I have to admit, I was never crazy about Christopher Plummer's acting, I thought, until recently in films like THE LAST STATION and BEGINNERS. I was really happy to see him win the Best Supporting Actor for the latter because I felt he totally deserved it, and his acceptance speech was pretty entertaining and completely impressive, especially when you consider that he is the oldest actor to ever have won that award, or an Oscar period, at eighty-two.
But earlier tonight to get away from the repetitive talking heads on the primaries, I watched THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING, a movie that was near the top of the list of my alltime favorites for years and I wanted to see if I still felt the same way about it. especially since I first saw it and was impressed by it during years when I general went to the flickers stoned.
Despite it's political incorrectness in many ways, after all it's set in the time of imperial England, what I mostly loved about it was watching Sean Connery and Michael Caine work out together on screen. It definitely ranks near the top of alltime great duo movies, where two stars make the film work. They're so much fun to watch, and they seem to be having a lot of fun themselves.
But the real revelation (besides the fact that the great and underused beauty of the movie was Michael Caine's wife Shakira, what a charmed life he has had, or made for himself) was Christopher Plummer as Kipling. I either forgot about that supporting role, or didn't realize it was him at the time. But everything that bugged me about his acting back then being too theatrical was absent in this role. He was as subtle and contained and underplayed as the character demanded and was almost unrecognizable in it as well.
How wonderful that the kind of great but unheralded (especially by me) acting he did then has now flowered into these even greater performances in his old age. And what a wonderful example to us all. (And full disclosure, his daughter Amanda and I were good friends back a ways, a delightful and unique individual and great actor herself.)