So, today David Fincher turns 52. We talk a lot about Fincher on this blog. We love him. Of all the modern filmmakers today, he’s probably my favorite. He has crafted such a signature style, but he’s one of the most effective directors when it comes to allowing his material room to breathe. His style never overtakes the film, but he uses it as a compliment, as a way to embellish. I’ll be the first to admit that he’s had some rocky moments. The Game is an utter mess, and Alien3, while not the disaster so many think it was (or have been told to think it was) just didn’t hit all of the right marks, and Panic Room feels like an admirable attempt at blending his two most prolific films (Fight Club and Se7en) but a sadly uneven attempt at that. Still, amidst these missteps, Fincher has maintained his reputation as one of cinemas greatest talents thanks to his ability to excite all of our senses within a single frame.
David Fincher is always the brightest star of all of his films.
So, this brings me to my top ten for today. I wanted to celebrate his career with a birthday top ten, but I didn’t want to just rank his films. I’ve kind of done that before. I considered ranking my ten favorite performances in Fincher films, and yet some of those are so obvious (some not) and so that got me thinking…Fincher is just SOOOOO good with his actors, even actors we would never think could pull off the roles they’ve been assigned. He just knows how to make an actor look good. Maybe it’s the hundreds of takes he takes that gives him the one good take he needs, but I chose to feel that there is something that emotes from his vast talent that just overtakes the actors and pushes them far above what they’ve been capable of before.
So, I want to talk about ten often overlooked performances in Fincher films. This is an unranked list, because rating them isn’t really the point. I just want to raise awareness. Watch these films again. Take your eyes of Brad Pitt and look at the actors who are sharing the screen with him! Don’t focus on the Oscar nominee or the actor who nearly got that Oscar nomination (sorry Garfield, you would DEFINITELY be on my Top Ten performances in a Fincher film, but you are not here) but look deeper, to the performances that didn’t get the critical attention or don’t have the rabid fan base.
And, here we go!