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The Kevin Spacey Bio

The Kevin Spacey Review –

by Nate Lee

Best Film:

The Usual Suspects

Kevin Spacey is usually the central force in his movies, so you can't ignore even the smaller films, such as his debut "Swimming with Sharks" or his duking it out with no less than a half-dozen heavyweights in Mamet's "Glengarry Glen Ross." The best film he's in is "L.A. Confidential," but it is one of the few where he isn't integral to either its plot or its success – go figure! The "Suspects" is pulled together by his strange narration, and he is so good that you may have a hard time convincing some viewers of the truth behind the surprise ending.
Great Performances You May Not Have Seen:
Beyond the Sea (Golden Globe-nominated performance as Bobby Darin)
The Shipping News (Golden Globe-nominated performance as a reporter trying to find himself in Newfoundland)
K-Pax (a guy who convinces others he's from another planet)
Glengarry Glen Ross (the manipulative, mean boss in a real-estate office)
The Men who Stare at Goats (manipulative, mean boss in the Army)
The Big Kahuna (manipulative, mean salesman, opposite Danny DeVito)
Swimming with Sharks (manipulative, mean Hollywood producer)
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (Southern gentleman and murder suspect)
A Time to Kill (an ambitious D.A. in a controversial case)
Looking for Richard (Buckingham, in Al Pacino's look at Richard III)
Henry and June
American Beauty (Golden Globe-nominated and SAG and Oscar-winning performance as the husband of Annette Bening past the verge of a breakdown)
The Usual Suspects (Oscar-winning, Golden Globe and SAG-nominated performance as 'Verbal' Kint, the least suspicious of all the suspects)
L.A. Confidential (SAG-nominated performance as Jack Vincennes, a flashy detective)
Superman Returns (Lex Luthor)
21 (manipulative, mean professor and expert at blackjack)
The Negotiator (police negotiator, opposite Samuel L. Jackson)
Pay it Forward (inspiring teacher of Haley Joel Osment)
Se7en (John Doe)
The Real Kevin Spacey:
Officially, Kevin Spacey makes such a big deal about his private life that there is still speculation even about his sexual preferences. He does use Jack Lemmon as a role model, so that should tell you a lot: mostly that he's generous in helping other actors, and isn't the asshole that he so frequently and excellently portrays. Now the artistic director of London's prestigious Old Vic theatre, maybe that puts him closest to the inspiring teacher in "Pay it Forward."
Acting Style:
The manipulator. In countless roles, Spacey plays a guy who uses the distance he puts between himself and the other characters as a way of controlling them. Even when he's not the bad guy, his superb disenfranchisement makes him the go-to guy for someone who can convince you he's from another planet, or a psycho killer, or a teacher hiding out in a small town, or a terrorist pretending to be "a gimp." Ironically, "The Negotiator" is one of the few major films where he is actually a good guy, even though he is a professional manipulator in that.
Bits and Quirks:
A first-class impersonator, Spacey leads with his voice. Like the British actor that he now is, he lets his pipes do a lot of the work. That includes lots of speeches, fast talk, the special Spacey monotone, of course with the accompanying stare, and the really, really angry controlled shout. Excellent eye-roller and look-away-er. Great sinister smile, but even better at arrogant, smirking smile.
Great Scenes:
American Beauty

> Catching his wife making out while he's working at the window of a fast-food restaurant
> The dinner table and the asparagus
> His exit interview at the company
> The opening monologue
> The closing monologue, with the flying plastic bag
> The rose-petal fantasies
> The actual seduction, with Mena Suvari

Beyond The Sea

> Montage of his singing to Sandra Dee


> The sessions with psychiatrist Jeff Bridges
> Eating the banana whole

Pay It Forward

> The challenge in the classroom to make a difference, and the scene where Haley Joel Osment performs the assignment

The Negotiator

> The final scene in the house, getting the bad guy to confess

L.A. Confidential

> With Guy Pearce and his hilarious faux pas


> The poker game and the chase through the casino and the double-cross at the end
> The classroom scenes
> Listening to Jim Sturgess's proposal at the faculty party

The Usual Suspects

> The final reveal
> The "who's Kaiser Soze" scene with Pete Postlethwaite


> The trip in the police car with Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman
> Manipulating Brad Pitt while kneeling in the desert (Detective Somerset to his comrades: "John Doe has the upper hand.")
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