Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Jonathan Pryce in Brazil

Best ever cinematic performance by a Welsh actor? Hmm... well Ray Milland would certainly be up there for his Oscar-winning role as an alcoholic in The Lost Weekend (1945). Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs (1991) would definitely fancy his chances. As would Catherine Zeta Jones for her vivacious turn in Chicago (2002). Then there is Hugh Griffith's celebrated cameo in Ben Hur (1959). And Rachel Roberts's Academy Award nomination for her role in This Sporting Life (1963). But hang on a second - what about Richard Burton in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966)? Or Stanley Baker in The Criminal (1960)? All of them worthy candidates, I'm sure. However, my own nomination for this hypothetical award would go to Jonathan Pryce for his performance in Terry Gilliam's dystopian cult masterpiece Brazil (1985). Trapped in a bureaucratic nightmare and frustrated at every turn by failing and inefficient machinery, Pryce's character, Sam Lowry, is bewildered, paranoid and comic. If you've never seen the movie, check it out sometime. Meanwhile, enjoy the above still.