Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

Showing Single Newsitem
Print View Link to this newsitem

Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

Found By: Iolanthe
Categories: Media Quotable Viggo

When it comes to Viggo's acting, less is definitely more. He can give us a character's whole life-story with just a look, with the smallest of gestures, something that film critics constantly remark on in his performances. As Michael Rechtshaffen comments below - he can convey volumes in virtual silence.

…..keep your eyes on Mortensen. You could make an entire movie about the way that guy just stands in a room and quietly scans the atmosphere for even the slightest molecular disturbance.

By Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
6 Sept 2007

Viggo Mortensen is not about the words. He's about being... present. .......
......Mortensen's an actor I'm content just to watch: Those riven cheeks, taut against blade-sharp cheekbones, features that gift golden hour. He quietly inhabits the role of Frank Hopkins....

Ray Pride
Movie City News
4 March 2004

...Holding one's body still in front of a movie camera while also giving the sense of a mind in motion is a specialized art, one with few masters. Paul Newman comes to mind, notably in his later career, as does Robert Duvall, a perennial movie cowboy who will surely wish that Appaloosa had come his way. And now, it would seem, there is Mortensen, who steals this film by doing nothing much more than lean against doorways and bar counters.

Chuck Wilson
Village Voice
17 Septenber 2008

Mortensen shows his character's rage and capacity for violence in subtle fashion, simply by the sudden way he will clench his fist or frown.....

Two Faces of January
Geoffrey MacNab
The Independent
15 May 2014

The scene opens charmingly with Frank and the pregnant Dorothy canoodling at home. Frank has a hand on Dorothy's bump, and is talking softly to the baby inside. Seeing the affection between the parents-to-be is reassuring, not least because we see the volatile Frank smiling and relaxed, apparently in a playful mood. Then he suggests fiddling with the hydraulics.

Arquette is perfectly cast, her natural aura of gentle goodness and purity making what follows all the more horrific to watch. At Dorothy's admonishment- "Frank don't talk like that!" - Frank switches. If we weren't so caught up in the film itself, we would be in awe of Mortensen's skill here. His acting is breathtaking, as he builds from disappointment through hurt to a mean sarcasm - "Did I say the wrong thing?"

The Indian Runner
Rowan Righelato
The Guardian
27 September 2013

A single close-up upon realization of his daughter's disappearance and the quest it will entail becomes a tender conduit, a portraiture of a historical human that is unspeakably, indefinably beautiful.

Daniel Kasman
21 May 2014

Every now and then, a movie comes along that plays out almost entirely on a gifted actor's face; you feel as if you could watch the whole thing in quiet close-up, and catch every nuance of the story… Early on, watch that handsomely etched face; on it, flickering, is Ben's fierce love for his children, his stubbornness, his patience, his self-righteousness that's tempered — just a bit — by affection. And, later, see how it falls, like a seemingly immovable rock suddenly tumbling down a mountainside, when he realizes something rare for him: He has, perhaps, been wrong.

Captain Fantastic
Moira Macdonald
Seattle Times
14 July 2016

The scene which confirms the truth is a masterclass in understatement - it's a shot rather than a scene, the merest flicker on Mortensen's face, but you couldn't say it wasn't dynamite. The actor nailed it on his first stab; Cronenberg knew instantly that there was no need for take two.

A History of Violence
On Viggo Mortensen
By Ryan Gilbey
4 December 2007

Mortensen's power comes directly from his eyes. They speak much more than any line he delivers in the film and offer an astounding glimpse into the psyche of his character.

A History of Violence
Christopher Childs
May 31, 2005

Mortensen, who possesses the sort of face that conveys volumes in virtual silence…

Loin Des Hommes
Michael Rechtshaffen
LA Times
1 May 2015

He is one of the few actors who can tell a story with his eyes, and these are eyes so full of pain. It is the best kind of acting, pure and honest.

The Road
John Foote
In Contention
15 September 2009

In a performance of tremendous power and impressive subtlety, Mortensen employs eerie stillness to rivet the audience's attention and send chills down its collective spine.

Eastern Promises
Soren Anderson
The News Tribune
21 Sept 2007

He's the only character who keeps us guessing throughout, and he manages to steal every scene he appears in by slyly underplaying the role.

A Perfect Murder
Judge Clark Douglas
DVD Verdict
12 June 2012

Mortensen is predictably fantastic. That dude can say 5 different things with his face in one ten second take..

Ain't it Cool News
8 September 2008

You will find all previous Quotables

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © New Line Productions, Inc.