Thursday, 18 November 2010

Best Actor 1996: Billy Bob Thornton in Sling Blade

Billy Bob Thornton received his first acting Oscar nomination for portraying Karl Childers in Sling Blade.

Sling Blade is a fine southern drama, although probably a bit long.

Thornton's performance he is incredibly similar to Geoffrey Rush's in Shine. There performance basically is finding the right note, and mannerisms and then keeping with them throughout the film. Thornton like Rush sets his mannerisms up for the first moment than continues with them for the rest of the film, his character never changes his mannerisms or the way he acts and reacts, even if the character does change throughout the film. I never fully believed his mannerisms to tell you the truth, I always thought that I really saw him acting. Not that he is terrible but I just felt that his performance felt a little forced at times. I just simply never fully believed him as this man.

I would say though that he is still okay, and tries to do his best to add meaning to his own script with his performance. But I think a flaw was that Childers keeps his mannerisms, and very simple way of reacting to everything was a bit of a problem. I mean that is the point of the character, but it does not give Thornton much movement. He just keeps with his mannerisms and sticks with them. I simply I never even impressed overly much with performance like these even when they are not flawed. But this one never seemed really truly authentic. Also Thornton's whole performance is more of something well thought out as a device for the film. Childers simplistic actions and reactions at times, were purposely written that way by Thornton, and he understood how to use his own performance. Even though if he been just a little more believable for me personally he still would not have given an amazing performance but rather a suitable one. 

2 comments:

Sage Slowdive said...

Gee, it seems like we are agreeing more and more - I've never understood the massive praise (not to mention popularity) this performance generates. I thought it was mediocre at best.

joe burns said...

I disagree, I thought he was pretty good, sure, not perfect, but I liked him, as well as the movie.