Samuel L. Jackson received his first Oscar nomination for portraying Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction.
Samuel L. Jackson is one of the two hit man, the other being Vincent Vega, on a job at the beginning of the film. Jackson's Jules has become rather iconic, and it now seems like a role only he really could actually portray. Also Like John Travolta Jackson excels well with Quentin Tarintino's language. He makes as believable as it is going to be, and brings the right amount of life to it. The conversations also work incredibly well between these two because he and Travolta work very well together. They have very natural reactions with one another, and show a great amount chemistry in their scenes together, which does do wonders for the film. They are entertaining, and very funny together especially in the last third of the film where Jules gets angry over Vincent's rather stupid action.
What really makes Jackson performance works is the tremendous presence he has in the film. He certainly makes Jules one bad (you know what). Doing this is generally not given very much credit, but one does need to present himself a certain way to be a genuine tough guy. It does not just depend on the actor himself being seen as tough, the actor needs to be honestly tough. An example of seeing this is Jackson in this compared to many of Jackson's modern roles. Jackson does not force it here, and honestly comes off as a dangerous man in the early part of the film. He does this incredibly well in his scene where he takes care of business in the opening scene. He is just terrific in the way he enters the situation with casual talk but slowly escalates until his chilling reading of his Bible "quote".
Jules changes quickly as a man after a (technically) near death experience. Jules sees this as a message of God to change his ways. Although the transformation is technically very fast, as Jules quickly sees it is a message from God, Jackson handles quite well, and in a believable fashion. His transformation is realized in the last scene of the film where he again must handle a potentially dangerous situation this time without violence. It is interesting to see him still command the situation once again, but this time trying to keep it calm and cool. Jackson once again is perfectly controls the scene, but it is fascinating to see his different approach. He brilliantly handles Jules' change from a violent man who thinks he is philosophical, to a non-violent man who is philosophical. The change in the two situations is earned by Jackson, and shows the brilliance of this strong performance.