Saturday, 29 October 2011

Best Supporting Actor 1981: John Gielgud in Arthur

John Gielgud won his Oscar from his second nomination for portraying Hobson in Arthur.

John Gielgud I imagine helped secure his victory by also being in the eventual best picture nominated Chariots of Fire this same year. Where portrays the master of Trinity College. In that role I found Gielgud to be quite hilarious actually in finding the humor in just how proper and prejudice the Master of Trinity is, in fact I would not have minded if he had one for Chariots of Fire as well because his scenes are some of my favorite scenes in that film, and I love basically all the scenes of that film. Gielgud though instead won for his larger role in Arthur, as billionaire playboy Arthur Bach(Dudley Moore)'s butler.

The role of Hobson is a pivotal role in Arthur since a good deal of the film is made up Hobson's and Arthur's various verbal barbs to one or another. Gielgud in particularly has a great deal of various little comments about just about everyone he comes by. As with Chariots of Fire Gielgud shows exactly how to play a superior snobbish fellow just perfectly. Gielgud although is rather different here than his Chariots Of Fire snob, as Hobson is a nice fellow at heart who just enjoys a good old verbal comeback.

 John Gielgud always has the perfect presence in this film always acting as the comeback to Arthur's antics perfectly. There is always such great precision in everything he says which is absolutely great for the dynamic between Gielgud and Moore. Every single line that Gielgud has is spoken with the utmost certainty that makes everything he says rather amusing. Gielgud knows he has good lines to say and makes the most of everyone that he has.

What is interesting about his performance though is how it also has a more dramatic side that goes along right with his comedic side. This basically comes out with his final scene with Dudley Moore which is simply great. Gielgud in this scene with Moore shows that their relationship together was not simply that of master and servant but instead actually of father and son.They have a great final heartfelt moment that is earned by both actors completely, and Gielgud fits this scene of fatherly warmness as well as with his moments of comedy. Gielgud gives a great supporting performance that truly makes the film.


Anonymous said...

Good performance, I think Nicholson will get the win

Spenser Wilhelm said...

Good performance, I think Nicholson will get the win

Michael Patison said...

You should try to find some time to watch the 1980s miniseries of Brideshead Revisited. It stars Jeremy Irons in a brilliantly understated role and Anthony Andrews in an uncharacteristically good series of performances. It also co-stars Laurence Olivier and John Gielgud, with Gielgud brilliantly playing his snobbish sort of fellow brilliantly again. It also features by far the best voiceover work I've ever heard...all done by Irons's wonderful high baritone voice.

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