Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Best Supporting Actor 1952: Anthony Quinn in Viva Zapata!

Anthony Quinn won his first Oscar from his first nomination for portraying Eufemo Zapata in Viva Zapata!.

Eufemo Zapata is the brother of Emiliano Zapata who acts as one of his loyal soldiers, and later one of his generals. Quinn here is perfectly cast as Eufemo, and not just because he is Mexican. Eufemo is a macho, drinking sort of guy and Quinn portrays these facets of Eufemo without effort. Eufemo though most of the time is just in the background, but Quinn does always react to everything in the film with realism and authenticity. Quinn manages not to ever be completely forgotten due to his notable screen presence, although still he only really can be noted some of the time.

I like Quinn's performance and his blunt attitude during the fighting sequences which certainly simply adds to the film, he also gives a nicely joyful performance in the celebration scenes. Eufemo though at the end of the film betrays everyone, since he steals land and wives from his people. I will did not think the film gave Quinn anymore time to lead to this betrayal, besides a very short moment earlier where he suggested Emiliano to take the land bribe offered to him. So although he really did not have a transformation period given to him, Quinn is still good in this final scene. His shows well an exhaustion, and anger of the battles he fought, and his lack of rewards. His explanation to Emiliano is effective and very well done by Quinn, even though I did not feel the film completely earned this change in Eufemo Quinn still acted it quite well. Overall a good performance, although not really given enough to do to be great.

1 comment:

Sage Slowdive said...

Thought he was just terrific...even better then Brando in most scenes.