Bill Nighy – praise well deserved

I have just watched film adaptation of John le Carré‘s The Constant Gardner directed by Fernando Meirelles, the Brazilian director best known for his powerful award-winning screen adaptation of Paulo Lins’s best-seller Cidade de Deus (City of God) (2003), and starring Ralph Fiennes, Donald Apiyo, Rachel Weisz, ably supported by the an increasingly interesting Danny Huston and the incomparable Bill Nighy.  

The first time I noticed how good Nighy could be was when he played the reclusive Ray, the leader of a rock band Strange Fruit, which after a twenty year hiatus is attempting to reform, in Brian Gibson’s much under-appreciated but Golden Globe nominated comedy/drama Still Crazy. In a cast that include Billy Connolly, Stephen Ray, Jimmy Nail, and in a role he reveled and which might have well been written for him, Nighy stood out. He self-regarding Ray is both funny and at the same time moving.  

After Still Crazy, I tried to catch almost anything the Nighy does on the small or big screen. His best screen since then was the ageing rock star who, much to his own chagrin, has a hit with a Christmas version of The Troggs Love is all Around in Richard Curtis’s romantic comedy Love Actually (2003). In that film he shows, not for the first time, just exactly what it is a great comic actor does to achieve his effects. His performance in being comic without ever revealing that you the actor think what you are doing is funny. 

His performance in The Constant Gardner, in which he is given the rather thankless task of being at the centre of a none-too-convincing dénouement in what is otherwise a credible enough film, is economical enough to make you think that what you are seeing just might be true. Once again he does enough for you to suspend disbelief while he is on the screen. It’s good to see that The Guardian thinks enough of him to him a tribute in its editorial column today 

In praise of … Bill Nighy

Leader
Tuesday December 5, 2006

The Guardian

Lucky the man who has the good fortune to become both a star and a heartthrob at the age of 56. More specifically, lucky Bill Nighy, the Surrey-born actor for whom 2006 just gets better and better. ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

David Hare’s play The Vertical Hour opened on Broadway last week to mixed reviews – but there is nothing mixed about the accolades Mr Nighy has been winning from New York‘s killer critics for his performance in it. “One of the most vibrant portraits to be found on a New York stage,” said the New York Times.  

“Majestic,” echoed the New Yorker, praising Mr Nighy for a “master class in theatrical poise.” British audiences, of course, have known all about Mr Nighy for many years, most recently as a newspaper editor in the TV drama series State of Play and as an ageing rocker in Love Actually.

But Mr Nighy has gone global this year, as the octopus-faced villain of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and now on Broadway. And it’s not over yet.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Next up he appears alongside Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench in Richard Eyre’s film Notes on a Scandal. All of which goes to show, encouragingly, that cool and sexiness, as well as talent, do not belong exclusively to the young and beautiful.

Mr Nighy may give the impression that he just goes out there each time and plays himself. It’s easy to imagine him walking off the stage and carrying all that charm, ease and wit with him wherever he goes.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

But the effortlessness is deceptive. As Fred Astaire said, the art lies in making it look easy. That’s Mr Nighy’s art too.

All very true, I wold say.

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Bill Nighy – praise well deserved

I have just watched film adaptation of John le Carré‘s The Constant Gardner directed by Fernando Meirelles, the Brazilian director best known for his powerful award-winning screen adaptation of Paulo Lins’s best-seller Cidade de Deus (City of God) (2003), and starring Ralph Fiennes, Donald Apiyo, Rachel Weisz, ably supported by the an increasingly interesting Danny Huston and the incomparable Bill Nighy.  

The first time I noticed how good Nighy could be was when he played the reclusive Ray, the leader of a rock band Strange Fruit, which after a twenty year hiatus is attempting to reform, in Brian Gibson’s much under-appreciated but Golden Globe nominated comedy/drama Still Crazy. In a cast that include Billy Connolly, Stephen Ray, Jimmy Nail, and in a role he reveled and which might have well been written for him, Nighy stood out. He self-regarding Ray is both funny and at the same time moving.  

After Still Crazy, I tried to catch almost anything the Nighy does on the small or big screen. His best screen since then was the ageing rock star who, much to his own chagrin, has a hit with a Christmas version of The Troggs Love is all Around in Richard Curtis’s romantic comedy Love Actually (2003). In that film he shows, not for the first time, just exactly what it is a great comic actor does to achieve his effects. His performance in being comic without ever revealing that you the actor think what you are doing is funny. 

His performance in The Constant Gardner, in which he is given the rather thankless task of being at the centre of a none-too-convincing dénouement in what is otherwise a credible enough film, is economical enough to make you think that what you are seeing just might be true. Once again he does enough for you to suspend disbelief while he is on the screen. It’s good to see that The Guardian thinks enough of him to him a tribute in its editorial column today 

In praise of … Bill Nighy

Leader
Tuesday December 5, 2006

The Guardian

Lucky the man who has the good fortune to become both a star and a heartthrob at the age of 56. More specifically, lucky Bill Nighy, the Surrey-born actor for whom 2006 just gets better and better. ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

David Hare’s play The Vertical Hour opened on Broadway last week to mixed reviews – but there is nothing mixed about the accolades Mr Nighy has been winning from New York‘s killer critics for his performance in it. “One of the most vibrant portraits to be found on a New York stage,” said the New York Times.  

“Majestic,” echoed the New Yorker, praising Mr Nighy for a “master class in theatrical poise.” British audiences, of course, have known all about Mr Nighy for many years, most recently as a newspaper editor in the TV drama series State of Play and as an ageing rocker in Love Actually.

But Mr Nighy has gone global this year, as the octopus-faced villain of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and now on Broadway. And it’s not over yet.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Next up he appears alongside Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench in Richard Eyre’s film Notes on a Scandal. All of which goes to show, encouragingly, that cool and sexiness, as well as talent, do not belong exclusively to the young and beautiful.

Mr Nighy may give the impression that he just goes out there each time and plays himself. It’s easy to imagine him walking off the stage and carrying all that charm, ease and wit with him wherever he goes.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

But the effortlessness is deceptive. As Fred Astaire said, the art lies in making it look easy. That’s Mr Nighy’s art too.

All very true, I wold say.


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