Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Weepy Ain't That Great

It’s time to earn an Oscar. “Why!! Why!! Why did little Commentarama Jr. have to catch inoperable lumbago?! And now of all times as the main site just lost its job at the blog packing plant and the bank is threatening to foreclose on our e-home. There is no Gaaawd!” Solid.... gold. Remember that when it comes time to vote.

I’ve been thinking about acting lately. Specifically, I’ve been thinking about something that has always bothered me. Have you ever noticed that when people talk about great ACTING! they always talk about someone doing a scene where they are depressed and angry. You know exactly what I’m talking about. The actor clenches their fists and stumbles against something and proclaims that all hope is lost because little Jimmy wasn’t found at the bottom of a well after all, and now their sham marriage will fall apart. End scene. Critics applaud like trained seals and actors tear up and start gushing about how brave the actor was for making it through that scene.

Wha??

Look, these people are handing you a cliché. Somewhere along the way, probably in 1934, some actor came up with this routine. They used it in some movie that everybody saw... The Maltese Lupus. By 1935, it was all the rage and everybody was doing it on screen. Since that time, everyone has done it and only it. It’s become the go-to way to handle drama. So whenever drama is called for, the actors don’t summon some knowledge of human nature from within, they just copycat... this... same... damn... scene. There’s no skill in that. There’s no talent required. It’s impossible to do it better than anyone else either. And yet, they get praised for it like they just invented acting. It’s a massive Hollywood circle-jerk.

If you really want an acting challenge, then convince me you’re in love. And I don’t mean doggy-style love... “oh boy oh boy, the master’s home!”

Wait.

Something about that doesn’t sound right. Let me try again.

If you really want an acting challenge, then convince me you’re in love. And I don’t mean the meeting of lost lovers scene where everyone jumps into each other’s arms. No. I don’t mean the post-sex scene where someone says, “I love you.” No. And not a “you saved me from that giant robot, I love you” moment either. I’m talking about two characters minding their own business with nothing special going on at that point in the film... just two people hanging out (in a fully clothed way), and make me believe that those two people love each other in that moment.

That’s a real challenge.

It’s the same thing with comedy. Comedies never win awards because they get looked down upon by critics. But comedies require skill. They require timing. They requiring aligning your behaviors with the need to hit the right comedic notes. I would suggest that few actors can do comedy. Yet, weepy gets the awards even though everybody can do weepy.

I think back to Ayn Rand at times like this. Shut up, yes I do. As I read The Fountainhead, Rand is talking about “those who cannot” and how they creep into positions of authority like professorships and regulatory positions. Then they warp the rules to punish the true creative geniuses so their own flaws can’t be exposed. Basically, since they lack genius, they redefine the rules to declare what they can do as genius and to stop geniuses from showing otherwise.

I suspect there is something similar going on here. I suspect that most actors in Hollywood can do the cliché weepy stuff, but they would be completely lost in things like comedies and where genuine emotions like love need to be shown. The result is that they look down on the things they cannot do as beneath them and they instead elevate the things where no real talent is needed and no true distinction is possible. Call it the tyranny of the mediocre. They essentially make themselves gatekeepers of legitimacy by telling you to look down on the things where people with superior skill can shine.

That’s how I see it.

Thoughts?

57 comments:

Floyd R. Turbo said...

It's funny... I was thinking the other day of a movie that came out in the mid 200s called "In Good Company" with Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace, Marg Helgenblahblahblah, Scarlett JOhanson... It's ostensibly about the impersonal nature of multinational corporations and Dennis Quaid is the old hand about to be forced out by the up and comers personified by Topher Grace... Anyway... Topher falls in love with ScarJo (Quaid's daughter natch) and they have a brief affair. Grace's recent marriage gas failed and he's under constant pressure from the bosses, etc. So Grace goes to ScarJo to declare his love (she's in college) and she gives him the dreaded kiss-off. Now Topher Grace is not Marlon Brando, but the look on his face when she said she didn't love him was pitch-perfect. It looked like he took a shot to the solar-plexus and had sucked it up so as not to look like a jerk. Perfect. And he barely said a word in the whole scene.

Jose Ferrer's speech at the end of The Caine Mutiny is like that. Disgust and disdain as opposed to outrage. He could have easily chewed the scenery and yet held back and nailed it. Just a couple... I could go on and on.

I agree with your point by the way. LOL

rlaWTX said...

in order for them to convince us they were in love within your parameters of "not"s, they'd have to bother doing a movie about the years AFTER the final wrap of the RomCom where every day life intrudes into the fair tale BUT they are still on the "happy family" side of things (as opposed the "family drama" where everyone hates one another)... and they don't write those well...

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, The fact it's difficult makes it all the more worthy of an award. :)

When I was thinking about this, I actually thought of those little moments in films like Fargo or No Country For Old Men where you just see a normal married couple chatting over breakfast or whatever and you can just tell they truly love each other even though none of the "cheats" are involved -- like kissing or proclamations of love. There's just something about the way they interact.

Floyd R. Turbo said...

And while I think Julia Roberts is overrated her "I'm just a girl" speech in Notting Hill was also pitch perfect. That girl wanted to be loved.

AndrewPrice said...

Floyd, I haven't seen the Topher movie, but I know of what you speak. There are those moments where a look or something entirely non-dramatic absolutely captures an amazing amount of emotion.

Great example from The Caine Mutiny too. That's a scene that I think most actors would have played in a more weepy, "how could I have done this" sort of way. Ferrer goes the other way. He becomes very aggressive about it, and in the process really tells you how much this has hurt him to destroy an innocent man to save the villain. It's a brilliant moment that just stings you viscerally. Great acting!

AndrewPrice said...

Floyd, I really don't like Roberts, but you are correct that she has had moments where she has been irresistible on film and you cannot help but feel for her.

ScottDS said...

It's a shame comedies don't get the respect they deserve - it's been that way forever... and up until relatively recently, sci-fi has also been neglected by its betters. And even then, a show like Lost will get accolades but a "spaceship show" like Battlestar Galactica will still be frowned on by some folks.

As for acting, I don't remember where I heard this but if you want great exposition and great acting, imagine this hypothetical scene:

-A middle-aged couple is in an elevator.
-The elevator stops and a hot young blonde gets on.
-The middle-aged man takes off his hat.

Boom - now you know everything you need to know about the middle-aged couple.

Tennessee Jed said...

I happened to watch the film "Flight" last night. Not a great film overall, but a great acting job by Denzel. As we have often discussed here, some actors (often newcomers) disappear in their roles, while the better known actors tend to play themselves. Denzel Washington has reached that latter iconic stage where you never forget you are watching him. BUT, you don't care, because he consistently brings the viewer along for the ride, because he does a great job of acting believably as the character he is playing. And he does this again, and again. He is so good, he is one of the few crossover film stars (e.g. he dosen't play "black" characters, just characters.

tryanmax said...

Yep. That's about the size of it.

KRS said...

TJ - I look at Denzel as a "John Wayne." He plays one role or variations off that role, but, as you said, he brings the audience along for the ride. The great thing about the John Wayne actors is that you go in knowing what you're going to get and that you're not as likely to be sucker-punched or otherwise let down. I think the John Wayne actors don't get enough credit - probably because they never succumb to the weep scene - and Denzel stands out because he does get credit. So I guess that observation supports Andrew's argument.



AndrewPrice said...

Scott, LOL! True. Great acting tells you loads of information without dialog. It makes you completely understand what the character is thinking or feeling. It pulls you into that moment and lets you place yourself into the shoes of that character.

The weepy stuff that always wins the awards doesn't do that. It's basically an actor trying to impress you with how dramatically they can behave. Yet, that is what ALWAYS gets pointed to by the critics and other actors as "Oh, it was amazing!" No, it was a joke.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Well said. LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I agree with that. You always see him as Denzel, not as the character he's playing, but he still never fails to make you think the character is real and he's very good at letting you understand exactly what the character is thinking and feeling. I would definitely rate him as a great actor because of that.

AndrewPrice said...

KRS, The John Waynes never get credit. They are dismissed by Hollywood as "stars" rather than "actors" and we are told they could never make it in theater, etc. etc. But that's not true. To be a successful John Wayne type actor takes something even more special than someone who disappears into the role, because you not only have to project a personality that people truly like and want to see, but you have to be able to project it in such a way that it still fits the role and lets the audience believe that you are a spy or pilot or businessman or whatever.

Tennessee Jed said...

KRS and Andrew - I don't disagree at all about John Wayne except that (without looking it up) I think the Duke never got enough of a chance to play a wide variety of roles. Almost all I can think of off the top of my head are westerns, soldiers, and maybe the stray detective ... all "tough guys." Now at first blush, my instinct is that Denzel has had a little more opportunity to play a variety of characters. That may be incorrect, and a swing through imbd would prove he has been just as miserably typecast. In thinking about your "love" test, Andrew, there is a movie titled Deja Vu where Denzel plays an AFT officer investigating a domestic terrorist (Jim Caviezel) and falls in love with a woman (Paula Patten) who had been murdered. My point is only that, as I recall, he did a nice job of selling that emotion without getting all weepy.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I think Wayne practiced in a time when actors were expected to have narrower personalities. If you were a tough guy (or any other stereotype), then you had real limits on what you could do on film. Cry? Never. That said, Wayne had his moments. He had moments of humor, of love, of anger, of happiness, of regret. He did them all, they just aren't the moments that tend to get remembered when people talk about his career.

Denzel, like Wayne, is typically the hero-type, but he does manage to get in his moments as well. I think an excellent comparison is to consider that Denzel is the black Tom Cruise. And in that regard, Denzel's talent becomes much more obvious. He has the same likability as "Denzel on screen" just as Cruise has "Cruise on screen" likability, but he's also believable in a larger variety of roles and he can pull off a variety of emotions. Cruise can't. Cruise has about 2-3 modes and that's it. I can't think of the last time I "bought" anything from Cruise other than deep rage about to be revenged, heroism, or "I'm laughing."

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

I can't help but feel that there's a flipside to your comment. Sure, the John Waynes of the world never got the proper credit but they also got typecast... and every now and then, a typecast actor will try something different and it's a crapshoot. The audience will either go along for the ride, or reject them.

And then it looks even worse when they try to come back to the type of thing that they were typecast for in the first place.

Look at Jim Carrey... after The Truman Show and Man on the Moon, it's like... Mr. Popper's Penguins? Really?!

goldvermilion87 said...

I _completely_ agree with you. I think Comedy (good comedy) probably needs the best acting, but it doesn't get the credit it deserves. Actually, I was watching Dan in Real Life yesterday [an excellent, but underrated film, in my opinion] and watching Steve Carell doing his awful dancing moves, and my friend said "You have to be coordinated to be that uncoordinated." I feel like that's comedy acting in a microcosm.

I wonder, though, if people point to sad or angsty moments when they want to talk about great acting, because at the funny moments you're just laughing?

For example, I'd say that Rowan Atkinson and Hugh Laurie are excellent actors. I know this because I have watched Blackadder Goes Forth a zillion times. If you asked for one scene that showed they were great actors, I would probably bring up their final, almost serious scene. Not because the humor wasn't good acting, but because that serious moment puts everything else into relief.

Same with Benedict Cumberbatch. If you asked for one scene of him acting really well, I'd give you his big final scene in The Reichenbach Falls, because there we get a range, and we get intensity. But I know he's a good actor because of tiny little moments of humor in Sherlock and because of his hilarious role as an insecure an mostly incompetent captain in the radio series Cabin Pressure.

But I'm mostly sure comedy requires as much, if not more skill than weepiness or angst, because some of my favorite serious roles were pulled off by comedians -- comedians I don't even really love in their comedy roles. Namely, Robin Williams in Awakenings and Jim Carrey in The Truman Show. :-)

goldvermilion87 said...

PS: Speaking of Dan in Real Life -- that movie has three married couples, and I buy that every one of them is in love, and it's very understated. In fact, I'd say that for all the familial relationships in the movie.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, There are two types of actors, as we've discussed. There are those who typecast themselves and those who disappear into the role. It's hard for the typecast guys to do something else, but if they don't, then their careers die.

Carrey made a brilliant move in doing more dramatic stuff and he did it really well. His popularity soared and his audience expanded a lot. But then he started picking bad comedies as his comedies and his audience began to fade. Then he reacted angrily to that by insulting his audience, which only made things worse.

ScottDS said...

goldvermilion -

Speaking of Carell, I must recommend last year's overlooked Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. It has its moments but it's really not a comedy and the last 10 minutes had me in tears.

AndrewPrice said...

goldvermilion, Great points! I think comedy requires greater skill, but I suspect we don't notice it because we are too busy laughing and because it seems easy. It's ironic in a way. It's like watching NFL players -- they make the impossible look easy and you start to lose track of just how hard it really is.

With a good comedian, you never notice the acting because they make it look so natural. By comparison, the over-the-top dramatic stuff showcases the acting and you are watching someone work. So maybe people are mistaking the sense that they are watching acting for greatness, just like they mistake the "it looks so easy" aspect of things like professional sports for a lack of talent?

Some of my favorite dramatic actors are also comedians who have taken to drama. I think the fact they can move into drama so well is more evidence that comedy probably requires more skill.

I haven't seen Dan in Real Life.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I keep thinking of seeing that, but I just haven't.

PikeBishop said...

I think you can add Jack Nicholson to that John Wayne school of star. Ever since "The Shining" He basically plays Jack Nicholson playing _________"

AndrewPrice said...

PikeBishop, True. He really has done the one thing over and over. He does it well, but it's all he does.

goldvermilion87 said...

I was just thinking about checking out Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. I think I will now. :)

And check out Dan in Real Life. It has been criticized as cloying and overly happy. Now, it's definitely a fairy tale (it even has the groups of three thing going), but I think what the reviewers dislike is the fact that the "real life" family itself is generally happy. Because, you know, you wouldn't want to watch a movie about a family that wasn't falling apart! What would be the point of that?

(Though I also have a soft spot for Steve Carell when he's not doing raunchy comedy, so that could color my estimation of the film)

T-Rav said...

Re: Denzel, seems like an easier way to put it would be "He's the black Tom Cruise, only not crazy."

And if we're talking on-screen professions of love that aren't scenery-chewing, the last Han/Leia scene in Empire Strikes Back has to get a shout-out.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, They were definitely believable, especially in the "scoundrel" scene in the asteroid.

Yeah, Cruise is definitely hurt by his personality, which Denzel is not. But in fairness, Cruise's problems haven't hurt him much with the public.

AndrewPrice said...

goldvermilion, There is a real prejudice against happy stories. People seem to want anger and suffering these days. That's kind of sad.

I will seek that out. :)

Anonymous said...

Funny you should bring this up because I've been thinking about just this very thing for a couple weeks.
A couple of months ago I watched The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas. There's a scene in it where Burt and Dolly are lying on their backs outside,looking at the stars and talking. It's the scene where Burt tells Dolly that his secret dream was always to run for the state legislature and she tells him,a little self consciously, that when she was little she always dreamed of being a ballerina.
Now, there's no physical intimacy in that scene,but what it has is emotional intimacy. When Burt tells Dolly about the legislature you really get the feeling that he's setting aside a barrier that he's had,that maybe he's a little afraid she'll laugh at him. A lot of times when you have oversized personalities like those two they never really get into the characters the way two unknowns would,they just play themselves.Maybe it's just me,but when I watched that scene I was struck by the fact that it didn't seem like Burt Reynolds reading lines with Dolly Parton,that it looked(at least to me)like two real people who loved each other.
GypsyTyger

BevfromNYC said...

Acting is believing...and making the audience believe too. A really good actor/actress can do this. Some do it with seemingly no effort at all, some do it by writing extensive "backstories" for their characters, others do it with "sense memory" and experiencially by "The Method" (Lord help those who play murderers!), but the bottom line the actor has to commit to what he is doing for the audience to believe.

True story from when Lawrence Olivier and Dustin Hoffman were filming Marathon Man. Hoffman is the ultimate "Method Actor". In preparation for the scenes in which his character was supposed to be running all night...he ran all night to get "in character". The next morning when he showed up for the shoot, he look like hell. Olivier, the consummate staged-trained committed actor from the British school and not a fan of "the Method", famously said to Hoffman for all to hear "Dustin, you REALLY should try acting. It is so much easier..."


There's one more school of acting. It's the "Learn all of your lines and don't bump into the Furniture" school...

Tennessee Jed said...

BTW, I looked up Denzel's filmography. I first saw him in "A Soldier's Story" then in Glory. He has had a little better spread of roles than some. HOWEVER, he is filming The Equalizer playing Robert McCall. So Denzel is once again "crossing over" so to speak. All well and good except "Thou Shalt Not F$%K with Edward Woodward.

AndrewPrice said...

GypsyTyger, I know the scene (great movie) and you're right. That's one of those moments where you really get a feeling that the two characters truly care about each other deeply. And it's a scene where it's all on the actors -- the dialog doesn't really do anything special... it's all the unspoken emotion that sells the scene.

Kit said...

Bev,

That's a funny Laurence Olivier quote.
"Dustin, you REALLY should try acting. It is so much easier..."

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, (Lord help those who play murderers!) LOL! :D

I think the memorize your lines and don't trip school currently dominates.

The actors that I see as the "great" actors are the ones who make it look easy. The ones you totally forget are even acting.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, "Thou Shalt Not F$%K with Edward Woodward." LOLOL! Nice! Woodwards of the world unite!

I've seen Denzel in many things that I liked him in. He's never been in a huge hit in my book, but his films are always solid.

Kit said...

Interesting short piece from The Guardian on "method" acting vs British acting ("pretending").
LINK

tryanmax said...

I've been following the comments all day, but haven't been able to respond as I'd like. Here they are now:

RE: Convincing love -- screen actors have the advantage of the close up, so this shouldn't be so hard. There's a lot of science currently that studies non-verbal communication such as facial expressions. A good actor should stay abreast of this stuff. (A great actor would intuit it, but would probably stay abreast anyway.) The thing that keeps coming back over and over in these studies is the power of sublte expressions. So, a convincing act is one that gets the subtleties right, not the big, arm-waving tantrums.

RE: Flight -- I agree, Denzel did a good job in that one. You certainly had no idea which way his character would go right up until the very end. That said, about 20 minutes could've been shaved off the run time to no ill effect.

RE: Screen vs. Stage -- It's really surprising that we haven't yet reached the point where the two are recognized as similar but distinct artforms. I wish the pissing contest could stop. But that'd be one less thing for critics to gripe about, I guess.

RE: "You have to be coordinated to be that uncoordinated." That is so the definition of comedy. And to further sum up what goldvermilion87 is saying, range really is what makes any actor great. That's pretty much always been the gold standard. You have to show great joy to convince of great pain, great hatred to convince of great love, even great skill to convince of great clumsiness. What's the other thing they say about comedy? It's tragedy that happens to someone else?

RE: Schools of acting -- the best definition of acting I've ever heard was from my college drama instructor. "Acting is faking sincerity." He was also fond of saying "The only thing better than talking and walking at the same time is talking and walking backwards."

T-Rav said...

Andrew, maybe not with those who remember him from his stuff in the '80s and so on. But where people my age are concerned, Cruise is a punch line first and an actor second. He's "that crazy cult guy who jumped on Oprah's couch and brainwashed Katie Holmes," etc. Still, I don't think anyone would deny that he has talent; but for those who've grown up over the past decade, there's not much interest in him, which may partly explain the failure of recent films like Jack Reacher.

Koshcat said...

You may be a little harsh. I completely understand what you are saying and I hate poor acting, especially from an otherwise good actor. Whenever I start complaining about how bad some of the acting and directing gets, I just need to watch one of those really bad SciFi movies. Just recently watched Sharktopus and Sharknado. Oh...my...god...the acting is TERRIBLE.

I really like films where the actor goes outside of their normal and surprises me. Such as Stallone in Copeland. I also like actors that aren't always the "star" and try different things such as Brad Pitt in Snatch. The reason some comedians probably do well is to have been a successful comedian he needed to be bright, quick, witting, and with good timing. In addition, to pull off the joke, you often need to keep the "straight face". Bad, dumb comedians get weeded out. One of my favorite comedians as an actor is Vince Vaughn.

Koshcat said...

witting = witty

I really need an editor or something.

goldvermilion87 said...

@T-Rav: This is not to do with being in love, but it's a great example of how to take advantage of the close-up, in my opinion. :-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umtMCYHxpo4

(from around 0:09-0:12)

goldvermilion87 said...

Oops -- previous comment I meant to say @tyranmax

Clearly Koshcat is not the only one who needs an editor.

tryanmax said...

goldvermilion87, yes, he's an extremely expressive actor. Always fun to watch.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I think subtle is always the key. Humans are subtle creatures. They don't speak their minds as freely as they show their minds in their body language and in hints. Actors who tap into that really do a much better job than the ones who are waving their arms around proclaiming whatever it is they want the audience to know.

I agree, You have to be coordinated to be that uncoordinated. really defines comedy perfectly.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I don't doubt that at all. My generation saw him act before he became "TOM CRUISE" in films like All The Right Moves. Since then, however, he's just become a personality. And I don't think he started getting weird until a good deal later -- when the Scientology stuff started to become more public and all the rumors about him being gay when he was married to Nicole Kidman. I've frankly been surprised that his popularity has continued as long as it has, but he does still seem to be able to draw a crowd in the right movie.

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, Harsh? Moi? Pshaw, I haven't called for a brutal beating or the assassination of a film crew in months now.

Stallone was fantastic in Copland. I've really come to see a lot of skill in Stallone, skill that I don't see in others like Arnold.

As an aside, Sharknado really disappointed me. As a connoisseur of lousy films, I can safely say that this one was just crappy, even compared to other films of that level.

AndrewPrice said...

Folks, watch it with all the editor talk or some politician will start promising a program to hire everyone editors!

Agreed on Cumberbatch. He's an excellent actor with a really wide range. I suspect he has a huge career ahead of him.

Koshcat said...

Tara Reid looks really bad. She acted poorly as well. Sort of mailed it in either that the botox was too strong.

BTW, I like this font.

AndrewPrice said...

I like this font too. It's softer and easier to read. It's also wider though, which is hard to use on blogs.

Yeah, she was horrible. But even worse was the whole story. Films like Mega Shark v. Giant Octopus are actually entertaining, even as they are crappy. There's just something fun about the formula. This one just seemed like people driving around until they were attacked by CGI sharks. There wasn't much to like.

tryanmax said...

Okay, so I just watched Sharknado (via legally dubious stream). Can I have that last hour and a half back, please?

AndrewPrice said...

Normally, I'm a fan of craptastic movies with insane premises. They can be quite entertaining in an intensely stupid, but earnest sort of way. Sharknado sucked. It truly sucked. I will not watch it again even if I'm just looking to waste time.

PikeBishop said...

Andrew: I have always agreed with your "you forget they are acting" definition.

Leaving the big screen for the small one for a second, I have always felt the best cast ever in terms of this was that of "Frasier." You never catch them acting. The reactions, the assides, the glances, everything thing rings 100% true.

AndrewPrice said...

PikeBishop, I think that's the best acting, when you don't even realize you are watching actors and you are just watching people doing their thing.

The cast of Fraiser was definitely excellent at that. You KNOW that this is what these people are really like. You KNOW they are really brothers. Etc. Excellent job at selling characters and stories.

Anonymous said...

There's a very subtle scene in the original Rocky between Sylvester Stallone and Talia Shire. It doesn't last very long, but they're in the pet shop together and Adrian is just starting to warm up,just ever so slightly,and all of a sudden her boss yells "Hey Adrian,those cat cages need cleaned." Shire just deflates and the look in Stallone's eyes is just priceless. Right there you can tell what she means to him.There's no music,there's no dramatic closeup,and he doesn't stop,look at the camera and say "Don't talk to her like that,she's the love of my life" but you can see it all in his eyes.
GypsyTyger

Anonymous said...

And while we're on the subject of men and women and sublety, on of the things I've always liked about A Few Good Men is that the writers and the director never took the easy out and had a romance between Tom Cruise and Demi Moore.I would have been the lazy default path to take, and they didn't do it. Within the context of that film, their friendship and mutual respect was more satisfying than an easy out romance would have been.
GypsyTyger

AndrewPrice said...

GypsyTyger, The more I think about it, the more I think that subtle is really the way to go. People rarely "proclaim" their emotions in huge, dramatic ways. They let slip in subtle ways. It's just the way we're built. So I think that actors who pick up on that and use subtle clues to tell us what their character is thinking are doing a more realistic job of acting like real people.

I don't remember the scene you mean in Rocky, but Stallone is a much stronger actor than people think and I've seen him do some really solid work with very subtle gestures.

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