Actors’ Spotlight #63: Oscar Issac

Oscar Isaac by Gage Skidmore.jpg

Oscar Isaac (born Óscar Isaac Hernández Estrada; March 9, 1979) is a Guatemalan-American actor and musician. He is known for his lead film roles in the comedy-drama Inside Llewyn Davis (2013), for which he received a Golden Globe Award nomination, the crime drama A Most Violent Year (2014) and the science fiction thriller Ex Machina (2015), in which he played Nathan Hamlet Bateman. In 2006, he portrayed Saint Joseph, husband of Mary, in The Nativity Story. He also portrayed José Ramos-Horta, former president of East Timor, in the Australian film Balibo for which he won the AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. He has portrayed characters of many different nationalities and ethnicities, such as mixed European, Egyptian, Polish, English, French, Mexican, East Timorese, Italian, Welsh, Indonesian, Greek, Cuban, Israeli, and Armenian.

He appeared in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), as X-wing pilot Poe Dameron, and in X-Men: Apocalypse (2016), as the titular mutant supervillain Apocalypse. He also headlined the HBO miniseries Show Me a Hero, as politician Nick Wasicsko in 2015, which earned him the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film. In 2016, Time named Isaac one of the 100 most influential people in the world on the annual Time 100 list. He also played the lead role of Mikael Boghosian in The Promise (2016), a film based on the Armenian Genocide.

Oscar Issac has becoming one of the rising actors to watch this decade hitting his peak with roles in big films Star Wars: The Force Awakens and X-Men: Apocalypse and he’s surely going to get more big films in the future to come.

But even a great actor like Oscar Issac can have his fair share of fumbles as an actor and here are five of his worst:

5. Robin Hood

Just a terrible Ridley Scott movie that had little Robin Hood in it.

4. X-Men: Apocalypse

The movie was just so lifeless, not to mention Apocalypse was the lamest thing to be associated with Apocalypse ever. The dude kills people with sand…FUCKING SAND!!!! He’s a lame ass villain and this is a lame ass movie.

3. Won’t Back Down

In the case of Won’t Back Down, its’ main argument is that they want a better school system for the kids, and to be fair, that’s a good message, but what we get is a propaganda film that just shows that these schools are all evil.

The teachers in this movie are nothing but cardboard cutouts of terrible people who just don’t give a fuck at all and this message that’s trying to get out isn’t thought out well at all.

The movie also wastes its’ really talented cast. Not just Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis but people like Holly Hunter, Ving Rhames, and especially Rosie Perez, who I think is in need of a comeback and this movie really is not the perfect start for that.

But I think the problems with the film come from its’ director Daniel Barnz, who made the equally shitty Beastly. This guy just doesn’t know how to make a movie and this is just more proof to that.

Won’t Back Down had a good message that it was trying to get across but it wasn’t brought out well at all and the movie suffers big time because of that.

2. The Bourne Legacy

The Bourne Legacy is a pure example of what you don’t do with a great franchise that had three great movies and decide to slack off on the next one.

and the #1 worst Oscar Issac movie is…

Sucker Punch

Sucker Punch is an abysmal mess with a lot of potential that just falls flat on its’ ass big time. Now, I’ve respected Zack Snyder over the last few years and I’ve loved all of his films, Dawn Of The Dead, 300, Watchmen, and Legend Of The Guardians, but this is the first movie from him that I’ve hated, it’s so awful. It’s the most offensive portrayal of characters ever made.

Now, let’s talk about the good Oscar Issac stuff:

5. Inside Llewellyn Davis

This was his first real shot to break out as an actor and he does a fantastic job carrying the film on his own. The rest of the cast is also great too, you have Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, Justin Timberlake, and F. Murray Abraham all working off each other very well.

In addition, the best element of the film to me is the fact that it feels like an old fashioned movie of the ’60s and ’70s, it’s very quiet, there are times when the scene speaks for itself and it’s nicely handled, it’s a very dialogue heavy movie, it’s the first real movie that I’ve seen that tries to recapture the way movies used to be like since Haywire and maybe even Don Jon.

It’s a great movie that’s definitely worth checking out on DVD. If you’re a big fan of the Coens, like I am, this is another classic from them that should definitely be checked out.

4. Drive

A great action film from director Nicholas Winding Refn.

3. A Most Violent Year

A really great underrated drama starring Issac with Jessica Chastain.

2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

When JJ Abrams was given the opportunity to make Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I think he wasn’t trying to make the best Star Wars movie ever but convince people that Star Wars can still be great and epic again and with this movie, he’s brought back the life to Star Wars again. Sure, the story is a retread of A New Hope and yeah, there’s a character or two that doesn’t get enough screen time and yeah, there’s too much foreshadowing of major character deaths but you know what, Star Wars: The Force Awakens delivers on what Star Wars needed to deliver on, great characters, great action, great comedy, great music, great visuals, it’s the Star Wars follow-up we’ve been waiting for after we were let down by the prequels. This is one of the most enjoyable movies I saw this year and I can say that with honesty.

and the #1 best Oscar Issac movie is…

Ex Machina

Finally, a smart and investing science fiction film after years of just plain shit. Ex Machina is a movie that does what science fiction is suppose to do, it amazes you, it makes you ask questions on if the character’s motivations are right or wrong, and it’s just a great ride to go on. Oscar Issac, Domnhall Gleason, and Alicia Vikander are great in this movie and Alex Garland has a great future in the movies ahead of him if he keeps making smart movies like this.

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Posted in Actors' Spotlight

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