Spotlight – Anthony Hopkins Vol 1

I’m not going to attempt to write an introduction on Anthony Hopkins here, the Welsh valley boy is one of the finest actors in Britain, adaptable and versatile, there isn’t a role that he can’t ace, however I find his creepier work to be he best, maybe it’s something to do with his history of alcoholism, even though he beat it in the 1970’s he seems to be able to channel the darker days into something powerful in his art. Here are 8 films that I adore from the legendary actor, no doubt there will be a volume 2 as he has such a sparkling list of great titles under his belt

01. Elephant Man (1980)

David Lynch’s black and white expose of the life of the Elephant man is probably one of Lynch’s relatively straight and non surreal psycho sexual escapades, rightfully all acting credits need to be bestowed on John Hurt for playing the part of the infamous Joseph Merrick and taking on his physical deformities of his suspected Proteus syndrome. Despite his blistering performance there’s one person who also shines through and that’s Anthony Hopkins who plays the Doctor who changed Merricks life. Hopkins really enforces the role of the visionary physician who’s able to look outside the box and take on a role of care for someone who, at the time, was seen as nothing more than a sideshow freak. It’s a robust performance as Hopkins goes from a gentle caring doctor, almost heartbroken about the former treatment of Merrick to a strong and dominant champion in the legal and medical battles to get care and board for the anomaly that Merrick was often seen as.

02. Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Possibly Hopkins most notable film ever!? Is that a fair assumption. I predict that in the future when history is a bit more hazy people will find footage of Hannibal Lecter and believe Antony to be a real serial killer!! There’s possibly more Lecter footage than Hopkins footage out there now, but it’s so easy to see why the character is so popular. Loosely based on several killers and gruesome crimes from history, the original novels by Thomas Harris invented a cannibal killer doctor to help find other depraved psychos. Once immortalised in cinema history, first by Brian Cox and later tightened up and redeveloped by Hopkins Hannibal the Cannibal Lecter became bigger than the good guys/gals trying to hunt him down, I suppose this makes him the Boyka of the thriller world.

03. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

Francis Ford Coppola’s recreation of Dracula on the big screen was an epic chapter in the adoration of the classic book. Hopkins plays the iconic Vampire hunter  Professor Abraham Van Helsing  and is the principle narrator of the movie, which is a wise move for Coppola as he seemed determined to not focus on the hunt of the vampire but the complicated relationship/s. I think Hopkins is often overlooked for the energy he brings to the movie, however no one can really top the black hole that Keanu reeves is to the screen *shudder*.

Good morning. You’re one of Jack Crawford’s aren’t you?

04. Fracture (2007)

Many years after playing the world’s most loved psychiatric doctor, Hopkins was only as typecast as he wanted to be. Able to reinvent himself and coming back again and again as new and interesting leads, there was a new edge to his more sinister roles, and in particular Fracture stands out from the rest.  Gregory Hoblit’s intensely creative thriller sees a man, Ted (Hopkins) arrested for his wife’s murder, however there’s no evidence of his wrong doing and it’s up to an ambitious lawyer Willy Beachum (Ryan Gosling) to try and find out the truth and put Ted away for the crime that he’s sure he committed. It gets really intense, Hopkins is pulling all the strings, having a far superior brain has he managed to create the most perfect murder? Mixing Columbo with Silence of the Lambs is always a winning combination. Hopkins kinda takes on the aspect from Lecturer’s personality where he tries to be your friend to help guide you but is it gas lighting the law in the process?

05. The Edge (1996)

A slightly unusual film for Hopkins to be starring in, but it’s so freaking good and his role is so on point that it works, it works so damned well. Hopkins plays a wealthy businessman in Lee Tamahori’s survival adventure film. While travelling there’s a freak accident when his plane crashes in the Alaskan wilderness, the survivors have to struggle against the harsh environment and a large Kodiak bear that begins to stalk them. It’s a lavish change of pace for Hopkins, but he leaps into character with gusto. He’s not the first face you’d expect to see in an action flick of this style but his cool, cerebral demeanor somehow sets off the thriller narrative that sits nearly under the roaring bear attacks.

Which films would you rate as his best? let me know and we’ll see if it makes Volume 2

4 thoughts on “Spotlight – Anthony Hopkins Vol 1”

  1. This is such a great list – and start to an amazing career…while not a classic, he is suitably deranged in “Magic”, suitably restrained in “Howards End” and just plain mesmerizing in “The Father”. Oh, a pretty nifty Hitchcock impersonation in the film of that name!

  2. ‘Magic’. ‘Remains Of The Day’, ‘The Bounty’, ’84 Charing Cross Road’, ‘Shadowlands’, ‘Howard’s End’,
    (I preferred Brian Cox as Lektor)
    Best wishes, Pete.

  3. One of my favourite actors. I loved him in Remains of the Day. I prefer him in period pieces but he is amazing at whatever part he plays and so versatile.

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