Oct 5, 2009

The best of Daniel Day-Lewis: The Last of the Mohicans

1. Last of the Mohicans
2. Gangs of New York
3. The Unbearable Lightness of Being
4. There Will be Blood
5. The Age of Innocence
6. In the Name of the Father
Here's a rare skill I bet Daniel-day Lewis never knew he had: he's one of the few actors who can play 18th and 19th period Americans. Think about that. De Niro can't. Pacino can't. No amount of method acting could squeeze Brando's bulk into a confederate uniform. But Daniel Day Lewis has cleaned up. Partly its to do with not being a big American star, and therefore not so rooted in contemprary tabloid-cover reality, but it's also down to some inspired guesswork on his part: listen to his accent in Last of the Mohicans, a salad of Indian, Irish and American with some Scots thrown in for good measure. Did anyone ever speak like that? Linguists tell us that American accents back then probably sounded much more exotic than you'd think. It's all down to an actor's taste and cunning and Day Lewis has plenty of both. Why Spielberg has given the role of Lincoln to Liam Neeson can only be guessed at.


  1. love this list and agree on the top placing, which is a beautiful film in so many respects, acting, cinematography, music.
    Rare, because it's the only film in which he plays a true romantic/action hero (swoon!) and his career has seemed to consciously avoid that.
    i would put Age of Innocence at No.2, not only because it's one of my favourite films, but because the scene where his wife reveals she is pregnant, thus trapping him like a butterfly on a pin, is utterly compelling; you can see his heart shrivelling before your eyes.

  2. I agree about that scene: Winona Ryder is like a little black mamba

  3. I agree about that scene: Winona Ryder is like a little black mamba

  4. Like the list Tom, except I would have My Left Foot third. Not a fan of the movie really, but Lewis is fantastic in it!