Friday, March 12, 2010
Why Charles S. Dutton Should be in Every Movie
I was watching Rudy the other day, which is an underdog story of a kid who dreams of playing football for the University of Notre Dame's Flying Irish. I watched most of the movie with specks of tears in my eyes because the movie is so nice and honest and uplifting. Movies aren't nice very often anymore (or honest for that matter), so I cherish the ones that are when I stumble across them. More to the point, Roger Ebert often writes about actors who are so good in such a wide variety or roles that, when they come on screen, people perk up in their seats because you know something good is coming. Often included on this list are Christopher Walken, William H. Macy, Peter Dinklidge, Richard Jenkins, and a slew of others that don't come instantly to mind. I'd like to add another one: Charles S. Dutton. You may not know him by name, but I guarantee you've seen him before and, despite his being in some bad movies, I've never seen him give a bad performance. Just look at him as the Notre Dame caretaker in Rudy and how much life and emotion he brings to this scene without once pandering to the camera or announcing himself as an actor in the midst of a big dramatic moment. Even more impressive is the way he holds himself. You never once believe that he isn't actually a caretaker. And now look at him in the trailer for John Sayles' underrated The Honeydripper playing a totally different role. He's also played a hard-as-nails sheriff in A Time to Kill, a wise father with one or two powerful scenes in Menace II Society, a doctor in Gothika, and a man on the bus in Spike Lee's Get On The Bus, along with many, many others. My question is: the man is so talented and has such a wide range of notes that he can play, when is he going to get a really juicy lead role? All he needs is a film like The Visitor of Crazy Heart and he'll be set. Fingers crossed.