“Waiting for the Barbarians,” with an impressive cast including Robert Pattinson, Johnny Depp and Oscar winner Mark Rylance,, is available Friday on VOD. Based on the 1980 novel by J. M. Coetzee (who also adapted the screenplay) the film focuses on an unnamed Magistrate (Rylance) of a frontier settlement whose life is uprooted by the arrival of Colonel Joll (Depp) who, ostensibly sent to keep the peace, ends up destroying it. Pattinson plays Joll’s hardened righthand man, the sort who views empathy as a weakness.
It’s only one of three films Pattinson is set to appear in before the year is over, along with roles in Christopher Nolan’s hotly anticipated and oft-delayed “Tenet” and Antonio Campos’ “The Devil All the Time” and yet another fascinating choice for the actor who regularly seeks out challenging projects and has quietly established himself as a compelling actor and chameleon in roles of all sizes.
Though he broke through in blockbusters like the “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” series, Pattinson almost seems to eschew mainstream entertainment, pursuing lesser-known filmmakers whose work intrigues him and jumping into films made under less than glamorous conditions. In fact, it was somewhat surprising when he was announced to be starring as the Caped Crusader in Matt Reeves’ “The Batman,” even though he perfectly fits the bill/cowl.
As a result, his career has proven to be one of the most fascinating to watch over the years; one would say he enjoys being cast again type, but there really isn’t a Robert Pattinson type – you’d be hard pressed to find Winslow from “The Lighthouse” sharing much in common with the Dauphin of France from “The King.” We took a look at Pattinson’s career up to this point, picking his ten best film performances.