Once in a blue moon a performance comes along which is so excellent it forces me to completely re-examine what it is I’m doing in my own work, and Peter Mullan’s in My Name Is Joe is one such performance.
Mullan plays Joe Kavanagh, a recovering alcholic, who has got himself onto the straight and narrow with the help of Alcoholics Anonymous. Although broke and unemployed, Mullan seems happy enough, especially so when managing a hopeless and hapless amateur football team, which gives him a real sense of purpose and joy. And it is through the football team Mullan meets and falls in love with Sarah, a healthcare worker, who is helping ex-junkies Liam and Sabine with their new born baby. Liam plays for Mullan’s team, and Mullan has a bond with him, he’s protective of Liam, offering support and helping Liam stay clean. But it is also through Liam that Mullan’s new found and hard won happiness begins to fall apart. Sabine starts using heroin again and racks up a £1500 debt with McGowan, the local gangster, who gives Liam the choice of having his legs broken to pay off the debt, or putting Sabine on the game. Mullan steps in and agrees to do a job for McGowan, which involves picking up a couple of cars within which heroin is stashed. Sarah, who has seen many young families destroyed by drugs, finds out and finishes with Mullan, who, in turn, frantically tries to get out of his deal with McGowan in a bid to win Sarah back.
I’ve nothing to add, James. You nailed this. Mullan’s performance is masterful. You know that Jack Nicholson quote, “The actor is the most modern litterateur, in the sense that no matter what goes into a film, the product can only become objective through the actor’s individuality. You’re the person that’s going to do this gesture." When one witnesses a performance such as this, Nicholson’s quote clicks and resonates. Well done, man.
RUS—Don’t flame, please.
KVN—Only removed your comment to clean up after the initial moderation. Please disregard the abuse warning email you’ll receive.
my point was valid.
let’s not abuse poetry by lazily comparing everything to it.
Why is James being “lazy”? If we accept Nicholson’s proposition, and I do, it is not therefore “lazy” in the slightest to characterize Peter Mullan’s performance as “poetic”. Of course, James didn’t cite the Nicholson quote as a basis, however, he did describe clearly, in precise terms, how concrete gestures and actions chosen by Mullan to express this character, evoked in James’ mind the presence of something poetic. You’re not going to suggest that poetry, as a sensation, be limited to the printed word, are you? You comment was snarky and trite, RUS, and I believe that you know that. It’s typical of you. And while it has come to be expected, some will not tolerate it.
That’s true if you use a broad, generic, and essentially all-encompassing definition of “poetry.”
In which case James has the cure for the common idiom.
That Nicholson quote is astounding, where does it come from?