Friday, January 15, 2016

Raising My Wand: The Magic of Alan Rickman

Like hundreds of thousands of people across the world, I was shocked to hear the awful news that Alan Rickman passed away on Thursday morning. Cancer took away one of the most talented, compassionate, and inspiring actors the world has ever known and left us all broken hearted.

Rickman was probably most well known for his role as the anti-hero/villain (depending on your definition***) Severus Snape, Hogwarts Postions Master turned Headmaster. He played the role perfectly, never failing to make watchers despise him, but later feel for him. If you go back and re-watch the films after you have seen them all at least once, you will see how Rickman truly plays the professor ambiguously. The good and the bad of his persona are all there if you are paying close attention. In fact you should watch this YouTube video by kcawesome13 showing Snape's scenes in chronological order!

 Alan Rickman made a wonderful Snape, but he did so many other things as well! Here are my top favorite Alan Rickman roles! (oldest to newest; not including Snape because nothing beats that one)

1. Hans Gruber - Die Hard 
Hans was one of the best villains in cinema history! Vulture published a great article about Rickman's acting and how it changed the nature villains in movies. And if you haven't seen Die Hard, you need to. Yippee Kiyay. 

2. Sheriff George of Nottingham - Robin Hood Prince of Thieves
This glorious movie of the 90s is where I was first introduced to the brilliance of Alan Rickman (and Christian Slater). He's the villain, but you feel kind of sorry for him, and he's got some fantastic lines. 

3. Colonel Brandon - Sense and Sensibility
In this movie, you see the man's beauty and by God, you'll fall in love with the him. Because it's Jane Austen, and that's what Jane Austen does. Also, he has amazing chemistry with Kate Winslet.

4. Metatron - Dogma
I first watched this movie with my dad when I was 9 or 10, and I was terrified. I had nightmares about angels killing people for a week. When I got older, my step-brothers convinced me that it was a fantastic movie, so I watched it again, and I agreed. It's genius. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck together with Kevin Smith - the men make good movies, slightly blasphemous, but good. And they couldn't have made this movie with Alan Rickman as Metatron, the voice of God. Snarky, grumpy, and sarcastic - he's perfection. There's a great article about it on Movie Pilot!

5. Dr. Lazarus - Galaxy Quest
I'm going to be completely honest here. I think I saw Galaxy Quest once when it first came out nearly 18 years ago. But I don't really remember it. However, I have heard so much about Rickman's role in the movie and how simple, one liners that could have been silly and scoffed made this movie into the cult classic that it is. I just had to put it on here. Also, I plan on watching it this weekend!

6. Harry - Love Actually
He's a bit of a jerk in this one, but look a rare smile! 

7. Dr. Alfred Blalock - Something the Lord Made
An HBO movie about the black cardiac pioneer Vivien Thomas and his complex and volatile partnership with white surgeon Alfred Blalock, the world famous "Blue Baby doctor" who pioneered modern heart surgery - and man, is it good. (Summary from Wikipedia because I'm lazy)

8. Marvin the Robot - Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Just watch the compilation above.

9. Judge Turpin - Sweeney Todd
Villain again! But dude, he's good at it. Also, you can hear him singing a duet of Pretty Woman with Johnny Depp!!!

10. Absalom or The Blue Caterpillar - Alice in Wonderland/Alice Through the Looking Glass
In my opinion (I almost typed opium...fitting), the caterpillar is one of the best characters in Alice. Wise and full of riddles, sarcastic, but truly giving good advice - I feel like this is pretty much the epitome of Alan Rickman, a little of all his characters in one.

Alright, time to go binge watch some movies, guys.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Rickman. I raise my wand to you.

***Stay tuned for a separate post on heroes and villains!

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE that you spotlighted his perhaps lesser-known movies. He was a GREAT Snape, but he was also much more than that. I'm going to miss him as an actor, but movies are kind of wonderful because he's immortalized in them. Great post!


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