Film Question | Homework Helper

AssignmentExamine two of the films in Module #5 and write an essay focused on the following question: What are the differences in acting styles between two actors? The films in this section offer complex plots and fine-grained characterizations by actors who have different backgrounds and training. This module introduced method acting and the success of the method actor often depends upon realism in the story, dialog, details, motivation and the arc of the character. Here are some possibilities:
1. You may base part of your essay on the method actor you covered in your M5 Discussion or you may select another method actor from a different film. Then you must compare the method actor to another actor in a different film who is not known as a method actor.
2. You might compare a classically trained British stage actor and an American “method” actor, or a French actor and an American “method” actor, or an Indian actor to a classically trained British stage actor. There are many other permutations and combinations but one of your actors should be method except in the rare case that you compare an International actor with a non-method British actor.
3. You could compare two actors playing the same part (e.g. John Wayne and Jeff Bridges in True Grit or Sissy Spacek and Chloe Grace Moretz in Carrie or Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert Redford in The Great Gatsby). Students have expanded this to include films like The Italian Job (Michael Caine and Mark Wahlberg) and Ocean’s Eleven (Frank Sinatra and George Clooney). These do not have to be method actors but two different actors playing the same part in two films.
4. There are so many articles comparing Jack Nicholson’s Joker in 1989’s Batman directed by Tim Burton with Heath Ledger’s performance in The Dark Knight (2008) directed by Christopher Nolan that we will limit the grade to a maximum of 89% for anyone who chooses that comparison. While we’re on the subject of superhero movies, please refrain from comparing actors in Spider-Man or any other films based upon Marvel or DC Comics. Many actors resist the temptation for big money because these films do not provide an opportunity for important or meaningful acting performances. The same rules apply. You cannot receive an A if you choose any of these films as your option.
5. If you just can’t find a film on the list for this module or in a previous module to compare, you may select a film of your own choosing. Please clear your choice with me if you select a film not on any lists for this course.
6. Read my announcement titled “M5 Film Selections” for more examples.
7. Look at the lists again. If you’ve seen all of those movies, then it makes sense to select one you haven’t seen. There are real chestnuts among the ones listed. Most of them took the world by storm when they were released. You could look at them historically or historicize the performance itself. Cinematic art reflects the age in which it is set and created even in our own era.
Please don’t dwell on summarizing the story, but you may consider the interplay of script-based character development and acting technique. You may research the actors’ respective training and preparation, examine aspects of their performance (e.g., facial expressions, physical movement, soliloquies, dialogue, two-character or ensemble scenes) but your main focus should be on your description and perception of their characterization in the film. If you just say “the actor’s facial expressions and body movements helped to create the character of the policeman,” you will not fulfill the prompt. You need to provide specific details that you have observed while watching the film. Look at specific scenes and tell us about those moments that reveal how the actor convincingly portrays a character with emotional impact, purpose, reaction and motivation. You may also select a film of your choosing if you clear it with the instructor. Please avoid extensively summarizing the plot at the expense of analyzing the actor’s performance. You must put the word count on your essay under your name (750-800 words). Give your essay a title and italicize titles throughout. Organize your essay with an introduction, topical paragraphs and conclusion.
Here is your first set of videos to choose from for your Film Response assignment. You will select one of the following videos from this page or from the M5 Actors Movie Selection page to watch.
Currently most of the movies default to the YouTube links. However many of them are also available on one or more of the following platforms:
iTunes (Links to an external site.)
Amazon Video (Links to an external site.)
Google Play (Links to an external site.)
Hulu (Links to an external site.)
Netflix (Links to an external site.)
Redbox (Links to an external site.)
Vudu (Links to an external site.)
Easy Rider (1969)
Wyatt (Peter Fonda) and Billy (Dennis Hopper), two Harley-riding hippies, complete a drug deal in Southern California and decide to travel cross-country in search of spiritual truth. On their journey, they experience bigotry and hatred from the inhabitants of small-town America and also meet with other travelers seeking alternative lifestyles. After a terrifying drug experience in New Orleans, the two travelers wonder if they will ever find a way to live peacefully in America.
Retrieved from Google (Links to an external site.)
Available on YouTube for $2.99
Badlands (1973)
Inspired by real-life killers Charles Starkweather and Caril-Ann Fugate, this tale of crime and love begins in a dead-end town. Teenage girl Holly (Sissy Spacek) angers her father (Warren Oates) when she begins dating an older and rebellious boy (Martin Sheen). After a conflict between Holly and her father erupts in murder, the young lovers are forced to flee. In the ensuing crime spree, they journey through the Midwest to the Badlands of Montana, eluding authorities along the way.
Retrieved from Google (Links to an external site.)
Mean Streets (1973)
A slice of street life in Little Italy among lower echelon Mafiosos, unbalanced punks, and petty criminals. A small-time hood gets in over his head with a vicious loan shark. In an attempt to free himself from the dangers of his debt, he gets help from a friend who is also involved in criminal activities.
Retrieved from Google (Links to an external site.)
Available on YouTube for $2.99
Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
Small-time crook Clyde Barrow (Warren Beatty) tries to steal a car and winds up with its owner’s daughter, dissatisfied small-town girl Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway). Their crimes quickly spiral from petty theft to bank robbery, but tensions between the couple and the other members of their gang–hapless driver C.W. (Michael J. Pollard), Clyde’s suave older brother Buck (Gene Hackman) and Buck’s flibbertigibbet wife, Blanche (Estelle Parsons) –could destroy them all.
Retrieved from Google (Links to an external site.)
Available on YouTube for $2.99
The Graduate (1967)
Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) has just finished college and, back at his parents’ house, he’s trying to avoid the one question everyone keeps asking: What does he want to do with his life? An unexpected diversion crops up when he is seduced by Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft), a bored housewife and friend of his parents. But what begins as a fun tryst turns complicated when Benjamin falls for the one woman Mrs. Robinson demanded he stay away from, her daughter, Elaine (Katharine Ross).
Retrieved from Google (Links to an external site.)
Available on YouTube for $2.99
Tootsie (1982)
New York actor Michael Dorsey (Dustin Hoffman) is a talented perfectionist who is so hard on himself and others that his agent (Sydney Pollack) can no longer find work for him. After a soap opera audition goes poorly, Michael reinvents himself as actress Dorothy Michaels and wins the part. What was supposed to be a short-lived role turns into a long-term contract, but when Michael falls for his castmate Julie (Jessica Lange), complications develop that could wreck everything.
Retrieved from Google
Jaws (1975)
When a young woman is killed by a shark while skinny-dipping near the New England tourist town of Amity Island, police chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) wants to close the beaches, but mayor Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton) overrules him, fearing that the loss of tourist revenue will cripple the town. Ichthyologist Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) and grizzled ship captain Quint (Robert Shaw) offer to help Brody capture the killer beast, and the trio engage in an epic battle of man vs. nature.
Retrieved from Google (Links to an external site.)
Available on YouTube for $2.99
Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
On the same day Manhattan advertising executive Ted Kramer (Dustin Hoffman) lands the biggest account of his career, he learns that his wife, Joanna (Meryl Streep), is leaving him and their young son, Billy (Justin Henry). Forced to raise his son alone, Ted loses his job but gains a stronger relationship with the child with the help of another single parent, Margaret (Jane Alexander). When Joanna returns to claim custody of Billy, the ensuing court battle takes a toll on everyone concerned.
Retrieved from Google (Links to an external site.)
Available on YouTube for $2.99
Carrie (1976 and 2013)
2013 remake vs. 1976 original prom scene
In this chilling adaptation of Stephen King’s horror novel, withdrawn and sensitive teen Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) faces taunting from classmates at school and abuse from her fanatically pious mother (Piper Laurie) at home. When strange occurrences start happening around Carrie, she begins to suspect that she has supernatural powers. Invited to the prom by the empathetic Tommy Ross (William Katt), Carrie tries to let her guard down, but things eventually take a dark and violent turn.
Retrieved from Google (Links to an external site.)
Available on YouTube for $2.99
Patton (1970)
Biography of controversial World War II hero General George S. Patton. The film covers his wartime activities and accomplishments, beginning with his entry into the North African campaign and ending with his removal from command after his outspoken criticism of US post-war military strategy.
Retrieved from Google (Links to an external site.)
Available on YouTube for $2.99
Five Easy Pieces (1970)
Rejecting his cultured upper-class background as a classical pianist, Robert Dupea (Jack Nicholson) opts for a blue-collar existence, working in a California oil field and spending time with his waitress girlfriend, Rayette (Karen Black). But when Robert discovers that his father is gravely ill, he wants to reunite with his estranged family in the state of Washington. He and Rayette take a road trip that brings the two paths of his life to an uncomfortable intersection.
Retrieved from Google (Links to an external site.)
Available on YouTube for $2.99
RubricFilm Essay Rubric (1) (1)
Film Essay Rubric (1) (1)
CriteriaRatingsPtsThis criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeOrganization
25 ptsThe essay has a format that can be followed easily by doing the following: • Using effective transitions that cause a connection between paragraphs. • Professionally formatting paragraphs, which are ordered in a way that readers can follow.
20 ptsThe essay has a format that can be followed easily by doing the following: • Using basic transitions that cause a connection between paragraphs. • Formatting paragraphs, which are ordered in a way that readers can follow.
15 ptsThe essay has a format that is difficult to follow due to the following: • Inadequate transitions that cause the reader to lose connection between paragraphs. • Inadequate formatting of paragraphs, causing the reader difficulty.
10 ptsThe essay has no organization. Insufficient word count.
25 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeMechanics and Grammar
20 ptsA command of conventions is evident throughout the essay with no errors.
18 ptsAdequate control of conventions throughout the essay with minimal errors.
15 ptsLoses control of conventions throughout the essay with numerous errors.
10 ptsLacks a command of basic conventions of syntax.
20 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeFocus and Control
25 ptsDemonstrates a control of ideas that are concise and complete.
20 ptsAdequate control of ideas and is complete.
15 ptsInadequate control of ideas, includes some extraneous ideas, and is complete.
10 ptsLacks control of ideas, includes extraneous ideas, and is incomplete.
25 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeEvidence
20 ptsProvides effective evidence to support response.
18 ptsProvides adequate evidence to support response.
15 ptsProvides unrelated or minimal evidence to support response.
10 ptsProvides no evidence to support response.
20 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomePeer ReviewsPeer Reviews
10 ptsWrites two reviews of assigned peers that thoughtfully evaluate peers’ film response and builds upon the author’s work
5 ptsWrites one peer review that thoughtfully evaluate peers’ film response and builds upon the author’s work. Writes two reviews of assigned peers but does not reflect thoughtful evaluation.
0 ptsDoes not write peer reviews, does not review assigned peers or peer reviews are brief and/or not constructive.
10 pts
Total Points: 100

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