To audience members, these actors have had their fair share of memorable appearances. Upon some research, you come to find out that they’ve all had roles you’ve probably seen. Although, some characters may have slipped your mind, it’s interesting to see the wide array of performances they’ve taken on. Even if you primarily look at the year which just passed… 2017. In just one measly, little year – which in the film industry is like a month in any other profession – you can see what we’re talking about for these actors who’s worlds recently collided on-screen for this week’s… Flick Fans Look.
Caleb Landry Jones & Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Caleb Landry Jones can make the audience hate him as a racist murderer (Get Out), pity his stubbornness as a troublemaker (American Made) or feel sympathy for his awkward relationship with his father (Florida Project). However, the role of Red Welby from Three billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, sticks out the most. Jones plays a young man who Frances McDormand’s *Golden Globe winning portrayal mightily relies on. For it is his character who helps her three billboards go up, so they can be processed and seen.
Welby, who seems shy & timid in many regards, still carries an underlying ballsy-type persona, whilst helping McDormand’s character execute her plan for the justice she so deserves. Despite the underlying brazen attributes, Welby still gets bossed around by many people – the cruelest moment involving him getting hurled out of a window and beaten the shit out of by Sam Rockwell’s character Dixon.
Sam Rockwell is a man of many entertaining faces . As seen while he’s alone on a space station for years on end (Moon), as a dramatic murderous oddball (Seven PsychoPaths), and as a very flamboyant and electric hit-man (Confessions of a Dangerous Mind). In this film, after much uneasy violence, a fragile and broken Welby could exact his revenge on Rockwell following his brutal assault. Instead, he shows kindness in the form of a drinking straw, orange juice and a winning performance. The approach to the scene is emotive and a catalyst to the turning point for Rockwell’s behavior – from a rage induced horrid cop to a semi-decent human being.
Garrett Hedlund & Jason Mitchell – Mudbound
Garrett Hedlund (On The Road, Mojave, Friday Night lights) hasn’t been given the praise he’s deserved for many fantastic performances until just recently. In Mudbound he plays a charming artist turned war veteran with a severe problem for alcohol consumption. His character Jamie McAllan, a white man in the south during the 50’s, has a societal upper hand. But suffering from PTSD causes disregard to other white folks in town who don’t understand his scrutiny of being a survivor.
The only one who can grasp his vast social issues and share survivor’s guilt is that of Ronsel Jackson – played by Jason Mitchell. Mitchell, recently played Eazy-E in the legendary biopic Straight Outta Compton and starred in Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit. Surely making his mark as a marvelous actor, here, he channels both emotion and intelligence, trying to be a good son while still wanting to create a life of his own.
Surrounded by death at the hands of war, Mitchell falls in love and gets to see parts of the world many African American men at this time hadn’t. As his own family begrudgingly works on McAllen’s brother’s farm, he refuses to see a future in the south. Mudbound hones in on the respect and friendship of these two men, during a time where being seen together could bring about severe consequences.
In the midst of racially-motivated violence, you begin to fear for the lives of them both. As anxiety and angst mount – one decides the lesser of two evils to keep the other alive, no matter the cost. What then ensues is one man ridding himself of a tangible demon while the other finds his way back to his happy place, as you can barely control your own emotions from the chain of events that got them there. Broken, but alive, Hedlund and Mitchell’s performances have you shook once the credits role.
By Amanda Nova