Albert Finney, one of England’s “angry young men” of the post-war theatrical community, who had a career in which he played all the classic roles on-stage as well as a diverse roster of onscreen roles (Tom Jones, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, The Dresser, Under The Volcano, Murder on the Orient Express), has passed away after a battle with cancer. He was 82.
- KC's View:
Always a huge Albert Finney fan - he could find moments of magic in roles large and small. Think of his terrific performance in Erin Brockovich - especially his final scene of the movie, which makes me smile just thinking about it. Or his extended cameo as James Bond’s surrogate father in Skyfall, in which he is alternately nurturing and deadly. (I can clearly hear his voice saying, “Welcome to Scotland,” after dispatching a bad guy.)
For me, one of Finney’s best roles was in a film that was not particularly successful when it came out in in 1982 - Shoot The Moon, written by Bo Goldman and directed by Alan Parker. Finney and Diane Keaton played a married couple whose separation has a devastating impact on their family; the story and the performances seem completely without artifice, with nerve endings raw and exposed.
I was just 28 when Shoot The Moon came out, and I remember admiring it enormously. I screened it again over the weekend - it’s probably more than 30 years since I last saw it - and found it even more so, perhaps because my current age and past experiences made the drama and emotions - especially the stripped-down, close-to-the-bone emotional and almost entirely self-imposed agony of Finney’s character - seem even more raw and even recognizable (though, thankfully, far from my own experience).