July 18, 2013

Collin Farrell: The Man, The Mystery

Romancing Angelina,  his co-star in Alexander.
Romancing Angelina, his co-star in Alexander.

Collin Farrell has probably made more tabloid headlines than movies.  He started off in America playing a slickster prick in MINORITY REPORT.  I admit it, he was good–in a repugnant way.  Then he held his own opposite Al Pachino in a forgettable movie, and soon, on a friend’s recommendation I was watching him in ALEXANDER — where it was hard to know what to wince at more –Angelina trying to make out with a snake, or Jared Leto’s over done eyeliner.  I came away thinking Colin Farrell was underutilized talent, but whatever.

And truth be told, he hasn’t done a lot of movies that were really big. A few.  But not a whole long string of them.  I mean, Colin vs. Brad Pitt — why isn’t he as big? Perhaps his bad boy/douche bag behavior in the tabloids was hindering him getting in on some of the better movie gigs.

MIAMI VICE changed all that in my mind.  Even with a crazy ‘stache Colin Farrell made my head snap back a bit.  I mean, mostly he has the round teddy bear eyes.  They remain wide open while the rest of his face is alive, yes, yet kind of blank.

Ultimately it just doesn’t matter.  Farrell in MIAMI VICE was soooooo romantic.  Arg. How does he do it? He doesn’t seem smart.  He doesn’t seem super-brave, or like an amazing leader.

Their romantic scenes were SO good!
Their romantic scenes were SO good!

Let’s attempt to dissect the Farrell magic.  I think half the magic Farrell touch involves his highly respectful ‘tude towards his love interest.  Gong Li was his love interest in MIAMI VICE, so it was probably pretty easy, because she’s awesome.  Also Michael Mann directed, and he’s an awesome director.

Yet there’s something about Farrell that is so very very un-sleazy when it comes to the ladies in movies.  A guy who’s hard to get is almost always hideously appealing. He also manages to convey a sense of massive loyalty.  Like once he’s into his heroine, it’s marriage, kids, the whole shebang.  And he also manages to convey a sense of being interested in her and only her–like he wouldn’t cheat.

Colin n Noomi.  Face it, he has a way with the ladies.
Colin n Noomi. Face it, he has a way with the ladies.

Meanwhile, unlike that other very cute, very blank actor Keanu Reeves, Colin Farrell can actually carry off a love scene.   His most recent film is DEAD MAN DOWN, where he acts opposite Noomi Rapace.

She gives off the vibe of being an intelligent actress even when she’s not trying.  Noomi–who you might know from GIRL WITH A DRAGON TATTOO–has a great first scene with Colin.  They go on a date, they’re talking, getting to know each other–only they’re not.

This movie has layers within layers and Noomi’s character doesn’t really come out until a few minutes later.  Boy does it come out.  She has a lot of rough wooing ahead of her in this film–and not just romantically. It’s very interesting watching the relationship develop between them.  It’s fun and interesting to watch, though the two characters face a lot of pain and a strong desire for revenge together.

Again I ended up watching scene after scene with Colin where he’s showing the whites around his eyes while he looks at Noomi.  I spent half my time dying to know what his character was thinking and the other half thinking I knew what he was thinking, but dying to hear him say it.

Colin and Jared sittin' in a tree...
Colin and Jared sittin’ in a tree…

Okay, ladies, it’s an obsession.  Then there are all the pictures of his leading ladies eating him up with their eyes.  Is it that he’s IRISH????? Even Jared Leto seems totally smitten.  I’m scratching my head. I mean, I’m sucked in, but I still don’t really know why.  And why is he always so blank faced in movies, but then in pictures he’s got all kinds of expressions?

Oh Colin. What can you do?

Except buy the MIAMI VICE dvd. Then watch it over and over.

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  • Post authorElizabeth Shore

    I have to agree with Liz. In the battle of the Colins, Colin Firth takes the cake for me, too. But regarding Colin Farrell, I will say that I saw him in Phonebooth and thought he was really quite good. Kind of an underrated actor, really. Maybe he chooses bad roles? I mean, Alexander was horrendous. What genius thought of casting Angeline Jolie as his mother? She’s literally only a year older than he is. That’s just, you know, ew.

    Reply to Elizabeth Shore
  • Post authormadelineiva

    And rumor has it Colin and Angelina were knocking boots. Rumor also has it that when Brad got serious about Angelina, Angelina was like “Colin, we doing this?” And when Colin said no, then she was like (sigh) “Okay Brad.”

    I agree that he’s got some kind of mad acting chops, Elizabeth, and seems underused. But maybe he’s difficult? I know he also has a child with some kind of disability, so perhaps he accepts roles where he’s not gone too long.

    To me its so interesting how actors have such very varied talents. Just because an actor is really good at some things–drama/action/comedy–doesn’t necessarily mean he can do a good love scene or figure out a way to have amazing chemistry with the heroine.

    Reply to madelineiva
  • Post authorcmkempe

    I’d much rather have an Irishman than an Englishman — at least for fun. Two words: IN BRUGES. Another underrated gem: ONDINE, especially for fairy tale fans.

    Reply to cmkempe
    • Post authorLizEverly

      Loved IN BRUGES. I still think about that one. I’ll check out ONDINE.

      Reply to LizEverly
    • Post authormadelineiva

      Have not seen Ondine — will have to check it out. Thanks for the rec, CMK.

      Reply to madelineiva

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