Noah Baumbach’s comedy Greenberg probes the psyche of a man in search of himself. We consider other films that study character.
Slide 6: The Entertainer - Character as characters
Already established as one of England’s great stage and screen actors, Laurence Olivier decided to move in a different direction when he pushed playwright John Osborne to create the character of Archie Rice in The Entertainer for him. After its theater run, the play was enlarged and adapted by Tony Richardson with Olivier recreating his famous character on the big screen. Archie Rice is a third-rate song and dance man who clings desperately to his threadbare vaudevillian characters as his own life dissolves before him. His family falls apart, the country goes through war, the theater slides into disrepute, but Archie keeps his greasepaint on, always ready for another song or bawdy joke. Before long, every gesture from his entertainment life (the soft shoe, the megawatt smile, the drawn-on eyes) grows more and more macabre. Bosley Crowther wrote in the New York Times, “as an antidote to all the bromides about show people being lovely folk, amusing, courageous, soft-hearted and dedicated to spreading sunshine in the world, we suggest that you see The Entertainer.”