Monday, 29 March 2010

Best Actor 1972: Michael Caine in Sleuth

Michael Caine received his second nomination of six for playing Milo Tindle an Italian/English hairdresser who is having an affair with a strange mystery writer's wife.

Sleuth follows the story of the hairdresser and the writer who play a series of very odd games with one another.

Here I will mention that my review will have spoilers since I do not think I could completely review this performance without talking about the twists in the film. Caine in Sleuth goes up against Laurence Olivier and their work together is positively compelling. They really do not try to up show each other but rather they work together on the scenes to make them work.

Caine starts out as Tindle without knowing what he is getting into.  You get to know him well as he tells of how his father failed as a watch maker, and how Tindle stands as a man because of the way he just talks about by his own biography.Tindle next becomes part of an elaborate plot to steal the writer's jewels so they can both make a profit. Both of the men have incredibly fun in this scene where Caine dresses like a clown. I felt they allowed the audience to have in on the fun  because I did not think Caine over did his own joy but handled it just right to let the audience in. 

The joy ends when the writer Wyke pulls a gun on Tindle with the intention to murder. This is where Caine gets completely emotionally vulnerable. I really felt for his character and Caine sold the pain as real as possible.

Caine then comes out with his dual role of sorts as one Inspector Doppler. I myself suspected the inspector as a fake instantly but that was not Caine's fault, because I knew there were only two actors in the film. He gives us a nice character as Doppler and I found the inspector interesting and amusing and it just added to Caine's overall performance. After the Doppler charade though Caine makes a big change in character to a self proclaimed murderer. Here Caine takes over and his performance is just brilliant his coldness is just perfect and his mocking of Wyke could not have been done better. A performance that I felt only got better with another viewing. Caine gets


Tom said...

This is such a good movie. I need to see it again. When I first saw it many years ago, I didn't know it was Caine playing the inspector.

Louis Morgan said...

I probably would have not been suspicious at all if, I had not had that blasted previous knowledge.