2. Archangel (2005)

This BBC TV-movie is so obscure that I can't actually find a picture of Macht in it to run in this article - but it is absolutely worth seeking out. Based on the page-turner of a novel by Robert Harris (who also wrote The Ghost, which was later adapted into the Pierce Brosnan movie The Ghost Writer), it stars Daniel Craig as historian "Fluke" Kelso, who digs up more about Stalin than he ever wanted to know. And for a TV-movie, it's as good as anything you'd see on the big screen.

Here's the piece of work where I became a Gabriel Macht fan. He plays R.J. O'Brian, a news reporter who, in the book, was so insufferable I found myself wanting to punch him in the face. I hated him and was not looking forward to seeing him in the film. I was honestly surprised, then, that as Macht played him, I actually ended up liking O'Brian and caring what happened to him. That's great talent: to take a character and make him even better than he was on the page.

O'Brian is still the aggressive would-be star journalist that he is in the book; Macht doesn't pull him away from the source material. Where he impressed me was that he really fleshed out the character. I understood why O'Brian was the jerk that he could be, and how he thought, and that made me empathize with him. As he did with Seale in Bad Company, Macht takes a character who doesn't necessarily have a lot of material, and you wouldn't be able to tell that by the end result that he creates.

Not to mention that it says something about an actor who can hold his own with future James Bond himself, Daniel Craig. Macht is working with another top-flight actor in an adaptation of an outstanding book: this is an underrated film that needs to be seen by more people, especially those who are Macht fans.

Archangel is available on DVD.

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