Vincent Cassel in The Monk

Vincent Cassel in The Monk

Vincent Cassel is back on the big screen this week with his new movie The Monk, which is an adaptation of the 1796 Gothic novel by Matthew Gregory Lewis.

Once again it is another tortured performance from the actor as he strips back the layers of the character to reveal someone very different inside.

So to celebrate the release of the movie we take a look at some of Cassel's best movies over the years.

- La Haine

It was with the role Vinz in La Haine that Cassel really made his breakthrough performance back in 1995.

Directed by Mathieu Kassovitz La Haine was a black and white movie that showed the struggle of three friends as they tried to live on the outskirts of Paris.

Vinz is a character who is filled with rage and hate who is looking to fight back against the people he deems oppress him.

It's a powerful performance by the actor and it really caught everyone's attention when it was released in the mid nineties.

He went on to be nominated at the Cesar Awards for Best Actor and Most Promising Actor. Since then he has juggled his work in French cinema as well as taking on more international projects.

- Sur Mes Levres

Another French movie that really showed off Cassel's talent was Sur mes lèvres, which was released back in 2001.

Cassel plays an ex-convict who finds solace with a deaf secretary, played by Emmanuelle Devos, and they discover that they can help one another.

Cassel is not the main character here but his performance really does stand out as he is a criminal who is trying to forge a better life for himself and go down the right path.

It's a charming central relationship between the pair that grows and flourishes as the movie progresses.

- Eastern Promises

Eastern Promises remains one of my favourite performances from the actor as he teamed up with Viggo Mortensen and director David Cronenberg for the gangster movie.

A Russian teenager living in London who dies during childbirth leaves clues to a midwife in her journal that could tie her child to a rape involving a violent Russian mob family.

Cassel takes on the role of Kirill in the movie and he is a cruel and untrustworthy character throughout the entire movie.

Cassel switched between English and Russian with ease and brought a real presence to all the scenes that he was in.

Eastern Promises is one of the best gangster movies in recent years and that is down to Cronenberg really getting the best out of all his cast.

- Mesrine

Mesrine is widely regarded as one of Cassel's finest moments as he took on the role of French gangster Jacques Mesrine.

The project was split into two movie Mesrine: Killer Instinct and Mesrine: Public Enemy Number One and was directed by Jean-François Richet.

The first part of the film is based on the memoir by Mesrine while the second part follows his crime spree after being released from prison.

Cassell transformed physically for the role as well as getting truly under the skin of this character.

He depicted a man of many layers who was as intelligent as he was cruel.

- The Monk

The role of monk Ambrosio is Cassel's latest foray onto the big screen as he works with filmmaker Dominik Moll.

Abandoned as a baby on the steps of a monastery and raised in strict Capuchin fashion, Ambrosio has become the most famous preacher in the country.

While large crowds from all over the country come to hear his mesmerizing sermons, he’s also bitterly envied for his success by certain fellow monks.

Convinced of his virtue and righteousness, Brother Ambrosio thinks he is immune to temptation...

This is an interesting look at a character who believes that he is not flawed and that religion is enough to fill his life.

The Monk is released 27th April

FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw

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