Sunday, March 13, 2011

Actor to Watch: Andrew Garfield

He may be sensitive, British and have wonderfully fwoopy hair, but Andrew Garfield is more likely to garner comparisons to a lovable fawn than Robert Pattinson.  Garfield is more charmingly gawky than smoldering.  He also has one of the most impressive film resumes around, especially considering he is only in his mid-twenties.

Garfield's first big role was in 2007's Boy A, where he played Jack Burridge, a rehabilitated young man who committed a horrible crime as a child.  It would be easy to demonize Jack, but Garfield's portrayal makes you root for the troubled young man.  Garfield does a great job of showing the difficulty Jack has adjusting to society and everyday life after basically growing up in a prison.  Post- Boy A, Garfield shined in supporting roles in films like Lions for Lambs and the Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, which gave him the opportunity to act against heavyweights like Robert Redford, Heath Ledger, and Christopher Plummer.  Last year, Garfield played Eduardo Saverin (Marc Zuckerberg's long suffering best friend and Facebook co-founder) in the Social Network; his performance received a nomination for a Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe.   

Next-up, Garfield will take on the role of Spider-Man in the Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) directed The Amazing Spider-Man.  Personally, I'm not all that crazy about superhero pictures (minus the original Iron Man), but I have high hopes for any movie with both Garfield and Emma Stone!

Check out one of Andrew Garfield's films:  

Boy A (2007).

Lions for Lambs (2007).
Cast against type, Garfield plays a cocksure frat boy who stopped attending his Poly-Sci class even though his professor is a charismatic, Chambray-sporting Robert Redford. 

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009).
A funny performance as a theater geek named Anton who has a crush on Doctor Parnassus's scrumptious daughter Valentina (Lily Cole). 

Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1974 (2009).
Garfield plays perpetually shirtless ace reporter Eddie Dunford, who attempts to take on the corrupt Yorkshire police and track down a serial killer.

I'm Here (2010). 
This Spike Jonze-directed short film stars Garfield as a robot who listens to Sleigh Bells and falls in love with a lady robot.  So many great things packed into a 30 minute film!

Never Let Me Go (2010).
An English room boarding drama mixed with a sci-fi dystopia.  It didn't quite live up to Ishiguro book or the stellar cast, but I still cried for the last fifteen minutes (and not just because of what they did to his hair!).

The Social Network (2010).
My pick for the best movie of last year.  It's smart, both tense and hilarious, almost as quotable as Anchorman, and has great performances all around.