Friday, 9 March 2012

Best Supporting Actor 1969: Anthony Quayle in Anne of the Thousand Days

Anthony Quayle received his only Oscar nomination for portraying Cardinal Thomas Wolsey in Anne of the Thousand Days.

Cardinal Wolsey who acts basically just as a loyal man working the will of King Henry (Richard Burton). Wolsey does this until he eventually falls out of favor with the King because he is disliked by the King's second wife Anne Boleyn. Quayle is functional enough in this role being the sort of proper yes man for the King being somewhat authoritative as well when carrying around Henry's orders.

It is not a particularly compelling performance though as he basically just goes through the motions one would expect from the Cardinal as he is written in the film which is fairly simply. Although he is a man of his own great power the film as well as Quayle's performance only seem to show the Cardinal's power as nothing more than just something for the King to use. The cardinal simply is not a very interesting character in the film and barely seems to even be a power player within the Kingdom and is quite close to just being a yes man toward the king.

There are a few scenes where he tries to persuade the King off his course in regards to his marriage with Anne Boleyn but even that is quite limited. Really Quayle's biggest scene that most likely gave him the nomination is his scene where he has lost all favor with the King after he failed to keep the King in favor with the pope. Quayle does realize the sadness of cardinal well enough after he has lost everything but still it is not anything particularly remarkable.

His nomination in the end seems to be a sort of a bonus nomination for film and a career nomination for himself. There is not a single moment in his performance that really makes his character standout it is mainly a functional performance for a functional role. Although I will say that Cardinal Wolsey did not need to be functional as he is in this film, because Orson Welles in A Man for All Seasons makes a far more interesting and impressive character out of Wolsey in a single scene than Quayle ever does in his several scenes.

1 comment:

dinasztie said...

He was really nothing special here. :/