Thursday, 9 September 2010

Best Supporting Actor 1953: Brand De Wilde in Shane

Brandon De Wilde received his only Oscar nomination for portraying Joey Starrett in Shane.

Shane is an interesting western about a mysterious man who helps homesteaders in their conflict with a cattle baron. It is not a perfect film for a few reasons but it always feels like a classic of sorts even in the lesser scenes.

Brandon De Wilde is a kid here playing the son of Joe Starrett (Van Heflin) who idolizes Shane (Alan Ladd).  I want to say that De Wilde definitely grew up to become a good actor, he should have been nominated for Hud, but here Wilde does not show all that much promise. His whole character is a bit odd to me, I believe he was suppose to be the heart of movie especially at the end, but all I ever saw was an annoying and dull presence throughout the film.

In the film there are always these constant cutaways to his reaction to various things in the film. His reaction is almost always the same dull expression, that never ever helps a scene. In fact the constant reactions from him are pointless because he almost always has the same impression. Except at the end and when Shane shows off his shooting skills. But than he makes a pretty poor surprised reaction that seems a little forced. He most of the time just says Shane in rather woodenly, and really adds no true emotions to any of his scenes. He does have his final scene which is almost semi okay at the very end where he properly makes a sad face but still when he says "I hate you Shane" that is pretty unbelievably said.  His performance never felt authentic to me at all, and really is a bad performance by a kid. He adds nothing to the film except his obnoxious reactions and overall his performance only harms the film, never helping it.

6 comments:

Sage Slowdive said...

Aw, I thought he was great - and I usually never go for stuff like this.

Twister said...

Poor kid didn't even know he was nominated until years later -- nice parents, huh.

But I got to agree with Louis, he really brought nothing to the role aside from whining his way through it.

dinasztie said...

Well, I barely remember him. But I liked him to a degree.

joe burns said...

Never seen it. But really , he never knew! Fuck, that's mean!

Louis Morgan said...

I had not heard that bit of trivia, but fits with the usual treatment of child actors.

Gustavo said...

A disaster. Hey, I know nothing of the technical side of performances, but Ik now as much as anybody else as a VIEWER. And as a viewer, I was annoyed as hell by the whiny, wooden brat.

Pardon for my strong language.