Friday, 25 June 2010

Best Supporting Actor 1976: Ned Beatty in Network

Ned Beatty received his only Oscar nomination for playing chairman of the UBS board Arthur Jensen in Network.
Ned Beatty is an incredibly short nominee, and is only in two scenes. In the first scene he basically says thank you to Robert Duvall's character. Beatty does this well enough I suppose. Then his other scene is where he tells Howard Beale (Peter Finch) the true nature of the world. Beatty's whole performance is this scene. It certainly is a showy scene for him, and he gets his chance to yell back at chronic yeller Howard Beale.

Beatty goes over the top in the scene for sure. He really yells a lot about how everything is equal to money and that the individual has not value. He yells for a little bit than quiets for a moment saying are you getting this to Beale. Beatty is fine in this scene although, not brilliant. The scene works but I really give most of the credit to Finch for his perfect reactionary face.

Beatty just plainly cannot yell as well as Finch does. His yelling does seem to be slightly unnatural, where Finch's seems like a force of nature. Beatty's yelling though is still effective. He is not bad in the role, but I do think he could have been better, and I do feel in his one special scene where he gets to yell so much the scene is still stolen from him.A performance that gets the job done, but again not much more than that.

7 comments:

Sage Slowdive said...

Completely agree...I thought he was the weakest of all the actors in the film.

Fritz said...

I thought he was great but I don't know if I would give him an Oscar for this. But his monologue was thrilling and, for me, on the same level as the others.

joe burns said...

Fine, but not on the level of a nomination.

Michael Patison said...

I completely agree. I've seen this movie at least 5 or 6 times since it's one of my favorites, and I'm always baffled by how he received the Supporting Actor nominations and Robert Duvall did not.

kaejae24 said...

I thought he deserved the Oscar. He doesn't just yell, he becomes the embodiment of what Harold Beale has been preaching and he is also the reason Harold Beale gets killed. You're on television Dummy. In a very weak year for supporting roles, and actually , aside from Best Actor, all the other 3 are pretty weak , he easily is the most memorable in his category. I still quote that speech in my head. Can't remember any of the other 4 - Totally nailed Best Supporting, and to do it in one scene, just like Beatrice Straight, it's even more remarkable

Onemorething said...

I completely befuddled by the criticism here. Ned Beatty played the part expertly and may I add to the show the absurditly truth about what's driving the show business..underscoring business to the non believers. His peers recognized his contribution and nominated him for Best Supporting Actor..and I stress here this were times where actors were actually given awards when they honestly deserved it, not today's pity votes. If you talk about among all the epic performances, the weakest was Duvall. It was 2 dimensional. William Devane or Jack Cassidy

Onemorething said...

Absolutely! Ned Beatty was damn good and expertly flowing with confidence