Sunday, 3 July 2011

Best Actor 1957: Anthony Quinn in Wild is the Wind

Anthony Quinn received his third Oscar nomination for portraying Gino in Wild is the Wind.

Wild in the Wind tells the story of a widower Gino who marries a woman he does not know his wife's sister Gioia (Anna Magnani), but their marriage is troubled and she begins a relationship with one of Gino's workers Bene played by the always unusual Anthony Franciosa.

Anthony Quinn performance starts out extremely well, as he opens visiting his wife's grave, and thinking about his marriage to his wife's sister whom he does not even know. Quinn is heartbreaking in this single scene because he portrays his grief and uncertainty that has been created over the death of his wife brilliantly in this short single scene. 

Quinn is also quite good in his first scene where Gino meets Gioia. He mixes the right enthusiasm in trying to ease himself, and his new wife into their situation, as well as some hesitation that properly displays Gino's own uncertainty over whether their relationship will work or not. 

Quinn certainly is believable in this role as a sheep rancher, who is rough in some ways, well being brutish just enough. My only problem is I frankly wish the film was slightly less cliched than it is, because it requires his character to be overly controlling of everyone making his free spirited new wife feel alienated and starts an affair with Bene.

Quinn I thought almost took a different approach than the character was written as, since Quinn does not really portray his character as an overly dominating figure, rather as what he does, he does simply because he just does not know any better. I like this approach actually more than I believe the one the film perhaps wanted.

Quinn though due to the main conflict of the film, and the fact that it mainly focuses on Gioia later, Quinn basically gets the short end of the stick in terms of what he is really allowed to do. I like whenever Quinn is onscreen in the film he is good and natural, but unfortuantely I always wanted even more from him than the film would allow for.

Quinn when given a scene for more, such as when he finally looks back at his own behavior near the end of the film is excellent. His final scene with Magnani is great showing how much Gino really wanted, and still wants their relationship to work, showing how he does love her even though he has not been able to always been able to convey it to her in the right way.

This is a performance, I wish had been given a little better of a film, or at least a little better treatment. If the film had not fallen for the rather old cliche of falling for the worker, it might have been more effective, if it always stayed focus on Gino and Gioia's relationship, it also would have been better for Quinn since I am sure he could have even more fully expanded Gino as a character.

As the film is Quinn does give a good performance. He is always realistic in his performance, and really does not have false note in his performance really. Quinn also when allowed more, he takes it, and every scene that requires more of him Quinn is more than up for it. A somewhat mixed character, but never because of Quinn's performance though.

1 comment:

Sage Slowdive said...

He and Magnani are magnetic on-screen.