Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Best Supporting Actor 1961: George Chakiris in West Side Story

George Chakiris won an Oscar from his only nomination for portraying Bernardo, leader of the sharks, in West Side Story.

West Side Story is a film that I will admit holds my interest well watching it, even though there are many clear flaws in the film.

George Chakiris does two things well enough in the film, which I will say before I get to everything he does not do so well. He dances well he is right on step, and does not do anything wrong with that. Also he sings well enough, not amazingly but he is fine. Now how about his acting, well that is where the problems come from. Chakiris plays the leader of the Sharks, a rather cockey man, who hates the Jets and its members,. He has problems with America and Americans. This is the way Bernado is written and that is all Chakiris attempts for. He does nothing to even try to show more of Bernado than what is written, but again this is not his biggest problem.

His biggest problem is that he fails even to meet the written requirements of Bernado's character. He never seems really cocky to me, more of someone trying to be so. Which is surprising that the was unable to do something so simply as that. Now he never is believable in any other way such as his hatred of the Jets, he just does not really seem believable as a gang leader. He is never interesting or even really entertaining, the biggest thing which contributes to this is his incredibly dull line readings. Everything he says is just boringly said by him with little emotion shown even in scenes which are suppose to be incredibly intense. He never satisfies the needs of the part even, which to tell you the truth is not very much, and even if he did satisfy the needs of the part he still would be an undeserving winner. He adds nothing to the part and cannot even fulfill it, clearly a performance I do not like. He only dances well and sings fine that's it.

4 comments:

Sage Slowdive said...

Don't think I would go that low, but this was nowhere Oscar worthy.

I wonder if he rode the sweep of West Side Story that year...

joe burns said...

No an Oscar-worthy performance at all! Just dull work! Tamblyn was better, do you agree?

Louis Morgan said...

Yeah I thought he was better, although I probably would not give him a nomination either.

dinasztie said...

Well, I certainly agree with the rating. I would say he was horrible. This was probably so-called "coaster" win.