1. the competitor least likely to win a fight or contest
2. a person in adversity or in a position of inferiority
In the Industry these days we lack underdogs for one reason. The lack of good movies. If you as a person saw every movie ever made. You will notice the decline of exceptional movies during the 21st century. We see the Oscars every year nowadays and we know the handful of movies that are going to be nominated, because there are no other exceptional ones. There might be 1 or 2 every year that might slip away but these don’t happen at all anymore.
The reason I bring this up is because I was watching a few of my favorite movies and I ended up watching Leon The Professional for the third time. It’s a movie I adore so much and give it much praise. In the movie Gary Oldman plays the Antagonist. Now for me personally I am very picky with villains or antagonists for many reasons. The most important being that I believe that movies revolve around the antagonists more than the heroes. It is because they are the source of the dilemma or the problem in the movie. So without them some movies can’t function. Anyway got off topic there. The performance that he gave was just mind blowing. I wanted to see if he got any award or something. To my surprise there was NOTHING. The movie was not nominated for anything. I knew the reason, the movie came out in 1994, the same year as Forrest Gump, The Shawshank Redemption, and Pulp Fiction. Now going up against the big dogs while being an amateur is a very difficult thing. Many try and only a few succeed.
This is a tribute to amazing underrated performances (list is subjective since underrated stuff you like is mostly subjective)
Take your hats off ladies and gentlemen to the underdogs
Gary Oldman – Leon The Professional
Brilliant performance of a crazed antagonist, though he did not appear in most of the movie his parts left a huge mark in everyone’s mind as they finished the movie.
Leonardo Dicaprio – The Basketball Diaries
Honestly this is a Dicaprio performance that is missed by so many people. To me it is in my top 3 of any of his movies. It was brilliantly portrayed and something he should have been noticed more for.
Christian Bale – American Psycho
I’m sorry but many people find this movie controversial and bla bla. I don’t care honestly. I give credit where credit is due, and Christian Bale was phenomenal in American Psycho. He played the character beautifully. I think he should have been more known for it.
Paul Dano – There Will Be Blood
In a movie where I saw the greatest performance in the 21st century, who is also one of the best actors in history, it is very hard to shine. Daniel Day Lewis is nearly impossible to beat, but Paul Dano did a damn good job. He was overlooked. He performed so well, he kept up with Daniel’s brilliance. When both were on screen there was this flow. Anyway I think it was hard to appreciate him when greatness was in front of him.
Edward Norton – Fight Club
When thinking of Ed Norton most people go towards American History X. When Thinking of Fight Club most people go towards Brad Pitt. He was the one who stole the show. It’s a shame because Norton did an amazing performance. All the attention was towards Brad Pitt. I’m not saying its a bad thing but Norton was not given justice for his role.
Ray Liotta – Goodfellas
This was mind boggling for me. The fact that his performance was so overshadowed. When Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci are supporting in a Scorsese movie its hard to shine. They are usually in the spotlight, so many people still see them in the spotlight as the amazing duo. But in my opinion Ray did a terrific job which had to be praised more than the supporting roles.
So yeah that is some of the few amazing underrated performances. I just want to clarify that being underrated does not mean that people thought the performance was bad, it means that they weren’t given justice.
Hope you enjoyed reading,
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