Are Timothee Chalamet & Lucas Hedges the new, De Niro & Pacino? That remains to be seen…

timotheeandlucas                           Over the years when a new upstart artist such as a singer, athlete, or actor comes along that is taking the world by storm the inevitable comparisons come with it. For example, in the case of M. Night Shyamalan, when he broke out with The Sixth Sense and then Unbreakable, people automatically started comparing him to two of the great directors of the last century. Alfred Hitchcock and Steven Spielberg were linked to Shyamalan. He was a suspense director who had a way with story and characters, qualities with which the aforementioned greats were associated. Now two young actors have come along that have garnered fame and acclaim. Timothee Chalamet and Lucas Hedges are two young men that people are talking about. Do they deserve the comparisons to De Niro and Pacino,though? That is the question that remains to be seen.

Obviously De Niro and Pacino have had great careers over the past 40 or 50 years, so it’s hard to make comparisons. So for the sake of argument I will only compare these two young actors to De Niro and Pacino for the length of time they have been in the limelight.

Let’s start with Chalamet. In his young career, he has been nominated for one Academy Award for his role as Elio Perlman in Call Me by Your Name in 2017. That was a breakout year for Chalamet. He also had smaller roles in Lady Bird and Hostiles. 2018 has been a good follow up or sophomore year if you will. With roles in Hot Summer Nights, in which he portrayed a drug dealer in Cape Cod, and Beautiful Boy, in which he portrayed a young man who was addicted to drugs. 2014 and 2015 were two years were Chalamet had smaller parts in Interstellar, Love the Coopers and Men, Women and Children. These first few year have been promising, but the upside is through the roof for Chalamet. Another possible Oscar nomination in his future with the Golden Globe and SAG nods he got for Beautiful Boy this year. He also stars in a remake of Little Women in 2019.

 

Now let’s talk about Lucas Hedges. Hedges came out of the blocks fast with his Academy Award nomination for portraying the son of a grieving father in Manchester by the Sea in 2016. In 2017, he had smaller roles in Lady Bird and Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri. However 2018 is the breakout year for Hedges, with roles in three critically acclaimed films. Jonah Hill’s directorial debut mid90’s, Joel Edgerton’s Boy Erased, and his father’s Ben Is Back. Small roles in a couple Wes Anderson films, Dan In Real Life,  Zero Theorem, and Kill the Messenger in 2012 through 2014 help give his career credibility. All of these roles are distinctly different, but show Hedges range as an actor. Lucas is hoping to earn another Oscar nomination with his Golden Globe nominated turn in Boy Erased. Just like Chalamet, Hedges has as upside that is through the roof.

Now let’s compare Robert De Niro’s career the first three years or so. In 1973, he had roles in Mean Streets, directed by Martin Scorsese, and Bang the Drum Slowly, in which he portrayed a baseball catcher with cancer. The former would be the beginning of a beautiful collaboration between Scorsese and De Niro. In 1974, he would portray the younger version of Vito Corleone in The Godfather Part II for Francis Ford Coppola. De Niro would win his first of two Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor. In 1974, he would star in what is arguably one of his greatest roles to date: Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver.

Pacino started out a little bit before Deniro so the years don’t add up like they do for Chalamet and Hedges. Pacino started out with the role of his lifetime in 1972, when he portrayed Michael Corleone in The Godfather, and again in 1974 in the Godfather Part II. He also starred as a heroin addict in Panic in Needle Park in 1971. Garnering and Academy Award nomination for The Godfather was just the first of many accolades he would receive. In 1973 he would get his first lead Academy Award nomination for portraying Frank Serpico in Serpico.

 

Chalamet and Hedges have garnered some acclaim and Academy Award nominations for Call Me By Your Name and Manchester By the Sea. Both are having good years this year. Building on this year is the key to growing as actors and in the public eye as celebrities. De Niro and Pacino acted in films that have garnered awards and fame for them both during the early 1970’s. The Godfather films and Taxi Driver are among my favorite films of all time and I’m not the only one that feels this way. Many years have given us time to appreciate these films and filmmakers who made them. Chalamet and Hedges haven’t had that time or years to show their worth yet. I’m sure they both will, though. Until then, De Niro and Pacino will remain in a league of their own. Right now, you can’t compare the careers of Chalamet and Hedges to that of De Niro and Pacino.

 

Dan Skip Allen

 

Advertisements

Most Popular Film Category Put on Hold

Due to peer pressure the academy has decided to put the most popular Oscar category on hold until  further notice. I believe that more films should be nominated due to the fact that there are so many films coming out in theaters every year. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 350 films come out every year now. That’s way up from the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s or 50’s many years ago. We need to figure out a way to reward all the great films that come out every year and not bury so many great films. The awards aren’t enough anymore to just say well 10 nominees and one winner or five nominees and one winner we need to have different categories so we can show that there are more than just art house and indie films that are great. Just because a movie cost 150 or 200 million doesn’t mean it’s not a great film those film should be  rewarded for some of the things that are different than art house and indie films. Such as special effects and spectacle. As far as Black Panther goes I believe it’s not the best MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) film this year. I believe that honor goes to Avengers: Infinity War. There is so much going on in Infinity War so many characters and so many storylines for that film to look and have such an emotional impact it’s definitely the best MCU film of the year. Is the post credit scene in Ant-Man and the WASP great film? No that’s not a whole film. Black Panther I feel like is more like Captain America: Winter Soldier than it is its own movie. I understand the diversity in the black cast and the whole idea of having and all black  film and whatnot I just don’t think it’s one of the best films of the year I mean they’re easily 15 or 20 films in my opinion that are better than Black Panther. Other films like Black K Klansman come to mind that are trying to do something similar as Black Panther and they do it a better way in my opinion. So does the film I’m Sorry to Bother You and Eighth Grade and Leave No Trace and First reformed. I mean there is so many even Incredibles 2 does the superhero genre better than Black Panther in my opinion.

As far as trying to get diversity in the acting and directing and cinematography categories.  Some of these categories I feel like you know you can compare film and movies in a way to baseball. Where  Major League Baseball wanted to get more more black Americans people to play the game of baseball. There losing people  so what did they do they started academies in places like Cuba and Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic and Venezuela so they could become great prospects and baseball players in the future. This is what we need to do we’re not getting minority actors and actresses and people like this to do this kind of work cuz it’s not easy being a filmmaker in an actor in a cinematographer and a writer and so forth.  These jobs aren’t easy so I understand how having the Academy is having problems getting minorities to do this stuff is a difficult thing but force-feeding us minority films because you put a bunch of people into the academy so that’s going to change the type of films that get nominated I don’t think that’s the right way to go. We need to get the best people doing the this work you know people like Steve McQueen and Barry Jenkins as far as directors go they worked hard to get where they came up through the system made smaller movies.The same thing works  for Spike Lee he has worked his way up over the decades to become one of the great filmmakers there is. There was a time he didn’t just start out becoming a great filmmaker deserving Oscar nominations yet did he make a really good film In Do the Right Thing sure. And then what did he do? He started out doing Nike commercials. and stuff like that. so the actors and the directors need to hone their craft to get to the point where they’re successful. For instance Amandla Stenberg she worked her way up through doing the Hunger Games then she did Everything,Everything then she did The Darkest Minds this summer which wasn’t the best movie and now she’s got the Hate You Give so little by little by little she has been doing the work and so she’s going to eventually get rewarded. For that you just can’t throw these people into Oscar consideration when they haven’t had a body of work that deserves it or performance that deserves it. I think that films such as Crazy Rich Asians are interesting and entertaining films but they’re not Oscar contenders the films that are coming out in the fall like First Man, Boy Erased, Old Man, and the Gun, Can You Ever Forgive Me, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Front Runner and Roma and so many other films like these are the kinds of films that deserve to be looked at if they turn out to be bad films then you forget them. Then put them to the wasteside but we’ve already got 15 or 20 and that to me is what should be celebrated not diversity in Asians Latinos and African-Americans and film in cinematography and directing. The Brits and Aussie do it right. They have their children learn acting and filmmaking at a young age. It’s part of there school curriculum. So that’s why they are far ahead of other countries in learning to be actors, actresses and filmmakers.

For example we have three great directors from Mexico Alejandro, Gonzalez iInarritu Alfonso Curon and Guillermo del Toro. These guys work their way up they did small films they all had different paths to getting to where they are today but they’re all oscar-winning directors and they did it by working hard coming up through the system and they didn’t ask for anything they they went out and they did the work and then eventually they were rewarded for doing the work Curon for Gravity, Guillermo Del Toro for The Shape of Water, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for Birdman and the Revenant. I mean these are all great films so once they build up their reputation then they were considered great filmmakers and the opportunities are out there but you have to go do the work and you have work hard at it and then you’ll eventually get rewarded. A lot of these categories I think people have to remember that when it comes to the Oscars you shouldn’t just be able to give all these Awards away to people just because they’re Asian or Black or Latino.

 

By Dan Skip Allen