It’s Robert Pattinson‘s birthday! To mark the occasion, here are five of his best performances. Much like Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson had been shoehorned as just the teeny heartthrob from Twilight, and , honestly, that’s what he was for much his earlier career. However, he made the decision to take on more serious roles in low budget movies with some of the best directors out there. If you want to know what your new Batman is all about, check some of these out!
The Lighthouse (2019)
Robert Egger’s is becoming one of the top directors of a more “elevated” arthouse horror. One of his best talents is getting the right actor for a role and getting amazing performances out of them. Pattinson has done away with the heartthrob roles and focused on great roles regardless of how unflattering they may be. In The Lighthouse, he plays a scruffy wickie who is on the run from his past. He stands toe to toe with one of the best character actors in Willem Dafoe as this entire film revolves around just these two characters. Pattinson plays Winslow who is a shifty-eyed, distrustful grunt. His behavior suggests a troubled past and a life spent on the run. He’s troubled by disturbing visions of lusty mermaids and creatures of the briny deep, and his mounting disdain for Tom Wake, the flatulent, bossy old coot played by Dafoe, manifests in a sequence where Winslow takes his latent aggression out on a particularly intrusive seagull.
High Life (2018)
I would only recommend Claire Denis’ High Life to those who, well, like Claire Denis films and for those who want to see another strong performance by Pattinson in a low budget indie film with an interesting director. Here he plays an abandoned convict where we see him play a father who interacts in normal fatherly behavior. You like helping them learn to walk and warning them not to eat their own poop. That sort of thing.
Good Time (2017)
His turn as the strung-out bottom feeder who gets his special needs brother arrested for a robbery that he masterminded may just be his best and most unflattering. It’s not just the grimy blonde dye job, pawnshop earrings, and regrettable goatee either: as Connie Nikas, a quick-on-his-feet Queens-born con artist who has a habit of taking already-unfortunate situations and making them unthinkably worse. Connie’s very soul seems rotten and Pattinson just kills it in his performance. If you are questioning whether or not the Twilight boy can act, just check out Good Time.
The Lost City of Z (2016)
This movie is probably being more notable for James Gray getting an actual great performance out of “tough” Son’s of Anarchy guy, Charlie Hunnam than anything else, but R-Patt turns in a solid supporting role here. He does a bizarre, mumbly, recessive character acting thing here, and he’s an absolute joy to watch. Pattinson plays Henry Costin: a British Corporal and Fawcett’s aide de camp who accompanies him on a series of life-endangering missions that test both men’s physical and mental endurance. He’s particularly superb in his final scene, where he tells Fawcett that he can no longer bear the considerable emotional cost of their many sojourns together.
The Rover (2014)
Guy Pearce plays a bitter and broken down loner in this post-apocalyptic film where he is chasing some thieves who have stolen his car. During his search, he stumbles unto the path of Rey (Pattinson), a none-too-bright degenerate whose brother is part of a pack of criminals responsible for the vehicular theft at the center of the story. Pattinson plays Rey as borderline-mentally impaired: he’s a simple, almost childlike figure whose relative innocence in this trauma-plagued outback hellscape is genuinely disarming. Pattinson’s performance is full of odd, admirable choices, including but not limited to his 8th-grader buzz-cut, his ’90s skater-boy wardrobe, and his slurred, sometimes-indecipherable speech. This was the first real role where he dropped the pretty boy look and got some dirt under his nails.
What are some of your favorite films to feature birthday boy Robert Pattinson?