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r/PeakyBlinders
358
Posted by3 months ago

Did anyone else really enjoy Anya Taylor Joy in the Queen's Gambit but think she was quite bad in her Peaky run?

I just cannot get past her performance in 5 & 6. It wasn't as distracting last season when she only acted next to Finn Cole (who has always had his acting limitations, let's be honest). But this year she has so many full scenes with Cillian where it seems like she is putting so little nuance or pathos into her line delivery. Just reading the words written for her as if she were in a high school play, and wow does that not translate when you're going toe-to-toe with a talent like Cillian for five minutes. And don't get me started on how silly she makes calling Tommy "the Devil" sounds. She takes any menace or fear right out of their labeling of him that.

She's definitely talented, we've seen it in The Witch and Gambit. So what the heck happened here?

The only worthwhile scene of her this season is her walking into the jail in Episode 1 to that Joy Division needle drop. ALMOST made me forgive her for the rest of her performance!

77 comments
97% Upvoted
level 1

I thought every scene with the Americans was badly acted and shot wierd. It felt intentional, I feel like they were going for an old timey feel that just didn't work.

154
level 2
OpCake day · 3 mo. ago

I really thought we were going to get a lot more involved in America this season, instead it was just that one scene in Gina's apartment that, yes, absolutely was filmed differently to draw the distinction between England. And it didn't work for me either, it felt like Cillian Murphy was cosplaying as Tommy Shelby under the microscope of that bright, poppy lighting. And yes, it didn't help that his acting was flat because he was up against a miscast Anya Taylor Joy.

55
level 2

Agreed

3
level 1

I absolutely agree. I don't think it was her, I think it was the role and how it was written. I kept wondering why they brought in an actress with such talent and screen presence for a role that was pretty secondary and blah.

18
level 1

Omg I couldn't agree more, such static over acting, it was like she was really nervous?

16
level 1

The dialogue is significantly more challenging here, and I think she needed more coaching than was necessarily possible.

For The Witch, her character doesn't really speak that much, and when she does it's pretty simple sentences. Queen's Gambit also has long stretches where it's just her looking at stuff, and when she does speak it's modern/casual in terms of style (to be clear she does a good job, it's just closer to modeling sometimes than acting).

For Peaky Blinders, she needs to match a very specific cadence/rhythm/accent, and act as a driving force in a lot of scenes while doing it. That's a much taller order, and as you said, doing it with strong scene partners can expose some of these challenges.

77
level 2
OpCake day · 3 mo. ago

Excellent breakdown, I think you nail a lot of the problems we're seeing up on screen with her. Even after posting this I went back and watched her first confrontation with Tommy in Episode 1 of this season and, oof, she almost brings down Cillian's acting a bit, because her performance is so perfunctory he has nothing to bounce off of.

But you're dead on about why she was so good in Queens Gambit when compared to something as script heavy and out of her wheelhouse as Peaky.

18
level 1

She was overacting so much it was really distracting

15
level 2
[deleted]
· 3 mo. ago

100% it felt like I was watching someone act instead of forgetting I’m watching someone act - you know?

8
level 1

She was great in QG but TERRIBLE in Peaky Blinders. I mean terrible

37
level 2

The scene at her apartment with Tommy hurt my eyes and ears so bad. I thought it was just me.

16
level 1

I couldn't stand those scenes of Tommy and her in her apartment 😭

27
level 1

Nah I think she did exactly what they intended.

7
level 1

It kind of felt like she was acting as a woman who knew she was a bit over her head but was trying to be convincing. If that was Anna's intention for how she played the character, then I am ok with that. But if that was not, then yeah not her best role .

13
level 2
OpCake day · 3 mo. ago

I tried to read that into her performance as well, she was trying to be someone she wasn't and show courage in the face of some dangerous situations. I think that's a generous read but the one line that makes me think this might be the case is when she says "fuck" to herself after Tommy walks away from her in that whole "What are Michael's plans and if you're lying I'll know" confrontation. That leads me to believe her whole performance is one big bluff of appearing stronger and more confident than she truly is. But wow, it would have been so much more interesting if we saw more of her when she was disarmed and vulnerable like that.

15
level 1

It wasn't poor performance. It was that her character was annoying and had an inflated sense of self worth. I wanted her character to get a bullet in the brain. I still do.

14
level 2

This. I absolutely hated her character, which means that she did a great job.

8
level 2

No, pretty sure it was her garbage acting. She is so uncomfortable in the part, it's painful. She was terrific in The Witch but wildly overrated in The Queen's Gambit. Dreadful in Emma. I've seen better high school performances.

1
level 1

I thought she was utter dogshit in Peaky Blinders, some of her scenes in s6 were proper cringe. Loved her in Queen's Gambit though

5
level 1

Anya Taylor Joy is a good actress as she’s proven in much of her other work. But I couldn’t agree more about what you said here, not just regarding her performance but also about her jail walk scene being the best! 😆

13

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Created Aug 19, 2013