What Others Say
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As for young Damian Lewis (just a year out of drama school) as Hamlet, everything he does has the audience firmly held. Strikingly equipped with a tide of Tudor red hair, burning blue eyes, heroic bones and good build, this Hamlet works hard to win his authority over the play, but win it he does. He speaks the lines "with good accent and good discretion," and he has both virility and stillness. He is a Hamlet both Romantic (frozen in melancholy, vivid in action) and modern (playing at crude aperies in his "madness," sardonically rude). He manages both to relate freshly to everyone else onstage and to suggest that Hamlet's mind is always at one remove from everyone else around him. Remarkably, he achieves this by working within very narrow confines. His vocal register is seldom more than a minor third, he makes no particular play between piano and forte, he employs no great contrasts of speed during his soliloquies. Yet one attends to him. He has not yet bent the role to his will, has not relaxed within its rigours so that we trust his command of it, is still shifting in his way of addressing the audience -- and yet one attends to him.
-- Alastair Macaulay (article author), Financial Times, June 17, 1994
Damian has a sort of flair and panache rare for a British actor.
-- Jonathan Kent (director of The School For Wives), The New York Times, January 1, 1995
Ever since Damian Lewis swatted a fly in the middle of his "What a piece of work is man" speech, an act of irreverence from such a precociously young Hamlet, which neatly captured the vanity of all human action, he has been earmarked by the critics to be a star.
-- Imogen O'Rourke (article author), Plays And Players, April 1995
[In Hamlet at the Belasco Theatre in New York,] Damian Lewis's Laertes is a vastly more interesting character than he was on opening night in London. His affection for Ophelia is real, and his swordfight with Hamlet at the end has an intensity seen more often in a swashbuckler than in a "Hamlet."
-- Vincent Canby, The New York Times, May 3, 1995
Still, every star needs its firmament, and this Hamlet would not glitter without the support of virtuoso players. Annis radiates sexual attraction, but not toward her son. Those who expect the customary Freudian gloss must look elsewhere. Eyre invests Polonius with more dignity than pomposity, reversing the standard interpretation. As Claudius, James Laurenson blends nobility and villainy; Terence Rigby makes an admirably plebeian Gravedigger, doubles as the Ghost and triples as the Player King; Damian Lewis provides a vigorous Laertes and, in the role of Ophelia, Tara FitzGerald is a poignant victim, more affecting in her sane moments than in her scenes of lunacy.
-- Stefan Kanfer (article author), New Leader, June 5, 1995
Productions of "Hamlet" are often distinguished by verse speaking or physical design. Jonathan Kent's current staging, imported from the Almeida Theater Company in London, offers an additional virtue in the face-off between Hamlet (played by Ralph Fiennes) and Laertes (Damian Lewis). Beginning on a white rectangular fencing mat, the fight soon spills beyond it, weaving among the chairs of Claudius's dismayed court as the two combatants become increasingly fevered. Lasting no more than four minutes or so, the duel leaves both the actors and the audience breathless; as Vincent Canby wrote in The New York Times, the sword fight "has an intensity seen more often in a swashbuckler than in a 'Hamlet.'"
-- Matt Wolf (article author), The New York Times, July 2, 1995
[In Much Ado About Nothing,] Damian Lewis makes great use of his opportunities as the bastard brother and looks more sinister because of his red hair which sets him apart from the rest. (If his hair is really this colour, then I'm sure in real life it's very attractive.)
-- Rod Dungate (article author), Plays And Players, December 1996/January 1997
[In Cymbeline] Damian Lewis plays Posthumus, Imogen's illicitly-wed husband, as an effective counterpoint, with plenty of masculine vigour.
-- Birna Helgadottir (article author), What's On Stage, March 26, 1998
[In his performance as Posthumus in the RSC production of Cymbeline at the Brooklyn Academy of Music,] the intense Mr. Lewis brings a haunting feeling of irreparable injury to the scene where he is made to believe that Imogen has betrayed him.
-- Ben Brantley (article author), The New York Times, June 5, 1998
The Wolf [in Into The Woods], in the hands of Damian Lewis, is a sexy, charismatic character whose death robs the piece of one of its greatest assets at an early stage.
-- Kevin Wilson (article author), Theatre Review, December 5, 1998
There are some outstanding performances in this production ... There are many more professional performances [in Into The Woods] from the likes of Matt Rawle, Sheila Reid, Damian Lewis, Sophie Thompson, and in particularly Nick Holder who plays the baker.
-- Darren Dalglish (article author), London Theatre News, January 6, 1999
[In Warriors,] Ioan Gruffudd, as stiff-upper-lip career officer Feeley, Matthew Macfadyen, as football-mad Liverpudlian Private James, and Damian Lewis, as headstrong Lieutenant Loughrey, are particularly compelling, though all the performances are excellent.
-- Kathryn Flett (article author), The Observer, November 21, 1999
The performances [in Warriors] were terrific. Matthew MacFadyen, Ioan Gruffudd and Damian Lewis, in particular, did justice to a difficult subject.
-- Sue Greenaway (article author), Western Daily Press, November 22, 1999
One of our actors [in Life Force], who is absolutely brilliant, is the villain Damian Lewis. I think he's stunning, but I don't think he's necessarily going to be available to us in two years' time. He's just been the lead in Warriors and I think from that and other stuff he's involved in, Damian will probably be a very busy boy.
-- Peter Tabern (writer/director/producer of Life Force), TV Zone, February 2000
[Tom] Hanks concedes that Winters was the hardest character in "Band of Brothers" to match with an actor: "The trick was casting this very enigmatic man, of whom there's a substantial amount of mystery involved. You never know where you stand with Winters. But when we heard Damian read, we'd found our guy. Maybe it's his delivery, a kind of 'less is more' thing."
-- David Gritten (article author), Los Angeles Times, August 20, 2000
Eschewing the graphical violence and coarse language typical of military movies, Warriors is nevertheless one of the most emotionally real movies about the lives of soldiers I've ever seen, thanks to strikingly moving performances -- from [Ioan] Gruffudd and [Damian] Lewis and also Matthew Macfadyen as a private shattered by his service.
-- MaryAnn Johanson (article author), Flickfilosopher.com, September 4, 2000
One who is easy to know through all 10 episodes [of Band of Brothers] is Dick Winters, played nobly by Damian Lewis. ... If there's a star of this miniseries show, it is Lewis, but his performance is anything but loud. From his first appearance, Lewis accomplishes much with a powerful presence and a dignified reserve.
-- John Levesque (article author), Seattle Post-Intelligencer, September 8, 2001
The series [Band of Brothers] has no hero, but it does have one character who is most central and enduring: Dick Winters, who starts out as the company commander, a straight-arrow leader who is played with astonishing, unprissy dignity by the British actor Damian Lewis. It is just before D-Day, and a platoon of his troops are sitting in two lines on the tarmac, waiting to board the plane from which they will parachute behind German lines in Normandy. He says a few words -- "Good luck. God bless you. I'll see you in the assembly area" -- which resonate much deeper than you expect them to.
-- Gary Kamiya (article author), Salon.com, September 8, 2001
The English-born Lewis does an outstanding job depicting the American Winters [in Band of Brothers].
-- [article author, name unrecorded], TV Guide, September 9, 2001
As the seemingly stoic Winters, Lewis accomplishes one of an actor's hardest tasks: He makes virtue seem appealing, and even sexy -- and in case you're wondering, you'd never guess he isn't American.
-- [article author, name unrecorded], USA Today, September 13, 2001
[He is] articulate, funny and, unusually for a young actor, quite outspoken.
-- Tom Howard (article author), Time Out, September 19, 2001
As an officer haunted by the bloody cost of victory and uneasy about the promotion that takes him away from his men [in Band Of Brothers: Crossroads], Damian Lewis delivers a subtle yet powerful performance of deep ambivalence.
-- Matt Roush (article author), TV Guide, September 22, 2001
[I] was worried that Steven [Spielberg] and Tom [Hanks] cast an Englishman in the lead role. Then I met him. He's an impactful young man. We've seen loudmouths before, but he's in a Gary Cooper mould. I had trouble catching him out. He was terrific in training, busted his butt. I admire his stamina. He just goes. He's like a wind-up toy ... there's something in that little ginger shit's eyes.
-- Captain Dale Dye (military advisor and trainer on Band of Brothers), Radio Times, September 29, 2001
Over a three-hour lunch in London a couple of weeks after the [Normandy] premiere, Lewis reveals himself to be an engaging 29-year-old. Full of lively anecdotes about the production, he makes for sparkling company. He is far removed from the sometimes sombre and taciturn man we see in Band of Brothers -- which only goes to emphasize what a consummate actor he is.
-- James Rampton (article author), Radio Times, September 29, 2001
As a result of a "silent look" from Lewis that [Tom] Hanks called "unequivocally evocative," the series decided not to rely on voice-overs from Winters. "It wasn't better than what (Damian) was doing with his face," he said.
-- Matt Wolf (article author), Associated Press, October 4, 2001
Scott Grimes, from television's "Party of Five," was among the American actors whose initial skepticism [over the casting of a British actor as Winters in Band of Brothers] was allayed. Playing an Oregonian infantryman named Don Malarkey, Grimes admitted that, "I was like, this is an American accent, we should have American guys do it. I was the hardest to win over." Grimes ended up impressed: "Damian is terrific, man. Sometimes, he's got to talk us into (the fact that) he's British. It's not just about the accent; it's about an American way of holding yourself -- totally no frills. (Damian) is going to be a big star, I hope."
-- Matt Wolf (article author), Associated Press, October 5, 2001
Lewis's success in the multi-million pound mini-series [Band of Brothers], which began on BBC2 last Friday, is observed with an amused eye by his comrades in another field -- the Old Etonian Football Club. "You'd never know what Damian does from speaking to him," says one. "Obviously he can only play for us when he's not filming, but he's a very useful player -- a midfield general who gets from box to box and scores goals."
-- Charlie Methven (article editor), The Daily Telegraph, October 8, 2001
Lewis has a way of pushing himself to the limit, even in good times.
-- Russell Scott Smith (article author), Us, October 15, 2001
They were looking for someone who has a moral uprightness without being uptight. Damian has that. There's something anachronistic about him. Like Henry Fonda.
-- Ron Livingston (co-star in Band of Brothers), Us, October 15, 2001
He stands out. Not just because he plays Major Richard Winters, the leader of Easy Company, who is a significant presence in each episode of Band of Brothers. Damian Lewis grabs your attention even when he says nothing -- the mark of an actor who knows that even when there are no words for you to say on the page, your character can still leave his mark.
-- Theresa G. Corigliano (article author), Dish Magazine, October 2001
We were looking for an enigmatic leader, a guy you can't explain, but who explains himself by his mere presence. We wanted someone with a certain air about him that comes across even before he opens his mouth. Lewis had that without question, as soon as he sat down we knew.
-- Tom Hanks (executive producer of Band of Brothers), BBC, Fall 2001
Briton Damian Lewis was particularly compelling as American Capt. Dick Winters, an average Joe whose composure under fire made him a born soldier.
-- Eric Deggans (article author), St. Petersburg Times, December 23, 2001
Lewis, it's good to see that his taste of working with the cream of the acting industry hasn't gone to his head. It's not that he's not ambitious -- he is -- but he remains down-to-earth while at the same time loving all the adulation being heaped on him. ... Refreshingly, he doesn't mind admitting it's the kind of attention he's dreamed about since he was a kid.
-- [article author, name unrecorded], Daily Express, 2001
He was always the person most likely to make it. He was someone who would make the most of a break. He always had his eyes open. He was primed and ready. But he's also very easy going, one of the guys.
-- Rashdan Stone (fellow Royal Shakespeare Company actor), Observer, March 10, 2002
Damian's full of beans. He's classically trained, but what he's also got is this Celtic thing going on. It's not just all neck up. He uses his body. But what was really unusual about him was his dynamism. And he's bright. You don't normally get all of that in one package.
-- Emma Fielding (co-star in School for Wives at the Almeida Theatre), Observer, March 10, 2002
I was doing Hornblower at the time and I heard that Damian Lewis, who's a mate of mine since Warriors, had got the lead [in Band Of Brothers]. If I'd been available and heard about it I'd have gone for it. Damian was amazing. He's out in Hollywood now doing a movie with Morgan Freeman.
-- Ioan Gruffudd (co-star of Warriors and The Forsyte Saga), Express, March 30, 2002
All are extremely good [in The Forsyte Saga] and the supporting cast is peopled with fine actors such as Barbara Flynn and Amanda Root. But your eyes zoom straight to Lewis, formerly of Band of Brothers, Hearts and Bones and Warriors. Funnily, Lewis does very little indeed. One scene has him manipulating events to his way of thinking without actually saying a word. But there is a smouldering power to him and you correctly fear for anyone who tries to confront him.
-- William Gallagher (article author), BBC News, April 7, 2002
He is full of ice breaking mockney banter -- half the time you don't know whether he's teasing or not.
-- Sophie Wilson (interviewer), Marie Claire, April 2002
Damian Lewis plays Soames, who commits the rape. Damian is very charismatic so we hope he'll be able to persuade people to understand what motivates his character.
-- Gillian Kearney (co-star of The Forsyte Saga), Now Magazine, Spring 2002
...Damian Lewis, the only time I'd seen him was in [HBO's] Band of Brothers. He really held the center of that huge project, and I thought, 'Oh, my God. This guy has enormous soul.' His Jonesy character is the soulful center of this group. A lot of crazy and scary things happen around him. [He's] a guy who is essentially a sensitive college professor who then becomes a very dangerous alien all in the same body, so it's kind of fun, and I thought, 'There's the guy that could do it.'
-- Lawrence Kasdan (director of Dreamcatcher), Scifi.com, June 20, 2002
Damian Lewis, the only time I'd seen him was in [HBO's] Band of Brothers . He really held the center of that huge project, and I thought, 'Oh, my God. This guy has enormous soul.' His Jonesy character is the soulful center of this group. A lot of crazy and scary things happen around him. [He's] a guy who is essentially a sensitive college professor who then becomes a very dangerous alien all in the same body, so it's kind of fun, and I thought, 'There's the guy that could do it.'
-- Lawrence Kasdan (director of Dreamcatcher), publication unknown, July 2002
As the wife of possessive Soames Forsyte, she [Gina McKee] has a pound sterling to play against. He is, as his uncle jibes, a "man of property," and if there is a villain in the story it is Soames. But played by Damian Lewis, the actor who was Steve McQueen-steeley in Band of Brothers, he is impossible to hate. In this unlovable man we feel the ache of a poet, a poet who has no words. The power he brings to the final minutes of this amazing series is a breakthrough of blossoming -- a masterpiece.
-- [article author, name unrecorded], Vanity Fair, September 2002
Lewis's performance [as Soames in The Forsyte Saga] is a constant marvel. The actor makes Soames's emotional repression so palpable that it's hard to hate him even at his most heartless. When his humanity finally breaks through, you'll feel a surge of hope.
-- [article author, name unrecorded], People, October 3, 2002
Lewis's performance [in The Forsyte Saga], though, is a constant marvel. The actor makes Soames's emotional repression so palpable that it's hard to hate him even at his most heartless. When his humanity finally breaks through, you'll feel a surge of hope.
-- [article author, name unrecorded], People, October 14, 2002
Special note should be made of Damian Lewis, who portrays Lieutenant Dick Winters. As one of the most focused-on characters in the series, Lewis manages to portray the heart and soul of Easy Company, and display some exceptional acting chops, as well.
-- Mike Spring (article author), DVDangle.com, October 23, 2002
[The] familiar themes [of The Forsyte Saga] seem fresh, thanks to three stunning performances. Damian Lewis is Soames Forsyte, a man of property and of excruciating propriety; ... the actor's very presence suggests the complex, deeply buried passion that destroys Soames. ... "Soames, you're such as stick!" Winifred tells her oh-so-proper brother, an irrefutable comment that makes Soames an unlikely character to hold a series together. And the tension between the old and new social orders, which had so obvious a contemporary echo in 1969, seems more remote today. But Mr. Lewis (who was also powerfully subdued as Dick Winters, the laconic hero of "Band of Brothers") overcomes these obstacles, suggesting a passion so profound and repressed that Soames himself cannot fathom it. ... Soames is a self-righteous prig, but in Mr. Lewis's nuanced performance he is also incredibly sad. When Soames despairingly takes to his bed and his mother says, "You feel things too much, you always have," we know she is right, though no one else in the world would guess it.
-- Caryn James (article author), New York Times, October 2002
Lewis ... has plenty of charm and charisma and an inner strength that impressed the Spielberg camp immediately [during the casting process for Band of Brothers]. ... A sense of determination, combined with a natural authority, while at the same time possessing an ability to be easygoing, enabled Lewis to fit in straight away when he turned up for training.
-- Helen Barlow (article author), "Lewis Goes In Boots And All," newspaper unknown, Australian, autumn 2002 (date unknown)
Although most performances here [in The Forsyte Saga] are admirable, the actor to relish most is Lewis, whose Yankspeak was impeccable as American Maj. Richard Winters in last season's "Band of Brothers" on HBO. His repressed Soames is more magnetic and interesting to behold, walking rigidly at attention in his dark suit of clothes, his manner funereal, only his eyes hinting at the implosions beneath his leaden demeanor. In fact, he's Vesuvius ready to blow. A partner in the family's law firm, Soames is a hypocrite who projects moral superiority. He is so tightly coiled that at one point he draws blood while biting his lip in anger. He is diffident, judgmental, cold and superficially arrogant, treating even some members of his family as clerks. "Damn Soames with thousands in the bank and nothing in his soul," the adult June says about her cousin, whose glints of humanity surface only near the end of these eight hours.
-- [article author, name unrecorded], Los Angeles Times, Autumn 2002
[Lewis'] electrifying performance in this role [of Soames in The Forsyte Saga] provides most of the dramatic momentum in the miniseries.
-- [article author, name unrecorded], Newsday, Autumn 2002
As Soames, Lewis is given the heaviest lifting, for he has to convince us of his imprisoned emotions almost entirely without letting us see how much his heart is breaking. It is testimony to Lewis' extraordinary skill that his is the character we loathe at the outset of "The Forsyte Saga" and in whom we become most interested by the end.
-- [article author, name unrecorded], San Francisco Chronicle, Autumn 2002
Lewis'...precisely calibrated performance forces us to see parts of ourselves in Soames even at his most repulsive moments as when he viciously forces himself upon his wife.
-- [article author, name unrecorded], Baltimore Sun, Autumn 2002
Lewis's Soames is almost animalistic in his determination. He's fierce in what he wants. What he wants most is his property. And his wife is his property. We see a slight softening at the very end of the eight hours, but our image of him is formed early on: Imperious, cold, calculating, distant, without a clue as to other people's feelings or suffering. It's quite a contrast with Lewis's portrayal of Dick Winters in Band of Brothers.
-- [article author, name unrecorded], GoMemphis.com, Autumn 2002
Lewis has captured Soames' wretched ambiguity as an essentially moral man whose overweening sense of ownership and rigid view of duty has rendered him unlovable. One doesn't know whether to feel sorry for him in the face of Irene's coldness, or condemn him for treating her like one of his prized paintings.
-- [article author, name unrecorded], Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Autumn 2002
[Lewis's] electrifying performance in this role [of Soames in The Forsyte Saga] provides most of the dramatic momentum in the miniseries.
-- John Crook (article author), Toledo Blade, Autumn 2002
Much of the success of the series [The Forsyte Saga: Series I] is thanks to the wonderful acting of its star Damian Lewis (so good in "Band of Brothers"). ... Lewis lets us see Soames's side in his relationship with Irene and while we do feel sorry for her, we can sympathize with both. At times he seems lost, and it is when Soames is onscreen that the series moves at its swiftest pace. We can see his mind working, turning. We can feel his sadness with every rejection. From the way Lewis raised or lowered an eyebrow to the way he smoked a cigarette, he breathed life into the starched-shirt of Soames and made him much more than a repressed, controlling force hopelessly in love. At the end of the series, Soames has a wonderful, defining moment: a true smile, a true expression of bliss that he had never betrayed before.
-- Jennifer Alpeche (article author), the-trades.com, November 12, 2002
Damian Lewis is charming company and not at all arrogant.
-- Mary Riddell (interviewer), Daily Mail, November 16, 2002
Lewis can't help fizzing with confidence. He is the sort of boy who could charm grannies, dogs and leading ladies, who could walk into any party, onto any set, and make it his own: funny, smart, irreverent and with manners so beautiful you could frame them. Tea with the Queen, one gets the impression, would pose no problem, while his mockney mode would rival Guy Ritchie's. When his savoir-faire accidentally fails him, he looks almost comically stricken. ... There is a restless, reckless quality to Lewis, the sort of daring that no doubt has him riding his motorbike too fast, and has inspired comparisons to Steve McQueen. When he raves that The New York Times devoted a whole page to the thrilling stage fight in his Broadway Hamlet with Ralph Fiennes, you sense he'd like to do it all again -- right now! -- the urgency of the boxer to get back in the ring.
-- Lesley White (interviewer), Sunday Times, November 17, 2002
Having Lewis's name attached to anything is starting to look like a shrewd investment. Something about his aura of self-control, and maybe his cool blue-grey eyes, has prompted comparisons to Steve McQueen from several reviewers.
-- Adam Sweeting (interviewer), Independent, November 24, 2002
[In Jeffrey Archer: The Truth,] Damian Lewis, still in the run of success that has included Band of Brothers and Soames in The Forsyte Saga, finds exactly the right level of self-delusion and caddish mania. Lewis says he made no attempt at all to impersonate Archer, rather he 'saw the role as an audition for the next James Bond'. Even so, he captures enough of the Boy's Own anarchy to make him easily recognisable.
-- Tim Adams (article author), The Observer, November 24, 2002
There are some great performances [in Jeffrey Archer: The Truth], led by a swashbuckling Damian Lewis as Jeffrey Archer.
-- [article author, name unrecorded], The Guardian, November 25, 2002
In person, he is bigger than you'd imagine -- fleshier and surprisingly relaxed and friendly, though he has a noticeable self-assurance and confidence that directors are drawn to. He's 30, but somehow he has the composure of someone older, and he's charming. ... You sense that Damian is not without vanity. He volunteers the information that he was voted one of Britain's 50 sharpest men by Esquire magazine, and mentions being miffed at a critic's description of his small mouth. Yet he has neither the poster-boy looks nor the egocentric approach to acting associated with the professional love interest. He is destined to be a serious quality actor and, though there's a part of him that wants to be chased by screaming girls, deep down he knows it.
-- Shane Watson (article author), Evening Standard Magazine, November 28, 2002
Damian brings fantastic presence to the film [Jeffrey Archer -- The Truth]. We needed someone who would get stuck in and attack the part. He has no fear, plus both Damian and Greta [Scacchi, who plays Margaret Thatcher] are great comic actors, but haven't been given much chance to show it.
-- Guy Jenkin (writer-director of Jeffrey Archer -- The Truth), TV Times, November 30, 2002
It took time to find an actor with sufficient good looks, charm, charisma and stamina to play Jeffrey [in Jeffrey Archer -- The Truth], but we found our man.
-- Jane Tranter (head of BBC Drama), TV Times, November 30, 2002
[In Jeffrey Archer -- The Truth,] Damian Lewis flings himself into the role, turning Archer into the epitome of suave sophistication. Lewis is, in fact, the best thing about Jeffrey Archer -- The Truth. He even manages to make Archer a likeable and sympathetic figure, despite his utterly outrageous claims.
-- Alison Graham (article author), Radio Times, November 30, 2002
Damian Lewis was superb as Soames [in The Forsyte Saga], the emotionally repressed solicitor unable to buy the love of his maddeningly cool wife.
-- [article author, name unrecorded], People, December 19, 2002
I had a few people very clearly in my head when we started the casting. I was looking for a particular type of actor: not necessarily posh actors, but people who could handle a style that is very different from the social realism that you see in most dramas. Television tends to strive towards the way people really behave in the modern world, and I needed actors who could show how people from the upper classes used to behave around the turn of the century. So they've got to have that seriousness, that emotional restraint -- but they've also got to be able to convey to the audience the feelings that are going on under the surface. It's quite a hard trick to pull off. ... Perhaps [Damian Lewis is] not an obvious choice [to play Soames], but for me he's the only man for the job. From the moment we met him I knew he was it, he was Soames. He has tremendous self-assurance and poise, so you're very drawn to him, but he can also give the impression of being quite distant. ... All of that [international attention he's received as a result of Band of Brothers] helps, of course, but I still wouldn't have cast him if he wasn't right for the job. Damian wasn't sure at first. He said to me, 'But surely you don't want a red-haired Soames, do you?' The colour of his hair just doesn't matter! What I like is this chilly, interior quality that he has, combined with the fact that a lot of people find him tremendously attractive. That's the key. You have to see him being cruel and unsympathetic towards Irene, but you have to be sufficiently attracted to him to want to dig a bit deeper and understand why he's behaving this way. Most actors just want to be loved in whatever role they play, but Damian's always been very keen to bring out the cruelty in Soames as well as the more admirable qualities. That way you can see him doing wrong, but you can also understand that he's the architect of his own destruction. I've watched some of the rushes and I've sat there going, 'Oh, no, Soames, please don't do that!' I hope that audiences will be shouting at their televisions in exactly the same way. You can see why Irene hates him, but he just can't stop himself. He never says what he really wants to say, he gets it all wrong and he ends up doing terrible things within that relationship.
-- Sita Williams (producer of The Forsyte Saga), from The Forsyte Saga: The Official Companion, by Rupert Smith, published by Granada Media Group, 2002, pp. 45-46
I'd seen [Damian Lewis and Ioan Gruffudd] in Warriors [Peter Kosminsky's award-winning film about peacekeepers in Bosnia], which I considered to be one of the best films I've seen for a long time. I thought they worked very well together in that, so it's no coincidence that they're both in this. I wanted two young men who were very contrasted in looks and personae, which they are. And they had to be able to bring out all the layers of a character. It would be very easy for some of these characters to come across as one-dimensional, and that would be a disaster, because the whole point of The Forsyte Saga is that the more you get to know about these people, the more you understand and appreciate them. It would be no good if Soames was just a villain, or if Bosinney was just an arty prig. With Damian and Ioan, you've got two actors who can bring out those depths individually, and who spark off each other very well and add a whole new dimension through that contrast.
-- Christopher Menaul (director of The Forsyte Saga), from The Forsyte Saga: The Official Companion, by Rupert Smith, published by Granada Media Group, 2002, p. 45
Soames is absolutely fascinating for any writer to play with, because he's so complex. There's a temptation to rein him back a bit and make him more sympathetic, because for all his faults you do end up loving him. But the producer was always pushing us to go further, to bring out his dark side, and I was worried that people would just hate him. Now I've seen Damian Lewis's performance, though, I'm not worried, because he brings out all the sympathetic sides of the character that the words themselves don't always contain. Soames is a very disturbed individual, and it's interesting for a woman to write for him. I mean, he's a rapist! But you can understand what's driven him to it. You can see the turmoil in his mind that's twisted him into doing a thing like that.
-- Jan McVerry (writer of The Forsyte Saga), from The Forsyte Saga: The Official Companion, by Rupert Smith, published by Granada Media Group, 2002, p. 58
In this unlovable man we feel the ache of a poet, a poet who has no words. The power he brings to the final minutes of this amazing series is a breakthrough of blossoming -- a masterpiece.
-- [article author, name unrecorded], Vanity Fair, as quoted at PBS.org (probably 2002)
Your eyes zoom straight to (Damian) Lewis [in The Forsyte Saga] ... There is a smoldering power to him ... he is the cornerstone of the piece.
-- William Gallager, BBC, as quoted at PBS.org (probably 2002)
When "Dreamcatcher" is really good, it's centered on the four main characters. The buddies in the woods. And I liked all of them. ... There was Jonesy (British actor Damian Lewis, in a terrific American debut performance), the redheaded college professor who is the most gifted of the four.
-- Teddy Durgin (article author), Flickville.com, March 19, 2003
Dreamcatcher does have some good performances, especially one from Damian Lewis, who plays a man who may not be who he seems.
-- John Douglas (article author), Grand Rapids Press, March 22, 2003
Damian Lewis is an extraordinary young British actor. He's very magnetic, charismatic and soulful. I was just wildly taken with him, and could see that he played an American very easily; I was just knocked out by his abilities.
-- Lawrence Kasdan (director of Dreamcatcher), Romanticmovies.about.com, March 2003
Damian Lewis, whom I first saw in 'Band of Brothers,' is an extraordinary young British actor. He's very magnetic, charismatic and soulful. I was just wildly taken with him, and could see that he played an American very easily; I was just knocked out by his abilities.
-- Lawrence Kasdan (director of Dreamcatcher), Dreamcatchermovie.Warnerbros.com, Spring 2003
[In Dreamcatcher, Damian Lewis'] character's alien possession leads to some engaging split-personality sequences. The native Briton does a better American accent than most American actors, and has the chops to carry prolonged scenes all by his lonesome, as he often did in Band of Brothers. It's just a matter of time until this talented thespian has a breakout film on this side of the pond.
-- Tor Thorsen (article author), Reelhlyw.net, probably spring 2003
He's certainly got tremendous elegance and total self-assurance while managing to be unexpectedly butch. He does, after all, ride a big old motorbike -- a Honda VFR 750, which I'm told is nicely macho.
-- Annabel Rivkin (interviewer), Evening Standard Magazine, April 11, 2003
[He has] an easy-going manner and a quietly devastating wit.
-- Gabrielle Donnelly (interviewer), Hello, April 15, 2003
Meeting Lewis is a delightful experience. If this is one of Britain's most talked-about emerging superstars, the lad himself has no airs or graces, no trace of self-importance. He jokes and teases -- something of a surprise for someone who's made a speciality of playing it mean and moody on screen, whether as the emotionally crippled Soames of The Forsyte Saga (series two is on its way, folks) or the broodingly heroic Major Richard Winters in Band of Brothers.
-- [article author, name unrecorded], The Western Mail, April 18, 2003
In Dreamcatcher, he plays another American, Prof. Gary "Jonesy" Jones, but his character slips into an aristocratic English voice when Jonesy's body is taken over by an alien. This rather complicated scenario calls on Damian to have conversations with himself using both voices -- and it is to his great credit that he manages to pull it off.
-- Thomas Quinn (article author), The Ticket, April 25, 2003
Damian Lewis wasn't raised to fall apart under pressure. He's an Old Etonian with lots of self-assurance, inner discipline, charm, impeccable manners and so on.
-- [article author, name unrecorded], Woman, April 2003
Damian Lewis and I are on our way to lunch. As soon as we step into a lift full of young female executives, you can feel the temperature rise. When somebody asks him which floor he wants, he quips, "Ladies lingerie, please." It's a great illustration of the 32-year-old's cheeky charm, and it's easy to see why he's captured women's hearts.
-- Zoe Seymour (interviewer), She, April 2003
[The Forsyte Saga: Series II is] rich in Edwardian detail and intrigue, and an acting showcase for the three leads, especially Lewis, whose sociopathic character was the polar opposite of his Capt. Winters role in HBO's 2001 miniseries, Band of Brothers.
-- Robert Philpot (article author), Star-Telegram, May 23, 2003
As the dramatic dynasty returns to our screens this Sunday, the sadistic Soames -- played with glorious suppressed fury by Damian Lewis -- is vexed once again.
-- James Rampton (article author), TV & Satellite Week, May 24, 2003
His mesmerizing performance as Major Dick Winters in Band of Brothers matched anything his contemporaries have achieved.
-- Karen Hocksey (article author), Sunday Express, May 25, 2003
What's refreshing about Lewis is that he doesn't mind admitting he adores being a star. ... He unashamedly admits to standing in front of a mirror when he was a kid being "interviewed" by the likes of Terry Wogan. It paid off: these days he gives real interviews with grace and charm. ... When I remind him we met in the days before Hollywood scripts regularly landed on his door mat, he's genuinely anxious to know that he hasn't changed too much. "I'm still the same person, aren't I? I really hope no one thinks I've gone off big headed. I mean, it's just a job, isn't it?" I can tell him with honesty that no, he hasn't changed. He might be wearing a more expensive suit and he's certainly got more people wandering in and out asking if he needs anything, but Lewis is the same friendly and affable guy I met on the set of the BBC drama Hearts and Bones.
-- [article author, name unrecorded], New!, May 26, 2003
Brit Damian Lewis (Band Of Brothers) makes a strong Hollywood debut [in Dreamcatcher].
-- [article author, name unrecorded], Total Film, May 2003
[Emma Griffiths] Malin and [Lee] Williams -- and the rest of the cast -- turn in good, clever performances, but it is Lewis and [Gina] McKee with whom the camera ends up running away. This is part of the nature of the story, with its obsession about the past, but also because Lewis manages to convey Soames's crabbed, volcanic moods, his stiffness of movement and mind and his despairing attempts to bring the world to heel, with such brilliance and understanding that it is impossible not to want to see him in every frame. As an actor, he is better known for his manly, virile army roles (Band of Brothers, Warriors), but in this, he ages before your eyes. It is a tribute to his skill that he manages to convey such sympathy for a man who, in the book, at least, was foul enough to make you want to fling him across the room.
-- Skerryvore (article author), Ionfilm.co.uk, approx. spring/summer 2003
(Damian) Lewis has been remarkable in his portrayal of Galsworthy's monster. Ranting and raving one minute, extraordinarily moving in still, silent sadness the next, he brought to the part a depth and range that was never less than utterly compelling to watch. Both his and McKee's (Irene) transformation from young to old was totally believable, not only physically (thanks to outstanding make-up) but emotionally; in all a brilliant portrayal of the complex nature of love, duty and what it is like simply to be human.
-- Jaci Stephen (article author), Daily Mail, June 22, 2003
The minute Damian walked in the room there was no question he was Soames. He had a complete self-assurance and self-belief, an arrogance, if you like. He understood the character completely.
-- Sita Williams (producer of The Forsyte Saga), Sydney Morning Herald, August 25, 2003
We were looking for an enigmatic leader, a guy you can't explain, but how explains himself by his mere presence. Lewis had that without question, as soon as he sat down we knew.
-- Tom Hanks (executive producer of Band of Brothers), Official London Theatre, November 1, 2003
Michael Attenborough, his director [of Five Gold Rings] at the Almeida, says Lewis's great strengths are emotional accuracy and love of language. "He is very controlled but shows you a wealth of feeling beneath the surface. His scenes with Helen McCrory are lovely."
-- [article author, name unrecorded], Telegraph, December 9, 2003
Damian Lewis' final memorable scene [in Five Gold Rings] when he relates his experience of child abuse is heart breaking as he twitches in distress.
-- [article author, name unrecorded], CurtainUp.com, December 18, 2003
Damian Lewis, who was so good as the tortured Soames Forsyte on TV, has my admiration [for his portrayal of Daniel in Five Gold Rings] as well. ... He manages to make the character of Daniel ... into a believably dignified and tormented figure.
-- Rhoda Koenig (article author), The Independent, December 23, 2003
Helen McCrory movingly captures her character's ache for a baby ... while Will Keen and Damian Lewis play the guilty brothers with a wired intensity.
-- Charles Spencer (article author), The Telegraph, December 24, 2003
He's an extraordinary actor. He's magnetic, charismatic and soulful. And he plays an American very easily. I was knocked out by his ability. This may have been his first film but it won't be his last, that's for sure.
-- Lawrence Kasdan (director of Dreamcatcher), Indielondon.co.uk, 2003
[In Five Gold Rings,] Lewis, for one, confirms his status as one of Britain's most confident young actors. ... Lewis and his colleagues ensure that "Gold Rings" casts an undeniable glow.
-- [article author, name unrecorded], iht.com, Winter 2003-4
"Band of Brothers" star (and Almeida alum) Lewis brings a ravaged intensity to the scheming younger brother, Daniel. ... Lewis is one of the reasons "Five Gold Rings" keeps you glued to the end.
-- Matt Wolf (article author), Variety, January 4, 2004
Damian Lewis (Band of Brothers) gives one of the year's best performances as Soames.
-- Matt Roush (article author), TV Guide, February 7, 2004
[The Forsyte Saga: Series II] was an instance of impeccable casting, particularly the two leads, British actors Damian Lewis and Gina McKee. Lewis is quickly proving himself to be one of the finest young actors of his generation. He was at the center of HBO's "Band of Brothers" as Maj. Winters, and he's the tightly wound, emotionally constricted center of "The Forsyte Saga," Soames Forsyte, a possessive man who loves more than he is loved. ... This installment of "The Forsyte Saga" ends on a high note. It's not entirely happy, but there's a sense of closure and contentedness for some of the characters, particularly Soames, who is both loathsome and pitiful. It's a tribute to the story, writing and Lewis' performance that Soames is more multidimensional than he so easily could have been.
-- Rob Owen (article author), Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 8, 2004
Damian Lewis was hither to not known for his dance moves, but after the Sargent Cancer Research bash at the Sanderson hotel last week he will forever be. A whole host of beautiful ladies made their way into his dance routine ... as fellow guests ... looked on in awe at the prowess of the John Travolta-for-our-times. A raffle played its part in the proceedings, of course. But dancing lessons from Mr. Lewis were regrettably not up for grabs.
-- [article author, name unrecorded], Evening Standard, July 17, 2004
The action [in The Forsyte Saga], encompassing 1874 to 1905, centers on Soames Forsyte (played masterfully by Damian Lewis), a man of property whose unhappy marriage to the exquisite but aloof Irene Heron (Gina McKee) is the centerpiece of the series. ... That Soames, with his pallid complexion, milky eyes and haughty demeanor, manages at different times to be sympathetic is a tribute both to the screenwriter and the actor.
-- Elizabeth Guider (article author), Variety, July 26, 2004
Down to earth he is, but spend a short time with Damian Lewis and you realise he says nothing lightly. Every one of his replies is considered and deliberate. In response to each of my questions he pauses, considering its whole meaning before carefully answering. You get the impression he would never say anything he didn't mean.
-- Gaby Roslin (interviewer), Eve, July 2004
This troubled young man [Keane is] dynamically incarnated by British actor Damian Lewis (Band of Brothers).
-- [article author, name unrecorded], Filmlinc.com, August 30, 2004
On screen every minute, Damian Lewis (Band of Brothers) is utterly riveting as William Keane, a mentally disturbed homeless man.
-- [article author, name unrecorded], Telluride Film Festival Program, September 3, 2004
If any plotted movie could accurately be called a one-man show, this is it. On screen every minute, Damian Lewis (Band of Brothers) is utterly riveting as William Keane, a mentally disturbed homeless man. ... A disturbing, demanding and remarkably accomplished film.
-- [article author, name unrecorded], Filmthreat.com, September 3, 2004
Lodge Kerrigan's third feature offers another stunning lead performance. In "Clean, Shaven" it was Peter Greene and in "Claire Dolan" it was Katrin Cartlidge, while in Kerrigan's latest, Damian Lewis is stellar in the lead role.
-- [article author, name unrecorded], Indiewire.com, September 5, 2004
Lewis' performance [in Keane] is intense and inward.
-- Roger Ebert (article author), Chicago Sun-Times, September 7, 2004
Just as "Clean, Shaven" relied to a great extent on the creepy power lead actor Peter Greene brought to it, so does "Keane" rest squarely on the exceptional talent of Damian Lewis to put it across. ... Watching Lewis so thoroughly inhabit the demented Keane, one can only wonder how an actor can live with such a character for weeks and weeks and maintain a semblance of sanity and contact with real life. Thesp amazingly manages to find nuances of character while running his engine above the emotional red line throughout. It's a resonant, haunting performance.
-- Todd McCarthy (article author), Variety, September 7, 2004
[In Keane,] Damian Lewis gives a raw, persistent performance (he's onscreen throughout the film) as a man whose young daughter was abducted on his watch.
-- Lisa Kennedy (article author), Denver Post, September 10, 2004
Lodge Kerrigan's latest is about a near-schizoid man (Band of Brothers' excellent Damian Lewis) whose daughter was abducted from Port Authority six months prior to where the film picks up. ... All players involved, especially Lewis, [do] a terrific job of immersing themselves in this world.
-- Shannon Gee (article author), Toronto Dispatch, September 14, 2004
William Keane, performed exceptionally by Damian Lewis, is a father struggling with the abduction of his own daughter and battling demons as he tries to come to terms with the resulting grief.
-- Eugene Hernandez (article author), Indiewire.com, September 17, 2004
Familiar to those who saw Band of Brothers, Lewis works at full-bore intensity [in Keane], taking us inside the shattered life of a father who can't recover from the abduction of his daughter.
-- Robert Denerstein (article author), Rocky Mountain News, September 18, 2004
[In Keane,] Damian Lewis gives a tour-de-force performance as a man driven insane by the disappearance of his daughter. Shattered, the father takes to the street to retrace his steps on that fateful day. Easily one of the festival's most intense entries.
-- Glenn Lovell (article author), Knight Ridder Newspapers, September 18, 2004
The next movie of the day was Keane, from director Lodge Kerrigan. As riveting as it is disturbing, the film follows a volatile man (Damian Lewis) who wanders the streets of New York talking to himself, one of those mad mumbling guys you cross streets to avoid. Familiar to those who saw Band of Brothers, Lewis works at full-bore intensity, taking us inside the shattered life of a father who can't recover from the abduction of his daughter.
-- [article author, name unrecorded], Rocky Mountain News, September 18, 2004
[For his performance in Keane,] Damian Lewis is a lock for an Indie Spirit nod.
-- Dave Poland (article author), Dave Poland's Hot Button, September 20, 2004
[In Keane], the title character (viscerally embodied by Damian Lewis) is constantly in motion but trapped in a psychological impasse. ... Keane [was] the best-received American indie in Toronto [at the Toronto International Film Festival].
-- Dennis Lim (article author), Village Voice, September 21, 2004
British actor Damian Lewis, who's in nearly every frame of the film, inhabits the tormented Keane with bracing abandon, and, as Argento does in Heart Is Deceitful, Kerrigan subtly infers a prematurely self-sufficient child's ability to sympathize with a damaged adult.
-- Jessica Winter (article author), Minneapolis City Pages, September 22, 2004
The little-known Lewis is remarkable in the central role [in Keane].
-- Anthony Kaufman (article author), Time Out New York, September 23-30, 2004
[Lodge] Kerrigan's wondrous Keane is about a man, William Keane (a simply profound Damian Lewis), whose little girl was stolen out from under his nose at a train station the year before.
-- [article author, name unrecorded], Film Freak Central, approx. September 30, 2004
Keane doesn't contain much in the way of a plot -- if you've seen Clean, Shaven, you probably have a good idea what to expect -- but that soon becomes irrelevant thanks to Lewis' astounding performance. Lewis, best known for his work in films like Dreamcatcher and various British mini-series, is an absolute revelation as the title character and he delivers a daring and completely riveting performance. It's the sort of role most actors would kill for, though very few would be able to disappear into it as effectively and thoroughly as Lewis. Keane is one of those rare movies that rattles around in your head long after the credits have rolled, and if there were any justice, both [Lodge] Kerrigan and Lewis would receive Academy Awards for their work here.
-- David Nusair (article author), Reelfilm.com, September 2004
Damian Lewis turns in an astonishing performance as Keane. ... [It's] one of the best performances I have seen in years. Lewis reminds me of a young Pacino, still in love with his craft and still searching for reality, before he replaced nuance with bombast. ... [There] isn't a moment where you doubt Lewis as Keane, and there is not a moment here where he is acting. There are no tells, there are no flourishes, there are no scenes where you feel like the guy is playing it up. Keane is vaguely documentary-like in how the camera is active and there is no score, but it's Lewis' performance that convinces you of the gritty reality of this man's life. If there is any justice Lewis will find his name on the shortlist at the upcoming Oscars.
-- Devin Faraci (article author), Chud.com, October 13, 2004
Keane -- another gripping and harrowing tale of loss, desperate depression and redemption seeking. Perhaps two such films over two consecutive nights was a bit much, but this was a powerful piece of filmmaking, a stunning character study and some sublime acting. ... Keane is brilliantly played by British actor Damian Lewis (Band of Brothers). ... As reelfilms says: Keane is one of those rare movies that rattles around in your head long after the credits have rolled, and if there were any justice, both Kerrigan and Lewis would receive Academy Awards for their work here.
-- neilo60 (article author), Life's Rich Pageant, October 14, 2004
Played in a style reminiscent of Dostoyevsky or Chekhov, British actor Damian Lewis is brilliant in the role of William Keane, the driven, half-crazy hero. With just small exceptions, this film is a one-man show.
-- Therese Schwartz (article author), Arts4all.com, October 2004
My nerves were totally fried by the end, but Lewis's performance [in Keane] is so raw and compelling you can't avert your eyes for a moment.
-- [article author, name unrecorded], Papermag.com, October 2004
Keane is a movie that is very hard to describe and absolutely mesmerizing. It stars Damian Lewis, who I've never seen before but is a classically trained British actor. He plays a man whose daughter has been kidnapped, while in his car at the Port Authority bus terminal. He is both haunted and haunting. This is a hard sell but a great movie with a fantastic performance in which Lewis is never off screen: a tour de force of very difficult material.
-- Dr. Joy Browne, (article author), drjoy.com, probably October 2004
[In Keane,] Lewis is quite dynamic, especially since the first half of the movie centers on his performance: We are thrown into his character's unsound universe of frustration, loneliness and despair.
-- Stephanie Alberico (article author), NewYorkCool.com, November 2004
British actor Damian Lewis (BAND OF BROTHERS) gives a stunning lead performance in Lodge Kerrigan's powerful drama KEANE. ... He talks to himself, shouts suddenly, and looks over his shoulder with fear and paranoia, an edgy, twitchy, wholly unnerving, and remarkable performance. ... KEANE is like no other movie ever made on the subject of child abduction, a grittily authentic film that will stay with viewers for a very long time.
-- [article author, name unrecorded], Movies.yahoo.com, Autumn 2004
Damian Lewis' performance as William Keane is a standout.
-- [article author, name unrecorded], Wendywire, Autumn 2004
The central performance [in Keane] of Damian Lewis (of Band of Brothers) is totally committed and riveting.
-- [article author, name unrecorded], House o' Film, Autumn 2004
If that film [Keane] doesn't break Damian Lewis out in terms of critics' notice, there's something desperately wrong with this system.
-- Bingham Ray (film industry executive), as quoted in Filmmakermagazine.com, Autumn 2004
British-born Damian Lewis (also excellent in Keane this year) gives a soulful performance [in Brides], and the interplay of Greek and non-Greek feels easy and organic.
-- [article author, name unrecorded], leonardo.spidernet.net, Autumn 2004
Damian Lewis is absolutely fearless in the lead [in Keane], and though I'm not crazy about the way Kerrigan whip-pans during two character scenes, the movie has a concentration and integrity that's unimpeachable.
-- Glenn Kenny (article author), Premiere, January 2005
Quite possibly the strongest performance of the year, in Lodge Kerrigan's indie drama Keane,... Lewis seems to live his role as the father of a missing girl, working from dissociative misery through a gradual, torturous redemption that approaches transcendence -- but with the specter of far greater horrors in wait.
-- Scott Manzler, Nashvillescene.com, January 2005
Kerrigan's films demand a strong central performance, and this time [in Keane] that responsibility falls on the shoulders of Damian Lewis (a standout in Band of Brothers). It's a film that may not be a comfortable experience, but it's certain to be a stimulating one.
-- Dan Krovich, Boxofficeprophets.com, January 11, 2005
The beauty of this movie [Keane] rests on some great moments which can be attributed to Damian Lewis' haunting performance.
-- bjduncan25 (message author), IMDB.com message board for Keane, March 6, 2005
Of the men [in Colditz], it's Lewis who shines as the dastardly Nick. Bad as he is, it's difficult to resist his charms early on -- after all, all's fair in love and war, as the saying goes. However, his final act of betrayal shows him for the nasty piece of work he really is and ultimately, guarantees his downfall. And Lewis plays it to the hilt.
-- Lizzie Guilfoyle (article author), Indielondon.co.uk, April 2005
William Keane, performed exceptionally by Damian Lewis, is a father struggling with the abduction of his own daughter and battling demons as he tries to come to terms with the resulting grief.
-- Brian Brooks (article author), Indiewire.com, May 6, 2005
If there's any justice, Michael Pitt will] surely be a contender for the Best Actor prize [for "Last Days"]. The same would probably hold true for Damian Lewis, the lead in Lodge Kerrigan's "Keane," were the film in competition rather than in the Directors' Fortnight. ... It's a tough movie, but powerful and compassionate; indeed, it's probably the best movie I've seen in Cannes so far.
-- Geoff Andrew (article author), Timeout.com, May 13, 2005
Watch out for: Damian Lewis, who is over from London to watch the three films he has running in Cannes. In Keane, he gives an intensely powerful performance as an American drifter who befriends a young girl. He's also in Brides and he's part of the ensemble cast (also including Kristin Scott Thomas, Penelope Cruz, Rhys Ifans, Ben Chaplin and Ralph Fiennes) which director Martha Fiennes gathered for the festival's closing night picture, Chromophobia.
-- [article author, name unrecorded], Daily Mail, May 13, 2005
Husband Marcus Aylesbury (Damian Lewis, in one of the film's [Chromophobia] stand-out performances) is an upper-class lad, a lawyer who is caught uncomfortably between a slumming Essex twang and the plummy vowels of his Law Lord father (Ian Hart), between stag hunting and the college rock band he once played in with investigative journo Trent (Ben Chaplin).
-- Lee Marshall (article author), Screen Daily, May 27, 2005
Damian Lewis ... gives an emotionally charged, impassioned performance as the tormented William Keene. His performance seems even more riveting considering the intrusive camera attention he's given. It's his show, and his convincing turn truly a spectacle to behold. It's easily among the best performances I've seen this year. ... William Keane is a fascinating character, and Damian Lewis gives an equally fascinating performance.
-- Aaron West (article author), efilmcritic.com, June 15, 2005
Damian Lewis is extraordinary as schizophrenic William Keane, a 30-something man searching for his daughter who disappeared in a New York bus station. ... Lewis' performance is a perfect marriage of external bombast and internal struggle.
-- Warren Curry (article author), einsiders.com, June 20, 2005
The entire film [Keane] hinges on Lewis, and he delivers a performance that deserves serious Oscar consideration.
-- Dan Krovich (article author), boxofficeprophets.com, June 22, 2005
Damian Lewis' performance as the titular character [in Keane] is exceptional.
-- [article author, name unrecorded], Nantucket Film Festival (filmguide.nantucketfilmfestival.org), June 2005
[In Keane,] Damian Lewis, an accomplished British actor known to American viewers for his role in the Spielberg-Hanks HBO production, "Band of Brothers," excels as William Keane, an hysterical man, first seen in New York City's port Authority, searching for his six-year-old daughter, who had mysteriously disappeared six month before.
-- Emanuel Levy (article author), emanuellevy.com, June 2005
BW: Keane has a very small cast and the success of a film such as this is clearly going to hinge on the performance of the actor playing the central role of William Keane. Damian Lewis is remarkable. How did you settle on him?
LK: All the movies I make, Clean, Shaven, Claire Dolan, and Keane have been built around a central performance, and they all live or die by that performance. This one, perhaps more than any of the others, because Damian is in every shot. I think casting is often very backwards-looking, where people involved in the casting process want to see that the actor they are considering has played roles that are similar to the role being cast. I take a different approach. I try to find actors who are clearly talented and try to imagine whether they could play the role, regardless if they have performed a similar role or not. It's very intuitive for me. I watched Damian in "Band of Brothers" and he's clearly a remarkable actor in that, but there's nothing in his role as Major Winters that is similar to the role of William Keane. The two roles are worlds apart. But in "Band of Brothers" I could see how much control he had in his craft, how much presence he had. The rest was intuition. It was crucial for the actor playing Keane to convey the very real possibility that at some point in his past, Keane was a father and a good father. And what is remarkable to me is that Damian isn't a parent, and yet he was able to portray one so well, and he did that completely on his own. We didn't really have any discussions about what it is to be a parent, he just intuitively understood it. I sent him a script, talked to him, and then I flew over to London to meet with him for a couple of days, to make sure that we saw the character the same way and that we would be able to work together well, which is crucial for these types of performances because the collaboration is so involved and intense. And it also gave Damian the chance to get to know me and decide whether the project was right for him or not. Both Stephen [Soderbergh] and [producer] Andrew [Fierberg] were very much in favor. It was very much a mutual decision by all involved.
-- Brad Westcott (article author) and Lodge Kerrigan, Reverse Shot Magazine interview, probably sometime between Autumn 2004 and Spring 2005
Lewis's brilliantly nuanced performance of the schizophrenic Keane is the backbone of the entire film. ... The film creates a remarkable sense of empathy for this man who we see at times behave violently and irrationally and I don't think I've ever felt an audience will a character to do the right thing as I did with this film. You want him to pull himself together, to wrench himself from the absolute anguish that is evident in every subtle gesture made. It's an extraordinary performance in a gripping thriller.
-- Alex Murray (article author), Fairfax Digital, July 2005
[In Keane,] Lewis -- always onscreen -- gives an astonishing performance as William Keane.
-- Graham Fuller (article author), New York Daily News, August 21, 2005
Lodge Kerrigan's Keane follows William Keane (a brilliant Damian Lewis), a homeless schizophrenic New Yorker, as he attempts to find his kidnapped daughter.
-- Jason Whyte (article author), Vancouver International Film Festival site, August 25, 2005
The writer-director Lodge Kerrigan takes the audience on a nerve-jangling journey into the psychological life of a destitute father (a young, Redfordesque Damian Lewis) who is looking for his abducted daughter in "Keane." ... Mr. Lewis ... carries the movie with his tightly wound character study.
-- Sharon Waxman (article author), The New York Times, September 4, 2005
[In Keane,] Damian Lewis, vet of HBO's Band of Brothers, commits himself to the role's interior shitstorm with unrelenting energy, and it's a triumph of post-Method selflessness when you also consider the claustrophobic proximity of DP John Foster's camera, and the fact that the scenes play out in real time, in crowded midtown hubs.
-- Michael Atkinson (article author), Village Voice, September 6, 2005
Lewis, who also stars in An Unfinished Life, has squinty, chiseled features that recall the young Steve McQueen, but in Keane that face is on fire with torment -- with the mystery that's driving it.
-- Owen Gleiberman (article author), Entertainment Weekly, September 7, 2005
[In An Unfinished Life,] Josh Lucas, Camryn Manheim and Damian Lewis offer support, with Lewis particularly effective as the miserable ex-boyfriend who inevitably follows Jean back to her Rocky Mountain hometown.
-- John Boonstra (article author), Valley Advocate, September 8, 2005
With the relentless focus on Keane, the film is held together by the raw intensity of Damian Lewis' portrait of the emotional torment of a man whose life is falling apart. (Lewis was equally convincing as an obsessive aristocrat in Masterpiece Theatre's multi-decade "Forsyte Saga.") ... Lewis and Kerrigan skillfully bring an ambiguity to Keane and a welcome complexity to the film.
-- Ed Scheid (article author), Boxoffice.com, September 8, 2005
I saw Damian in "Band of Brothers." There's nothing specific in that that is similar to the role of Keane, but I saw what a talented actor he was and it was really intuitive. I just thought he would do a really good job. We sent him the script and I went to London to spend a few days with him. In all the films I've made, they live or die on the central performance, this one perhaps more than any other, simply because Damian is in every shot of the movie.
-- Lodge Kerrigan (director of Keane), IFCTV.com, September 8, 2005
[In Keane, director Lodge Kerrigan] pushed his lead actor into actual traffic and kept a hand-held camera focused continually on the amazing, seemingly selfless Damian Lewis.
-- Stuart Klawans (article author), The Nation, September 8, 2005
The previously noted Damian Lewis, who plays the heel in An Unfinished Life-proving again there's no such thing as a small role of no significance when a big actor gives it his own special stamp-is again on view in the odd, disturbing psychological drama, Keane. This intense portrait of a tightly coiled man in crisis coming rapidly unraveled on every level is a bigger showcase for Mr. Lewis' talent and range, which is vast. A British actor familiar to audiences at the Royal Shakespeare Company who can play Americans with no trace of an accent, Mr. Lewis has what looks like a bright future in American films. In Keane, he portrays the tormented inner psyche of a man whom we never really come to know, but whose desperation is utterly compelling. ... A few things are certain: Damian Lewis is on a roll, Lodge Kerrigan is a director worth watching, and Keane is a small wonder in a season of big but deadly, brainless blockbusters.
-- Rex Reed (article author), [source unknown], about September 8, 2005
Damian Lewis' turn as the title character [in Keane] is remarkably nuanced, offering surprises at every turn. ... Lewis' manner and body language change on the drop of a dime. The actor thoroughly integrates himself into his character. Initially, Keane's behavior is frightening; his eyes are as menacing as Charles Manson's. Without ever quite breaking down entirely, he always seems to be on the verge of doing so. However, he's in more danger of harming himself than anyone else, as the final third of "Keane" suggests. Even then, there are times when he alternates between a benign, paternal mood and fits of paranoia. ... Lewis' performance is nearly flawless.
-- Steve Erickson (article author), Gay City News, September 8, 2005
[Keane stars] British actor Damian Lewis in a riveting performance as the title character William Keane.
-- Anthony Kaufman (article author), Indiewire, September 8, 2005
Overall, it's the quality of acting in "An Unfinished Life" that makes this film a cinematic treat. Surrounded ... by superb performances from Redford, Freeman, Lucas, Damian Lewis (as the chain-smoking abusive boyfriend), and newcomer Becca Gardner, Lopez actually gives one of her best performances to date.
-- Rebecca Murray (article author), Movies.about.com, September 8, 2005
Lewis['s] performance [in Keane] is nothing short of spectacular.
-- Gary Dretzka (article author) Movie City News, September 8, 2005
[Keane] is a portrait of psychological instability, and as the film progresses, it asks us to consider whether its protagonist's extreme emotional trauma is a byproduct of his mental illness or vice versa -- indeed, whether William Keane actually has a daughter at all. Those contradictions are embodied by the 34-year-old British actor, Damian Lewis, who appears onscreen for every one of the film's 90-odd minutes and who commits himself to the role with terrifying intensity. His Keane is by turns clear-headed and delusional, paternal and childlike -- whether having a conversation with himself or going into a strange trance to the strains of "I Can't Help Myself" emanating from a barroom jukebox. For Lewis, the film is a breakthrough coming after an acclaimed supporting turn in the Band of Brothers miniseries and an impressive dual role in Lawrence Kasdan's Dreamcatcher (where his Jonesy/Mr. Grey is one of the occasional flashes of brilliance lighting up that otherwise daft Stephen King adaptation). In Keane, he is the engine that drives an utterly relentless film. And we cannot escape him, for Kerrigan's handheld camera is forever hovering no more than a few inches from Lewis' head, forcing us to see the streets of New York through the eyes of a man we would ordinarily do our best to avoid. It is one of the year's great pieces of movie acting, and the kind of performance other actors come to speak about in hushed, reverential tones.
-- Scott Foundas (article author), LA Weekly, September 9, 2005
[As] the nut-job boyfriend [in An Unfinished Life,] Damian Lewis [is] very good.
-- Mick LaSalle (article author), San Francisco Chronicle, September 9, 2005
Keane's Damian Lewis does schizophrenia -- and does it pretty damn well. ... As the troubled William Keane, Lewis propels the film from pathos to terror and back again while hunting down the young daughter he claims was kidnapped at Port Authority Bus Terminal. ... Keane is Lewis' film. He reels and steams and shudders and inhabits William Keane so entirely and fearlessly that his loneliness pervades even the teeming terminal of Port Authority. Part of the film's impossible greatness is that prior to viewing it, you would hesitate to believe a narrative's primary action could take place inside its main character's head -- rarely verbalized, shivering in the pallid glow of his eyes. His Keane searches for his daughter in everything and everyone, but avoids the ham-fisted trappings of obsession. After all, he acts out of deference to his condition. ... Lewis' value is such that his status as Kerrigan's benefactor or beneficiary is tough to ascertain; Lewis credits Kerrigan's script, while Kerrigan claims Lewis deserves an Oscar nod for "one of the hands-down great performances I've seen."
-- "stvanairsdale" (article author), Indiewire, September 9, 2005
(Keane) had its own life. You could see it, you could feel it. It was like it had the right energy. And I didn't necessarily create that. I must have added something to it, but I didn't create it. I just recognized it. All I did was try to guide it a little bit -- try to help it on its way, but it had its own force. And Damian was a huge part of that.
-- Lodge Kerrigan (director of Keane), Indiewire, September 9, 2005
Keane ... showcases (in the title role) the remarkable talent of one-time Royal Shakespeare Company actor Damian Lewis. ... Lewis gives an astonishing performance. He has to; he carries the first half of the movie virtually alone. Vulnerable, aching, but still alive and attuned to his senses, Lewis creates a multi-dimensional character on a single-minded mission. [The film] has honesty, heart, and some of the best acting you will likely see on screen this year.
-- Barbara and Scott Siegel (article authors), The Siegel Column (at Theatremania.com), September 9, 2005
[An Unfinished Life is] enriched by Redford's and Freeman's subtle, superlative performances. Supporting players Lucas, Manheim and Lewis (whom you'd never know was English) are equally strong, and newcomer Gardner holds her own with refreshing ease.
-- Maitland McDonagh (article author), TVGuide.com, early September 2005
Credit must be given to Kerrigan for taking on such a daring psychodrama and to Damian Lewis for his riveting performance as Keane.
-- Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat (article authors), Spirituality & Health, early September 2005
Damian Lewis plays the tragic, mentally unstable protagonist [in Keane] with subtle brilliance, managing to elicit both sympathy and discomfort from a realistic -- yet never hammy -- performance.
-- Michael Joshua Rowin (article author), The L Magazine, early September 2005
[The] success of this remarkable film [Keane] rests on British-born Lewis' astonishing performance. His characterization is so bold, so raw and so far out on an emotional ledge that you can't help but fear he'll never find his way back.
-- Ken Fox (article author), TVGuide.com, early September 2005
[Keane director Lodge] Kerrigan lucked out with actor Damian Lewis. This is the kind of complex role that many actors would love to do and Lewis pulls it off without being over the top. Lewis is able to walk that delicate line between sane and insane, balancing them in a way that feels real. His scenes with Amy Ryan, and especially Abigail Breslin, are touching without feeling too sentimental.
-- Chad Goldich (article author), Upstage Magazine, early September, 2005
I look for actors who are really talented, who control their craft and then the rest is very intuitive for me. When I saw Damian in Band of Brothers, I saw how talented he was. He has tremendous control. But there's nothing in that role that has anything to do with Keane. But I felt very strongly that he could do a really good job and I watched the first 20 minutes of Dreamcatcher and that confirmed for me that he could play a parent. The whole idea to Keane is that he could have been a parent in the past. The question of whether his child ever existed is very open-ended.
-- Lodge Kerrigan (director of Keane), Suicidegirls.com, early September 2005
Damian Lewis fits his role as bad boyfriend [in An Unfinished Life], an effectively repugnant guy who walks a thin line between tenderness and brutality.
-- John Wirt (article author), The Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA), early September 2005
[In Keane,] Damian Lewis (Band of Brothers) gives an Oscar-caliber performance as a man lost and coming apart at the seams on the streets of New York City. Ostensibly, he's lost his child. But it's never quite clear if he ever really had one to begin with or if this is just another delusion of a shattered mind. The camera follows him in shaky close-up, upping the claustrophobic tension to the point where seemingly simple grief and emotional instability give way to near madness. It's not fun, but it's as much an antidote to fake Hollywood nonsense as anything you'll see this year.
-- [article author unknown], E! Online, early September 2005
An intense, claustrophobic study of a man haunted by the kidnapping of his daughter, Keane is a grimly compelling showcase for the exceptional British actor Damian Lewis (Band of Brothers). Under Lodge Kerrigan's assured direction, Lewis gives a painfully raw performance in the title role of this ultra-realistic indie character study, which Kerrigan shoots primarily in excruciating close-up. Kerrigan's unblinking portrait of a man on the brink of madness may be extremely difficult to watch, but Keane is nonetheless remarkable for its frank and complex depiction of a terribly wounded soul seeking redemption. ... As Keane, Lewis is stunning. There's not a shred of artifice to his superbly naturalistic performance. Onscreen throughout the film's 93-minute running time, Lewis never overacts during Keane's manic episodes. Nor does he ever try to make his character more overtly sympathetic.
-- Tim Knight (article author), Reel.com, early September 2005
Playing crazy is such a familiar scenery-chomp for actors that any filmgoer can list its conventions: jabber to self or to invisible companions; slue eyes around to indicate paranoia; talk loudly in public places; and/or attack strangers. As the troubled title character in Lodge Kerrigan's psychological drama "Keane," ... Damian Lewis does all these things, and yet his performance never feels like a show. On the contrary, he makes his character's torment so intimately, sadly real that we experience every tremor as our own. ... In Mr. Lewis's nuanced depiction, mental illness isn't a steady state but a ceaseless struggle along a continuum, with consensual reality at one end and nightmare delusion at the other. ... There are times when we're frightened of Keane or find him repellent, but thanks to Mr. Lewis, we never lose sight of his suffering. His performance is quietly brilliant. It's also a remarkable act of compassion.
-- Karen Durbin (article author), The New York Times, September 11, 2005
[With Keane, Lodge Kerrigan] works with such lean force that we are plunged into the story's emotional center as if we had suddenly been cast into a whirlpool. His collaborator--the best term--is his leading actor, Damian Lewis, who is English but whose American accent is flawless. Lewis's sculpted face, unobtrusively sensitive, his inflections of speech that suggest Keane's complexity, are exactly the qualities that Kerrigan needed for this man whose companionship in hell we must accept. ... A special word of thanks to Abigail Breslin, the little girl, who is both reticent and close, and a further word of thanks to Kerrigan for bringing us Lewis. The actor is in every scene and almost every shot and is compelling throughout.
-- Stanley Kauffman (article author), The New Republic, September 11, 2005
[Keane features] a pinpoint accurate portrayal of psychosis from British actor Damian Lewis.
-- Edward Havens (article author), Filmjerk.com, September 13, 2005
With a broad range required -- from infatuation and social pleasantries to hatred, anger and rage -- Lewis is a commanding presence [in Brides]
-- Mark Lavercombe (article author), Hoopla.nu, September 13, 2005
Lewis is the perfect choice for Keane. The red-headed British actor has an All-American look, but as viewers of "Dreamcatcher" and the current "An Unfinished Life" have noticed, he also has the ability to appear frat-house friendly one moment and diabolical the next. In other words, he's scary as hell, and as either the hero or villain of a story about a child in danger, he makes your knuckles grow whiter as it progresses.
-- Jack Mathews (article author), New York Daily News, September 14, 2005
[In Keane,] Damian Lewis (Band of Brothers), [is] on-screen throughout and simply outstanding as the grieving, mentally fragile William.
-- Sandra Hebron (article author), London Film Festival (lff.org.uk), September 14, 2005
The boyfriend [in An Unfinished Life] is played by Damian Lewis, a character actor who's shown in nuanced performances in the HBO series "Band of Brothers" and the underrated "Dreamcatchers" that he's worthy of a leading film role.
-- Christopher Lloyd (article author), Indianapolis Star, September 16, 2005
In a wholly unexpected and ultimately gratifying experience from writer-director Lodge Kerrigan, "Keane" is emotionally involving right from the beginning through its final frame. Wandering around Manhattan's bustling Port Authority bus terminal is a trim young man with dark red hair, William Keane (Damian Lewis, in a demanding and illuminating portrayal), and he becomes increasingly agitated as he tries to retrace the last moments he spent with his 6-year-old daughter, who suddenly vanished.
-- Kevin Thomas (article author), Los Angeles Times, September 16, 2005
Lewis, who made an everyman a leading man in Band of Brothers, doesn't play Keane as an affectation or outright imitation of mental illness; he embodies the character from the inside out, and avoids the vain, archly dramatic portrayals that lesser actors attach to their purported 'serious' roles. We feel sympathy, fear and revulsion for Keane -- often at the same time -- and it's to Lewis' credit that the subtle build of Keane's minimalist plot adopts such weight and depth by the final, devastating scene.
-- Todd Gilchrist (article author), IGN Filmforce, September 16, 2005
Keane is built on a powerful performance by Damian Lewis, who played the abusive husband (sic) in An Unfinished Life, also in theatres right now. Here he generates enormous sympathy as he helplessly tries to do the right thing. Thumbs up.
-- Roger Ebert (article author), Ebert & Roeper, September 17, 2005
Kerrigan and star Lewis (in a breakout performance) keep William Keane together for almost twenty-four hours, turning the heat up slowly as first, Keane gets a message that Lynn can't make it home that night, then again as he starts to slip into paranoia at a public skating rink, held together by the calm reaction of his young charge. Kerrigan maintains that balance on the thin line between sanity and madness throughout his little miracle of a film, by never wavering from Keane's wavering perspective and Lewis's performance is wisely restrained, his Keane a quiet man easy to ignore, his period lapses anomalies we believe (actually more like hope) he can regain control over.
-- Laura Clifford (article author), Joecritic.com, September 18, 2005
Kerrigan's newest chronicle of life on the edge is the wondrous Keane. Featuring a brilliant central performance by rising talent Damian Lewis (Band of Brothers, An Unfinished Life) and screening to acclaim at Telluride, Toronto, New York and in Cannes Director's Fortnight, Keane, much like Clean, Shaven, investigates the world of a mentally unstable man tormented by the loss of his daughter.
-- Shari Roman (article author), Filmmaker, September 18, 2005
All the films I have made so far have a strong central character, so the lead really has to carry the film and Damian is without question, a great actor. ... I was lucky to have found him [for Keane]. Damian was so committed and prepared, as well as intelligent in his choices. The levels of frustration, love, anger that he was able to bring to the role are amazing.
-- Lodge Kerrigan (director of Keane), Filmmaker, September 18, 2005
[Keane's] writer-director Lodge Kerrigan (Claire Dolan) had made a heartbreaking film, and Lewis (HBO's Band of Brothers) couldn't be better.
-- Leah Rozen (article author), People, September 19, 2005
This short story [Keane] is given a superb rendering by the performance of Damian Lewis as William Keane.
-- Ed Koch (article author), The Villager, September 21, 2005
[In An Unfinished Life,] Damian Lewis, who has the unfortunate duty of filling Gary's shoes, is so good at playing evil that it's easy to forget that he's also great at playing good (watch "Band of Brothers" if you've forgotten).
-- Christopher Abel (article author), The Outpost, September 22, 2005
[In An Unfinished Life,] English actor Damian Lewis is creepily convincing as Jean's scummy ex, and he invigorates the few scenes he's in.
-- Beth McArthur (article author), The Georgia Straight, September 22, 2005
[Keane] has a stunning performance by Damian Lewis, perhaps best known for his appearance in the HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers." If there is justice in Hollywood, he will be on the short list of actors with a shot at an Oscar nomination. He's that good in a part that must have put him under almost as much stress as the character he portrays. ... The role would have been difficult enough without the camera being on top of the actor, but Lewis does an outstanding job. Among other things, he displays a masterly command of the American idiom, so that it's hard to believe that he's actually British.
-- Charles Britton (article author), Daily Breeze, September 24, 2005
The acting [in Keane] is outstanding. Never do you question Damian Lewis because he's so totally committed. There's a dangerous moment where Keane sings, and a lesser actor could have easily lost the audience there; Lewis, however, is totally in control.
-- [article author unknown], Litwack.org, September 26, 2005
Keane [is] portrayed with frightening intensity by Damian Lewis. ... For Lewis, this is a tour de force of movie acting.
-- Bill Gallo (article author), SF Weekly, September 28, 2005
[In Keane], Damian Lewis' raw, scraped performance may be unforgettable. The Englishman (here very American) is not warm and open-faced, but the pinched, obsessed, grizzled, fragile Bill is one of the more disturbingly human dead-zoners in American film.
-- David Elliott (article author), San Diego Union-Tribune, September 29, 2005
[Keane is] played by Damian Lewis, the fiery-haired Brit from HBO's "Band of Brothers," who uses "Keane" to mark a big step in his rapid ascent to Hollywood's A list -- if he's not there already. As Yonkers-born William Keane, Lewis delivers one of the year's best and most complex performances by finding the humanity inside a man who touches our deepest sympathies and our worst fears, often in the same scene.
-- Al Alexander (article author), The Patriot Ledger, September 30, 2005
Lewis, who also appeared in TV's "Band of Brothers," gives a great performance in "Keane". ... As Keane accosts bus agents and strangers -- asking, in his insistent, guilt-ridden voice, if they've seen or heard of his little girl -- we realize he's near the breaking point, that he's been conducting the same search for months without any results and that by now it's become a self-flagellating ritual -- all of which Lewis puts across with razor-sharp economy.
-- Michael Wilmington (article author), Chicago Tribune, September 30, 2005
[In Keane], Damian Lewis, who exudes an inner turmoil almost too difficult to watch, shines in the role of the title character.
-- Chelsea Bain (article author), Townonline.com, September 30, 2005
Lewis is British, and his work here is rigorous and smart, particularly with Breslin, who has an uncommonly natural presence. Lewis's character is probably schizophrenic, but Lewis makes Keane's struggle against the disorder moving.
-- Wesley Morris (article author), Boston Globe, September 30, 2005
Keane is played by Damian Lewis, a British actor recently seen in "An Unfinished Life" as the abusive boyfriend of Jennifer Lopez. Here he inhabits an edge of madness that Lodge Kerrigan understands with a fierce sympathy. There is no reason for us to believe that Keane (or his daughter) would be better off if he found her. The camera regards him mercilessly, and his performance involves us because he portrays not hopeless madness but his drive to escape his demons.
-- Roger Ebert (article author), Chicago Sun-Times, September 30, 2005
In "Keane," a taut and suspenseful low-budget drama, Damian Lewis delivers a convincing, powerful and highly nuanced performance as a man who's fighting desperately to keep his illness in check and lead a normal life. ... Lewis, an Englishman who got his start with the Royal Shakespeare Company -- and played Maj. Richard Winters in HBO's "Band of Brothers" -- has the range to carry the film. In fact, he's in every shot of it. He lets the audience feel compassion for Keane, and he does so without a hint of sentimentality. Easier said than done.
-- John McMurtrie (article author), San Francisco Chronicle, September 30, 2005
I've been a Damian Lewis fan since seeing him in HBO's "Band of Brothers" miniseries, and he's never been better or more unnerving than he is in Keane. ... As sympathetic a character as William is, we're also profoundly scared of every action he makes. ... Keane is as unsettling as it is humane, and it's tough to remember a time I could say that about any film.
-- Steve Prokopy (article author), Gapers Block, September 30, 2005
Damian Lewis, who was superb as Maj. Winters in "Band of Brothers," gives us poor William Keane's every fear and fury. He's a whirlwind of self-destructive energy bearding the baffled strangers in his world. The story is that his own daughter was abducted earlier. Or was she? We're never sure if we're watching a victim or a madman, so our empathy is weirdly suspended.
-- Stephen Hunter (article author), Washington Post, September 2005
The strength of the movie [An Unfinished Life] is its fabulous cast. Led by Redford and Freeman, An Unfinished Life delivers one solid performance after another. Lopez, Gardner, Lewis and Lucas are all equally up to the task. Nobody falters in this movie and that is one of the main reasons An Unfinished Life is such a satisfying movie.
-- Brendan Cullin (article author), Empire Movies, September 2005
[In Brides,] Lewis and Haralbidou deliver solid performances.
-- Jaimie Leonarder (article author), The Movie Show, September 2005
From the outside, William Keane is just one of the thousands of disturbed homeless who aimlessly wander New York City's Port Authority Bus Terminal, but British actor Damian Lewis, in an astonishingly elastic yet disciplined performance, invests Keane with a richly ambiguous, heartbreaking inner life that's only at peace when he manages to form a tenuous human connection.
-- Ella Taylor (article author), LA Weekly, September 2005
Keane. Not to be missed. ... Excellent acting by Damian Lewis, extraordinary writing and directing by Lodge Kerrigan. A gem.
-- Stanley Kauffman (article author), The New Republic, October 5, 2005
[Keane is] a visceral, discomfiting and radical work with a simply remarkable performance from Lewis.
-- Fiona Morrow (article author), Terminal City, October 6, 2005
What is mesmerizing [in Keane] is the way Mr. Lewis suggests a range of emotions from fear to rage; each shot becomes a small complete scene. ... Though the red-haired actor is actually handsome in repose, if you met him while he was walking distractedly down some squalid city street, you would want to cross to the other side. At the same time, there are hints of an inner gentleness; though he sometimes forgets what he's looking for, his near-despair is also appealing. ... If Mr. Lewis deserves an Oscar nomination for his ability to suggest the range of urban anxieties, recognition is also due to John Foster's hand-held camera work. In any case, the ultimate effect of "Keane's" minimalist art is powerfully upsetting.
-- Joseph Cunneen (article author), National Catholic Reporter, October 7, 2005
The performances of Haralabidou and Lewis [in Brides] are excellent, with Niki especially being brought to true life. She is given such depth, with such nuance, that one feels one knows her completely. Haralabidou has done an extraordinary job. Lewis also excels, and it seems likely we will be seeing more of him in films to come. Formerly best known for his role in Steven Spielberg's "Band of Brothers" mini series, he has several film roles due for release in 2005/6. His handsome appearance, coupled with the obvious skill he displays in Brides should mean he is offered more roles of such substance.
-- Mark Lavercombe (article author) Hoopla.nu, October 10, 2005
Lewis' performance [in Keane] is a tour de force.
-- [article author unknown], Catholic Herald, October 13, 2005
Being under such a microscope cinematically [in Keane], Damian Lewis has a heavy load to carry, and he succeeds with a grungy, sympathetic and often heart wrenching performance. There is a stereotype of people who are mentally ill with paranoid delusions that they are always that way, wandering the streets shouting crazy things. But many schizophrenics have periods of complete lucidity, only to periodically slide into psychosis. ... Lewis deftly displays a painful moment like this when his William is playing at an arcade with young Kira. You see William's face slowly turn away as his mind drifts off, culminating in William shouting to imaginary others tormenting him. What's particularly poignant is that you can see William aware of what is starting to happen to him as he walks away from Kira in order to prevent her from being exposed to the state he's about to enter.
-- Ron Morales (article author), Fantastica Daily, early October 2005
[In Keane,] Lewis, a British actor, gives a performance of such sustained ferocity that you begin to fear for the actor's sanity. He pushes and pushes. Lewis' totally wired performance is something to behold. His Keane even seems to breathe angrily.
-- Robert Denerstein (article author), Rocky Mountain News, October 21, 2005
Keane is writer-director Lodge Kerrigan's powerful new drama -- with a stunning lead performance by Britain's Damian Lewis ("Band of Brothers").
-- [article author unknown], Denver Film Society, October 21, 2005
Lewis does an amazing job of portraying this life of William Keane, going from moments of clarity and somewhat "normal" behavior, to living in a fantasy land where he believes his daughter's abductor is again in the bus terminal watching his every move.
-- Kim Owens (article author), Kaffeinebuzz.com, October 21, 2005
[Keane] is a tough movie, but one that's worthwhile, largely due to writer-director Lodge Kerrigan's no-nonsense approach to the material and to Lewis' frightening, complicated performance.
-- Neil Harvey, The Roanoke Times, October 22, 2005
Damian didn't put a foot wrong with [his portrayal of Marcus in Chromophobia]. He absolutely understood the character, how to convey that restrained emotion, in a modern rather than slightly caricatured, period-costume way.
-- Martha Fiennes (director of Chromophobia), The Telegraph, October 22, 2005
Although there isn't anything remotely similar in the two characters [of William Keane in Keane and Major Winters in Band Of Brothers], I was just really, really impressed by the control he had of his craft [in Band Of Brothers]. I certainly wasn't looking for a star or someone who would "sell" the movie. I wanted someone who could portray that fine line between mental health and mental illness, who could sustain that theatrical intensity throughout without any special effects.
-- Lodge Kerrigan (director of Keane), The Telegraph, October 22, 2005
A few encouraging nominations also went to Lodge Kerrigan's Keane, another tiny masterpiece that did have a distributor in Magnolia Pictures but nevertheless struggled theatrically. The film collected nods for Best Feature as well as Breakthrough Actor, an appropriate consideration to say the least for Damian Lewis' tormented performance as the mentally ill title character searching for his missing daughter. I also tracked Kerrigan down to get his impressions: "I'm very happy for everyone who worked on Keane," he said. Well, really, though--who is not?
-- Stvanairsdale (article author), Indiewire, October 25, 2005
One of the things that makes this film [Keane] so terrific is Lewis' magnificent acting. In most of his scenes, he is alone trying to make sense of his life, which is often deep in paranoia. Plus, he has the sadness of his loss. Lewis should get every acting award with the possible exception of best actress.
-- John Douglas (article author), Grand Rapids Press, October 28, 2005
[In Pillars Of The Community,] Damian gave a brilliant and delicately shaded performance, starting from self-contented righteousness and spiraling down into despair and self-hatred and agonisingly blurry morality. Just heart-breaking, really. At one point late in the play, he has reached a near-automaton state ... where he is almost not even deciding things any more, just led on by the circumstances that have blossomed so far out of his control that he can't even see his way clear to tell if he is doing right or wrong or what. Just totally given over to the momentum created by his choices. And yet you can see the incredible pain caused by reaching that place of non-decision, of anti-flow, of utter moral confusion. DEVASTATING. ... I could see the tears welling in his eyes during nearly all of the second half. And his hands are incredibly expressive: a finger pressed against his mouth in worry or fear, hands gesturing almost of their own accord as if to call back some of the choices he made in the past.
-- "Duke" (article author), Livejournal.com, October 29, 2005
[Keane is] a tough film to watch, tense and worrying, not least because of Lewis's remarkable performance as a decent, caring man barely holding himself together.
-- Demetrios Matheou (article author), London Film Festival, October 30, 2005
Having seen [Damian Lewis] as a posh Brit in The Forsyte Saga, you would expect him to be too clean-cut for [the role in Keane], but he is remarkably convincing. If anything, his good looks only underline William Keane's inability to function as a well-adjusted citizen.
-- Steve Rose (article author), The Guardian, October 31, 2005
Damian Lewis (TV's Band of Brothers) gives a riveting performance as William Keane, a grief-stricken, increasingly disturbed man who haunts NYC's Port Authority Bus Terminal to find clues about his child's abduction -- and forms an unsettling bond with the daughter of a woman staying at the same New Jersey motel.
-- Kelly Borgeson (article author), Premiere, October 2005
When it came to casting the two main parts [in Pillars Of The Community], Damian Lewis seemed to me an ideal Bernick. He has an incredible amount of charm and charisma, you can see him as the person all the women in the community are going to be in love with, and the one all the men would like to be. He's got a sort of ease about him, which will enable him to stand out in this very stiff and proper community.
-- Marianne Elliott (director, Pillars Of The Community), Pillars Of The Community brochure, October 2005
[Damian and I] got on very well and we've been friends, so that was great. The relationship between Beatrice and Benedick [in Much Ado About Nothing] is incredibly important because the writing has that very quick, throwaway style. So you need to be with somebody who you know is going to pass the ball all the time; you kind of have to second-guess what they're going to do. It's the joy of the banter and I knew that Damian would be able to do that.
-- Sarah Parish (co-star in Much Ado About Nothing), BBC, October-November 2005
[In Pillars Of The Community, Damian Lewis] inhabits the various dilemmas of Karsten Bernick with a wonderful depth and detail, even -- especially -- during the final act, when Bernick himself does not altogether know what he's saying or doing.
-- Ian Shuttleworth (article author), Theatre Record, October-November 2005
[In Keane,] Lewis in particular (Dreamcatcher, An Unfinished Life) voraciously attacks this actor's dream role and gives an astonishing performance.
-- Jeffrey M. Anderson (article author), Combustible Celluloid, Autumn 2005
With an affecting performance from Damian Lewis [in Keane], we are unquestionably drawn into William's story. ... Lodge Kerrigan's Keane does not disappoint.
-- Erica Rosen (article author), Highangle.co.uk, Autumn 2005
We were told early on that Damian Lewis -- one of the finest and most versatile actors of his generation -- was committed to a film, so we counted him out of our thinking. But when that film got delayed his agent was instantly on the phone to ask whether we'd found our Benedick [for Much Ado About Nothing], and would we consider him for the part. Not the toughest decision I've ever made.
-- Diederick Santer (producer, Much Ado About Nothing), BBC, October-November 2005
In order for the film [Keane] to work, it needed a monumental leading performance, which it gets, with bells on, from Damian Lewis. He is simply brilliant, comfortably better here than he has ever been, reminiscent, in terms of the power of the energy that he creates, of Paddy Considine at his best. There's a similar sense of danger to Lewis's performance, which makes scenes after he befriends a young mother and her daughter (the same age as Sophie, William's daughter) unbearably tense. The direction is also immensely impressive, with Kerrigan's camera work busy and, like his central character, always on the move. The film is visually as dark as its beating heart, making it an uncomfortable and, occasionally, unbearable film to watch. Films with this amount of originality and brilliance come along all too rarely, though, making Keane a must see.
-- Alex Crawford (article author), Crawford On Film, November 1, 2005
[In Pillars Of The Community,] Damian Lewis captures perfectly Bernick's blend of bravado and cowardice: even the way he checks behind every door before confronting Johan reveals his essential furtiveness.
-- Michael Billington (article author), The Guardian, November 2, 2005
[In Keane,] Damian Lewis ... transmits guilt and grief (and delusion?) with exhausting power. It's a great feat of movie acting.
-- Bill Gallo (article author), River Front Times, November 2, 2005
Ibsen's Pillars of the Community hasn't been professionally done in London since 1977, when the RSC staged it at the Aldwych (which was their West End home) in a production that won Ian McKellen an Olivier (then a SOLT) Award as Best Actor. Now the play's long overdue return, in a staging that marks the centenary of Ibsen's death and precedes an Ibsen Festival planned for next year, heralds a major opportunity for another fine actor to return to the stage (after a too-long absence in films and television) to mark out his territory as a galvanising leading man, and may yet mark his card for an Olivier, too. That actor is Damian Lewis, and the role is Karsten Bernick, a hugely successful entrepreneur in a Norwegian seaport in the late 1870s who has built an empire out of his interests in shipping and the railways for the apparent good of the community, but in fact motivated mainly by self-interest.
-- Mark Shenton (article author), What's On Stage, November 2, 2005
At the heart of the play [Much Ado About Nothing], though, is the electricity between Parish and Lewis, two of our very finest actors, who work well off each other here.
-- Kieron Corless (article author), Time Out London, November 2, 2005
Damian Lewis, as Bernick [in Pillars Of The Community], leads a fine and hard-working cast. His carefully-balanced performance perfectly describes a man desperate to cling onto power, but tortured by his deceit. And his intonation has that kind of furtive quality about it that begs the question 'would you trust this man?'
-- Peter Brown (article author), Official London Theatre Guide, November 2, 2005
Although Karsten [in Pillars Of The Community] gradually emerges, not entirely unexpectedly, as the villain of the piece, Ibsen makes him thrillingly three-dimensional. Played with marvelous initial assurance by Damian Lewis, this man is shown to be properly torn. He -- and almost everyone else in the play -- wrestles with understandably mixed motives and mitigating circumstances that make the arguments properly dramatic.
-- David Benedict (article author), Bloomberg.com, November 3, 2005
Damian Lewis's [performance as Bernick in Pillars Of The Community is] excellently intense and cagey.
-- Paul Taylor (article author), The Independent, November 3, 2005
[In Pillars Of The Community,] Lewis's Bernick consistently fascinates. Here's no cynical tycoon, no brutish Maxwell, but a sensitive, articulate man who desperately tries to believe that his works are important enough to the community for lies, compromises, even the odd death to be justified. He's a man with a conscience, but also one who has retrained it beyond what it can bear. This makes for a fine performance and lends credence to the much-criticised ending, in which the Bernick conscience takes a positive turn. You don't leave Elliott's revival feeling you've seen a bad man whitewashed. Thanks to Lewis, Lesley Manville and an able cast, you've seen a stimulating if wordy play about moral collapse and regeneration.
-- Benedict Nightingale (article author), The Times, November 3, 2005
Damian Lewis, who plays Keane, appeared in the miniseries Band of Brothers and the ... Stephen King thriller Dreamcatcher, but neither promised the depth or intensity of his performance here. ... Like Keane's mental state, ... his expressions are shifting sand; the character's sickening slips from parental tenderness to delusion have a tragic helplessness.
-- Jim Ridley (article author), Nashville Scene, November 3, 2005
[In Pillars Of The Community,] even the minor characters in a cast of 19 are played with exceptional sharpness and precision, though the show is dominated by a tremendous performance from that fast-rising, carrot-topped actor, Damian Lewis. He brings a mesmerising natural authority to the stage, and memorably nails Bernick's smugly patronising self-assurance, especially in his dealings with his cowed wife (Geraldine Alexander). But Lewis also thrillingly charts the character's craven panic and terrifying ruthlessness as his life starts collapsing around him, and achieves a fascinating ambiguity at the end.
-- Charles Spencer (article author), The Telegraph, November 3, 2005
'Keane' stars Damian Lewis as William Keane, a man in his early 30s who exists in New York on the edge of poverty and madness following the kidnap of his daughter several months earlier. Kerrigan offers a claustrophobic portrait of near-madness, while Lewis gives a terrific performance in the title role.
-- Dave Calhoun (article author), Time Out London, November 4, 2005
Damian Lewis's Karsten [in Pillars Of The Community] is riveting in a lightweight yet deliberately stagy style.
-- Alastair Macaulay (article author), Financial Times, November 4, 2005
Some cool things playing in town this weekend: Keane. For Your Consideration: Damian Lewis as Best Actor.
-- Jim Ridley (article author), Nashville Scene, November 4, 2005
According to the National Theatre, it's presenting "a vital new version of Ibsen's Pillars of the Community, a thriller set amid a society struggling against the rush of capitalism, the lure of America and the passionate beginnings of the fight for female emancipation." For once, critics are in total agreement with the National's press release, hailing the amazing topicality of Ibsen's play, celebrating his ability to write a gripping mystery, congratulating Director Marianne Elliott for navigating the tricky structure through the icebergs which frequently sink lesser productions, and praising Damian Lewis's masterful performance in the central role.
-- [article author unknown], Goodshow.com, November 4, 2005
[In Keane,] Lewis (Band of Brothers) delivers a sensational performance in a movie that is thoroughly dependent on his work. Actually, the film is more of a three-way affair among Lewis, Kerrigan, and Foster. They sink in their hooks and don't let go of the viewer until the very last minute. Kerrigan has found a way to preserve the insularity of his protagonist's point of view while keeping the needs of the audience in mind.
-- Marjorie Baumgarten (article author), Austin Chronicle, November 4, 2005
Parish's deadpan Beatrice and Lewis's smarmy, hairsprayed Benedick exude all the chemistry that love and comedy could wish for.
-- [article author unknown], Television & Radio Magazine, November 5, 2005
Damian Lewis is terrific as the dodgy hero in [Pillars Of The Community,] Ibsen's startlingly topical play about power and ethics. ... [Director Marianne Elliott] underlines the ambiguity of an ending in which apologies are made but wrongs aren't entirely righted and in which the sincerity of the hero's repentance is seriously in doubt. It is here that Damian Lewis adds a last sharp touch to a terrific performance.
-- Susannah Clapp (article author), The Observer, November 6, 2005
[In Pillars Of The Community,] Lewis gives his voice a cold, sneering edge, a voice that, if heard in a lift today, would be discussing flow charts and sales figures; yet he shows the strain of living a lie, his smooth demeanour creaking and leaking like on of his ships. It's a horribly plausible performance, enough to induce a tension headache.
-- Victoria Segal (article author), The Times, November 6, 2005
[In Keane,] Damian does a flawless American accent and a powerful and riveting performance. Keane is a well written, gripping tense drama with a terrific central performance by Damian Lewis.
-- [article author unknown], ITV-This Morning, November 7, 2005
Keane, filmed by Kerrigan in tighter and tighter closeup, befriends the little girl, and her mother, and the viewer becomes more and more nervous and caught up in the maelstrom that is mainly in Keane's head. Fine acting by Lewis, a tense, exciting movie that stays in the mind long after the lights have come up. "Keane," a taut, very good movie.
-- Joe Pollack (article author), KWMU, November 8, 2005
[In Keane,] Damian Lewis, one of HBO's "Band of Brothers," takes full advantage of his character's caustic ambiguity. It's a difficult role that could have easily spiraled two ways: into an insensitive mockery of mental illness or a shallow endorsement of Keane's actions. Instead, Lewis follows Kerrigan's lead, creating a character as disturbingly memorable as the movie.
-- John Hayes (article author), Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, November 10, 2005
Setting [Much Ado About Nothing] in a local TV newsroom was a masterstroke, as was the casting of Damian Lewis who excelled as the smarmy Benedick.
-- Paul English (article author), Daily Record, November 10, 2005
The central enigma in the play [Pillars Of The Community] is Karsten Bernick, a morally and financially corrupt shipbuilder and local entrepreneur, played, superbly, by Damian Lewis.
-- David Duff (article author), Duff And Nonsense, November 24, 2005
The most jarring accent redux I've ever encountered was meeting Damian Lewis (more well known as "Major Winters" from Band of Brothers). I had absolutely thought he was American. But low and behold he was another Brit sweeping in and nailing an American accent -- that didn't sound like John Wayne, or a drunken New Yorker. Anyway, some can do it. Some can't. But when they do, man it throws you.
-- "Rock" (article author), JohnAugust.com, December 3, 2005
This tense psychological thriller, about a man reeling from the abduction of his daughter, [Keane] features a gut-wrenching portrait by British actor Damian Lewis.
-- [article author unknown], Variety, December 4, 2005
This movie [Keane] is not just a stunt, but a true emotional journey. It's also proof of the abilities of Damian Lewis, who made a strong impression in the cable miniseries "Band of Brothers" but hasn't found his niche. He's not at all interested in needing the audience to like him, and he seamlessly navigates Keane's violent shifts in behavior. He'll probably be overlooked in the awards tourney, but this is strong stuff. Damian Lewis gives a strong performance in "Keane."
-- Robert Horton (article author), Daily Herald (Everett, WA), December 16, 2005
While I'm talking about movie awards, let me just express my extreme displeasure that no one (not even the Independent Spirit Awards) recognized Damian Lewis in Keane. That's just wrong. You won't see a better performance this year, and, yes, I've seen Philip Seymour Hoffman as Capote and Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain. ... What is the point of even having the Independent Spirit Awards if a performance like that in a film like that goes unrecognized. ... Aim that camera at Damian Lewis's face and let him blow your mind with his talent.
-- "DVC" [article author], Unreal City (unreal-city.blogspot.com), December 17, 2005
In one of the great performances of the year, Damian Lewis plays William Keane, a schizophrenic who wanders subterranean Manhattan in search of a daughter he may or may not have lost at Port Authority Bus Terminal.
-- Elbert Ventura (article author), The New Republic, December 21, 2005
I saw lots of fine acting last year -- in fact, acting has become so consistent I rarely see a bad performance unless Tara Reid is involved -- but the only other acting as penetrating and intimate as Crowe's was a performance I got to see and, sadly, virtually nobody else in the Twin Cities did. "Keane" was shown as part of Landmark Cinema's weekend subscription series, and this drama about a father, searching for a missing daughter (Was she kidnapped? Killed? Did she ever even exist?) features a gut punch of a performance from Damian Lewis. Look for it on video some time next year, and look for Lewis to get a lot of great parts in the years to come.
-- Chris Hewitt (article author), Pioneer Press, December 28, 2005
Great Performances [in films in 2005]: ... Damian Lewis' dad frantically searching for his lost daughter (or raving lunatic) in Keane ...
-- Kristian Lin (article author), Fort Worth Weekly, December 28, 2005
[In Keane,] British actor Damian Lewis electrifies Lodge Kerrigan's intense and intimate view of a schizophrenic mind, which makes memorable, effective use of handheld camera and tight close-ups.
-- Melissa Starker (article author), Columbus Alive, December 28, 2005
[In Pillars Of The Community,] the main protagonist Karsten Bernick [is] brilliantly portrayed by Damian Lewis.
-- Dale Maitland Cartwright (article author), Islington Gazette, January 4, 2006
[It] has become so expensive to market movies that plenty of great stuff doesn't make it to theaters here, including a movie that featured the best performance I saw last year: Damian Lewis in "Keane."
-- Chris Hewitt (article author), Pioneer Press, January 4, 2006
British actor Damian Lewis (Band Of Brothers) gives a stunning lead performance in Lodge Kerrigan's powerful drama Keane. He stars as William Keane, a man whose daughter was recently abducted at the Port Authority in Manhattan, so he patrols the bus depot, recreating in his mind exactly how it happened to see if he can figure out who took her or where she might be. He talks to himself, shouts suddenly, and looks over his shoulder with fear and paranoia, an edgy, twitchy, wholly unnerving, and remarkable performance.
-- [article author unknown], Orpheumtheatre.net, January 13, 2006
Damian Lewis's riveting, visceral performance of a man grappling with the effects of a profound loss makes Keane a complex, deeply humane and unforgettable portrait.
-- [article author unknown], Onenightcinema.net, January 13, 2006
Working [on Friends & Crocodiles] with Damian [Lewis] and Jodhi [May], two young actors emerging into truly leading actor status, has been one of the most exciting experiences of my career.
-- Stephen Poliakoff (writer-director of Friends & Crocodiles), Radio Times, January 14, 2006
William Keane [is] played on a razor's edge by Damian Lewis.
-- [article author unknown], Australian Film Commission, early-mid January 2006
I've said it before and before and before and I'll say it again and again and again: Lodge Kerrigan's Keane is the most harrowing tale of redemption ever committed to celluloid. How Damian Lewis didn't get nominated for a Spirit Award -- let alone an Oscar -- makes me want to abandon all hope whatsoever for challenging, invigorating cinema. Fortunately, the film exists to keep me hopeful. Great art will continue to be made even if nobody else seems to care. Keane is exhilarating proof of that. ... Best Actor: Damian Lewis, Keane.
-- Michael Tully (article author), Indiewire.com, January 18, 2006
Keane [is] played with humanity and rigor by Damian Lewis of Band of Brothers. ... Lewis brilliantly sways from sane to cracked, not in some showy, theatrical way, but in subtle gestures that show us the madman is always there, even when he's at his most sentient.
-- Roger Moore (article author), Orlando Sentinel, January 19, 2006
In the lead roles [in Friends & Crocodiles], Damian Lewis was astounding as the capricious entrepreneur Paul Reynolds.
-- [article author unknown], thecustard.tv, mid-late January 2006
A beautifully realised portrayal of two people finding joy in each other, when they expected and sought nothing of the sort, Brides features excellent performances by its two leads, Damian Lewis and Victoria Haralabidou, and brilliant direction by Pantelis Voulgaris.
-- Mark Lavercombe (article author), Hoopla.nu, January 2006
British actor Damian Lewis (Band Of Brothers) gives a stunning lead performance in Lodge Kerrigan's powerful drama Keane. ... He talks to himself, shouts suddenly, and looks over his shoulder with fear and paranoia, an edgy, twitchy, wholly unnerving, and remarkable performance. ... Keane is like no other movie ever made on the subject of child abduction, a grittily authentic film that will stay with viewers for a very long time.
-- [article author unknown], Galaxy Cinema (mygalaxycinema.com), February 3, 2006
"Pillars [Of The Community]," in a new version by Samuel Adamson and helmed by Marianne Elliott, is an ambitious evocation of the suffocation of small-town life, saved from going over the top by the powerful and nuanced performances of Damian Lewis as the leading man Bernick and Lesley Manville as his lost love Lona.
-- Andy Humm (article author), Gay City News, February 16, 2006
Damian Lewis's visceral, frantic performance as a man capable of anything -- such as inflicting harm upon himself and others, including the little girl -- makes this proximity feel dangerous and uncomfortable. The emotional payoff for those willing to surrender and truly penetrate Keane's addled mind is as rewarding as the film is bleak.
-- Matt Riviera (article author), Last Night With Riviera, February 18, 2006
"Friends and Crocodiles" also has, as its leads, the intensely charismatic Damian Lewis as Paul (Soames Forsyte in the recent "Forsyte Saga" remake), and the intensely intelligent Jodhi May (Elizabeth Jane in the "Mayor of Casterbridge" remake) as Lizzie.
-- [article author unknown], New York Daily News, February 23, 2006
As the enigmatic Paul, Lewis delivers a striking performance that rivals his all-American hero in Band of Brothers and his controlling husband in The Forsyte Saga. Friends & Crocodiles also presents a sexier Lewis and embellishes his status as a redheaded heartthrob.
-- Hal Boedeker (article author), Orlando Sentinel, February 23, 2006
As portrayed by British thespian Damian Lewis (you've seen him in the Stephen King adaptation Dreamcatcher and the HBO miniseries Band Of Brothers), Keane is a fractured, desperate human being -- it's a superb, meticulous performance that tragically went all but unnoticed during the film's limited release in 2005. ... Kerrigan sketches Keane in unsparing, minimalist strokes, eschewing a soundtrack and preferred to let the claustrophobic narrative works its magic; suffuse with a grungy sense of place, it's a faintly hopeless, drab world where Keane's seemingly untreated mental illness creates a tragic cycle of dysfunction that he can't possibly hope to break. Kerrigan's narrative economy isn't for lack of material; it's simply due to the fact that through his skillful direction and Lewis' raw, revelatory performance, there's very little fat to be found. At the risk of beating a dead horse, there really isn't enough that can be said about Lewis' truly amazing performance as the titular character -- you can literally see Keane's world unraveling from moment to moment; Lewis' gaunt features and piercing blue eyes lend an unsettled air to this man so clearly ill at ease with himself. His performance overshadows all others in the film. ... I can think of several reasons why you shouldn't miss Keane, but you really only need one: Damian Lewis' performance will stick with you for days and despite being released last year, it's still one of the best I've seen in 2006. This minor masterpiece disquiets even as it enthralls -- a compact, tightly wound piece of drama that functions almost as a tone poem or heartsick meditation, Keane is supremely engaging filmmaking that slips under your skin and stays there. Don't miss it. ... Final thoughts: Put simply, writer/director Lodge H. Kerrigan's disturbing Keane is an unforgettable film, one fueled by Damian Lewis' searing performance as the titular character and Kerrigan's willingness to get in close and stay there.
-- Preston Jones (article author), DVD Talk, March 9, 2006
[Keane] is the type of film that would not work with the usual studio A-list stars. For it to be as successful as it is depends on a cast that the audience can accept as regular people like those we pass on the street each day. Damian Lewis has been in enough projects that some may recognize him but he is perfect as the lamentable Keane. He offers us a characterization of a man in turmoil. Lewis imbibes pathos into Keane that reaches off the screen. He acts with every aspect of his being. His face emits more emotion than most actors can provide with lines of dialog. Lewis is able to switch between the different emotional states of his characters in a moment. One minute he can be the kind of person you would cross the street to avoid, the next a kind man that you can believe a mother would leave her daughter with. ... All round the performances here are far above the usual.
-- "Doug" (article author), Hometheatreinfo.com, March 15, 2006
[In Keane,] Damian Lewis, who made such a strong impression in Band Of Brothers, finally has another showcase in which he can show off his remarkable chops. He's brilliant here, and it's one of the saddest, strangest performances from last year.
-- "Moriarty" (article author), Aint It Cool News, March 20, 2006
"Keane" depends solely on the acting talent of Damian Lewis. The slightest misstep, the tiniest error in judgment and this film would crash and burn. But Lewis avoids all actor-ish pitfalls and gives a simply amazing performance that, in and of itself, makes "Keane" worth checking out. ... Damian Lewis is outstanding. ... Writer/director Lodge Kerrigan's style places the camera in Lewis' face, capturing even the most minute move made by his star in such a frenetic way that it's almost to the point of being unwatchable. Enough can't be said about the performance of Damian Lewis. The British actor's American accent is dead-on and he seems to have become this character rather than simply playing him. To say Lewis' is an astonishing performance would be putting it mildly, that's just how good he is.
-- Rebecca Murray (article author), Movies.about.com, March 21, 2006
Damian Lewis' devastating performance makes Keane a riveting, complex and deeply humane experience.
-- [article author unknown], Slashfilm.com, March 21, 2006
"Keane" emerges an unflinching portrayal of an individual, powerfully acted by Damian Lewis, battling serious mental instability while searching for human connection.
-- [article author unknown], Washington Times, March 23, 2006
What makes "Keane" compelling [is] Lewis's performance, which burns with a mad, flame-like heat, tempered by the fragility of a candle in the wind.
-- Michael O'Sullivan (article author), Washington Post, March 24, 2006
Damian Lewis carries this film [Keane] with a breathlessly credible performance of a man lost in the no man's land of mental deterioration, drugs, and alcohol. ... This film may be too tough for most viewers who expect more information in a story, but for those brave enough to enter the mind of a mentally disturbed man and view the world through his perceptions and fears and needs, so brilliantly enacted by Damian Lewis, this film will stay in memory.
-- Grady Harp (article author), Barnes & Noble Customer Reviews, March 26, 2006
[Keane is] played by the amazing Damian Lewis, who is searching Port Authority for the young daughter he claims was abducted while under his care. His quest for love and connection is shattering.
-- Peter Herbst (article author), Premiere, March 2006
[In Keane,] Kerrigan's kinetic camera work and the sheer immediacy of Lewis's performance are awing -- the camera cozies up so close to the actor's face during painful moments that it's almost impossible to keep watching. But you keep watching.
-- Melora Koepke (article author), Hour, April 6, 2006
Keane [is] played brilliantly by Damian Lewis.
-- Matthew Hays, Montreal Mirror, April 7, 2006
[In An Unfinished Life,] also look for cameos by Damian Lewis (Band of Brothers) as Gary Watson and Camryn Manheim as Nina. Every actor has a moment to shine in this movie and they make the most of it.
-- Scott Chitwood (article author), Comingsoon.net, April 10, 2006
Throughout the whole ordeal [of Keane], the camera stays trained within a few feet of [Damian Lewis's] face, never allowing us to escape [Keane's] mental instability. It's an apt technique that, combined with Lewis's stunning performance, forces us to identify with a man we could all-too-easily despise. Somehow, Keane's humanity is allowed to shine through a veil of sweat and psychosis. I first saw the film at a press screening before the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, where it won a critics' prize. After the credits rolled and the lights came back on, I was curious to see how Montréal's grizzled cinema press corps had weathered the assault. People were visibly disturbed, some of them letting out sighs of relief as they left, others glued to their seats, not knowing how to react. Keane isn't necessarily a fun or entertaining movie to watch, but it's an important one. This is a film that crawls under your skin and refuses to crawl back out.
-- Matthew Leon (article author), The McGill Daily, April 10, 2006
[As Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing,] Lewis, a Serious Actor who showed his range famously playing Soames in the remake of The Forsyte Saga, is marvellously shallow, vain and comic.
-- Jane Clifton (article author), The Dominion Post, April 18, 2006
Since we were small, we made up characters and then went on adventures. This time [as we film The Baker], I've made up the characters, and Damian is the character going on the adventure. He's a fantastic actor, and he's got great comedic timimg. When I'm on set, I believe he is Milo. Between takes, I am able to use a sort of shorthand -- we've been doing it all our lives.
-- Gareth Lewis (Damian's brother, and director of The Baker), This Is Herefordshire, April 28, 2006
[In Keane,] a true tour de force by British actor Damian Lewis (Dreamcatcher) supports this story with no cops or criminals, but with all the suspense of a thriller. Kerrigan walks with the actor in long takes using a hand-held camera, showing him even at his worst, erasing the distance between Keane and the audience: relentlessly, keeping up the tension until an abrupt end with no time for catharsis.
-- [article author unknown], Buenos Aires 8th Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente, April 2006
[In Chromophobia,] Damian Lewis ... delivers a raw performance filled with authenticity and desperate energy. He easily outshines some very gifted actors.
-- Matt Riviera (article author), Last Night With Riviera, May 15, 2006
[In Keane,] an astonishing turn by Lewis and (literally) unflinching camerawork by John Foster reveal a man awash in crisis and catharsis, on the verge of genuinely knowing something. Like its namesake, Keane is a discovery worth making.
-- [article author unknown], The Reeler, May 18, 2006
[In Friends And Crocodiles,] Lewis impresses by conveying a greater air of the enigmatic with just one smirk than through any of the dialogue Poliakoff gives him.
-- Tom Russo, Boston Globe, May 28, 2006
Damian Lewis' devastating performance makes KEANE a riveting, complex and deeply humane experience.
-- [article author unknown], The Chortler, June 4, 2006
[In Keane,] Damian Lewis [is] committed and compelling as hell.
-- Kim Linekin (article author), Eye Weekly, June 15, 2006
Centred on the genuinely phenomenal turn of the 35-year-old British actor Lewis, whose performance is a marvel of quiet, subterranean turbulence, Keane is quite simply one of the finest films to appear this year.
-- Geoff Pevere (article author), Toronto Star, June 16, 2006
Keane [is] played in a bravado performance by Damian Lewis. ... Some aspects of this film, which debuted in 2004 and is only today getting its Toronto theatrical release, are simply astonishing. Lewis (Jennifer Lopez's abusive lover in An Unfinished Life) is utterly selfless here. He immerses himself so deeply in Keane's psyche and skin that you easily forget this is acting, not real life.
-- Bruce Kirkland (article author), Toronto Sun, June 16, 2006
[Keane] requires a virtuoso performance and British actor Damian Lewis provides it, relying on haunted looks and mumbled monosyllables to relay what the script does not. Those who saw him play the uptight and abusive Soames in television's 2001 remake of The Forsythe Saga will remember Lewis's uncanny ability to suggest a world of sexual and social frustrations by the mere retraction of his upper lip into his face. Here, the effect is particularly painful: As we watch Keane either relive his horror or attempt to drown it with tumblers of vodka, snorts of cocaine, blaring pop songs and anonymous sex, we begin to squirm as much as we suffer for him.
-- Kate Taylor (article author), The Globe And Mail, June 16, 2006
Yassen Gregorovich [in Stormbreaker is] brilliantly played by Damian Lewis.
-- Anthony Horowitz (Stormbreaker novelist and screenwriter), AnthonyHorowitz.com, June 23, 2006
[In Chromophobia,] Damian Lewis, so good in Band of Brothers and the haunting Keane, hits all the right notes as a relatively decent bloke in way over his head.
-- Erik Woidtke (article author), Film Hobbit, July 6, 2006
[Alex Pettyfer] has proved he can more than hold his own alongside Stormbreaker's illustrious cast, including Ewan McGregor, Damian Lewis, Bill Nighy and Mickey Rourke. "In my eyes they are some of the best actors working today. It was fantastic to work with such a great cast and crew. I learned so much from them."
-- Eileen Condon (article author) and Alex Pettyfer (Stormbreaker co-star), Belfast Telegraph, July 16, 2006
AG: [In Stormbreaker] Damian Lewis plays your bad guy, and has to hang upside down from a helicopter on a couple of occasions. Was he literally hanging upside down?
GS: He was. We did that in Pinewood with the green screen behind him and we added the backgrounds later. He was up and down, up and down for about three hours. When we brought him back and straightened him out his face looked fairly odd for a while, like his skin had sagged. But he was game for it, he was another trooper. You couldn't really wish for a nicer cast than we had.
-- "A Gent" (article author, under a pun-pen-name!) and Geoffrey Sax (director of Stormbreaker), IOFilm, July 21, 2006
[In Much Ado About Nothing] the growing attraction of Beatrice and Benedick -- fanned by some mischievous intervention of their colleagues -- is delicately handled. And in the deft hands of Lewis and Parish, these scenes are a total delight. Parish delivers her zingers with tart relish, and the superb Lewis' discomfiture at Beatrice's jibes, and then his lovesick preening -- when he's told she secretly loves him -- are deliciously funny. Parish's subsequent softening is equally adept.
-- Harry Forbes (article author), Catholic News Service, July 24, 2006
William Keane [is] played with uncomfortable brilliance by Damian Lewis. ... Lewis infuses the role with pathos, punctuated by his swaying frame, confused face and swelling anger. He really is the film, never betraying Keane by softening the blow of his delivery.
-- Carolyn Nikodym, Vue Weekly, July 27, 2006
[In Keane,] Lewis (Jennifer Lopez's abusive lover in An Unfinished Life) is utterly selfless here. He immerses himself so deeply in Keane's psyche and skin that you easily forget this is acting, not real life.
-- Bruce Kirkland (article author), Edmonton Sun, July 28, 2006
The writer-director [of Keane] is helped no end by a truly magnificent performance from Lewis, on screen throughout as the camera's gaze -- unusually attentive to every potentially revealing detail, and as compassionate as it's curious with regard to its subject's frenzied state of mind -- follows him around a credibly downbeat, seemingly uncaring New York. In short, Kerrigan has created that rare thing: a truly American art-movie, at once pacy and punchy, profound and profoundly moving.
-- Geoff Andrew (article author), Soda Pictures, August 2, 2006
Lodge Kerrigan's long-awaited third feature is a compassionate, harrowing and beautifully filmed tale of a man searching for his missing daughter, with a magnificent central performance from Damian Lewis.
-- [article author unknown], British Film Institute / National Film Theatre, August 2, 2006
[Much Ado About Nothing is] a bright romantic comedy with two engaging stars, Damian Lewis and Sarah Parish.
-- Robert Bianco (article author), USA Today, August 3, 2006
[In Much Ado About Nothing,] Lewis is well cast as a likable rogue.
-- Brian Lowry (article author), Variety, August 3, 2006
Much Ado About Nothing stars Sarah Parish and Damian Lewis as feuding lovers Beatrice and Benedick, re-imagined as TV anchors. They're both wonderful, as are the zingy writing and the excellent supporting cast, but Lewis gets extra points for being willing to spoil his leading-man looks with a silly beard that gives his performance an even sharper comic edge.
-- Joanne Weintraub (article author), Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 4, 2006
Damian Lewis is remarkable [in Keane].
-- [article author unknown], MySpace, August 9, 2006
I watched Damian in Band of Brothers, and he's clearly a remarkable actor in that, but there's nothing in his performance as Major Winters that is similar to the role of William Keane. The two are worlds apart. But in Band of Brothers, I could see how much control he had in his craft, how much presence he had. It was crucial for the actor playing Keane to convey the very real possibility that at some point in his past, Keane was a father and a good father. And what is remarkable to me is that Damian isn't a parent, and yet he was able to portray one so well, and he did that completely on his own. We didn't really have any discussions about what it is to be a parent, he just understood it.
-- Lodge Kerrigan (writer-director of Keane), MySpace, August 9, 2006
Damian Lewis gives a compelling performance and the themes brought out in Keane align with [Samaritans] volunteers' support work throughout the UK and Ireland.
-- David King (chief executive with Samaritans), Samaritans.org, August 25, 2006
[Damian Lewis'] heartbreaking William Keane is a self-destructive, guilt-ridden alcoholic, sweating, shuffling and mumbling through Manhattan's seamier side on a seemingly hopeless quest, the camera buzzing mere inches from Lewis's head as it tracks, in this writer's opinion, one of the best screen performances of the decade.
-- Leigh Singer (article author), The Big Issue, August 28, 2006
I think they're [Damian and Gareth are] really cute together actually. They are brothers in a really sweet sort of way. There's a lot of unspoken vocabulary between them. They collaborate absolutely with each other. Damian is a producer as well so there is a potential for conflict, but we've seen none of that.
-- Sean Bobbitt (director of photography of The Baker), Exposure, Summer 2006
I think we [Damian and I] were both looking forward to working together, but also a little apprehensive. We get on very well though like any other siblings we have bust-ups. But having said that, having lived together for as long as we did we can have those and move on. You just get on with it -- it's not terminal. We're quite close in age; there's only two years between us, so we're mates. I respect his work and, I think, he's coming to respect mine.
-- Gareth Lewis (Damian's brother, writer-director of The Baker), Exposure, Summer 2006
Together with Lewis' riveting central performance, much of Keane's power derives from its intensely naturalistic style.
-- Tom Dawson (article author), BBC, September 4, 2006
What's striking about Lewis is how much he manages to convey by doing so very little. There is stillness about him on screen, a faraway look that can evoke anger or desire or -- if you saw his rollicking performance as Benedict in BBC1's modern-day version of Much Ado about Nothing -- sheer hilarity. ... Among his generation of actors, no one does grief and repressed emotion so well. ... Lewis is a chameleon performer. ... Directors are missing a trick. Lewis can be powerfully erotic on screen. Tall and athletic, he looks like a man who instinctively understands why people should wish to look at him.
-- Liz Hoggard (article author), The Independent, September 9, 2006
In the title role [of Keane], Damian Lewis is brilliant and fearless. ... Lewis is eerily realistic in his performance. ... I think that's a testament to Lewis' performance, that the audience feels empathy for Keane instead of him being some one-dimensional wackjob.
-- "clydefro" (article author), Blogcritics.com, September 11, 2006
Damian Lewis brilliant in the starring role [in Keane]. ... Lewis's riveting, visceral performance of a man grappling with the effects of profound loss makes Keane a complex,deeply humane and unforgettable portrait.
-- [article author unknown], Gold Stream Gazette, September 13, 2006
[Keane is] played with harrowing intensity by Damian Lewis.
-- Tom Charity (article author), The Telegraph, September 15, 2006
[Keane] belongs to Lewis; he isn't just the core of this film, he is the film and Lewis takes the opportunity and runs with it. It's a role that screams Oscar but this isn't showy acting for the judges, it's a nuanced performance that is at once tragic and terrifying, with an ambiguity that asks us to question everything -- even whether he is a father. An understated but brilliant film that will, like Keane himself, will leave you re-examining the drama for days.
-- Justin Matlock (article author), Hornsey And Crouch End Journal, September 20, 2006
As played, indelibly, by Damian Lewis, the titular Keane appears both plausible and slightly mad -- the sort of fellow who might have been more or less sane until his daughter was stolen away.
-- Ken Eisner, Georgia Straight, September 21, 2006
In Kerrigan's remarkable Keane, executive produced by Steven Soderbergh, the eponymous drifter, Damian Lewis, [is] astounding.
-- Leigh Singer (article author), BBC, September 21, 2006
If you want to see a superb performance, watch Damian Lewis in [Keane]. ... Keane allows us to share a harrowing feeling of loss not only through its unblinkingly bleak exterior but through the unforced playing of Lewis, whose damaged father may or may not be imagining the whole episode of abduction. ... Damian Lewis gives a masterly performance as a bereft father.
-- Derek Malcolm (article author), Evening Standard, September 21, 2006
There's no doubt Lewis, who plays a schizophrenic named William Keane, offers one of the most committed performances of recent times. If it was his breakthrough role as Major Winters in the ambitious Second World War mini-series Band of Brothers that brought him a Golden Globe nomination, then in an ideal world, this tragic tale of a man searching for his abducted daughter would afford him the Oscar equivalent.
-- James Mottram (article author), The Herald, September 22, 2006
When a film concentrates so much of its focus on a single character -- Keane is in every frame -- the strength of the performance is key. Damian Lewis begins at such an intense pitch that you wonder if he'll have anywhere to go for the remaining hour and a half. Nothing in Lewis's film career ... has approached the stature of his television performances in The Forsyte Saga and Band of Brothers -- until now, that is. Like De Niro in Taxi Driver (another lost soul wandering New York) Lewis creates a kind of heat around himself, the heat of someone in an exhausting and interminable argument with his own body. This purgatory of self-torment manifests itself in obvious ways, such as the raw scabs on his knuckles, and the moment he tells himself, "please, stop it"; but it's signalled, too, in the expressiveness of his mouth, which trembles or tightens to a slot, and in haunted eyes that suddenly brim with the sheer, bloody, hopelessness of being him. It's a quiet performance that speaks volumes -- a landmark. ... The phrase "I love you" has become as devalued in movies as "have a nice day" or "take care", to the point where it barely even registers anymore. The last words of this film are "I love you", and suddenly, miraculously, they come to life again. It's partly because Lodge Kerrigan has withheld so much, and partly because of two outstanding performances [from Damian Lewis and Abigail Breslin].
-- Anthony Quinn (article author), The Independent, September 22, 2006
[Keane] was worth the wait, as Lewis gives a superb performance of a man constantly on the brink of crashing and burning.
-- Gary Slaymaker (article author), Western Mail, September 22, 2006
The British actor Damian Lewis gives the performance of his career in this involving, compassionate picture [Keane] by US indie writer-director Lodge Kerrigan. ... Kerrigan's camera is in Keane's haunted face for almost every minute of the movie's running time, searching out every flicker of unease and tortured hope. As an actor, Damian Lewis has been stretched as never before, and gives an outstanding performance.
-- Peter Bradshaw (article author), The Guardian, September 22, 2006
Kerrigan's films tend to rely on the big performance, and they don't come much bigger than Lewis's [in Keane]. It's arresting and authentic.
-- Cosmo Landesman (article author), The Times, September 24, 2006
[Keane is] a tough film to watch, tense and worrying, not least because of Lewis's remarkable performance as a decent, caring man barely holding himself together.
-- Demetrios Matheou (article author), The Herald, September 24, 2006
[In Keane,] Damian Lewis excels as a frantic father. ... Lewis's Keane is like a pared-down version of Robert De Niro's Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver, and is not diminished by the comparison.
-- Philip French (article author), The Observer, September 24, 2006
It's a smart move on Kerrigan's part to cast British actor Damian Lewis [as Keane]. ... Lewis is on screen practically every second -- Keane being the inescapable centre of his own cell-like universe -- and his performance is magnetically troubling. Photographed so close, every look, every emotional shift counts. He's also miked up close: we hear every mumble as Keane recounts his private running narrative of pain and confusion. If Kerrigan flouts the dramatic law that you should never have a character think aloud ("I gotta get some sleep, get some rest"), it's because the protective membrane has collapsed between Keane's mind and his actions. Lewis plays Keane like a radio tuned between stations, trying to find a coherent signal but mainly picking up his own inner cacophony. It makes sense that the film is being released in a tie-in with Samaritans: Keane is a sympathetic, revealing exploration of an area of experience that most of us, mercifully, never have to endure. It's a mesmerising piece, one of the great American films of recent years.
-- Jonathan Romney (article author), The Independent, September 24, 2006
William Keane [is] magnificently played by Damian Lewis. ... Keane's world sits on a knife edge between sanity and madness, and every scene is tainted with a gut-churning sense that he might blow it at any moment. He is conscious of his illness as much as he is consumed by it, and Damian Lewis captures this perfectly. In a lesser actor's hands the movie would fail, but Lewis imbues Keane with just the right amount of sympathetic characteristics for us to know that underneath his crushing madness he is a good person.
-- John Smithies (article author), Epoch Times, September 25, 2006
Keane, starring Damian Lewis (of Band of Brothers) as a soft-spoken man wounded to the soul by the abduction of his young daughter, is a remarkably compassionate portrait. When he slips out of control and turns obsessive and irrational -- leaping to impulsive conclusions, acting on delusional hunches, diving into benders of booze and cocaine -- we're scared of him. But when we see the look of panic on his face when he feels himself slip out of control, helpless to the power of his affliction, we're also scared for him. ... Damian Lewis gives a remarkable performance. ... He's kind of scary, but there's really no malice in him, just a helpless kind of anger. But when you start to see him lose control, his face registers the fact that things beyond his control are happening within him. And especially when he's with Kyra, you see the absolute fear of losing control because he has to be in control to protect her. It's an amazing sense of self-awareness that you don't expect to see in a character like that. ... Lewis's performance has such depth and complexity. He has an understanding of his own illness and he has an incredible fear of losing control. It took me by surprise because you really don't expect that kind of self-awareness in a character.
-- Sean Axmaker (article author), Green Cine, October 17, 2006
I think Damian gave a really remarkable performance, not only in that aspect [of the character's strong self-awareness], but in the range of emotions that he goes through in the story. He's really exceptionally talented. I cast him off of Band Of Brothers, the HBO series. I think a lot of times casting is very backward looking. I mean, beyond trying to cast stars, taking that off the table because the whole business is oriented towards trying to cast the biggest name. But once you get beyond that, then it becomes ... I think a lot of times, actors are cast because they've played similar roles in the past and I think that's very limiting. What I try to do is really to see the command they have with their craft, how talented they are, how charismatic, what presence they have, and the rest is very intuitive. There's nothing in the role of Major Winters that's even remotely similar to Keane. But I really believe that talented actors can play a wide, wide range of roles and most of them are really underutilized. What's interesting to me about the performance is how much weight he has. He's so heavy and worn down. When you see Damian in life, he's so different and people are taken aback sometimes, because they almost expect him to be older.
-- Lodge Kerrigan (writer-director of Keane), Green Cine, October 17, 2006
[In Keane,] the viewer's suspicions and doubts are entirely wrapped up in Lewis' raw, harrowing embodiment of a character concurrently amped up (he's almost never still) and wiped out. We know this man is every bit as lost as his daughter, and fear he may be capable of some untold terror. He is too wounded, too hungry and alone. Perhaps he means to use Kira as bait, or to snatch her away himself? Kerrigan withholds so much that the question insinuates itself -- did he even have a daughter in the first place? The tension is there all right, but Lewis also supplies the movie's saving grace: the way Keane, with Kira's mother absent for a day, makes the girl eat up her meal before dessert, teaches her numbers, washes her hair. Keane's gentle care proffers some hint of salvation, so that this dark, 'difficult' film may end on a declaration of love.
-- Tom Charity (article author), Sight & Sound, October 2006
Lewis' performance [in Keane] is fearless -- the stuff that awards should be made of.
-- Cory Mailliard (article author), FOFR, November 29, 2006
Both Clean, Shaven and Keane rely on committed, career-best work from their leading actors. Damian Lewis gives a phenomenal performance [in Keane] that should have gained him an Oscar nomination had this film been more widely shown. Given that he's onscreen almost throughout, it's a demanding role, but he carries it off superbly: Keane's desperation and his on-the-edge lifestyle are manifest in Lewis's face. ... Kerrigan's films take you places out of your normal comfort zone, but they reward the searching out. Keane is just such a film, which showcases a commanding performance from Damian Lewis.
-- Gary Couzens (article author), DVD Times, December 3, 2006
His visceral performance [in Keane] as a man on the verge of insanity, captured in long, hand-held close-ups, was the bravest acting job this year. ... Superbly acted and shot with an intimacy and urgency that's all but disappeared from American cinema, Keane was an invigorating and electrifying experience.
-- Matt Riviera (article author), Last Night With Riviera, December 23, 2006
[In Keane,] plot is secondary to Damian Lewis' astonishing performance in the title role.
-- Adam Nayman (article author), Eye Weekly, December 28, 2006
Keane: Although finished in 2004, Lodge Kerrigan's intimately unsettling study of a schizophrenic (Damian Lewis) obsessed with finding the daughter he believes was abducted in a New York subway station, took two years to get even the most meager of local commercial releases. But who ever called this business fair? Nevertheless, Keane -- the name of the man doomed to constantly relive that terrible moment -- would be a uniformly engrossing experience whenever it was released. With a fiercely convincing central performance (by the terrific British actor Lewis), a terrifying, first-person evocation of madness and a devastating conclusion that merely hints at the possibility of recovery, this is a terrific movie that deserved much better.
-- Geoff Pevere (article author), Toronto Star, December 29, 2006
Damian Lewis' performance as a broken man in Lodge Kerrigan's unnerving drama [Keane] is utterly remarkable, making you fear him amidst the empathy you feel for him as he begins a friendship with a six year old girl played by Abigail Breslin (also excellent in the otherwise disappointing Little Miss Sunshine), while grief stricken over the abduction of his own daughter.
-- [article author unknown], Pop DVD, December 29, 2006
Kudos to Kate Dickie in "Red Road" and Damian Lewis in "Keane" for the rawest, most committed and ultimately most transcendent performances of the year.
-- Adam Dawtrey (article author), Variety, December 31, 2006
Among the best performances [of 2006]:... Damian Lewis for his unravelling loner in Lodge Kerrigan's Keane.
-- Jonathan Romney (article author), The Independent, December 31, 2006
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