Stanley Tucci is what you might call a very classically-gifted actor that tends to go for very mainstream roles, if that’s even a saying. In short he seems like he’s meant for something greater than what he usually does, but he nails down whatever part he’s given without seeming as though it’s beneath him. The actor has been around for longer than some people might realize and nearly every role, no matter if it’s in a less than admirable movie, has been performed in a manner that can’t really be described as anything but great. A movie with Stanley in it could tank and you might at least remember that he played a very convincing villain or protagonist simply because he gives his characters every bit of himself most times and can easily convince you that the character is vital to the story in some way, even if they’re not.
Here are his five best movies.
5. Hunger Games
Sophie Shillaci of The Hollywood Reporter couldn’t help but praise Tucci on becoming the host Caesar Flickman from The Hunger Games since in truth the guy did pull out every stop he could find and went for the gusto as it’s said. A bright blue wig, false teeth, and an over the top chipper attitude about a game that’s basically a license for kids to murder each other for the sake of keeping the peace among the districts. One might think that off set Caesar would be one tortured individual since he’s essentially getting a life story about each contestant before they’re sent off to possible slaughter. But Tucci played it up so well that one could think that he might have a smile surgically plastered on his face.
4. Big Night
Working with family is one of the most difficult jobs in the world no matter what it is, while working with a family member that is a perfectionist is almost impossible at times. Despite this obstacle Primo and Secondo try to make things work, but their differences and their struggles are at times too much to move past and their restaurant continues to struggle. When their competitor offers to help he later on admits that he was setting them up to fail since he wanted them to either leave town or come work for him, which would have been a win either way. When the brothers refuse to quit they know they have a long ways to go towards success, but they at least have each other.
3. Sidewalks of New York
This is typically the type of movie that gets your attention since it has to do with more than one story and it tends to have some unifying concept that is interesting in a way but keeps the main players at arms length or greater to tell a running tale that is split into many different perspectives. It’s a great storytelling method really since it does make the audience pay attention and it’s almost like getting several stories in one, which to some is a bargain since it’s deeper, more involved, and gives a much bigger feel of real life than the narrow perspective of an average story that just follows a single person or couple.
2. The Lovely Bones
As per Kate Masaracchio of AMC, Stanley almost turned this role down since he can’t stand stories that have to do with harming kids, and this of course was just that. He still played the part however and managed to get an Academy nod for it as well, proving that as disturbing as it was he’s definitely got the talent to make just about anything worth watching, no matter that it might have some serious cringe to it. Tucci has played the bad guy before, but quite honestly he seems to have stayed away from any roles that might have to do with harming children and that has definitely been by choice.
1. The Terminal
There was actually a real-life case of a man living in an airport for almost two decades that inspired this movie as Lisa Jewell from Medium has indicated, and while in the movie, Victor manages to maintain his sanity after several months, the poor fellow who went through this experience in real life became detached from reality unfortunately and institutionalized as he’d adopted a routine and saw the airport as his home after a while. Imagine not being able to set foot on foreign soil even after having been in the country for so long, all because your papers couldn’t be figured out and no one knew what to do with you. The act of losing one’s country is, in the movie, a horrible revelation and something that would shake one’s foundations to the core, but losing your identity and eventually your grip on reality would be even worse.
Stanley is by far one of the best actors in the business.