Sunday, 27 June 2010

Best Supporting Actor 1976: Jason Robards in All the President's Men

Jason Robards won his first Oscar from his first Oscar nomination for portraying editor of the Washington Post Ben Bradlee in All the President's Men.

All the President's men is a fascinating film that follows reporters Woodward and Bernstein as they uncover secrets about the Watergate break in and find connects to the White House.

Robards plays the chief editor who comes in and out of the story, and is another performance from this year who has very limited screen time. Robards does actually seem like Ben Bradlee and carries the right quality throughout the film. He always commands the right presence as Bradlee, and never fails to seem like he really is the head of a newspaper. Robards commands in that sense in every scene he is, and creates that personality that simply dominates even with more emotional men around. A great moment early on is his editing of the two's story in silence, and Robards exudes that power without question.

Robards gives a performance that makes an impact in every second in which he appears. He is never dull but Robards knows his character's importance. Although there isn't a direct focus on the personal struggle Robards quietly finds small moments to reveal the personal investment of the man while still directly commanding his boys essentially. He gives the right amount of support to Hoffman and Redford and technically he is the definition of a supporting performance here. Robards though supports with both a certain sense of genuine support but also the incisiveness of criticism. When he tells them they better not screw up again Robards delivers the line flawlessly as he portrays almost a definite menace as it being the truth, while never raising his voice still showing that Bradley cares about the story and his journalists. It's terrific stand out work, even if it is perhaps not the single best supporting performance in the film it is a very good one. 

5 comments:

Sage Slowdive said...

Probably a 2 1/2 from me...bad, no, good, not really.

joe burns said...

Haven't seen him, well I might have seen some of it, but I never finished All The President's Men.

Louis Morgan said...

You should finish watching it Joe. By the way what did you think of Meredith?

joe burns said...

Okay, and I think I like him more now since reading your review, but I wouldn't have given him the win.

Louis Morgan said...

I always glad to hear when my writing helps shed new light on a performance.