Monday, 31 October 2011

Best Supporting Actor 1973: Jason Miller in The Exorcist

Jason Miller received his only Oscar nomination for portraying Father Damien Karras in The Exorcist.

Jason Miller although in the supporting category here could really have been placed in lead considering he most certainly is the male lead of the film, I do not mind his supporting placement all that much though, since there are good amount of scenes that do not have him in it nor do the involve him. Karras though is a pivotal character of the film as he has a personal journey that is given a good deal of time that coincides with Chris Macneil (Ellen Burstyn) coming to the conclusion that her daughter Regan (Linda Blair) is in fact possessed by a demon rather that having a psychological problem.

For most of the film Miller's performance is an intensely quiet and subtle performance. His early scenes depict his problems dealing with the sickness and eventual death of his mother. It actually could have been very easy to have overplayed these moments but Miller is more effective by showing that the death of his mother troubles Karras greatly. The sadness and loss of faith in Karras is never portrayed in some huge outcry in his performance rather it is something deeper which Miller portrays in a very haunting way.

Karras though is forced to face his duty as a priest and his faith with the idea of the Exorcism and the possessed girl. Miller is terrific in his first scene with the demon as he at first is rather skeptical of the idea of someone actualyl being possessed by a demon. A scene like this frankly could have gone all wrong if the one reacting to the demonically possessed girl overacted at all, but Miller is deadly serious and realistic the entire time.

Miller continues to be effective and powerful in the pivotal final moments during the actual exorcism scenes. Miller is able to convey Damien's fear, and disbelief throughout the scene. Through each different attempt to get at him by the demon, Miller is able to honestly convey the brutality of the entire scene both emotionally and physically as the demon constantly wears him down. Miller through his realistic depiction is able to realize fully the horror of the scene.

Miller though realizes Damien courage and anger of the film. Miller is able to bring the power of the final scene extremely well showing Damien determination and strength perfectly. Miller gives a very powerful performance that is essential to the film, as Karras' transformation to uncertainty to determination is pivotal to the climax as well as his ability to bring realism to each of his scenes. Miller meets all of the challenges to his role, and succeeds completely with Damien.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Best Supporting Actor 1973: Jack Gilford in Save the Tiger

Jack Gilford received his only Oscar nomination for portraying Phil Greene in Save the Tiger.

The simple fact about Save the Tiger is that it is an acting showcase for Jack Lemmon as the lead of Harry Stoner no one else. Lemmon's performance is the entire film, and because of that I am a little surprised that Gilford managed to get noticed by the academy as well. Gilford plays Phil Greene who is Harry Stoner's business partner who although is facing the same sort of a financial problems as Harry he is not facing as severe of psychological problems.

Gilford there acts as basically the sidekick to Harry extreme measures he takes to deal with their problems. Gilford is just fine in showing how they both have been partners for a longtime, and been in the same business for too long. He has the same sort of exhaustion as well as frustration as harry, although Gilford always shows that Phil is able to deal with it with far more easily than Harry.

Phil mostly just follows along Harry with every one of his plans the only thing he does is offer a less pessimistic view as well as act as the more conscience of the two. Gilford is good in realistically showing Phil's disbelief in the lengths Harry goes, but only showing enough disbelief to voice slight objections but never completely object to the idea either. After this though Gilford is not really given much to do, he is consistently fine but every scene he is in always belongs to Jack Lemmon not to him.

Best Supporting Actor 1973

And the Nominees Were:

Jason Miller in The Exorcist

Randy Quaid in The Last Detail

John Houseman in The Paper Chase

Vincent Gardenia in Bang the Drum Slowly

Jack Gilford in Save the Tiger

Best Supporting Actor 1981: Results

5. James Coco in Only When I Laugh- James Coco gives an good enough comedic performance, and his moments of drama always handled well enough.
4. Howard Rollins in Ragtime- Rollins gives a good performance as a man who goes to great lengths to keep his dignity my only problem was that I though he could have given an amazing performance if he had pushed even harder with his performance during key moments.
3. Ian Holm in Chariots of Fire- Holm gives a great performance as a very particular athletics coach realizing the humanity, the humor and intelligence of the man extremely well.
2. John Gielgud in Arthur- Gielgud gives an impressive comedic performance as well as when needed a heartfelt performance. Gielgud takes every opportunity of his character an makes the most of it.
1. Jack Nicholson in Reds- Out of this great year Nicholson tops it. Nicholson gives an amazing supporting performance that rises far above his film. Nicholson despite his short screentime creates a fully realized portrait of Eugene O'Neil as a man.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Best Supporting Actor 1981: John Gielgud in Arthur

John Gielgud won his Oscar from his second nomination for portraying Hobson in Arthur.

John Gielgud I imagine helped secure his victory by also being in the eventual best picture nominated Chariots of Fire this same year. Where portrays the master of Trinity College. In that role I found Gielgud to be quite hilarious actually in finding the humor in just how proper and prejudice the Master of Trinity is, in fact I would not have minded if he had one for Chariots of Fire as well because his scenes are some of my favorite scenes in that film, and I love basically all the scenes of that film. Gielgud though instead won for his larger role in Arthur, as billionaire playboy Arthur Bach(Dudley Moore)'s butler.

The role of Hobson is a pivotal role in Arthur since a good deal of the film is made up Hobson's and Arthur's various verbal barbs to one or another. Gielgud in particularly has a great deal of various little comments about just about everyone he comes by. As with Chariots of Fire Gielgud shows exactly how to play a superior snobbish fellow just perfectly. Gielgud although is rather different here than his Chariots Of Fire snob, as Hobson is a nice fellow at heart who just enjoys a good old verbal comeback.

 John Gielgud always has the perfect presence in this film always acting as the comeback to Arthur's antics perfectly. There is always such great precision in everything he says which is absolutely great for the dynamic between Gielgud and Moore. Every single line that Gielgud has is spoken with the utmost certainty that makes everything he says rather amusing. Gielgud knows he has good lines to say and makes the most of everyone that he has.

What is interesting about his performance though is how it also has a more dramatic side that goes along right with his comedic side. This basically comes out with his final scene with Dudley Moore which is simply great. Gielgud in this scene with Moore shows that their relationship together was not simply that of master and servant but instead actually of father and son.They have a great final heartfelt moment that is earned by both actors completely, and Gielgud fits this scene of fatherly warmness as well as with his moments of comedy. Gielgud gives a great supporting performance that truly makes the film.

Best Supporting Actor 1981: Ian Holm in Chariots of Fire

Ian Holm received his only Oscar nomination so far for portraying Sam Mussabini in Chariots of Fire.

Chariots of Fire depicts what drives two Olympic runners during the 1924 Olympic games.

Ian Holm portrays an athletic coach who is not exactly praised highly simply because of the time the amateur approach to running was the strongly suggested approach. Holm chooses to fully create Sam Mussabini into a very particular, and original character in the film. Sometimes this sort of approach can easily lead to some overacting, but Holm extremely well with making Mussabini an unusual man but still creates a realistic portrait of that man as well.

He has a very particular way about himself that works quite well to establish that old Sam has been a bit of oddity in the athletics world since he was a professional coach. Holm has a nice way about himself showing that Sam certainly has seen it all basically and has been around a long time. There is a quiet intelligence in his performance, that even though he might not always look ti eh knows basically everything there is to know about being a professional runner.

Holm makes Sam a man of his time in the way he walks and talks without ever doing it. There are certainly even moments in the film where you cannot even tell what he is saying exactly. I never minded it though actually because Holm actually made it enhance his character as a whole, and really set the particular Sam in his period. Sam  could have been an uninteresting or immaterial character but Holm never allows that to happen do to this realization of Sam as a character. 

Holm always has a special charm in his performance that works very well in his scenes with Ben Cross as Harold Abrahams. In these scenes Holm shows a natural knowledge in Sam that shows Sam to be the master of the sport he is, as well as also slowly shows a camaraderie between Abrahams and Sam. He and Cross have a low key but effective chemistry together. Although much of the work together is professional both actors manage to show a mutual respect and friendship the two men have together.

My personal favorite scenes of Holm though come near the end of the film where Sam and Harold achieve their goals together. They are short moments but Holm makes them quietly heartfelt as he honestly portrays just how much this achievement truly means to him. In these short moments Holm carefully lets us know exactly why Sam does what he does, and how he gets the same or even more a thrill from a victory than the runner themselves. This to me is always an enjoyable performance that makes the most his character and only adds to the film itself.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Best Supporting Actor 1981: Jack Nicholson in Reds

Jack Nicholson received his sixth Oscar nomination for portraying Eugene O'Neil in Reds.

Reds is not a film I particularly care for because it takes too much of a sentimental and romantic view of its subject matter. In turn I thought many of the performances did exactly the same, but one person who rips right through any sort of sentimental ideas is Jack Nicholson as Eugene O'Neil. For me he is the only real reason to watch the film because he is almost on an entirely different level than the rest of the actors in this film, and is the only character I was really at all interested in.

Nicholson successfully steals every single scene he is in as the cynical Eugene O'Neil. He even steals the scene when he barely says anything, or does not say anything at all. Nicholson is very good in these basically silent scenes as he channels O'Neil complete disbelief in the fervor that rules the people he is around, as well as subtly channels the clear attraction he has Louise Bryant (Diane Keaton). Nicholson does an enormous amount with no dialogue far more than say Warren Beatty as Jack Reed who sometimes never stops talking.

His best scenes though come when he does get to talk a little bit more which are the scenes where O'Neil attempts to go after Louise despite her being attached to Jack. Nicholson is simply amazing in this scene as he portrays O'Neil attempt to show how he loves Louise. Nicholson is brilliantly subtle of honestly showing this without for a moment overplaying it. O'Neil never fawns over her, but rather shows it with O'Neil it something deeper within him that really makes him want her for his own. Nicholson is calm, and concise in these scenes and his performance always has a low key charisma that makes not at all question the affair.

This is a fascinating performance by Nicholson because of how well he realizes O'Neil as a person despite the fact that he is given little screentime and very little background information. O'Neil is always looking for a drink Nicholson never plays him drunk but rather shows that he has been an alcoholic for a very long time, since Nicholson always shows O'Neil drinking to be simply something he just does. It is part of his always  state of a sort of semi depression that Nicholson conveys brilliantly, he never forces it on the viewer but it is clearly always a part of O'Neil.

Nicholson though never lets one aspect of O'Neil override all the aspects as characters with a little screentime can sometimes be reduced to. He has enough nuance in his performance to turn Eugene O'Neil in to a full fledged human being. In fact he brings O'Neil more to life than some of the other actors do with their characters. He creates a fascinating performance of a cynical somewhat depressed man, who finds a certain joy, as well as pain with his affair with a married woman. This is great performance that not only stands out in this long film, but is in fact by far the best part of the film.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Best Supporting Actor 1981: Howard Rollins in Ragtime

Howard Rollins received his only Oscar nomination for portraying Coalhouse Walker Jr. in Ragtime.

Ragtime rather ineptly attempts to string together various stories from the Ragtime period in New York.

The story that becomes focused on in the second half of the film is about Coalhouse Walker. Coalhouse first appears in the film as the father of an abandoned child. He comes to take responsibility. In these early scenes Rollins has  great deal of pride in his performance that shows Walker to genuinely accept his responsibility, as well as someone who wants to be treated with respect by others. He has a quite dignity and intelligence in his performance that is necessary to set him up before his fall. Later though Coalhouse runs into some serious problems when he is mistreated by a few local firemen, which sets up a tragic chain of events. Rollins is very good at first showing how Coalhouse just wants to be treated with a little human decency, nothing more. Rollins makes it clear that all he wants is the genuine respect he deserves as any man deserves nothing more. Rollins really is good at showing how the frustrations are slowly bursting below the surface that works to his radical decision that he eventually comes to.

Eventually he goes to his radical plan to get what he wants which includes killing, bombing, and overtaking a building to get his demands. Rollins I suppose I just wanted a little more from here than the rest of his performance. There just, for me, was never quite the moment in his performance to show Coalhouse finally go over the edge. He still certainly is good I just wish the moment of being pushed to far had been there, since his performance certainly would have been more powerful. The last scenes of his performance Rollins is most certainly good, but I guess I think he could have been amazing but he never quite was for me. He certainly still is good trying to keep his dignity even in his problematic situation, but still I always wanted a little more from his performance than he gave. His final outburst that shows how angry he is over the situation is also well handled, but the feeling never left me that that this performance could have been more.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Best Supporting Actor 1981: James Coco in Only When I Laugh

James Coco received his only Oscar nomination for portraying Jimmy in Only When I Laugh.

Only When I Laugh depicts the story of an alcoholic stage actress who has trouble staying sober while dealing with problems with her friends and her daughter.

James Coco is the one of only two actors, the other being Amy Irving, to receive both an Oscar nomination and a Razzie nomination for the same performance. I must say first off that Coco should never have had this distinction because this is not a bad performance and most certainly not one of the worst supporting performances of the year. James Coco gives an relatively early example of a flamboyant gay character who admits to be such. The idea of a flamboyant gay character can commonly lead to some big overacting, but not automatically as shown by say William Hurt in Kiss of a Spiderwoman. This is actually less acting by Coco though as if you see him in an interview he actually has basically the same mannerisms, just  he talks with less one liners.

Coco really though never becomes just a caricature though and manages to make Jimmy an actual person who happens to be flamboyant rather than just a series of flamboyant mannerisms. Coco does well giving his one liners putting a great deal of energy in each of his scenes. The snappy comeback friend is most certainly a cliche but Coco does a fine job with that sort of character nonetheless. His best scenes though are his more dramatic ones such as where he attempts to comfort Georgia (Marsha Mason). He really shows an honest caring for her that works well for the film. His single best moment though most certianly comes when he is distraught over losing an acting part he thought for sure he had. Coco really shows the heartbreak in Jimmy and effectively portrays how it saddens him. Coco manages to find the comedy in the part as well as the drama. Although I can't say they are perfectly balanced as I greatly preferred his dramatic moments over his comedic ones he effectively kept both aspects within a single character. This is not an amazing performance by any means it is most certainly a good enough one that well maybe did not need to be Oscar nominated but it certainly was not at all deserving of its Razzie nomination.

Best Supporting Actor 1981

And the Nominees Were:

Ian Holm in Chariots of Fire

James Coco in Only When I Laugh

John Gielgud in Arthur

Howard Rollins in Ragtime

Jack Nicholson in Reds

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Best Supporting Actor 1962: Results

5. Telly Savalas in Birdman of Alcatraz- This performance is nothing because his character is nothing.
4. Victor Buono in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?- Buono gives an effectively humorous performance that is not a whole lot but creates some nice little moments when on screen.
3. Ed Begley in Sweet Bird of Youth- Although the Southern Political Boss is an old role, and Begley does not reinvent anything about it he everything the boss should be from the charisma to the cruelty. 
2. Terence Stamp in Billy Budd- Stamp gives an effective performance that is filled with charm and an incredible ease that fully realizes the purity of his character.
1. Omar Sharif in Lawrence of Arabia- Good Prediction Dinasztie and Moviefilm. Sharif gives a strong supporting performance that works in great harmony with Peter O'Toole amazing work as the lead. Sharif perfectly contrast his characters transition to sanity and understanding, as O'Toole shows Lawrence's transition into insanity and sadism.
Deserving Performances:
Peter Sellers in Lolita
Jose Ferrer in Lawrence of Arabia
Claude Rains in Lawrence of Arabia

Best Supporting Actor 1962: Terence Stamp in Billy Budd

Terence Stamp received his only Oscar nomination so far for portraying the titular character in Billy Budd.

Billy Budd tells of the life aboard a British warship.

The character of Billy Budd really is the main character and Terence Stamp's performance is a leading one not a supporting one. This is the standard supporting placement for a first time film performance. This is not that egregious of a performance placement as say Richard Burton in My Cousin Rachel because there are scenes without Billy, and it can be argued that Peter Ustinov as the ship Captain is also the lead. Billy Budd is the newest addition to the ship impressed by the British navy while he was working on a Merchant vessel. Billy Budd is an interesting character who is purely a good character who has a purely good view of life and of people. He never purposefully gives offense, and his only really problem is has a stammer that comes from being unable to express himself. Billy Budd is really a difficult character to get right actually because although he is simple in a way his goodness is pure in just the right fashion that it could have been very easy to make Billy a boring character or an unrealistic one, but Stamp succeeds in avoiding both of these potential issues. Stamp is never boring as Billy showing a clear strong screen presence in his first film performance. 

He makes Billy a charming character with a natural charisma in his performance. Stamp finds the charm in just the simplicity of Billy as a character. In every scene where Billy eases through a potentially problematic situation, or when he inadvertently causes himself problems through his simple belief in doing what is right Stamp is always able bring to life a genuine innocence in Billy. There is almost an otherworldly quality about Billy's kindness as the Ship Captain says is almost as inhuman as the cruelty of the ship's Man of Arms (Robert Ryan). Stamp realizes this otherworldly quality brilliantly there is something special about Billy's kindness because Stamp is able to show how it comes completely naturally with Billy because there is never a forced moment in Stamp's performance. Stamp gives a good performance because of this that makes what happens to Billy truly heartbreaking because Stamp realizes the purity of Billy's optimism just that honestly.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Best Supporting Actor 1962: Ed Begley in Sweet Bird of Youth

Ed Begley won his Oscar from his only nomination for portraying Boss Tom Finley in Sweet Bird of Youth.

Sweet Bird of Youth tells of a young man (Paul Newman) Chance who wishes to regain some of his youth with his old girlfriend.

Ed Begley portrays a southern political boss apparently a liked Oscar type character since it also brought Broderick Crawford a win for best actor in 1949. Now I was not the biggest fan of Broderick Crawford's lead performance in All the King's Men and I think Ed Begley's performance as Boss Finley actually succeeds in a few ways with the same type of character where Crawford failed.

Begley just as Crawford did succeeds quite well in showing the brutal as well as pompous nature of the political boss, but I think Begley does it better. Begley always shows that Finley is the boss of any room, even when he is not talking always having an strong presence in any scene forcing one to notice him. Begley always has the right attitude in the part he is the political boss and he knows it, he knows it so well that he does not mind flaunting it as much as he feels like.

My major problem with Crawford was although properly cruel as the political boss he was always too obviously evil, Begley outs on the facade quite well. Begley even with thinking of various acts of cruelty usually likes to come off as a nice old man while doing it. There are moments where he is not an exacts his cruelty directly, but since Begley combines both types of moments with ease which are essential in showing how Boss Finley is able to be a political boss not just a crime boss.

Begley is effective in both types of moments of cruelty. He is appropriately gentle but with always that little evil glint in his eye, and that deliciously fake smile that goes with it. Begley knows how to make the facade of of Finely that allows him to keep power as well as mistress. There is a little charm, a perfect politician's charm, there in the boss that makes this believable.

In his scenes of more direct evil Begley is rather chilling, and properly brutal. Begley shows that when Finley facade goes away it is only when he means absolute business, when it something that angers him off in the just the right way it makes him go over the edge and the full force of who he is comes out. Begley shows him a pathetic bully, whose cruelty who shows no empathy for his worst actions.

I think most important to his performance though are his out in public scenes that establish his nature as political boss. Begley is very friendly in these scenes almost fatherly in his few moments with Chance that are set in the past when they were on good terms. Begley apparent warmness, and charisma in these scenes act perfectly to show exactly how Finley became the boss, and stayed as one. The role of the boss is not an original one by any means and Begley does not try to take some whole new entirely style to it, but he certainly meets all the challenges of the character.

Best Supporting Actor 1962: Omar Sharif in Lawrence of Arabia

Omar Sharif received his only Oscar nomination so far for portraying Sherif Ali ibn el Kharish in Lawrence of Arabia.

What is so great about Lawrence of Arabia is its entire scope and that it never only settles on the central character study of Lawrence (Peter O'Toole), but it always manages to give an appropriate amount of time to the various supporting players who are well realized by the large cast. Although the film is filled with such actors well liked by the academy as Anthony Quinn, Claude Rains, Alec Guinness, Arthur Kennedy, and Jose Ferrer the only one of the supporting players nominated was Omar Sharif whose first English language film was this film. This certainly makes sense as Sherif Ali has an interesting transformation that is the opposite of Lawrence's central one of the film. Although it is not given an enormous amount of time through the film's strong script, and especially Sharif's performance it is fully realized. In his first scene Omar Sharif appears as Sherif Ali mercilessly kills a fellow Arab, Lawrence's guide, simply because the man was from the wrong tribe and drinking from his well.

Sharif is interesting in Ali first scene and shows absolutely no remorse over his killing. This important because Sharif shows with his lack of empathy that Ali's behavior is simply commonplace, he really sees no reason for an alternative. Also in this first scene Ali acts with certain interest as well as a very much unimpressed quality toward Lawrence. Sharif again establishes well Ali's whole past suggesting an intelligent man as well as one who is very skeptical of both the British's help and their longtime goals. 

In their move to take Aqaba Sharif makes Ali act as an interesting contrast to Lawrence. Sharif shows that Ali is very much doubtful of Lawrence's plan, and his whole overly optimistic and passionate attitude. Sharif always plays down all of these scenes. He never acts as if this is some wonderful plan instead Sharif shows Ali overall cynicism involving the plan and Lawrence as well. He also stays consistently realistic in showing how although doubtful of the plan Ali still wants the plan to work therefore acts as a teacher to Lawrence showing his knowledge of the land.

In the whole of the Aqaba sequence Sharif undergoes a transition of both accepting of the idea, as well as excepting Lawrence as a man who honestly wants to help them. It is a subtle and effectively portrayed transition by Sharif where he never overplays it. He instead shows actually a slow removal of a sort of defense against outsiders he had from before, and Sharif naturally shows that Ali begins to accept Lawrence as one of their own. Sharif never pushes this change instead carefully showing it, which is essential since his defense against Lawrence briefly returns when Lawrence must leave to report on their success, it returns not in an overriding fashion but rather as Sharif showing Ali realistically was not completely sure of Lawrence just yet.

Later in the film it is interesting because Sharif shows that Ali no longer is a cynical almost adversary to Lawrence but his greatest confidant. It is interesting because Ali concerns change over from Lawrence's ability to Lawrence's mental state since Lawrence becomes increasingly involved with his own idea that he is some sort of savior. Sharif does not play it as finding Lawrence insane and treating him as such, but instead Sharif shows that from his time with Lawrence he does have an honest care for the man. Sharif is terrific in playing opposite of O'Toole being able to stay with O'Toole incredible performance as well as showing how Ali attempts to act as both a friend and reality to Lawrence.

The most interesting aspect of Sharif's performance though comes near the end of the film where Lawrence as become overwhelmed with sadism and revenge against the Turks. Sharif shows a very much changed man from the man who had originally killed without caring from the film, which is the opposite transition of Lawrence's. Sharif conveys this change superbly owing to his own horror at Lawrence's blood lust as well as his increased understanding of the fault of tribal politics. Sharif effectively portrays this change making Ali the moral center of the film at the end. He is particularly great in the massacre scene where Ali cannot even believe the degree of Lawrence's change and hatred. Sharif though ends on a high note as he shows Ali honest struggle, and heartbreaking realization in seeing the change in his friend. This is a great performance by Omar Sharif that effectively realizes Sherif Ali as a character, as well manages to keep his presence known despite the overwhelming strength of the lead performance.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Best Supporting Actor 1962: Victor Buono in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

Victor Buono received his only Oscar nomination for portraying Edwin Flagg in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?.

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? tells the story of two aged sisters the demented and has been Baby Jane (Bette Davis) who terrorizes the crippled buy still fondly remembered Blanche (Joan Crawford).

Victor Buono plays a fairly small role of a pianist and composer who takes on the add put in by Baby Jane to help her with the songs in the act she believes she can make. Edwin is fairly oblivious to the insanity of Baby Jane, and believes her to be a serious opportunity for work as a composer. Buono actually a nice addition to the film, and his jovial performance helps keep the film from becoming a depressing affair.

Edwin is a fairly simple role he lives with his mother, and than spends time with Jane. In his scenes with Edwin's mother Buono is rather humorous even though it is rather funny looking just the size difference between Edwin and his mother to begin with. Buono though appropriately shows the frustrations he has with his mother clearly showing the Edwin does want to get out of her house, and even shows some anger over his past with his mother and father. The relationship is small and simple but Buono tries to get the most out of it.

Buono is as well humorous in his scenes with Jane. Buono shows that Edwin attempts to come off far more proper and pompous composer than he really is. He also appropriately is believable in his relationship with Jane. They have an interesting dynamic with Edwin not noticing she is off her rocker always very much interested in the prospects of money. It is a simple dynamic but one that is properly amusing as portrayed by David and Buono.

Buono really though only amounts to just a small humorous role with a few dramatic moments such as his later scenes where he finally realizes that Jane is insane after all. Buono is just fine in his dramatic moments as his humorous always doing his best. The simple truth though is Edwin Flagg never is that much of character to begin with. What there is though Buono does manage to bring anything he can out of it. It is not much but it is an amusing and likable performance.

Best Supporting Actor 1962: Telly Savalas in Birdman of Alcatraz

Telly Savalas received his only Oscar nomination for portraying Feto Gomez in Birdman of Alcatraz.

Telly Savalas plays fellow prisoner to the Birdman Robert Stroud (Burt Lancaster). He gets some birds of his own gives them to Stroud when they are laying eggs, than we see him one more time in Alcatraz as he hands Stroud a book. That's it this character should never have been considered for a nomination, Savalas brings nothing to the part than one would expect from this nothing of a character. He is tough guy prisoner that's it. Savalas has absolutely nothing to do here that is all there is to it. This is a truly wasted nomination.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Best Supporting Actor 1962

And the Nominees Were:

Terence Stamp in Billy Budd

Telly Savalas in Birdman of Alcatraz

Ed Begley in Sweet Bird of Youth

Omar Sharif in Lawrence of Arabia

Victor Buono in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Best Supporting Actor 1943: Results

5. Akim Tamiroff in For Whom the Bell Tolls- Tamiroff gives a far too simple approach as Pablo, and fails to bring the depth to part that could have easily been found.
4. Charles Bickford in The Song of Bernadette- Bickford is satisfactory enough as the priest who eventually comes around to helping Bernadette, particularly when he is doubting. His character never requires much though and frankly his more tender scenes seems a bit rough around the edges.
3. J. Carrol Naish in Sahara- Naish has an extremely limited role but manages to create a sympathetic portrait as well gives a passionate speech. Not much but he does a fine job.
2. Claude Rains in Casablanca- Rains gives an extremely flashy always trying to steal a scene no matter how he does it. Although he certainly is enjoyable to watch I just wish he was a little less obvious about the whole thing. 
1. Charles Coburn in The More the Merrier- Coburn easily wins this year for me who I think does what Rains tries to do without being so obvious. Coburn gives a great comedic performance. He is completely steals every single scene he is in and makes the most of every opportunity he has with his character.
Deserving Performances:
Dana Andrews in The Ox-Bow Incident

Best Supporting Actor 1943: Claude Rains in Casablanca

Claude Rains received his second nomination for portraying Captain Louis Renault in Casablanca.

Claude Rains plays Captain Renault who is the head of the police in Casablanca. He is player of any side that gets him something being a self confessed corrupt official. Captain Renault is a very flashy role with all his scheming as well as his retorts and Rains decides to take this potential to its limit. This is the flashier performance by Rains that I have seen there is not a single scene where he does not appear to be trying to steal that scene no matter what. Rains throughout his performance is always trying to push himself and be the center of attention even when a scene has little to do with him.

Rains has basically no shame in his entire performance nor fear with his choices in this performance he always goes right out and says yes this is flashy role and that is exactly how I am going to play it. Rains does by stating each of his lines with a swift gusto, as well as when every moving on screen there is always something extra to what he does. Each of his reactions and just the way he walks has a certain extra actory quality to it only to really be flashier in the role and get even more attention.

Rains certainly through his flashiness make Captain Renault an enjoyable character to watch. He never quite makes Renault a villain rather always keeping him as a man gets only what he happens to want. Rains really shows a joy in Renault as he tries to get money and women from his position of power. Rains shows that nothing really gets Renault down to much even when he fails, which works well because it shows it as just mostly a game to Renault, a game he has lots of fun with.

Rains certainly has an enjoyable presence in the film, but what keeps me from entirely loving this performance is actually just how self aware Rains is in his entire performance. I never got the feeling that there was not a whole lot of acting going on behind Renault becuase of Rains' method of portraying him throughout the film. Do not get me wrong this is an enjoyable performance, but I personally would have liked it more if Rains whole flashy portrayal was just slightly less obvious and self aware than it is. I am not saying Renault should not be flashy it is the role, but an actor can bring that sort of performance without doing quite so clearly as Rains does here.

Best Supporting Actor 1943: Charles Bickford in The Song of Bernadette

Charles Bickford received his first Oscar nomination for portraying Father Peyramale in The Song of Bernadette.

The Song of Bernadette tells of the life of Saint Bernadette Soubirous.

 Charles Bickford plays the local priest who is very skeptical of Bernadette's sightings of a divine woman. Bickford's performance is not a particularly complex character. He is at first very hard on Bernadette since he does not believe her story. Bickford I suppose is appropriately strict at the begining of the film. Later on he shows his faith though when he eventually comes around to believing Bernadette.

There really is not any sort of transition to be seen in Bickford's performance nor is there one written though. The priest's change is almost instant. Bickford never becomes that interesting though after he becomes on her side he becomes a passionate supporter, and Bickford is appropriately passionate. When Bickford is suppose to be tender though Bickford seems always a little too rough still to really bring the right emotions to the situations near the end of the film. Bickford overall really is not bad but his part is too limited to ever really be compelling.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Best Supporting Actor 1943: Charles Coburn in The More the Merrier

Charles Coburn won his Oscar from his second nomination for portraying Benjamin Dingle in The More the Merrier.

The More the Merrier involves the misadventures of three people who find themselves in the same apartment due to a housing shortage in Washington D.C.

Charles Coburn really is not all that much of a supporting performance for about a half to a third of the film where he basically is the lead being the primary force in moving the story along. I do not mind this placement though because he almost disappears in the later part of the film, which is too bad for the film though because if he had remained the lead the film would have probably been better on a whole, since for me the film lost almost all of its steam when Coburn was not on the screen because he makes the movie.

Coburn plays Benjamin Dingle a rich eccentric billionaire who arrives two days early than expected forcing him to find housing by sharing an apartment with a woman Constance (Jean Arthur). Coburn with ease brigns out all the humor with the situation as he shows that Dingle is always in control of his situation. Not in some sort of dictator fashion, but just a man who always knows what to do, and takes the initiative as Dingle says "Damn the torpedoes full speed ahead.".

Coburn is just great in every scene he has with always pitch perfect comedic reactions to the the various complexities that occur thanks to the unusual room arrangement that Dingle makes even more unusual by renting half of his half to a younger soldier also in town named Joe (Joel McCrea). Every moment Coburn makes the most of with his exceedingly charming and entertaining performance. He always takes every line, every reaction and practically brings each to its fullest potential.

 There is not a scene, even the with the later ones where Dingle is unfortunately pushed in the back where Coburn does not make Dingle the man in charge who can't help but be a joyous presence. I only wish Coburn had been the lead because his part is so enjoyable. This is a performance I simply love and he always makes the film a very easy watch. A eccentric comedic character like this is easy to get very wrong but Coburn always brings the humor and the charm of his character into each and every moment he has in the film.