5. Jack Lemmon in Tribute- Lemmon's whole performance seems like Oscar baiting at its worst. It is hammy all the way, which might be okay if it worked, but it does not.
4. Peter O'Toole in The Stunt Man- I actually upped O'Toole rating because I thought about my main criticism, that I wanted more of him, which is hardly a criticism. His performance is pretty much a supporting one, and a very funny and effective one as a crazed director.
3. Robert Duvall in The Great Santini- I genuinely liked Duvall portrait of the abusive Bull Meechum. He created an interesting family dynamic through his performance, and never turned his character into a one dimensional figure which it easily could have been.
2. Robert De Niro in Raging Bull- De Niro performance is quite a remarkable
achievement. He creates a fascinating complex portrait of a man who at
heart is simple thug. He takes this thug though a realizes a complete
human being, who is made by De Niro to be both frighteningly effective
in his exterior anger and jealousy, and subtly honest in Lamotta's
hidden sensitivity and vulnerability.
1. John Hurt in The Elephant Man- I can easily see the philosophy behind
giving Hurt the win here. He is by far the most pleasant of
the characters here, which is funny since it shows how low the other
characters are since Merrick is such a nice man despite being given such
a hindering deformity. Also Hurt's performance is brilliant in how much
emotion he conveys through only his eyes and his voice, and also how
honestly human he is as John Merrick.
Donald Sutherland in Ordinary People