysterical. Yet if you listen to what he is saying, really listen, there is an urgency, a primal scream in the words telling us how things are, how to fix them, and the cost of doing so.…

GREAT PERFORMANCES: EDWARD NORTON IN AMERICAN HISTORY X (1998)

By John H. Foote Derek (Edward Norton) is an imposing figure as he stands in the middle of his street, wearing only boots and jockey shorts. Muscles ripple, a swastika covers his heart, various tattoos cover him, his head is shaved. He puts down his gun, gingerly as the police arrive, placing his arms above…

GREAT PERFORMANCES: SEAN PENN IN DEAD MAN WALKING (1995)

By John H. Foote When he comes into view there is unmistakable swagger in his walk, despite being in chains, an arrogance, a huge chip on his shoulder, hair perfectly teased into a pompadour, his eyes blaze with seething anger. It is as though he challenges anyone he encounters, as though he has something to…

GREAT PERFORMANCES: ANTHONY HOPKINS IN NIXON (1995)

By John H. Foote In portraying a real-life character, one very well known, for me it is never important that the actor/actress looks like the person. What they must do is find the soul of who they are portraying. Many actors attempt to capture the look, the sound, even the essence of the character but…

GREAT PERFORMANCES: DIANNE WIEST IN BULLETS OVER BROADWAY (1994)

By John H. Foote Long one of the most gifted actresses on film and stage, Wiest was already an Academy Award winner and nominee when she took the role of Helen Sinclair in Woody Allen’s farce Bullets Over Broadway. She had won her Oscar as Best Supporting Actress in Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), Allen’s…