16 thoughts on “MCM: Mark Rylance

  1. Although I view Cromwell as being Anti Anne Boleyn and amoral, Wolf Hall book book and series made him a plausible hero and gave valid reasons for his actions. This is my favourite of his movies and I’m going to have to view his RSC televised roles.
    The costumes and his being in Anonymous were a high point of a film that trots out the Oxford being Shakespeare tripe. As if a person of the middle class has no creativity. What about Tallis and Dowland?

  2. He also did an amazing job in Bridge of Spies, set in the late 50s and early 60s. I liked the film but I don’t think it’s a must see—except for the scenes between Rylance, playing captured Soviet spy Rudolf Abel, and Tom Hanks as James Donovan, his defense attorney. Donovan is the main character, and a tough one for plotting because he pretty much remains the same principled man throughout. But Abel couldn’t have known that, and so their scenes together are really compelling. If you want a taste without having to sit through, search “Bridge of Spies standing man” to watch the best scene (one that I think pretty much every reviewer had in mind when praising his performance).

  3. I thought “Dunkirk” was very interesting and not at all ponderous, thanks to its narrative structure and performances. I noticed that you didn’t include his Oscar winning role in “Bridge of Spies”, which is a period drama. My favorite Rylance role is William Adamson in “Angels & Insects”.

    1. I second your “Angels” emotion. M.R. was so fine in that. I thought him physically miscast as Cromwell (DON”T HIT ME!); he would have made a perfect Thomas More. (Lesser–almost wrote “Lesser’s More””–was just too creepy. I couldn’t believe that Henry Tudor would’ve let him near the court.)

  4. I love him to pieces in Wolf Hall. He made such a relatable Cromwell that I wanted to give the person I now think of a historical villain fondly. And that softly miserable face he shows throughout (and in the image you chose) makes me want to give him a hug!

    1. Eek, no. I adored Mantel’s Cromwell, but even her Cromwell is not huggable. He’s charming and relatable and scary as hell, which Cromwell supposedly was. Maybe all that would have been too off-putting on screen. I can’t wait for “The Mirror and the Light,” the last of the trilogy (supposedly coming out next March).

  5. Twelfth Night is freakin’ brilliant. (Also, gotta love a production that credits all the authenticity geeks, right down to the people who made their authentic loop-manipulated braids.) Now that I know he’s in them, I’ll be looking out for some of those Tudor dramas. I usually don’t watch Tudor dramas because I know something about the history, but for these I’ll make an exception.

  6. Oh boy–commenting for the first time, because we need happy stories right now. I love him because of his off-screen morals as well. I understand that when his wife died, he stepped up and became a proper dad to his stepdaughter. It’s that sort of love that will make me forever admire the man.

    1. He did have two stepdaughters, but tragically, one of them died at a very young age. His wife is still alive. Regardless, very sad, and he seems like a lovely husband and father in the interviews I’ve seen.

  7. He’s the type of actor who, regardless of the part he plays, makes it feel like the most important and unusual character in the script. I was privileged to see his Cleopatra at The Globe. He can play women as well as men truthfully, without making it seem like a parody. In real life, he’s a profoundly odd and eccentric man (his beliefs about Shakespeare’s authorship of the plays are pretty out there), but that’s what makes him such an exciting actor.

  8. I loved him in Wolf Hall, and Bridge, and now I MUST see him in Angels and Insects. But I just discovered it’s unavailable on Netflix. Oye, what’s a girl to do?

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