Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Best Supporting Actor 1970: John Marley in Love Story

John Marley received his only Oscar nomination for portraying Phil Cavalleri in Love Story.

John Marley portrays Phil who is the father of the female half of the titular love story Jennider Cavalleri (Ali MacGraw). He is the opposite of the Oliver Barrett (Ryan O'Neal)'s father (Ray Milland) who is cold, and and not supportive of their relationship whereas Phil is warm rather supportive, even if taken aback by some of their views and values. Marley actually has a very small role here with only four total scenes in the film. Marley is not even the focus of all four of them either and is simply part of the scenes.

I will say though that despite the rather limited and very small amount of screen time Marley does manage to make as much as he can out of his role, and does realize Phil better than one might expect given the limitations on his performance. He actually gives a charming honestly warmth filled performance. Marley makes Phil into an understanding father with a genuine quality to his performance that never feels forced in any aspect to his character from his love for his daughter to his sort of confusion over some of their choices, but the always shows that love is the actual overriding factor for Phil.

Marley gives a nice performance from his first scene where he does instantly establish Phil's character without trouble. To his short second scene that is a nice heartwarming and gentle reaction that again Marley handles well. Than his third and fourth scene where he is dealing with the terminal disease his Daughter has. Marley is actually terrific in his two short scenes where he is actually quite heartbreaking as he shows the sadness in Phil, that he can barely hide due to his promise to not cry to her father.

Marley actually never had a bad scene or moment in his performance. It most certainly is limited there is no question about that with his only four scenes, but he has four good scenes. I can't say it is the greatest performance ever, or even the greatest very few scenes performance ever. After all it is not as if he really makes an undeniable impact on the film, but his presence is a nice warm one that is effective for when he is on screen. A good performance where Marley serves his purpose as well as any actor really could have in the same role.


dinasztie said...

Your last sentece perfectly sums it up.

RatedRStar said...

I thought he was good in Faces, and I liked him in this actually, played the warmness very real

RatedRStar said...

it seemed like you were gonna give him a slight higher rating, i think 3 is a little underated xxx =D xx

Louis Morgan said...

Well fitting into my overall ranking he really sits well among the 3's a higher 3 really but a 3. As he does not quite make the impact of say 3.5 Michael Lerner, 4 John Gielgud, or 5 Jackie Gleason who all have only have a few scenes on the whole.