Thursday, 2 February 2012

Best Supporting Actor 1995: Kevin Spacey in The Usual Suspects

Kevin Spacey won his first Oscar from his first Oscar nomination for portraying Roger 'Verbal' Kint in the Usual Suspects.

The Usual Suspects tells the story of a fallout from five criminals who got together for a series of heists, and their association with an elusive underworld bogeyman Keyser Soze.

In this review it is absolutely necessary to divulge the spoilers of the film since the twist of the film is pivotal to Spacey's performance, although I must say most people probably know the twist to this film already. Kevin Spacey Verbal Kint one of the criminals in the film who appears to be rather meek and simple fellow who seems to just stand behind and around the other criminals. He does not seem to make the major decision and always somehow seems like the least important among the group.

As Kint he is very mannered he always seems to be putting on a bit of an act. He is always obviously talking too much for his own good and he seems to almost purposefully make himself seems extra pathetic with his disabilities, and manner of speaking. Kint is most certainly an oddity about Spacey he is as fidgety and as expressive in his overall meekness as possible. Spacey makes Kint into a rather weak willed man, who only seems to be among the criminals because they happened to ask him.

Kint It is a theatrical display by Spacey, but it is one that works for a multitude of reasons. For one thing he most certainly comes off as pathetic and as meek as Kint should be actually. He is both believable as the utterly pathetic Kint, but Spacey abilities in both the theatrical and the subtle actually creates a sort of mystery about Kint, and it is hard to put one's finger on the mystery of who this man is. His theatricality for example suggests one of two things that is merely what Kint does to get back in the criminal world, or that he is really hiding something by pretending to something he is not, Spacey allows us to see it either way.

The same goes for some of Spacey more subtle moments in the group scenes with the other criminals. Spacey portrays Kint just right is it that he is dumb and stupid just, and that is the sole reason he stays silent most of the time, or again is there something more going on in his head, which there may be in a few brief moments from time to time. Spacey keeps the mystery of Kint that could go either way that he really just is a nothing or, there is far more than one could possibly think about Kint.

Well the truth in the end is that there is far more to Kint in that he is in actuality the criminal mastermind known as Keyer Soze, or at least most certainly is not the meek individual he portrayed for the rest of the film. Spacey's slightly off but effective portrayal for the rest of the film absolutely works with the eventual twist making the twist believable in the end without giving away the twist early on either since he keeps Verbal just the right sort of mystery with his performance.

Spacey's performance was absolutely key to the film as a whole, after all what is most remembered about this film is Spacey's performance and the twist he brings to life. Spacey is the one who makes the twist work through his odd but effective characterization of Verbal Kint. I particularly love his single moment we he turns from the pathetic Verbal to a man of confidence and strength in a single moment. He managed to make a character that one could be suspect and doubt equally. Yes it has the combination of theatrics and some subtly as usual with Spacey in this film though in this instance it absolutely works.


Anonymous said...

Brilliant performance from a brilliant actor.

dinasztie said...

I was kinda underwhelmed by him but I saw him very long ago so I might just give him another try. :)

mrripley said...

Seen him5 times and he wins hands down everytime, i would nommmed him for seven too if i could.

dshultz said...

He's absolutely brilliant in this. I love him. Having seen Se7en, what did you think of him in it?

Louis Morgan said...

He's very good in that as well.

Fritz said...

Haven't seen him yet in this one (shocking, I know) but I thought he was chilling in Seven. I just watched parts of it yesterday. When he yells "Detectiiiiiive", it's a fantastic moment.