Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Best Supporting Actor 1960: Sal Mineo in Exodus

Sal Mineo received his second and final Oscar nomination for portraying Dov Landau in Exodus.

Otto Preminger proves himself to be no David Lean with his inability to keep the epic Exodus at all interesting for its over three hour running time. It has some good scenes, and the subject matter could make a great film, but this film wears out its welcome quickly.

Sal Mineo role portrays Dov Landau a young angry Jewish man who wishes to violently carve out an independent Jewish country. Exodus as I said is a long film, and he Mineo's total screen time does not amount to all that much. He does stick out though well when he is there, and he is not lost in the film like say Chill Wills is in the Alamo.

Mineo fulfills his role well, always properly suggesting the anger of this young man at all times, even when his scenes are brief. He shows this passionate anger towards his oppressors well in every scene he is in, with the right amount of intensity. He also handles his short romantic scenes well despite the film not giving his romance enough time, despite it being the better romance than the one between the main characters.

 There is one scene where he is inducted into an underground violent Jewish group that stands out and shows more of his character. He is slowly interrogated and he slowly breaks down once he reveals that he did terrible work at Auschwitz. Mineo is terrific in this single single presenting his sadness and regret incredibly well, and very powerfully. This single scene is outstanding and adds a whole lot to his character.

Otherwise than that scene though I thought Mineo performance was unfortunately was just functional, even though it was good. He was in the background too much of the time, which is the film's fault for not recognizing that he is the best and most interesting character, and that Mineo's performance is by far the best in the film. I think if the film I more thoroughly utilized his character and performance than his could have been a great performance, but as it stands I feel it is just good.

1 comment:

dinasztie said...

Well, I already know he's not your pick.