Saturday, 11 December 2010

Best Actor 1956: Yul Brynner in The King and I

Yul Brynner won his Oscar from his only nomination for portraying the King Mongkut of Siam in The King and I.

The King and I is a weird musical to say the least, in both its story, and its odd pacing and tonal shifts. Especially involving the subplot about the King and one of his brides that gets rather dark at the end.

Brynner's performance as the King is an odd story of extreme success.  He won this Oscar and a Tony for his performance, and he portrayed the King over 4000 times on stage. I guess there must be something about his performance here that struck many people incredibly well even if in terms of normal acting it seems rather odd to me anyways. His performance is strange in his semi comic way of acting throughout the film. He tells people what to do with his snap, and his strange way of speaking in this movie, no I do not mean his accent. His whole style of speaking is strange, and I never say anything all that interesting about his performance it was just simply odd.

His chemistry with Deborah Kerr is odd, the way the King carries himself around his court is very odd. The way he talks with his children, his wives, or when he talks to Kerr is bizarre. I have no idea what he was doing in the performance, all I know is it does not work. He does not really have presence, or all that much charisma in his performance, nor does he make the King either interesting or entertaining. His singing is also very odd too, I suppose his dancing is not really odd but that is about it. I actually do like Brynner as an actor in other films besides this, but this film his performance oddly theatrical. I suppose he knew what he was doing though since he won an Oscar for it, but I think he was in fact much better in both Anastasia, and especially the Ten Commandments both from the same year.

5 comments:

joe burns said...

I haven't seen this movie in years! He definetly won't win....




Will you ever rank all the Best Actor winners again?

Louis Morgan said...

Well I figured I was sort of ranking them, as I ranked all the nominees.

Sage Slowdive said...

Terrible performance. Kerr wasn't much better, she a little more interesting.

Fritz said...

He was nice but somehow strange...

Oh, but Deborah should have won! :-)

dinasztie said...

He was not very good, though I liked him a bit more than you did, I think. Kerr really annoyed me too.