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The long rebirth of Robert Pattison’s career


Well…  Actually… Very few people saw it coming. Including me… The present stage of Robert Pattison’s career I mean. About a decade ago, he was the most beloved actor and the most hated actor. He was a heartthrob, he was a bankable star. But he wasn’t a respected actor. That’s funny now… you know from the 2017 standpoint, cause there is serious Oscar buzz around him and his stellar performance in Good Time.

Who would have thought right?

Maybe because of his good looks, maybe because the Twilight franchise, and maybe because of his much publicized relationship (and subsequent break up) with co-star Kristen Stewart, he kind of burned off soon after all that mess. And all he needed was some hiatus, some hits and misses, to turn his back on the mainstream big budget productions and to find his passion for acting all over again. You know the stuff that makes great actors not great movie stars. Oh and he found great directors along the way. Can’t forget about them.

But let’s reflect on Mr. Renaissance man (as he’s called) circa 2012. The final installment from the Twilight franchise came out to theaters in the winter of 2012. The critical reception of the movie was mixed at best, but the movie did managed to earn over 800 million dollars at the box office by the end of the year (which kinda healed the wounds a bit). But if you look back a couple months before that, you’ll see the presence of 2 movies that I think changed the narrative and perception of Robert in the film industry. Bel Ami for one…

Yes, the movie was terrible despite having great cast, but the second beacon of hope for salvaging his career that summer was Cosmopolis. Oh yes. David Cronenberg’s thriller was not just an eye opener for every film fan that this guy can do and show so much more, he eventually became a frequent collaborator of the director.

Robbie Collin of The Telegraph wrote:

At its heart is a sensational central performance from Robert Pattinson as Packer. Pattinson plays him like a human caldera; stony on the surface, with volcanic chambers of nervous energy and self-loathing churning deep below.

Cosmopolis was a turning point for Pattison and while he shied away from blockbusters, and big franchises since, he found his own way to the only thing that was missing from his career. Respect. It took him 2 years after Twilight but hey, when he did find it, he delivered.  The Rover. David Michôd’s dystopian master piece was like a face lift to a celebrity. It brought everything up. Robert and Guy Pierce’s performance were praised and suddenly he was a wanted man again in the best way possible. Seriously if you haven’t seen it, I urge you to check it out. You’ll thank me later.

Maps to the Stars followed and next year Queen of the Desert too. Pattison played T. E. Lawrence in Werner Herzog’s epic biographical drama Queen of the Desert but that same year he player another real life person on screen. Robert was the famed photographer Dennis Stock in Anton Corbijn’s Life. Pattison’s and Dane DeHaan’s acting stood out in this intimate portrait of Stock’s short but productive friendship with the screen legend James Dean.

The Lost City of Z was a true gem and delight, but I think all of the above were just pit stops to something bigger. Good Time. Guy Lodge of Variety called Pattison’s acting a career high and it’s considered his most commanding performance to date. So… is he a renaissance man? Yes… In every sense of the way. Robnaissance man more like it haha. And although it’s too early to tell if Cannes film festival darling is going to grab an Oscar nomination come January, but his fans are actually rejoiced by his new found respect and praise. He had everything else before to be honest.


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