Sunday, 9 October 2011

Best Supporting Actor 1992: Al Pacino in Glengarry Glen Ross

Al Pacino received his seventh Oscar nomination for portraying Ricky Roma in Glengarry Glen Ross.

Glengarry Glen Ross details the struggle of four retail estate salesmen to make sales while dealing with the hostile company they work for.

Al Pacino plays Ricky Roma who is one of the four salesmen, but the only one who is not really struggling. For the first half of the film you barely even see Roma as he is at the restaurant across the street from the Real Estate office, working on slowly on a sale. We only see small glimpses of Pacino, but every moment on screen he is exactly as Roma should be. A man who knows exactly what he is doing, and does not care how really he gains his goals.

In these early moments we see him for only small moments but he has the perfect pompous superiority in each of these small moments. Pacino in these scenes shows that without a doubt Roma is in charge of the situation without question. Although a lot of what Roma is saying is a lot of nothing, Pacino's complete confidence makes his sway of his customer without a doubt believable. The way he just eases into the sale through his nice little conversation is perfectly played by Pacino, he makes Roma the perfect salesman he is suppose to be.

In the second half of the film you see far more of Roma as he interacts with the other salesman, as the sales leads have been stolen, and each salesman is being asked about the crime. Roma though is far more concerned by the fact that his customer from the night before is balking on the deal. Pacino is excellent in showing how that no matter what Roma has a plan. Pacino again is a master of Roma's double talk, showing an absolute command of the situation, using every trick he has to keep his sale. Pacino shows Roma basically puts on a character as a salesman a man always at ease, and in total control.

Pacino though shows behind the showman is a man who is easy to point out the stupidity of other as loudly as possible. He yells but this is not overacting, but exactly as Roma should be, pointing out anyone he thinks is dumb as dumb even if in a crude fashion. Also interestingly enough Pacino manages to show a little bit of a softer quality in regards to the way he views "The Machine" Levene (Jack Lemmon). Pacino shows an honest respect for Levene, that establishes their history together, as well as the idea that Roma may not be 100% amoral after all. Pacino adds this depth without compromising the rest of his performance, which is a highly entertaining, and effective performance that certianly would have been more deserving of a win than the performance he won for this same year in the leading category.

11 comments:

dshultz said...

A great performance, no doubt. I think that this and Donnie Brasco are Pacino's last two truly great performances. After that, he's ranged from good to mediocre.

dshultz said...

Also, when he cusses out Kevin Spacey has got to be one of my favorites moments in film history.

dinasztie said...

I agree that he was better in this one than Sent of a Woman but I guess he had to win for a leading role.

Anonymous said...

Is my second favorite from the nominees after Hackman

mrripley said...

What did you think of Lemmon and Baldwin,would you have given them nominations,where would you put Lemmon?

Louis Morgan said...

Lemmon was great and deserved a lead nomination, Baldwin was also terrific in his single scene and a nomination would have been deserving as well.

Anonymous said...

I never got the love for Baldwin in GGR, he was very good, but his screentime is too limited for nomination consideration. I thought Sydney Pollack should have got a nomination for Husbands and Wives

Anonymous said...

I would have nominated both Jack Lemmon and Al Pacino as lead actors.

Eddie

Anonymous said...

I wonder when the next review will be?

Tanvir Bashar said...

Wat wud u say r pacinos top ten best performances

Louis Morgan said...

1. Dog Day Afternoon
2. The Godfather
3. The Godfather Part II
4. Glengarry Glen Ross
5. Scarecrow
6. CENSORED
7. And Justice For All
8. The Insider
9. Insomnia
10. Serpico