Monday, 13 December 2010

Best Actor 1956: James Dean in Giant

James Dean received his second and final posthumous Oscar nomination for portraying Jett Rink in Giant.

James Dean's is always a phenomenon considering he has only three films, and his acting style is so bizarre, yet he is a icon and his style is adored by many. Dean in Giant actually is a supporting player, and is not the lead. There are long passages where he is completely absent, and much of the time he is just the man slinking around in the background. Dean has his trademark mannerisms and looking at the ground constantly. He though has less I think than in East of Eden, and I do think he did utilize his mannerisms to create a character.

In East of Eden his mannerisms suggested a young man uncomfortable with just about everything. Here I feel he does properly use his mannerisms this time to convey himself as a loner in the early moments most assuredly well. He is uncomfortable with his surroundings and employer. He shows a hidden sense of hatred of his character, and his hidden motives quite well. I think he is actually interesting early on, and not distracting with his little slinking in the background always. He does convey everything and more for his character of Rink, and I think his intensity and style of his performance works perfectly early on.

Later though after he becomes rich his performance changes. I do like his one scene where he announces his soon to be riches in his fantastic style. His performance though becomes very limited in terms of screen time, occasionally popping in and out very quickly. I never really believed him at all as the older rich oil man. Dean's aging was not at all convincing even though Elizabeth Taylor's and Rock Hudson's were. I thought he was slimey enough but that was about it. He was suppose to have some sort of charm I think but he doesn't and I really did not believe Dean at all as the oil man. He was perfect for Rink at the beginning but by the end he seemed to become miscast. I do not know if any other actor could have been as interesting at the beginning  but I do think many could have been better than the second half of his performance.


Anonymous said...

I thought he was fantastic - I like his bizarre acting style lol.

dinasztie said...

I don't like Dean that much. He was overacting, but he was good.

dshultz said...

Ha, I loved him in this. I don't know, he just seemed to pull it off very effectively for me, that's all. I too think his best scene was without a doubt when he drives up to Rock Hudson's house, brags about his eminent riches, and then beats up Hudson. Awesome.

Louis Morgan said...

That's a great scene all his scenes before he becomes rich are great.

Michael Patison said...

I think he's just tremendous is this. He's my supporting winner for the year. I haven't seen this in a while, but the scene of his I remember most vividly is where he strikes oil. That's just such a tremendous scene for me.