Chris Cooper won his Oscar from his first nomination for portraying John Laroche in Adaptation.
Chris Cooper's performance takes on this strangeness and seeks to exploit it for all it is worth. He certainly makes Laroche into an original odd creation that does work in the context of the film. He is suppose strange but humorous and Cooper is just that strange and humorous. I actually find he goes just far enough without going to far. A flamboyant strange characterization that is grounded enough to be almost a person well being odd enough to be the purposeful crazy character he is suppose to be.
Cooper finds the humor in his characterization without being too cartoony, as well as the strange sort of passion that Laroache has for the Orchids as well as his other hobbies he gave simply because he was done with them. It is a strange obsession that Cooper shows one that is very out of the ordinary, but Cooper actually does show a comfort with the character and his strange ideas that works well for the part of Laroche.
Cooper is effective and entertaining throughout his strange performance, and manages well with his few dramatic scenes too that are still the same character as the funny Orchid Thief. Cooper even still manages to be the part of the totally off the wall Laroche that is presented in the last part of the film becuase he makes it seem possible enough through his consistent portrayal of his oddity.
It is difficult not to be completely over the top with this sort of character but Cooper does manage it. I must stills say though although I like this performance I do not absolutely love it. He is a good part of the film, but on each subsequent viewing of the film I only am more drawn to Nicolas Cage's parts of the film as Kaufman, than to Cooper's parts. A good performance most certainly but just not one of my favorites.