Movies have been a part of our lives for over a hundred years, and throughout the history of the film industry, there have been numerous ups and downs. But which decade do today’s actors hold in the highest regard? The Los Angeles Times recently gathered a group of accomplished male actors, including this year’s Oscar nominees for Best Actor, to discuss their favorite decade for movies. Surprisingly, many of them agreed on one particular time frame: the 1970s. Mark Ruffalo, Cillian Murphy, Paul Giamatti, and others all expressed their love for the films from this era, citing the wide range of genres and themes that captivated audiences. From horror movies to thought-provoking dramas, the ’70s proved to be a transformative period for these actors, making it a strong contender for the golden age of Hollywood.
Mark Ruffalo’s Favorite Movie Decade
Toss up between the ’50s and the ’70s
When asked about his favorite movie decade, Mark Ruffalo didn’t settle for just one. For him, it was a tough decision between the 1950s and the 1970s. Both of these decades hold a special place in Ruffalo’s heart for various reasons. The 1950s were known for their classic films, including movies like “Singin’ in the Rain” and “On the Waterfront.” These films showcased the talent of iconic actors and directors, and Ruffalo has a deep appreciation for the artistry of that era.
On the other hand, the 1970s brought a new wave of cinema that revolutionized the industry. With movies like “The Godfather” and “Taxi Driver,” this era was filled with gritty and thought-provoking films that pushed the boundaries of storytelling. Ruffalo can’t help but feel drawn to the creativity and boldness that defined the 1970s.
Influence of ’70s films on Ruffalo’s acting career
It’s no surprise that Ruffalo’s love for the 1970s extends beyond being a mere spectator. The films from this era have heavily influenced his acting career. The raw and authentic performances of actors like Robert De Niro and Al Pacino in movies like “Raging Bull” and “Dog Day Afternoon” inspired Ruffalo to strive for the same level of emotional intensity in his own work.
Ruffalo also appreciates the nuanced storytelling of ’70s films, which often tackled social and political issues. These movies pushed boundaries and weren’t afraid to confront uncomfortable topics. This approach to storytelling resonated with Ruffalo, who has been vocal about his own activism and commitment to creating change through his art.
Cillian Murphy Echoes Ruffalo’s Sentiment
Agrees on 1970s as best film decade
Cillian Murphy, known for his roles in movies like “Inception” and the “Dark Knight” trilogy, shares a similar sentiment with Mark Ruffalo. For Murphy, the 1970s stand out as the best film decade in history. When reflecting on his favorite movies, Murphy recalls watching films from the ’70s before he ever wanted to be an actor. These movies had a transformative effect on him, shaping his perception of cinema and fueling his passion for the craft.
Influence of ’70s films on Murphy’s acting career
The influence of ’70s films on Murphy’s acting career is evident in his performances. Just like the actors of that era, Murphy brings an intensity and depth to his roles that captures the audience’s attention. Whether he’s portraying a complex character in “Peaky Blinders” or a troubled soul in “28 Days Later,” Murphy’s performances are often reminiscent of the raw and captivating acting style that defined the ’70s.
Jeffrey Wright’s Preferred Movie Era
Spans between 1965 and 1975
Jeffrey Wright’s preferred movie era encompasses a ten-year span from 1965 to 1975. Like Ruffalo and Murphy, Wright finds himself drawn to the influence and impact of the ’70s. However, his preference extends beyond that single decade and includes the surrounding years as well. Wright believes that during this period, some of the most groundbreaking and influential films were produced.
Reasoning behind Wright’s preference for this period
For Wright, the movies of the mid-1960s to mid-1970s represent a time of significant change and artistic exploration. It was a time when filmmakers pushed the boundaries of storytelling and challenged societal norms through their work. Wright admires the willingness of filmmakers during this era to take risks and delve into uncharted territories, both thematically and stylistically.
Additionally, the films of this period often tackled important social and political issues, reflecting the turbulent times in which they were made. Wright appreciates the power of cinema to shed light on these issues, using storytelling as a means of provoking thought and initiating change. This aligns with Wright’s own commitment to using his platform as an actor to address social issues and create awareness.
Paul Giamatti’s Affection for ’70s Movies
Giamatti’s link with horror movies of the ’70s
Paul Giamatti, a versatile actor known for his roles in films like “Sideways” and “American Splendor,” also expresses his affection for ’70s movies. However, Giamatti takes it a step further by specifically mentioning his fondness for horror movies from that era.
The 1970s were a golden age for horror films, with classics like “The Exorcist” and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” leaving a lasting impact on audiences. Giamatti recognizes the importance of horror movies in the ’70s, as they brought a new level of intensity and psychological depth to the genre. These films pushed boundaries and blurred the lines between reality and nightmare, leaving audiences captivated and terrified.
Exploration of Giamatti’s connection with director Alexander Payne
Giamatti’s affinity for ’70s movies is also reflected in his collaborations with director Alexander Payne. Both Giamatti and Payne have a shared love for the films of that era, and this common passion has influenced their work together.
Payne, known for directing films like “Sideways” and “Nebraska,” has a distinct storytelling style that often pays homage to the golden age of cinema. His attention to character development and the exploration of complex human emotions parallel the qualities that made ’70s movies so impactful.
Giamatti’s collaboration with Payne has allowed him to bring the spirit of ’70s filmmaking into his own performances. He embraces the rawness and authenticity of that era, channeling it into his characters to create deeply compelling and relatable portrayals on screen.
Andrew Scott’s Unique Preference for the ’90s
Scott’s view on Merchant Ivory films
While the majority of actors in the roundtable discussion expressed their admiration for ’70s movies, Andrew Scott stood out with his preference for the 1990s. Scott, known for his role as Moriarty in the BBC series “Sherlock,” reveals that the Merchant Ivory films of the ’90s hold a special place in his heart.
Merchant Ivory Productions, known for their period dramas and literary adaptations, produced a series of critically acclaimed films in the ’90s. Movies like “Howards End” and “The Remains of the Day” showcased remarkable performances from actors like Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson.
Influence of actors Tony Hopkins and Emma Thompson on Scott’s choice
The extraordinary performances by actors like Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson in these films left a lasting impression on Andrew Scott. These actors brought a level of depth and nuance to their characters that resonated with Scott.
Scott sees the Merchant Ivory films as exemplifying the power of great performances and storytelling. He admires the ability of these films to transport audiences to different worlds and evoke a range of emotions. The impact of these films on Scott’s view of cinema is evident in his own performances, where he consistently delivers captivating portrayals infused with emotional depth.
Colman Domingo’s Quick Pick for the ’70s
Fast response for the 1970s
Colman Domingo, known for his roles in films like “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and the TV series “Fear the Walking Dead,” doesn’t hesitate when asked about his favorite movie decade. Domingo’s quick pick is the 1970s, aligning with the majority of the other actors in the discussion.
Influence of ’70s movies on Domingo’s Oscar-nominated role
While Domingo doesn’t delve into the specific reasons behind his preference for ’70s movies, it’s clear that this era has had a significant influence on his acting career. Domingo’s portrayal of civil rights icon Bayard Rustin in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” garnered critical acclaim and earned him an Oscar nomination.
The ’70s were a time of social and political upheaval, and the films of that era often tackled important issues with a raw and honest approach. Domingo’s role in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” allowed him to tap into the spirit of the ’70s, portraying a character who fought for justice and equality in a time of adversity.
Dissection of the 1970s as the ‘Golden Age’ of Hollywood
Comparison with the traditional ‘Golden Age’ (mid-20th century)
The actors’ unanimous preference for the 1970s as the best movie decade raises the question of whether it could be considered the “Golden Age” of Hollywood. Traditionally, the mid-20th century, particularly the 1930s and 1940s, is often referred to as the Golden Age due to the dominance of the studio system and the production of numerous iconic films.
However, many of the actors in the discussion argue that the ’70s surpassed the traditional Golden Age in terms of artistic innovation and the exploration of new cinematic territories. The 1970s saw the rise of independent filmmaking and a more auteur-driven approach to storytelling. Filmmakers had more creative control, resulting in bold and groundbreaking films that challenged the status quo.
The significance of the ’70s in Hollywood history
The 1970s are seen as a turning point in Hollywood history. The films of this era broke free from the constraints of the studio system, allowing for greater artistic freedom. The introduction of new voices and diverse perspectives brought fresh ideas to the screen, leading to an explosion of creativity.
The impact of ’70s cinema can still be felt today, as filmmakers and actors continue to draw inspiration from the innovative storytelling techniques and bold themes that emerged during that time. The influence of the ’70s extends beyond aesthetics, shaping the very foundations of modern cinema and providing a blueprint for future generations of filmmakers.
Cultural and Industry Factors Behind Actors’ Choices
Consideration of cultural moments in the chosen decades
The actors’ choices for their favorite movie decades are not solely based on the quality of the films produced during those periods. Cultural factors also play a significant role in shaping their preferences. Each chosen decade represents a cultural moment that resonates with the actors on a personal level.
For Mark Ruffalo, the 1950s and the 1970s encompass different cultural climates. The 1950s symbolize the height of classic Hollywood cinema, with its glamorous stars and carefully orchestrated musical sequences. On the other hand, the 1970s represent a time of social and political change, where filmmakers sought to challenge norms and reflect the growing unrest of the era.
Evaluation of the movie industry’s evolution during these periods
The actors’ choices also reflect the evolution of the movie industry during the chosen decades. The 1950s represent a time when cinema was transitioning from black and white to color, with technological advancements bringing new possibilities to the screen. This era marked a period of innovation and experimentation in filmmaking techniques.
The 1970s, on the other hand, saw a complete reimagining of the industry. The dominance of the studio system began to wane, making room for independent filmmakers and new voices. The rise of auteur directors like Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola paved the way for a more personal and artistic approach to filmmaking.
The Impact of these Decades on Actors’ Careers
Exploration of actors’ roles influenced by their favorite movie decades
The chosen movie decades have had a profound impact on the careers of the actors involved in the roundtable discussion. The influence of these eras can be seen in their roles and performances, as they draw inspiration from the films that shaped their artistic sensibilities.
For Mark Ruffalo, the influence of ’50s and ’70s movies can be seen in his commitment to storytelling and social activism. Ruffalo strives to embody the authenticity and emotional intensity of the performances that captivated him during those decades.
Cillian Murphy’s performances often reflect the rawness and boldness of ’70s cinema. He brings a unique intensity to his roles, capturing the spirit of that era that transformed him as a young moviegoer.
The role of nostalgia in actors’ preferences
Nostalgia also plays a significant role in the actors’ preferences for specific movie decades. The films they watched during their formative years left a lasting impression on them, acting as a source of inspiration and shaping their artistic aspirations.
The actors’ attachment to these decades goes beyond their professional lives. They have a personal connection to the films and the cultural moments they represent. The movies remind them of their own experiences and evoke a sense of nostalgia, which further strengthens their affinity for those particular eras.
Current Hollywood Stars’ Perception of ‘Golden Era’
Reflection on Hollywood’s so-called ‘Golden Age’
The actors’ preferences for movie decades raise questions about the perceived “Golden Age” of Hollywood. While the traditional Golden Age of the mid-20th century is often revered, the actors’ choices challenge this notion. They argue that other periods in film history, particularly the 1970s, deserve recognition as a true golden era.
The actors’ reflections on the ’70s as the actual golden age of Hollywood stem from their admiration for the innovation and creativity that defined that period. They see the filmmakers of the ’70s as trailblazers who pushed the boundaries of storytelling and achieved artistic excellence.
Comparison between current state of Hollywood versus actors’ preferred era
The actors’ preferences for their favorite movie decades also highlight their assessment of the current state of Hollywood. While they acknowledge the advancements in technology and the opportunities for diversity and inclusion, the actors feel that something has been lost along the way.
They believe that the spirit and audacity of their preferred movie decades are lacking in the current landscape of Hollywood. The focus on franchises, sequels, and commercial success has led to a lack of risk-taking and a preference for formulaic storytelling. The actors long for the artistic freedom and groundbreaking narratives that defined their favorite eras.
In conclusion, the actors’ preferences for their favorite movie decades provide insight into their love for cinema and the influence that different periods in film history have had on their careers. Whether it’s the ’70s, the ’50s, or even the ’90s, each chosen decade represents a cultural and artistic moment that resonates with the actors on a personal and professional level. As the film industry continues to evolve, the impact of these eras will continue to shape the future of cinema.