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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

5 Robin Williams Movies to Watch This Week

Posted By on Tue, Aug 12, 2014 at 4:18 PM

click to enlarge The teacher we all wanted. - YOUTUBE
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  • The teacher we all wanted.
Robin Williams' career as a performer was long, and he had hits (like the five below) and misses (let's all try to forget Popeye and Death to Smoochy), but he was a meaningful performer and a human with heart. He brought us to laughter and tears, and so we celebrate his memory with a salute to just a few of his many exceptional performances.

Mrs. Doubtfire, 1993
In Mrs. Doubtfire, Williams is so appealing that he almost convinces Sally Fields to choose an elderly English (Irish? Welsh?) housekeeper over Pierce Brosnan. His transformation sequence gives even the greatest romantic comedy makeover scenes a run for their money. Euphegenia Doubtfire gave more false hope to children of divorce than any character since the butler in The Parent Trap, but the classic film, which Williams also co-produced, is ultimately a redemptive story about parenting and family love. 
Dead Poets Society, 1989
This movie is the reason so many statuses on your newsfeed right now say "O Captain! My Captain!" as well as the reason millions of people fell in love with poetry. Williams is at his best here in a role that perfectly marries his skills as children's entertainer, dramatic actor, and unrepentant non-conformist. "Why do we read and write poetry" is a famous scene, but this refusal to respond to art through any other means but the soul is the spark that set the movie on fire and inspired so many to teaching careers and Norton Anthology of Poetry ownership: 
Good Morning Vietnam, 1987
Williams is as off-the-leash here (as he would be half a decade later in Aladdin) and his comedic timing is impeccable as a garrulous morale-boosting Vietnam radio DJ. Williams has the distinction of starring in a rare truly funny movie about a ghastly war, and it was this ability to find the light in a very dark place that served him in so many roles. 
Good Will Hunting, 1997
Williams does the beard thing well. He also does the avuncular wisdom thing well. And again, the characteristic mix of fart jokes and grief. In this clip he says the words: peccadilloes, intimacy, fucker, and pissant, and it's all delightful.
Fisher King, 1991
This is a bizarre little movie, so naturally Williams thrives in it, beating Dustin Hoffman, Jeff Bridges, Billy Crystal, and Kevin Kline for a Golden Globe. Williams is especially fearless as a grief-crazed searcher for the Holy Grail, perfecting his skill of flitting between the worlds of wonder and insanity. 
Bonus: Louie, Season 3, Barney/Never
Only a year before Williams’ tragic death, he appeared as a guest on the hit Louie CK’s semi-autobiographical hit TV show Louie, exploring appropriate grief reactions at a funeral when the deceased was, “the biggest piece of shit I ever knew.” Williams' early comedic style might have clashed with the sensibilities of Louie, but sitting in a strip club watching dancers and management grieve, Williams’ irreverence is a tribute to the absurdity of death and final reminder not to take eternity too seriously. 
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Jenny Singer


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