In preparation for seeing the much hyped Zombieland tomorrow, I decided to run off my first list in about a gazillion years. I don't know why I stopped doing them because I could go on for hours and hours about why lists are pretty much the greatest thing in the world. Anyway, the top five Woody Harrelson moments in cinema, thus excluding Cheers and his stint on Will and Grace...
5) Sgt. Keck, The Thin Red Line
In a movie with such an expansive cast, which is basically a who's who of every American movie star relevant in 1998, its difficult to make an impression but Harrelson manages it, lending the character a real humanity.
4) Carson Wells, No Country for Old Men
A small role to be sure, but merits its place based on a single scene he shares with Javier Bardem. Its close to being the strongest scene in a movie that's full of them. And its Harrelson's credit that he made such a two-bit character memorable.
3) Ernie Luckman, A Scanner Darkly
While admittedly its not rocket science to steal a movie from Keanu Reeves, doing so from Robert Downey Jr is a lot more impressive. But taking on Downey Jr and Rotoscoping (Crazy photo-animation) and still managing to be hilarious? that's the kicker.
2) Mickey Knox, Natural Born Killers
For most people this would have made number one, and it very well could have if Oliver Stone hadn't ensured that this is one of the most obnoxiously over done films of all time. If Stone had laid off some of the tricks and just let him act it may have been a different story. He's still great and a bizarrely thoughtful presence in a movie that is otherwise a poster child for ADD.
1) Larry Flynt, The people Vs. Larry Flynt
In a depressingly conservative move, I'm agreeing with the academy. This is Woody's only Oscar nomination and for me its the best I've ever seen him be. The movie may be only OK, but the man now known as Tallahassee is terrific and as central performances go you can't do better then this, Harrelson or no.