In my previous Oscar nominations post, I forgot to mention Michael Shannon, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in “Revolutionary Road.” I’ve read some blogs that criticized the nomination because he’s only in the movie for two scenes.
This is no matter.
I haven’t seen “Revolutionary Road,” but I know a bit about the book and the role Shannon played, and I’ve seen Shannon before, and he’s an exceptional actor. He’s like a Southern-fried Brando or DeNiro, quiet and simmering most of the time but no less captivating. He’s also got a perfect face. I saw him in 2004′s “The Woodsman,” 2002′s “8 Mile” and “Vanilla Sky” in 2001, and with the exception of “8 Mile” I couldn’t tell you a thing about what he did in those movies. But I sure as hell never forgot that face.
Then, in March or so, I saw the trailer for “Shotgun Stories” on Apple trailers. It was obviously a low-budget movie, but the trailer was so exceptional I couldn’t wait to rent the movie. I waited patiently until the DVD released to Netflix, and I watched it in September. I was blown away. Shannon’s performance is fantastic if not Oscar-worthy. The script is wonderfully Shakespearean without the theatrical melodrama, and it’s an authentic Southern movie in a way most “Southern” movies thrust upon us by Hollywood aren’t. It was directed by Jeff Nichols, a college buddy of David Gordon Green, one of the only other filmmakers out there making genuinely beautiful, Southern films. Green and Nichols never try to make their Southern locales “characters” like Hollywood does. They’re not interested in Southern charm or pretty Southern architecture or any of that shit you see in perfectly fine but mostly dishonest “Southern” movies like “The Notebook” or “Sweet Home Alabama” or even “Walk the Line.”
They shoot The South as it is, beautiful on its own terms.
Here’s the trailer for “Shotgun Stories.” Rent it A.S.A.P. It was one of 2008′s best movies:
Shannon is also in “13,” an upcoming American remake of “13 Tzameti,” a 2005 French thriller — stylish, black and white and just really sort of OK. But it showed enormous promise for the writer/director Gela Babluani who is also helming the remake.
The remake has got the most badass cast in recent memory: Mickey Rourke, Jason Statham, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Ray Liotta, Ray Winstone, Shannon, 50 Cent and Ben Gazzara. It comes out in 2010, according to iMDB. Here’s a trailer for the original “13 Tzameti,” which looked much cooler than it was.
To summarize, though, get on the Shannon bandwagon.