With 103 acting credits to his name, Robin Williams left behind a massive body of work. We all know his huge movie successes like Good Will Hunting, Mrs. Doubtfire, Good Morning Vietnam and Dead Poets Society to name just four. But many of his movies often get overlooked, which is a shame as there are some gems in there. Here are five of my favourites.
The Final Cut
This sci-fi thriller from 2004 stars Williams as Alan Hackman, a 'Cutter' - someone who helps edit memory implants - who gets a lot more than he bargained for with his latest assignment, and winds up in the middle of a deepening conspiracy. Co-starring Jim Caviezel and Mira Sorvino, this falls just short of being a great film - it's certainly a brilliant idea but the latter half of the movie doesn't capitalise on the opening premise. That being said, Williams is excellent and delivers one of his strongest non-comedy leading performances.
This is often overlooked, or confused with One Hour Photo. Both were released in 2002 and both saw Williams stretching his acting range like never before, and comfortably pulling it off. Insomnia is a Christopher Nolan movie, a psychological thriller set in a Northern town where the sun doesn't set. Williams plays Walter Finch, a truly creepy killer who is pitted against Al Pacino's sleep-deprived L.A. Police Officer, who has been dispatched to investigate the murder of a young teen. It's a unnerving performance, and well worth watching.
Insisting that his cameo in the movie went uncredited, Williams played a disgraced former psychiatrist going by the name of Doctor Cozy Carlisle, who offers advice to Kenneth Branagh's P.I. Mike Church. When Church tells him he's trying to quit smoking, Carlisle offers these words of wisdom:
"Someone is either a smoker or a nonsmoker. There's no in-between. The trick is to find out which one you are, and be that.…. You take what you learn in this life and use it in the next. That's karma."I'm surprised by how many people have never seen this 1991 film, it's a cracker of a movie that plays out in two different eras and features a stellar cast.
Another Kenneth Branagh collaboration, Williams plays Osric the courtier. He's the comic relief in the melancholy and tragic tale, and comes complete with a fine set of muttonchops plus mustache that's aching to be twirled. It's arguably the best take on Hamlet we've seen this side on 1948, you don't need to be a big Shakespeare lover to get into this because the addition of many famous faces will help you to recognise all the characters and stay with the plot. There's many notable cameos but Williams' is by far the best, he almost upstages Kenneth Branagh's Great Dane.
Ferngully: The Last Rainforest
In 1992 Williams provided the voice of the Genie in the Disney movie Aladdin, he also contributed to another animated film that year which often gets overlooked. Williams voiced the hilarious fruit bat Batty Koda in Ferngully: The Last Rainforest. It's a surprisingly entertaining family movie, which I can firmly recommend if you have kids, and similar to his work on Aladdin, Williams’ character provides the heart and soul of the movie.
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