Moviegeek5: Mark Ruffalo
As is the case for a surprisingly large number of now famous actors, Wisconsin-born Mark Ruffalo made his feature film début in a little known horror film, Mirror, Mirror 2: Raven Dance (1994), and even appeared in the sequel Mirror, Mirror III: The Voyeur (1995). The 1990s provided him with consistent work, but no breakthrough until he appeared in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) and 13 Going on 30 (2004). From there his career has been on a steady rise with both solid dramatic roles in Oscar-winning films as well as indie films, and high profiled roles in blockbuster films, especially in the decade following his strong performance in David Fincher’s Zodiac (2007). Ruffalo has a natural ability to capture a charming innocence a well has dark dramatic roles, e.g. in Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher (2014), where he gave what was arguably the stronger performance; the sort of performance that is not particularly flashy. That is exactly what makes Mark Ruffalo so likable; he is at his best when he is most natural and ordinary. He is the boy next door, the best friend, the good cop, the reliable guy, and that is not always such a bad thing!
We have put together a list of fie excellent moments in Ruffalo’s career so far. Tell us your favourite Ruffalo performances in the comments below!
The Kids Are Alright (2010)
One of the films that really put Mark Ruffalo on the map, was Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids Are Alright, a romantic comedy drama about biological father of the children of a lesbian couple turns up and stirs things up. Ruffalo is perfectly cast as the middle-aged man who does not always realise the consequences of the things he does. Opposite him are the two towerhouse actresses Annette Benning and Juliane Moore, and the film is a feast for does who love a strong family drama and watching strong actors doing their thing.
The Avengers (2012)
Mark Ruffalo gained a whole to mass of fans with his great performance as Bruce Banner / The Hulk in Josh Whedon’s The Avengers as well as several subsequent Marvel films. He replaced Edward Norton, who had portrayed the character in The Incredible Hulk (2008), which is now largely ignored by the so-called Marvel Cinematic Universe. He had big shoes to fill, playing a popular character in a multible character film without the luxury of the previous introductions afforded to Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America. But Ruffalo nailed it, and he is generally hailed as the best Bruce Banner to date. We here at Moviegeek are still hoping for that Hulk standalone film.
Now You See Me (2013)
This first installment in a soon-to-be trilogy is an unusual film that has apparently filled a gap in film. This crime mystery film revolves around a group of magicians who are brought together by a clue from an unknown magician and go on the tour with a new show that includes Robin Hood-like bank robberies. Mark Ruffalo’s FBI agent has the dubious honour of trying the stop them with the help of a French Interpol agent played by Mélanie Laurent. With names such as Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Michael Caine, and Morgan Freeman, the film has a cast that draws the crowds in and Ruffalo manages so stand out in that star-sparkled crowd.
Infinitely Polar Bear (2014)
Mark Ruffalo’s ability to capture a disarming combination of charm and infantile egotism is best showcased in this wonderful indie film about a bipolar father given the task of raising his daughter on his own while their mother studies in New York. Mark Ruffalo might not be an obvious choice for the penniless member of an old and stinking rich Boston family, but that is soon forgetting when as the gentle story unfolds. His co-star Zoe Saldana, and the two young actors who play their daughters are all great, but Ruffalo is given the biggest task and handles it wonderfully.
Some of the most dramatic moments in the modern world take place in news rooms, think of All the Presidents Men (1976) about the uncovering of Watergate, or Steven Spielberg’s upcoming The Post (2017) about uncovering of a cover-up by five U.S. presidents. One such moment was the uncovering of the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, and subsequent attempts by high-ranking clergymen to cover it up and Spotlight is the story about the team of investigative journalists who dug out the story. Mark Ruffalo is part of that team; the emotional counter part to Michael Keaton’s calm leader. Ruffalo excels in a number of intense scenes and was awarded his third Oscar nomination for his effort.