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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
Finest piece of acting
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Oct 26 2012, 12:14pm

Post #1 of 54 (1553 views)
Finest piece of acting Can't Post

The 3 movies plumbed the very depths and heights of the craft, but what stood out for you as particularly poignant moments of the craft of acting?

For me, FRODO... after the demise of Gandalf, we see him (Frodo) wandering off on the craggy rocks after they departed the eastern side of the Misty Mountains, being called back by Aragorn...

I swear I felt a lump in my throat when the camera zoomed in on Frodo's distraught, grief-ridden face, bereft of all hope...

Now THAT is acting.

Your thoughts...?

(This post was edited by TheBladeGlowsBlue on Oct 26 2012, 12:16pm)


Oct 26 2012, 12:33pm

Post #2 of 54 (820 views)
Totally agree with you [In reply to] Can't Post

about that scene. It was genius and I always cry like a big girls blouse when I see it. His grief struck little face is heartbreaking.
I also like the scene in the tent where Elrond waits to give Aragorn the sword. I love Theodens reaction and when he simply stalks out saying 'I take my leave'. Its as if he is experiencing many things in a few seconds. Reluctance and discomfort and awkwardness, but maybe its only me that interprets this scene like that.
Obviously Boromir's death scene is brilliant, and Theodens death scene too.
I love how in Lothlorien Boromir tries to explain to Aragorn how he feels about Minas Tirith, and asks Aragorn if he has ever seen the city, that makes me well up with sympathy for Boromir, and the sadness of Aragorn is palpable.


Oct 26 2012, 12:59pm

Post #3 of 54 (803 views)
Glad to hear... [In reply to] Can't Post

...it was a truly memorable moment. Even Aragorn's attempt to break the mood worked perfectly, time was short, grief had to put on the 'backburner' so to say...

and 100% agree with the interaction between Boromir and Aragorn, sheer chemistry on screen.

Serious high points of the original trilogy...and mega nostalgia!! Smile


Oct 26 2012, 2:04pm

Post #4 of 54 (828 views)
yes, yes and yes [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with the ones mentioned so far. Elijah had some hit and miss moments throughout the trilogy (mostly hit..) but that was definitely one of the high points. I've always loved the Aragorn/Boromir moments from FOTR... all of their interactions were gold; the council, Caradras, Lothlorien, Amon Hen...

Another one of my favorites is when Bilbo and Gandalf are discussing leaving the ring behind. Ian Holm is absolutely brilliant in the changes from one emotion to another. His and Ian McKellen's exchanges are great.

A quick scene with no dialogue but fantastic acting is in the ROTK EE when you hear Eomer's scream at finding Eowyn on the battlefield. Then it cuts to him running towards her as he picks her up and cradles her. The pure, raw emotion Karl Urban exhibits in that scene gets me EVERY time!

One more (among many others) is the exchange between Wormtongue and Eowyn in Meduseld. I love the changing of expressions on Eowyn's face. It seems like she's almost succuming to her grief and to Wormtongue's words.... then, she hardens. Love it. I'm not a huge Miranda Otto fan, but that was a perfectly acted moment.


Oct 26 2012, 3:21pm

Post #5 of 54 (772 views)
Ditto! [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow, Elenorflower! Your selections match mine almost perfectly.

The moment of Theoden walking out of the tent at Dunharrow is one of my favorites. This falls into what I consider a special performance category called "The Look," where the actor has to distill his/her craft down to conveying a moment with a single facial expression, unsupported by dialogue and laid bare. Bernard Hill nails this one, and it is a critical marker in the character's arc.


Oct 26 2012, 4:10pm

Post #6 of 54 (812 views)
this speech of Boromir always brings a tear to my eyes. [In reply to] Can't Post

'Have you ever seen it, Aragorn? The White Tower of Ecthelion, glimmering like a spike of pearl and silver, its banners caught high in the morning breeze. Have you ever been called home by the clear ringing of silver trumpets?
I have seen the White City, long ago.
One day, our paths will lead us there and the tower guard will take up the call: The Lords of Gondor have returned'

all these moments we have discussed are the understated 'quiet' moments, they show the fine quality of the acting I think. Another moment I treasure is the 'far green country' speech by Gandalf, the words are moving, but its the expression in his blue eyes that pierces my soul.


Oct 26 2012, 4:19pm

Post #7 of 54 (743 views)
great question [In reply to] Can't Post

And I agree with your assessment of Elijah in that scene. He was terrific. Performances that stick out for me are:

- Hugo Weaving in the Council scene in Rivendell.
- Ian McKellan in the scene in ROTK where he and Aragorn are speaking about the plot and Aragorn tells Gandalf that Sam went with Frodo.
- Sean Astin when Frodo banishes Sam on the stairs of Cirith Ungol. He nails that scene.


Oct 26 2012, 6:56pm

Post #8 of 54 (740 views)
Agreed with your comment about Karl Urban [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know what it was exactly, but he delivered that scream with such incredible realism. The first time I saw that scene....it was just haunting. I truly believed I was there, and the full horror of battle and death came home to me.

"Radagast is, of course, a worthy wizard, a master of shapes and changes of hue, and he has much lore of herbs and beasts, and birds are especially his friends."-Gandalf, The Lord of the Rings.


Oct 26 2012, 9:49pm

Post #9 of 54 (728 views)
yes I agree too, [In reply to] Can't Post

Eomers cry was incredibly powerful. How he got that amount of grief in one facial expression is amazing.


Oct 27 2012, 1:10am

Post #10 of 54 (748 views)
The scene at the river bank... [In reply to] Can't Post

...Frodo, his face as he gives into his fears and then hears Gandalf's words...

I swear that whole scene gives me goosebumps even thinking about it, let alone watching it!


Oct 27 2012, 2:08am

Post #11 of 54 (742 views)
Not sure about specific scenes [In reply to] Can't Post

But Sean Bean, Karl Urban and Ian McKellen gave the best performances of the lot, IMO.


Oct 27 2012, 3:08am

Post #12 of 54 (733 views)
Agreed. [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
But Sean Bean, Karl Urban and Ian McKellen gave the best performances of the lot, IMO.

They all played it real, and with conviction. I'd add Sean Astin and Bernard Hill to that list also.

Maegnas aen estar nin dagnir in yngyl im


Oct 27 2012, 9:52am

Post #13 of 54 (721 views)
Can I add Cate Blanchett? [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, she had a very minor role in the trilogy, but she was brilliant in every scene she was in.

Can we just have a film on Galadriel please? Evil

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Oct 27 2012, 12:54pm

Post #14 of 54 (658 views)
Thanks Dan [In reply to] Can't Post

the strand of hair is in the post. Wink


Oct 27 2012, 3:15pm

Post #15 of 54 (650 views)
Oh, yes [In reply to] Can't Post

I forgot about her, somehow. She is right there at the top. Brilliant actress.


Oct 27 2012, 3:52pm

Post #16 of 54 (658 views)
Not 3?! ;-) / [In reply to] Can't Post


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Tol Eressea

Oct 27 2012, 8:49pm

Post #17 of 54 (635 views)
yes [In reply to] Can't Post

And Ian Holm and Christopher Lee !


Oct 28 2012, 1:36am

Post #18 of 54 (653 views)
Any scene with Ian Mckellen as Gandalf the Grey [In reply to] Can't Post

Particularly the sheer power and wisdom he exhudes in the scenes with Frodo in Bag End, where he is exactly what Gandalf needs to be in order to sell the story. Personally I don't think ANY other actor could have pulled that off and made it so interesting. You hang on every single line he says.

Liv Tyler may not be the most obvious choice to praise for her acting, though I thought she did brilliantly in one of the most difficult roles in the trilogy to get right (I say that because the last thing Arwen needs to be is acted like a 'princess' or lovestruck in any clichéd kind of way). In fact, when I saw her in FOTR, I thought it was a shame that we weren't going to see much more of her in the story, cause what she did, like the way she changed her voice so much, was so unexpected to me.


Oct 28 2012, 2:46am

Post #19 of 54 (666 views)
Don't get me started on Liv [In reply to] Can't Post

I could gush and gush about her. I just can't get over how amazing she is and how beautiful. I think she did a superb job of conveying Arwen's intelligence, ancientness, and otherness. Lowering her voice was a brilliant choice - it added a grimness that would otherwise have been lost. Top notch acting, IMO.

"...and his first memory of Middle-earth was the green stone above her breast as she sang above his cradle while Gondolin was still in flower." -Unfinished Tales


Oct 28 2012, 3:02am

Post #20 of 54 (615 views)
Liv really was excellent as Arwen, in my opinion [In reply to] Can't Post

Through her performance, she sold Arwen's inner conflict, intelligence and slight otherworldly quality. Along with Faramir, Arwen is actually the one character who I enjoy much more in the films, and Liv's acting has a lot to do with that.


Oct 28 2012, 3:05am

Post #21 of 54 (631 views)
Eowyn singing Théodred's lament NT [In reply to] Can't Post


(This post was edited by marcuspaine on Oct 28 2012, 3:07am)


Oct 28 2012, 3:06am

Post #22 of 54 (624 views)
And one more: Gandalf's expression as he witnesses the fall of Sauron [In reply to] Can't Post


He knows that he has finished his task at last. Relief and overwhelming emotion. Brilliant acting.

(This post was edited by marcuspaine on Oct 28 2012, 3:08am)


Oct 28 2012, 3:17am

Post #23 of 54 (631 views)
That's one of mine, too. [In reply to] Can't Post

So many moments in the films do I get lost in.

Eomer when he finds Eowyn on the battlefield. His cries rip right through me... and his face. oh man...

Frodo when he realizes that Gollum betrayed him and he thinks of Sam. That expression shift from realization through to anger is fast and effective.

Frodo and Sam on the rocks above the lava flow in RotK.

Boromir as he talks about Minas Tirith with Aragorn in Lorien, and later as he lay dying. Both of them are incredible.

Most of Gandalf's time, but there's one moment after Faramir falls in Osgiliath when Gandalf sits alone in an empty ally. So much said by his body language.

Pippin when he's caused the bucket, chain and skeleton to fall down the well.

At Amon Hen when Aragorn send Frodo away. Frodo's fear of him through to Frodo running away and Aragorn turning to meet the Uruk-hai... wow...

When the Fellowship first hear then realize it's a Balrog coming.

Sam when he talks about stories while in Osgiliath.

Gandalf and Pippin when they quietly talk as the enemy tries to break through the gate at Minas Tirith.

The hobbits saying goodbye at the Havens.

Oh cripes... I could sit here all night doing this!!! :D


I really need these new films to take me back to, and not re-introduce me to, that magical world.

TORn's Observations Lists
Unused Scenes

Tol Eressea

Oct 28 2012, 5:02am

Post #24 of 54 (658 views)
Agreed, especially about scenes between Aragorn and Boromir [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, Frodo's expression is heart-wrenching. And I also like that scene with Theoden. But the two scenes between Aragorn and Boromir that you listed have always stood out for me. I think part of what amazes me is how they make lines like, " Have you ever seen it, Aragorn? The white Towers of Ecthelion glowing like a spike of pearl and silver...." and "I will not let the White City fall, or our people fail!" sound natural. I'm so glad that PJ preserved much of Tolkien's dialogue and style, but it's quite old-fashioned sounding and, in the mouths of less skilled actors, could sound ridiculous. Viggo and Sean bring out the beauty of the language while revealing so much about their characters' inner-workings and emotions.

BTW - what's "cry like a big girls blouse," preciousss? Smile


Oct 28 2012, 9:28am

Post #25 of 54 (639 views)
The beginning of ROTK [In reply to] Can't Post

and the depiction of that worms struggle with his inevitable doom and ultimately the way he accepts his fate but refuses to relinquish the fight resonates with me on an unheralded scale. I find the depth of his performance so mesmerising that I have to stop , rewind and rewatch that scene 3-4 times before I can proceed with the rest of the movie.

Honorable mentions to Sam's ditty about carrying Frodo at Mt Doom, Gandalf's speech pinched from Frodo's view of his approach to the Undying Lands and yes Boromir's speech about Gondor, they all induce my allergies and cause my eyes to water.....they are not tears of wussiness, they are my allergies dammit.

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