Saturday, 15 May 2010

Best Actor 1974: Jack Nicholson in Chinatown

Jack Nicholson received his fourth Oscar nomination for playing private detective Jake Gittes who is in way over his head in Chinatown.

Chinatown is a brilliant film noir, that is just about a perfect film. Everything about it is excellent the story, the direction, the music, the look of the film and of course the acting.

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:

10 comments:

Fritz said...

So Jack gets 5 Jacks! :-)


It's been ages since I saw that movie, I really need to see it again!

Sage Slowdive said...

Another performance I love....

Louis Morgan said...

Fritz: Well would he get anything else:)

Sage Slowdive: All three are so good that I am having a hard time determining the results.

Sage Slowdive said...

It's completely understandable!

I think all 3 did wonders with their roles, but for me, Art Carney is simply the one I think was the best.

joe burns said...

I think I'd give him a four or a 4,5/5. What did you think of Dunaway?

Louis Morgan said...

Really only a 4 or 4.5? I liked Dunaway, and I thought she was good.

joe burns said...

Yeah, I didn't like it as much as you did. But I still thought he was terrific!

Tanvir Bashar said...

hey bro ur reviews r great and nicely done but i like to ask you why exactly do u think nicholson in chinatown was better than pacino in godfather 2

Tanvir Bashar said...

Wat wud u rate faye runaways performance out of 5 and why

Anonymous said...

Wat wud u say r ur top ten fav films of all time and actors