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Great Acting in Bad Films

Friday 27 January 2012, 12:34

Mark Kermode Mark Kermode

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I asked for your nominations for the best acting in the worst film you've seen. Here I pick out some of the most startling choices and, prompted by some of you, pose a new question...

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    Comment number 1.

    You took both copies of Tiptoes? thats a bit greedy

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    Comment number 2.

    The worst performance in a good movie has got to be Andie Macdowell in Four Weddings and a Funeral, surely? Truly excruciating acting, it's mind-boggling how the film-makers apparently didn't notice...

    PS IsitstillrainingIhadn'tnoticed.

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    Comment number 3.

    Shelly Duvall isn't very impressive in The Shining.

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    Comment number 4.

    It has to be Quentin Tarantino in Pulp Fiction. Everyone is on the best form of their careers and then along comes QT. It is the same story in Reservoir Dogs and although Death Proof is awful already the scene with Tarantino and Eli Roth makes it even worse. Let’s hope he can resist casting himself in Django Unchained.

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    Comment number 5.

    Quentin Tarantino's appearance as Jimmy in Pulp Fiction. The scene in which Jules and Vincent store the car at Jimmy's house is fantastically funny, with a fabulously suave cameo by Harvey Keitel. But, quite ironicallly I feel, I can't stand Tarantino's cringe inducing delivery of his OWN lines. Lets face it, in terms of starring in his own films, Quentin's no Martin Scorsese in Taxi Driver...

    Movie's still a classic though.

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    Comment number 6.

    Dr K,
    I have been struggling with your new assignment. Why? Well, because of Shelley Duvall. I have watched the Shining a million times now and I still can't figure out if Shelley's performance was genius or just plain terrible.
    What do you think?
    Please give me an awnser good doctor, because I certainly can't.

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    Comment number 7.

    ^Sorry Seany B, didn't see your post.

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    Comment number 8.

    In my opinion, Jack Nicholson kills The Shining stone dead. For the first half of the film, the hotel itself is the villain and the film is terrifying and beautifully crafted.

    Then Jack Nicholson goes mad, you think "Oh look, Jack Nicholson going mad again" and the film falls apart.

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    Comment number 9.

    Dear Doctor, as you've pointed out, Godfather 3 is a great film. It didn't harm the beauty of parts 1 and 2, and it will never top part 2, but it is absolutely a great film. Pacino is fantastic, the scene in wich he confesses is absolutely heartbreaking to me, but what does Sofia Coppolla do there? Absolutely a trainwreck of an actress, and a complete downer on a fantastic film.

    Greatings from Holland.

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    Comment number 10.

    Andie Macdowell in Four Weddings and a Funeral - WE HAVE NOTICED!!

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    Comment number 11.

    Oh, and don't worry Mark, I quite like The Godfather part III as well, although linking back to the current subject, Sofia Coppola really is horrendous in it.

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    Comment number 12.

    wo wo wo wo - tron legacy is not a bad film!!

    worst performance in a good film for me is hard

    cos to be fair my favourite films are my favourite because they are perfect

    all i can think of is

    jane alexander in kramer vs kramer?

    or

    Paul Giamatti's shaky performance in the negotiator?

    sometimes i confuse wether bad acting is meant to be that way because the character is meant to be bad or wether it's just because i dont like the human/actor

    it's so subjective

    so my judgement is based solely on i think someone else could of done that role better

    it makes me think differently about acting all together

    i bet nicolas cage gets lots of mentions

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    Comment number 13.

    I know it isn't the best film ever, but I do think The Fifth Element would have been VASTLY improved by the lack of Chris Tucker. He singlehandedly makes that film almost unwatchable. Otherwise it's a perfectly fine, and rather fun science fiction film. But there was absolutely NO NEED for him to be in that film... or at least to have had so much screentime.

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    Comment number 14.

    @HowardBealeGoneMad No probs, I am guessing it will be a popular one.

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    Comment number 15.

    Also, I know Tron wasn't great (even though I did kind of enjoy it), but the worst thing about that film was Michael Sheen! His character actually reminds me slightly of Chris Tucker's in the fifth element: irritating and completely pointless. At least in Tron they had the foresight to only have him in it for 5 minutes!

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    Comment number 16.

    The same question popped into my head while watching Keanu Reeves in The Devil's Advocate this week.

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    Comment number 17.

    Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now. As soon as he turned up on set, the production went into gridlock while Coppola sat patiently with Marlon and waited for him to stop talking about termites. It's not a far cry from what he does in the film, killing the pacing for 20 interminable minutes. On the other hand, his self-indulgent babbling had me on my knees begging for his death, so maybe it was a genius performance after all.

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    Comment number 18.

    Orlando Bloom in... Well anything good he's been in.. But as someone who thinks Kingdom of Heaven is underrated I'll go with that

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    Comment number 19.

    The second Spider-Man film is a great comic book adventure, but I cannot stand Tobey Maguire's stilted, awkward, barely-conscious and emo-esque performance as Peter Parker. It seemed more like he'd been bitten by a damp piece of wood than a radioactive spider.

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    Comment number 20.

    What about Kevin Costner in Dances with wolves. He is lifeless and you only know about his characters development from the narration. Fantastic story and directed really well I thought but he was the worst thing in it.

 

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Outspoken, opinionated and never lost for words, Mark is the UK's leading film critic.

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