Monday, 26 July 2010

Best Supporting Actor 2003: Djimon Hounsou in In America

Djimon Hounsou received his first Oscar nomination for portraying Mateo a man with Aids who befriends his Irish immigrant neighbors in In America.

In America is a film I wanted to like more than ended up liking. It has several problems one being that it has a lot of ideas and themes but I never felt it really went very far with any of them.

Hounsou's role as Mateo is pretty simple actually. He has two types of scenes that are his complete performance. One type of scene are his yelling scenes, which he has to do I suppose since he is described as the yelling man in the film. He is fine for most of these scenes just yelling but that really is not any sort of accomplishment. The one scene that technically requires more from him is a scene where he is confronted by the Irish father. He really acts strangely in this scene when he yells he loves everybody. It rings false rather being effective, because Honsou simply over does it.

His other type of scenes are these quiet scenes, which I greatly preferred to his yelling ones. He talks quietly to the little girls of the Irish family quite tenderly. I think he did handle scenes well enough putting the right amount of tenderness and heart in these without over doing it. But still although he is fine in these scenes he is not really amazing in them either. His performance never really fully developed Mateo because he really was only yelling or talking tenderly, he probably should have employed a little more range in his performance to give more depth to his character.

4 comments:

Sage Slowdive said...

Agreed.

joe burns said...

I agree too, although I'd give him two stars, most likely. What did you think of Morton?

Louis Morgan said...

I thought she was okay, but did absolutely nothing special with her performance.

Matt said...

I thought she was okay, but did absolutely nothing special with her performance.