Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Best Supporting Actor 1980: Judd Hirsch in Ordinary People

Judd Hirsch received his only Oscar nomination for portraying Dr. Tyrone C. Berger in Ordinary People.

Judd Hirsch's performance as the psychiatrist is a rather simple role. His whole purpose in the film is react to Timothy Hutton's Conrad, and attempt to help Conrad the best he can. There are only small very small indications of his life outside of his office. Hirsch really is there just for Hutton's character. Hirsch though does manage to make a really person though, just a real person we only get a limited view of.

As a psychiatrist Berger is portrayed in an entirely positive light only there to help Conrad, nothing more. Hirsch in the role despite being an entirely positive character does not portray him in a one dimensional fashion. Hirsch portrays Berger's approach as a rather tough approach. He never acts overly easy toward Conrad always pushing and prodding Conrad to release his feelings.

Hirsch does a fine job in realizing this whole technique and certainly has some very good scenes with Hutton as they explore his issues, as well as a single scene with Donald Sutherland where he helps Calvin as well. The only thing he does not make the scenes Sutherland and Hutton really makes the scene. Hirsch is good in these scenes and adds to them, but he does not make the powerful moments. He is merely an aspect of them, just like he is an aspect of the film, a fine aspect of the film, but only just that not more.

6 comments:

dshultz said...

I never understood this nomination, but I can never think of anyone else in his place, so I deal with it.

Anonymous said...

I rather liked him. Natural, unsentimental. No chance for a win, but I like the nomination.

Sage Slowdive said...

Terrible performance.

dinasztie said...

Not terrible, but not great, either.

RatedRStar said...

I dont really like Judd as an actor too much but I thought he was serviceable I guess in this

Anonymous said...

I liked Hirsch's performance. You know there is a script but none of his delivery or Hutton's in their many scenes together comes off as unnatural or contrived. I thought all four performances were excellent: Mary Tyler Moore, Donald Sutherland, Timothy Hutton and Judd Hirsch.