|12. ABE HENRY |
Film: Bottle Rocket (1996)
Wes Anderson’s heist caper Bottle Rocket may have been one of the worst test screenings in the history of Columbia Pictures, critically divisive and a box-office calamity, but it still had many things going for it. For one thing, Martin Scorsese loved it; for another, it had James “CAAAAAAAAAAAN!” Caan in it. The acting titan returned to his Godfather/Thief roots to play a foul-mouthed landscaper with a sideline in criminal scheming and a side-sideline in father-figuring Dignan (Owen Wilson). He wins extra marks for putting the beat down on the odious Future Man. “I didn’t mean to offend you, Bob,” he tells Bob Mapplethorpe, “but your brother’s a cocksucker. Does that offend you?” Feel the wrath of Caan.
|11. M. GUSTAVE |
Film: The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
The latest leading man in Anderson's company is someone not known for comedy but, on the strength of this effort, someone who should quit the drama stuff and devote himself to laughs forthwith. Ralph Fiennes throws himself into the role of an endlessly competent, casually seductive and unashamedly camp hotel concierge just at the moment that his species came under threat from a changing world and, more particularly, the jealous attention of a rival heir to an old lady's property. His quasi-paternal relationship with Tony Revolori's Zero is oddly touching, and his ability to fit in to any surroundings, whether he's seducing elderly clients or befriending hardened criminals, is marvellous. He even manages to make prison duds look dashing, which is something that A Prophet singularly failed to accomplish.
|10. KLAUS DAIMLER |
Film: The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004)
Loveable and mulishly loyal to his boss, German sidekick Klaus Daimler somehow takes most of Zissou’s seaborne caprices in his stride. The son. The pirates. The monomanic quest for the Leopard shark that chewed up his friend and left him adrift in bloodied water. In fact, the only time a note of panic enters his voice is when he finds himself relegated to ‘B’ squad by Zissou. “You might be on ‘B’ squad,” the utterly deranged mariner tells him, “but you're the ‘B’ squad leader.” Cheery to the last, Klaus seems happy with that.
|9. DUDLEY HEINSBERGEN |
Film: The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
Dudley suffers from a rare condition, previously unknown to science, that “combines symptoms of amnesia, dyslexia, and color-blindness, with a highly acute sense of hearing.” While this is unfortunate for the poor boy, it makes him a fascinating contrast to the highly self-involved Tenenbaums and means that there is always someone nearby to offer commentary on the things that really matter (“That cab has a dent in it.”). As a bonus, he makes a terrific double act with Bill Murray’s Raleigh St. Clair. Someone give these two a sitcom.