Cast is the first thing I notice when a new work is announced. Not that this is enough when I don’t find the plot interesting, but when it’s good, it makes me want to watch a movie, tv series or play because of them mostly.

And I like when I find out a new interesting actor I didn’t know before. It happens with tv series mostly, because they use guest stars and fine new entry to play secondary characters.

These are some of my favorite cast and why I think so. You will find some recurrent names here…

(in alphabetical order, images are for reference only)


Almost Famous 1 Almost Famous 2

ALMOST FAMOUS: as the title said, Cameron Crowe put together some young actors who were at their first movie or some others who got a career already but were not so famous to “ruin” the movie with their presence. I say that why I think the plot needed some fresh faces and everybody were much convincing in their roles. So I thank so much Brad Pitt, who was so modest to think he couldn’t play Russell Hammond in the right way and leaved it to the brilliant Billy Crudup, who got the right ’70s look and manners of a real rock star! He even learned to play guitar, while his instrument has always been the piano. Together with Jason Lee, Mark Kozelek and John Fedevich, they were indeed the four members of the moko band Stillwater. Actors’ daughter Kate Hudson, too, wasn’t the first choice for Penny Lane, but she insisted she could play her and was right: not only she shined in the movie, she even got an Oscar nomination for it!  Anna Paquin could be considered a veteran, having won an Oscar at 12, maybe she never got the career she deserved, but she’s lovely in the role of Polexia Aphrodisia. Same for Fairuza Balk, who here is the clever Sapphire. Patrick Fugit at his first role was chosen by Crowe mostly for the way he waves his hand to say hello and I think he did a very good work, he showed all the passion and frustration of a young talented teenager. Then there are more expert actors like the brilliant Frances McDormand, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Noah Taylor so very funny in their roles! The lovely Zooey Deschanel and Liz Stauber worth a mention respectively as the sister of the protagonist and Russell’s wife. It’s impossible to mention everybody, but here the complete cast list. For sure, one of my very favorite cast ever!

L.A. Confidential

L.A. CONFIDENTIAL: aww, for sure this is one of my favorite crime stories, also why it takes place during the Golden Age of Hollywood. I read the book after, but I didn’t find it as involving as the movie. I think this is my favorite of Russell Crowe‘s performances together with Gladiator. He’s a rock here, and yet tender and desperate. He’s a lost boy who chose the law because of his murderer father. His background is one of those stories which intrigue me a lot. Great duo together with Guy Pearce playing two policemen who try to find out the truth about a massacre inside a bar. I even liked Kim Basinger here, giving a moving performance, and I regret she doesn’t do more movies like that and less like those stupid films of the ’80s! I’m gloating thinking of Kevin Spacey, here in a rare “good role” of his career. He’s wonderful! I have to mention, of course, the baddie of the story James Cromwell, as we find out in a great “coup de théâtre”. Not forgetting Danny DeVito and Ron Rifkin. Here the complete cast list, with some people I’m surprised not to remember there…


MASTER AND COMMANDER, THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD: I’m not much fond of Adventures that take place on ships and over sea, except for this one, because the trailer was involving and I admired much the main actor Russell Crowe in other movies I saw until then. But I must be honest saying that, watching it on big screen, I was sorry to think that his performance was overshadowed by everyone else in this movie. Looked like he lose the dedication he had before, even if Capt. Aubrey is quite nice. I liked a lot Paul Bettany playing his good friend, the doctor. One of the best parts of the movie is when he is injured and Capt. Aubrey carries him on the island, so that he can recover and he finds out its amazing flora and fauna as he hoped to do. My other two favorite characters, Hollom and Joseph Nagle, were played by the two young British actors Lee Ingleby and Bryan Dick, not in good relationship here. Both played the hardest and most moving roles and they gave a wonderful performance. I saw both already in other works, but this movie made me like them even more and I follow their careers since then. As too often happens, both of them and every other British actors remained almost underrated by the media, due to the presence of the main actors. But it’s worth to mention the sailors (well, not all British) David Threlfall, Robert Pugh, Billy Boyd (who came straight from the cast of “The Lord of the Rings” then), Patrick Gallagher (Canadian), Mark Lewis Jones, Joseph Morgan and the officers James D’Arcy and Chris Larkin. Here the complete cast list.



Our Girl pilot Our Girl s1

OUR GIRL: I was able to watch this tv series online only thanks to FilmON, otherwise I fear it hardly would arrive on Italian TV. I’m going to buy the DVD though. I’d like to watch the 2013 pilot as well. From IMDb, I see that just some of the pilot’s actors are in the series. I appreciate that a young woman is the protagonist, so I can see the point of view of women who fought to be accepted in the Army. Molly/Lacey Turner, I didn’t know before, made a wonderful performance, showing both courage and vulnerability but also solidarity for people who live hard time due to war in their country. The boys of “2 Section” are all young and some with acting experience, some at their first TV job: the two contenders Captain James/Ben Aldridge and Smurf/Iwan Rheon, then Corp.Kinders/Arinze Kene, Nude-Nut/Ade Oyefeso, Baz Vegas/Charley Palmer Rothwel, Mansfield Mike/Nick Preston, Dangleberries/Lawrence Walker, Brains/Simon Lennon (I had the occasion to see live in the play “Our Town” at the Almeida Theatre) and Fingers/Sean Ward. Jackie/Kirsty Averton is another young woman who joined the Army. Worth a mention the girl Bashira/Becky Eggersglusz, the 2 Section’s interpreter Qaseem/Zubin Varla and the lovely Nan/Ruth Sheen. Here the Pilot and the Series complete cast lists. My list of cast&crew on Twitter. Let’s hope in a season 2.




(to be continued)


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