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Charley’s Top 5 Favorite “Character” Movie Roles [VIDEOS]

Chris Hondros, Getty Images
A friend of mine over dinner the other night was talking about the new Jack Black movie called “Bernie” which I had never heard of. They had got the movie thinking it was a comedy and found out that Jack Black can pull of some serious acting and truly immerse himself into a dramatic character. This got me to thinking about what I thought were the best roles ever pulled off by an actor. Here are my Top 5 and I look forward to seeing comments on the ones I missed. Click on the titles for the movie trailer video's.


 

Sling Blade is a 1996 flick set in rural Arkansas. The movie was written and directed by Billy Bob Thornton, who obviously stars in the lead role as well. He plays the character of Karl Childers, a mentally impaired man who is released from a psychiatric hospital, where he has lived since killing his mother and her lover when he was 12 years old. The moving centers around a friendship he develops with a young local boy. This may have also been my first time seeing Dwight Yoakam as an actor and he too pulled his role off flawlessly. The movie also stars John Ritter and Robert Duvall among others. Sling Blade won the Academy Award for Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay, and Thornton was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role.

 
Jana Birchum, Getty Images
Jana Birchum, Getty Images
 

Rain Man is a 1988 American drama film directed by Barry Levinson. It tells the story of an abrasive and selfish yuppie, Charlie Babbitt, who discovers that his estranged father has died and bequeathed all of his multimillion-dollar estate to his other son, Raymond, an autistic savant of whose existence Charlie was unaware. The film stars Dustin Hoffman as Raymond Babbitt, Tom Cruise as Charlie Babbitt and Valeria Golino as Charlie's girlfriend, Susanna. The "Raymond" character was based on Kim Peek, a real-life savant. The movie won four Oscars at the 61st Academy Awards in 1989 including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Actor in a leading role for Hoffman.

 
Tim Whitby, Getty Images
Tim Whitby, Getty Images
 

What's Eating Gilbert Grape is a beautifully shot movie of tenderness, caring and self-awareness that is set amongst the fictional working class one street town Endora. Centred around the Grape family Ellen and Amy and their two brothers Arnie, played by Johnny Depp and Gilbert, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, along with their morbidly obese widowed mother Bonnie Grape just try to survive and coexist with the absence of a father figure, low wage work and seventeen-year-old Arnie's severe mental condition. Even though I am not a big Leonardo DiCaprio fan, he wins a place in my top 5 for pulling off his character.

 
Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Kevin Winter, Getty Images
 

Jodie Foster starred in this film in 1994 as a young woman who has to face other people for the first time after being raised by her mother in an isolated cabin with no real contact with the outside world. The film also co-stars Liam Neeson, Natasha Richardson, and Nick Searcy. The film was directed by Michael Apted, and was based on Mark Handley's play Idioglossia. Foster was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for her role. She also won a Screen Actors Guild Award and in my opinion, nailed the role earning a spot in the top 5.

 
Jason Merritt, Getty Images
Jason Merritt, Getty Images
 

What can you say about Forrest Gump. The film won the Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor for Tom Hanks, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Visual Effects and Best Film Editing. It also reeled in multiple other awards and nominations, including Golden Globe Awards, People's Choice Awards and Young Artist Awards, among others.

 
Jemal Countess, Getty Images
Jemal Countess, Getty Images

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