I set up a similar thread for Dalton, Brosnan and Connery a while back that proved popular:
Daniel probably had the most interesting pre-Bond film career. He was a pretty big name in the English film industry and was making a name for himself in America. Like many English actors he alternated between film, TV and theatre with ease and was probably the most accomplished and respected actor to take on the Bond mantle.
A Craig film I really love and recommend people see is 'The Mother'
. Its a great little film, I really loved the writer's previous film 'My Beautiful Laudrette' and was excited to see this. I wasn't disappointed. It's an interesting, rather arty movie with a lot of themes at the centre of it all. I really felt the movie was about being unwanted with both Darren and May essentially filling a void in each others lives at that point. I don't think its a great epic love story of any sorts. They're both unwanted souls, not only in a metaphorical sense but also literally as the son character wants neither of them in his house but they're both still there.
Darren sees the mother and realises that soon we will all be like her and takes to her, when he fingers her he's clearly not doing it for his own gratification but instead to help her. It's only at the end when he wants something in return on his cocaine binge that she wants to 'talk' and he flies off the handle and we see how damaged he is. Which he is, he's clearly a weak man, maybe even a drug addict (he pops random pills and does coke later) and not mentioning the fact he is having an affair and won't tell his wife. It's a good interesting film and I really recommend it.
I was gobsmacked when i say 'Dream House'....it was bloody awful,i gave the DVD away it was that bad.
His version is much better fit than his Swedish counterpart and he really conveys the character quite brilliantly.
Fincher says as much in the commentary and supplementary on the Blu ray, he says once I had him on board he knew it would be fine, in his words "he's that F***ing good"
As for all round, Daniel delivered such a mesmirising turn in OFITN he's still waiting to top that, that being said no one who's played Bond has been that immersed in a character like he is there, it's simply an atstonishing piece of acting.
One of Daniel's best pre-Bond roles has to be in 'Infamous'. If people have not seen it you have to!
I had seen Bennett Miller's Capote a few months back so I was interested in what Douglas McGrath's film would be like. Opposed to comparing them together the best complement I can give is that both films is that they are different. I for one found it very interesting how two different filmmakers were able to take the same events and put there own spin on what they believed happened not just in terms of the story but also tonally.
Miller's film is much more of a character-study and with a very gloomy tone. It focuses on Capote's role as an artist and the tough route he went down carving 'In Cold Blood'. A lot of focus is spent on the 6 year period where Capote was unable to publish and the effect this had on him. McGrath's film is more a story of doomed romance and it has a much lighter more jazzy feel to it. Furthermore, the latter film is a lot more engrossing while Miller's film is slightly on the sterile and uninvolving side.
I think McGrath's film is the better of the two as you actually find yourself becoming more and more taken with the story. The runtime zipped by and the film takes an interesting detour with the introduction of Perry Smith. Initially the film is very light and breezy but soon it takes a very dark turn before ending on a rather painful and melancholic note.
In terms of the character of Capote himself I think the Miller film is a bit more complex and interesting. Philip Seymour-Hoffman's character had a lot more shades of grey while Toby Jones's character is slightly more black and white. However, he is still a very interesting character and the romance angle is very heartbreaking. Both Capote and Perry have been cut from the same cloth; both were abandoned children seeking a family and both had aspirations to be artists. One was able to archive their dreams while the other faltered. Class difference likely had a g role to play but it seems as though Perry and Truman represent two halves of the same whole. Given his circumstances it's likely Truman could have gone done the same road as Perry.
One aspect of the film I enjoyed was the blurring of lines between 'reality' and 'fiction'. Capote prides himself on writing a new kind of reportage in the film; the 'non-fiction novel' and even sees Perry as a 'character'. In the end Capote is happy to manipulate reality and settle within his own devised fiction by giving Perry a redemptive finale despite the truth being somewhat different.
The performances are really great. Toby Jones really gets into the skin of Truman Capote. Sandra Bullock is also fantastic as Harper Lee and really steals the show in a quiet unassuming role (Lee may actually have the most interesting arc in the whole movie; she put all her heart into Mockingbird and could never muster the power to replicate it or put herself through the anguish again).
Daniel is fantastic. The role seems to be a perfect summary of a lot of his pre-Bond parts where he was cast as intense brooding men who always seems to be on the verge of exploding. When he stands behind those bars he has a great menace to him and throughout the film his character is like a coiled spring just waiting to go off. All the scenes when Capote goes behind the bars are so intense for this reason; Daniel looks like a caged beast. He's also unrecognisable in the part.
It's a very frightening performance at times but as Truman says Perry also has the light within him. Craig plays cruel and kind and often is very vulnerable and tender. Occasionally the tender scenes are a little forced and don't quite fit so well. The Miller film played the homoerotic element as subtext but here it's overt-text and maybe slightly jarring. But it still works and by the final gallows scene it's hard not to get a lump in your throat as you see the panic on Perry's face as the black mask goes over his head.
All-in-all it's a great film and one of Daniel's best performance up there I think with CR and SF. I think with the type of marquee name value he has today opposed to when 'Infamous' was released it's likely he'd be in for a shot at an Oscar nomination (the Oscars don't really award talent there popularity contests, in 2005/6 Daniel wasn't considered deserving but i think after all his recent success it's quite the opposite now). This is the type of role I want to see him do more of in the future.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
I thought Craig was great in those.
Defiance was OK. And then there's his bit part in Tombraider.
Cowboys and Aliens is passable IMO.
"Do you know where I live?"
Following the lead set by @Thunderfinger I decided to re-watch Layer Cake. I have to say that when I was a teenager, I loved this film so much. It still really holds up today. It's a terrific piece of slick entertainment. I suppose it would be easy to say that this is a Martin Scorsese-esque take on the British gangster film. However, that would do Layer Cake a disservice. It's much cooler, smoother and more nonchalant than Scorsese's more kinetic ADD style. For a first time director, Matthew Vaughn has serious style. There is even a hint of cynicism to the ending, which I liked. Also, since it's nearly 16 years old, the film also hasn't dated much.
Which brings me on to Craig. He's playing a surprisingly passive character. But he looks so very good doing it. Firstly, he has a terrific voice which he uses to purr through the brilliant opening narration. Secondly, he's seriously sexy. He's just cool. He's (for all intents and purposes) the British Steve McQueen with as much swagger. He has that brilliant face which always draws your eye to him. Speaking of eyes, he has a terrific pair and Vaughn never misses a chance to put them on screen.
XXXX is lithe, laconic and charismatic. Which is pretty much what the part requires and he does expertly. He isn't your usual pretty-boy star. He's handsome in a rougher, more broken-nosed way. Craig is able to elevate a fairly underwritten character and makes playing a drug-dealer look cool.
This is also one of those films where there isn't a weak link from a very memorial supporting cast. It be wrong to single any out as they are all outstanding. Though Sienna Miller has a scene-stealing turn in a hotel whilst 'Gimme Shelter' plays....
If I had to criticise this film, I suppose you could say that the plot is convoluted and probably takes a re-watch to figure out. Just maybe its a bit too clever for it's own good (but I wouldn't say it's smug, unlike say The Gentleman). It's a bit cliched. You might want to question the lack of emotional fallout after the death of a significant character. But Layer Cake is a seriously cool movie. A really break-out performance from Craig. It's undeniable that this was the movie that made Barbara see him as 007.
Probably my favorite Craig non-Bond film. I specifically went to see it based on the knowledge Craig was up for Bond in CR. I immediately liked him and knew he'd be great.
I love the Q&A for LAYER CAKE on the Blu-ray extras. Some wonderful insight to this film.
The Golden Compass. Like it. When i finaly watched it, knowing there not going to be a sequel.
Munich (Not Seen yet)
Flashbacks of a Fool (Not Seen yet)
Defiance (Not Seen yet)
How to Lose Friends & Alienate People (Not Seen yet)
Enduring Love (Not Seen yet)
Sylvia (Not Seen yet)
The Invasion * (Seen on tv first, not re-watched yet)
Sword of Honour. 2 part mini series from 2001. (Not Seen yet).
One Life (Voice) * (+ DVD) (Not Seen yet)
Cowboys and Aliens * (+ DVD). I watched the Extented Cut on BD and whas better then i expected.
Road to Perdition * (Seen on tv first, not re-watched yet)
Knives Out, Logan Lucky and Infamous are on my wishlist.
If you count his vijf Bond movies, then he stay in draw with Brosnan on the moment.
Pierce Brosnan: 20 (4 Bond, 1 mini serie, 15 movies)
Where Tomb Raider be Daniel Craig only movie i have seen before he be Bond, with Brosnan this be Mrs Doubtfire. Layer Cake i bought in October 2005 when it was straight released to dvd and watched it on 14 August 2006, whyle i watched Casino Royale on 24 January 2007 in the cinema.
Part of what makes the film work is that it's neither a straight drama or a flat-out comedy. The film at times dabbles in being a parody of a typical Agatha Christie whodunnit, but it's the well-developed characters and involving emotional stakes that gives the film real drama. That is a deft trick to pull off and one Rian Johnson does expertly (he also gives the film it's own unique, quirky aesthetic). Not to mention that the comedy is genuinely very funny.
It’s not the empty, slavish homage to 'murder mystery' fiction it could have been as Johnson knows that simply regurgitating the rules with a wink wouldn’t be enough. There’s genuinely thrilling ingenuity here to make a contemporary update to Agatha Christie's style. Especially, in regards to an early reveal to the killer's identity.
Daniel Craig is having a ball. When he's introduced, it's delectable to see his icy blue-eyes considering his prey (Craig resembles nothing short of a white tiger in those scenes). However, the marvellous trick here is that Benoit Blanc is neither suave nor urbane. Craig is a nice comic performer, and his accent is a treat (owing more than bit to Frank Underwood). All the best dialogue and flowery monologues are reserved for Blanc and Craig has an absolute feast eating the scenery. He's so very funny in this flashy role; it's probably the best he's been in any movie. Undeniably, he steals the show here (the final drawing-room scene is particularly delicious).
That's quite the feat considering how stacked the supporting cast is. Everyone is terrific here. Though the film is probably a bit too clunky in it's rather overt '2019' politics. Though neither the left nor the right are left unskewered. Half the fun of this film comes from watching this spoiled, entitled family turning on each other. They are just so vile and each actor is perfectly matched to their role.
For me, one of the chief reasons that Knives Out really works is Ana de Armas. Her Marta is such a charming, sweet and kind-hearted soul. She isn't just a pretty face, but a seriously talented actress. You really root for Marta and empathise with her dilemma. Ana de Armas is so winning in this part and is surely destined to be an A-list actress. She also has terrific chemistry with Craig. Which makes me even more excited for them to team up again.....
Things I would add:
The undeniable style in everything. Evans and Craig clearly stand out with wardrobes that are beautiful albeit a tiny smudge more stylized then a normal person could pull off. But still, just great (see my profile picture...). But even the less "out-there" characters like the two cops played by Lakeith Stanfield and Noah Segan (btw, two of the really great performances around the margins) have some serious style going on.
I am usually not one to focus on these types of things, but some of the editing and cinematography flourishes are really great. It's almost too broad but the way they intercut the opening examinations is really fun and the sudden shaky cam when Marta runs out of the house is really impactful.
The "car chase" is fantastic.
The mystery at the base of it all is really good and turns out to be surprisingly tragic.
While I agree that the politics will fall into the "aged the worst" category in the future, some of the more subtle gags around that (like every Thrombay mentioning a different country of origin for Marta, even the "woke" ones) are quite funny.
And finally, the way Craig say "donut hole" might be the funniest thing about this entire film.
I watched Cowboys & Aliens again last night on Netflix. You know what? For this kind of anonymous, generic Hollywood studio film....it's definitely on the better end of the spectrum. In fact, it isn't half bad. It's a tad conventional, but I'd give it ⭐⭐⭐/5. I'd be interested to get @peter view on it....
Despite the inherently comic title, I liked that the film played it straight. This is actually a pretty serious Western mixed with a relatively scary science-fiction movie. Essentially, the film is aiming to be 'True Grit meets Alien.' The genre blend worked really well for me. However, there is a mediocre quality to the film. Jon Favreau's visuals have an inauthentic and bland blockbuster sheen. It's a bit of a shame as it's mostly well handled. I actually think in today's era of filmmaking, this would be a streaming movie and it would be more violent, scary and intense. As it stands, it's a watchable, predictable Marvel/Spielberg-esque knockoff.
The cast are the real selling point. In particular Harrison Ford, who seems to be relishing playing such a grizzled cowboy. His whiskey-soaked voice is in fine form throughout. Otherwise, the cast has an embarrassment of riches. Gotta single out Walton Goggins, I just love that dude. Olivia Wilde feels a little too contemporary and out of place (almost like she's walked in from an Urban Outfitters photoshoot), but she's still compelling. Though her handsome face is compelling along with other aspects.....
Craig is particularly impressive as the stone-cold killer. He channels Clint Eastwood’s Man With No Name, adding a dose of modern edginess and a dab of Steve McQueen cool. In the best sense of the terms, Jake Lonergan is lithe, leathery and tough. He looks particularly great posing on the horse and cuts a rather iconic silhouette . Aside from being 'cool', Craig doesn't really get much more to play in the film. Which is a shame and made me hope that perhaps Daniel can find a role in a better Western film some day as the genre suits him. Nevertheless, he is damn good......Particularly, in the film's very cool opening. I don't know what he's listening for here, but I like it.
He also has a terrific jawline and bone structure. Something I hadn't really noticed before about Daniel. It's undeniable that Craig isn't a conventionally handsome man; but his pout, pronounced jaw and steely blue eyes always make him the most interesting figure on screen. I think he could have been a model, mainly as he has such an interestingly unusual face and edgy look....
I thought Craig was fine, but I wanted a more varied character, where he's quite one-note. I suppose they didn't want anything outside of The Man With No Name.... But I feel they could have done more with the role. I enjoy seeing Craig more dynamic like in TGWTDT.
But @Pierce2Daniel reminded me that those first five minutes were outstanding, and they were; love the mystery of him just waking up and wondering what the hell is going on, and what the hell is this thing on my wrist... and who the hell am I?
(Plus this leads into a scene with the great Clancy Brown)...
Totally agree with this. It's one of the reasons I'm kinda bummed that Craig is jumping so quickly into Knives Out 2. I loved the original, but he's such an intense actor and I want to see him mix it up. I want Craig to do something more serious again. However, more of Daniel hamming it up as Benoit Blanc is no bad thing....
Who do people want to be in the supporting cast? I'm hoping that the Greece location means that Rian will add a more Hitchockian sense of glamour to proceedings. Wouldn't it be great to have Gal Gadot or Scarlett Johansson play a femme fatale. Someone trying to seduce Blanc.....
He is really excellent in 'Layer Cake', the film I watched that really convinced me they had cast the right guy for Bond.
Up to then i had only seen Craig in the T.V. series 'Our Friends in the North', which he was really good in too, but you would not have pegged him fo Bond based on that character!
'Munich' is one of Spielbergs better movies, and Craig adopts a convincing South African accent, but he's not the main role, also goes for 'Road to Perdition' which is enjoyable, but nothing special!
"So I'm looking for a lady who disappeared 30 years ago"
"Good news: I found a photograph of the moment she disappeared"
"That's terrific but it would really be helpful if I could find a picture of the person who took this picture"
"Good news: I found a photograph of the person taking the first photograph"
Also not great: omnicompetent ninja hackers and Nazis who repeatedly forget to shut the door to their rape dungeons, always to the benefit of the heroes/audience. I don't have a rape dungeon myself, but surely the first rule of rape dungeons is "Close and lock the door when entering or leaving".
Disguising rape-revenge exploitation as something feminist in a story where your heroine falls in love with a stand-in for the author at the end and gets sad when he's not interested? Not great.
The movie is downright aggressive in its stupidity: it's Scooby-Doo with rape scenes. Not Fincher's fault, not Craig's fault, of course--I assume it's the source material.
Yes. It was an international bestseller and they kept fairly close to that material. I thought the Steve Zaillian script was better than the Swedish version. It is no doubt a peculiar storyline, but just the sort of story that comes out of Sweden. Evrey murder mystery I have ever read about in Sweden is bizarre...I mean really bizarre. LOL
That said, I thought DC was phenomenal in this film and matched Rooney Mara very well.
Oh yeah, Stieg Larsson is surely to blame! I only said "I assume" because I have not read the book. I'm sure it's bizarre, but I suspect it's also just plain "bad", given the general plot, tone and structure of it. It shocks me sometimes what gets read though, and I've always felt that entertainment from outside the English-speaking world is treated rather too generously by English-speaking critics.
But like you, I thought pretty much the whole cast was great, and the direction and cinematography make it almost worth watching! That Daniel played a womanizer in an investigative role, and didn't act like James Bond, is pretty impressive!
Does anyone else find the Knives Out sequels a little troubling? The first one was good, but does it really need to become a series? Is it strong enough to? It was a good change of pace, but is this what we want to see from Craig moving forward?
Does anyone else find the Knives Out sequels a little troubling? The first one was good, but does it really need to become a series? Is it strong enough to? It was a good change of pace, but is this what we want to see from Craig moving forward?[/quote]
Depends. If they can keep the same quality, and do something that is different enough for them to stand on their own, then I am all for it.
Weird to think Olivia Wilde was second choice to play Vesper when you watch the movie
I was about to agree with @TripAces but have to say that @ProfJoeButcher puts together a compelling case. TGWTDT is a pretty trashy airport-paperback movie. However, the filmmaking and performances are an A+ for me. Probably up there as Craig's best non-Bond film with Knives Out.
I recently re-watched Logan Lucky. Now, there's a high-spirited film that doesn't dress to impress or pretend to be something it isn't. It just aims to please and does a pretty good job of it. Joe Bang is iconic!
Craig is wonderfully wacky in a show-stealing turn of the film. It's weird how well cast he is as the burly intimidating prison inmate. Of course, the more time you spend with Bang the less threatening he is. As it turns out he is totally absurd. Craig's performance - at times - also veers closer to an SNL sketch. Nevertheless, his transformation into bleach blonde, career-criminal is brilliant. He's having a blast and Logan is one of those rare movies where the people making it were clearly having fun and the audience are all in on the joke.
Steven Soderbergh is such a safe pair of hands for a story like this. Essentially, Logan is a cheeky and sly revision on Ocean's 11. Just switching out the glamour with some Southern Americans a little lower down the IQ chart. In doing so, Soderbergh has made the sort of breezy, unpretentious, just-for-fun film that scarcely exists anymore, one almost anyone could enjoy. It’s refreshingly lo-fi and charming and the film never gives off the sensation that Soderbergh is looking down on these salt-of-the-earth characters. There’s never any condescension, though some hints of occasionally mild caricature.
The actual planning of the heist was a far more satisfactory part of the film for me. There are some interesting socio-economic idea bedded into the subtext of the film which get us rooting for Channing Tatum and Adam Driver's characters (both excellent). It's the actual heist itself which isn't as well sketched. It all seems so implausible and in the most part appears to go off without a hitch. Usually you expect heist films to show people being outsmarted, strategies being deployed, double-crosses to be disclosed and apparent betrayals revealed to be part of the plan. There isn't much of that in Logan Lucky. Instead, the middle section is quite saggy and slows the energetic pace of the first half.
The cast is also stacked! There's probably too many characters (Why is Sebastian Stan here? Who came up with the idea to put Seth McFarlane in this film and that wig?!). The actual stand-outs for me was Riley Keough and David Holmes for his brilliant score. So.....I'd argue that the film is a slight, breezy and unremarkable affair. But as far as minor films go, it's a blast.
He's underrated in terms of his comedic timing in my opinion. I always remember laughing at the phone call with Dragon in Layer Cake and the way he falls after he gets beaten up by Gene in that film as well
I've wondered this too.....Whilst I have enjoyed the comedies, I miss the days when Craig was doing more serious films. I recently watched Some Voices and was reminded how terrific an actor he is.
I have a bit of a sweetness for 1990's British indie cinema and Some Voices satisfied me immensely. It's an incredibly charming film, which left a huge grin on my face throughout. The real stand out is Daniel Craig. He's a far cry from his 007 persona here. I was really drawn to his craggy, haunted face. He has terrific screen presence. During the first half, he's incredibly funny and endearing. You'll struggle to dislike Ray.
In fact, by the one hour mark, his roguish layabout charm was getting a little gnawing. Thankfully, Some Voices goes into a different direction and Ray begins to unravel. There's some serious meat here for Craig to chew on and there are some very brave moments on display. He can be scary, intimidating and ultimately heartbreaking. His final sequence with David Morrissey is brilliant. I'd forgotten that Craig was capable of giving such a brilliant performance (even if his cockney accent is iffy).
Filmmakers have long been fixated on the inherent drama of mental illness. Some Voices takes a more honest, sincere and heartfelt approach. It avoids the usual movie cliches. Ray is neither a babbling monster, an idiot-savant or manic villain. Craig's Ray is (for the most part) a placid, humorous, fundamentally decent guy, who's out of joint with the world he's living in. There;s a tender sweetness to the film. Craig’s craggy charm makes for some fine screen chemistry with Kelly Macdonald.
She starts the film as a feisty Glaswegian lass, but eventually the script just 'manic pixie dream girls' herAlso, whilst I digged the grungy, grainy direction, there is a sense that the film dips a little too much in that kinetic, overzealous Danny Boyle style that was prevalent in British cinema at the time. The script is also pretty terrific, but I could have done with more on Ray's background and his mental illness isn't overly well explained. Especially considering how important it is in the final scene.
But this is a seriously charming film. Has anyone else seen it?