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The Guy Pearce Papers 5 — Prometheus

26 Oct

The Guy Pearce Papers 5: Prometheus – directed by Ridley Scott. SciFi. Explorers on a spaceship search for the answers to The Big Questions on a planet out there. 124 minutes Color 2012.
★★★★
It cost 130 million and it earned 420 million, and I had never heard of it until I tracked it down at the library to see what Guy Pearce was up to in it. I don’t go to SciFi films, Action/Adventure films, Animation films, Gangster films, unless there is someone in it to draw me to watch it. So I am not fit to review this picture except to say that its remarkable spectacle should be even more remarkable on the big screen instead of my TV. The color scheme of the picture is earthy and slimy, for in the huge dome of the tomb-like structure on the planet are found no pastels. Only worms. Octopi. Sarcophagi the color of Brittaniawear. The spaceship exploration has been financed by an ancient and perhaps dead or perhaps virtual plutocrat so old he looks like a mummy – but he may be a zombie – but he also may be both. He’s English anyhow, and with a UC accent I cannot ascribe to any actor I know. I wait for Guy Pearce to appear. Well, all right, he must have some sort significant role later. The ship is in the command of Charlize Theron who moves her impressive beauty rather uncertainly through the early scenes – unusual for this actor, yes? The problem with SciFi is to find an acting style suited to the taciturnity of SciFi scripts, and, with two exceptions, this style is no more stumbled on than the answers to The Big Questions. That is partly because the male and female playing the leads opt for sloppy realism, which does not jibe with the intent of the exploration, with their jobs as scientists, and with the setting, which, as with all SciFi I have ever seen, is Big Machine. SciFi has not progressed beyond Modern Times with Chaplin caught in the machinations of an assembly line. SciFi is all Big Fancy Machines. And it’s fun, of course, to see these monstrous machines come to life and collide. It is also true that neither actor has the substance necessary to carry such an immense film. At each exploration of the slime-dome, I expect Pearce to appear and I wonder what day they are saving him for to save. But no. No, the ancient plutocrat comes alive, and Theron proves to be his daughter, and she’s awfully mean, and she wields a wicked flame-thrower. As an actor she never really finds her voice for the role. But Michael Fassbender and Idris Elba do. Fassbender plays a Peter O’Toole knock-off robot, and what he does to find the style is nothing at all, except to stay infinitely still internally, and say his lines in the ordinary way. Idris Elba is the best thing in the show. He plays the captain, and I believe his every move, each one of which is casual, grounded, and masterly. He brings every scene he is in to complete life! But where is Pearce? Then I take a second look at that parchment faced trillionaire. Oh my word: there he is: playing a man of a hundred and four who is already dead, and he has been in front of me all this time! The great disguise here is not the make-up but the accent – and where he got that from, I could not say – but he is completely someone else, someone else in posture, gait, voice, and energy. Yes, energy. That old bastard tycoon was never in his life Guy Pearce. But still Guy Pearce is that old bastard tycoon.

A Supporting Lead. Sized just right.

 
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Posted in ACTING STYLE: INTERNATIONAL REALISTIC, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce: ACTING GOD, Idris Elba, Michael Fassbender, Sci-Fi

 
 
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