Monday, 20 September 2010

Best Supporting Actor 1968: Jack Wild in Oliver!

Jack Wild received his only Oscar nomination for portraying the Artful Dodger in Oliver!.

The Artful Dodger is the lead of Fagin's (Ron Moody) boys who pick pocket for him and stay at his place. The Artful Dodger is a memorable character of Dickens' more for his image I would say than the character himself. For the look I think Wild has the perfect look for Dodger, especially Dodger in the musical where the character is far lighter. He does completely look like the Dodger with his blue coat, dirty face, big hat, and to Wild's credit the right expressions that work perfectly for Dodger, with all of his sly grins and such. 

I certainly like his performance as Dodger, and do think he is the proper personification of the character. He just seems like Dodger to me. He does one thing very well which is he does steal all of his scenes away from Oliver (Mark Lester) making him far more interesting than the main character, although that does largely come from Oliver being a dullard of a character, and made even duller by Mark Lester's portrayal of him. He does not steal the scenes though away from Ron Moody therefore he does not qualify as a true scene stealer. Wild certainly has the right energy for the part that does work well for all his numbers, which he sings properly well with the right energy with his peculiar way of moving around in those scenes that work well enough.

Is there anything special about his characterization of Dodger, no, such as in the more dramatic scenes all he does is make the same surprised face as the rest of the boys, but he certainly is right for the part. He handles the part well, and his performance did leave a good impression on me at the end of the film. I do like all that he does in the film, he is not amazing but is truly completely right for the role, and plays it completely as this should be played in this film. I must admit I really liked his performance the first time I watched the film, but for some reason my admiration has waned, even though it still certainly exists, I particularly did like his last scene where he and Fagin dance off into the distance, they certainly both do have a good exit, and in fact their exit seemed to be a more fitting end to the film than that the brief last scene of Oliver's. Jack Wild's performance is not great but he certainly kept Dodger's memorability and possibly added to it in a small way.

6 comments:

Fritz said...

I think I would give a 4. I really enjoyed his performance. Moody was excellent, too, and Shani Wallis should have won Supporting Actress. And you're right, Mark Lester is the weak link. I really don't know how he got the part - he couldn't act and he couldn't even sing.

Louis Morgan said...

It is very strange that Mark Lester was picked since apparently he was chosen from a huge group of potentials. Even Lester himself admits he could not dance or sing, and does not know why he got that part. His singing actually is dubbed which just sounds odd, but I wonder how poorly he actually sounded.

joe burns said...

I think he might be in fourth, I haven't seen the film in years!

dinasztie said...

I hate the movie and he wasn't that memorable in it.

Sage Slowdive said...

Didn't Shani Willis sing that over the top song, then get strangled to death?

I hated everything about Oliver!...

Gustavo said...

Truly one of the best child performances I've ever seen. Pure energy, it seems almost spontaneous. Charming, absolutely charming.