Edward Norton’s best performances, from Fight Club to Glass Onion – MMA Fighting

Since its debut on the big screen in 1996 Primary fear, Edward Norton gave the audience a number of touching and high-quality performances. A versatile actor who clearly enjoys challenging himself and experimenting with different personas and genres, he’s walked around the block in many different shoes. Having received three Oscar nominations for very different performances in Primary fear, American history xand birdman, Norton is among the elite film performers of his generation. With its inclusion in Rian Johnsonthe rest of the whole, Glass onion: a mystery at loggerheadssome of the actor’s best films and performances are worth pondering.

RELATED: Watch ‘Glass Onion’ Star Edward Norton Guess the Movies From His Career

Primal Fear (1996)

Image via Paramount Pictures

When the audience thriller Primary fear was released in April 1996, audiences had never heard of Edward Norton. But the 26-year-old from Boston, just like the young man he portrays in the film, had viewers eating out of the palm of his hand from day one. Getting by with a screen veteran Richard Gere playing an altar boy accused of murdering an archbishop, Norton pulled off a performance on many levels in a performance. The film’s ending, which simultaneously pulls the rug out from under Gere’s overconfident lawyer and the audience, is a testament to the young newcomer’s persuasive abilities as an actor. Norton would storm the awards circuit that year, earning a Golden Globe and Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Not bad for your film debut.

American History X (1998)

Just two years after wowing audiences with Primary fearNorton gave what is perhaps his most raw and unsettling performance to date in Tony Kayethis is the drama. He plays Derek, a once-imprisoned neo-Nazi who seeks a path to redemption by stopping his younger brother, Danny (Edward Furlong), to succumb to racial hatred. While far from comfortable, the movie works in large part because of Norton’s stellar work. He brings a level of authenticity and empathy to Derek, a tragic man whose intellect, conscience and soul have been hijacked by rage and prejudice. American history x would bring the actor his second Oscar nomination, firmly establishing him as a power to be reckoned with.

Fight Club (1999)

While David Fincherit is fight club initially met with some perplexity, it became one of the definitive cult classics of the ’90s. With the film’s biting and satirical take on consumer culture and anti-social behavior, it effectively presents a troubling mirror to audiences. The narrative is largely propelled by Norton’s deadpan, nihilistic, yet oddly insightful musings on the inherent flaws of society and individuals. As Primary fear, fight clubThe twist’s ending comes with a bang, happily disorienting viewers and forcing them to reconsider what they’ve been watching the previous two hours. From start to finish, Norton’s engaged performance takes audiences on a wild ride that, while disturbing at times, is full of wonderfully irreverent and darkly hilarious social commentary that still resonates 23 years later.

25th Hour (2002)

Image Via Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

Led by the ever assured Spike Lee and written by game of thrones showrunner, David Benioff (who adapted his own novel), 25th hour spends a solemn and introspective day in the life of Monty (Edward Norton). About to spend seven years in prison for drug trafficking, Monty spends his last day as a free man with his family, friends and girlfriend. Lee’s film tackles many ideas and themes revolving around regret, fate, and a tremendous sense of loss and worthlessness in the aftermath of 9/11. Monty is one of Norton’s darkest and most frustrated characters, who spends much of the film ruminating and considering his past choices and actions. While the film doesn’t have a happy ending, it’s Norton’s melancholy journey and nuanced performance that counts to make it one of the most memorable films in his wheelhouse.

Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

edward norton as king baldwin kingdom of heaven
Image via 20th Century Fox

Ridley ScottThe epic crusade-centric film is an often-overlooked gem among his oeuvre. A meditative and reflective examination of religiosity and the moral scruples it presents, kingdom of paradise focuses on Balian (Orlando Bloom), a young man struggling with a crisis of faith in the midst of a war between Christians and Muslims in the 12th century. After traveling to the Holy Land, he finds comfort and solace in the brief but powerful advice of King Baldwin (Edward Norton). It’s one of Norton’s most sensitive, subtle and understated performances. A leper who dons a face mask to conceal his condition, we never see Baldwin’s face, but the actor’s turn as an empathetic and philosophical leader is one of the film’s hallmarks nonetheless. It serves as the beating heart of Balian’s consciousness as the newly ennobled protagonist navigates the treacherous waters of self-discovery and redemption.

The Illusionist (2006)

Edward Norton in
Image via Bull’s Eye Entertainment

In another quietly moving performance, Norton plays Eduard Abramovich in Neil Burgeris a film based on a short story by Steven Millhauser. Located in Vienna at the end of the 19th century, the illusionist tells the story of a magician who attempts to transcend class lines by reconnecting with a woman he knew as a child. Perhaps widely known as having dated alongside Christopher Nolan Prestige, also set in the world of magicians of the same era, the film explores classic themes in its depiction of the tense nature of forbidden love. With a battle of wits between Norton’s Eduard and Rufus Sewell‘s Prince Leopold on the affection of the latter’s future wife, Sophie (Jessica Biel), the film is loosely inspired by the Mayerling incident which saw the murder-suicide of an Austrian heir to the throne and his lover. As Prestige, the illusionist is full of twists, warranting repeat viewings.

Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

Edward Norton in Moonrise Kingdom
Image via focus features

The unorthodox story of two young and precocious lovers who elope in 1965, Wes Andersonit is Moonrise Kingdom was a critical darling and a commercial success upon release. Featuring an all-star cast of artists, Anderson’s signature coming-of-age film features Edward Norton as Scout Master Ward, an equally capable and hapless leader. Ward spends much of the film wringing his hands on his scout, Sam (Jared Gilman), who disappeared alongside his crush, Suzy (Kara Hayward). While not his first venture into comedy, Norton brings complete candor to Anderson’s character and film as a whole, proving he can take on seasoned comedic actors like Bill Murray and Frances McDormand. The usual dry wit and deadpan humor associated with the filmmaker’s aesthetic matched the actor’s sensibilities perfectly, so it’s no surprise that Norton continued to be a regular cast member in Anderson’s films with later appearances in The Grand Budapest Hotel, isle of dogsand The French Dispatch. According to Norton, he was so eager to work with Anderson that he only received $4,200 for his work on Moonrise Kingdom.

Birdman (2014)

Edward Norton and Michael Keaton in Birdman
Image via Fox Projector Images

Alejandro Gonzalez InarrituThe film is one of modern cinema’s most thrilling showcases of top-notch acting and technical mastery that complement each other. The story of a failed film actor, Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton), who hopes to reinvent herself and her career by staging a cover of a Raymond Carver player, birdman full of great performances. Edward Norton plays the arrogant but undeniably talented Mike Shiner, a stage veteran who throws a wrench into Riggan’s room with his overbearing approach to methodical acting. Shiner is perhaps the film’s most magnetic and memorable character, with Norton constantly chewing the landscape around his co-stars and hilariously pointing out the absurd and pretentious tendencies that can fuel a sense of self-importance. an actor, to the detriment of those of his performative. circle. Norton would receive his third Oscar nomination for his portrayal of the endlessly unpleasant but still watchable stage performer whose biggest fan is himself.

Motherless Brooklyn (2019)

Edward Norton starred, produced, wrote and directed this dark crime thriller which also stars Gugu Mbatha Raw, Alec Baldwin, Willem Dafoeand Bruce Willis. The actor’s second directing effort is set in the 1950s and revolves around detective Lionel Essrog as he scours the city in search of those responsible for the murder of his friend and mentor. motherless brooklyn gave Norton another opportunity to play a leading role. Highly intelligent and suffering from Tourette’s Syndrome, this character provided Norton with unique new challenges as an actor without seeing him venture into sighted territory. He keeps the character grounded and believable, resisting the possible temptation to outdo his co-stars. With the film treading relatively familiar territory when it comes to storytelling, genre, and setting, it doesn’t necessarily give audiences something they haven’t seen in some capacity. But nevertheless, motherless brooklyn is an ambitious film that relies more on characters than on thrills and action.

Glass Onion: A Mystery at Daggers Drawn (2022)

Rian Johnson’s highly anticipated sequel to his 2019 hit, Knives out, finally hit Netflix after a brief theatrical release in November. In his second film outing, Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) seeks to uncover another murder mystery – and billionaire tech CEO Miles Bron (Edward Norton) is at the center of it. Just like its predecessor, and probably even more so, Glass Onion satirically delves into the nature of greed, deceit and manipulation in the name of self-interest. Norton’s Miles takes center stage as the pompous man hosting a murder mystery party at his titular estate, to which White secures an invite along with a host of characters who are all too familiar in our contemporary digital age. Once again, working among an impressive cast of performers, Norton chews up the scenery like a man with an exaggerated sense of his own importance and is more than a little wary of Blanc’s presence and intentions.

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Edward Norton’s best performances, from Fight Club to Glass Onion – MMA Fighting