“And the Oscar goes to...Robert Pattinson’s French accent.”
November 5, 2019 7:11 AM   Subscribe

Robert Pattinson: The Movie Star Who Became a Character Actor [The Ringer] The narrative of Pattinson’s rebranding from multiplex sex symbol to art-house axiom is by now well-established: Both he and Kristen Stewart have, largely through their own confident and self-possessed artistic decisions, emerged from the Twilight zone as critically acclaimed actors. Their incredible successes at a young age mean they’ve had the career security to follow their whims. While some might wince at Pattinson’s after-the-fact contempt for his star-making role, the choices he’s made since the franchise came to an end are those of an actor less interested in living something down than measuring up to standard: In his best work, Pattinson stands tall.”

• How Robert Pattinson became an unlikely arthouse superstar [The Guardian]
“Yet look closer at these roles and performances, and Pattinson’s elegant reshaping of his own stardom looks a little less plainly reactive, and more like a subversion: the softness is still there, just in harder surroundings. In the caffeinated, tarmac-pounding New York heist thriller Good Time, he’s cast seemingly against type as a crude, scuzzy, coked-up fuckup, though as his character’s rickety criminal plans fall apart from the get-go, his gaping, unloved vulnerability is as glaring as his peroxided hair. In Claire Denis’s ingenious sensual space odyssey High Life, he’s an introverted, celibate criminal turned tenderly doting father, though only through being summarily raped by Juliette Binoche’s controlling astrophysicist; joining victimhood and paternal protectiveness in one fraught swoop, it’s a character arc unlike that of any male protagonist in the movies. [...] He’s cultivated a rich, riveting line in outwardly hardened men a little too beautiful, a little too fragile, for the harsher worlds in which they find themselves – upending expectations of what a leading man can do, or more pointedly can’t do, on screen.”
• It’s Officially Time to Stop Thinking of Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen [Cosmopolitan]
“The year was 2008. I was an acne-faced eighth grader who had just emerged from the first Twilight movie with all my friends, and pretty much the only thing we could talk about for the next three weeks was how horny we were for Robert Pattinson. Sure, the actual writing of the movie was brutal, and the storyline had pretty sex-negative undertones, but to 13-year-old me, it didn’t matter because I had a new celebrity crush. Like a lot of hot young actors who play someone like Edward Cullen in five different films, it seemed like, once it was over, Robert was never going to escape the stereotypes of the Twilight fandom. But it’s been 11 years. He is altogether a different man, and we need to show some damn respect. Since his time playing a sparkly vampire, Robert’s been turning himself into an artsy dude behind your back,”
• How Robert Pattinson Has Become A Master Of Reinvention [Uproxx]
“He’s not meant to be the star of this film, but he pulls focus anyway, committing to all the eccentricities that he’s suplied his character with and then over-delivering on them. And that is, perhaps, what Pattinson should be applauded for – more than his desire to chase after boundary-pushing material or work with cinematic auteurs. He’s constantly pushing himself, testing his own sense of comfort and demanding audiences do the same. If you cringe at his antics, if you can’t stomach his shameless characterizations, he’s doing something right. He’s reinventing himself with every scene, pressing us to look past his celebrity and find whatever strange, magnetic force he’s inhabiting at any given time. He’s seeking and redefining in a way that feels exciting to watch, forcing us to guess which bizarre role, which peculiar film he’ll pop up in next.”
• And the Oscar Goes to: Robert Pattinson’s French Accent [The Cut]
“The Dauphin is a deranged French prince played by Robert Pattinson, antagonist to Timothée Chalamet’s stoic Henry V. The two meet days before they’re set to engage in a very serious war, and since the film has been a very serious period drama so far, you expect Pattinson to play a very serious monarch. But then he takes a wild turn, and Pattinson as Dauphin the poncy prince emerges. It’s a role he described to Vulture last year: “There are all these kind of rugged men, and I’m in this little frilly frock.” And mon dieu, does he deliver. Pattinson is always in rare form. You never for a moment believe he is acting — he simply is a vampire; a Hogwarts student; a depraved lighthouse keeper. And while no one can seem to decide if Pattinson’s froofy French accent as the Dauphin is good or even accurate, plenty of people seem to agree it makes the movie.”
• Why Robert Pattinson — yes, the former vampire — is a promising pick to play Batman [The Washington Post]
“The so-called “Bat-fleck” Era has temporarily lowered some of the expectations for the role — while also increasing the craving for one of Batman’s most intriguing facets: revelations of his weirdness. Although Affleck had the bulk and square jaw to physically become the Gotham City superhero, he often resonated as too vanilla to be believably dark. Pattinson, by contrast, has shown he can credibly inhabit shadowy layers of intrigue. [...] the latest entry in the franchise could well reveal Pattinson as a tormented, and thus compelling, Batman. Perhaps nothing has professionally rankled and motivated Pattinson more than waiting for the opportunity to prove that “Twilight” has turned to Dark Knightfall — and that Edward Cullen disappeared over the actor’s horizon long ago.”
• The King proves that Robert Pattinson has done what Timothée Chalamet has yet to [Polygon]
“What is Timothée Chalamet’s transition from young heartthrob to leading man going to look like? Every young star has to go through something of a crucible in order to establish his bona fides as a leading man rather than just a handsome face. Robert Pattinson is the most recent example of someone who’s managed to do this successfully, leaving Cedric Diggory and Edward Cullen in the dust by working with some of the strangest auteurs (David Cronenberg, the Safdie brothers) in performances that have been stranger still. [...] That his Henry is not particularly compelling — and that the accent he’s affecting can’t quite be placed — isn’t helped by the fact that he’s surrounded with much more colorful characters. Pattinson steals the show despite only showing up for roughly 15 minutes over an hour into the movie, sporting a so-terrible-it’s-great wig and a French accent that could be described exactly the same way. His character is mean and a little creepy — he’s a perfect antithesis to the dreamy image that Pattinson has previously been known for, helping usher Pattinson from dreamboat territory to an actor who has demonstrated his ability to do anything.”
posted by Fizz (47 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
Needs more Kristen Stewart - Personal Shopper was a game changer.
posted by j_curiouser at 7:18 AM on November 5, 2019 [17 favorites]


Robert Pattinson, Dave Bautista and Collin Farrell are all incredible character actors saddled with great looks. So... I'm planning to put them in a movie together.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 7:25 AM on November 5, 2019 [20 favorites]


For me, what I'm most impressed with is Pattinson's decision to work with directors/writers who are diverse and provide him challenging and interesting roles:

• David Michôd's The Rover
• David Cronenberg's Map to the Stars
• Werner Herzog's Queen of the Desert
• Safdie Brothers Good Time
• James Gray's Lost City of Z
• Clair Denis' High Life

Such a variety of roles and genre of film. I appreciate that he's just letting himself work with all kinds of creators.
posted by Fizz at 7:33 AM on November 5, 2019 [6 favorites]


While some might wince at Pattinson’s after-the-fact contempt for his star-making role, the choices he’s made since the franchise came to an end are those of an actor less interested in living something down than measuring up to standard: In his best work, Pattinson stands tall.”

I guess they couldn't very well say "shines" or "sparkles".
posted by srboisvert at 7:45 AM on November 5, 2019 [24 favorites]


But Pattinson was so bad in The Rover. So bad. Its a decent film and then he obviously held out for some 'actorly' scene about half way through and its one of the worst scenes in a movie I have ever had the misfortune. Plus he sounds like Cletus, but he's in post-apocalyptic Australia and it just sounds like he couldn't do any kind of Australian accent so they got him to use his American accent. I assume he brought a load of funding with him so the film got made but it would have been better if they had just had those scenes in animated plasticine. It was genuinely one of those 'Doesn't anybody notice this? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!' moments for me.
posted by biffa at 7:49 AM on November 5, 2019


I am using this opportunity to tell everyone go see THE LIGHTHOUSE so you can see him and Willem Dafoe gradually drive each other crazy in a mindfuck of a film the end
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:53 AM on November 5, 2019 [15 favorites]


He was great in The Lighthouse. It's a weird movie, but I recommend it, since it's essentially watching Dafoe and Pattinson develop these two incredibly bizarre characters in an extreme circumstance over the course of two hours.
posted by codacorolla at 7:53 AM on November 5, 2019 [3 favorites]


after-the-fact contempt

During-the-fact contempt. Possibly before-the-fact contempt.
posted by Jeanne at 7:55 AM on November 5, 2019 [32 favorites]


I do want to see The Lighthouse but it has to wait for Parasite and Jojo Rabbit to be seen. Still looks very interesting. It isn't incredibly slow?
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 7:55 AM on November 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


OnTheLastCastle: i would not describe the lighthouse as slow at all. i would describe it as getting completely sucked into a world and you forget you're even watching a movie after a little while.
posted by capnsue at 7:59 AM on November 5, 2019


[The Lighthouse] isn't incredibly slow?

It...

I think it depends on how able you are to let go and let yourself be sucked into the world. One complaint I've heard is that Willem Dafoe uses such an "old seadog captain" accent that it can at times be hard to understand what he's saying (one podcast review I heard added the detail that the podcaster's wife leaned over to him halfway through and said she wished there were subtitles). But the things he says are usually such floridly embroidered blather anyway that you can just sort of nod and let that wash over you, and the things you're watching for are the visuals anyway; because some of them are serious mindfucks. The stuff that Dafoe's character says that matter, you can hear.

CW that there are some gory bits at the very end. Fitting - oh so fitting - but gory enough still that I had to cover my eyes.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:04 AM on November 5, 2019 [2 favorites]


Good Time was so entertaining and Pattison was just incredible in it.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:07 AM on November 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


Pattinson's on-and-off Downeast accent in The Lighthouse was distracting for me, far more than Dafoe's accent. I would also describe the plot of the film more as a morality play for sobriety (or at least not drinking lamp fuel). It's ... over the top in several ways. But the cinematography was interesting.
posted by eviemath at 8:12 AM on November 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


Also, I want to point out that Pattinson is only in The King for about 10 minutes or so but he steals the entire show during those moments. He's so entertaining.

Chalamet has been criticized in The King for being a bit dull, but I disagree with that perspective. The film is very methodical in its pacing, it takes its time and Chalamet is quiet and intense in his lead.
posted by Fizz at 8:14 AM on November 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


It isn't incredibly slow?

I didn't find it slow at all. It spends a lot of time showing the nuts and bolts of running a lighthouse in the first half, but that's constantly intercut with belligerent seagulls, dreams of mermaids, sea shanties, and compulsive masturbation, so there is a lot to move the story along.
posted by maxsparber at 8:16 AM on November 5, 2019 [2 favorites]


It spends a lot of time showing the nuts and bolts of running a lighthouse in the first half, but that's constantly intercut with belligerent seagulls, dreams of mermaids, sea shanties, and compulsive masturbation, so there is a lot to move the story along.

Don't forget Willem Dafoe nude sunbathing in the lighthouse light and the potential kraken in the tower!

Chalamet has been criticized in The King for being a bit dull, but I disagree with that perspective. The film is very methodical in its pacing, it takes its time and Chalamet is quiet and intense in his lead.

This is getting to what I was thinking about The King. Chalamet has to be kind of quietly intense in his part, and it feels like he's being a little shackled. But also - I'm coming to The King from having an intense and passionate love of Call Me By Your Name, as do many of his fans, I think, so I think it may just take a couple of viewings for us to get over the "but he's not Elio in this" reaction. Whereas Pattinson has built up a bit more of a diverse history to the point that we don't all think of Twilight any more when we see him on screen.

It may be that Chalamet right now is kind of where Pattinson was in like 2014, when he was just coming off Twilight and heading into Cosmopolis and everyone was all "what the hey is he doing?..." But Pattinson stuck at it and now we have a whole FPP about how "hey, Pattinson got over the pretty boy stuff and look at him." It may simply be that Chalamet still has to go through some more movies first before we start seeing "Timothée Chalamet isn't just Elio anymore" kinds of articles.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:26 AM on November 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


Lighthouse: Best folie à deux cinema since 'Dead Ringers'. Brilliant, disturbing, mesmerizing. Loved it. I'll never watch it again.
posted by j_curiouser at 8:27 AM on November 5, 2019 [3 favorites]


It isn't incredibly slow?

It is more repetitive than slow, but to some extent that's a plot point... Pattinson's character finds himself stuck on a godforsaken rock with a taskmaster for a month, and begins to realize he's being gaslighted by the guy (one could call it being lighthoused, I suppose). His sense of time passing gets increasingly corroded, and the viewer gets to share that sensation.

Pattinson was quite good in the film, but it's difficult to shine when you're in a two-hander with Willem Dafoe. I never had to erase any memory of him being a sparkly vampire, I never watched those movies. Just a bit of Cedric Diggory.
posted by lefty lucky cat at 8:31 AM on November 5, 2019


It may simply be that Chalamet still has to go through some more movies first before we start seeing "Timothée Chalamet isn't just Elio anymore" kinds of articles.

Mrs. Fizz and I had this exact conversation (it is what prompted this post). Chalamet is likely going to make some missteps in his career, and I'm fine with that. He's a young actor and we all recognize the talent there, we need to give him time to grow.

I will say this, his performance in Villeneuve's Dune, is probably the most excited I've ever been about a performance, like I get excited and want to jump up and down with the possibility of what he'll bring to Paul Muad'Dib Atreides.
posted by Fizz at 8:35 AM on November 5, 2019


...About The King again - I wonder if Pattinson's character isn't getting more attention simply because he has more leeway to be more flamboyant? In other words, it may not be a reflection on the actors in question, it may be more of a reflection on the characters themselves. Chalamet and Pattinson are likely both nailing it, but because Pattinson gets to be a French fop and gets to make dick jokes, that's going to draw more attention than Chalamet getting little to do aside from sit and look stern.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:44 AM on November 5, 2019


God, The Lighthouse was so good.
posted by rewil at 8:51 AM on November 5, 2019 [2 favorites]


I've never seen any Twilight movies, nor do I think I would recognize Robert Pattison in any movie but honestly this seems like a near ideal way to run your Hollywood career.
Presumably he made enough money from Twilight to be financially secure (so long as he doesn't start buying T-Rex skulls or something) so now he gets to do the kind of acting he wants to do rather than the kind he has to do.

Sure, he'll probably always be the butt of some critics lazy joke, but if you have thin skin, you're probably not meant for the movie business anyway.

It reminds me of the child actors who hit it big on a sitcom. One day you wonder, whatever happened to the neighbor kid on that show and you find out they're doing repertory theatre in New England because they can.
posted by madajb at 8:56 AM on November 5, 2019 [5 favorites]


1) Kristen Stewart was always cool. Before, during and after Twilight. She played Joan Jett in The Runaways, for Globs sake. Fight me.

2) The framing of 'oh, wow, this actor who was in a super popular franchise which we now look down on is still an actor, and is capable of doing other roles' is tiring and lazy. Actors act, they play roles, then they play other roles. Why is this surprising?
posted by signal at 9:10 AM on November 5, 2019 [8 favorites]


nothing on this earth replenishes my soul with more deep and fulfilling ecstasy than the utter loathing and contempt that rpattz has for everything about twilight, although the one twitter exchange between the rock expressing his dismay at the badness of his role in the 2005 Doom film, and the official Doom twitter being like "wow dude", is a close second.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:12 AM on November 5, 2019 [21 favorites]


"begins to realize he's being gaslighted by the guy (one could call it being lighthoused, I suppose)"

it's called being gaslighthoused, thank you.
posted by komara at 9:21 AM on November 5, 2019 [7 favorites]


I've never seen any Twilight movies, nor do I think I would recognize Robert Pattison in any movie but honestly this seems like a near ideal way to run your Hollywood career.

I think you could argue it's the opposite. Few things are reviled more than whatever teenage girls are into. People who want to have a long career take the money and the popularity from the Beatlemania thing, then spend at least 5 years insisting that they're very serious. After that, they can go back to fighting dragons or pirates or whatever with dignity intact. See: Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christian Bale, John Lennon, Jared Leto, Kristin Stewart, etc. Kudos to Pattinson for being a little less grim than the others in the former heartthrob mode. (This all sounds very cynical -- in Pattinson's defense, Twilight fans have spent a decade being racist toward one ex-girlfriend, maintaining a conspiracy theory that he is secretly married to another ex, and generally being awful. But then, he's signing on to make Batman, which also has a terrible fanbase, so he can't have been too scarred by the experience.)

As for the "character actor" thing specifically -- hm, movies are weird enough right now that there's no obvious place for a youngish man to go (if he doesn't want to sign on to another franchise). Ryan Gosling takes the starring roles for slightly older men, and Timothee Chalamet gets big roles for younger men. What other actors are getting the film roles that would fall into Pattinson's lane? (Without having to write the roles for themselves?)
posted by grandiloquiet at 9:57 AM on November 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


(FYI, link to "ex-girlfriend" in the above is tripping "this has a virus on it" warnings on my end)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:02 AM on November 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


Whoops! It's a dailydot link about Pattinson's relationship with FKA twigs. It's not showing any problems on my end, but mods might want to delete for the sake of caution?
posted by grandiloquiet at 10:15 AM on November 5, 2019


I love Cosmopolis and everyone should see it for the strangeness of it.
posted by kokaku at 11:10 AM on November 5, 2019 [3 favorites]


During-the-fact contempt. Possibly before-the-fact contempt.

Yeah, I honestly thought this was well known about him. Even during press junkets for the Twilight movies, Pattinson was subtly but hilariously shitting on the whole enterprise. If anything, it sounds like he's become slightly more fond of them in recent years.
posted by chrominance at 11:13 AM on November 5, 2019


This transformation from star to actor-who-takes-roles-they-want reminds me of George Clooney after his Batman tenure, who said something to the effect of having taken the role of Batman so that he could get paid enough to never have to take a role like Batman again if he didn't want to.
posted by xingcat at 11:21 AM on November 5, 2019 [4 favorites]


> Needs more Kristen Stewart - Personal Shopper was a game changer.

She was terrific in Clouds of Sils Maria, too. Holding your own against La Binoche ain't easy.
posted by desuetude at 11:36 AM on November 5, 2019 [6 favorites]


One complaint I've heard is that Willem Dafoe uses such an "old seadog captain" accent that it can at times be hard to understand what he's saying (one podcast review I heard added the detail that the podcaster's wife leaned over to him halfway through and said she wished there were subtitles).

I'm doing a Deadwood rewatch right now before I watch the movie and I discovered that there was a subtitles on rewind option on my Roku and loved it so much that I just turned the subtitles on permanently. I understand the show so much better now!

Also I feel very old and wonder if I need my hearing checked.

But yes I love rewinding parts I don't quite hear and the subtitles on rewind on my Roku is one of the major significant life improvements for me in 2019.
posted by srboisvert at 11:59 AM on November 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


I just watched The King and I have to disagree with the article. His accent is atrocious and his acting is as bad. He does what all bad actors do - mug and gawp and rely on a physical change. Chalamet by contrast is superb.
posted by awfurby at 12:35 PM on November 5, 2019


The Lighthouse is incredible, and while both Pattinson and Dafoe are great in it, I think Dafoe steals the show. I feel like people forget what an incredible actor Dafoe is. His monologue during the scene in which they argue about his cooking is tremendous and powerful.
posted by gucci mane at 12:43 PM on November 5, 2019


Needs more Kristen Stewart

I wouldn't count on that one happening again.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:54 PM on November 5, 2019


Strongly disagree that Pattinson was terrible in The Rover.
posted by holborne at 1:05 PM on November 5, 2019


I don't know if they ended up all staked but an indie far future science fiction that had all the vamps from the twilight series fighting the good fight against the singularity could have potential.
posted by sammyo at 1:09 PM on November 5, 2019 [2 favorites]


One day you wonder, whatever happened to the neighbor kid on that show and you find out they're doing repertory theatre in New England because they can.

This was what Sean Young was doing, the last time I looked. Out of options, or out of fucks to give? I think it was at least the latter. She seemed happy, although I stopped following her FB page due to some conspiracy nonsense she was into at the time.
posted by Countess Elena at 6:54 PM on November 5, 2019


>While some might wince at Pattinson’s after-the-fact contempt for his star-making role,

I'm sorry, "after the fact"? I'm pretty sure he was being pretty open about the contempt all the way through. The anti-twilight fandom loved him for it...

Ah, the anti-twilight fandom, those were good fun days and it was a pretty good-spirited and non-nasty anti-fandom. Mostly populated by women. Some of whom wrote twilight fanfic...
posted by Cozybee at 12:29 AM on November 6, 2019


For Kristen Stewart in weird indie movies, I'll plug Equals, which is a giant rip off of Equalibrium that drops most of the action in favor of more emotional beats. Wikipedia tells me it got a lot of mixed to bad reviews, which it probably deserves, but I enjoyed it a lot. Firmly a "if you think you'd like it, you probably will, but steer clear otherwise" kind of movie.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 11:30 AM on November 6, 2019


Pattinson was on Colbert a year or two ago. The Stay Human band had a young woman in her early 20s on lead guitar (she hasn't been on in a while, I think she moved on). So when Stephen and Jon were riffing before introducing Pattinson, Jon said that Maddy, the guitarist, was very very excited to see him. At this point she's embarrassed. Stephen asked if it was because of Twilight. Maddy blushes and Jon brays, "Naaaaaaah, she's still all about Cedric Diggory!"

You can say that Twilight made him a star but there's an entire fandom that would vehemently disagree.
posted by Ber at 9:57 AM on November 7, 2019 [2 favorites]


And now I’m reminded of the Cedric wants a taco meme. Ah, fandom.
posted by rewil at 12:45 PM on November 7, 2019


Just finished 'The King', Pattinson's French accent is also dreadful. Like, smells of elderberries bad. Shame, as the actors playing Englishmen seemed to have put a lot of effort into their accents, especially Edgerton.
posted by biffa at 2:58 PM on November 8, 2019




Pattinson's French accent is also dreadful. Like, smells of elderberries bad.

I swear there was an interview somewhere where someone asked Timothee (who is half-French) what he thought of it; I do not know what his response was but am now wondering enough to go look it up.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:16 PM on November 20, 2019


Have just watched the interview I was thinking of - an MTV thing where various pairs of cast members are asked various questions. Timothee is paired with the director for their segments, and when they ask about "Robert Pattinson's French accent" the director launches into a breathless and slightly defensive comment about "we wanted him to be larger than life and over the top" and such, and meanwhile, Timothee is sitting next to him, arms folded, looking down at the ground, and saying absolutely nothing.

Hmm.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:41 PM on November 20, 2019 [1 favorite]


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