Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Top Ten Tuesdays: Liev Moments in Film

As my amazon.ca orders continue to trickle in, this list will evolve. There are still several Liev films I haven't seen, including Walking & Talking, Twilight and Sphere - which arrived yesterday and are still in wrapped in plastic in my purse. In the meantime I'm "making do" here with the ones I've seen so far.

Not exactly a hardship, folks.   


10.  Spinning Boris: I loved the awkwardness at the banya, when the men realize they are expected to strip. This is not exclusively a Liev moment, but there’s something hilarious about the three of them, standing there wondering what comes next. Made me howl.

9.    The Ten: Initially this movie seemed so silly that I thought Liev must have lost a bet, but as we switched back and forth between the different storylines, I understood Ray and his obsessive need to keep up with his neighbours. The genius comes when the two men, drowning their sorrows at the bar, learn that their quest could have actually been useful to the world. Could have. If a dozen kids hadn’t already died, that is.

8.   Mixed Nuts: I had heard so much about this movie when I lived in France that I was not sure what to expect. (They LOVE it over there.) In the style of those old ensemble comedies like It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, we're not going to be taught any profound lessons here. What I did learn while watching Chris flirt and blush at the hand of smitten Adam Sandler was there’s no fooling Liev. He’s got us down pat. Any girl planning on throwing herself at him, say... oh, I don't know... while waiting in line for baba ghanouj (you know who you are, my little moonbeam) need not bother. He onto our tricks, Ladies.    

8.   Omen 666: As the debate between the original and this one continues, I say if you really focus just on Liev here, what you see is a devoted husband and father. But I'm also a softy who spends my days with seniors, so when Father Brennan shows up at the Embassy, Robert could have just ushered him out right away, but he was kind and patient for as long as he could be. He gave him a chance.      

7.   Painted Veil: That moment when Kitty shows up at the gentleman’s club is so excruciating because you just know Charlie’s going to let her down. Liev plays the tightness of this scene so well; I actually hated him for a bit afterwards.

6.   Sum of All Fears: John Clark obviously has a good head on his shoulders. Smarts are a given. But when the guy with radioactive poisoning asks John if he’s going to die, Liev delivers the answer with a kindness that men who are supposed to be strangers do not often share in movies. There was a Hawkeye Pierce frustration about it. I can see why so many critics said John Clark deserved more screen time. Liev just made you want more.

5.   Taking Woodstock: You knew a list like this wasn’t going to go by without any mention of Vilma. Was I blown away by Liev’s ability convey her impressive strength and yet aching vulnerability at the same time? YESDid he deliver on the line “Oh, I’ve got uniforms, Baby” causing me to laugh out loud, then and now? YESDo I need to know if the package was a stunt pickle? YES. (tee-hee)

4.   Hamlet: When Laertes warns Ophelia to hold onto her most precious and chaste gift, I felt so torn. Am I supposed to be turned on by this brother speaking to his sister in such a way? I enjoy these struggles with myself as part of an emotionally involved audience. Others don’t and that’s okay. Over the years, Laertes has been played in many different ways so when Liev sneaks a sniff of her hair we are made to understand that this Laertes is the one with the issue, not us. At a base level it can just be about Liev being protective of a girl he desires - and who doesn’t want to see that?  

3.   Spring Forward: While I can say in all honesty that every moment of this film is special to me, I have to feel that Paul’s moment to shine is when he saves Dawn at the lake. I know I’m being a disappointingly sappy and typical girly-girl, but we glimpse Paul’s future when he helps her. We know all his book learning is finally going to pay off. And that’s all we really want, right? We want Paul to be okay. 

2.   Defiance: While I initially thought my favourite moment was the “deal” struck between Zus and Bella, I now know that it’s actually found in Act Three. Isaac has just been blown up by his own grenade. Tuvia is alone and wounded. All hope is lost. Then, suddenly Liev… I mean Zus ... comes running over the hill with gun blasting. Every time I see it I cannot help but cheer. I’m not really an action movie fan - but I’m a sucker for this scene.

1.   Walk on the Moon: I could write essays on why this film is so wonderful. Marty is a wonderful character and I can see why Liev would have been all over this role. Of the many moments I adore, my favourite has to be Marty’s dear face falling as he hears Pearl diminish their life together. If you’ve been reading my posts, you already know my rant on this so I will spare you. I do think every woman should see this film and decide, once and for all, if her life is ENOUGH.

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