Alan Rickman, an actor whose career boasts some of the most brilliant characters of all time, and has one of the most distinctive voices on the big screen, recognised by all cinephiles everywhere, turns the glorious age of 67 today (21st February 2013). For that reason, I have decided to count down my top 5 Alan Rickman films of all time based on his performances in them.
5) Love Actually (Richard Curtis, 2003)
Love Actually was a fantastic, British romantic comedy, and is probably watched by the majority of Britain every Christmas. Alan Rickman’s character in it is not perhaps the best, but Rickman still achieves the effect of creating a brilliant character that makes the film all that much more enjoyable. Alan Rickman is great in all of his roles, but his role in Love Actually was a little more fun and witty, and he was, without a doubt, one of the most loveable actors that performed in the film despite the many brilliant co-stars he had. This is one of the best British romantic comedies ever made, and is directed by Richard Curtis, who has worked on some real British gems including Notting Hill, The Boat That Rocked, and Four Weddings and a Funeral. Incidentally, Curtis also wrote the screenplay for my favourite episode of Doctor Who (Vincent and the Doctor). His brilliantly creative style is evident in Love Actually, and is enhanced all that bit more through Rickman’s interpretation of his role. Alan Rickman is very much a dynamic actor, and this is one of his best films, and definitely worth a watch at least once or, if you’re truly British, every cold, rainy, Winter’s night with a hot cup of tea.
4) Dark Harbor
Dark Harbor was a slightly strange film with even stranger plot twists. I wasn’t expecting to like this movie, but Alan Rickman was brilliant in it, as were his co-stars, Polly Walker and Norman Reedus. It’s a brilliant film, although it took me a little while before I became fully engaged with the story, but it was worth it when I did. I thought Alan Rickman’s acting in this film was one of his best performances yet, and for that reason, it is number 4.
3) Robin Hood And The Prince of Thieves (Kevin Reynolds, 1991)
This is an absolute classic gem of a film and stars some wonderful actors including Kevin Costner, Christian Slater, Morgan Freeman, and even a minor role from Jack Wild. Alan Rickman plays the evil Sheriff George of Nottingham in this film, and is wonderful in it. His voice is so very distinctive in this movie, and Rickman’s performance of the Sheriff adds subtle comedy and definitely steals the show in the film (despite Kevin Costner’s also wonderful performance). It’s a brilliant film, and I recommend it to you all based on Alan Rickman’s performance in it alone.
2) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (David Yates, 2011)
Alan Rickman throughout all 8 Harry Potter films, portrayed the fragile, vulnerable Severus Snape who, in Deathly Hallows: Part 2, met a tragic end. Snape was an ambiguous character, and there was always question over whether he was on the side of good or evil. Alan Rickman himself was one of the very few who knew from the beginning the secrets of Severus Snape’s past, one which haunted his mysterious character, and so he performed in the films hoping to capture Snape exactly as one would expect him to be after his secret past was revealed in the last film. Alan Rickman certainly did an incredible job of this role, and there is no one else that I can imagine now as Severus Snape.
1) Closet Land (Radha Bharadwaj, 1991)
Closet Land is very much an underrated, but absolutely brilliant film. It follows just two characters conversing in a room throughout the whole film as Alan Rickman’s character accuses the young girl in the room with him of writing children’s stories with hidden anarchist messages. Rickman’s performance in this film was incredible, and there’s little I can say without giving too much away, but his portrayal of the sadistic policeman is in my opinion, the best performance of his career. The film itself is also fantastic, filled to the brim with plot twists and turns. And if you want to learn how to write a brilliant script, then this is a film I 100% recommend to any budding scriptwriters, as the script for this film truly was incredibly engaging, interesting, filled with suspense and one which allowed the actors to create an absolute treasure of a film.