Paul Scofield received his second and final Oscar nomination for portraying Mark Van Doren in Quiz Show.
Mark Van Doren is the father of Charles Van Doren, and a famous poet as well. I must admit the first time I was going to see Quiz Show I was expecting Mark Van Doren since Scofield was nominated for an Oscar to be a domineering father character, but in actuality Mark Van Doren is portrayed as a quiet and supportive father.
Scofield is right in the role here, in giving the role of Mark Van Doren a quiet dignity to his performance. Scofield is not in the film a lot but Scofield unique dignified presence in the film does allow him to exactly stick out, but still adds something to the film. Scofield actually with ease suggests the fame and notoriety of Van Doren, but also Doren as in a way still a fairly modest man. Scofield is not given very much to do, but he has some nice scenes with Ralph Fiennes as Charles Van Doren.
They show together again a quiet relationship between a father and son. Scofield shows a love for his son, subtlety but effectively. The best moment of his performance is when Charles tells him that he really was part of the rigging in 21. Scofield handles Mark Van Doren's reaction very well in that he is quietly disappointed by his son, but he still reacts with a father's love for his son to Charles. A simple and effective dignified performance by Scofield. Not a great performance but a good one.