Friday, 1 July 2011

Best Actor 1957: Anthony Franciosa in A Hatful of Rain

Anthony Franciosa received his only Oscar nomination for portraying Polo Pope in A Hatful of Rain.

A Hatful of Rain is about a Korean war veteran who is having troubles with his life, and his pregnant wife because he is secretly addicted to morphine.

Anthony Franciosa actually portrays the brother of the morphine addict, and is actually tries to help his brother deal with his addiction, as well he has to try to deal with his angry father who he promised money to, as well as his own attraction to his brother's wife. None of these aspects of the character really matter though because Franciosa is a terrible actor, that is all there is to it.

He fails to make anything that is at all an interesting or effective characterization because he is such a bad actor by nature. He fails to really have a believable moment in this film, he never has authentic moment, he just cannot get over his own obvious inability as an actor. This same inability can be found in other this films this year too such as in Wild is the Wind, and to a lesser extent A Face in the Crowd.

What makes him such a bad actor, well not just his failure to really connect to his character of Polo, and make any of the situations really resonate in any sort of way, but really becuase he constantly, and I mean constantly overacts. There is not a single moment of this performance where he does not overact, it just seems to be his nature as an actor to overact.

His overacting though is especially bad, so bad that he is really hard to watch at times. It is literally embarrassing to watch as he overemphasizes every single facial movement, physical movement, and line reading. He overdoes every single moment he has, and to make it all worse he has a drunk scene in this film, a drunk scene, which not a good thing for a chronic overactor like Franciosa.

His drunk scene actually made me squirm because he is so bad it is hard to believe. He never gets an emotion right, whenever he is suppose to show one he always goes for some odd over the top yell, than an actual emotion. He never brings out anything genuine, or interesting with what frankly could have been a good character in another, better actor's hands. I have no idea why this was nominated for an Oscar because this is one performance I can easily say is downright awful.

6 comments:

RatedRStar said...

I'm getting the feeling that you didn't like this performance lol haha

joe burns said...

I wonder if he'll be last in your overall ranking, it sounds awful. Too bad, because the role looked interesting at the beginning of your review.

dinasztie said...

I knew you would hate him. He's a terrible actor. I don't know how the heck was he nominated in any year.

Sage Slowdive said...

Still haven't seen this one, but I want too now :)

trish said...

Idk. A lot of classic movies seem to have overacting. It's part of the appeal. I always attribute it to the time in which the movie was made. Language conventions were different, many things were different than they are now. So why shouldn't acting style be different? I found francioso's acting in this movie compelling and really poignant. It made me want to know more about him as an actor and to see him in other roles. The only other movie I've seen him in is the one where he is the partner of a nightclub owner & Jean Simmons falls in love with him. I liked him in that role too. I haven't seen any bad acting yet!

Louis Morgan said...

I disagree. Throughout the ages there has always been good acting and bad acting.