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December 28, 2007
Great Performances in '07: Benicio Del Toro in 'Things We Lost in the Fire'

In Sunday's Ticket+, I will be sharing my Top 10 movies of 2007. In the same spirit, I am resuming my "Great Performances in '07" feature for 21Q. (This is an occasional feature - emphasis on "occasional" - praising performances overlooked by most end-of-the-year awards.)

benicio

Near the top of my list is Benicio Del Toro in "Things We Lost in the Fire," a movie that disappeared from theaters too soon after its release in October.

One of a handful of American actors who gives a good-to-great performance every time out, Del Toro is downcast yet electrifying in "Fire." His performance as Jerry, a recovering alcoholic trying to resume a semblance of a normal life, plays as a kind of apology. The defeated posture and near-constant wince tell us Jerry is always aware that he has disappointed people.

At the same time, Del Toro shows how much still remains in this guy, who is smart, funny and incredibly magnetic. Of course, the magnetic part might simply be Del Toro, whose charisma jumps off the screen regardless of the role he plays.


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