Don't know where to start when it comes to Ben Mendelsohn? Here's our top picks

Loene Carmen (Freya) and Ben Mendelsohn (Trevor) star in The Year My Voice Broke. Picture: Supplied
Loene Carmen (Freya) and Ben Mendelsohn (Trevor) star in The Year My Voice Broke. Picture: Supplied

Compiling recommended viewing is tricky because, Mendelsohn may be the best thing in a small role but the film hasn't a lot to recommend it.

Ridley Scott's disappointing Exodus: Gods and Kings, in which Mendelsohn plays an Egyptian viceroy, is a case in point.

He is, however, a fine villain in Spielberg's typically polished space adventure, Ready Player One, and in Orson Krennic's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, in which he shows great sartorial panache.

A look backwards at The Big Steal (Nadia Tass, 1990) makes for a charming introduction to the sunny side of the Mendelsohn screen persona.

It is also a very good film, with a sweetness not often found in Australian film these days.

Return Home (Ray Argall, 1990) is also well worth a look, a fine contemplative study of suburban life.

See The Year My Voice Broke (John Duigan, 1987) if you haven't yet.

A landmark film of the early industry revival with Mendelsohn and Noah Taylor when they were just starting out long, light years from their international careers.

Hunt Angels (Alec Morgan, 2006), a docu-drama about an intriguing, entrepreneurial local filmmaker, is a small favourite Mendelsohn film of mine.

Beautiful Kate (Rachel Ward, 2009) is an exquisite, dark family drama with excellent performances from everyone, including Mendelsohn as the emotionally closed patriarch.

He apparently shocked himself by his own performance in Animal Kingdom (David Michod, 2010), that superb noir about a Melbourne crime family.

Mendelsohn makes a strong impression in the early scenes of The Place Beyond the Pines (Derek Cianfrance, 2013).

Not an easy thing to do when playing opposite Ryan Gosling.

In Darkest Hour (Joe Wright, 2017), he appears as the King of England during World War II.

He fully matches the very good performance from Gary Oldman as Churchill.

Mendelsohn is in very good form in the finely tuned drama, The Land of Steady Habits (Nicole Holofcener, 2018), as a wealthy Connecticut businessman who lets his family down.

Mendelsohn, almost a bit too convincing as an ailing monarch in David Michod's latest, The King (2019), is a scene-stealer til his death bed.

This story Going the 'full Mendo' with some of Ben's best first appeared on The Canberra Times.