In her 11.14 L.A. Times/Envelope piece called “So Bad, They’re Good,” Lisa Rosen notes that “a lot of good actors went bad this year. Real bad. Surly, mean, reprehensible, criminal, unforgivable and pretty much irresistible.
“Critics and audiences alike have been enjoying the nasty performances of the likes of Denzel Washington in American Gangster, Philip Seymour Hoffman in Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, Casey Affleck in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and Russell Crowe and Ben Foster in 3:10 to Yuma.”
The fact that Rosen waits until the very end of the piece to mention the year’s ultimate bad-ass performance, Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men, looks like a show of rank xenophobia to me. Rosen and her editors decided to list only name-value American thesps in the opening graph, apparently on the presumption that L.A. Times readers don’t want to know from gifted Spanish-speaking actors. And yet no bad-guy performance is more likely to see awards attention this year than Bardem’s.