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Ray's Top Five

Tuesday 17 April 2012, 18:59

Mark Kermode Mark Kermode

This weekend I'm going to be interviewing Ray Winstone on stage at The Bradford International Film Festival. He's had an extraordinary acting career but which are his best five films?

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    Comment number 21.

    First Saw Ray in a TV series call Fox which also stared the great Peter Vaughan (one of our most underated actors) from then on Scum and so on don't think I've ever seen him in a bad role also seen him in a local pub and was very down to earth top man as they say

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    Comment number 22.

    Ray Winstone is one of my favourite living British actors, these are my favourite films he has appeared in.
    1 Sexy Beast
    2 44 Inch Chest (it took two viewings to get there though!)
    3 London Boulevard, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, Nil by Mouth and Scum (TV version, haven't seen film version)
    And I've added The Propostion to my "I love films" DVD rental list.

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    Comment number 23.

    Have to admit, I feel terribly ashamed not to have seen Sexy Beast yet. Will have to rectify that, and see 44 Inch Chest too. Only saw The Proposition once, so again will need to rent it. I did remember enjoying it immensely though.
    Watched Nil by Mouth the other day, so certainly that performance is up there, and agree with Mark that his small role in Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll was excellent. He was excellent in The Departed too, probably the best thing in it with Leo and Martin Sheen. Now if only he'd stop those annoying Bet 365 ads.

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    Comment number 24.

    Hi Mark, I like your list, very good choices. I would personally go:

    1. Sexy Beast
    2. The Proposition
    3. The Departed
    4. Tracker
    5. Hugo

    On a side note Mark, can you please let us know whether you have come to a decision on whether you liked or didn't like Killer Joe. Surely you know by now.

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    Comment number 25.

    Cannot disagree with your list on this occasion.

    I would like to also raise attention to Ray's turn as Sweeney Todd in the TV adaptation a few years back, and he didn't even have to do a Bowie impression in the performance.

    Although The Departed, Quadrophenia and Cold Mountains are flawed in general Ray is clearly the stand out in all the films in which he has been present.

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    Comment number 26.

    'The Proposition' A Masterpiece

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    Comment number 27.

    WHAT? Nil by Mouth is ten times the film Sexy Beast is

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    Comment number 28.

    Agree with the rest of your list but take great exception with 44 Inch Chest which I rated as one of the worst films of 2010:

    "Great cast squandered in lifeless predictable exercise of east end gangster talky artiness, Revolver for the middle aged. Stagey is the key word as the performances might have been electrifying if performed live on a stage in a way that might have lifted the material, but instead dull dull dull dull dull, had me pining for Harold Pinter's turn in the film version of Mojo, and that's not a good thing."

    Ray and the rest of the cast are on form, and I'd be tempted to ask him if they'd consider doing it as a stage play, which might actually work. The piece didn't work as a film for me, and I don't see how it could rate higher than The War Zone, Face, Quadrophenia or even the relatively pedestrian Last Orders.

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    Comment number 29.

    Can't really fault your list, Doc, but I would like to also mention the film Face, a really smart film and one that isn't really talked about very much. Winstone's performance in it is fantastic throughout, and ultimately heartbreaking.

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    Comment number 30.

    Just for the fact it's one of my favourite films, Quadrophenia.

    Not sure how many people know he is actualy in it.

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    Comment number 31.

    One vote (from probably the only person posting here who has seen it) for Ladies and Gentlemen the Fabulous Stains. He's fantastic as a young punk rocker, surely the idea of Ray Winstone fronting a band that consists of Paul Cook, Steve Jones and Paul Simenon touring with a band containing Diane Lane and Laura Dern, is worth the price of admission. Very glad to see it's being included in this retrospective of his career. Another shining example of Ray relying on his natural charisma over muscle and swearing.

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    Comment number 32.

    I couldn't agree more- Sexy Beast is a film I've watched several times and the whole cast is fabulous. Winstone quietly and subtly conveys the full range of human emotions. You really feel terrified for him. It's not just his best film it is one of the best performances by anyone in film full stop.

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    Comment number 33.

    A clear omission from your list mark is Face, Antonia Bird's brilliant and underrated gangster film. In this film he is the hard man bank robber but also a fragile emotional man tortured by his emotional seperation from his daughter and... PLOT SPOILER ALERT....his being blackmailed by a corrupt cop. Only Ray W could carry that contradictary role as well as he did, and in one scene he is wearing a Dalek T Shirt - Brilliant,

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    Comment number 34.

    Personally I'd go for The Proposition at No. 1 (but then again I am an incurable Nick Cave fanatic), although I really love Sexy Beast, but more so for 'Sir' Ben Kingsley's blisteringly, terrifying foul-mouthed performance. In saying that though, if Ray Winstone wasn't so brilliantly understated then perhaps Kingsley wouldn't have been able to shine so much.

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    Comment number 35.

    You say Ray Winstone and 'Sexy Beast' is the film that stands out by a mile. I often think of Winstone as the type cast cockney gangster who no matter what period in history his character is set in, can still manage to engage with the audience and threaten his fellow characters into doing what he tells them!
    Most recently I think it was Winstone's appearance as Magwitch in the BBC's television adaptation of 'Great Expectations' that stood out for me. He seemed to be the most believable and I think that Ralph Fiennes is going to have his work cut out beating that performance in the film version coming out later this year...

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    Comment number 36.

    always a bit nervous about compiling a list like this when I: a) haven't seen The Proposition and b) for the life of me remember watching Sexy Beast ONCE not long after it came out and for some reason cannot remember a thing about it!! but here goes:
    Stunning power and raw, savage acting talent from Winstone - even from the very first scene when he manages to ORDER A ROUND OF DRINKS and still be cool.
    Not a film for the faint hearted, but in its way so absorbing by the sheer horror of it, a masterclass in acting. Apparently Ray nearly walked off the set such was the gut wrenching topic of the film and his role in it, I cannot think of another actor who a) would have done the film and b) would have then excelled in it.
    One of my favourite films, a lovely, compassionate, compelling film - note Winstone's talent in more than holding his own on screen with a colossus of acting talent such as Caine, Hoskins, Mirren, Courtenay and Hemmings
    4. SCUM
    Incredible display of quality acting from a very young Winstone in a film that garnered a life of its own almost the second they wrapped shooting
    As a previous contributor stated, this is an almost forgotten yet brilliant film.

    Does anyone also remember him in Birds Of A Feather and the best (BBC) police drama of all time BETWEEN THE LINES in the early 90s which I read he allegedly did because he had a tax bill that needed paying off quickly?

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    Comment number 37.

    I agree. I`m glad you put Sexy Beast at number one. I love it ,its just brilliant. He does fear very well indeed, and who wouldn`t be scared of Ghandi.

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    Comment number 38.

    I do have quite a soft spot for Richard Dawkins Everything, I rented the film expecting a typical Winstone Performance of loud brash but brilliant acting. However I got one of the most touching and emotional films ive seen in quite sometime.
    He truly showed he can be the 'Daddy' of acting.

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    Comment number 39.

    I'm glad Sexy Beast is top, after seeing 44 Inch Chest in there too. After seeing it I was so disappointed, as it has great dialogue, with great delivery but that's all. It's more a play than the highly anticipated spiritual successor to the great Sexy Beast.

    There was this movie I saw last year on the television that i thought he was brilliant in, called Everything. A man who sees this prostitute a lot, but only to talk. During the course of the film we are drawn in to his character as it unfolds nicely up to the superb revelation at the end of why he did it. Due to the very low budget it is unspectacular to look at, but the performances (especially Rays) is fantastic.

    As well as Sexy Beast and Everything, my other three faves are: Fanny and Elvis, The Proposal, and Nil by Mouth.

    Lets not withhold his stellar tv performances like Henry VIII, Sweeny Todd, or Vincent. But you just can't beat him as either Little John in Robin of Sherwood or the floating head in the Bet 365 ads.

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    Comment number 40.

    I've just noted other poster have mentioned Everything too, I'm glad I'm not alone that in thinking his performances in it is superb.


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