If you have had enough of superhero films, or just want to steer clear of the charmless ‘Batman vs. Superman’, then I urge you to go and watch 10 Cloverfield Lane, a film J.J. Abrams has described as a ‘blood relative’ to his 2008, found footage based Cloverfield. It follows three individuals secreted away in an underground bunker whilst some sort of attack has taken place above ground. It is claustrophobic, suspenseful and beautifully acted by all those involved. Despite the fact that Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays Michelle perfectly fuelled with suspicion and fear it is John Goodman’s Howard who remains the most memorable character as the final credits roll.
This is not a 10 Cloverfield Lane review, although it is great and I would advise that, if given the chance, you watch it. This is simply an ode to John Goodman, a love letter to perhaps the finest character actor working. A man who is sometimes known as ‘that guy from that thing’ purely because of his memorable work in so many films. Whether he is Walter telling Donny to “Shut the f*** up.” or the murderous Charlie in Barton Fink, Goodman has a tendency to take a supporting role and making it unforgettable. It is testament to his skills that the Coen brothers give him such roles, these parts might not drive the plot but let’s be honest, these films would not be as treasured without him working his magic. We can only imagine how many casting directors sit around in meetings exclaiming “John Goodman would be perfect for this.” And as film watchers we suffer every time those casting agents do not get their way, I mean he even made Blues Brothers 2000 watchable.John-Goodman_2614243k
What is curious though, is the lack of leading roles Goodman has to his credits. The Monsters Inc. films are perhaps his biggest parts in terms of screen time(we don’t talk about The Flintstones…)I just can’t fathom why directors and writers alike are not rushing to work with Goodman in a leading part. He can be funny and he can certainly deliver anger and fear like few others can. I know a lot of big names read Inter:mission, so please Hollywood big shots take some of the many millions you are going to get from Zack Snyder’s latest offering and let John Goodman show everyone how great he is (there’s a hash tag in there somewhere, ‘#Goodmanforthejob’ maybe?). And Mr. Goodman, John if I may be so bold, I just wanted to say thank you, and to keep turning in those truly masterful performances.
Nick Herbert, Film Columnist.