Thursday, 5 August 2010

Best Supporting Actor 1979: Melvyn Douglas in Being There

Melvyn Douglas won his second Oscar from his third and final Oscar nomination for portraying Benjamin Turnbull Rand a dying wealthy businessman in Being There.

Melvyn Douglas plays an old man that really would only be found in the film Being There. Since he is among the many people taken by Peter Seller's simply Chance the Gardener.  He misinterprets him as an incredibly intelligent man who merely has simple takes on things. Now this seems okay that the old man believes this but than when almost everyone in the world starts to see him this way it becomes a bit far fetched. I do have to give credit to Douglas in that he makes such a false interpretation the most believable  out of all the characters's false interpretations but even his is not entirely realistic.

Douglas is not actually in the film all that much. He shows up time to time in his weakened state to talk nicely to Chance or his wife (Shirley Maclaine). He never does anything all that amazing in his performance, but he is a nice enough presence in the film. The role simply only consists of these nice talks, his character never gets emotional in any way he just stays calm and gentle in a very businessman way. I do not have a single problem with the way Douglas performs the character, he performs just as it should be played, but his performance simply never becomes anything that special. He is fine in every scene and I like him being there (No pun intended) but his role simply is not a challenge.

7 comments:

Sage Slowdive said...

I wholeheartedly agree. I was shocked at how little he did in the movie...

joe burns said...

I guess he'll be fifth or fourth.

dinasztie said...

I don't really remember him, but he was my pick once. I need to re-watch him.

Fritz said...

I haven't seen him yet but didn't he sweep the awards?

Louis Morgan said...

Yes he won most of them.

Tom said...

I saw this about 10 years ago and I can't even remember the performance.

Surprised they gave the Oscar to him since he already had one.

Louis Morgan said...

Yes his win is perplexing, what exactly did he need another win for. Especially since all the others were non previous winners.