John Malkovich received his first Oscar nomination for portraying Mr. Will in Places in the Heart.
John Malkovich portrays Mr. Will a new blind boarder at widow Edna Spalding's (Sally Field) struggling farm. First blind acting is not really big deal with unless it is way too obviously fake. Malkovich handles his character blindness just fine. He handles the disability well, showing his character just dealing with it, and really not trying to bring all that much attention to it in his performance.
Malkovich shows Mr. Will to be a man of a quiet dignity who does not like being mistreated by others. I think Malkovich does a nice job being nice here most of the time, but also showing his frustration well in one scene. I liked his performance in the film, and it certainly is a nice part of the film. I believe he is not given that much to do, but there is one brilliant scene of his. He asks Sally Field's character to described herself to him, his reaction in this scene is just brilliant. A very nice performance from Malkovich overall even if it is not an amazing one.