Tim Curry did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Dr. Frank N. Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
It is pretty easy to say that Tim Curry is the best part of the film in his feature film debut as Dr. Frank N. Furter a mad scientist transvestite who hails from the planet of transsexual in the galaxy Transylvania. There is not a great deal to Frank N. Furter other than his overt strangeness and the way he things interested in all things sexual, although is also capable of a great deal of violence when brought to it usually in fits of jealousy. Frank N. Furter is the bizarre sexuailzed version of both doctor Frankenstein as well as the monster itself. I suppose there was probably only one way to play the part, and that is the approach Curry takes which is to go head first with his character and to be completely unabashed with his character's style.
This performance is rather in the same vein as Joel Grey's performance as the Master of Ceremonies in Cabaret where it is more about how the performance is performed than what is being performed. Yes there is various strands to this character the lustful transvestite, the evil scientist, the alien with some plan, or just the homicidal maniac, but they don't exactly make a cohesive whole. I am not saying against Curry nor am I really saying anything against the part as this really is the intention of the part. Frank N. Furter is simply there to freak you out well entertain you at the same time, he is not there to create an in depth look at the nature of an evil alien scientist. Frank N. Furter is simply suppose to be strange and entertaining so it is good that Curry's performance is strange and entertaining.
Curry doesn't hold back, that is for sure, playing the part with a devilish glee almost like Frank N. Furter is filled with orgasmic ecstasy simply from talking. This certainly works in creating the sexual creature that is Frank N Furter, and he only adds to that through his delivery of the songs which are done in such a forceful as well as rather slithery fashion. Curry not only fascinates with his style but as well threatens as well. Curry has such strange menace even well he is singing. It is most unusual but Curry pulls it off quite marvelously as being a pure evil but also quite magical in the musical sense. It is an interesting trick and one that Curry pulls off without any visible effort in his outrageous delivery.
Curry jumps around in the styles from a seductive force with his sly smile and piercing eyes, to the mad scientist with a maniacal glee, and to the jealous psychopath with his a ferocious stare. Curry does this all well and is something fascinating to watch every moment he is given something to do. He is just filled with energy and the fact that he is clearly having so much fun does rub off. The only problem with his part really is the fact that sometimes Frank N Furter is forced to just kind of stand there, and that is part of the problem with the film as a whole when it seems to be trying something but takes too long to do anything and ends up going nowhere. To his credit though Curry would be the reason to see the film since whenever he does get the chance to do something he gives it his all and then some.