Edward Norton is perhaps the best actor of his generation. However, this "star" has never been in any movie that has
crossed the 100 million dollar threshold. That doesn't diminish his glaring talent. He has starred in many memorable films
while contributing several great performances in films including Fight Club, Primal Fear, American History X, The Score, and
25th Hour. First, let me say that he is a fine comedic actor, evidenced by his deft portrayal of the Narrator character in
the dark comedy Fight Club. For a reference point, look back at his fight with himself in his boss' office. Speaking of fighting
with himself, Norton also has a powerful scene in 25th Hour where he argues with his reflection in a mirror. His shouted words
are spiked with venom, fear, and a vunerability that color the scene as unique and drastically affecting. The same
movie contains a scene in which Norton...!!!!Spoilers!!!!...begs his friend Francis (Barry
Pepper) to beat him up so he won't look pretty for the boys in jail. It's heartbreaking to watch. Also great is his work
in the dual role as the innocent (?) young altar boy in Primal Fear accused of murdering a priest. He has to play two completely
characters and keep you thinking he has split personalities whether it's true or not. He has to be terribly menacing when
he's the evil alter ego and absolutely innocent as a...well, an altar boy. This was his first role and the one that brought
him into the limelight. He has since stolen the show from Robert Deniro in The Score. He played a cocky young thief with the
perfect cover, that of a mentally retarded custodian. His scenes under the guise of the custodian are especially
convincing. He came to be known as a premiere leading man in American History X, playing a skinhead who rethinks his way of
life while in prison. The story can come off as overly setimental at times, but the message and performances are sincere.
The transformation that occurs becomes reality because Norton makes it so. He never lets the seams of his character show.
It's a great performance. Also forgotten is his surprisingly memorable character, Worm, in Rounders. He plays the low life
best friend of Mike (Matt Damon) fresh out of jail and up for some trouble. It's a fun performance in a fun film. Hopefully
Norton will gather more fans with a huge role, but for now he has gained my admiration.
recommended Edward Norton performances:
American History X