Cine Latino covers, well, all things relating to Latino culture and the movies, every Friday.
Cuban-Guatemalan actor Oscar Isaac is steadily building a name for himself--just two years ago people were wondering who the dark-eyed actor was in Robin Hood. Now in his latest big-screen project, The Bourne Legacy, Isaac plays the mysterious insider known only as "Outcome #3," and without revealing too much, he's a man who signed up for more than he can bargain for when he takes a job in the Alaskan wilderness.
Here we highlight 10 of Isaac's movies you should check out, the majority of which you can enjoy from the comfort of your home and two that you'll just have to wait until 2013, like his leading role in the Coen brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis.
The Nativity Story (2006)
Isaac first captured audiences with his performance as Joseph in the Christmas drama The Nativity Story, which chronicled the arduous journey of Mary and Joseph, a miraculous pregnancy and the history-defining birth of Jesus. The Nativity Story was the first to premiere at the Vatican. The film was directed by Catherine Hardwicke and Keisha Castle-Hughes and Shohreh Aghdashloo costarred. Trailer
In Agora, directed by Chilean native Alejandro Amenábar, Isaac starred opposite Rachel Weisz in a tale of unrequited love set against the backdrop of ancient Egypt. The film opened in Spain on October 9, 2009, to become its highest-grossing film of the year. It went on to receive seven Goya Awards in Spain, including best original screenplay. Trailer
Robin Hood (2010)
Soon after Agora, Isaac teamed up with director Ridley Scott for Robin Hood. The film also starred Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett and William Hurt. Isaac played the role of King John and went toe-to-toe with Crowe. Trailer
Isaac garnered rave reviews for his work opposite Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan in Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive, a film about a Hollywood stunt performer who moonlights as a getaway driver. Isaac plays Mulligan's nice-guy criminal husband named Standard, who wants to turn over a new leaf . Trailer
A few months after Drive premiered, Isaac was seen in the Weinstein Company’s W.E., directed by Madonna and costarring Abbie Cornish. He plays a Russian security guard whose modern-day affair with a married woman is juxtaposed with the story of King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson. A Julliard graduate, Isaac had to learn how to play the piano for the film.“Evgeni is supposed to be a concert pianist and there were these three very complicated Yann Tiersen pieces, so I spent about a month and a half working with piano teachers and learning how to play. I actually get to play them in the film,” Isaac said while promoting the film. Trailer
For Greater Glory (2012)
Earlier this year Isaac costarred alongside Andy Garcia, Eva Longoria and Peter O’Toole in this independent historical drama that centers on the Cristeros War, a rebellion caused by the Mexican government's persecution of Catholics in the 1920s. Trailer
The Bourne Legacy (2012)
Isaac plays Outcome #3 in Tony Gilroy's The Bourne Legacy, the fourth installment in the Bourne film series. Here's how Isaac describes him:
"I can only tell you that I play Agent 3, a very mysterious guy. You never know what his motivations are or where his loyalties lie," Isaac has said during the movie's promotion. "My character has been living in a cabin for a month by himself with zero communication with the outside world… other than the occasional drop by of one of these guys." When Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) arrives at #3’s remote base several days early, #3 is suspicious. "They’re like these dogs that are circling and sniffing each other. They’re not necessarily posturing so much as they are uncertain. It’s dangerous." Trailer
Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
Having landed the coveted starring role in the Coen's Inside Llewyn Davis, is Isaac poised to be the Next Big Thing? The film focuses on the early 1960s folk-music scene in Greenwich Village and gave Isaac the opportunity to step into the lead and show off his guitar skills with his character loosely based on real folk musician Dave Van Ronk.
"It was complete bliss," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "I play a guy that's down on his luck, but it was very hard to feel that way because I was just always had a smile from ear to ear. I was elated just to be there. I've been playing for 20 years, so it was kind of the perfect storm of things that came together for me to be a part of it. We did all the music live, no playback; it's like a concert movie. There's like six or seven songs in it."
Isaac will team up with Elena Anaya, who last year costarred with Antonio Banderas in Pedro Almodovar’s The Skin I Live In, for Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego’s Inertia. According to Variety, the screenplay by Lopez-Gallego and regular co-scribe Fernando Navarro, will follow an immigrant (Isaac) who witnesses a fatal hit-and-run and pursues the mysterious car in a nonstop chase, with Anaya playing his ex-girlfriend who joins him on the run. The mainly Spanish-language film will begin shooting late August in Barcelona, Aragon and Andalusia.
The Two Faces of January (2013)
Viggo Mortensen and Kristen Dunst will join Isaac in The Two Faces of January. The suspense thriller a follows a con artist, his wife and a stranger as they try to flee Athens after one of them becomes a murder suspect.
Follow us @elisaosegueda and @moviesdotcom