Culture / Film

7 films that serve as your daily reminder that Oscar Isaac is heaven sent

oscar isaac films

The age of Oscar Isaac is officially upon us. Yes, we could have called it as soon as we were graced with that armpit-sniffing moment between the actor and his Julliard pal, Jessica Chastain on the Venice Film Festival red carpet. But like all the best kind of love, it's a slow burn. And Oscar Isaac has positively scorched a hole through our chest.

With awards season well and truly over, we can no longer count on unscripted red carpet moments to tide us over. Nor can we wait for another heart-fluttering Thom Browne moment like we saw at the London premiere of Moon Knight. No, it appears if we want more Oscar Isaac content we're going to have to seek it out ourselves. Lucky for us, the actor has quite the back catalogue to sift through.

With his acting debut dating back to 1996, us rabid fans have more than two decades of performances dripping in charisma and Isaac's signature wit to cling to. Below, we round up 7 of our favourite, from hands down classics like Inside Llewyn Davis to his more understated roles like that of Paul Gauguin in At Eternity's Gate. Read on for the best Oscar Isaac films.

 

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

We can forgive this film for its role in emboldening too many white men to lug around a guitar and imagine themselves as some overlooked Dave Van Ronk type. It is simply too good. Helmed by the Coen brothers, Isaac plays an unshaven, down on his luck musician stumbling through New York City and running out of friends to call on favours. What little he does possess like his soulful voice, guitar and a ginger cat that he ends up with by accident, is used to propel him onwards. He's joined by a formidable cast, namely Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Adam Driver and Alex Karpovsky.

 

Dune (2021)

 

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Are the boyish ways of Timothée Chalamet beginning to come off as more annoying than charming? It's time to graduate to Oscar Isaac, who plays his stoic and rugged father in Dune. Although Isaac's role as Leto Atreides I means less screen time than desired, what short part he did play before his inevitable death was enough to ensure Isaac's bare chest is seared into our fantasies forever. The only spice worth fighting for, in my opinion.

 

A Most Violent Year (2014)

All aboard the Oscar Isaac criminal phase! A Most Violent Year renders Isaac into an oil businessman who's inherited a crooked model from his dodgy father-in-law and is trying to balance out the scales. What's more, if you're horny for the Oscar Isaac-Jessica Chastain working romance, then fill your cup here. Set in New York in the 1980s, the two once again play a married couple which must hold true as the business is forced under a microscope. Watch for a subtle but nonetheless potent commentary on capitalism.

 

At Eternity's Gate (2018)

If director Julian Schnabel's goal was to make the viewer feel just as tormented as Van Gogh did in his final years, then consider this a success. At Eternity's Gate is breathtakingly shot with spanning views of the French countryside, a wonderful score and Willem Dafoe at his best. It's also one of those slow meandering films, which is not bad necessarily but it is one for a specific mood, say if you wanted to cry, a lot. Oscar Isaac plays Paul Gauguin and is joined by Danish hunk Mads Mikkelsen.

Drive (2011)

Two culturally lauded hotties here. Consider Drive another entry into the canon of Ryan Gosling doing bad things in a fast-moving vehicle. Although, we much prefer this film as it offers up the dual impact of Oscar Isaac in a bloodied white tank top and a closely shaven head.

 

Ex Machina (2014)

 

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That's the beauty of acting. You can know with every inch of your loins that you're obsessed with a person and then Oscar Isaac plays someone as repulsive as Nathan and you feel yourself instantly dry up. Make no mistake, the man has range. Also, if Ex Machina gives evidence of anything else, it's that Oscar Isaac has some, moves?

 

The Card Counter (2021)

 

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Oscar Isaac's best performance is also his most recent. Here he plays a disgraced ex-soldier who is home after committing unspeakable war crimes in Abu Ghraib, Iraq. It's a Martin Scorsese-Paul Schrader team up that dwells on a signature kind of nocturnal crime this time gambling, with guilt and masculinity thrown in to round it out.


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