Everyone loves a good Australian. And who better to represent the country down under than this incredible actor, Guy Pearce. Though born in Cambridgeshire, his family usurped themselves to the sunny country when he was two, taking with them any claim on the actor we could have. Probably a lot more understated than ever, Guy Pearce is a daring, unique and stunning actor who started in Neighbours and rose to prominence in the nineties with his incredible talent. Making the rounds in independent movies, he can be seen opposite Robert Pattinson in The Rover, which is out in cinemas today. And again, his performance has been acclaimed. But before you head to the cinemas to see it, why not watch these essentials?
Guy Pearce takes prominence in Christopher Nolan's cult masterpiece that is often cited as one of the best thrillers of all time. Told through flashbacks and a broken narrative, Memento revolves around Leonard Shelby, a man who has amnesia so bad that he can't remember who he has met after just one day. Trying to find the killer of his wife, he pieces together clues from photographs and tattoos he has on his body. Pearce is pure class here, able to deftly handle the complex plots and twists of this brilliant film. He handles the sheer ferocity of Leonard with a visceral back bone that is, in a word, stunning.
Alongside New Zealand actor Russell Crowe and the always impressive Kevin Spacey, Pearce delights in the strict "good cop" role as three LAPD officers investigate the corruption of their precinct at a time of Hollywood game and excess. Pearce plays Ed Exley, a cold and isolated man who is spurned on by the murder of his father. As he is pulled together with the gruff Wendell "Bud" White and pragmatic Detective Jack Vincennes to investigate the infamous Nite Owl murders. But when they uncover something more sinister, a plot in their institution, it becomes a question of loyalties and secrets.
Probably one of the first films that put him on the map despite being an Australian cult classic. This movie sees Pearce in a role unlike any other. Again banded in a trio, this time is different as the trio in question is a collection of drag queens racing over the Australian desert to get to a gig. Alongside Hugo Weaving and Terrence Stamp, Pearce plays the rambunctious and fierce Felicia (Adam) who wears his sexuality on his sleeve and makes no apologies for it. Clashing with the more stoic "Tick" Belrose/Mitzi Del Bra and the elder transsexual woman Bernadette, the personality mix is marvellous. Also there is the divine scene with Pearce on top of a bus, adorned in a metallic dress floating in the wind.
Thrillers don't get any better than this in the powerful film from The Rover director David Michôd. With Pearce playing alongside an eclectic cast such as Jackie Weaver, Ben Mendleson and Joel Edgerton. Based on the true story of the Pettingill family, Animal Kingdom revolves around matriarchal Janine "Smurf" Cody who is head of a crime family. However, when the house becomes a safe space for criminals and her panicked family, tensions rise when they ambush and kill two police officers. Guy Pearce plays detective Leckie, one of the few non corrupt officers, and it's up to him to get justice in yet another breath taking performance.
Talking about breath taking, here's Breathe In (not an entirely good segue but let's power through.) From the director of Like Crazy, Breathe In centres on Pearce as music teacher Keith. When English exchange student Sophie (played greatly by Felicity Jones,) comes to stay he finds himself drawn to her, opposing his controlling wife and humdrum lifestyle. When the tension between Keith and the young girl mount up, the electrifying relationship will burn a hole through Keith's life. Director Drake Doremous is in phenomenal form. Though what may seem like a pithy drama, the passionate performances lift off the screen. It is tender and exquisite with Pearce a driving force in a small film that not many went to see but should.