Sunday, 27 February 2011

Best Actor 1949: John Wayne in Sands of Iwo Jima

John Wayne received his first Oscar nomination for portraying Sgt. John M. Stryker in Sands of Iwo Jima.

Sands of Iwo Jima is a fairly standard old fashioned war movie, it is entirely cliched  but I suppose it is sort of made finely for this type of film.

There are many types of different types of actors in terms of Oscar relation. There is the properly nominated actors in the sort of Laurence Olivier, or Marlon Brando, there is the over nominated like say Spencer Tracy or Warren Beatty, or there is the never nominated snubs of people like Edward G. Robinson or Peter Lorre, and there are also the under nominated of miss nominated meaning they are indeed Oscar nominees but they were nominated too few of times, or they were always nominated for the wrong performances. I must say John Wayne is an actor of this last type mentioned, he was indeed nominated for Oscars but only twice and for performances many detract from.

I actually think Wayne is fine as an actor in his standard performances, he sometimes over does it, and is limited in his way but I find he is fine in his standard roles that are right for him, and I do think he has a few performances that should have been his nominations, if he was only to be nominated twice he should have been nominated most certainly for The Quiet Man my favorite performance of his where he is surprisingly charming, comedic, and tender, or his most praised performance in The Searchers where he is coldly effective. Now he was not nominated for these his best roles, but rather this first for a very standard Wayne role of a Military man leading troops. Now The reason I went on this rather long opening description is I think Wayne is given at times an overly hard time as an actor, and I do think he could be great at the right time and for the right role, so I just wanted to make clear I do think he deserved an Oscar nomination or two just maybe not for this performance.

Wayne portrays Stryker in what is a very standard Wayne performance. He commands his troops in his own commanding way at which Wayne is just fine at. He is not amazing as the Sergeant, but sure I certainly did believe him well enough in the role. No he does not do anything great as he deals with his men of every different type with his appropriate man of military, but I did think it was fine for the film, and I believed his performance. Wayne does try his best to make the sometimes incredibly cliched dialogue with conviction, and I think he handles as well as any other actor really could have, which is not much but fine.

Wayne is fine most of the film, and I do think he is a little better in his performance in the war scenes. He has the right command of a fine although not perfect marine sergeant. He again does display the right emotions, and using silent reactions to what he sees and does is well handled enough, amazing, no, but well enough. In fact his reaction shots are always the best part of his performance in this film which convey a more feeling and emotion then whenever he is talking. I do think Wayne is good here, and in particular scenes, and he is just fine and functional in other scenes. A great performance no, the best performance of Wayne's career, no, the best performance of Wayne this year, no he was better in She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, but I still thought he was fine.

No comments: