Jamie Neish: Isaac under spotlight

THERE are three main releases this week, The Gambler, A Most Violent Year, and Ex Machina. Oscar Isaac appears in two of these.
Oscar Isaac. Picture: GettyOscar Isaac. Picture: Getty
Oscar Isaac. Picture: Getty

Isaac – now a 35-year-old Golden Globe nominee – made his debut 18 years ago as Pool Boy in crime drama Illtown.

It wasn’t until last year’s Inside Llewyn Davies, however, that Isaac attracted serious attention, although he has starred in a steady stream of films during the interim, including Sucker Punch and Drive.

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Inside Llewyn Davies not only awarded Isaac with his first leading role in a feature film, but it also allowed him the opportunity to work with legendary directing duo Joel and Ethan Coen.

The result was a beautiful film with a stunning performance from Isaac and since then, the work has been pouring in at a steady pace and with every role the actor betters himself.

The first of his two releases this week is Ex Machina, a relatively low-budget sci-fi thriller produced by Film4. It marks the directorial debut of Alex Garland, who has a terrific track record as a screenwriter.

In it, Isaac stars as Nathan, the CEO of a successful search engine, who, unbeknownst to anyone but Caleb, a coder who’s duped into partaking in an experiment, has build a robotic woman.

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It’s a sleek, slow-burn thriller that taps into real anxieties about technological advancements and provides plenty of twists and turns to keep audiences intrigued – and panicky – throughout.

The other film is A Most Violent Year, in which Isaac stars as a businessman determined to build up his company without resorting to criminal activities.

It all looks rosy then for Isaac, and with a star role in the new Star Wars film, the world is about to open up ever more for former Pool Boy.

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