Jude Law received his first Oscar nomination for portraying Dickie Greenleaf in The Talented Mr. Ripley.
The Talented Mr. Ripley details Tom Ripley (Matt Damon) a strange young man who sent to Europe return a rich man's son, but does far differently than what was planned.
Jude Law portray Dickie Greenleaf the rich man's son who is a rather shallow character. The whole point of his character though is this fact as he is not a very depth filled man in the least. Dickie is far more of just a spoiled rich brat who wants to just sort of live his way no matter what the consequences may be to others, or how he treats some of the various people around him. Portraying a shallow character actually can be more difficult that it might seems because one must avoid only giving an entirely shallow performance as well. Law though avoids this portraying the rather shallow Dickie creating a realistic portrait of a shallow man.
In his early scenes when he first meets Ripley there the right sort of welcoming quality in Law's performance. I would not say a warmth but most certainly there is a great deal of charm Law has as Dickie. He effectively does make us like him even if he really is lacking in likable qualities simply because of this charm that is present in Law's performance as Dickie. He makes it entirely believable that everyone around him is basically swept up by him whether it be Tom, his girlfriend Marge (Gwyneth Paltrow), or his other friend Freddie (Philip Seymour Hoffman).
Dickie though is in a way just a charm though that can only last for so long as he still is a shallow man who most certainly uses whatever he wants out of other just like Tom Ripley. The difference though between he and Tom though is that Law shows Dickie manipulations of still a man rather than the calculated villain that is Ripley. What makes the the cold side so effective though is the way Law's completely authentic fashion in which he portrays this coldness. He shows it as just a part of the spoiled brat that is Dickie it is just something he does and barely even thinks about.
Law effectively portrays this cruelty he is just as believable in causing Ripley's alienation as he was in bringing him in with his charm. Law is effective because he never only seizes one note with his performance and realistically portrays Dickie many sides of his personality well. He can go from absolutely charming to absolutely cruel in just a few moments believably because of Law. Dickie is indeed a shallow individual, but Law never portrays him in shallow way. He realizes a fully fledged character in his own right that fulfills his role in the film.