James Coco received his only Oscar nomination for portraying Jimmy in Only When I Laugh.
James Coco is the one of only two actors, the other being Amy Irving, to receive both an Oscar nomination and a Razzie nomination for the same performance. I must say first off that Coco should never have had this distinction because this is not a bad performance and most certainly not one of the worst supporting performances of the year. James Coco gives an relatively early example of a flamboyant gay character who admits to be such. The idea of a flamboyant gay character can commonly lead to some big overacting, but not automatically as shown by say William Hurt in Kiss of a Spiderwoman. This is actually less acting by Coco though as if you see him in an interview he actually has basically the same mannerisms, just he talks with less one liners.
Coco really though never becomes just a caricature though and manages to make Jimmy an actual person who happens to be flamboyant rather than just a series of flamboyant mannerisms. Coco does well giving his one liners putting a great deal of energy in each of his scenes. The snappy comeback friend is most certainly a cliche but Coco does a fine job with that sort of character nonetheless. His best scenes though are his more dramatic ones such as where he attempts to comfort Georgia (Marsha Mason). He really shows an honest caring for her that works well for the film. His single best moment though most certianly comes when he is distraught over losing an acting part he thought for sure he had. Coco really shows the heartbreak in Jimmy and effectively portrays how it saddens him. Coco manages to find the comedy in the part as well as the drama. Although I can't say they are perfectly balanced as I greatly preferred his dramatic moments over his comedic ones he effectively kept both aspects within a single character. This is not an amazing performance by any means it is most certainly a good enough one that well maybe did not need to be Oscar nominated but it certainly was not at all deserving of its Razzie nomination.