Jose Feliciano, You Got No Complaints: The Steve Buscemi Poll

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So many credits, only room for 50. I eliminated shorts and voice work, included films I'd at least heard of, added a few television things, guessed on the last five or so spots.

Poll Results

2001 - Ghost World 6
1996 - Trees Lounge 6
1996 - Fargo 6
1992 - Reservoir Dogs 3
1995 - Living in Oblivion 2
1986 - Parting Glances 2
2007-13 - 30 Rock 2
2017 - The Death of Stalin 1
2004/06 - The Sopranos 1
2010-14 - Boardwalk Empire 1
1997 - Con Air 1
1998 - The Big Lebowski 1
2002 - Mr. Deeds 1
1998 - The Wedding Singer 1
1996 - Escape from L.A. 1
2002 - Love in the Time of Money 0
2001 - Domestic Disturbance 0
2003 - Big Fish 0
2019-23 - Miracle Workers 0
2009 - Youth in Revolt 0
2010 - Grown Ups 0
2010 - Pete Smalls Is Dead 0
2007 - I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry 0
2007 - Interview 0
2006 - Paris, je t'aime 0
2006 - Art School Confidential 0
2014-17 - Portlandia 0
2003 - Coffee and Cigarettes 0
2005 - Romance & Cigarettes 0
2000 - 28 Days 0
1999 - Big Daddy 0
1992 - CrissCross 0
1992 - In the Soup 0
1991 - Billy Bathgate 0
1991 - Barton Fink 0
1990 - Miller's Crossing 0
1990 - King of New York 0
1989 - New York Stories 0
1989 - Mystery Train 0
1993 - Rising Sun 0
1994 - The Hudsucker Proxy 0
1998 - Armageddon 0
1998 - The Impostors 0
1997 - The Real Blonde 0
1996 - Kansas City 0
1995 - Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead 0
1995 - Billy Madison 0
1994 - Pulp Fiction 0
1994 - Airheads 0
1989 - Slaves of New York 0

clemenza, Monday, 13 May 2024 15:53 (two months ago) link

of all ive seen i just really like his work in boardwalk empire i think

close encounters of the third knid (darraghmac), Monday, 13 May 2024 15:55 (two months ago) link

Watching his sweetness in Parting Glances after his '90s run was an eyeopener.

the talented mr pimply (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 13 May 2024 16:00 (two months ago) link

Major points for his attempt at dancing to Ashford & Simpson's "Solid" in Ghost World.

the talented mr pimply (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 13 May 2024 16:00 (two months ago) link

Had to check, for my sanity, that he was in Desperado. Guess not a large part though.

Ste, Monday, 13 May 2024 16:18 (two months ago) link

Plenty of good stuff to vote for outside of the Tarantino/Coen universe. Give it a try!

Rich E. (Eric H.), Monday, 13 May 2024 16:23 (two months ago) link

how condescending.

voted for Trees Lounge if you must know.

Ste, Monday, 13 May 2024 16:26 (two months ago) link

I actually watched Reservoir Dogs again for the first time in years but it wasn’t him or Keitel I was struck by, it was Roth.

Anyway Ghost World.

Also, Pulp Fiction is a bit of a cheeky inclusion since iirc he’s the Buddy Holly in the diner who gets maybe one line? He “doesn’t seem like much of a waiter.”

But seriously, Ghost World. His mother coming to collect him at the end and the therapist closes the door on them both and rolls her eyes! My heart went out to him.

Roman Anthony gets on his horse (gyac), Monday, 13 May 2024 16:28 (two months ago) link

his exasperation with Harvey Keitel and Michael Madsen in Reservoir Dogs always makes me smile

Muad'Doob (Moodles), Monday, 13 May 2024 16:44 (two months ago) link

where are my Con Air people at

waste of compute (One Eye Open), Monday, 13 May 2024 16:51 (two months ago) link

Hard to justify Pulp Fiction, I know--ditto The Wedding Singer--but it seemed wrong to leave them out. He's funny in both.

Very hard for me to choose between his most famous roles: Fargo, Reservoir Dogs, Ghost World, and The Sopranos. (Didn't get very far with Boardwalk Empire, don't like him at all in The Big Lebowski.) I like Trees Lounge too.

clemenza, Monday, 13 May 2024 18:02 (two months ago) link

Ghost World is the one I hope wins the poll, but voting Parting Glances

Rich E. (Eric H.), Monday, 13 May 2024 19:12 (two months ago) link

The last time I watched Fargo I had a lot of fun watching all the different ways he’d calibrate his performance with each different character. You get to see him in scenes with all these different characters, each of whom he has a slightly different relationship & status with, and Buscemi does a really fun job at playing each scene in a way that conveys the different ways he feels about each person, and the how he wants to be seen by them. He puts on a slightly different performance depending on what he needs, and he lets us see that he’s putting on that different performance with each one without making a huge deal about it. On the one hand that’s all very basic acting class stuff, but on the other hand it still would have been easy not to make those choices and just kinda play it the same across the board and still get laughs and be memorable. Just a great example of really smart character acting.

waste of compute (One Eye Open), Monday, 13 May 2024 19:17 (two months ago) link

Just watched Living in Oblivion for the millionth time, one of the funniest comedies of the 90s and a great lead performance by our guy.

orifex, Monday, 13 May 2024 19:18 (two months ago) link

His appearance on the Gilbert Gottfried podcast (particularly after everything goes wrong halfway in) is all-time.

He's so great in The Sopranos. It would have been very easy for him to reprise some variation on his Fargo or Reservoir Dogs characters and stay close to the lowlife hood, but if anything, at least for his first few episodes, he goes the Ghost World route: a thoughtful guy who wants to get out of the life and become a massage therapist. (Tony, as always, can't seem to comprehend this.) It makes his eventual downfall all the more tragic.

clemenza, Monday, 13 May 2024 22:53 (two months ago) link

Con Air was the weird casting, like...his demeanor has always scanned more like 'menacing, quirky low-life' than serial killer, and his performance wasn't very convincing. and then all the dialogue they gave him was "HI, please 2 listen to this listicle of all of this serial killy things I've done before", which I know serial killers do actually do, but usually only when being interviewed by investigators so they can brag about their crimes and get them etched into public record.

RICH BRIAN (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 14 May 2024 16:59 (two months ago) link

Fargo, meanwhile, is a brilliant performance, every bit of it the id of a guy who is perpetually aggrieved by really small things, whose aggravation at his sociopathic partner is less the sociopathy and more 'not doing things the proper way', similar to being charged for changing one's mind about parking in a lot. chemistry between him and Stormare (insofar as how they're the WORST POSSIBLEY PAIRED criminal team) is perfect.

RICH BRIAN (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 14 May 2024 17:02 (two months ago) link

kind of scratches a similar itch to Mr Pink in Reservoir Dogs, like he's an unhinged guy who isn't afraid to kill people but what upsets him most of all is people not doing things the way he believes they should be done, like all of the times he hilariously brags how he's a professional and nobody else is.

RICH BRIAN (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 14 May 2024 17:03 (two months ago) link

Worth noting the Sopranos episodes he directed, notably "Pine Barrens."

the talented mr pimply (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 14 May 2024 17:06 (two months ago) link

an utter classic

RICH BRIAN (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 14 May 2024 17:08 (two months ago) link

had no idea he directed it

RICH BRIAN (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 14 May 2024 17:08 (two months ago) link

It’s sad how little of this I’ve seen - and I like the man as a performer.

Voted “The Wedding Singer”.

Marten Broadcloak, mild-mannered GOP congressman (Raymond Cummings), Tuesday, 14 May 2024 17:30 (two months ago) link

(Was thinking of going super obscure for a film he’s barely in, but it wasn’t an option here: “The Island”.)

Marten Broadcloak, mild-mannered GOP congressman (Raymond Cummings), Tuesday, 14 May 2024 17:34 (two months ago) link

self-taught, no lessons

RICH BRIAN (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 14 May 2024 17:39 (two months ago) link

Voted “The Wedding Singer”.

Had to look that up on YouTube! (Is he in the film earlier too, or just the final scene?)

clemenza, Tuesday, 14 May 2024 18:12 (two months ago) link

he's in the opening scene, crashing the wedding singer's toast

RICH BRIAN (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 14 May 2024 18:13 (two months ago) link

“You’re not even my brother in law and you fxxxing shot me…”

The Artist formerly known as Earlnash, Tuesday, 14 May 2024 19:52 (two months ago) link

Worth noting the Sopranos episodes he directed, notably "Pine Barrens."

― the talented mr pimply (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn)

Would vote for this if it were a standalone option tbh

salsa shark, Tuesday, 14 May 2024 20:06 (two months ago) link

Will probably vote "Trees Lounge", which is one of my favorites and obviously made a big impact on David Chase, but that whole Blueshammer scene in "Ghost World" where he vainly tries to explain the difference between country blues and ragtime to his table companion is priceless.

henry s, Tuesday, 14 May 2024 21:25 (two months ago) link

he was great in boardwalk. his character as written was a total cypher, probably the least interesting character on the page, but he elevates the material and makes himself a worthy center of the huge ensemble

the defenestration of prog (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 14 May 2024 21:34 (two months ago) link

slightly tempted to vote for his 30 rock performance, which will probably outlive him and us all by some years

gotta be fargo tho, for reasons one eye open and neanderthal stated well

the defenestration of prog (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 14 May 2024 21:36 (two months ago) link

xpost shame that the show itself went to shit in Season 5, because it had something going up until then.

his relationship with Billie felt like the only time he actually cared deeply about someone beyond their usefulness to him

RICH BRIAN (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 14 May 2024 21:37 (two months ago) link

Trees Lounge is a well-scripted, well-observed little film generous towards its characters: one of my favorite directorial debuts by an actor.

the talented mr pimply (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 14 May 2024 22:07 (two months ago) link

Trees Lounge is a good movie.

Mystery Train was the first thing I saw him in. I think his storyline with Joe Strummer is my favorite in the movie.

Kansas City is not great but he is really good as the politician’s muscle getting out the vote.

The Artist formerly known as Earlnash, Tuesday, 14 May 2024 22:38 (two months ago) link

TV appearances of famous people together that you would never have expected to be together but make you happy all the same.

For Buscemiheads, Miracle Workers is good fun. You get to have him as a comedy lead and he plays God in the first season.

Jordan s/t (Jordan), Wednesday, 15 May 2024 09:23 (two months ago) link

No Horace & Pete?

m0stly clean (Slowsquatch), Wednesday, 15 May 2024 13:15 (two months ago) link

Dunno if it’s his best but I voted 30 Rock

a hoy hoy, Wednesday, 15 May 2024 13:27 (two months ago) link

(xpost) I definitely goofed on Horace and Pete, sorry. I meant to include any TV with more than four or five episodes, and I remember I had it on the list at one point--I was cutting and pasting, and I think it accicdentally got dropped. Haven't seen it myself.

clemenza, Wednesday, 15 May 2024 13:36 (two months ago) link

He's only in Miller's Crossing for like 20 seconds as basically a one-joke character, but what he pulls off is still some kind of olympic feat.

I love Trees Lounge, I remember liking his 2nd directorial effort Animal Factory but now recall zero about it. I just went on wikipedia and was surprised to see he's directed three more features since then, I'm curious to check those out now.

waste of compute (One Eye Open), Wednesday, 15 May 2024 14:47 (two months ago) link

Just caught Trees Lounge on Prime. That's some Peak '90s AmeriIndie right there. (And a hilarious bit of plot overlap with Ghost World: Young Ladies Love Uncool Steve)

I voted for Tony Blundetto from The Sopranos. It really splits the difference between the shy, underdog Ghost World guy and the lowlifes from Reservoir Dogs and Fargo. And he ends up being so central to everything that happens the last season, up to and including the famous ending.

clemenza, Sunday, 19 May 2024 14:09 (two months ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Monday, 20 May 2024 00:01 (two months ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Tuesday, 21 May 2024 00:01 (two months ago) link

low voter turnout

Andy the Grasshopper, Tuesday, 21 May 2024 00:06 (two months ago) link

Can't argue with the tie at the top. I don't remember him in Big Fish, but I do remember despising that film.

clemenza, Tuesday, 21 May 2024 00:15 (two months ago) link

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