Thursday, June 20, 2013

James Gandolfini - The Essentials


On June 19, 2013, actor James Gandolfini passed away of a heart attack.  Gandolfini became a household name for portraying mob boss Tony Soprano in the groundbreaking HBO series, "The Sopranos," a role that earned him multiple Emmy wins, one Golden Globe and multiple other awards.  However, Galdolfini also had an accomplished film career as well.  To celebrate his life and legacy, the following are the essential films of his career:

TRUE ROMANCE
1993 • Tony Scott
Role: "Virgil" 
While he had acted in other films, and this role being relatively small, Gandolfini's presence as the hulking henchman Virgil, who brutally interrogates Patricia Arquette's Alabama, sets the tone for his intimidating presence in future roles.

GET SHORTY
1995 • Barry Sonnenfeld
Role: "Bear"
Another tough guy, but this time Gandolfini plays Bear, a legbreaker/bodyguard/stuntman who helps John Travolta's Chili Palmer double cross his mobster boss, played by Delroy Lindo.

THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE
2001 • Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Role: "Big Dave Brewster"
In a departure from the "bruiser" roles in which he had almost been typecast, Gandolfini plays Big Dave Brewster, the owner of a local department store chain who begins having an affair with the wife Ed Crane (Billy Bob Thornton).  Brewster becomes the center of a dark and sordid tale of blackmail and murder.

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
2009 • Spike Jonze
Role: "Carol"
Gandolfini provides the voice for Carol in this big screen adaptation of the classic children's story by Maurice Sendak.

2012 • Kathryn Bigelow
Role: "C.I.A. Director"
While the role doesn't accumulate a lot of screen time, Gandolfini is memorable as the C.I.A. Director that approves the operation that ultimately ends in the death of Osama Bin Laden in this film inspired by true events.

Updated:

ENOUGH SAID
2013 • Nicole Holofcener
Role:  "Albert"
In one of his final film roles, Gandolfini demonstrates his wide range of acting talent and proves he's not just another screen heavy.  Gandolfini's Albert is a divorced father; somewhat oafish but altogether loveable teddy bear of a man who falls in love, unbeknownst to him, with his ex-wife's massage therapist in a comedy of errors.  Gandolfini was post-humously awarded many film festival nominations for Best Actor, including Best Male Lead at the Independent Spirit Awards.

R.I.P.
James Gandolfini
1961-2013