Monday, 20 August 2012

Alternate Best Actor 1992: Tim Robbins in The Player

Tim Robbins did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Griffin Mill in The Player.

The Player is an excellent satire on Hollywood about an executive who murders a writer he believes was sending him death threats.

Tim Robbins portrays the executive who does the murdering and I must say watching this film the very first time I frankly expected a bit more of a sleazy portrayal than the one that Robbins provides. Robbins actually pretty much at first shows Griffin Mill to be pretty much just in the role of the Hollywood executive. Robbins does not really show him to be really evil just a Hollywood executive always thinking about the money involved in the process of course, but really he never is obviously implying that Griffin only cares about that.

Robbins plays Griffin basically how a character actor would portray a studio executive in a different movie. Robbins is in many simple in his approach and the only major difference is that he does convey Griffin's sense of paranoia over the death threats quite well. He doesn't overplay this as they are not driving him crazy but rather they are something just pressing on his mind and making him slightly nervous and Robbins portrays this fairly effectively by still keeping it downplayed.

The Player though I feel is very much a directors and writers films as the actors are just players in the story, and many of them are used for a quick satirical puns, particularly the numerous cameos by various actors. Robbins is many ways is just the figure we follow thorough to enjoy the satire, which does not have a great deal to with his performance. Really what makes The Player the great satire it is is almost in entirely in writing and the direction most of the performance really do just play it straight.

Robbins though is perfectly fine in the role as the executive though, and certainly allows all the satire to occur by not overplaying the part. There is a bit more to his character though in that the film does partially cause him to become in a way more ruthless, but as well as slowly more disheveled over murdering the writer. This though is less overarching than one might think, and it all goes along at natural enough pace as portrayed by Robbins but it also never is really made all that substantial in terms of the film overall.

This is a good performance by Tim Robbins but I can't quite say it is an amazing one. There is not anything wrong at all with his performance, but it never really is a powerhouse tour de force though. The slow decay into being a worse person that Griffin is by the end of the film is well enough handled, but frankly the impact just is not there. At the same time I must say Robbins certainly still fulfills the role as the man we follow through the great satire that is the Player.


Lezlie said...

Guess I overestimated Robbins, don't believe Gary Oldman will get less then 3.5...but who knows:)

dshultz said...

He was underused, for as you said, this is indeed a film for those behind the camera. I cannot wait to see your review of him in Jacob's Ladder or The Shawshank Redemption, much better in those.