Sunday, 2 December 2012

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 2003: Albert Finney in Big Fish

Albert Finney did not receive an Oscar nomination, despite being nominated for a Bafta and a golden globe, for portraying the older Edward Bloom in Big Fish.

Big Fish is an enjoyable, as Tim Burton seems to try much harder here than usual, about a dying man who tells tall tales about his life, while his son fails to comprehend his father as the son believes all the stories are made up.

Albert Finney portrays the older man telling his stories constantly to anyone who can, and trying to jump on the chance to tell a story if it seems like a good time to even if the people he is telling it to have already heard of the story. No matter what the situation Finney is very consistent in his depiction of Edward's attitude in regards to other people's reactions to his stories, which really is the point of indifference. It is not that he does not care exactly how people feel about him, but rather Finney shows that no matter what Edward enjoys telling his stories.

Finney is nicely charming in his role being just a nice old man, who gives off a great deal warmth to all around him. Even as his son consistently and somewhat angrily confronts him about his stories, Finney shows Edward to be resilient. Whatever anyone says about his stories or he himself Finney wonderfully conveys the genuine joy that always prevails in Edward. Finney properly reflects the joyous life of his character by simply portraying Edward as man whose happiness never ceases for a moment despite even when there is opposition against him.

One could try to argue I suppose that Finney should have put more mystery into his performance to fuel the son's doubts, but really that is not needed since the movie depicts the tales there is no reason Edward should not fully believe them himself. Finney takes the right approach with his performance by being just a constant source of constant merriment. There is properly no grey area with Finney's older Edward he is a man who has enjoyed his life, and does not mind telling people why he has enjoyed it the way he has.

This is not an excessively complex performance by Albert Finney by any means but he really does handle his role just as he should. He is just as the character should be which is a sweet old man. He is enjoyable to watch and listen to throughout the film. Finney really is an actor who frankly was not allowed enough of his Tom Jones like performances, as he does have a great deal of natural charm that usually is not something required of him in his roles. Here though Finney uses it wonderfully well in creating his character.

1 comment:

koook160 (Robert MacFarlane) said...

I loved this film when I first saw it, but it sort of wained since then. Still, I can't begrudge any movie that has underrated actors like Ewan McGregor and Billy Crudup front and center.