Happy 49th Birthday, Ralph Fiennes! What's His Greatest Onscreen Moment?
What a momentous week for Ralph Fiennes -- the august British thespian turns 49 today and lands at No. 7 on my list of the year's best performances, therefore knocking Elizabeth Olsen out of the top 10 -- ouch! Let's keep his parade of good times rolling with a quick debate over his best onscreen moment. I dare you to disagree with mine.
I'm of the opinion that Ralph Fiennes's towering work as the odious Amon Goeth in Schindler's List deserved an Oscar over Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive, but I'll save that furious monologue for another day. My single favorite Fiennes moment is in Quiz Show, Robert Redford's keenly observed morality tale set against the corruption of the game show cheating scandals of the 1950s. It presents with one alluring and conflicted character in lecturer-turned-liar Charles Van Doren (Fiennes), who eats up his stage time with gusto. Just fabulous. Start at the 4:00 mark, after competitor Herbert Stempel (John Turturro) takes a dive on the easiest Oscar question. If only Movieline writers were eligible to play Twenty-One in the '50s -- we'd rack up points and snappy retorts by the dozen.
Have a different choice. The Constant Gardener? Schindler's List? The English Patient? Contribute your wrongness below.