The Patriot Resource - The Patriot

The Patriot Film Cast: Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson
Character Portrayed in The Patriot: Benjamin Martin

Born: January 3, 1956; Peekskill, New York
Married: June 7, 1980 - December 23, 2011; Robyn Moore; 7 children

Notable Awards and Nominations:
Academy Awards:
- 1996 Best Director Award for Braveheart
- 1996 Best Picture Award for Braveheart
Australian Film Institute:
- 1979 Best Lead Actor Award for Tim
- 1981 Best Lead Actor Award for Gallipoli
- 1983 Best Lead Actor Nomination for The Year of Living Dangerously
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards (BAFTA):
- 1996 Best Director Nomination for Braveheart
- 2007 Best Film Nomination for Apocalypto
Directors Guild of America:
- 1996 Best Director Nomination for Braveheart
Golden Globes:
- 1996 Best Director Award for Braveheart
- 1997 Best Actor in a Drama Nomination for Ransom
- 2001 Best Actor in a Comedy Nomination for What Women Want

In The Patriot
Mel Gibson gives a more than adequate portrayal of Benjamin Martin. Several reviews of The Patriot said that Gibson was just retreading ground that he had already covered in Braveheart, but he's not. Actually, Heath Ledger's Gabriel Martin has more in common with William Wallace than Benjamin Martin does. Gabriel Martin, not Benjamin Martin, is THE Patriot and apparently some critics never realized this.

While Gibson's William Wallace never had a family of his own, the driving force for Benjamin Martin is the preservation of his family. He is willing to compromise his own principles in hopes of protecting his family. The fact that Martin has a family gives Gibson a chance to run through a number of emotions: protectiveness (of his children), helplessness, rage, joy, confidence, doubt, sorrow, resignation, love and satisfaction. He played it mostly with restraint and without melodrama (which the movie still had more than its share of elsewhere). Of course, he does get into action mode as well.

The Patriot is about family. Most of the powerful scenes in this movie are where there is no dialogue and the emotions are just coming through Gibson's face and body language, such as the scene where Benjamin Martin's daughter Susan first refused to say goodbye and then finally speaks to him. What is notable is that many of the stories from behind the scenes tell of how relaxed and laid back Gibson tried to be on-set. He kept the children and extras loose, even before his most emotionally demanding scenes. He even arranged for the nearby Carolina Panther cheerleaders to come to the set and help wish Director Roland Emmerich a happy birthday.

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