Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Best Supporting Actor 1982: Charles Durning in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

Charles Durning received his first Oscar nomination for portraying the Governor in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

The Best Little Whorehouse is a rather hard to sit through musical about a long standing Whorehouse's problems with people who are against it.

Charles Durning portrays the governor of Texas who aside from a few very short and quite unremarkable  reaction shots really does not do anything in the film until way past half way through the film he finally does something because the governor of Texas is the person left with the decision to close the Whorehouse down or not, even though he really does not want to be the person left with the decision. Durning despite how little he is in the film is often described as the best part of this film, although that may be true it really says more about the quality of the film than the quality of his performance.

He really does not do anything till he is asked to make a decision on the Whorehouse something he does not really want to do since it gives him any sort of responsibility. So he says all of that in a musical number about side stepping the issue, in which he joyfully sings about his love of doing so, with short moments of saying absolutely nothing through just saying some random good politician type statements. I can't say the number is particularly well written or well directed but Durning does have some energy into the number but never enough that it makes the number at all memorable.

Other than the number he just is a southern inconsistent politician. Durning attempts to be comedic in his character's indecisiveness, but his material is frankly never good enough for Durning to do anything even slightly amusing with it. Durning does try though, and I will give him credit for that but even at his best his performance is nothing special. It never overcomes his material, and his performance is never anything that needed to be awarded. How he was nominated is a bit perplexing especially since they could have nominated him for Tootsie and it would have been far more deserving.


mrripley said...

His perf in Tootsie was WAY WAY better,he made you believe the romance between Julies dad and Dorothy.

Grady Tripp said...

He should've been nominated for TOOTSIE instead. He's my win in supporting that year for that role. Not for this rubbish.

RatedRStar said...

Why is the film tough to sit through haha =D

Pantaleimona said...

Wow, I can't imagine what it would have taken to have such a strong, adverse reaction, dare I say "repulsion", to this lighthearted musical comedy. You couldn't even muster a positive reaction to the score?