Friday, May 25, 2012

10 Favourite Cillian Murphy Performances...


Today is the wonderful Cillian Murphy's 36th birthday. Back in the dark ages of this blog, I had a HUGE obsession with the man. Like, I'm talking more than Ralph Fiennes obsessed. During that obsession, I managed to see pretty much everything he's been in, apart from maybe 3 or 4 films (which are impossible to find in NZ). He's a pretty brilliant actor, who has shown more diversity than the average Joe in the movie. As shown in my 10 favourite performances from the most underrated actor of our time:

10. Neil in Watching the Detectives



I guess you could say that Watching the Detectives is Cillian's only real foray into an out-and-out comedy. Unfortunately, this rom-com starring Lucy Liu isn't overly great - mainly because it is so insane. But Cillian still manages to be completely awesome as the lovesick puppy Neil, with his performance venturing into such over-the-top outlandishness that only he could possibly pull off. Plus, he plays my dream guy (he owns a video store, he knows lots about movies...what's not to like?) Hopefully he can get a better comedy soon, because I'd like to see the funny side of Cilly again.

9. Robert Fischer Jr. in Inception



Okay, so even I admit that Inception isn't a big 'actors' film, but I was impressed with Cillian's work as the incepted Robert. He may not get the most screen-time and he is dragged around for 95% of the movie, yet I fell in love with his arrogant little rich boy. Mainly because of how sexy he looked in all those suits. And the scene where the inception has worked and you see him crying (THE EYES!). And that little look he gives Leonardo DiCaprio at the end. That's why I was obsessed with him for half of 2010.

8. William Killick in The Edge of Love



The Edge of Love is a gigantic mess of a film, even with a cast that includes Keira Knightley, Sienna Miller and Matthew Rhys, and the good old WW2 setting. Yet, Cillian is the only good thing that came out of it. He plays a soldier who falls in love with Keira, then goes off to war, coming back suspicious that his wife may have been unfaithful while he was away. His character is tragic, as his frame of mind slowly unravels upon his return. Had the entire movie been focused on him, I would have been very happy.

7. Jim in 28 Days Later...



This is known as the film that brought Cillian to international attention, and I'm grateful that Danny Boyle's horror was the one to do that for him. He plays the hero of the story, waking up to a zombie apocalypse and suddenly thrown into trying to survive and keep everyone (human) around him alive, doing all sorts of horrible things along the way. He's fantastic, which is probably why this wasn't the only collaboration between him and Boyle.

6. Damien O'Donovan in The Wind That Shakes the Barley



Oh, this movie. I watched this on my 15th birthday since it was an R15. I waited so patiently for that day to come. After all that waiting, I can't say I really enjoyed the film, but certainly appreciated it for what it was. Yet again, Cillian was amazing. At the beginning, he is well-to-do young man looking to become a doctor, but then he ends up fighting against his brother for Irish independence. As you can imagine, Cillian could only but excel with that material.

5. Robert Capa in Sunshine



Say what you will about this movie, but I thoroughly enjoyed Danny Boyle's extremely underrated sci-fi flick. Everyone - which includes the now mega-stars Chris Evans and Rose Byrne - is on the top of their game. However, Cillian, playing the slightly arrogant hero of the story who is tasked with reigniting the sun (yeah), is absolutely brilliant. I mean, this is the kinda role that could be played by some big Hollywood hot shot in a film directed by Michael Bay. Even if it was directed by Michael Bay, Cillian would have been just as awesome in it.

4. Dr. Jonathan Crane/The Scarecrow in Batman Begins



Giving Cillian's career an even bigger boost was Christopher Nolan casting him as one of the villains in his re-imagining of the Batman franchise. We all know that Cillian can go a little crazy, which is exactly what he does as the soft-spoken but then totally insane Jonathan Crane. I'm kinda pissed he won't be returning for The Dark Knight Rises (though anything's possible). I guess Cillian's getting a bit sick of Chris chucking a sack over his head in every movie.

3. Jackson Rippner in Red Eye



This movie is basically responsible for my aversion to air transportation. Imagine being terrorised by Cillian Muphy while you're up in the air, where you can't really run for help? Literally my worst (but maybe my best) nightmare. Even with a pen stuck in his throat, Cillian was totally terrifying, just by one look. Side fact: Wes Craven gave him the role because he was won over by his blue eyes. Craven and Murphy then went on to make me scared of those eyes for quite some time.

2. Patrick 'Kitten' Braden in Breakfast on Pluto



Watching Breakfast on Pluto was a depressing experience. Yes, it is quite a sad movie in some parts. But I was mainly depressed by the fact that Cillian Murphy is a much prettier girl than I am, and he's a man. Seriously? Anyway, his performance as the transgender Kitten, who likes to see the bright side of everything, got him recognition from the Golden Globes. To be honest, he should have won an Oscar. His transformation is fantastic - in fact, even when he is playing a 'man' in the film, you can barely believe that it's Cillian on screen. Alas, the film is an overlong, self-indulgent mess that doesn't take itself very seriously at all. See it for Cilly, though.

1. John / Emma Skillpa in Peacock



I didn't mean to have my top two performances of his be the ones where he dresses up as a woman, but here you go. Peacock is an extremely underrated film, which is silly considering it also stars Ellen Page and Susan Sarandon. This performance is his best because he plays two different characters: John, the awkward, severely mentally damaged John, who has multiple personality disorder, which leads him to spend half of his time as his 'wife' Emma. Words can't even explain how great this performance is. John is a difficult character to play, but having to play Emma on top of that is just the tip of the iceberg. If you can seek out Peacock, see the performance for yourself. It really shouldn't have gone straight-to-DVD.

Happy Birthday Cillian! What do you think of him? Do you have any favourite performances from him?

27 comments:

  1. It's sad how many of these I haven't seen, since I really like Murphy's acting and really really like his looks :P

    I loved him in Red Eye- so creepily awesome. I think I should rent The Wind that Shakes the Barley asap.

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    1. You should totes see more of his work, then! And yes, you should rent The Wind that Shakes the Barley. I should see it again.

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    2. I think sunshine is the best so far considering I have seen 11 of his movies he was awesome in it because I live him and sci-fi movies to do with astronomy and physics bu the other I like is 28 days later because it's like walking dead which is my favourite tv show now and I saw the first 2 seasons of walking dead before 28 days later and I think they're both spectacular cosidering that I was not a fan of zombie sort of apocolypse movies you know and last I think inception was beast it was so different to any other movies, such a creative mind Christopher Nolan has like in Batman begins when Cillian was the scarecrow just love it when cillian is a cillian he is just a great actor my favourite along side Leonardo DiCaprio and Johnny Depp so congrats to Cillian Murphy on his succesful work in movies :)

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    3. I think sunshine is the best so far considering I have seen 11 of his movies he was awesome in it because I live him and sci-fi movies to do with astronomy and physics bu the other I like is 28 days later because it's like walking dead which is my favourite tv show now and I saw the first 2 seasons of walking dead before 28 days later and I think they're both spectacular cosidering that I was not a fan of zombie sort of apocolypse movies you know and last I think inception was beast it was so different to any other movies, such a creative mind Christopher Nolan has like in Batman begins when Cillian was the scarecrow just love it when cillian is a cillian he is just a great actor my favourite along side Leonardo DiCaprio and Johnny Depp so congrats to Cillian Murphy on his succesful work in movies :)

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  2. I think I've seen all of those except Watching The Detectives but I certainly agree he's great. He's got such a distinct look, which perhaps partly explains his success in gender-bending roles. Or in roles playing a mad man.

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    1. He does have a distinct look, which definitely works to his advantage.

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  3. I seem to have skipped many of his films. I only saw Inception and Peacock on your list. I agree his performance in Peacock was great, but not so fond of the movie though. Nice list!

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    1. Peacock was an...interesting film. Definitely check out some more of his work if you can!

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  4. I have seen every one on this list and I agree with your assessment of each (the films and his performance) whole-heartedly. I love this man!

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    1. Ah, that Reel Insight episode...such a good episode! :D

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  5. Of these I've only seen Inception and The Wind That Shakes the Barley, even though I love Cillian Murphy. I like the way you layouted this too!

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    1. Check out some more of his work! And thank you :)

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  6. I LOVE Cillian Murphy as well! Breakfast on Pluto is my personal favorite of his performances. He was great in Peacock too, but that film is seriously flawwed. Did you see him in Disco Pigs? I had a hard time enjoying that film because I couldn't understand a damn word anyone was saying.

    Kind of OT, but I laugh every time I see The Edge of Love because my friend so lovingly refers to it as "That movie Cillian Murphy went ape shit on everyone at the end."

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    1. I haven't seen Disco Pigs, mainly coz I haven't been able to track it down, yet. I will, though, even though it doesn't look so good.

      Haha, that's what I refer to it as!

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  7. The little look Cillian Murphy gives Leo in the end of Inception is my favorite moment of the film. It’s something so subtle and reserved… ah, THAT is natural acting to me. I was so glad to hear you mention that. As for my favorite Murphy performance… tough call. I’d better see Peacock before I make a final decision.

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    1. Same here! I love that moment so much. It is just wonderful. And yes, see Peacock. He's so good in it.

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  8. I wouldn't say he is more underrated but it's a damn shame she doesn't get more recognition - he always delivers such great work, I agree about Peacock - it's very underrated and it's quite intriguing movie. My favorite work of his is probably in The Wind that Shakes the Barley.

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    1. So glad you've seen Peacock. Barely anyone has! And he's very good in that film.

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  9. I was never a huge fan till Inception. Now I think he's one of the greats.
    - Maurice Mitchell
    The Geek Twins | Film Sketchr
    @thegeektwins | @mauricem1972

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  10. My favorite performance from him so far is The Wind that Shakes the Barley.

    I also love his work with Christopher Nolan and I hope they work together on another project soon. One performance I want to add that I don't think gets much credit is his role as a butcher's son in Girl with a Pearl Earring who tries to win over Scarlett Johansson.

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    1. I love him in Girl with a Pearl Earring, too. It is so interesting that he learned how to cut up meat even though he's a vegetarian.

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  11. Reading this list, I have come to the conclusion that I have seen this man in far too few films. I've been itching to see 28 Days Later for a while though. Maybe I should make that one a priority - great list as usual! :D

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    1. You totes do! 28 Days Later is reeeeeeeally good.

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  12. I was actually going to see Cillian Murphy perform Enda Walsh's play, 'Misterman' the other week, but tickets were sold out, and my parents ended up going and said it was AMAZING.

    I read the play, and it was really beautiful. So disappointed I didn't get to see it performed, but I really recommend you read it, and maybe there might be some Cillian Murphy videos up of his performance of it, which is said to be outstanding.

    Check it out, though.

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    1. I would love to see him perform on stage. Such a shame you couldn't go!

      I'll keep an eye out for that play.

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  13. I think there is an appalling lack of Cillian Murphy in today's celebrity news, but I hear he likes his privacy so he keeps his family away from the eye of the press. Can't say that I blame him.
    He was also in a movie with Amanda Seyfried and Justin Timberlake; it was called Out of Time, I believe in which time is literally money and the people have a life clock that starts ticking when they turn 25. And the more things you need to pay for, the less time you have. Cillian Murphy plays an authority figure in that; my mom said that Cillian is getting too old to play anyone 25 or under. But I still find him beautiful and sexy as all get-out. :D
    I actually found your page because I was looking up handsome men on Google so I could get a reference photo for something I plan to draw. And I like your choice of films, although I have to say that I haven't seen many of them. I don't watch a lot of TV. But I liked him in Girl with a Pearl Earring, and in the one I mentioned above. And, sometimes, when I DO watch TV, just when I think that his career is kaput due to other things he might want to do, I see him in another movie. Crazy, eh?
    Well, we can't deny it. Cillian Murphy is, like, the perfect-looking man. XD

    -- Holly
    =peace=

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You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.

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