Get Tickets THE OUTFIT opens March 18th
Despite seemingly appearing out of thin air with a celebrated performance in BRIDGE OF SPIES in 2015, Mark Rylance was already a prolific and accomplished actor by the time he took home his first Academy Award®. The talented and versatile actor has the ability to play both unassuming heroes and over-the-top personalities better than just about everyone, and instantly makes a movie better with his inclusion.
This has been true with most of the Mark Rylance movies that have been released in the better part of the past decade and will remain so for quite some time, especially with THE OUTFIT coming to AMC Theatres, Friday, March 18. And, as we look toward the highly-anticipated release of THE IMITATION GAME screenwriter Graham Moores’s feature-length directorial debut, now seems like a perfect time to go back and look at some of Rylance’s best performances of the past decade, which includes some heavy hitters.
Bridge Of Spies
As the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union reaches new heights in 1960, insurance lawyer James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks) finds himself in the middle of one of the most heated episodes of the political crisis when he is tasked with brokering a prisoner exchange in Berlin, East Germany with the Americans handing over convicted spy Rudolph Abel (Mark Rylance) and the Soviets releasing a U-2 spy plane pilot shot down in the USSR. What follows in Steven Spielberg’s BRIDGE OF SPIES is one of the most personal and daring movies to be set in that era, and a lot of it is due to great chemistry shared by its talented leads.
Seriously, there should be more movies that see Mark Rylance and Tom Hanks — arguably two of the greatest living actors — share the screen. Despite their characters’ differences and affiliations, both are decent men with principles and an unbreakable bond. The only downside of BRIDGE OF SPIES — which really doesn’t have to do with the movie itself — is the fact that it took so long for Rylance to become such a big star. And, boy, a star he became thanks to this career-defining performance.
Ready Player One
With the real world on the precipice of disaster and total ruin in the year 2045, large parts of the population spend their days, lives, and money in the vast digital playground that is the OASIS, a virtual reality program created by James Halliday (Mark Rylance) years earlier. Shortly after the reclusive, eccentric, and pop-culture-obsessed Halliday passes away, his avatar announces an Easter Egg hunt for the ages, with the winner getting access to everything — Halliday’s massive estate with unparalleled riches, fame, and most of all, ownership of OASIS itself. Armed with a desire to make a better life for himself and unmatched determination, an orphan named Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) sets out to join the contest, where he makes new friends and a powerful and vengeful enemy.
One of the best things about Steven Spielberg’s READY PLAYER ONE, an adaptation of Ernest Cline’s novel of the same name, is Mark Rylance’s performance as James Halliday — as well as playing his digital avatar, Anorak the All-Knowing. Although appearing confident, intelligent, and fun-loving, the character exhibits a great deal of depth, emotion, and regret regarding decisions he made when he was still alive and not a part of the all-encompassing OASIS. This humility, even if it comes too late for the man behind the biggest technological advancement in human history, is pulled off masterfully and effortlessly by Rylance.
Over the years, classic Roald Dahl children’s books like “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Fantastic Mr. Fox” and “The Witches” have all been adapted and welcomed even more potential readers into the wild and fantastical worlds created by the late author. In 2016, Steven Spielberg adapted one of Dahl’s most beloved works into THE BFG, a sprawling, and sometimes frightening story about a young girl being taken by a “small” 24-foot giant named Big Friendly Giant, brought to life by Mark Rylance, who performed voice and motion-capture work for his performance. Throughout the movie, the pair build an unbreakable bond as they learn to relate with one another and depend on each other in a series of adventures.
Honestly, it is hard to think of another actor who would be able to pull off a character like the Big Friendly Giant better than Rylance, who is absolutely perfect in every way. He embodies all the qualities that have made the character so beloved all these years, and is able to be faithful to the source material while also pulling off something new and original. His gentle nature, soft voice, and subtle mannerisms all add to the role and take nothing away.
Following the Battle of France, over 300,000 British and Allied soldiers are stuck on the beaches of Dunkirk with seemingly no escape from the German forces fast on the approach. Split up into three interconnected storylines using different timelines, Christopher Nolan’s 2017 military drama, DUNKIRK, shows how young infantrymen, pilots, and British civilians accepted the call to action and became the most unlikely of heroes in their attempt to save the lives of hundreds of thousands and prevent an Allied defeat. One of those ordinary heroes is Mr. Dawson (Mark Rylance) a civilian who decides to take his own boat across the English Channel rather than letting the army commandeer it, even if it puts his life, as well as that of his son and son’s best friend, on the line.
One of Mark Rylance’s best movies, DUNKIRK also features one of his most understated performances to date, a role that further drives home the point of the intense war film. Rylance’s Mr. Dawson is also at the center of some of the movie’s most harrowing moments, including the discovery of a shell-shocked soldier (Cillian Murphy) and the difficult events that follow his rescue. How Rylance didn’t win any major awards for this performance remains a mystery.
Basically, what all of this is saying is that Mark Rylance is an actor with boundless talent who instantly makes any movie better, even when he plays not-so-likable characters in something like DON’T LOOK UP. And, with the crime drama THE OUTFIT opening at AMC Theatres Friday, March 18, it looks like we’ll be seeing more of this actor for years to come.
Get Tickets THE OUTFIT opens March 18th