Originally Posted by afan
For example: Luthor / Hackman's brief pantomime response to Miss Teschmacher / Perrine's plea for her mother who lives in Hackensack beats the entirety of Spacey's performance in SR.
Excellent example! One of my favourite moments!
And again, it all goes back to timing (quite literally in that moment, too): The sublime flair that Hackman has for dialogue and delivery echoes Sinatra at the height of his singing. THAT'S how good I find Hackman to be. Every moment is delivered with amazing style and precision.
Reading back through this thread just now, I see that someone termed Spacey as "bored". I couldn't agree more. He seemed to be just going through the motions. His I'm-really-cynical-and-above-everyone schtick has grown thin. Hackman has FAR more range. And consider: He didn't want to take the part on originally because he was afraid that it would tarnish his career as a serious actor, yet Donner won him round, and look at the result. Hackman has had a really diverse career, acting in some outstanding films like "Bonnie And Clyde", "The French Connection", "Superman", "Unforgiven" and "The Royal Tenenbaums", and completely transforming lesser films like "Mississippi Burning", "Crimson Tide", "Enemy Of The State" and "Heist".