The most famous and challenging beard of them all sits on the chin of Daniel Day-Lewis, who eases into a role of epic difficulty as if it were a coat he had been wearing for years. It is both a curiosity and a marvel of modern cinema that this son of an Anglo-Irish poet should have become our leading portrayer of archaic Americans.
The Ballad of Jack and Rose
My Left Foot
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
In the Name of the Father
Gangs of New York
The Age of Innocence
There Will Be Blood
Mr. Day-Lewis’s outsize performance, with its footnote references to Huston and strange, contorted Kabuki-like grimaces, occasionally breaks the skin of the film’s surface like a dangerous undertow. The actor seems to have invaded Plainview’s every atom, filling an otherwise empty vessel with so much rage and purpose you wait for him to blow. It’s a thrilling performance, among the greatest I’ve seen, purposefully alienating and brilliantly located at the juncture between cinematic realism and theatrical spectacle.Nine
The Last of the Mohicans
On screen, Hawkeye is defined less by what he has to say -- not much -- than by the viscerally powerful presence of Mr. Day-Lewis, whose fierce and graceful body language speaks much louder than words. Does Mr. Day-Lewis have the wherewithal to give this figure a matinee-idol magnetism? What a silly question.Stars and Bars
A Room With A View
Spectacular, too, is a new young actor named Daniel Day Lewis, who plays the insufferable Cecil Vyse with a style and a wit that are all the more remarkable when compared to his very different characterization in ''My Beautiful Laundrette'' (review on page C8). Julian Sands, who played the English photographer in ''The Killing Fields,'' is equally good as the utterly straightforward George Emerson.My Beautiful Launderette
The film's most sympathetic as well as most stubbornly faithful characters are English. Johnny is a man of almost unbelievable patience and reserves of decency - qualities that Mr. Lewis realizes in a performance that has both extraordinary technical flash and emotional substance.