24 thoughts on “MCM: Tom Wilkinson

  1. He’s excellent in everything! I love him in Shakespeare in Love the best, though, as he gets to be funny. And he’s marvelous as an earthy Ben Franklin.
    But can we just focus for a minute in Judi Dench’s GLORIOUS hat, coat, and furs in that screencap from The Importance of Being Ernest? squeeee

    1. He was absolutely marvellous in SiL! Every line and every expression is memorably cherishable.

      1. Shakespeare in Love is brilliant. It got a lot of backlash for winning the Best Picture Oscar over Saving Private Ryan, but it really has held up. I saw it again a couple of years ago on the big screen and it really is wonderful, the script is amazing.

  2. If I had to choose a favourite or favourites, it would be Belle, John Adam’s and Shakespeare in Love. Closely followed by Wilde and the Importance of Being Earnest.

  3. His Pecksniff (Martin Chuzzlewit) was the first thing I ever saw him in, and he’s outrageous and perfect. The late 1830s/early 1840s costumes are lovely, too: frothy caps, cotton calicos, and big collars for the ladies, and lovely waistcoats and cravats on the gents.
    But Shakespeare in Love is hard to beat–so let’s call it a tie.

  4. Not a frock flick but to me he’ll always be Gerald in The Full Monty. I’ve seen so many of these movies but I never realised he was in them!

    1. The man is a bloody chameleon. Again, not a frock flick, but “In the Bedroom” (2001) is full of stellar performances, and Wilkinson’s is one. (Not a cheery film, though; good for a bleak January afternoon.)

  5. I am enjoying him in Belgravia, though somehow, halfway through, it is disappointing me in a way I can’t explain yet. I know the story from the book. I think the horribleness of Oliver and those leeches after the Earl’s money are just turning me off so much…am rooting for the worst to happen to that despicable vicar. Anyway…I love TW in many of the above roles, but always prefer the 18/19th century roles.

  6. His Franklin’s a stitch. And that scene is “Adams and Franklin drum up support for the American Revolution at a party. John is less enthused than Franklin, especially when the sing-along starts.” (Once the FRENCH Revolution gets going, it’s Jefferson v Adams and a lot of the French at this party probably wound up short a head or running for their lives. Adams also was not a fan of that.)

  7. He is one of my favourite actors and his performance certainly was one of the best aspects of “Mel Gibson – The Patriot”.
    I could not tell which role of him I prefer. He is just such a great actor and even in a very small role like in “Sense and Sensibility” he can have a very impressive way to do his job.

    He would have been somebody perfectly for the role of Mr. Bennet. Unfortunately he is too old now.
    Besides I would be exited to see a post about Benjamin Withrow.

  8. Tom Wilkinson is a delight to watch! My favorites of his roles are in Shakespeare in Love, The Importance of Being Earnest and John Adams.

    I just finished Belgravia and he was great in it!

    Belle has been on my list forever, I’ll have to watch it one of these days.

    1. I quite liked it. They definitely gave it a bit of a fairytale gloss here and there (she married someone of a lower rank after her guardian’s death), but otherwise I think it does a pretty good job capturing the peculiar and challenging position she must’ve been in as a woman of color being raised by white family members with significant social status and wealth.

  9. A number of these I didn’t realize he was in! He really is an exceptional actor. I had no idea he was in John Adams… it’s been a while but still. I think probably Belle is my favorite of the ones I’ve seen and remember well.

    In Little Boy he’s a pre-Vatican II priest so… somewhat more interesting than the average black suit/white collar thing today, with cassocks and more hats, but not that much. It’s a fairly sentimental and not especially subtle film, and if you look too hard at the plot it doesn’t make tons of sense, but it’s one of the only films I’ve seen geared at general faith-based audiences to make racism’s wrongness a central theme, so it’s kind of interesting from that perspective.

  10. I really liked The Governess, not sure why, it was quite strange

  11. The Ghost and the Darkness. I have happy memories of watching it with Dad.

  12. I have a suggestion for a text, a film with a historically accurate figurine for every decade of the 19th century or the beginning of the 20th century

  13. My favorite of his costume roles is his character from Shakespeare in Love. His character in Belle got on my nerves because I felt he was being naive about Belle’s situation. Re: Royal Deceit–Christian Bale looks like he’s wearing a grey sweat shirt from Wal-Mart and like he just got home from track practice. I’m not saying that he looks bad, but…he definitely doesn’t look like the 1300s. As has been said here numerous times, Tom Wilkinson is good in every role!

    Question re Girl with a Pearl Earring: You mentioned that Vermeer’s costume was too “toned down.” Wasn’t Vermeer cash poor his whole adult life? Is Colin Firth’s costume too toned down even for a poor person?

  14. My favorites are Shakespeare in Love, Belle, and The Importance of Being Earnest — that cast is amazing! I still haven’t watched John Adams but I guess I have plenty of time now. Still haven’t watched Belgravia. I read the book and was underwhelmed, but maybe it’s worth watching for the costumes if nothing else.

    And he was so good in The Full Monty!

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