Jaye Davidson received his only Oscar nomination for portraying Dill in The Crying Game.
The most notable aspect of this performance is the twist. Davidson is most certainly believable as the woman, as his look certainly allows this. How much of this is genuinely acting though, and how much of it is merely how he looks, and Neil Jordan's direction. Well this is hard to say, much of it is how he looks, and even that is technically imperfect as he still looks like a strange woman.
Well either way though that does not alone make this an amazing performance, or even an overly special performance. True the other nominees this year could not have come across as a woman, but Davidson would not have been able to really been believable in any of the other character the other nominees played. So really what really should be focused on than is what he does with the character of Dill, more than what gender Dill happens to be.
The main characteristic Davidson portrays in Dill is a great deal of neediness. Dill desperately wants to be loved by someone no matter what, and is quickly offended if they are to hurt Dill. Davidson certianly realizes this well, although I must say that perhaps he focuses a tad too much on this aspect. It is almost the entire focus of his performance, and really there probably could have been even more to Dill, which Davidson does not bring to the part.
Davidson though does manage to make a fairly interesting relationship with Stephen Rea. The do not quite have a natural chemistry especially in the second part of their relationship, but they effectively create an interesting dynamic, with Rea being very very hesitant, but Davidson playing Dill as consistently persistent, and earnest in keeping the relationship going.
Davidson creates an interesting characterization but hardly a perfect one. Also although no amateurism every comes through with this performance, he never comes across of having a full grasp of the screen either. Although this is a unique performance, most certianly I am hard pressed to call it an amazing performance by any means.Once one gets past the twist of the character, and watches it on repeat viewings he never comes across as stunning by any means.