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Friday, August 15, 2014

The Robin Williams Lists

The Robin Williams Lists 

Robin Williams. What can we say that has not already been said? He was a truly gifted actor. He set the standard for comedians crossing over to make a name for themselves as successful dramatic actors. Williams was a  four time Academy Award nominee (winning once, in 1997, for Good Will Hunting), won several Golden Globes, Grammys, and many other awards in a four decade-plus career.

From the stories being told by those who knew him best, he was clearly a very kind-hearted and generous man as well. The world, not just Hollywood, lost a truly great man this week. And in the midst of the countless tributes to him, Dan and I offer our Robin Williams Lists, to humbly share how he and his films forever touched us both:

Chris's List

5 - Insomnia / One Hour Photo
Robin Williams had long since proved his mastery of both comedy and drama by the early 2000s when these films came out. But with them, he displayed his ability do dark and creepy as well. Both are sinister, eerie performances from an actor that most people expected nothing but laughs.

4 - What Dreams May Come / The Fisher King
Though it is one of his most polarizing films, I personally love What Dreams May Come. Sure, it is flawed, but it is a truly beautiful film with an extremely interesting premise and a fantastic performance from Williams. The Fisher King, on the other hand, is a really good film (with another great Williams performance), but is often overlooked in his diverse filmography. 

3 - Mrs. Doubtfire / Hook
These two movies are perhaps how I will remember him best. For a movie watching child of the '90s, they are the quintessential Robin Williams.

2 - Aladdin / FernGully: The Last Rainforest
No one could do more voices than Robin Williams. These two animated, off-the-wall characters were tailored made for his multifaceted, rapid fire style of comedy and they were beloved by children everywhere.

1 - Good Will Hunting / Dead Poets Society
Perhaps Williams' finest two performances from two of his best remembered dramatic films. Williams made both of these films great. I'll just leave it with this:

Dan's List

5 - Jack
Sure it was probably pitched with one sentence and is a kind of a gimmick film, but it's also funny, heartfelt and really proved that Robin Williams could do anything. I cannot think of a single other actor that could make Jack work. When he gives the graduation speech and the score kicks in, it gets a little dusty in this house.

4 - Dead Poets Society
I firmly believe that most, if not all, teachers want to be like John Keating. Inspiring, candid and brilliant, he took a class of repressed, Vermont prep-schoolers and made them realize that there is some beauty in art and life. Sure they got him fired, but he definitely made an impact.

3 - Mrs. Doubtfire
The little comedy that could, Mrs. Doubtfire finished second at the 1993 box office to Jurassic Park and at the time, was the fourth highest-grossing comedy in history. The virtuoso performance won Williams a Golden Globe and introduced an entire generation to his talent.

2 - Aladdin / Good Morning, Vietnam
Let Robin Williams do his thing. Both of these films were built around and carried by that simple concept. Before Will Ferrell was improvising his way to an empire, Williams was the guy who gave screenwriters the day off. His creative charm made both of these films huge hits, and gave us a song to be treasured forever.

1 - Good Will Hunting
"Sorry guys, I gotta see about a girl." This scene and film will always be my favorite work from Robin Williams. His character carries so much weight on his soul that you can feel it with every story and action. He deservedly took home an a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for this role and gave us an acting master class that we can take over and over. Rest in peace, Mr. Williams and thank you for everything.

Thanks For Reading!
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And Check Out Our Other Best Of Lists:
Christian Bale – Matt Damon – Johnny Depp – Jamie Foxx
Wes Anderson - Ron Howard – Tony Scott – Michael Bay – Stanley Kubrick 
Badass Ladies – Movie Lawyers – Movie Bars – Concert Movies
Baseball Movies – Films From 2000-Now – Movie/Video Game Combos - Kill Bill 

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