Since his performance in small groups in Inside Llewyn Davis, Oscar Isaac has been a compelling force in dramatic films. He can make men even without scruples (like William Tell in The card counter, or Abel Morales in One of the most violent years) seem almost righteous despite their bloody and sordid ways. But with the release of Dune (2021), Isaac took a step back from making evil men the heroes of their own stories and channeled his inherent gift for complexity into the selfless character of Duke Leto Atreides, a lord who must trust fate – and instinctively – to save his family.
When Isaac plays a hero, there’s a shadow in their inner light that makes him infinitely more accessible to viewers, and he’s often not portrayed as a perfect protagonist. From X-wing pilot Poe Dameron in Star Wars: The Force Awakens to medical student Mikael Boghosian in The promise, there’s always something a little rough around the edges of even its most valiant characters, but that’s what makes them so likable.
ten Poe Dameron – Star Wars: The Force Awakens
With his square jaw and ready smile, Poe Dameron, gallant Resistance flyboy in Disney’s Sequel trilogy, quickly established himself as a Star wars hero for a new generation by borrowing a certain brand of style from the previous one. Dameron is a bad boy like Han Solo, after all, so a bit of sarcasm and a smirk accompany his exceptional piloting skills.
He confronts the First Order with a swagger and brash that sometimes causes him to clash with General Leia Organa, but it’s obvious that she’s still a role model for the X-wing pilot, and when Force Push comes pushing him. He is everything when it comes to risking his life for the Resistance, the Republic and his friends, Finn and Rey.
9 José Ramos-Horta – Balibo
For Balibo, The first feature film shot in East Timor recounting the events just before his invasion of Indonesia in 1975, Isaac played José Ramos-Horta as a child, before his political rise and his election as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prime Minister and finally President. The war film focuses on the famous Balibo Five, journalists who were killed while covering the Indonesian occupation, and the legacy of those who hoped to spread their message afterwards.
Isaac’s moving and fair performance reveals to viewers why the real Ramos-Horta would one day not only achieve the highest levels of office in East Timor, but also why he would win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996.
8 Llewyn Davis – Inside Llewyn Davis
In the incredible musical film of the Coen brothers, Inside Llewyn Davis, Isaac plays the struggling titular musician, who spent a week in Greenwich Village in 1961 in search of a moment of return. As he tries to recapture the magic without the help of his former musical partner, he takes viewers on the emotional journey of a man still, but desperate to follow, a world that continues to spin beyond him.
Llewyn Davis is a human hero (not without his quirks) that fans are ready to support as he navigates the changing landscape of New York City. It helps that Isaac is as effective as a musician as he is as an actor, and his performance is a perfect marriage of low-key staging and theatricality, indicating his range as an aspiring artist in his role as an actor. ‘evasion.
7 Duc Leto Atreides – Dune
In the highly anticipated Denis Villeneuve Dune (2021) Based on Frank Herbert’s sci-fi literary opus of the same name, Isaac plays Duke Leto Atreides, the father of Paul Atreides, who must weigh his son’s prophetic purpose against the burden of inheritance, and let fate decide the fate of their people on the inhospitable world of Arrakis.
Isaac doesn’t wisely do another Robert Plant and Richard Nixon’s take on royal grace as he so memorably provided for the role of King John in Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood. His Leto Atreides is nothing but a noble fight and a majestic sacrifice. For a relatively small role in a sprawling cast, Isaac brings out the Duke in a big way.
6 Mikael Boghosian – The Promise
Looking at Isaac’s best roles, almost all of them are morally gray outcasts, but in The promise, he embodies one of the most fundamentally altruistic characters of his career. As Mikael Boghosian, the young owner of an apothecary who is fortunate enough to study medicine in Constantinople, he meets an enchanting dance teacher traveling with an American journalist and draws him into a passionate romance.
If anyone could accurately convey the depth of emotion needed to convincingly portray a medical student struggling to maintain a love affair amid the Armenian Genocide and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, that is fine. Isaac, who makes the quiet nobility of the young healer the foundation of an unlikely Byronic hero.
5 Peter Malkin – Final Operation
A sin Balibo, Isaac again embodies a true historical figure in Final Operation, this time playing the famous Mossad agent Peter Malkin. Malkin, tasked with tracking down the Nazi officer who oversaw the logistics of the transport responsible for getting millions of Jews to concentration camps during WWII, must also find a way to extradite him to a country where he can. to be judged.
Isaac does a commendable job playing a man totally determined to bring out the many different faces responsible for orchestrating the Holocaust by exposing a war criminal who may not be known to the public but who deserves nothing. less than to be crucified by him.
4 Bud Cooper – Suburbs
Isaac may have less than 20 minutes of screen time in the Coen Brothers’ black comedy, Suburb, but he makes the most of it as Bud Cooper, an insurance investigator who is wary of the impeccable image of the Lodges, a suburban family whose members insist they are victims of an invasion of residence.
As Cooper, Isaac is the kind of quick, down-to-earth character who could have been a private investigator in a film noir. In other words, he is the perfect man on the fringes of the curtain of society, appointed to peel off the varnish of gentleness and reveal his underside of deception, greed and racism. It’s clear that Isaac enjoys every moment of grilling the Lodges, and fans love to watch him do it.
3 Will Dempsey – Life Itself
Isaac is not known to have done a lot of romantic comedies, with Life itself as close as possible. He plays Will, who married his college girlfriend and is now expecting his first baby. Their lives are linked to a very different group of people living in Seville, Spain, and are irrevocably changing forever.
The narrative style of Life itself changes like The Hazards of Existence, a labyrinthine series of unexpected twists and turns that allowed Isaac to play with a character who normally should have been one-dimensional, but failed to win over critics. To say much more is to unveil the complicated plot and spoil why her performance is so multi-layered, but rest assured, if viewed with an open mind, she may well restore faith in humanity.
2 Gomez Addams – The Addams Family
The Addams Family, the most recent film adaptation of the classic comic book created by Charles Addams, puts an animated twist on the gruesome misadventures of Gomez, Morticia, Uncle Fester, Grandmama, Wednesday, Pugsley, Lurch, and of course, Thing, as they try to adapt to life in a quaint little town far from the Old Country.
Lending his vocal talents to the role of Gomez, Isaac goes to his inner Casanova, making Gomez a somewhat unhappy and madly loving patriarch who looks more like the illustration created by Charles Addams in the 1930s. maybe not in a position to decide if he is from a Latin or Slavic country, but he is all the more kind.
1 Miguel O’Hara / Spider-Man 2099 – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Although he only appeared in a cameo at the end of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, fans couldn’t have been happier to see the sudden figure of Miguel O’Hara aka Spider-Man 2099, the web’s half-Irish, half-Mexican hero who has been a favorite since the ’90s.
Isaac’s O’Hara managed to sell the humor from performing to the lab with Lyla by essentially playing a well-known meme, not to mention the credibility of the burgeoning Spidey family brought in by the concept of the multiverse. No doubt it is not the last fans who see it!
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