"Subtle Gestures" in AOTC Appreciation Thread

Discussion in 'Attack of the Clones' started by Sister_Sola, Jan 30, 2003.

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  1. Sister_Sola Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2002
    star 4
    Someone suggested the idea of creating this thread, so here it is - post your favourite moments from AOTC that are gems of subtlety. Here are some of the examples from another thread that prompted this topic:

    Hector: I'm struck by just how much subtlety there is with the acting in this film (and likewise, in TPM). The slightest gestures are always telling, but almost completely missed by the lay viewer who is used to sad characters weeping uncontrollably or excited characters pumping their fists and yelling "Boo-Ya!" When Anakin walks by Obi-wan in the arena, for instance, we get a slight nod and a slightly raised eyebrow from Hayden -- not some idiotic wisecrack. Personally, I think that the degree of restraint in the performances is remarkable throughout the film.

    Durwood: You are correct, of course. One of Lucas' strengths as a storyteller and filmmaker is making important points in a subtle way. Instead of the usual Hollywood style of blaring music and dramatic close-ups or hackneyed slow motion, Lucas lets his stories unfold and mature in a very natural and oftentimes understated way. Some of the biggest moments in his films are seemingly the least dramatic, at least until you start really paying attention.

    One scene that doesn't get much mention is when Anakin and Padme are leaving Coruscant. When asked about her safety, Padme wistfully glances over her shoulder and says, "I guess my Jedi protector will have to prove how good he is." Anakin over hears the comment and gets this "Ah, shucks!" grin on his face and takes a step towards Padme before Obi-Wan verbally pulls him back, much to Anakin's annoyance. It's a quick moment, very subtle and easy to miss, but it speaks volumes about their already budding romance.

    Edit: fixed quote marks
  2. Hector Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2001
    star 3
    When Padme and Anakin are on the freighter, Anakin says "You're just like I remember you in my dreams." The camera cuts to Padme's face for a long, awkward moment. It's the first time that she realizes that Anakin is perhaps a little obsessed.
  3. Oakessteve Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 9, 1999
    star 6
    It probably doesn't count, but I like the looks Obi-Wan and Anakin exchange when him and Padme enter the arena. Obi-Wan's facial expressions go from surprise to see him, relief that he's alright, then annoyance that he's disobeyed Obi-Wan's orders, and Anakin simply gives him what he hopes is a reasurring 'don't worry, I have everything under control' smile, even though, his body language to me at least, says the opposite. Anyway, that's how I read the scene!
  4. Sophita Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2002
    star 4
    Nice thread, Sister_Sola. :D

    One thing I have to mention is Hayden's performance throughout the film, which is filled with subtle gestures that are remeniscient of both the Anakin of TPM and the Vader of the original trilogy.
  5. hansoloschinscar Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 1
    The scene which showcases Lucas' gift for subtlety is when Padme and Anakin are arguing about Padme's safety in Queen Jamilla's throne room. When she upstages him regarding her knowlege of her world (and saying that Anakin is just a padawan learner in front of the queen's court), he had this look like he just wanted to tear Padme a new one. But he took a quick breath, looked away, looked at her and gave quick courteous smile and said, "Sorry M'lady". Then Padme gives him that look your mom gives you when you think you are smarter than her. The fact that he could possibly go apesh** on the woman he loved over something as trivial as security just shows how close to the Dark Side he was. And that scene speaks volumes about both of their personalities.
  6. ForceHeretic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2002
    star 4
    A great example is actually painfully obvious if you think about it, but few people realize this

    Throughout movie history, when two armies meet and fight eachother, the "good" guys have always moved from left to right as it's this direction that we read and even though we don't notice it it's always the natural way for us to see something moving. And the "bad" guys of course then move from right to left

    So tell me, WHY WERE THE REPUBLICS CLONES MOVING FROM RIGHT TO LEFT!

    Subtle as it is it's a very nice way of foreshadowing Episode 3
  7. foxbatkllr Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 27, 2001
    star 6
    I think the gesture everyone overlooks is when Anakin's giving his fireplace speech. Padme sort of lifts up her shoulder as to put up a barrier and moves away from her. It is clear he is making her uncomfortable, but no, people overlook that and think she's falling for his romantic speech.
  8. Oakessteve Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 9, 1999
    star 6
    I didn't overlook it at all. I've always felt that Padme is feeling incredibly uncomfortable during the fireplace sequence (but then again, that might be because of the outfit she's wearing!), and I think the discomfort she's feeling makes the audience themselves feel uncomfortable, as I always feel the same during that sequence.
  9. Vanthorne_OX Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 11, 2002
    star 3
    The CG characters have nuances too.

    Dexter leans forward towards Obi-Wan showing much interest. He takes a swig of whatever he's drinking in between his lines.

    Watto squinches his eyes and fixes his hat when it starts to slip too far to one side.

    And Taun We rubs her neck when Obi-Wan leaves the Kamino corridor.

    The way Palpatine position his hands as he walks alongside Anakin reminds me of ROTJ. And Anakin also keeps his hands held like Vader a lot of the time.

    Edit: spelling
  10. Sister_Sola Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2002
    star 4
    Yeah hansoloschinscar, I like that interchange in the Theed throne room too. Watch Anakin's face when he says "Sorry, m'lady" - his words are apologetic, and his mouth is smiling - but his eyes are like steel. Gives me chills!
  11. qui-gon-kim Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 19, 2001
    star 4
    In the fireplace scene, when Padme says "I will not give into this", her face is cold and stern. But when Anakin turns around, her expression softens, revealing her true feelings. It's as if she's saying to Anakin, "Please forgive me."
  12. Darth_Goofy Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 8, 2001
    star 4
    I love the way Anakin (especially when he meets Padme again) wraps his cloak around himself like it's his blankie. It really shows us that he hasn't matured much since 9.

    It's little stuff like that that makes AOTC great. :)
  13. Hector Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2001
    star 3
    Just a little detail, but Typho smirking in the background when Anakin pulls his "So have you...Grown more beautiful, I mean..." line.
  14. Durwood Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 5
    I especially like Obi-Wan and Anakin's conversation about dreams early in the movie. The dialogue is very simple, but the body language is what carries the scene and gives it weight and meaning. It also put on display the extraordinary acting prowess of Hayden Christenson and Ewan McGregor.

    One of the nice things about Lucas is that he really does rely on his actors to carry the story, so it's ironic that he is often accused of not being an "actor's director".
  15. Latorski Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2002
    star 4
    I know this is an AOTC board, but in TPM, after the Jedi council reject Anakin, they are dismissed and Qui-Gon, unlike Obi-Wan, refuses to bow. No mention or emphasis is placed on this action, but I've always noticed it.
  16. Sophita Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2002
    star 4
    Latorski, that's always stood out to me, too. Qui-Gon's a wee bit angry, it seems. :D

    (Then again, if I were Qui...I would be pissed off too. That whole scene is basically a slap in Qui's face.)

    Also in TPM, but did anyone notice that when Anakin gets rejected, Obi-Wan smiles? [face_shocked]
  17. Latorski Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2002
    star 4
    Wow! I'd never noticed Obi-Wan smiling.

    Was he happy to be right or to see Qui get told off or to see the kid rejected?

    Great thread, by the way!
  18. The_Abstract Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2002
    star 4
    I don't know if this is a completely subtle gesture, but the way Hayden's voice cracks and he chokes back tears in the Tusken Raider scene. Tears can easily be manufactured, but not things like that. He really pulled sorrow from somewhere.

  19. foxbatkllr Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 27, 2001
    star 6
    I didn't overlook it at all. I've always felt that Padme is feeling incredibly uncomfortable during the fireplace sequence (but then again, that might be because of the outfit she's wearing!), and I think the discomfort she's feeling makes the audience themselves feel uncomfortable, as I always feel the same during that sequence.

    I feel uncomfortable as well and I can't help but think it was intentional. That's why I think a lot of the criticisms against that particular scene are misguided.
  20. The Butler Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 1999
    star 4
    The "Sorry, M'lady" part scared me a bit: for a second, we see how close Anakin is to lashing out. Then he does this tight grin--but it doesn't fool anyone.

    My favorite subtle gesture is when Anakin gives Shmi's hand a little kiss. It's so understated but touching. My eyes always tear up around this part.
  21. Bubba_the_Genius Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2002
    star 4
    Excellent topic -- and more proof that the prequels are just begging to be seen multiple times.


    - Jar Jar's gulp when Anakin questions Obi-Wan's authority.

    - Obi-Wan's sincere courtesy toward Dexter's droid waitress.

    - Dexter's air sac beneath his chin inflates and deflates with his breathing.

    - When the Youngling figures out the puzzle of the missing data, Obi-Wan's smile echoes the knowing smile of Qui-Gon.

    - Anakin's uncomfortable body language after he screws up with the kiss on the balcony.

    - Anakin respectfully closing his mom's eyes before the Tusken slaughter.

    (The fact that Shmi couldn't finish her final words was a subtle bit of realism, too.)

    - Anakin's body language when Padme decides to rescue Obi-Wan: he swaggers to his seat.

    - Dooku's facial expression: "It may be difficult to secure your release."

  22. JediBeowulf Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 6, 2001
    star 3
    Fantastic Thread!

    OK, mine's not subtle or anything, but I love that little 2 finger motion Obi-Wan uses to open the door on Kamino, right after he's been kicked off the side of the platform. It reminds me so much of the "mind-control" gesture we see later in A New Hope. Best. Gesture. EVER!!!!

    I love all the ones mentioned btw. :D

    And Hector, I crack up everytime I see Typho smirking at that line! It just goes to show that GL knew he was writing corny dialogue, but used it for the akward effect it achieved.


  23. JediRacer Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2000
    star 5
    This IS a very good topic.. these are the reasons why I love Star Wars. I can't really think of anything that hasn't been mentioned already. But I know when Episode III comes out, there will be subtle things in AOTC and TPM that will pop into our minds that we haven't noticed yet.
    Some things I do notice, although they have nothing to do with the plot or anything important, are the actions of background CG characters. In the scene with Anakin and Watto, there are three pit droids in the background. One droid just stares at this box on the ground, and the other two are scurrying around carrying other boxes. It reminds me of this useless guy at work.
  24. The_Anakin_Wannabe Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2003
    star 4
    Obi-Wan's facial expressions go from surprise to see him, relief that he's alright, then annoyance that he's disobeyed Obi-Wan's orders, and Anakin simply gives him what he hopes is a reasurring 'don't worry, I have everything under control' smile, even though, his body language to me at least, says the opposite. Anyway, that's how I read the scene!

    I always thought Anakin had a sheepish sort of smile saying 'God I got caught and now Im in trouble when Obi-Wan gets me'

    I like Watto's facial expressions as he relises the Jedi is talking to is Anakin. That is an excellent peice of acting from the CGI crew.

    Also Obi-Wan is beaming with pride and Anakin and Padme head off to catch that freighter.

    Also, while im thinking, in the Coruscant chase when Obi-Wan says 'Only in your mind my very young apprentice' to Anakin saying that he rivals Yoda and as a swordsman, Anakin reacts in a 'yeah what ever you reckon Obi' gesture.
  25. Latorski Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2002
    star 4
    I'd forgotten about the "Sorry M'lady." line. I always interpreted it differently though. (I love how everything is not black or white.) To me it seemed like Anakin enjoying making Padme uncomfortable. Kind of like the boy in school who likes making fun of the girl he secretly likes- although Anakin's not so secret. It rememided me of Han's "Your worshipfullness" lines. Pretty immature really.
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