I had every intention of writing a post today about Shakespeare, but with the sad news of the passing of Alan Rickman, I thought I’d pay tribute to him instead. I cannot but help admire the man . He was one of those rare actors that made the craft look easy, yet there was always depth to what he did. Because of his voice and his subtle mannerisms, it was always hard to take my eyes off him when he was on screen. What can I say about the man who transitioned from the villainous Snape to the comically depressed Marvin the robot with such ease and grace? He will be missed & we shan’t see his like again.
Here are my top five favorite Alan Rickman’s movies in descending order:
Galaxy quest Dr. Lazarus
I didn’t get a chance to see Galaxy Quest on the big screen, in fact I don’t remember how I even found the movie. But I do remember it was one of my son’s favorite movies. The movie was released in 1999, which would’ve made my son four years old. This is the age in which children can sit and watch a movie over and over again. My son was no different; I cannot count how many times I’ve seen this movie or heard it as background noise. But it never got old. Ironically Rickman played an actor who was sick of being typecast and had little use for his fans.
Rickman could have easily played the role as an insufferable jerk, but instead you felt for him and understood his dislike of the box he found himself in. Though Galaxy Quest was a silly comedy, Rickman was able to induce pathos into his character. You couldn’t help but be moved when Dr. Lazarus finally found his humanity when he embraced his alien counterpart. By Grabthar’s Hammer you will be missed!
Die Hard Hans Gruber
I don’t usually pay attention to villains in movies; I find them one-dimensional and flat. But there was something about Gruber that mesmerized me. Was it is voice, his face, His mannerisms? It was all that and more. In the hands of Rickman, Gruber came to life; I believed him to be evil and I believed every damn word he said. To be honest I thought he was the best thing about that movie.
Sense and sensibility Col. Brandon
Ahh, here’s a secret about me. Normally I dislike l what we term “chick flicks”. I find them to be stale and wholly on believable, yet turn on Sense and Sensibility and I’m quiet for two hours (okay, I don’t cry quietly). There is nothing about this movie I don’t love. It’s the movie that made me fall in love with Alan Rickman. I’m sure it’s no coincidence that the movie came out about the same time I finally learned that it was better to fall in love with nice guys, and what better nice guy than Col. Brandon? Once again Rickman found himself playing a role that in any other hands could have been portrayed flat and one-dimensional yet we can all agree Brandon’s smile at his wedding put a smile on our faces. We the audience felt for him and were happy for him.
Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy Marvin the depressed robot
I really, really wanted to love this film, but I also knew that it was going to disappoint me. I don’t think any director could have successfully pulled off adapting Adams’ wildly popular book into a movie to everyone’s satisfaction, but I think Garth Jennings really screwed it up for everyone. The only two things that make this movie worth watching are Martin Freeman and Alan Rickman. Rickman’s voice was perfect for the role of a depressed higher intelligent being. He was so good that now, anytime a robot of any mental state opens it’s mouth and speaks, I’m disappointed to hear it’s not Rickman. Whenever I find myself thinking or saying depressing thoughts I hear Rickman’s voice and it makes me giggle and my negative thoughts float away. Thank you sir for that gift.
Harry Potter Prof. Snape
I’m not sure I have the words to express just how perfectly Rickman embodied this role. It’s hard to believe Rowling didn’t write this character with Rickman in mind. It’s never easy to take up the challenge of bringing a much beloved (okay, loved to be hated) and popular book character to life, yet Rickman became Snape and quickly made us realize there is no one else on the earth that could have pulled this off. Why Rickman never won an Oscar for this role I’ll never understand. Shame on the Academy for not recognizing Rickman’s genius performance of Snape.
Thank you Mr. Rickman for all the wonderful role you have played and the countless gifts of entertainment. Your star shone bright and sadly went out far to quickly. I can only hope you are now at peace. As for me, like many of your fans, I will spend the day not mourning but celebrating your body of work. Well done sir, well done. Metatron, your work is now complete.