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Gary Oldman

BIRTH NAME Leonard Gary Oldman
BORN 21 March 1958, New Cross, South London, England
ASSOCIATION Actor (director)
NATIONALITY British
HEIGHT 175 cm
REVIEWED ENTRIES 28 (26)
MAX. RATING

MIN. RATING

½

AVERAGE RATING 4.21

ACTOR FILMOGRAPHY (ONLY REVIEWED ENTRIES)

YEAR TITLE ROLE RATING
1987 Prick Up Your Ears Joe Orton

1988 We Think the World of You Johnny

½

1988 Criminal Law Ben Chase

1990 Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Rosencrantz

1990 State of Grace Jackie Flannery

½

1991 JFK Lee Harvey Oswald

½

1992 Bram Stoker's Dracula Count Vlad/Dracula

1993 True Romance Drexl Spivey

1994 Immortal Beloved Ludwig Van Beethoven

1994 Romeo Is Bleeding Jack Grimaldi

1994 Léon Stansfield

1995 Murder in the First Assoc. Warden Glenn

½

1995 The Scarlet Letter Arthur Dimmensdale

½

1996 Basquiat Albert Milo
1997 The Fifth Element Zorg

½

1997 Air Force One Ivan Korshunov

2000 The Contender Sheldon "Shelly" Runyon

½

2001 Hannibal Mason Verger

½

2004 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Sirius Black

2005 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Sirius Black
2005 Batman Begins Jim Gordon

½

2007 Bosque de sombras Paul

2007 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Sirius Black

2008 The Dark Knight Gordon

½

2009 The Unborn Rabbi Sendak

½

2010 The Book of Eli Carnegie

½

2011 Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy George Smiley

2013 Paranoia Nicholas Wyatt

½

 

FILMMAKER FILMOGRAPHY (ONLY REVIEWED ENTRIES)

YEAR TITLE ASSOCIATION

FILM RATING

1997 Nil By Mouth Director/Writer/Producer

 

PORTRAIT

Few, if any, character actors have had the diversity and range that Gary Oldman demonstrated during the 1990s. There’s an unwritten law of fame and achievement that the media and public will try to bring down those who’ve pulled themselves up, but that was going to be hard with this talented Brit. Sure, there are many objections that can be put forward in trying to diminish his talent; He never got around to excelling in particularly many leading roles, he had a tendency to choose roles in which he could show off some extravaganza, and he might not have maintained his impressive level over the last few years. Still, what Gary Oldman obtained during his heyday is difficult, if not impossible to equal. Today, talented character actors like Philip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Giamatti have taken Oldman’s place as the hottest young character performers around, but their challenge is not meagre in trying to reach the level of this Brit's finest performances. To date, none of them have.

Oldman made a name for himself in a number of British productions during the 80s, notably films like Sid and Nancy, Prick Up Your Ears and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. He showed unprecedented promise early on, but it wasn’t until he entered high-profile character roles in the early 90s that he seriously came into his own. For a period of 6-7 years, Oldman was in a position to elevate almost any which film he agreed to do. A lot of these were films of high quality, but even if they weren’t, Oldman’s presence would ensure that they would be. In the mafia character play State of Grace (1990), he impressed opposite the likes of Sean Penn and Ed Harris, before he brought Lee Harvey Oswald to screen more vividly than most could have in Oliver Stone’s biopic JFK. Then between 1992 and 1994, Oldman gave a series of distinctive, explosive and completely breathtaking performances that only Marlon Brando of the 50s can compete with.  Oldman's seductive and chameleonic Dracula was equalled by the closest a white Brit can ever come to personify a "black" Jamaican in True Romance before he impressed as Ludwig Van Beethoven in Immortal Beloved. Then the actor was massive in Romeo Is Bleeding before turning in one of the best bad guy roles in the history of cinema in Luc Besson's magnificent Léon.

Towards the end of the 90s, Oldman was no longer as prolific nor as innovative as before, but no actor could really expect to be. He continued to divide his time between large Hollywood-productions and smaller independent films. A testament to Oldman's talent is that he was nomintated for the Golden Palm in Cannes for the highly personal Nil By Mouth, the one and only film he has done from behind the camera. That the Academy has never acknowledged his work is more a sign of their incompetence than anything else. During the last few years, Oldman has accepted roles in high-profile film-series such as Harry Potter and Batman Begins, elevating them both and being particularly impressive as Jim Gordon in the latter.

 

TRIVIA

 

AWARDS

The Academy Awards (Oscars)

2011

Nominated for Best Actor for Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy

 

The Fresh Awards

1990

Nominated for Best Supporting Actor for State of Grace

1991

Best Supporting Actor for JFK

1992

Best Actor for Bram Stoker's Dracula

1993

Nominated for Best Supporting Actor for True Romance

1994

Nominated for Best Actor for Immortal Beloved

1994

Best Supporting Actor for Léon

2000

Nominated for Best Supporting Actor for The Contender

 

WHAT DO THE CRITICS SAY?

Sid and Nancy (1986)

"At the core of the film are two remarkable performances, by Oldman and Webb, who don't seem to be performing at all: they are Sid and Nancy." - Leonard Maltin

Prick Up Your Ears (1987)

"Stunning performances by Oldman (...)" - Leonard Maltin

"Gary Oldman plays Orton and Alfred Molina plays Halliwell, and these are two of the best performances of 1987. Oldman you may remember as Sid Vicious, the punk rock star in SID AND NANCY. There is no point of similarity between the two performances; like a few gifted actors, he is able to re-invent himself for every role. On the basis of these two movies, he is the best young British actor around." -Roger Ebert

State of Grace (1990)

"Gary Oldman's performance in the movie is the best thing about it." - Roger Ebert

True Romance (1993)

"Oldman, as a drug dealer in dreadlocks, is a standout in the uniformly first-rate ensemble" - Leonard Maltin

 

CHARACTER QUOTES

Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)

Dracula (Oldman) to Harker (Keanu Reeves) "They say you are a man of good... taste"

Hannibal (2001)

Mason Verger (Oldman) "He said: Would you like a popper? And I said: Would I? Wow!"