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While I think we can all agree that “Mad Max: Fury Road” really belongs to Charlize Theron’s Furiosa, Tom Hardy’s mumbly, moody, violent take on Max is worth celebrating, too. Hardy doesn’t talk much in this movie – at least not incoherently. He has an opening narration, then spends a huge chunk of the movie grumbling to himself, then a few lines here or there. But his presence is always felt, and his Max truly seems haunted by the post-apocalyptic world he inhabits. And in the end, he finds some sort of redemption by helping others, despite his reservations. Witness me, blood bag!
“Locke” is a remarkable one-man show for Hardy. He plays a construction foreman who learns that a woman he had an affair with months ago is pregnant and suddenly going into premature labor. Hardy’s character has a huge job coming up, but instead, he hops in his car and speeds off to the hospital, which isn’t exactly close. As a result, we spend almost the entire movie in the car with Hardy as he heads to his destination and speaks with other people in his life on the phone. While we hear the voices of other characters, Hardy is the only actor we ever really see, and he commands the film from beginning to end by simply driving and speaking on a phone.
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“Capone” received almost universally negative reviews last year – but I liked it. This is not a standard biopic. Instead, it’s akin to a horror movie that follows gangster Al Capone (Hardy, buried under make-up) in his final days as he suffers from dementia and is haunted by the horrible things he did in his past. This is one of Hardy’s quirkiest performances, full of strange tics, raspy dialogue, and scenes where he chomps on a carrot in place of a cigar like some sort of deranged Bugs Bunny.
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