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Favorite Freeman Performances


Carol the Dabbler
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I have a very large soft spot for John, or maybe it's Mr. Freeman ... I simply enjoy his reactions so much.  I "feel" what John feels.  I don't know if it's because we have similar personalities or Mr. Freeman is so skilled at making me believe we do.

I believe you said you'd also seen him in The Hobbit -- do you have similar reactions to Bilbo?

 

My current theory is that watching actors is kinda like meeting people in real life.  There are some that you hit it off with, and some that you don't.  In both cases (and especially for the actors), I think it's partly a matter of how they express themselves.  For example, I don't generally go for overblown performances, and Mr. Freeman doesn't generally give them.  He is the king of subtlety -- and yet his characters manage to be very intense.  All I know for sure is that his performances "get to me" far more consistently than any other actor that I'm aware of.  (Also, he tends to be in the sorts of things that I enjoy anyhow -- but that's just a bonus.)

 

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I believe you said you'd also seen him in The Hobbit -- do you have similar reactions to Bilbo?

 

My current theory is that watching actors is kinda like meeting people in real life.  There are some that you hit it off with, and some that you don't.  In both cases (and especially for the actors), I think it's partly a matter of how they express themselves.  For example, I don't generally go for overblown performances, and Mr. Freeman doesn't generally give them.  He is the king of subtlety -- and yet his characters manage to be very intense.  All I know for sure is that his performances "get to me" far more consistently than any other actor that I'm aware of.  (Also, he tends to be in the sorts of things that I enjoy anyhow -- but that's just a bonus.)

 

 

No, Carol, I haven't seen The Hobbit ... nor have I read the books, so I'm not familiar with the Bilbo character at all.  I agree that over-the-top performances are not my favourites and  find that the intensity of Mr. Freeman's Watson is just about what I appreciate the most about Sherlock ... you can see his struggle to hold onto his emotions, to keep things logical and in perspective, even when they make no sense.  That's a lot of the fun of TEH ... the early parts where John just loses it when he sees Sherlock alive and well and living in London.  Sherlock's appearance unleashes all that pent-up anger.  We know that John will fall in line because he really does enjoy being Sherlock Holmes' Dr. Watson, but, for a brief while, his wall of reserve was broken.  And you feel it with him ... he's a joy to watch. :wub: 

 

Debbie

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I am seriously debating whether it would be a good idea or not to recommend "Love, Actually". Wonderful movie, (on my top 20 list) but you get to see a little more of Martin than you may want to ..... :D

(It's incredibly funny, tho....)

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Have you ever seen Martin Freeman in anything else then, Debbie?

 

No, Carol, I haven't.  Is there any show you'd recommend for my first venture into the performances of Martin Freeman away from Sherlock ??

 

Debbie

 

 

I'd say the obvious:  THE HOBBIT.

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Have you ever seen Martin Freeman in anything else then, Debbie?

 

No, Carol, I haven't.  Is there any show you'd recommend for my first venture into the performances of Martin Freeman away from Sherlock ??

 

Debbie

 

 

The Office! Definitely The Office...

 

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Have you ever seen Martin Freeman in anything else then, Debbie?

No, Carol, I haven't. Is there any show you'd recommend for my first venture into the performances of Martin Freeman away from Sherlock ??

 

Debbie

Wild Target! It's really funny :)

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Thank you all for the viewing advice.  :D  I admit to having an odd sense of humour and tend not to find most "comedies" particularly funny but I'm sure I can track down the shows noted and take a look.  I'm especially interested in The Hobbit.  Don't know how I've managed to have it slide under my radar for so long :unsure: .

 

Debbie

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Debbie, there's also Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, altho I'm afraid I thought Mr. Freeman was the only thing in it worth watching. But my brother and his family thought it was great, so maybe it's just me. (LOVED the radio show/books/TV series.)

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Debbie, there's also Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, altho I'm afraid I thought Mr. Freeman was the only thing in it worth watching. But my brother and his family thought it was great, so maybe it's just me. (LOVED the radio show/books/TV series.)

 

Freeman and Marvin! Actually it wasn't that bad but some things were just  :facepalm:

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That Hitchhiker film was, in my experience, quite paradoxic in its reception ... the people who hadn't been fans before liked it better than us towel-bearers.

 

As for Freeman appearances, he's great in The Hobbit and I've also heard good things about Fargo. Or if you want to see an, er, different performance of his, watch Ali G - but do so only after booting children and sensitive family members from the TV room :lol:. If you want to see more of him, so to speak, there's Love Actually.

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Thank you all for the viewing advice.  :D  I admit to having an odd sense of humour and tend not to find most "comedies" particularly funny but I'm sure I can track down the shows noted and take a look.  I'm especially interested in The Hobbit.  Don't know how I've managed to have it slide under my radar for so long :unsure: .

 

Debbie

 

 

Not meaning to ignore you, Debbie -- I was waiting for your reply, but for some reason, this thread didn't come up on my New Contents page yesterday.  My favorite Freeman performances to date are (in alphabetical order):  Ali G Indahouse; Boy Meets Girl; Bruiser; Fargo; The Good Night; The Hobbit; Nativity; The Office; and Sherlock.

 

Ali G Indahouse is a comedy farce with the title character being a young English fellow named Alistaire who prefers to think of himself as a ghetto gangster.  Although this is perhaps not a great movie, and he's in only about half the scenes, Freeman (as Ali's loyal sidekick) is hilarious.  I've seen him in a wide variety of roles, and this is certainly one of the "differentest."  Amazon has it.

 

Boy Meets Girl is a mind-swap dramedy mini-series, wherein Freeman's character Danny suddenly finds himself in the body of Veronica, who simultaneously finds herself in his body.  Unfortunately, the story focuses on Danny -- I say unfortunately, because this means for most of the show Freeman is doing only voice-overs  (albeit very enjoyable voice-overs) of Danny's thoughts while he's in Veronica's body.  There are however a few scenes of Veronica in Danny's body, and Freeman does not just do an imitation of a woman, he really seems to be a woman in a man's body -- a truly exquisite performance.  I believe the DVD is available only for Region 2, but again Amazon Instant Video comes to the rescue (and apparently for free if you're willing to watch it with ads).

 

Bruiser is a comedy-sketch program (vaguely like Saturday Night Live), so you get to see Freeman play a number of different characters, most of whom are repeated from week to week -- and few of whom bear much resemblance to John Watson.  Think of it as a Freeman sampler plate!  (The only downside is that there isn't much room for character development.)  Last time I looked, the DVD was available only for Region 2, but fortunately all of Freeman's skits are on YouTube.

 

Fargo is also very, very good, but be warned that it's very dark and violent as well as extremely whimsical -- hilarious, if you like that sort of thing (which I apparently do, but Alex definitely does not).  (Note: It's not "dark" in the sense of sadistic or mean-spirited.  I hate that sort of thing.)  One unique aspect of this (excellent!) performance is that Freeman does a Minnesota accent.  This is available for download on Amazon, so you can try an episode or two and see if it's your kinda thing.

 

The Good Night is another "dark comedy" (though considerably lighter than Fargo).  Freeman's character becomes obsessed with a woman who appears in his dreams, and neglects his real-life girlfriend in order to pursue her.  Again, some people do not care for it, but I find the ending peculiarly satisfying (and Alex likes it too!).  (Note: Be sure to watch to the very end.)  Amazon has it.

 

The Hobbit -- well, if you like Tolkien's stories (books or prior movies), you really can't go wrong with this one.  Well, yes you can, if you're a stickler for the book details, because Peter Jackson approaches the stories about the same way Steven Moffat approaches the Holmes  stories.  But as long as you're OK with that, then yes, that's definitely another wonderful Freeman performance.  Amazon has lots of options -- and you can see the final installment in theaters this December (Alex and I recommend the HFR 3D version).

 

Nativity! is of course a Christmas movie, and a very nice one, sweet and funny.  Freeman's character is a primary-school teacher who is charged with producing the school's Nativity play (and he does a tiny bit of singing and dancing in the process).  I am most intrigued by the fact that there was no actual script, just sort of an outline -- the director would tell the actors, "This scene needs to go from point A to point B, and you need to hit these points along the way.  And -- action!"  Amazon has it.

 

The Office -- I love this "mockumentary" about a wholesale paper distributorship where the boss (Ricky Gervais) is a total jerk, in distinct contrast to his philosophical top salesman (Martin Freeman), who is hopelessly in love with the receptionist, who is engaged to a guy in the warehouse.  Amazon has it as both DVD and download, but two caveats:  be sure you're getting the original British show (not the American franchise -- which is a good show as well, but doesn't have Freeman); and be sure to get both seasons and the Christmas special.

 

Sherlock -- Hey, you might like this one!

 

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The Office -- I love this "mockumentary" about a wholesale paper distributorship where the boss (Ricky Gervais) is a total jerk, in distinct contrast to his philosophical top salesman (Martin Freeman), who is hopelessly in love with the receptionist, who is engaged to a guy in the warehouse.  Amazon has it as both DVD and download, but two caveats:  be sure you're getting the original British show (not the American franchise -- which is a good show as well, but doesn't have Freeman); and be sure to get both seasons and the Christmas special.

 

Oh yes, for The Office, your really need the special, because it tied up the series beautifully, and without it, the story is unbelievably bleak.

 

The Office is one of my all-time favorite things to watch, and it was the first series I really liked. Tim and Dawn (the receptionist) are absolutely wonderful, and there are a few hilarious scenes with Tim and the guy at the next desk, Gareth, who is played by Mackenzie Crook.

 

 

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Oh yes, for The Office, your really need the special, because it tied up the series beautifully, and without it, the story is unbelievably bleak.

 

For those of you who haven't yet seen it, I should clarify that T.o.b.y presumably means the ending of Series 2 would be unbelievably bleak without the Christmas special -- but with the special added, the ending is just perfect.  And the show is frequently hilarious (as well as crass and touching -- it's nothing if not balanced!).

 

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I have to admit that I didn't like The Office much. Yes, Freeman was great in it and he was probably the only reason I finished both series (I haven't seen the Christmas special). My biggest problem with this show was the main character. I hated the boss so much that I wanted to punch him everytime he appeared on the screen. And it took me a while to get used to the "documentary" style.

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Thank you, Carol.  I was in Walmart yesterday and they had The Hobbit for $10 CAD ... unfortunately, it was sold out.  I've heard nothing but good things about Fargo and have no objection to "the dark side".  I think I was looking at The Office as something else, so I'll see if I can get my hands on it first maybe.  I'm hoping I don't have Mr. Freeman so firmly planted in my mind as John Watson that I won't be able to see him as somebody else.  He's such a wonderful actor, I'm sure that won't happen, though.  :D 

 

Debbie

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 I'm hoping I don't have Mr. Freeman so firmly planted in my mind as John Watson that I won't be able to see him as somebody else.  He's such a wonderful actor, I'm sure that won't happen, though.  :D 

 

Debbie

 

Don't worry. That definitely won't happen  ;)

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Thank you, Carol.  I was in Walmart yesterday and they had The Hobbit for $10 CAD ... unfortunately, it was sold out.  I've heard nothing but good things about Fargo and have no objection to "the dark side".  I think I was looking at The Office as something else, so I'll see if I can get my hands on it first maybe.  I'm hoping I don't have Mr. Freeman so firmly planted in my mind as John Watson that I won't be able to see him as somebody else.  He's such a wonderful actor, I'm sure that won't happen, though.  :D 

 

Debbie

 

Well, I thought I had him firmly planted in my head as Tim, and then he proved me wrong. He's a lot more versatile than I gave him credit for!

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Freeman got me watching Sherlock through his excellent performance as Bilbo (I didn't know squat about BBC Sherlock until 18 months ago - thank you, Freeman!). It's still my favorite Freeman performance, besides John Watson, naturally.

 

I haven't seen a lot of his work, I admit. I first saw him in Love Actually, but I didn't love the movie, and when I saw Freeman in The Hobbit, I didn't recognise having seen him before.

 

I've recently watched a few episodes of The Office, and I like the style of it - it's like one big character study - though many times I cringe. I suspect that too much screentime for the boss will put me off the show for good.

 

Freeman stunned me in The Hobbit, though, especially with his quirks and face expressions! He reveals as much through body language and face expressions as he does through his lines. It's amazing and highly entertaining.

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