Friday, 14 May 2010

Best Actor 1974: Al Pacino in The Godfather Part 2

Al Pacino received his third Oscar nomination for again playing Michael Corleone the head of the Corleone crime family in the Godfather Part 2.

The Godfather Part 2 is of course the sequel to the great Godfather. I believe Part 2 is a successful sequel, although I don't believe it is better than the original as some believe. It still obviously is a great film with some great performances.

The greatest being Al Pacino's performance as Michael Corleone. Michael now is cold and a much darker man than he was at the beginning of the first one. His transformation though is not fully complete and that is part of the brilliance of this performance. Michael begins in this fully in control of the Corleone family. Pacino shows very well the cold calculating character of Michael now. The way his face conveys that he is always business and always determined to succeed. He has no joy in his work here but only determination for power.

It is interesting to compare how Pacino handles Micheal early dealing compared to how Brando handles Vito's dealings. Pacino is always cold and proficient. He always seems fully in charge as Michael and all to intelligent. Nothing causes him to accept defeat, Pacino completely convinces us of his nature. Michael never seems to be acting cold, and dark, but instead that is merely what he is. Pacino is perfect at completely establishing Michael as a fully realized person.

Pacino is great throughout the film but he has some particular stand out scenes that show the brilliance of his performance. Such as when he realizes Fredo's betrayal and then when he tells Fredo of the betrayal. Both scenes Pacino excels and creates incredibly effective scenes. Also the scene where Kay tells Micheal about the abortion. Pacino face as he realizes what she is saying is incredible. Finally the last scene where it shows the differences between the young Micheal and the current Micheal. Pacino makes the transition of the character believable, and fully memorable. Pacino performance is essential for the film, and  Pacino does absolutely nothing wrong in this performance and is simply perfect. It is a performance that is hard describe because of the withdrawn nature of so much of it, but it is a perfect and unforgettable performance.

10 comments:

Sage Slowdive said...

Another performance I love immensely...

Louis Morgan said...

It certainly is a strong year.

Fritz said...

Brilliant movie. Brilliant performance. Great write-up!

Louis Morgan said...

Thanks Fritz!

joe burns said...

Great! I think he might be your pick............

Malcolm said...

He was absolutely great!

I hope he gets this. Anyway, do you think Pacino deserved an Oscar for the Part 1? And in what category, supporting or lead?

joe burns said...

Off-topic, but I know you said you couldn't do 1969 because Anne Of The Thousand Days wasn't avaliable, but I found a link! Here it is:http://www.movies-links.tv/s/anne_of_the_thousand_days.html

Louis Morgan said...

Malcolm: He was lead and I would have nominated him, but I really liked Laurence Olivier in Sleuth.

Joe Burns: Thanks Joe.

Tanvir Bashar said...

Hey Louis wat wud u say pacinos top 5 best performances

Louis Morgan said...

1. Dog Day Afternoon
2. Godfather Part 1
3. Godfather Part 2
4. Glengarry Glen Ross
5. Scarecrow