If it is true that great powers come with great responsibilities, then it is fair to say that “great roles result in great performances”. Andrew Garfield has had a lot of responsibility, and we’re not just referring to that resulting from wearing the coveted – but heavy as a burden – Spider-Man suit. Silent monks, screaming betrayed partners, genes of singing musicals, more human clones of humans themselves: it is a roller coaster of emotions, a map of human feelings that Garfield built performance after performance. A corollary of interpretations characterized by expressions at times marked, others left in the context of apathy, which have each time brought back to life men destined for history, or initially traced on a screenplay page. In this ranking we have gathered the most beautiful films by Andrew Garfield thanks to which (re) discover a career that is never banal, but played on the basis of human discrepancies and fragility. What this actor puts in place is a factory of human illusions and imperfections every time ready to strike and knock us out. A colorful gallery, made up of the most disparate genres that found its peak with Jonathan Larson’s performance in Tick … tick … BOOM! for which Garfield earned his first Golden Globe for “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Movie, Comedy or Musical”. Yet Larson’s is only the last piece of a puzzle still being completed.
Playing in perfect balance between an expressive minimalism and an explosive charge, Garfield never exceeds the irreverent or the caricatured. He finds himself perpetually able to stay within the edges without escaping them, driving on a roadway that leads him to make human beings monstrous, brilliant, out of line (The eyes of Tammy Faye), underlining every lack, imperfection, defect. He waters each of his characters with the potion of humanity, depriving him of his heroic, untouchable being, above all suspicion and judgment, and it does not matter whether it is Peter Parker, or Jonathan Larson, in every man played by Andrew Garfield there is an inner struggle which brings it closer to its spectators, making itself a reflective mirror of our doubts, anxieties, to the point of exalting joys and pains, vices and virtues of the spectator’s soul to the nth degree.
So here is our ranking of Andrew Garfield’s best movies, the ones to see absolutely beyond Spider-Man.
1. BOY A (2007)
They’re bad; they are dangerous; those placed in front of the judge, in silence behind bars, are above all children, children who have made a mistake and who after years of distance finally receive a second chance. Evil, dangerous and a child is Eric Wilson, who after spending fourteen years in a juvenile prison in Manchester is now ready to make his return to society under the name of Jack Burridge. From executioner to hero, the turning point that life holds for him is a roller coaster ready to launch at him in the form of photographers’ flashes, memories and fragments of a never expiated remorse. A fall into the abyss of guilt that makes Boy A a film to be recovered, punctuated by references Free British cinema and built on the ashes of that feeling of rebellion and misunderstanding typical of the “angry Young men” that has never really waned, but has just changed shape. Andrew Garfield’s Jack Burridge moves among the alleys of a labyrinthine and alienating Manchester, with its buildings all the same and identical. The years of The amazing Spider-man, The Social Network and the dynamic Tick … tick … BOOM! Were still far away, yet already in Boy A The dichotomous, split and continuously conflicting soul that will characterize the entire career of this young actor is revealed in a nutshell. The past is a shadow that walks alongside the present, ready to sabotage, darken it, every single sunny day. An internal war that Garfield makes his own and translates with the force of expressions through sudden passages and changes on his face: the lips stretched out in a serene smile therefore leave room for tight mouths, and frowning expressions. The worry is tangible, the fear and the sense of inadequacy trespass off the screen, invading the private space of a spectator unable to escape the merry-go-round on which the protagonist’s interiority is launched. And so, by bridging the universe inside and outside the frame, Andrew Garfield manages to make his character a human being, judged and judgmental, victim and executioner, saint and sinner, boy and dangerous man, hero and enemy of himself. same.
2. DON’T LEAVE ME (2010)
Inspired by the novel of the same name by Kazuo Ishiguro, Alex Garland’s screenplay for the film directed by Mark Romanek slavishly follows what is narrated by his literary source. A perfect “copy-paste” game that winks at the technological man, deluding the reader that what is being told is a possible future, a future in which death is only a memory and disease a pencil mark to be erased with the life of our clones. Do not leave me it is a story of lives returned to the recipients by means of mutilations; the same mutilations that mark the fate of the protagonists starting with their surnames. Yes, because Kathy, Ruth and Tommy don’t have to waste anything, and even just a letter is enough to identify them. An initial: this is what it takes for children whose birth enslaves the physical depravity of organs destined for those who have a surname. The three (masterfully played by Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley and Andrew Garfield) are clones, mere bargaining chips. Appropriating the intrinsic meaning of Ishiguro’s novel, with Don’t Leave Me Garland and Romanek show how much man, in order to defeat death, comes to lose his humanity by showing himself in its unspeakable monstrosity. And this is how the clone becomes more human than the human itself. An ethical and moral overturning allowed above all by the performance of the three protagonists, capable of undressing their interiority to leave room for young people desperate for themselves, for their human nature, for a shred of humanity to be able to hope, love, live.
3. THE SOCIAL NETWORK (2010)
That still echoes in the ears “Mark!“shouted aloud in the corridors of Facebook by Eduardo Saverin. Sacrificial lamb, and element to betray, the character played by Andrew Garfield in The Social Network he’s much more than just a co-star. It is the domino that falls, leaving behind a blank slate. Friend and foe, helper and villain, various personalities and roles inhabit Saverin to be personified in relation to the narrated moment of time. Thanks to the introspective and chameleonic performance of a Garfield capable of passing from a smile and wide hugs, to serious looks and eyes burning with vengeance, Saverin lives a second time, screaming out the injustice he suffered and the dagger stuck behind him. The devil and holy water, the financier who deposits $ 1,000 from his account, adds another 17,500, for a total of 18,000, and the man is ready to return “not to take back 3%, but to take back everything“make their entry into David Fincher’s film, kicking off Mark Zuckerberg’s rise to empire, and his defeat in the Olympus of enemies.
The Social Network: why the film on Facebook is the Fourth power of our times
4. 99 HOMES (2014)
The American dream has given way to a forge of nightmares. A dreamlike reversal that has also taken and affected the world of the Seventh Art. And so Hollywood becomes more and more the womb of existences oriented towards pain, suffering, frustration. The nightmare in 99 Homes it takes the form of a house no longer inhabited by ghosts, but by cheating agencies and banks that drive out their owners by replacing love with greed. A reduced-scale projection of the same country, the home for citizens becomes a symbol of protection, safety, and all those values so highly praised by American ethics. Once deprived of those walls, citizens therefore feel abandoned by their country, betrayed, left outside the door of acceptance. The character of Andrew Garfield, a man too young to be a hero against a system, and too big to escape it, is the spokesperson for this shadowy specter of an America stripped of its glossy dress and sewn with false promises. Perpetually struggling with himself and his own destiny, the quintessence of the good boy and young worker who from evicted thanks to the help of Mike (Michael Shannon) will find himself evicting, Dennis embodies the two sides of America, the desperate and the greedy success, money, soul and tears of others. Andrew Garfield with 99 Homes makes two sides of the same coin; her face is a white sheet on which to draw every mood. The transition from a state of mind is clear, total, felt and therefore realistically human. By loading every sentiment, Garfield is nevertheless able to fall within the boundaries of controlled performance without exceeding in the field of overacting. And so every emotion becomes true, and his character is the emblem of a contemporary America that wakes up from dreams to live the nightmare.
5. THE BATTLE OF HACKSAW RIDGE (2016)
“One more, let me save one more“. Meanwhile, the hand grenades, machine guns and cannons break the silence at Hacksaw Ridge.”One more, please God, let me save one more“. A desperate scream that became a hiss cuts through the death-studded air that envelops the battlefield. A mantra that becomes a prayer that Desmond Doss repeats to himself, to incite himself, to inflict courage and find the necessary push to save his own comrade, and yet another, while the hell of war rages around him. Desmond Doss does not need weapons. Conscientious objector, he has placed his lifeline in his faith and in the words of God the cloak with which to protect and protect himself. Perfect mixture of war and faith, (that in God, but also in one’s own ideals), without thereby falling into exacerbated patriotism, or exceeding in an all too easy do-goodness, The Battle of Hacksaw Ridge (presented out of competition at the Venice Film Festival in 2016) is not a hymn to the Christian religion, nor is it a song to war. It is simply a tribute to a man, who with strength and perseverance fought against prejudice as intensely as he defied the Japanese enemy army during the Second World War. A man, Desmond Doss, played with strength and humanity by an Andrew Garfield who disrobed of heroism to become dirty with fragility. Mel Gibson needed a boy with a slender body, but one who hid a brutal willpower among the epidermal substrates, a coherence with his own values that went far beyond the transpiring naivety from his own eyes. Focusing on Garfield, on that way of charging one’s characters with that apparent fragility of soul ready to burst into a liberating internal scream, Gibson finds in this actor a soul and a body to be used as carbon paper on which to rebuild and revive. Desmond Doss again and again.
Hacksaw Ridge: War and Conscientious Objection according to Mel Gibson