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An indisputable ranking of Timothée Chalamet’s best films

This generation’s answer to DiCaprio has been a big screen staple for over a half-decade, and in that time he’s put out some bangers from Call Me by Your Name to Bones and All. But which is best?

Ah, Timothée. Timmy. Tim-oh-tay. The name so gentle that you can only whisper it, lest it tear like a leaf caught in a gust; if you’re not a Gen Z super-stan screaming it down the red carpet, that is. Since his big screen breakout with 2017’s Call Me by Your Name, which made Hollywood’s preeminent heartthrob the third youngest actor to be nominated for Best Actor at the Oscars, Timothée Chalamet has been a staple of our screens and our souls. Bones and All, his second collaboration with powerhouse Italian director Luca Guadagnino, released this month, is an acting tour-de-force for the American. But how do the rest compare? This is GQ’s indisputable ranking of the 26-year-old’s best performances to date.

10. Interstellar
There’s not much to say about Chalamet in Interstellar, mostly because there is not that much Chalamet in Interstellar, but he puts in a great first-timer shift as Matthew McConaughey’s space-and-time faring son. The Nolan film is not the movie to scratch your Chala-itch, but certainly one that’s fun to return to eight years later, with Timmy’s ascendancy in view.

9. The King
The King, David Machôd’s epic Henriad adaptation, should’ve been much better than it was: not only is it packed out with generational talents, from Chalamet right through to Robert Pattinson, it brings to cinematic Shakespeare the filmic grit that big screen Bard so often craves. It’s a fine enough watch but one in which hammy line-reads and jarring performances some playing mutedly, others to the back rafters — often let it down.

8. Beautiful Boy
Beautiful Boy had one hell of a tough act to follow, coming in the year following Chalamet’s rise to stardom vis-a-vis Call Me by Your Name, the solitary reason many braved the January chill to see it in 2019 being to answer the question: can he do it again? Look, he’s not nearly as brilliant here as he was in his debut, but that’s hardly to his fault: both he and Steve Carrell put in marvellous shifts as a father and son ruined by drug addiction, the former sapped of hope, the latter broken by this unrelenting disease.

7. The French Dispatch
“WHIMSY,” wrote veteran filmmaker Paul Schrader in one of his famously cantankerous Facebook posts this month: “There’s no quality in art I dislike more. Case in point: Amsterdam.” Case in point, too, Wes Anderson’s entire filmography, but perhaps no more than his recent anthology feature The French Dispatch, a series of vignettes detailing the exploits of reporters for the eponymous lifestyle magazine, styled in the vein of the New Yorker. Chalamet, however, is magnetic as Zeffirelli, a snazzy-haired student revolutionary revolting against the French state. That is, after all, what the French do! A very enjoyable performance as a fuck boy intellectual who emanates big sapiosexuality.

6. Don’t Look Up
Adam McKay’s asteroid-climate change analogy offers sparse laughs in service of a Trumpian satire that feels like Dr. Strangelove without the wit, or The Big Short with all the emphasis on the naval-gazy bits. Nevertheless Chalamet, here, is a real balm: he’s only in it fleetingly, as with Lady Bird and Little Women, but plays delightfully against type as a ponderous rebel in a parka that would look good on anyone at the end of the world.

5. Dune
Dune was Chalamet’s first big swing at a blockbuster, albeit an epic action film with a bit more interiority than most of its genre. In his role as Paul, basically the most special boy in the universe, he manages to make the palpable pressure of responsibility, power and grief the most stunning aspect of a film that also contains a giant CGI sand worm. The film is a double win for Chalamet. It was a chance to highlight the masterful approach he’s taken with a career trajectory that has, no doubt, involved fielding calls from big studios with even bigger budgets, and one that proves, without fault, that subtlety has a place on the big screen.

4. Lady Bird
Despite everyone’s better judgements, the fuck boy is regrettably not going out of fashion any time soon. In Lady Bird, the signs are all there, from Chalamet’s Kyle making Nietzche-esque claims about capitalism to him reading a book at a house party. It’s a role traditionally inhabited by someone taking up more physical space than the slight wisp of Chalamet, but that’s why his take on the part is so good. Chalamet is so much a chameleon he’s able to make us fundamentally reassess character tropes that feel set in stone. Despite being set in 2002, unfortunately, Kyle, or any number of boys like him, is still as timeless a touchpoint as ever.

3. Little Women
The time jumps of Greta Gerwig’s Little Women flit between adolescence and adulthood, allowing us to see the difference just a few years can make to the maturity of our characters. Some are stark, like Florence Pugh’s Amy, some are stubbornly stagnant like, you could argue, Saoirse Ronan’s Jo, and some, like Timothée Chalamet’s Laurie, are just right. The character is a wealthy but kindhearted scamp and could be one-note in the wrong hands, but when we see him bare his soul to Jo in a declaration of love, the subtle evolution he’s weaved into the role is undeniable. With its 2019 release aligning with Chalamet’s own personal progression from adolescent to adult in the public eye, it’s hard to imagine a more perfect role for him.

2. Bones and All
We only had to wait five years for Chalamet and Luca Guadagnino, under whose direction the budding actor first made a name for himself, to stage their big blood-soaked reunion. Bones and All, thank god, is a blast: the Italian filmmaker seemingly has a knack for getting the most out of his favourite muse, and Chalamet pays it back with a level of emotional dexterity that recalls his astonishing debut. It’s so exciting, too, to see Chalamet tackle a role that so strongly differs from his other work. His Lee is something of a Deanian bad boy, yes, but cut through with unspoken tragedy, a spirited outcast relegated to the margins. He’s supported by great material, but to play a literal man eater as sympathetic is no mean feat.

1. Call Me by Your Name
Call us boring but we couldn’t put the movie that made “Timmy” a household mononym (for a certain Very Online demographic, at least) anywhere but the top spot. Chalamet was a teenager when he made Call Me by Your Name, a stunning sun-kissed coming-of-ager set in-and-around the luscious Italian countryside, and it’ll quite rightly go down as one of the greatest breakouts in recent film history. It’s alchemy on the big screen, this boy torn apart by desire and yearning and post-pubescent discovery, and should’ve won Chalamet the Oscar. The fireplace shot! For Christ’s sake, people, the fireplace shot!


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