Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Alternate Best Actor 1974: Gene Wilder in Young Frankenstein

Gene Wilder did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Frederick Frankenstein in Young Frankenstein, although he did get one for writing it.

Young Frankenstein is an enjoyable comedy film about a descendant of Victor Frankenstein trying to make his own monster. Although to be fair like most Mel Brooks comedies it does mix in a few groans with the laughs due to the fact he constantly is going for laughs. I will say one of the best parts of this film though is the recreation of the art direction and cinematography found in the original Frankenstein film. 

Gene Wilder portrays the descendant of Victor Frankenstein who at first wishes to not be associated with his ancestor in any way even insisting that his last name is pronounced differently. Of course after inheriting the old castle, and finding his grandfather's old notes he soon decides to make his own monster by reanimating the dead. Wilder is an actor who particularly suits the role of the Frankenstein, the biggest reason I would say why is the propensity Frankenstein have to yell wildly. If there is one actor who knows how to yell so it does not seem like overacting but in fact comic brilliance it is Gene Wilder. Wilder knows how to yell in just a way that it is a full body experience of an energetic emotion of some sort. Whether it is crying in terror over his creature, or glee over his success, or anger over his failure. Wilder is able to be as equally humorous as he is intense in screams. Wilder never overacts because he always absolutely believes in his loud cries.

Wilder always has a certain conviction in the role that works in an interesting trick he manages to pull with his performance. Wilder in a way does portray his role seriously in that he does not really act like he is in a parody of Frankenstein. This is not to say Wilder plays it straight though, after all he does play the part like a maniac. Wilder though is both a Frankenstein who shows passion in his experiments as well as with ease goes for as many laughs as possible. Now I am not trying to say that Wilder gives a dramatically compelling performance, as that is not the intention of the film, which is an extremely comic style comedy this is Mel Brooks after all not Woody Allen. Wilder though is able to really bring the comedy though through by being as devoted to possibly in bringing the insanity of his character alive in his insane performance.

Wilder simply knows how to effectively give a comedic performance without falling into the excessive overacting of some performances in comedies.Wilder with ease is entertaining in every one of his scenes with his expert timing. Wilder goes on the edge with every moment with his craziness, and always manages to succeed in bringing the laughs with his performance.Wilder punctuates well every moment of his performance to simply gives an extremely enjoyable performance. It might not quite have as great or as wide of an effect as his earlier work in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, but nevertheless he succeeds well in creating a very funny performance which was very much the main goal of his work here.


Lezlie said...

I won't be home for two days. Should you choose 2003 for best actor, please consider Peter Dinklage (The Station Agent) and Min-Sik Choi (Oldboy). And for supporting actor:
2001 - Sean Bean (The Fellowship of the Ring)
2009 - Woody Harrelson (Zombieland)

These are the performances I would be most interested in :)


dinasztie said...

Wow, I'm actually shocked because I expected a 5! :D