Jack Nicholson received his fourth Oscar nomination for playing private detective Jake Gittes who is in way over his head in Chinatown.
Jack Nicholson is the third nominee from this year that gives a flawless performance. Nicholson is perfect as Jake Gittes in Chinatown. This is a performance where Nicholson is in his top dramatic and charismatic form. Nicholson creates a unique and interesting private detective even though that type of character has been played millions of times before. Nicholson carries himself with the proper energy and strength throughout the film. He carries the audience through the complicated plot perfectly.
Nicholson again is perfect in every scene, and he properly depends on his natural charisma. He does not over do it, though and still creates the character of Gittes which is more than just Jack Nicholson. Gittes begins the film as a fairly confidant private eye, who successfully finds out if people are having affairs for people. Every scene were Gittes manipulates someone so he can get information or do something else, seems completely realistic because Nicholson is so perfectly charismatic in the role, and brings the film a certain gravity which it might not have been able to attain without him.
I particularly like the scene where the man in the barber shop ridicules Jake's line of work. Nicholson is perfect in his anger and annoyance that anyone would think he was doing something wrong. Gittes attempt to always be right and correct, even when he doesn't know what is going on is always spot on. Nicholson is of course perfect in the final scene, where his plans collapse on him. His final face he gives in looking back at what happens helps in making that ending so memorably tragic. This is not a performance that seems overly difficult from a brief description but Nicholson is always interesting and entertaining. Perhaps the character in the wrong hands could have been off but Nicholson makes Gittes into one of the most memorable characters in cinematic history. He give a great performance and is integral to the film and of course earns: