Sunday, 3 May 2015

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 1990: Results

5. Armand Assante in Q & A - Assante gives a decent enough performance as a confident mob boss, but the film gives him very little room to explore his character.

Best Scene: The final Q & A.
4. Albert Finney in Miller's Crossing - A brilliantly stylized performance as he plays the role as a classic 30's gangster although he carefully finds depth in the role never becoming merely a caricature.

Best Scene: "Danny Boy"
3. Robert De Niro in Goodfellas - De Niro gives one of his best performance finding charisma of a suave gangster while never holding back in depicting the true violent nature of the man.

Best Scene: The phone booth.
2. Gary Oldman in State of Grace  - Gary Oldman rises well above his material with his energetic as well as somewhat psychotic yet oh so sympathetic depiction of a gangster who fights for the neighborhood he grew up in.

Best Scene: Waiting for the phone call.
1. Harry Dean Stanton in Wild At Heart - The great character actor Harry Dean Stanton gives an outstanding performance that is both hilarious and heartbreaking while being just so unassuming. I have to admit this was a great year and really I could scramble my top five any which way and I'd be fine with it.

Best Scene: His final scene.
Overall Rank:
  1. Joe Pesci in Goodfellas
  2. Harry Dean Stanton in Wild At Heart
  3. Gary Oldman in State of Grace
  4. Robert De Niro in Goodfellas
  5. Albert Finney in Miller's Crossing
  6. Richard Farnsworth in Misery
  7. Willem Dafoe Wild At Heart
  8. Jon Polito in Miller's Crossing
  9. Raul Julia in Presumed Innocent
  10. John Goodman in Arachnophobia
  11. Thomas F. Wilson in Back to the Future III
  12. Raul Julia in The Rookie
  13. Paul Sorvino in Goodfellas 
  14. Tom Towles in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
  15. Bruce Davison in Longtime Companion
  16. Ralph Foody in Home Alone
  17. Ian Holm in Hamlet
  18. Roberts Blossom in Home Alone
  19. J.E. Freeman in Wild At Heart 
  20. Elias Koteas in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  21. Joseph Mazzello in Presumed Innocent
  22. Ed Harris in State of Grace 
  23. Michael Keaton in Pacific Heights
  24. Frank Vincent in Goodfellas 
  25. John Hurt in The Field
  26. Crispin Glover in Wild At Heart
  27. Hector Elizondo in Pretty Woman
  28. John Candy in Home Alone
  29. Michael Ironside in Total Recall
  30. Joe Pesci in Home Alone
  31. Daniel Stern in Home Alone 
  32. John Glover in Gremlins 2 
  33. Steve Bisley in The Big Steal
  34. Vincent Schiavelli in Ghost
  35. Joe Viterelli in State of Grace
  36. Vincent Price in Edward Scissorhands
  37. Paul Winfield in Presumed Innocent
  38. Alan Bates in Hamlet
  39. Burgess Meredith in Rocky V
  40. George C. Scott in The Rescuers Down Under
  41. Scott Glenn in The Hunt For Red October
  42. Brian Dennehey in Presumed Innocent
  43. Dustin Hoffman in Dick Tracy
  44. Andy Garcia in The Godfather Part III
  45. Marshall Napier in The Big Steal
  46. Pat Hingle in The Grifters
  47. Eli Wallach in The Godfather Part III
  48. Michael Gross in Tremors
  49. Armand Assante in Q & A
  50. Michael Imperioli in Goodfellas
  51. Al Pacino in Dick Tracy
  52. Burgess Meredith in State of Grace 
  53. Max von Sydow in Awakenings
  54. J.T. Walsh in The Grifters
  55. James Earl Jones in The Hunt for Red October
  56. Joe Mantegna in The Godfather Part III
  57. John Amos in Die Hard 2 
  58. Stephen Dillane in Hamlet
  59. Frank DiLeo in Goodfellas
  60. Sam Neil in The Hunt for Red October
  61. Sean Bean in The Field
  62. William Sadler in Die Hard 2
  63. Timothy Spall in White Hunter Black Heart
  64. David Strathairn in Memphis Belle
  65. Frank Sivero in Goodfellas
  66. Stephen Tobolowsky in Bird on a Wire 
  67. Tom Skerritt in The Rookie
  68. Alun Armstrong in White Hunter Black Heart
  69. Fred Ward in Tremors
  70. Ronny Cox in Total Recall
  71. William Atherton in Die Hard 2
  72. Sam Rockwell in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  73. Ralph Bellamy in Pretty Woman
  74. John C. Reilly in State of Grace
  75. Sab Shimono in Presumed Innocent
  76. George Dzundza in White Hunter Black Heart
  77. John Heard in Home Alone
  78. Robert Prosky in Gremlins 2 
  79. Christopher Lloyd in Ducktales The Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp
  80. Kevin Clash in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  81. John Spencer in Presumed Innocent
  82. Mark Lamos in Longtime Companion
  83. Tim Curry in The Hunt For Red October
  84. John Turturro in State of Grace
  85. Richard Gant in Rocky V
  86. John Lithgow in Memphis Belle 
  87. Paul Sorvino in Dick Tracy
  88. William Hickey in My Blue Heaven
  89. Mako in Pacific Heights
  90. Bill Duke in Bird on a Wire
  91. Alan Arkin in Edward Scissorhands 
  92. Robert Picardo in Gremlins 2
  93. David Carradine in Bird on a Wire
  94. Gary Busey in Predator 2
  95. Devin Ratray in Home Alone
  96. Nathaniel Parker in Hamlet
  97. Luis Guzman in Q & A
  98. Graham Greene in Dances With Wolves
  99. Charles S. Dutton in Q & A
  100. Ned Beatty in Captain America
  101. Anthony Michael Hall in Edward Scissorhands 
  102. Charlie Korsmo in Dick Tracy
  103. John Turturro in Miller's Crossing
  104. Campbell Scott in Longtime Companion 
  105. Gailard Sartain in Ernest Goes to Jail
  106. Darren McGavin in Captain America 
  107. Robert Sean Leonard in Mr. And Mrs. Bridge
  108. Gilbert Gottfried in Look Who's Talking Too
  109. Tom Berenger in The Field  
  110. Julian Sands in Arachnophobia
  111. Vincent Perez in Cyrano de Bergerac
  112. Charles Napier in Ernest Goes to Jail
  113. Dennis Franz in Die Hard 2
  114. Ronny Cox in Captain America
  115. Ian Bannen in Ghost Dad
  116. J.E. Freeman in Miller's Crossing
  117. Charles Rocket in Dances With Wolves
  118. Patrick Cassidy in Longtime Companion 
  119. Burt Young in Rocky V
  120. Gerry Bamman in Home Alone
  121. Jason Alexander in Pretty Woman 
  122. Richard Tyson in Kindergarten Cop
  123. Scott Paulin in Captain America 
  124. Ray Baker in Heart Condition
  125. Tony Goldwyn in Ghost
  126. Sage Stallone in Rocky V
  127. Pepe Serna in The Rookie
  128. Rip Taylor in Ducktales The Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp
  129. Patrick O'Neal in Q & A
  130. Tommy Morrison in Rocky V
Next Year: 1936 Lead

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 1990: Armand Assante in Q & A

Armand Assante did not receive an Oscar nomination, despite being nominated for a Golden Globe, for portraying Roberto 'Bobby Tex' Texador.

When Q & A began I thought I was potentially watching a hidden gem, after all it's directed by Sidney Lumet, as it appeared it was going to be a well written story about a young assistant district attorney Al Reilly (Timothy Hutton) trying to uncover the truth behind an extremely corrupt police officer Lt. Mike Brennan (Nick Nolte). Well I suppose it is about that, but after all it is directed by Sidney Lumet who could make a terrible film just as readily as a masterpiece. After about the half hour mark it became obvious it was going to be closer to a Morning After than the Verdict. Just like the Morning After it has a terribly out of place score, and ends having the subtly of a jack hammer. After all it throws in stuff about racial discrimination, which could be fine, but the problem is it feels thrown in. I think everything became clear, what type of movie it was going to be, when suddenly Hutton's character was accused of being racist by his old girlfriend in such a terribly written way that I knew where the film was headed. Well actually it was even before that where Assante's character accuses Al of bringing him in for questioning only because that ex-girlfriend is his current girlfriend. 

Well anyways Armand Assante plays another criminal, back to the theme of the year. A rather poorly defined drug dealer who we meet in that interrogation scene. He does not say much other than try to look like the calm and cool sort of gangster type. Well Assante walks in then runs back out and we see essentially the way Assante will play the part. All that I've seen from Assante it is kinda similar style where he's a bit flamboyant to say the least. He's always kinda moving a bit even when he's standing still and he seems to purposefully accentuate every line he gets. Well this sort of approach might not always work but it does work well enough here since it is a natural fit for Texador who just kinda does things his own way. Assante brings enough of a charismatic incisiveness to the role as he verbally beats down Al's early on, and it sets up the toughness of the character well enough. Well that means we're going to get more of Texador's character and find out what really makes him unique.

Well we don't really get that all we get is watching him attempt to avoid being murdered by the out of control Mike Brennan by first pooling other people on his hit list then going to Al to take him down. I suppose Assante has the most consistent writing behind him in that Texador always seems to be the same person we met in his first scene, but then again the film actually does strangely little with him. He kinda goes from scene to scene just saying "Mike Brennan has to be stopped and here's how". It is a doubled edged sword in that he gets avoid some of the ludicrous, or terrible moments that the other performs must endure, but that's only because he's used so little. It's very repetitive until he gets blown up on a yacht which came off as unintentionally funny to me and really should have ended with Nick Nolte saying "Ain't I a Stinker". Assante does just fine with what he has to work with. He brings the right confidence and calm in creating the cool gangster, the film just does not given him anywhere to go with it. I liked his performance but I'm not sure if it was even possible to love it.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 1990: Harry Dean Stanton in Wild At Heart

Harry Dean Stanton did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Johnnie Farragut in Wild At Heart.

Wild At Heart is another neurotic erotic thriller from David Lynch about young lovers Lula (Laura Dern) and Sailor (Nicolas Cage) on the run from the wraith of Lula's mother Marietta (Diane Ladd) who wants Sailor dead. It never maintains the heights found in Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive, as it never feels as cohesive. Nevertheless it certainly has some brilliant scenes and it has to at least be described as interesting.

The lead of Lynch's films of this style often is a straight man of sorts to play off the oddity of everything else particularly in the cases of Kyle MacLachlan in Blue Velvet and Bill Pullman in Lost Highway. That's not the case here with Nicolas Cage giving a bizarre turn himself through his Elvis Presley inspired work. The closest we seem to get in this film is from the character actor of character actors Harry Dean Stanton. Of course he's still fairly far in terms of how the role is written, but Stanton take on the part does seem to make him fulfill the role a bit. Stanton plays a police detective who is recruited by Marietta to track down Sailor and Lula. Of course the reason he is able to be recruited by her is that Johnnie is in love Mariette, which keeps his character a bit absurd as well since he can't see through, not to mention he too has a few Lynchian moments in there. Nevertheless Stanton gives a pretty unassuming performance though as he presents Johnnie as kinda a classic sort of gumshoe. Stanton's manner reflects this so well with that perfect harried look of the hardworking detective.

Now Stanton's approach could not work better as he acts as a very much needed buffer against Ladd's extremely over the top performance. Stanton is hilarious as he stays so downplay against her while not necessarily portraying his own reactions as wholly realistic. That's fine though as Stanton in that is so good at showing the way Johnnie tries to deal with the crazy woman that he loves for some reason. Stanton's great because he plays it as though Johnnie sees her as basically a sane woman who has to be corrected on a few things. He's especially funny when trying to explain to her that Sailor is not a murderer because the man was going to attack him with a knife, an assassin sent by Mariette. Stanton's terrific because he so gently tries to correct her on this point as though she's genuinely messed about it's just marvelous. Stanton really brings this wonderful sweetness to his performance because he portrays Johnnie as so honest in his affections for Mariette. Stanton's earnestness about it plays particularly well off of Ladd who does not make a secret that Mariette is clearly playing Johnnie every step of the way. 

Every scene that Stanton shows up, well until his last one, is a hoot because of his characterization of Johnnie as such a sweetheart towards Mariette. One of my favorite moments is early on as Johnnie tells Mariette not to call about her criminal connections to deal with Sailor, as Stanton is so moving as Johnnie by portraying just how hurt he is even thinking that Mariette does not return his love. Stanton is so brilliantly tragic in the role because he manages to be so amusing portraying Johnnie method of dealing with her, but with a real heart behind it. The concern, when Mariette alludes to something being seriously wrong only over the phone, is so pure in Stanton's performance, as is the enthusiasm in their last scene together when Mariette seems to finally want to be with him. Of course this love story is not the love story of the film since Mariette does not love poor Johnny going so far as to sell him out leaving him at the hands of the darkest elements of the film. This takes Johnny to be beaten down in a hotel room and unfortunately for Johnnie that is not the end of it leading Stanton's final scene which may be the very best scene in the film.

The scene is pure horror from its strange setting, to the ominous music playing throughout, to a horrifying performance by Grace Zabriskie, and of course there is poor Johnnie in the middle of it being tied to a chair forced to watch it all. Stanton's silent work here shows exactly how incredible of an actor he really is. He first begins as the straight man of sorts as he watches in almost complete disbelief at what it is that he is seeing, and there is some humor still left from this dead pan act. This does not last for long though as Stanton only brings out the terror of the scene all the more by reflecting it so fully through his expression. Then to end it all Stanton is absolutely heartbreaking as Stanton portrays the final sad realization in Johnnie about his fate. Stanton, for me anyways, was the most consistent thing in the film as his scenes always have something worthwhile that being him. Stanton's performance works so well within the film as he plays into the style so effortlessly while still keeping honest emotions in his character. Of course I love Stanton here though, I mean it's Harry Dean Stanton with an actual part, the man who can make something special out of almost nothing.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 1990: Albert Finney in Miller's Crossing

Albert Finney did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Leo in Miller's Crossing.

Miller's Crossing on re-watch did improve for me. It's still far from my favorite Coen brother's film, and a major villain, the Dane, is a bit weak (which probably would not have been a problem if Peter Stormare, the original choice, had played the part), but on a whole it's pretty good gangster film.

Like many of the Coen brother's films the film takes a risk in having an overt style that spreads to all facets of the film including the acting. Now this did not work all to well for them a few years later in the Hudsucker Proxy where the best performance was given by Paul Newman simply because he did not try to play the part in the style of a 40's screwball comedy. Well here the take is that of a 30's gangster picture and perhaps this is most noticeable in the performance I'm focusing on here by Albert Finney as the crime boss of the town, yep focusing on yet another mobster which I believe is the theme for the supporting actors of 1990. This performance is quite a bit different from Gary Oldman in State of Grace and Robert De Niro in Goodfellas though because Finney chooses to play the part with this very specific style. Finney uses a particularly booming voice, really not at all unlike Ralph Foody's gangster voice from Angels with Filth Souls in Home Alone, that seems to come right from that old style of picture. In addition just the way he sits and leans on his desk in that opening scene seems to come right out from the past once more.

Now all of this could add up to nothing or become grating, as some of the acting can be with this sort of approach when done wrong. Finney though is just brilliant in the realization of this style. In terms of the simple points of it Finney amplifies the whole atmosphere of the film with his work which seems to fits so well into the setting that the Coen's have constructed. I suppose most importantly though Finney is incredibly entertaining and it is fun to watch him as Leo. It's enjoyable to simply watch him perform as the character. I especially love the whole "Danny Boy" shoot out where Finney aptly fulfills the job of a 1930's gangster badass. Every movement in the way Finney conducts himself is perfection in terms of creating Leo as the character he should be for this sort of story. Of course all of this this plays into the key of Finney's work here which is though this is a performance that's fun to watch but this is not a comic performance by Finney. Finney does plays the part with a lot of style but he does not go too far with the style. He does not let the style overwhelm to the point that is all there is, and Finney never uses the style to override the need to give depth to the character.

In this regards Finney is also terrific since he essentially leaves enough room to develop Leo beyond just his gangster style. Finney is interesting in that on the surface he brings the needed commanding presence to go along with his gangster style. Within in that though Finney is excellent in bringing a though strong vein of vulnerability to Leo. It is not anything that Finney plays on as overt that would completely compromise Leo's position. Instead Finney keeps it an understated yet so very effective compromise in Leo, that is needed to explain why Leo makes the decision that technically creates the conflict in the film. That decision being refusing to let the head of the rival mob Johnny Caspar (Jon Polito) kill a despicable bookie Bernie (John Turturro) because Leo is in love with Bernie's sister Verna (Marcia Gay Harden). Of course really Leo is being manipulated by Verna completely, but Fineny gives a why to this as he expresses just how infatuated with her he really is. Finney's particularly fantastic in the scene where his right hand man Tom (Gabriel Byrne) reveals he's been having an affair with Verna. Although Leo beats down Tom with a tough guy manner Finney portrays a devastation in Leo, showing just how meaningful the relationship is to him even though it is not to her.

Finney is outstanding here as he finds just the right tone exactly in which to play Leo, and I'd say he matches the style the film seems to be going for better than anyone else in the supporting cast. It's an incredible display of giving a pronounced style to his character, while never seeming to merely become a caricature. Really one of my problems with the film is that Leo exits the film not even quite half way through before reappearing for one last final scene. This is not even necessarily much of a criticism at what is there instead of Leo, but rather it's shame there is not more of Finney's great performance. Now to Finney's credit he certainly keeps Leo alive in the proceedings thanks to the considerable impact he makes in the first third where the majority of his screen time takes place. It is not until the very last scene of the film that he returns, but thanks once again to his earlier work it is an especially welcome one as Finney always manages to make the victory a satisfying one as he makes Leo such an oddly endearing gangster. Finney does not lose anything by his somewhat limited screen time though as he maintains his presence throughout. He makes Leo one of the most memorable aspects of the film as Finney works so eloquently with the material here. This is a performance I just love to watch and is the very best that I've seen from Finney.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 1990: Gary Oldman in State of Grace

Gary Oldman did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Jackie Flannery in State of Grace.

State of Grace is an effective though flawed film, since it never seems to be quite sure what type of film it wants to be, about a young man Terry (Sean Penn) returning to his old neighborhood to be part of the local mobster scene, although his motivations are not quite what they appear to be.

Well from one mobster to another. This time an Irish American mobster played by Gary Oldman, who really is the movie. Always the chameleon Gary Oldman once again proves these skills once again with his accent and manner he brings to Jackie. Oldman fits right in with the actually American actors, but in addition to that some how he actually seems more authentic in creating a criminal from Hell's Kitchen than some of the other actors do. Oldman just is absolutely alive here in his performance from the first scene where Penn's Terry goes to reconnect with Jackie at a bar. Oldman is brilliant in creating this sort of mobster as he brings such a constant energy portraying the lively manner in which Jackie handles his life. Oldman portrays him effectively as a technically a single minded sort of man who views his life, which involves plenty of criminal activity, simply as the way he lives. Oldman brings such a compelling manic quality that expresses so well the way in which Jackie lives his life which is essentially take actions first and never really even bother to think about it.

The tone Oldman strikes up for the character really is quite remarkable. On one side Oldman does makes Jackie perhaps somewhat psychopathic as he really does not bat his eye at violence performed by himself or anyone else. Oldman in addition very much carries that propensity for violence as he carries always an intensity within himself. There is always a bit of spark in Oldman's performance and he makes it a constant that Jackie is a bit of a wild card even within his brother (Ed Harris)'s criminal organization. This is not a villainous performance though by any means, although this somewhat plays into the film's lack of defining what exactly it's going for Oldman in no way falters with his performance. Oldman happens in really the same situations to make Jackie a surprisingly likable character. Part of the reason for this perhaps is that Oldman plays Jackie as perhaps the most honest character in the film, in that he technically has no secrets. An early twist in the film is a reveal that Penn's Terry is an undercover cop, which is one weaker aspects of the film. A conflict does come from this really because how well Oldman realizes Jackie as a character.

One element of the character that may not have worked in lesser hands is that Jackie is seen through a slightly heroic lens, even though he's a guy who plays around with severed hands and does not hesitate to brutally murder people. Oldman though creates this pivotal facet of the character brilliantly though. In the scenes where Jackie talks about the importance of the neighborhood staying the way it is there is this strong passion that Oldman brings and it only ever feels like a genuine desire. What is so unique about it is that Oldman manages to not make this a selfish desire in the man as there is such an oddly honorable quality that Oldman brings to it when Jackie speaks about seeing the way the neighborhood is being changed by developments and the Italian mob. Oldman only adds to this in the scenes where Jackie reacts to a murder of his friend. Oldman is very moving as he portrays the real loss in Jackie and that he no way will forget what happened to his friend. In a later scene when Jackie decides to brutally dispense his justice on some Italian mobsters, Oldman brings forward a palatable anger, making the killings not for himself, rather for the death of his friend.

This is an outstanding performance by Gary Oldman as he consistently covers for weaknesses within the film. One being Terry's dilemma about being an undercover cop which would meaningless if it were not for how sympathetic Oldman manages to make Jackie despite the character's many personal shortcomings. The amazing thing though is Oldman is the one who ramps up the tension of the film especially in one sequence where a hit is dependent on a phone call. Oldman portrayal of Jackie's refusal to stay idle ratchets up the pressure of the moment incredibly well, once again making up for the film that easily could have faltered without him. Now the only problem here is that Jackie is the supporting character and the film weakens whenever he is off screen. This is particularly problematic in the very last act of the film where it really runs out of steam because Oldman has made his exit. Of course neither of those in any relate to a problem with his performance, instead they just show how good his work in this film is. This is simply one of those great supporting performances that makes the film to the point that you really wish it had simply been about that character.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 1990: Robert De Niro in Goodfellas

Robert De Niro did not receive an Oscar nomination, despite being nominated for a Bafta, for portraying Jimmy Conway in Goodfellas.

Goodfellas marks Robert De Niro's sixth collaboration with director Martin Scorsese and it is notable that it is the first time since their first collaboration, Mean Streets, where he does not have the leading role. Although a few critics groups and the Baftas placed him lead, I would most likely because he's Robert De Niro, since obviously the lead of the film is Ray Liotta as Henry Hill. Like in Mean Streets though De Niro perhaps has the most influential character in terms of the progression of the story. The first time Jimmy appears in the film in chronological order it is essentially as a big shot among gangsters at a party. De Niro being no stranger to playing the mob type fits into the role with the sort of ease you'd expect. As Jimmy in this scene though he brings that overt charisma to the man and creates Jimmy's presence in the moments which is much stronger than pretty much any other mobster of the group. De Niro establishes Jimmy as a man who does things his way and realizes him as the sort of guy the young Henry would aspire to be.

De Niro carries himself particularly well in the scenes where he takes the young Henry as well as the young Tommy DeVito under his wing. De Niro carries himself with almost a fatherly grace as he shows the boys the ropes even more as he runs his various criminal operations. De Niro shows Jimmy to seem like such a generous man at first as he has people doing exactly what he wants them to do for him, but we seen soon enough that it is hardly all there is to Jimmy. The first scene that perhaps makes the abundantly clear is when someone who owns Jimmy money keeps dodging the questions and even openly acts defiantly towards Jimmy. De Niro is great in the scene as he pretty much breaks down to exactly what Jimmy is behind his nice suits and his genial demeanor to those who serve his interests, which is a thug. De Niro plays it in a particularly uncompromising fashion as he shows Jimmy to bluntly brutal in the way he roughs up the man for paying up. There's no warmth, not even any reserve, its a direct violent outburst from a man who's simply not getting what he wants out of him. 

De Niro, Liotta, and Pesci as Tommy are particularly good together in just portraying the camaraderie between the three. They are terrific together in bringing such an authentic feeling ease they have together as the three enjoy all their life has to offer. They are good in their moments of enjoyment, even when ribbing one another over slight things, and what so remarkable is how they show essentially the little things in the life of the wiseguy. De Niro and Pesci are very interesting together in that as Pesci realizes the overt psychopathy of Tommy while De Niro is quite good as he shows that Jimmy really not far from Tommy in terms of nature he just happens to be better at utilizing his violent tendencies in a "useful" fashion. De Niro brings that same sort intense violent glee along Pesci when Jimmy goes about helping Tommy kill a mobster who insulted Tommy. De Niro and Pesci together are brilliant in the way they realize the very dark nature of the mobster as a man by doing it in such a convincing and casual fashion. They really are quite evil, they just happen to be able to get along in a normal way simply because of their position in the mob.

One of his best scenes is when it appears as though Tommy is about to be a made man, something Henry and Jimmy can't become because they are not pure Italian. De Niro is outstanding in the scene as he manages to create some sympathy for the psychopathic Tommy through first bringing such genuine enthusiasm as he waits for the news only to bring such honest grief when things don't go as planned. That's what so good about De Niro here as he so eloquently is able to believably show all these different facets of Jimmy while keeping him as one man. In addition De Niro actually creates some of the most chilling moments because of his creation of Jimmy's nature like this. The section that of the film that follows most closely on De Niro is after a gigantic heist masterminded by Jimmy, but for some reason every man on the job wants to try to screw up afterwards. There is one amazing moment from De Niro, as it's a silent reaction shot, but in his face you can see his mind planning the death of everyone who is trying to screw up his idea for the money from the heist. De Niro makes Jimmy especially dangerous through the way he specifically conveys his maliciousness which only makes itself known when completely necessary. The scene where he asks Henry's wife to look a dress, although clearly planning something else for her, is particularly unnerving because again De Niro keeps up a generous spirit with Jimmy while in those eyes there's that glint again of his true nature. This perhaps De Niro's best collaboration Scorsese as he knows exactly how to work within the film. He allows other actors to shine when they have their moments, amplifying their work with his own assured performance, giving so much more texture in certain scenes just by sometimes being in the background. When it is his time though De Niro delivers every moment and creates a fascinating portrait of Jimmy Conway.

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 1990

And the Nominees Were Not:

Albert Finney in Miller's Crossing

Armand Assante in Q & A

Robert De Niro in Goodfellas

Harry Dean Stanton in Wild At Heart

Gary Oldman in State of Grace