Sunday, 9 October 2011

Best Supporting Actor 1992: Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men

Jack Nicholson received his tenth Oscar nomination for portraying Colonel Nathan R. Jessep in A Few Good Men.

A Few Good Men depicts a trial for two marines who accidentally killed another marine during a hazing.

Jack Nicholson portrays the commanding officer of the U.S. Military base in Cuba, where the death of the soldier occurs. I must admit when watching this film I can't help but think that Nicholson is really miscast. I really cannot believe him as an ultra fervent marine commander,  Nicholson always comes off a little too much of a rebel, to truly be a man who only ever really thinks of doing his perceived duty as a Marine no matter what the cost. 

Also really Nicholson may seem a tad too evil to begin with. I knew from the first time I saw the film, that Nicholson was definitely behind everything since he just had the look the whole time. The casting of Nicholson as well as his approach really does not work as well as it should. It is too obvious that he is the bad the guy in the film, but at the same time it is hard to believe that he is sort of bad guy he is suppose to be. I never felt he truly believed in the Marines duty too much, instead he came off as doing what he did just because he was evil, which I do not really think is the intent of the story.

This is not to say Nicholson is truly bad, just really he should not have been the choice for the part. He no matter what is Jack Nicholson who still is effective in his own way in his scenes, even though not in the right fashion for the film. He is an intense villain, and his break down is handled well enough by Nicholson to be somewhat memorable. The feeling never escaped me though that Nicholson was not the Colonel Nathan R. Jessep the film needed or wanted him to be.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Agreed Louis, I think Robert Duvall would have been better here

RatedRStar said...

I agree too, I always knew he was evil from the beginning a bit too obviously

mrripley said...

I get your point but that confrontation scene with Cruise is where he sells it for me.

Anonymous said...

I actually find some similarities with Nicholson in this and Hackman in Unforgiven. Both are men who are trying to do their jobs but are unable to transcend their own ego and violence. Though Hackman's performance has significantly more depth

joe burns said...

great review! You got your point across really well here!

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous: I agree, or Gene Hackman I think.

Joe: Thanks.

Sage Slowdive said...

Jack seems to be on autopilot here - he can still handle the part with good ease, but the movie brings him down here. I'd rate him low, but I still think he's good.

dshultz said...

You said it Sage, autopilot indeed. This is what I call a quintessential Nicholson performance, in which all the vocal and mannerism oddities are in full tow. Whenever I imitate Jack, I always use this performance as a starting point.