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The Man from Brazil

The Man from Brazil

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© Xavier Lambours

The Man from Brazil

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Since his first leading role one could sense he would have never become a common actor. With Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, probably the most controversial (and amazing) cult movie from the 80’s, Jonathan Pryce and his character Sam Lowry became in fact an iconic figure for movie lovers all over the world.

After that stunning performance, the Welsh character chose to pass through modern cinema splitting from small, substantial supporting roles to moving leading ones. We love him for example for his brief participation in one of Martin Scorsese’s masterpieces, the stunning The Age of Innocence. Awarded with the Cannes Golden Palm for his portrait of the writer Lytton Strachey in Carrington by Christopher Hampton, he allowed himself to enter in mainstream productions only through his own specific irony.

He’s been the villain opposite James Bond/Pierce Brosnan in Tomorrow Never Dies, the shallow Governor Swann in Pirates of the Caribbean, the fake U.S. President in G.I. Joe movies. 

Sometimes a good signal in order to understand the importance of an actor are the great directors he worked with. In addition to the already mentioned Gilliam and Scorsese, Jonathan Pryce worked together also with very important names like Terrence Malick, John Frankenheimer, Alan Parker among the others.

Is that enough? Well, let’s talk then about the stars he played with, often standing above them with elegance and sense of humor: Robert De Niro, Daniel Day-Lewis, Emma Thompson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Johnny Depp, George Clooney and many others.

This is a brief summary of Jonathan Pryce career, one of the most iconoclast and bizarre British characters of contemporary cinema. He’s coming at Festival del film Locarno with his new Listen Up Philip, in which he plays an eccentric and irresistible Ike Zimmerman, who he fits perfectly with the sublime irony of his acting.

Adriano Ercolani
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