In recent years, Australia has produced some iconic actors. Guy Pearce, Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Cate Blanchett and many more have given us talented performances that have transcended the usual fare and controlled our award ceremonies. One of those is the unforgettable Geoffrey Rush. Being one of the few actors to have a Tony, Emmy, Academy Award and a BAFTA, Rush is a fine gentleman of the thespian variety. Starring off his career in Queensland, he soon became a great character playing across the globe, until he made his film debut in Hoodwink. More recently, he stars as Hans Hubermann in the film adaptation of best-selling novel, The Book Thief. Out now on DVD, we take a look the best Geoffrey Rush films.
Yargh! Possible the movie that brought Rush into mainstream attention, Pirates of the Caribbean was one of the most innovative movies based on a Disney ride long before a tiresome amount of sequels dragged it out. It was The Curse of the Black Pearl, however, that solidified Rush as the gruesome villain Barbosa. Causing the mutiny that saw Captain Jack Sparrow to be deserted on an island with nothing but rum, Barbosa leads a wickedly rambunctious assortment of pirates who turn into the undead at night thanks to stealing some cursed gold. Setting the entire series into motion, Rush as Barbosa was equally scary and sassy which is the right balance for spooky goings on.
In a film that’s tagline could easily be “How This Won Best Picture Over Saving Private Ryan I'll Never Know,” Shakespeare in Love was the romantic drama that showcased the Bard as salivating man candy Joseph Fiennes. Playing William Shakespeare, it was an anachronism filled yawn fest that had much more a fuss made than it actually should. However, Rush was endearing as Support Actor nominee Phillip Henslowe, a theatrical entrepreneur and philanthropist who drunkenly supports most of Shakespeare’s doings as he pens Romeo + Juliet. Enjoyable and if a bit sickly, Rush is quite memorable and earned several nominations for his performance.
I tried so hard not to talk about this movie and yet I couldn’t stop my fingers before they wrote it out, so yes, we are going to talk about dire and bad movie House on Haunted Hill. Rush is the pseudo- Vince Price Stephen Price who runs his own theme parks in order to fright and kill. When his wife, whom he hates, wants to host a “survive the haunted house” party, they find the perfect abandoned asylum that just happens to be filled with the souls of creepy ex-patients murdered there. Yes, it’s one of the worst remakes and horror movies of all time but I just can’t help but love it. Plus, Rush is campy, fun and twisted all at the same time.
It is really hard to play opposite Colin Firth and steal every scene but Rush is one of the few who can master it. This enigmatic role as speech therapist to the royals earned critical acclaim as Rush brought Lionel Logue to the big screen. As George the VI is unwillingly levelled up to head of state, Logue is called in to help him with his stutter, especially as he expected to make several speeches in the up run of WW2. Rush is ingenious as the charismatic Logue, able to balance the nervousness of his job and his effective approach to people’s problems; unearthing the true cause and building the self-esteem.
The one movie that put Geoffrey Rush on the map was this 1996 evocative drama that gave Rush his Academy Award for Best Actor. Another biopic, Rush deftly handles the range of emotions here that are compelling and poignant. Here, Rush stars as pianist David Helgott who has been bounced around institutes all his life. Stunning, and despite yet more anachronisms (and a lot of contention from Helgott’s family,) still showcased Rush’s undeniable talent as one of the more endearing, stirring and truly captivating that quite rightly earning him that statuette.
What Do You Think?
Are these films the best?
How did I find three picture of him in the same position?
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