The time has come to close the book on the Christopher Plummer Movie Blogathon. This has been a really fun experience for me, both in reviewing Plummer’s amazing films and versatile performances, but also, and more importantly I think, in getting to know some of the bloggers who chose to participate.
In retrospect, personally I could not have scheduled the blogathon at a worse time. I am going through a series of personal transitions now (job, career, moving, etc.) and I just didn’t have all the time I wanted to craft my own take on the Plummer phenomenon–I did not, for instance, have time to re-watch and analyze The Last Station, as I hoped to. But where I’ve fallen down on the job, some great bloggers have stepped up. Here’s what came over the transom in the final days of the blogathon.
First, MovieRob, who just went hog-wild on this blogathon, took a look at what may wind up being Plummer’s most iconic role of his career, after The Sound of Music–that being the gay grandfather, coming out late in life, in Beginners, for which Plummer won an Academy Award. Here is an excerpt from Rob’s analysis.
The concept here is quite interesting and once one realizes that most of this story is based on truth, it’s even more interesting to watch.
The idea of making a new beginning at a later point in life is a very interesting one and they do a great job of showing how such decisions not only affect the person who makes the changes but his immediately family member…
Plummer deservingly won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for this role.
Finally, Bernardo Villela brings us full circle and gives some terrific closure to this blogathon with his incredibly thoughtful take on Plummer’s performance in 2015’s Remember. I say full circle, because the blogathon began, as you recall, with The Sound of Music. Remember is a haunting bookend, as Bernardo points out:
Even when you’re as legendary and accomplished an actor as Christopher Plummer is there are certain themes you may be loath to revisit if it mirrors a bit too closely to one of your more famous roles. In Remember Christopher Plummer plays Zev Guttman, a Holocaust survivor living in a nursing home whom has just lost his wife and is dealing with dementia. Now entering a new stage of his life he can embark on his mission to avenge the death of his family at Auschwitz.
When the material is good enough and you feel it has something to say, the director you’ll be working with is acclaimed (as Atom Egoyan is), you will gladly participate in a film that may appear to share superficial themes (Nazism and World War II) to a film in your past you can’t seem to outrun (The Sound of Music). Furthermore, when you have over 200 credits to your name, and are in your late eighties (an age bracket that may as well not exist as a consideration in mainstream films) you may not be too picky. However, as some of Plummer’s more recent films like Beginners show he’s not just agreeing to a project because he read a script as some actors over a certain age may appear to.
What is the most notable in this film is that Plummer is not merely the elder statesman in an otherwise youthful cast. Quite on the contrary Remember features impressive performances from fellow octogenarian Martin Landau and septuagenarian Bruno Ganz, and features but a brief supporting turn by the prodigious and prolific young actor Peter Dacunha. Not only are the older actors great but they feature prominently in the film. However, the film as opposed to the pre-packaged film for the older set it is one about characters and plot considerations that are specific, and can communicate to audiences of all ages due to the use of expertly employed suspenseful set pieces.
So, I didn’t get to do The Last Station as I had hoped, and this recap is already a day late–sorry about that. But the Christopher Plummer Blogathon has been a lot of fun, for me as well as, I hope, for all of you who’ve been reading and following along. Maybe check out and follow some of the blogs that have appeared this week. Their authors work hard on them and have a lot to say. And, when things settle down for me, I will definitely be doing another blogathon!