/Blog-A-Thon: Small Roles – Big Performances

Blog-A-Thon: Small Roles – Big Performances

Ruth over at Flixchatter has a new Blog-a-thon doing the rounds – Small Roles, Big Performances, designed to highlight terrific acting performances in relatively minor roles. Often, a great film comes from a secondary role, and today I thought I’d hilight one that comes almost immediately to mind.

 Here’s the brief from Ruth:

Shine a spotlight on the ‘unsung heroes’ if you will, the overlooked performers who add so much richness & entertainment value to the film no matter how brief their appearance is, but yet they don’t get the credit they so deserve.

Jack Black as Barry in High Fidelity

Jack Black’s name is now almost synonomous with modern Hollywood comedy, thanks largely to films such as School Of Rock, Tropic Thunder and Shallow Hal, while voice work in Kung Fu Panda, straight romantic interest in The Holiday, and leading man status in King Kong (2005) have all boosted his status as one of the genuine name-above-title draws in the industry.

However, his breakout role came in 2000’s High Fidelity, where he starred alongside John Cusack and Todd Luioso as record-store employees who constantly bickered about their favorite musical influences.

Jack Black (Left) with Todd Luioso, John Cusack and Lisa Bonnet in High Fidelity

It’s fair to say that while Cusack and romantic female lead Iben Hjejle had the lion’s share of the film, Black and Louiso’s verbal banter through which they disseminated opinion on everything from music to love advice is easily the key comedic arc in the film – Louiso’s character, Dick, is withdrawn and seemingly insecure, while Black’s character, Barry, is the polar opposite – brash, abrasive, rude and arrogant. Together, they form a duo of antagonism towards Cusacks Rob Gordon, which is both blisteringly funny and at times, heartfelt and lovely.

Okay, your top 5 songs for sitting on a desk gabbing about your top five songs! Go!

 The breakout performance in High Fidelity, though, is definitely Jack Black. His scattergun approach to the role, wild eyed and loud, is screamingly funny, with the perfect denomount for his character coming at the very end of the film, as Barry does something completely unexpected to both the viewer and his fellow characters.

If there’s a single secondary role in a film that I think stands the scrutiny of this Blog-a-thon, it’s Jack Black’s appearance and breakout performance in High Fidelity.

 

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Normally detesting these kinds of bios, Rodney's keen love of film more often outclasses his ability to write convincingly about them. Never blessed with a body worthy of a porn star, nor being the heir to a wealthy industrialists fortune, nor suffering the tragedy of having his parents murdered outside a Gotham theater, Rodney is, contrary to popular opinion, neither Ron Jeremy, JD Rockefeller, or Batman. As a serious appreciator of film since 1996, Rodney's love affair with the medium has continued with his online blog, Fernby Films, a facility allowing him to communicate with fellow cineasts in their mutual love of all things movie.