Authored by Phil Dotree in Movies and Television
Published on 10-28-2009
Robin Williams has had an admirable career in show business. He went from legendary stand up to serious actor. Then, of course, he went to silly comedic actor, then back to serious actor again. Whatever role he’s playing, he brings a lot of charm and a unique sense of the character. Sometimes, he’s criticized as being over the top. That can certainly be the case, but when Williams is on, he gives everything to a role. Usually, the results are fairly astounding.
Here’s a look at a few of the best movies that Robin Williams has made.
1. Dead Poet’s Society – Robin Williams plays to both of his major talents in this role. As an English teacher handling an (at first) uninterested class, he’s very touching. He’s also funny, when it’s necessary. Dead Poet’s Society makes you wish you had Robin Williams for a teacher at some point. It’s an ode to free thinking, and it made even Williams’ critics stand up and take note.
2. What Dreams May Come – Robin Williams took on a heavy role for What Dreams May Come. He plays the husband of a shattered family as he literally goes to hell to save his wife from suffering. The cinematography lends a big hand to Williams’ complex performance. Every color seems vibrant enough to be almost painful. It’s a majestic yet sobering look at death, but it’s hard not to feel happy by the end of What Dreams May Come. A great movie that proves that Robin Williams is capable of toning his well-known crazy side down to make a role work.
3. Mrs. Doubtfire – Sure, this gender-switching comedy owes a lot to Tootsie. Robin Williams makes the role his own, though, with great physical humor and a surprisingly subtle touch. In the somewhat dubious genre of gender confusion comedies, Mrs. Doubtfire is probably the best known. That certainly would never be the case if it weren’t for Williams’ acting skills. It’s still a family film classic, and a staple of Williams’ comedy career.
4. One Hour Photo – This wasn’t the first of Robin Williams’ dark roles. That title would go to Death to Smoochy. It’s probably his most unsettling, though. Williams plays the obsessed, mentally unstable photo developer at a superstore. He starts to stalk a family, turning violent and uncomfortably intense along the way. It’s not something that you’d expect from Robin Williams, but he pulls it off very well. It’s unsettling, tense, and sobering. A very underrated and complex film.
5. Good Morning Vietnam – Robin Williams was nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of U.S. Air Force Airman Adrian Cronauer. Cronauer runs a radio show for U.S. troops with unpredictable humor and rock and roll records. This is much to the chagrin of his superiors, who censor him harshly. It’s another of Williams’ serious yet funny roles which gained him attention as a serious actor. It’s a bittersweet film, but a very influential and fun movie.
What are your favorite Robin Williams movies? Post your thoughts in the comments section below.