Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Best Supporting Actor 2001: Ethan Hawke in Training Day

Ethan Hawke received his first nomination for portraying Jake Hoyt in Training Day.

Ethan Hawke although nominated in the supporting category is certainly the lead in the film since he has more screentime than his costar Denzel Washington who won in the lead category for this film. I have noticed for this performance Ethan Hawke has received some great deal of negativity for his performance finding himself on a few lists of worst Oscar nominations. I find this quite hard to understand though since I see nothing wrong with his performance.

Hawke's performance is a very reactionary one for most of the film, as he reacts to Hoyt's "training" given to him by his corrupt superior Alonzo Harris (Washington). Hawke shows Hoyt at the beginning not to be overly naive, but possibly overly earnest in believing his new job to be some sort of dream position or at least much better than the nightmare it quickly becomes.What is effective about Hawke's performance is despite being in the face of Washington's very overactive performance, Hawke never overacts. He also never tries to make Hoyt some sort of great hero, just an honest person who actually just wants to do the right thing. Hawke best shows this by when Hoyt reacts to the various questionable actions by Alonzo. Hawke shows it through disbelief, more than anything else showing his inexperience, and lack of understanding of what truly goes on in his line of work.

Hawke effectively acts as the viewer's guide through the journey that Alonzo takes him through. Hawke has the creates the right amount of empathy for Hoyt, because he never turns Hoyt into more than Hoyt is. Hawke as well manages to stay realistic through the journey acting as a normal man would react to his various extreme situations he has to go through.Throughout the film though Hawke slowly develops Hoyt into a more hardened individual than he was at the beginning of the film. Hawke change is slow but natural change. How at first he cannot even believe what is happening to him, there is certain sickness that also prevails through him, and Hawke eventually shows that this leads to a resolve to do the right thing. This is good leading performance by Hawke, and is easy one to follow throughout his journey of the film.

6 comments:

Sage Slowdive said...

I was surprised at how much I liked it --- so much better then Washington.

dshultz said...

Immensely superior to Washington, and made the film well worth watching as far as I'm concerned.



Washington's never gotten anything over 3.5 jacks, has he?

Louis Morgan said...

No he has not.

Anonymous said...

Well, he was the only decent part of that film, I hate the film so much that it's very difficult for me to appreciate anything about it. I agree with the rating.

Anonymous said...

I'm kind of dissapointed how low you've consistently been rating Denzel Washington, as he is one of my favourite actors. I do agree with this rating, however.

JIMocracy said...

I've been telling people for years that Denzel never deserved the Oscar for best actor for Training Day. At best, he was a supporting actor. Ethan Hawkes performance was much better and he should have at least gotten the Best Actor nomination.

However, I do think Washington deserved the Oscar for Hurricane the year before. Since that was taken from him by Russell Crowe with a lesser performance in Gladiator, I guess it's okay that he took it for Training Day when he was clearly not as good as Crowe in a stellar performance in A Beautiful Mind.