Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe

I caught A History of Violence on TV a few of nights ago and even though it was already halfway through I just couldn't turn over. Viggo is mesmerizing as Tom/Joey and both Viggo and the film garnered such high praise from critics that I couldn't resist a HOV review quotable. It finishes with my favourite review quote of all time from Mark Kermode. And so say all of us.





...Viggo Mortensen plays a small-town American paterfamilias, equal parts Marlboro Man and Terminator...

A Nice Place to Film, but Heavens, Not to Live
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
11Sept 2005




... Mortensen's collaboration with Cronenberg is a wonder - it's difficult for me to imagine many actors who would be receptive to such a singular idea, let alone be able to put it into such vivid relief.

Kent Jones
Cinema Scope Magazine
Summer 2005




A History of Violence is right up there with The Shawshank Redemption for me; I've watched parts or all of it close to a dozen times on cable, never failing to marvel at the eight-minute showdown between Mortensen's character of Tom Stall and his loopy bro' Richie (William Hurt).

Validation for Viggo
Filmstew
Richard Horgan
22 January 2008




If you see this film twice, you'll see two different performances from Viggo, and that's the real genius of the movie. The first time through, you're watching him the same way his family is, accepting him as Tom Stall, loving family man, quiet and kind and nearly invisible. But when you see it a second time, you'll see Joey Cusack lurking behind those eyes, pushing through even in the moments before the thugs bring violence back into his life.

Moriarty
Ain't it Cool News
29 September 2005




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.

Christopher Childs
Twitchfilm.net
31 May 2005




If anyone has ever been more perfectly cast than he is here as Tom Stall, I haven't seen the film. His performance is the tricky switch on which the entire History flips. His star turn is a master class in minimalism and exactly what the movie needs at every juncture.

Nathaniel Rogers
Film Experience
September 2005




Viggo Mortensen is transfixing as a heroic diner owner who may not be all that he seems........ in splendid brooding, bomb-ticking form.

Tom Long
Detroit News
23 September 2005




Even before Tom proves himself a capable man when danger lurks, there's something about Mortensen -- or is it something he does as an actor? -- that makes the audience think, "No. There has to be more to this guy."

Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
23 September 2005




His features themselves seem to evolve, soft at first and then growing hard, progressing (regressing) from cherubic choirboy to flinty-eyed thug and back again.

Rick Groen
The Globe and Mail
23 September 2005




He is an ordinary man, and vengeful gangsters have turned up in his home town, claiming to recognize him from the bad old days. He claims they are mistaken. And it is to Mortensen's credit that, despite the movie's giveaway title, we still can't be certain until he reaches breaking point. 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.

On Viggo Mortensen
By Ryan Gilbey
Filminfocus.com
4 December 2007




Viggo Mortensen succeeds in presenting this human schizophrenic with those innocent blue eyes that can equally hide infinite cruelty.

Cronenberg's Violence
GLZonline Cannes Review, by Gidi Orsher, translated by Natica
May 2005




Sex and violence, allure and repulsion, the rifle-toting homesteader and the killer - they all nestle somewhere to varying degrees in human nature, just as they do in Mortensen's haunting performance.

Jim Ridley
Nashville Scene
29 September 2005




Hands down, this is the best performance that Viggo Mortensen has given in a film yet. He is just breath-taking in the film…

Harry
Ain't it Cool News
28 September 2005




One of the great strengths of this movie is the performances. Viggo's got a lot of his plate here, playing a character almost constantly at war with himself, and he nails it. There's no stupid tricks, where he changes his hairstyle or something when he goes back to being Joey. It's all done with the set of his shoulders, and his walk, and the look in his eyes, and it's chilling.

Anton Sirius
Ain't it Cool News
15 September 2005




There's something he's doing with his voice in this movie that gets to the character in such a subtle yet important way, little mannerisms that reveal secrets - or hide them. For all of Cronenberg's precise direction, for all the right notes hit by Harris, Holmes, and William Hurt in a brilliant late-arrival role, for the bravery of Olsen's screenplay not to work itself out in such expectedly simple ways, it's Mortensen's performance that slaps us the hardest in this movie. With the smallest of moves, the most understated of plays, he connects us to Tom in ways few actors could. And it's this connection that allows 'Violence' to run so very deep, to shake us to the bone, to wake us up and get us asking questions.

David Cornelius
EFilmcritic.com
1 October 2005




Fantastic performance from Viggo Mortensen.....he is absolutely a brilliant actor, he is the Robert de Niro of his generation, the Marlon Brando of his generation, the man is a genius.

Mark Kermode
BBC Radio Five Live
30 September 2005




You will find all previous Quotables
here.

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