Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Best Supporting Actor 1993: Ralph Fiennes in Schindler's List

Ralph Fiennes received his first Oscar nomination for playing Nazi commandant Amon Goth in Schindler's List.

Amon Goth certainly was an evil person and he is portrayed as such in Schindler's list. The interesting part though is the fact that Ralph Fiennes never makes him into an other worldly monster but rather a very human monster. Fiennes never for a single moment in his performance goes over the top, nor does he ever do anything the least bit unrealistic or false in his entire performance. Goth is an incredibly challenging and complex character and Fiennes is perfectly up to the task.

Fiennes is always in this performance perfectly chilling as Goth. He is particularly effective because he has the perfect way about him. The way he shows the utter lack of any emotion in his killings is fantastically played by Fiennes. It merely something that Goth can do so he does do it. Fiennes terrifically shows this because he does not ever start screaming or anything when killing, but rather carries it out as a chilling slow and deliberate process. An example being when he makes the speech about the Jews being made into a rumor. He does not say it like a mad man but instead as more of an administrator who is merely doing his job.

The greatest part of his performance though is the way that Fiennes shows that is a man doing this, a seriously disturbed man but a man still. It is perfect how Fiennes allows the viewer a glimpse although a limited glimpse into the psyche of Goth. It is perfect the way he shows that Goth believes that the Jews are evil and can cast spells on people. He does not make this false at all but rather the truth to Goth. I like how he shows that Goeth does have friends and makes friends with Schindler even though his insanity is always clear in some way. One scene I find in particular that is perfect due to Fiennes is when Goth actually goes to save Schindler from the gestapo. It is a strange scene sense in fact the villain saves the hero. Fiennes is just perfect in this scene since he shows a human side who wants to help his friend but still his insane side sense he says the Jew have power over people in the same scene.

His best scenes though, which is saying a lot sense he is great in all his scenes are probably when  he is with his Jewish maid Helen Hirsch. It is brilliant how Fiennes shows Goth deep demented state. He loves Hirsch, yet cannot comprehend how or why he does exactly, so he just determines that she is evil because he cannot face any other reason. His greatest scene at the end though is when Schindler bargains for Hirsch with him. The way he tells that he in some strange way wants to live with Hirsch, is utterly brilliant, and made completely believable by Fiennes. Fiennes is just as brilliant in every scene. He never falters or fails in a role difficult role, he makes not only chilling villain, but a portrait of a deeply complex and disturbed man.


dinasztie said...

Very good review and I agree on all accounts. Fiennes was astonishing, though I need to rewatch the movie.

Anonymous said...

I think he was the best part of that great movie.

Louis Morgan said...

Dinasztie: Thanks.

Sage Slowdive: He certainly was.

Fritz said...

Brilliant performance! Just chilling!

Anonymous said...

Brilliant review of a perfect performance, amazing, I can't believe he's now number 2, I must watch The Killing Fields now.