Laurence Olivier received his eighth acting nomination out ten for playing Andrew Wyke a strange writer of mysteries who loves games.
Olivier plays Wyke in a way that no one really could have replicated. Olivier in his performances uses a wide range of accents and different voices, something it seems like all he did in many of his later performance, but here he uses them purely for fun. Each accent he throws in is fully enjoyable and just adds a whole lot to his performance. Olivier is clearly having a ton of fun with this performance, and it makes me enjoy it all the more. I am having fun right along with him. He fully realizes Wyke as a character making him incredibly memorable and original, despite being a previously played character.
His playful banter with Caine could not have been better all throughout the film. When Olivier gets serious though he is equally up to the task. When he controls Caine it is fully believable that he would be able to. When he says he is going to kill Caine, Olivier is unbelievably effective and truly chilling. Later when the tables are turned on him, Olivier somehow becomes very sympathetic. He performs a full 360 in this role and I think it all works, every risky gesture, mannerism and accent fully pays off, and Olivier gives a perfect performance that is both entertaining and dramatically compelling. For this he gets: