It’s a sad day for film because this morning it was announced that character actor Pete Postlethwaite passed away yesterday at the age of 64 from cancer. I’ve always admired his work, and in fact just referenced him in yesterday’s post about ‘The Town’. (An eerie coincidence!) As usual he was one of the best things about that film, despite having one of the smallest roles in a movie with a lot of heavy hitters like Ben Affleck, Jon Hamm, Chris Cooper, and Jeremy Renner. He probably had less than ten minutes of screen time as ‘The Florist’, a role that could easily have been a throwaway, but he made it one of the most interesting in the film. And that was what he consistently did in many memorable movies.
Postlethwaite had a big year in 2010, appearing in three blockbuster films: ‘The Town’, ‘Inception’, and ‘Clash of the Titans’. But he is probably best known for ‘The Usual Suspects’ and ‘In the Name of the Father’, for which he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor (and deservedly so). And, reportedly, Steven Spielberg, who directed him in ‘The Lost World: Jurassic Park’ and ‘Amistad’, referred to him as ‘The best actor in the world’. He will be missed.
Below are five films in which I particularly enjoyed his work. He will always be Kobayashi to me, and if you don’t get that reference then run, don’t walk, to the video store and pick up a copy of ‘The Usual Suspects’. Stat!
The Usual Suspects (1995)
In the Name of the Father (1993)
The Town (2010)
Brassed Off (1996)
The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)