Thursday, January 8, 2015
The Ten Best Films of 2014: #7
2014 is the year Tom Hardy announced himself as one of the most important actors working today, following up his commanding work in the one-man show "Locke" with a performance as a barkeep at a Brooklyn mob bar, in Michael R. Roskam's "The Drop," that's a marvel of understated power. Hardy uses physical signifiers as slight as a sigh, a clenching of the shoulders, a casting-down of the eyes, saying more with fewer decibels than almost any actor all year. The late James Gandolfini, in his last major role, imparts to Hardy's boss, Cousin Marv, the wisdom and resignation that both come with time, the last barely flickering embers of a once big shot's pride. Writer Dennis Lehane has constructed an elegant plot and Roskam has crafted an atmosphere of palpable, claustrophobic dread. Many scenes end without fireworks, but there's a pit in your stomach throughout.