Friday, 16 December 2011

Best Supporting Actor 1991: Michael Lerner in Barton Fink

Michael Lerner received his only Oscar nomination so far for portraying Jack Lipnick in Barton Fink.

Barton Fink depicts the strange story of a playwright hired for the movies to write a wrestling picture but suffers from writer's block well living in a bizarre hotel.

This is a strange nomination since after the watching the film I would think that anyone would most likely say the standout supporting performance in the film was by John Goodman as the strange neighbor of Barton's, but I guess maybe Goodman's character was a little too strange for them maybe his whole plot line so perhaps they decided to go with the character they could more fully understand the imposing studio boss played by Michael Lerner Jack Lipnick who hires Fink to write a wrestling picture that is to star Wallace Beery.

Lerner appears in only three scenes total as Lipnick although he is the domineering presence in all three of them. Jack Lipnick is forceful fast talking studio head who knows his business and talks fast, and is unpredictable in his way he praises Fink and ridicules his assistant. Lerner actually is quite good in these scenes and does bring all of these qualities to life. He dominates his scenes just as Jack Lipnick should dominate everything around him.

Lerner appropriately has humorous overtones to his performance which he includes in his performance without any sort of visible performance. It is a performance that more than simply fufills his role because how effective he is in his scenes. Lerner role though is limited, and he does not make for the most memorable part of a film. Lerner's performance though is of course quite good yet I can't quite say he is that good really. Lerner is enjoyable presence in the film, but there isn't anything he does in the film that is absolutely amazing in the film. He is a good few scenes wonder, but not one of the truly great ones.


RatedRStar said...

My predictions are going well =D so far lol

Gustavo said...

I read your evaluation of this performance in hope of understanding it. You described well what he did, but to me the reaction to his choices is nothing but bafflement. I just didn't get what the actor was trying to accomplish.

Goodman was criminally robbed.