Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Best Actor 2000: Ed Harris in Pollock

Ed Harris received his third Oscar nomination for portraying painter Jackson Pollock in Pollock.

Pollock has moments of a stronger film, but I felt much of it was lacking, which I think comes from the central performance.

Jackson Pollock in theory should make for quite an interesting character and could allow an actor to give a great performance. Ed Harris despite having a strong resemblance to Pollock seems strangely lost in the role at times. Pollock by Harris is showing to basically have two phases of behavior between quiet and earnest, to loud and drunk. Harris really I felt did not create too much between these two types of Pollock's behavior.

Harris' performance frankly surprised me how dull he is most of the time as Pollock. For much of the performance all I really thought was, is that all he is doing with the character? I can appreciate trying to give a more subtle performance of artist rather than a mad artist one usually sees portrayed on film, but I really do not think he achieved at anything subtle with his quieter moments and frankly just was oddly dull.

Now he has plenty of scene where he is not portraying Pollock in quiet fashion, and gets to get drunk, and loud in plenty of scene. Every time that he did get loud, and drunk I thought Harris really heavily overacted. I just always felt I was seeing him performing drunk, or performing crazy. I never felt he be came convincing or really realistic at all. I never saw him really tuning his performance appropriately into an actual effective characterization.

I think actually another problem with his performance actually is it does suffer greatly in comparison to Marcia Gay Harden's performance as Pollock's wife Lee Krasner. With her one can see how Harris' performance should have been. She is both effective in her quiet subtle moments, as well as convincing in her louder ones as well. She frankly steals every scene from Harris that they share, due to her believability, and strength of her performance compared to his dullness and lack of creditability. Overall Harris' Jackson Pollock was a big disappointment for me with his performance that is either overacting loud scenes, or boring quiet ones. 

5 comments:

dinasztie said...

I quite agree. He was too loud for me.

dshultz said...

Wow, this a pretty bad year.

Sage Slowdive said...

I found him to be quite good, but nothing mindblowing. And I agree with you about him and Harden, she overtakes him.

Anonymous said...

Pathetic year overall, the highest rating yet is 2,5, I guess it would be Tom Hanks or maybe a surprise win by Javier Bardem.

mrripley said...

Agreed he seemed to almost be a supporting character then he gets fat and pitches to the rafters!!! and i usually like him but he did direct so perhaps no one was guiding him like he guided harden.