Recently actor/comedian Jim Carrey turned 54 years old. He has delivered many funny movies that made us laugh and a few dramas that moved us. There is no denying that he is a very talented man. That is why I am writing this piece, to pay tribute to a man that has made us laugh over twenty years. I talk about his career highlights and his box-office success. I will also talk about his best performances, both comedic and serious.
His career actually began in a small role in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1986 comedy/drama “Peggy Sue Got Married”. I have yet to see the film, but I have heard good things about it and will see it sometime in the near future. But that is where Carrey got his big break and soon (after multiple supporting roles) got his a role, or should I say roles, that launched his career in 1994. He starred in three popular films that year. The first being “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”, “The Mask” and “Dumb and Dumber”. These films showed how good he was at physical comedy. All three of these films were major box-office successes and propelled Carrey into movie stardom. He was also nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actor in Comedy/Musical for “The Mask”.
One year later, he starred in another box office hit in the superhero film “Batman Forever” where he starred as The Riddler, one of the two villains (Tommy Lee Jones being the other because he played Two-Face). Again he showed off his capability physical comedy. Though he was a bit over the top, he still managed to be memorable. As I said the film was box-office hit and became the sixth highest grossing film of 1995. That same year he starred in another box-office hit with the sequel to first “Ace Ventura” film called “Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls”. In 1996 he gave a bit of an offbeat role in Ben Stiller’s “The Cable Guy” with Mathew Broderick. This film was considerably darker in its comedic tone than compared to his more zany and wild comedies like “Ace Ventura” and “The Mask”.
In 1997 he starred in the popular comedy “Liar Liar”. The film was a hit at the box-office and Carrey was nominated for his second Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy/Musical.
However, in 1998 he starred in the wonderful and extremely well made film called “The Truman Show”. It was a comedy/drama that showed off Carrey’s serious side. He proved to audiences that he could act in serious roles. His performance was widely praised and the film was both successful at the box office and with critics. I’ll actually talk more about this later. Then he starred in Milos Forman’s comedy/drama “Man on the Moon” playing the late Andy Kaufman. I will also get back to this later.
As the turn of the century came he was still a success at the box office with the release of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, which earned him another Golden Globe nomination. He starred in the popular comedy “Bruce Almighty” in 2003 and “Fun with Dick and Jane” in 2005. Between those years he starred in the incredibly well-made drama “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”. The film was universally praised and is considered one of the best films of the last decade. I will also talk more about this film later.
He also took a change of pace and starred in “The Number 23” (which was a thriller). I thought it was a good idea, but when I saw the result……I didn’t really understand it.
That was in 2007 and one year later he starred in “Yes Man”, which is essentially “Liar Liar”. Recently he hasn’t been that big of a box office draw, not unlike his other past films. He starred in the criminally overlooked comedy/drama “I Love You Phillip Morris with Ewan McGregor. In that film he played a gay man and didn’t get recognized for it. He lent his voice to a few animated films such as “Horton Hears a Who!” (which was good) and “A Christmas Carol” (which was…..ehh). His latest film, “Mr. Popper’s Penguin’s”, didn’t perform that well at the box-office. He is not the big box office draw he was fifteen years ago. He is in search of a hit, but he will get one because every actor goes through a dry spell.
Now remember those three films that I mentioned that “I will talk about later?” Well I’m going to talk about those three films because all three have Carrey’s best performance in each. First let’s start with “The Truman Show”. As I said earlier, Carrey was praised and got many recognitions and accolades for his performance including winning the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama. However, he was NOT nominated for an Oscar. That’s strange because anyone who wins the Golden Globe for a Drama is almost guaranteed for an Oscar nom……that was not the case with Carrey. The film managed to be nominated for three Oscars (including Best Director), but Carrey’s snub was viewed as a surprise because he was wildly expected to get nominated. After the seeing the film, I actually thought it should have been nominated for Best Picture.
Then exactly one year later he wins the Golden Globe AGAIN for his performance in “Man on the Moon”, but was snubbed again. However this snub doesn’t hurt as much because the film was released in 1999 and there was a lot of competition that year. But if it did happen, then I wouldn’t have been surprised.
However, another opportunity came in 2004 when he starred in the drama “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”. This was first time Carrey starred in an all out drama and he did an extraordinary job. Even critics praised the hell out of this film; it only got two Oscar nominations (winning for Best Original Screenplay). SERIOUSLY?! JUST TWO NOMINATIONS?! This film should have been nominated for Best Picture and Carrey should have been nominated for Best Actor! He won the San Diego Film Critics Award for Best Actor and was nominated for Best Actor by the BAFTA, The Empire Awards, The Online Society of Film Critics, The Satellite Award, The Saturn Awards and a Golden Globe nomination. HOW DOES THAT NOT RESULT IN AN OSCAR NOMINATION!?!? Shame on you Academy for not nominating Carrey for Best Actor and not nominating the film for Best Picture.
So what do I think is Jim Carrey’s best performance? Well you saw my rant for his neglected performance in “Eternal Sunshine”, but his best performance is in “The Truman Show”. I think because though he showed his most serious side in “Eternal Sunshine”, it was “The Truman Show” that should he do both comedy AND drama in the same film. He managed to make me laugh and moved me and showed he is talented at both. He should have been nominated for that performance, but he wasn’t. He is one of the best actors never to be nominated for an Oscar and hopefully that changes soon. By the way, if haven’t seen “The Truman Show”, “Man on the Moon”, or “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” then I suggest you………….immediately because they all show how Carrey is talented at bringing both laughs and tears.
Posted by Kevin Johnson