Friday, 17 January 2014

Best Supporting Actor 2013: Jonah Hill in The Wolf of Wall Street

Jonah Hill received his second Oscar nomination for portraying Donnie Azoff in The Wolf of Wall Street.

Jonah Hill somehow has managed a second Oscar nomination after his suitable enough but unimpressive performance in Moneyball. In that film Hill played the right hand man to Brad Pitt's Billy Beane who wished to streamline his baseball team, Hill this time plays the right hand man to Leonard DiCaprio's Jordan Belfort who wishes to streamline the stock market to make as much money as possible whether or not it happens to be ill gotten gains. Donnie Azoff of The Wolf of Wall Street is a far cry from Peter Brand in Moneyball. After all the first thing we really learn about Donnie is that he married his own first cousin because he believed he should be the one to have sex with her, soon afterwards he decides to smoke crack, and really we just keep going from there.

Hill certainly does more than he did in Moneyball which begins right with his creation of Donnie. He plays the part with a somewhat course voice in attempt to play a certain kind of businessman of the period. It almost seems like he is trying to play the part as perhaps Joe Pesci would have if the film had been made exactly when it occurred. Now I could see Joe Pesci in this part easily and he probably would have been absolutely brilliant. Well Jonah Hill is no Joe Pesci, and Jonah Hill attempting to be Joe Pesci does not come anything close to Joe Pesci, that does not mean he is bad though. Hill wears the accent well enough and he does get into his character, and does become part of tapestry of debauchery as he should.

Donnie Azoff basically seems to be the worst of the worst among their group of men who decide to try about everything they can with the money they have. The story of Donnie is mainly being as disgusting as possible without a bit of shame in it. Whether it is using prostitutes, taking loads of drugs, or eating the fish of a poor guy of a guy who wasn't focused enough, he does it without blinking an eye, well unless of course the drugs make it hard to keep one's eye open. Hill again does well enough in these scenes as he does throw himself into them with a great energy, and properly conveys just how much joy Donnie gets from his own antics. Hill's portrayal of these antics though are just not ever nearly as memorable as Leonard DiCaprio's portrayal, although the reason for that is for another time.

There is a little bit more to old Donnie than just when he ingests into his body though. There are scenes of Azoff actually doing the job of trying to make money. Hill is pretty good at being the obnoxious hustler, and does the purposefully overdone salesman speak correctly. He's of course very annoying, but I will grant him that is the point of his character. There is a little more though when Donnie comes down a little from the various substances he is abusing, and stops abusing other people. The businessman in a rather precarious position is well handled as he tones down Donnie in the right way, but these scenes never are that incredible. He's fine but he is not amazing.

There are a few questions that need to be answered in regard to this performance. Does it make it less egregious that Jonah Hill has more Oscar nominations than Toshiro Mifune, Donald Sutherland, Richard Attenborough (in acting), Guy Pearce, Ewan McGregor, and Brendan Gleeson combined? The answer is no. Is he the best supporting actor in the film? No once again, certainly not over Matthew McConaughey's brilliant almost one scene wonder or Jean Dujardin or Kyle Chandler. Is he consistently overshadowed by Leonardo DiCaprio's performance and Martin Scorsese's direction? The answer is yes. Could someone else have been better in the role? Yes. Is it a decent performance with some good enough moments? I would say yes to that too.

61 comments:

Matt Mustin said...

Yeah, he's good, nothing special. McConaghuey was much better in his three scenes.

What did you think of Margot Robbie?

koook160 (Robert MacFarlane) said...

Well, I liked him. He played a disgusting, horrible human being and was hysterical. Plus I've been quoting a few of his lines the past few weeks.

"I for one will never eat at Beni Hana again. I don't care whose birthday it is"

Matt Mustin said...

koook: We're not are arguing that he's bad, he just didn't need to be nominated.

luke higham said...

Louis: What would you say, is his best scene.

moviefilm said...

I thought DuJardin was pretty bad in this, Chandler was fine, but nothing remarkable and McConaughey was great in his limited screentime...

Matt Mustin said...

I thought Dujardin was fine.

koook160 (Robert MacFarlane) said...

My favorite of the rest of the Supporting cast was Rob Reiner, because that's my grandfather in a nutshell.

Matt Mustin said...

Rob Reiner was great.

Arnold said...

What did you think of Daniel Bruhl in Rush, Louis?

Louis Morgan said...

Matt: I thought she was fine, but really I feel the same about her as I do about Hill.

Luke: The Lemmon Quaaludes scene.

luke higham said...

Louis: That was my favourite comedic scene of the year, beating the bathroom fight in The World's End.

Louis Morgan said...

Arnold: Bruhl was definitely lead in Rush, but he gives a rather interesting performance. I liked the way he portrayed Lauda as fairly charismatic and very determined man but in a very withdrawn fashion fitting for his extremely technical view of racing.

luke higham said...

Arnold: Louis, may likely review Bruhl in his alternative leading lineup or hopefully an added short summary on worthy performances that didn't make his cut.

RatedRStar said...

I really liked Bruhl, I was defending him at the start of the awards season lol with others not really taking notice of him.

As for Hill, I liked him, err, but I thought TWOWS was DiCaprios show.

luke higham said...

RatedRStar: Leo - Best Performance of his career, with the Departed a close second

luke higham said...

Louis: Who're you reviewing next

Louis Morgan said...

Fassbender

luke higham said...

I'm praying that he gets a 5, so it'll be 3 for 3 with MCQueen.

Matt Mustin said...

I know this isn't normal for the official nominees, but are you planning to list what their best scenes were?

Louis Morgan said...

Yes I think I will.

Maciej said...

Just saw him and I completely agree with your review, Louis.

luke higham said...

What are your thoughts on Diana with Naomi Watts

Louis Morgan said...

I haven't seen it as it is a risky endeavor as I've heard it as being described as hilariously bad but also just bad.

luke higham said...

Has anyone dared to see movie 43.

luke higham said...

Louis: when is Fassbender's review going up.

Anonymous said...

Louis is Joe Pesci one of your favourite actors? What do you think of him?

luke higham said...

Louis: what are your thoughts on Heath Ledger.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke: I'm working on it.

Ledger was usually at least fine but as proven by The Dark Knight he was also capable of greatness. It's shame his career was cut so short as I'm sure there was much more to see from him, I can't help but wonder what The Dark Knight Rises would have been like with him reprising the Joker.

Anonymous: I really like Joe Pesci as he is great in both dramatic and comedic roles. It's too bad that he's basically retired.

luke higham said...

Louis: Lastly, what are your thoughts on Tom Hardy.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke: I pretty much feel the same way about him as I do Fassbender.

luke higham said...

I Agree, He is absolutely brilliant in Bronson.

Have you seen it, also is he a likely alternative for 2009.

Louis Morgan said...

Since I have only one choice to myself that year, he is one of three I will be contemplating for the last spot.

joe burns said...

I have not seen him, but I did find it odd that he was nominated. Who do you think will win BTW?

I'm sorry I haven't been commenting lately, but I will certainly do so in the future!

luke higham said...

Joe Burns: For Real or for Louis's Overall ranking

Louis Morgan said...

Joe: I think Jared Leto will win the Oscar, unless Fassbender gives the greatest speech ever when he likely wins BAFTA.

luke higham said...

Louis: Leto has it in the bag for real although I'll be incredibly happy if Fassbender wins the BAFTA, since he deserves some recognition for what is quite possibly the most under appreciated performance of the year when it comes to film criticism.

Michael McCarthy said...

Regarding the one spot left for 2009, I'm torn between wanting a review of Hardy in Bronson and one for Sam Rockwell in Moon.

luke higham said...

I'd pick Hardy, because he's yet to get a review on this blog.

Do you know who the other four nominees for Louis's Alternatives are.

Michael McCarthy said...

Viggo Mortensen-The Road
Sharlto Copley-District 9
Joseph Gordon-Levitt-(500) Days of Summer
Tobey Maguire-Brothers

luke higham said...

Michael: Which supporting performances will louis review for 2009.

Michael McCarthy said...

Probably Michael Fassbender in Inglourious Basterds, I have no idea who else.

Michael Patison said...

Who requested Maguire? Does anybody know?

luke higham said...

I'm guessing RatedRStar

Michael McCarthy said...

RatedRStar? Doubtful.

luke higham said...

Who do you think it is

Louis Morgan said...

Michael Patison: moviefilm did.

luke higham said...

No offense to Moviefilm, but that is such a waste of a review. he's already gonna get a 2 or less.

luke higham said...

Unless it's tommy wiseau, only worthy performances should be reviewed (4 Jacks or Brennans +)

Michael Patison said...

Agreed. It's a total waste of a review. I think him being one of the requests should allow for a sixth (and possibly even seventh) review for that year.

RatedRStar said...

Louis already knows my opinion on Mr Maguire lol I have no need to request someone who I actually would like to strangle Jean Gabin style.

luke higham said...

Hopefully, louis will sensibly give Maguire a short comment instead ala william hurt - Body Heat

Mortensen
Levitt
Copley
Hardy
Rockwell

luke higham said...

Maguire does not deserve to be anywhere near a review on this blog.

koook160 (Robert MacFarlane) said...

Rockwell is a definite. You HAVE to review him. Forget Maguire. Also, if you give JGL the shaft too, THERE WILL BE BLOOD.

JackiBoyz said...

=D Louis how do you deal with threats like these lol haha, Koook160 and Luke wanting Maguire out, Moviefilm wanting him in, RatedRStar demanding Claude Rains as the alternate 1946 Best Supporting Actor winner otherwise it ll be judgement day lol.

luke higham said...

Maguire only needs one paragraph, not six or more.

luke higham said...

I have fever anticipation for Fassbender's review right now. Please be a 5, or else I'm gone.

Just kidding:)

koook160 (Robert MacFarlane) said...

I'd personally like these 5 to be reviewed for 2009 Lead:

Joseph Gordon-Levitt in (500) Days of Summer
Sam Rockwell in Moon
Sharlto Copley in District 9
Viggo Mortensen in The Road
Ben Foster in The Messenger

As for Supporting;

Michael Fassbender in Fish Tank
Peter Capaldi in In the Loop
Jackie Earle Haley in Watchmen
James Gandolfini in Where the Wild Things Are (shockingly nuanced voice work)
ANYONE else from In the Loop, Inglourious Basterds, or An Education.

luke higham said...

Koook160: Michael Fassbender: Inglorious Basterds

RatedRStar said...

Keep in mind for Supporting 09 I requested Hong Kongs version of James Dean (Nicholas Tse in Bodyguards and Assassins)

Louis Morgan said...

koook: As Drago would say in Rocky IV "To the end"

Seriously though, I should state that I write down all winning requests that way I won't forget them, and I will go through with reviewing all of them.

RatedRStar said...

Deep down we all need to respect ones opinion and judgement.

Except obvious negative Claude Rains remarks, they shall not be tolerated =).