Milk River Madman hosts Movie Clip Wednesdays and his theme for this week is Favorite Foreign Actor. Which had me thinking: does he mean man or woman, or will there be a separate, future theme titled Favorite Foreign Actress? Hmm.
Regardless, I have quite a few favorites on both sides of the fence. Helen Mirren, for one, not only because she is one of the few over 60 (hell, over 40!) women working in film today, but also because she makes no bones about fighting the aging process kicking and screaming, yet she manages to do it with such panache, I can't tell if she's had work done or not. Gal's a total class act.
Charlotte Rampling is another. Her performance was the only good thing about the terrible, terrible Swimming Pool, and we American ladies should take a lesson from this cat-eyed, right-angled beauty on how to hone not only our looks, but also our wit and intelligence.
Then there's Penelope Cruz, who is easy to dismiss as just another hot tamale, but who nevertheless always blows me away with her performances. To me, she is one of the most interesting women working in film today.
And don't even get me started on Catherine Deneuve. I. Con.
But, let's talk about men, shall we? I have my "classic" favorites: Peter O'Toole (Lawrence of Arabia is one of my favorite films of all time and he is simply stunning in all senses of the word in it), Ian McKellan, Alec Guinness, Sean Connery. And newbies like Clive Owen and Daniel Craig, while not necessarily great actors, are great looking in that they have very commanding presences on screen that make them interesting to watch. Then there's Javier Bardem who, seriously, really needs to return my phone calls.
Ewan McGregor almost filled this spot for me. He's unbelievably versatile and has virtually no fear on screen. He can go from wimpy sentimentality to serial killer stoniness to rock and roll enfant terrible in what seems like a blink of an eye. Plus, he's the only gent working today who isn't afraid of full frontal anything. Just sayin' . . .
Still, in the end, I went with who to me is far and away one of the greatest actors currently working in ANY country: Anthony Hopkins. Yeah, he's most famous for Hannibal Lector, but my hands down, absolute favorite performance of his is his turn as New Zealander Burt Munro in The World's Fastest Indian. Munro spent years building a 1920 Indian motorcycle and then ran it to a land-speed world record at Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats in 1967. If you haven't seen this movie, go rent it NOW.
P.S. Double click on this so you can watch it at full size. I can't figure out why my embedded videos are getting cut off . . .