Monday, 8 May 2017

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 2012: Thomas Bo Larsen in The Hunt

Thomas Bo Larsen did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Theo in The Hunt.

One of the major reasons The Hunt is such a powerful film is how convincing it is in realizing its scenario of this kindergarten teacher Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen) being ostracized and demonized due to false allegations of sexual abuse. In this it seeks no simplification even though Lucas is clearly innocent the whole time. The film though does not seek to create the accusers and the believers of the accusations into villains. This includes the pivotal role of Theo played by Thomas Bo Larsen who not only is the father of Klara the girl who first claims to have been abused by Lucas, but also happens to be Lucas's best friend. In the early scene Bo Larsen's good just by being convincing at being a normal guy. He has such a natural chemistry with Mikkelsen, as I love the way they sort of have that casual way of fooling around with one another fitting to a rich friendship, and the earnest warmth Bo Larsen brings in his delivery when Theo asks Lucas about custody of his son.

There's one scene that is technically outside of directly interacting with Lucas where it is a tender moment between Theo and his wife. I love the moment because of just how authentic it feels between the two of them and how honestly it just offers a real history outside of the confines. The film excels, amplified by these performances, because it never feels constricted by the central element. That is of course a pivotal factor but as with Bo Larsen's performance there is so much more than that to the community we see, and the people meet that makes the degradation of it all the more powerful. This degradation comes when Klara lies about Lucas's actions, which leads to a sort of hysteria as everyone start to believe it. This isn't simplified which is well shown through Bo Larsen's performance when Lucas comes to attempt to explain things to Theo.  Bo Larsen is brilliant as he creates the complexity of Theo's belief because he actually portrays this conflicting feeling, a wish to disbelieve the act of his friend yet the heartbreak of accepting that something horrible was done to his daughter. He manages to make sense of the belief of the lie and actually creates sympathy for the man even though we know he's wrong.

Bo Larsen's work helps to importantly make the situation all  the more convincing and honestly are the more heartbreaking. There's a scene later on where Theo speaks with Lucas's son Marcus. Again Bo Larsen finds the nuance of the past within situation as he portrays the underlying desire to reach out as the old friend and help while though offering the cold distress, and tension of man still pained by what he believes has been done to his daughter. This eventually leads to the Christmas Eve Church scene which is the highlight of Mikkelsen's masterful performance. In On the Waterfront one should never dismiss Rod Steiger's contribution to the taxi cab scene most noted for Marlon Brando's performance, nor should one dismiss Phillip Seymour Hoffman's incredible work in the processing scene in The Master though Joaquin Phoenix may leave the strongest impression, and one should not forget Thomas Bo Larsen's contribution in this scene. Bo Larsen's own reactions are essential to the power of the scene as he subtly alludes to Theo coming to grips with a certain shame, and understanding of what he has done to his friend. His final reaction when Lucas stares right at him is particularly effective as Bo Larsen shows that Theo has nothing to say for himself in this realization. This leads soon to an incredibly moving scene where Theo admits his mistake, and this is because Bo Larsen earns this so much as in the sort of spoken realization the years of their friendship and the pain of his mistake is so deeply felt in his face and his words. Thomas Bo Larsen's role overall is limited yet critical to the film. His work not only makes the town's forgiveness of Lucas believable but also very poignant. His screentime is limited but within it he importantly adds so much to the film by granting the needed complexity and really humanity to those who turn on Lucas so brutally.  

15 comments:

Charles Heiston said...

I really like Larson here. But it's obvious who steals the show.

Charles Heiston said...

Louis: Your top 5 acting moments for Tony Leung.

Matt Mustin said...

Terrific performance, and as you said, one that is absolutely vital to the film.

Matthew Cofrancesco said...

1. Larsen
2. Murphy
3. Whitford
4. Siddiqui
5. Cheng

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

I love his work here, the film wouldn't have worked as well if Theo was incorrectly portrayed. Although it's unlikely, I hope he makes the top 5.

Calvin Law said...

So they're rebooting Hellboy with Neill Marshall and David Harbour. I mean, good choices, but Ron Perlman was just born to play the role.

Anyway glad to see Bo Larsen get a high score.

Luke Higham said...

Pleased with the review. :)

Louis: What do you think of a Danish version of Prisoners with Mikkelsen as Keller Dover and Coster-Waldau as Detective Loki.

Calvin Law said...

I was thinking a Danish version of No Country for Old Men with Coster-Waldau in Brolin's role, Mads Mikkelsen in Bardem's, and Viggo in Lee Jones'.

Calvin Law said...

And alternatively a reverse aged dynamic of Hell or High Water with the Mikkelsen brothers and Coster-Waldau as the sheriff.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your top ten pieces from The Fellowship Of The Ring and your thoughts on them.

94dfk1 said...

Calvin: I actually think Mikkelsen would be great as Chigurh in the way the movie actually was made haha. Mortensen also could've done it back in the 90s.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: thoughts and rating for Lena Headey in Dredd?

Calvin Law said...

And also for David Chappelle in The Nutty Professor.

Michael McCarthy said...

1. Bradley Whitford
2. Thomas Bo Larsen
3. Nawazuddin Siddiqui
4. Ronald Cheng
5. Cillian Murphy

I really hope Louis loves Cabin in the Woods, and that Fran Kranz gets a surprise review.

Louis Morgan said...

Charles:

Leung:

1. The Two Moles Meet - Infernal Affairs
2. Death of a Friend - Infernal Affairs
3. Breaking Up - Happy Together
4. Killing the old man - Hardboiled
5. A gift - Infernal Affairs

Calvin:

Strange that they're trying to reboot those films given their lack of financial success, I mean why not just let Del Toro finish then since they indeed already had the right man for Hellboy.

Headey - 3(I don't love her performance in that she is very one note of just a vile hate, which work for Ma Ma, but I think there was the possibility for a little more with the character.)

Chappelle - 3.5(He's quite funny in his two scenes first as a proper troll comedian but also sort of a ridiculous one. Chappelle's over the top delivery is perfect, but I like how he undercuts with his more down to earth "You ain't in show business" as though he's had a sudden realization. He quite honestly seemed to have brought the best out of Murphy in the film as their little showdown is the funniest scene in that film.)

Luke:

I could see it.

Well here's the list for now.

1. The Bridge of Khazad-Dum
2. The Breaking of the Fellowship
3. Concerning Hobbits
4. The Shadows of the Past
5. Many Meetings
6. A Journey in the Dark
7. Flight to the Ford
8. The Treason of Isengard
9. Amon Hen
10. The Prophecy