A score of 93% on Rotten Tomatoes and a gross of over $616 million at the box office made sure that Logan was one of the most talked about movies of the year.
With the end of 2017 now in sight, and movie bloggers and journalists already starting to dream up their top 10s, you can be certain that James Mangold’s visceral addition to the “X-Men” canon will be brought up a lot in the coming weeks. Especially since an awards season push is already gaining motion, too.
Last month I had the chance to talk to Patrick Stewart at the Hamptons International Film Festival, where I quizzed the actor about the success of “Logan.” And while he stopped short of actually calling “Logan” the best film of the year, a label that will be given to the blockbuster many, many times in the not-too-distant future, he was clearly very proud of it.
“The ‘X-Men’ movies have always been very successful, as have the ‘Wolverine’ movies. But there was a level of humanity and ordinary human feeling and experience in ‘Logan’ that I think caught peoples’ attention and made them feel comfortable and at ease with people like Logan and Charles Xavier, who have these special powers and abilities but have become fragile, vulnerable, and that hadn’t been seen before.”
For Stewart, there was one sequence in particular that highlighted the difference between “Logan” and its superhero rivals.
“The one scene that stands out is that dinner party scene in the farmhouse. When was there ever a scene like that in a superhero movie? There’s no time for a scene like that where people are sat around the dinner table talking. So many people have mentioned that scene as the moment when they got sucked in.”
Stewart can’t tell if “Logan’s” critical and financial success will inspire other superhero movies to follow suit, and be as stark, emotional, and brutal, something that he insists was the result of James Mangold’s vision and Fox’s hands-off approach.
“It worked for ‘Logan’. And we had a director who had a very clear, strong vision of the kind of film he wanted to make and the story he wanted to tell. And we had the support of the studio, who you might have expected to be, ‘No, no, no, more special effects and explosions and death and mayhem.’ But they didn’t. They were behind us all the way. And it paid off.”
Following my brief chat with Sir Patrick Stewart, the legendary actor took part in an hour long discussion at the Hamptons International Film Festival that touched upon his entire career. Of course, “Logan: popped up in this chat, too, which led Stewart to admit that he was left on the verge of tears the first time he read the script.
“I took home the script and read it, and I was certainly very, very moved by what I’d read. In fact I do remember a couple of times putting the script down because it made me so emotional. I was excited as an actor because Charles was so different. He was sick, confused, crazy, unstable, and dangerous. Not to say foul-mouthed. I said words in ‘Logan’ that I didn’t think were in Charles’ vocabulary.”
Patrick Stewart adjusted to this new version of Charles Xavier to such a stirring extent that there is already a growing campaign for the actor to at least receive a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination, while there are already some that believe his name should be written on the gong already.