Actor Michael Shannon has been nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actor for his riveting performance in Revolutionary Road. The film was directed by Oscar-winner Sam Mendes and stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. Michael Shannon was the only actor in the film nominated for an Academy Award.
Michael Shannon’s Breakout Role?
Is this Shannon’s breakout role? Is this role going to launch him onto the A-list? Many of the nation’s top film critics definitely think so. What film critic Kimberly Jones of the Austin Chronicle writes about Shannon’s performance in the film is representative of the view of many of her colleagues: “Shannon is monstrously good – unpredictable where the other actors are clipped and careful – and he steals the whole picture in two short, shattering scenes. When Shannon exits the film, the air gets sucked out again, and you realize the pretty artifice extends to more than just the Wheelers.”
In thinking about Michael Shannon’s outstanding work in Revolutionary Road, one is reminded of other actors and their most memorable roles – the roles that launched their careers.
Brad Pitt in Thelma & Louise
Who could disagree that it was Brad Pitt’s role as the shifty but sexy J.D in Thelma & Louise that catapulted his movie career into the stratosphere? It was his first significant role in a major Hollywood movie, and ever since, he’s been burning up the woods in a major way. Indeed, Brad Pitt has evolved into one of the most popular and enduring actors of all time.
Edward Norton in Primal Fear
Edward Norton’s performance as sociopathic alter boy Aaron Stampler in Primal Fear is astonishingly good – and chilling. Norton won a Golden Globe for the role and was nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actor. Since Primal Fear, Norton has essayed a number of crackerjack performances in a number of films.
Mickey Rourke in Body Heat
Mickey Rourke’s role as Teddy Lewis in Body Heat established him as an actor to be reckoned with. His career soared after his performance in this memorable film, but, eventually, Mickey Rourke’s life took a different turn and he became something of a Pariah in Hollywood. His outstanding, heart-wrenching performance as Randy “The Ram” Robinson in The Wrestler, however, has reignited his career, and placed him very firmly on the comeback trail.
Michael Shannon’s small part in Revolutionary Road made a big impact, Rich Copley, KansasCity.com, January 22, 2009