Toshiro Mifune did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Ichiro Aoye in Scandal.
Toshiro Mifune actually plays almost against type here as the semi-famous painter who accidentally finds himself in a scandal. The reason I say against type is that Ichiro Aoye is just pretty much a normal decent kind of guy which is a rarity for Mifune to play as even in the Quiet Duel and High and Low the man had to deal with some very serious problems. Here he has to deal with a problem but it definitively is not nearly as serious in nature. It is also a rarity in that Mifune plays the wiser and smarter character and Takashi Shimura plays the foolish character which is usually the exact opposite when they are both cast as the leads to a Kurosawa film.
Mifune actually kind of has a role someone like James Stewart or Henry Fonda might take in that his character is always in the right throughout the whole film. It is interesting to see Mifune in this type of role particularly since he makes quite a few adjustments when playing the part of Ichiro the painter. Mifune seems to almost soften his face of the edge that it usually carries in his portrayal of the honest man, who only wants to take down the tabloid due to its dishonesty. Mifune doesn't really have of his trademark style here as he goes about just kind of playing Ichiro like a bit of an every man who just wants to make sure that everyone does the right thing.
I have to say I quite enjoyed Mifune take on such a lighter role when compared to the usual characters he plays since he handles the role quite well. This is pretty much just a role for Mifune to show off his charm which he definitely has plenty of even in the more traditional sense. He also gets to be just a gentle warm character pretty much throughout, and again Mifune can be surprisingly heartwarming too. It might seem a little out of place for Mifune to drive a motorcycle with a Christmas tree while "Jingle Bells" plays and proclaiming that he is Santa Clause but Mifune pulls it off quite naturally and has just a genuine sweetness throughout this film.
He is in the vein of James Stewart sort of role as well though because he also has to be the passionate voice of reason and justice during the film. Mifune handles this with his always strong presence which Mifune adjusts effectively here to really take it back in the right way to put it in a fairly normal man, but a man who does have a strong conviction to do what is right. Mifune is very good in portraying just the quiet strength of Ichiro as he confronts the unscrupulous editor of the tabloid magazine and as well one particularly great moment near the end of the film where he pleads his case in front of the court.
Mifune is terrific in the scene through just finding the simple power in Ichiro stance which merely is pleading to the jury that he is not a man who would lie. Mifune is also very good in being the support to the amoral lawyer played by Shimura who is trying to change his ways. Mifune is very unassuming in these scenes but he brings just a strong assertion of Ichiro's own sense of morality and makes it believable that Ichiro would be able to help the lawyer find the right path for himself in the end. Mifune is always righteous in an honest fashion in this performance there is not even a moment of sanctimony, but what would you expect from Mifune considering the type of characters he usually takes on.
This might not be Toshiro Mifune's greatest work in fact it is far from it, but since this is Toshiro Mifune I'm talking about that really is not saying anything against this performance. This is a lighter simpler turn from what we usually see from Mifune collaboration with Akira Kurosawa. It still is a good performance from the great actor and suggests that he could have just as easily been a more traditional leading man (although I am certainly glad Mifune did not go this route with his career) evidenced by his assured and very charming performance which stands as just another example of what Mifune was capable of.