Monday, 31 May 2010

Best Actor 1985: Harrison Ford in Witness

Harrison Ford received his only Oscar nomination for playing Detective Captain John Book in Witness.

Witness is fairly effective thriller which involves a cop hiding out with an Amish witness who saw the murder of a police officer by a corrupt police officer.

Harrison Ford takes on the role of the strong willed good guy in this as he has done in many other films.  Harrison Ford does not give a performance here that is anything that far from his standard action film performance like in Star Wars or in Indiana Jones. Here though Ford seems to strive purposely to tone down the bits of humor he usually adds to these kinds of performances. He instead does try to make it seem like a real man in this situation rather than a less realistic action hero. That is the only major difference though from his usual performance.

Ford does a fine job even though it is a usual job. He helps carry the audience through the thriller. He gives a completely fine leading performance, and Ford puts the usual confidence and effort into the performance. He is always completely watchable and is never boring. He gives his character the proper amount of strength, and succeeds creating a good leading character, something which Ford is usually very capable in doing.

Ford works well contrasting the city world from the Amish world. Ford is effective in showing the difference in the ways of the city people from the rural Amish people. Ford never over plays the sequences that shows the differences between the groups of people, and helps to illustrate this part of the film very well. Ford adds a humor nicely when he does the singing scene and when he says that it is great coffee. He never though does the traditional action hero style humor found in some of his other films.  Ford's performance on a whole though is not that much and is just a standard good performance from Ford. That is certainly not nothing, and it certainly is something not everyone can do, but  at the same time it is not anything overly amazing either.


Fritz said...

I haven't seen this one yet but I am glad that Harrison Ford is an Oscar-nominee!

Anonymous said...

I agree...always thought of him as an actor who gets by on charm.

joe burns said...

I guess he'll come in third or fourth.

Louis Morgan said...

Fritz: I am too.

Sage Slowdive: Yeah he does although I think he does it better than other actors who do the same thing.

Joe Burns: Possibly.

Malcolm said...

I never realized that he was an Oscar nominee! And I'm kind of glad that you liked his only nominated performance.