Peter O'Toole received his seventh Oscar nomination for portraying washed up movie star Alan Swann in My Favorite Year.
Peter O'Toole plays Alan Swann a Erroll Flynn esque movie star who is past his prime and allows his vices to get the best of him quite easily. Peter O'Toole as soon he walks on seem right for the part of Swann. He has the right cocky swagger even when he drunk, the right swagger of a over the top movie star. I like the fashion in which he played Swann as a drunk which is colorful since it is a comedy, but I do not think he over did it. I think his drunken mannerisms worked well, and he really did derive a good amount of humor from Swann's drunkenness.
Alan Swann when he is not drunk is looking for women. O'Toole really walks a careful line with Swann here, because Swann could very easily of been a completely obnoxious character, or seemed a little too slimy. But under O'Toole care Swann comes off a charming even if slimy man that simply is interesting to and rather entertaining to watch. I think he is entertaining to watch in just about every scene he tries to be so, the only problem is the film fails to focus on him enough, and spends a little too much time perhaps with the writer who looks after him played rather impressively by Mark Lynn-Baker, since O'Toole really is the film.
Swann has more than simply his entertaining antics though and has a little more to his character. A lack of a relationship with an estranged daughter that he finds trouble confronting. O'Toole adds the right poignancy to these quiet moments of Swann's without making these scenes seem disconnected with his scenes of antics. I will say the majority of his performance are his antics which are most entertaining at the end when he gets stage fright. O'Toole shows Swann anxiety with a nice amount of humor and delivers the "I'm not and actor, I'm a movie star line" as well as possible. He rounds out his performance with showing the swashbuckler actor part of Swann rather comically at the end, making O'Toole performance a nice comedic turn even if not amazing by any standards.