Losing a star so young is a tragedy. With a career blossoming and acclaim coming their way, to be torn from the world so brutally is unfair and fills everyone with sorry.
The tragic loss of Anton Yelchin yesterday morning has hit us all. The Russian born 27 year old was involved in a car accident at his home and died due to his injuries.
The actor whose career started young and was cemented in the Star Trek reboot series was mourned by Hollywood and fans alike, many noting his good humour, inquisitive nature, and wise personality. He left behind a legacy of terrific and unparalleled performances that are now a too small collection of an actor in his prime.
To celebrate the late actor, as we are all doing this week, we’re urging you to look at the performances he left behind with the very best of his work. Here’s to Anton Yelchin, may he rest in peace.
Honourable Mentions: Only Lovers Left Alive (2013,) left out because of the minor role as roadie Ian but still Yelchin stands out within the film.
Charlie Bartlett (2007)
Despite starting in the industry as a young performer with films such as Alpha Dog and Along Came a Spider coming beforehand, he made his mark in quirky comedy Charlie Bartlett and everyone started to pay attention. The film sees Yelchin play a teenager who starts to dispense therapeutic drugs to his high school populous to gain notoriety. Also starring Kat Dennings and Robert Downey Jr, Charlie Bartlett sees a young and rambunctious Yelchin own the titular character. The darkly witty character, Yelchin managed to make the somewhat dislikeable role utterly unforgettable.
Star Trek Series (2009 – 2016)
It’s really difficult to take over a role that was immortalised decades before you. Yet Anton Yelchin portrayed Star Trek’s Pavel Chekov by honouring Walter Koenig’s version yet still making him his own. Developed as a conduit to young audiences, Chekov was the Enterprise’s navigator who was energetic and courageous as Yelchin bounced his lines with an exhilaration to save the day and succeed. Cute yet strong-willed, Yelchin became a highlight of the Star Trek movie series.
And we loved Yelchin’s performance so much that when he was made a red shirt in Into Darkness, a pang of fear broiled in our stomachs.
Like Crazy (2011)
If you haven’t seen Like Crazy, then I urge you too because the millennial romantic drama encompasses everything about modern love and long distance. Starring alongside Felicity Jones, Yelchin stars as American student Jacob who falls in love with British exchange student Anna. However, when her visa expires, the pair must navigate their relationship, conducting across the Atlantic. A breathless enchanting work that is embroiled with visceral emotions and sublime aesthetics, Like Crazy is one of Yelchin’s best work, matched by Jones’ exquisite one too. Together they imbue the film with delicate chemistry and bewitching turmoil that is steeped in palpable realism. Yelchin is a graceful and brilliant performer here, telling a painful story with complete class.
5 to 7 (2014)
Making a romantic comedy original is a hard feat nowadays but all players try in charming comedy-drama 5 – 7. The film revolves around a French woman who conducts an affair with a 24 year old writer because of a marital agreement that allows her to cheat between the titular times. With Bérénice Marlohe, Yelchin is able to escape the ensnaring clichés of romantic comedies and actually fleshes out his character beyond the 2D version on the page. A captivating performance, Yelchin captured a refreshing beat of a twenty-something artist looking to connect to something more and, in this case, it is love. The dreamy elements of the film and the somewhat unrealistic premise are no match for Yelchin’s earnest performance here.
Green Room (2016)
Ever since watching Green Room a month ago, not a day has gone by where I haven’t thought about the film. Directed by Jeremy Saulnier, the film is an immersive, heart-thudding thriller that doesn’t skirt around the grim elements either. Yelchin stars as Pat, the lead singer of a punk band who unwittingly play for Neo-Nazis who later trap them in the titular room after they witness a murder. The claustrophobia is rife here and Yelchin’s wide-eyed, scared Pat is wrought with anguish, courage, and strength. Yelchin uses his boyish charms to develop this panicky troubled guitar player into the hero of the piece, and greatly so. Spouting one of the best monologues in cinema, he is engaging, gut-wrenching, and his will to survive completely intense.
Odd Thomas (2013)
Although Odd Thomas was a box-office bomb and critically rotten, the film has developed a cult following that increases yearly. The film revolves around a clairvoyant cook who has supernatural powers and can see the dead but is embroiled in a sinister plot. Odd Thomas, directed by Stephen Sommers, has many different elements too it: comedy, romance, horror, and scares that lack the perfect balance to make it a fantastic and applauded film. Yet its off-kilter presence and rambunctious nature keeps you invested. Especially because Yelchin portrays the lead role. He is snarky, optimistic, troubled and then some – echoing a young Bruce Campbell in the midst of The Evil Dead. Odd Thomas is the ultimate Yelchin role, portraying a supernatural hero who is more than a bit disturbed too. Hilarious a lot of the times and a perfect actor to ease you into the mesh of tones here.
Rest in Peace Anton Yelchin