Stepping out of the shadow of a brother like Ben Affleck wasn’t easy. Good looks, relationships are always on the front pages, many successes (but also a few failures) have never attracted attention to the eldest of the Affleck brothers. However, even the smaller of the two, Casey Affleck, was able to imprint his name in several excellent films. And to talk about it.
Even the “kid” of the Affleck house never needed anything. Between lawsuits, reports, and erratic successes, Casey also made headlines. However, perhaps somewhat surreptitiously, he managed to sew on himself the label of a good actor through risky choice and superior performancewhich also led him to win an Oscar in 2017. But we’ll talk about it.
Therefore, today, on the occasion of his birthday, we decided to highlight his career, ranking what for us is his top ten tests. We have excluded some famous titles (American Piein which Affleck has only a small role) and a crazy experiment Joaquin Phoenix – I’m here!, which by itself would take up an article and is too specific a piece of cinema to be labeled. And the rest is almost everything. Let’s start.
10th place – Will Hunting – genius rebel
Note: tenth position Will Hunting This is not a value judgment about the film. By no means. But in a film dominated by the roles of Matt Damon, Robin Williams and, by the way, Ben Affleck, a very young Casey still carved out an important role for himself. Character Morgan O’Malley, the protagonist’s drinking buddy who drinks and punches, while serving as a side dish, helps to create the atmosphere in which Will lives. In addition to allowing the young Casey to launch his career and strengthen his partnership with Gus Van Sant (who, unsurprisingly, we will meet twice more in this ranking).
9th place – series Ocean
From one cult to another. In the Steven Soderbergh trilogy, released between 2001 and 2007 (about which a new film is about to be released, our article is here), Casey Affleck plays a young thief. Virgil Malloy, involved in the robberies of Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt). Together with his brother on the screen Scott Caan, automotive expert, plays an important role throughout history. With acting always oscillating between action and comedy, Affleck Jr. juggles well, proving his talent and, above all, one of the dominant traits of his entire career: versatility.
8th – To Die For, Casey Affleck debut
Casey Affleck’s big screen debut is also the first of three collaborations with Gus Van Sant. Between thriller and comedy, drama and crime, To death it is a varied and intriguing film, far more up-to-date in theme and production than its release date (1995) suggests. In this opera, Casey directs one of the killers the husband of the protagonist, played by the diabolical Nicole Kidman, who manages to convey the madness, as well as the naivety of the heroine, doubly deceived and eventually imprisoned. An interesting debut, for sure.
7th place – Interstellar
Sometimes we forget about it, overshadowing the memorable performances of Matthew McConaughey and Jessica Chastain, but, in Interstellar, Casey Affleck plays an important role. The counteraltar of logic and genius Murph, Affleck actually plays the main character’s other son, Volume. Still connected to his father in space, but at the same time shaken by family drama and the collapse of the Earth’s ecosystem, Tom has no intention of leaving his home, even if it means danger to his family. The stubbornness is effectively staged by the rarely seen so cruel Casey Affleck.
6th place – Jerry
Third (and last) collaboration with Gus Van Sant and a new collaboration with Matt Damon, Jerry a remarkable confrontation between Casey Affleck and Damon, practically the only actors on stage for the entire 103 minutes of the film. In this work, between hallucinations and survival adventures, the two protagonists, both named Jerry, get lost during a field trip and thus wander through the desert for days on end. Before the hopes of these two fade away, and with them, humanity, leaving room for individualism and cruelty.
5th place – Gone Baby Gone, Casey Affleck, finally the main character
Ben Affleck’s first directing film is also one of the first Casey Affleck films to star. gone baby gone is a real exploration of the darkest corners of Boston, in which a young man from the house of Affleck plays an honest private detective, Patrick KenzieThe case of the kidnapping of a little girl. Between police betrayals, gunfights, drug dealing and lawlessness, Kensi performs an almost Virgilian function, guiding viewers through a storytelling maze of increasingly vague and mixed notions of justice and guilt. And with a choice, even seemingly perfect, which turns out to be wrong.
4th place – Ghost story.
ghost story this is a specific job. Directed by David Lowry (watch this name, from the perspective of the future, but also from the perspective of the present) delivers a subtle and sad story with an accurate vision of the evolution of the world and a very strong imagination. And that’s where Casey Affleck’s ability to choose ambitious and risky projects she showed herself to the fullest. His character, the musician, dies and turns into a ghost, a little drawing ghost: a sheet with two holes for eyes, expressive, though not speaking. An intelligent and participating observer, albeit an invisible one, of the changes and life of a home, place. And Casey Affleck demonstrates this perfectly.
3rd – “The Fire of Retribution” – “From the Furnace”
Brotherhood and the union between brothers is a recurring theme in many films starring Casey Affleck. It’s hard to tell if it’s a coincidence or a special obsession, but it’s a fact. AND fire of vengeance perfectly continues this trend. In this play by Scott Cooper, Affleck plays the younger brother of the protagonist (played by Christian Bale): Rodney. Suffering from post-traumatic stress, addicted to gambling and involved in a shadow ring of underground fights, Rodney is superbly directed by Casey Affleck, able to alternate between different registers and fully convey the depth of character.
2nd – Assassination of Jesse James at the hands of the coward Robert Ford.
And so we come to the first of two roles that earned Affleck an Oscar nomination. Casey Affleck plays a notorious criminal in the film Robert Ford. The one who killed, in fact, famous Jesse James, mentor and idol of Ford himself. The actor perfectly conveys the complexes and doubts of his character, who is subject to the charm of James, but at the same time worried about his distrust of him. And, finally, they are tempted by the law when they propose to repeal it. A complex and multifaceted role, rightfully noted by critics. But this did not allow him to get the most coveted statuette. This was taken care of by the film that took first place in our ranking.
1st place – “Manchester by the Sea”: “And the Oscar goes to Casey Affleck”
Here we are at the peak of our rankings and, above all, of Casey Affleck’s career. IN Manchester by the sea, the actor plays Lee Chandler, a sad and lonely man with a ruined life and a broken heart. Desperate, hopeless and ready to be alone, the character is called back to his hometown. Where he has to go reluctantly to settle the family business.
Here he is forced to retell the past, his mistakes and his dramas, without finding any relief. But, indeed, they suffer even more from the trauma that the city awakens in them. Casey Affleck, thanks to the game with a lot of pauses and the optimal use of glances, gestures and poses, manages to perfectly portray a person undergoing (self-)destruction. Oscar in safe and, above all, universal recognition for one of the best performances of the new millennium. In a nutshell: a performance that decides a career. That’s all.