Monday, 19 December 2011

Joseph Gordon-Levitt: One to watch

Even though my passion is mainly centred around classic Hollywood, I love everything about films from every decade, and every individual year, including the stars. I cannot fathom how every now and then we get these new, wonderful acting talents that shine on screen, and look like they were made for the movies. But very few in the history of film, make what they do look so easy and natural.

It is this quality of total ease whilst performing that attracts me so much Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Aside from his good looks, he is a fine actor, whose so at home in acting, that it is hard to remember that he is actually acting. Like Cary Grant, or any other actor whose perfectly cool when the camera is rolling, you cannot take your eyes off him (ps not comparing Levitt to Grant - totally different actors!)

I have only seen him in three of his films: one was Ten Things I hate About You where he was very young  but already more memorable than the leading character Julia Stiles played, and in my honest opinion, equally as noticeable as Heath Ledger. I love it when you see an actor at an early age already showing huge potential.

In 500 Days of Summer, an older Levitt really steals the show with again, his total ease and natural acting ability. He also has a face that expresses enough without the need of dialogue. But I do believe, aside from the quirkyness of this movie, it's different take on the romantic comedy which made it stand out, Levitt's performance made the film more than just another chick flick. I don't see how other romcom regulars like Gerard Butler could have pulled off such a realistic performance that Levitt delivered so fantastically. We could relate to his character fully, without thinking this is another romcom. He was just like everyone of us who has been hurt in love, or been the loser in a relationship.

His most recent film was 50/50, where he plays a terminally ill cancer patient, and it really is this performance that got me excited. It shoed Levitt in a different light. Someone who could take on the difficulties of the role, playing it with enough seriousness and sadness, but able to make a lot of the films comedy not seem out of place. He bridged the gap between fatal illness and sometimes-crude-comedy. Not for one minute did I feel that Levitt did not have cancer. It was so real, and so well-played. If his performance here does not get him an Oscar-nomination I will be disappointed, because his performance alone transforms the film from average-feel-good-comedy-drama, to a film so much deeper.

We are at the time now where our heartthrobs like Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio- leaders of their generation of acting- are now playing more mature roles, leaving the younger parts for a new generation of great talent. I truly believe that Levitt has the ability to lead his generation in film acting- I just hope he gets the chance to prove himself in greater roles. Like when James Dean's death made way for a new legendary star like Paul Newman, I believe the same is happening here for Heath Ledger's passing a few years back, and the huge potential that lies in Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

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