Luc Besson’s “The Lady,” which I caught in Toronto last month, is an okay biopic about Aung San Suu Kyi, a Burmese political leader and winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize (which she couldn’t accept in person given she was imprisoned, under house arrest, in Burma at the time). It’s Oscar bait, for sure, but I don’t see the Academy taking too much notice, unfortunately. I was really, really hopeful for Michelle Yeoh‘s portrayal, especially given that no Asian woman has been nominated for Best Actress since 1935, when Indian-born Merle Oberon was recognized for “The Dark Angel.” Yeoh is good in the role, though she isn’t given enough to do that could be considered Oscar-worthy. She has very few powerful moments.
There is a remarkable performance in “The Lady” that I’d like the Academy to take notice of, however: David Thewlis‘s. The 1993 Cannes-winner displays what I believe to be some of his best work since “Naked,” and that’s not just because he takes on two parts here. He does play both Michael Aris, the cancer-stricken British husband of Aung San Suu Kyi’s, and also Michael’s twin brother, Anthony Aris. But the latter isn’t in the film too much. Maybe about as much as Thewlis would seem to be in the entire movie given his bare appearance in the first full trailer. He’s far and away the best thing about “The Lady,” and he not only deserves more screen time in this spot, but he also ought to get a Best Supporting Actor nomination. Maybe his “Harry Potter” connection could even get the younger folk excited.
Watch the disappointingly Thewlis-light trailer after the jump courtesy of Yahoo! Movies.
“Let us march forward together towards our goal!” An Oscar for Thewlis!