Post by domenicaflor on Nov 28, 2004 11:55:06 GMT -5
I found this on another board in case anyone is interested:
"Anatomy of a Scene"--30 min. special on Peter Care directing VDO and Jodie Foster in "The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys"--on Sundance Channel several times in December. Check tv-now page for dates and times.
I thought the movie itself had some good points and some weak points, but D’Onofrio’s portrayal was outstanding – in quiet, subtle, and, when his character tries to offer guidance to one of the boys, deeply poignant ways.
Whenever I think of this movie I think of D’Onofrio’s analogy of a movie being like a painting, and how a character actor is not supposed to dominate the picture, but rather add the perfect bit of color.
I was looking for that quote, to add to this post, and found a post I wrote about this movie a while back, on the Universal board; so instead of trying to say it all again, I’m going to repeat that post here:
For those of you who admit to sometimes fast-forwarding through films to get to the scenes with D’Onofrio, I have to say that I hope you don’t do that with this film.
For one thing, you’re likely to be disappointed. This is not D’Onofrio at his most appealing. Taken out of the context of the film, this role would seem... I don’t know... the word pointless comes to mind. You’re not likely to thrill to his commanding presence, or his marvelous voice... In fact, if you’re not going to watch the whole film, I wouldn’t suggest you spend the money on it.
But if you’d like to really understand what he means when he talks about character acting... Ah. That’s another story. One that can’t be read by looking only at his scenes.
In a review in the Washington Post, Ann Hornaday said, “...Vincent D'Onofrio dials his acting down a few notches to deliver a thoroughly credible performance as a well-meaning priest...”
I know what she means by that – the almost watered-down quality this character has, if you were to compare him to most of D’Onofrio’s characters. But that’s not something achieved by dialing down the acting. Rather, it’s a higher level of precision, a dialing up of the skill required, to produce just the right qualities in this character to help tell this story.
More than once, in interviews, D’Onofrio has likened a film to a painting. In one he said:
"The first rule of character acting is to know your composition within the structure of the story. If you're a little splash of yellow in the corner, you better not be too bright and you better not be too big. You better be exactly what is needed to not destroy the composition. And when you're doing small roles in films, that's truly a difficult thing to do. Because it has to be very precise.
"If you're doing a little character, especially if it's important to the story, which is what I like to do, you have to be right on. You can't shine too bright, and you can't shine too little, or you'll change the structure”
In another, he said, “You want to be the perfect splash of yellow paint to let the whole composition work correctly.''
In The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, that’s what he did.
If you only look at that bit of yellow, you won’t see how it fits within the composition – how exactly, unobtrusively, almost unnoticeably perfect it is.
I did not read the cover before I watched the movie, so I had a very open mind. (and I did not fast-forward to his scenes) Maybe (obviously!) I've seen too much of L&O, but him being this priest and offering help .. I thought it would go a different direction, I thought he was kind of creepy ...
The story itself I thought was quite original, it was just not my cup of tea.
but him being this priest and offering help .. I thought it would go a different direction, I thought he was kind of creepy ...
Hi Marina, Just wonderng why you thought his performance as a preist was creepy? I saw Father Casey, from the perspective of how the kids would see him. A teacher, who didnt have all of the answers, but tried to be there for them. I saw the character of a real preist. I liked the storyline. I just wasnt that crazy about the cartoon fantasy
“It’s like you got yesterday, today and tomorrow, all in the same room. There’s no telling, what can happen”.... Billy, "I’m Not There"
It was probably him portraying a priest that gave you the creepy vibes. There has just been so much in the media about priests molesting altar boys that it can be hard to clear that stereotype from the character, especially if you don't know any priests personally (or child molesters) or know what the movie is about, for that matter.
I thought the cartoon thing was dumb too, but eh. It was okay. At least they tried.