Albert Finney received his second Oscar nomination for playing famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot in Murder on the Orient Express.
The acting in this film has a lot of over the top nature to that, and no one goes more over the top in this movie than Albert Finney. Again I have not seen other portrayals of Poirot so I am basing this solely on his performance and how it works in the film. Finney certainly is mannered here, by arching himself to have his head under his shoulders to look all the stranger. He uses a strange accent that is a bizarre mixture of his own British accent with a Belgianish accent. With all those oddities, I did like his performance actually. It is not subtle or really brilliant but I was entertained by his performance.
An interesting thing is that despite being the lead Finney's character really has very little to him, since I guess the other novels fleshed out Poirot instead. Finney is there as almost a machine just to solve the mystery. He has no personal stories or personal investments in the murder, he is just there to solve it. He does that with his various interrogations, which amount to basically the same thing over and over, but I find Finney makes them entertaining. Then Finney has his last scene involving the long explanation. I do believe Finney puts the right amount of energy into this scene to keep it going, and he almost makes the explanation seem believable. This is not an amazing performance at all, but I enjoyed it enough, and I thought it worked well for the film.