Monday, 16 March 2015

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 1972: Ned Beatty in Deliverance

Ned Beatty did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Bobby Trippe in Deliverance.

Ned Beatty plays one of the men going on a river rafting trip in the deep south and like the entirety of the cast Beatty non-verbally establishes how his own character, Bobby, views the locals they must interact with in order to get to the river. Beatty plays Bobby as obviously having some clear disdain for them although does not bother to make it quite as obvious as Burt Reynolds's Lewis, though he he clearly expresses a particularly clear discomfort with dealing with the locals. When the trip starts it becomes rather obvious that Bobby is not suited for the outdoor adventure they are on. Beatty's very good in these scenes in a rather understated way. It is obvious that Bobby is suppose to be the one out his element to the point of derision from Lewis. Beatty does well though because although he properly matches the incompetence needed for the character but he doesn't go too far with in making Bobby seem like a caricature. He importantly stays believable and makes Bobby's inadequacies realistic. 

The trip eventually leads to the infamous scene where Bobby and Ed (Jon Voight) are accosted by some armed locals. Beatty is terrific in this scene where he must fulfill a particularly unglamorous role. Beatty is quite good as he begins still with the same slight unease and disdain at the behavior of locals as they at first just seem to be hassling the two men in just sort of general fashion. Quickly enough though when the men do pull the guns on them Beatty is great as he expresses almost a complete confusion at their request for him to strip as though he barely able to process what exactly is going on. When the man actually goes to rape Bobby Beatty creates the horror of the scene through by so effectively realizing that horrible moment where Bobby understands what the man intends to do to him. Beatty does well by capturing the brutality of the scene as Bobby is raped by one of the hillbillies. Before anything worse happens though they are saved by Lewis who kills on the hillbillies leaving the four men to decide what it is that they should do.

Bobby's choice of covering up the death of the hillbilly is made particularly understandable by Beatty's performance as he shows Booby almost running the whole situation in his mind and portrays the intense fear at thinking his rape will come to light in public. Beatty conveys the trauma in a different way that might be expected, but still in a way that feels honest. Instead of portraying a constant overt distress Beatty plays Bobby's manner as man trying his best to forget what happened to him. Beatty still shows that Bobby is irrevocably scared by his experience though he internalizes into him as for the rest of the film Bobby clearly no longer takes anything without some concern. There is a general cautiousness Beatty plays and has a whole unease towards the world that he did not before. When they do go back with the locals Beatty's performance works especially well as he portrays quite a different reaction in Bobby as he deals with the locals now. There's no disdain towards them just a constant friendliness about his interactions, although still with that strong undercurrent fear as Bobby obviously wants to give no form of offense to them for his own sake. This is a very good work from Ned Beatty as he, like his other three co-stars, successfully keeps an honest humanity in the story that in the wrong hands could have just seemed like absurdest exploitation. 


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Louis what are your ratings and thoughts on Angela Lansbury in The Picture of Dorian Gray, Deborah Kerr in Edward My Son, Simone Signoret in Army of Shadows, Talia Shire in The Godfather Part II and III, Diane Keaton in The Godfather Part I, II, III. Also, if you don't mind, can you tell us your Best Supporting Actress Winners for the 1950s? Sorry if I asked you too many things.

GetDonaldSutherlandAnOscar said...

Louis what are your thoughts/ratings on the casts of The Last Emperor and Big Trouble in Little China? Thanks!

Louis Morgan said...

Haven't seen all of Dorian Gray. Haven't seen Edward my Son, or Army of Shadows.


II - 2.5(She does not do enough in portraying how the death of her husband really broke her, just kinda being a one note party of girl of sorts that is not particularly interesting. Her only other scene is pleading for Fredo, which she's okay in but doesn't make much of an impact)

III - 3.5(The only character who I thought had a particularly interesting final act, although they still could have done more with it. I did like how she brought a similar darkness to her character now as she obviously has become somewhat complicit in the crimes of the family)


I - 2.5(She's okay for the most part and her final reaction is great but some of her line readings her just seem a bit off as she almost tries to over accentuate her character's background)

II - 3(She's surprisingly not in it all that much mostly reduced to reactions here. Keaton seems far more assured as a performer at this point though and those awkward moments are gone from her performance. She also certainly does deliver in her final confrontation with Pacino even if she's a bit overshadowed by him)

III - 3(Interestingly the one where she and Pacino probably have the best chemistry even if they are separated. She is good with Pacino as they convey the history between the two rather well)

1950 - Machiko Kyo - Rashomon
1951 - Kim Hunter - A Streetcar Named Desire
1952 - Mildred Natwick - The Quiet Man
1953 - Thelma Ritter - Pickup on South Street
1954 - Eva Marie Saint - On the Waterfront
1955 - Lillian Gish - The Night of the Hunter
1956 - Anne Baxter - The Ten Commandments
1957 - Isuzu Yamada - Throne of Blood
1958 - Kay Walsh - The Horse's Mouth
1959 - Lee Remick - Anatomy of a Murder


The Last Emperor:

Ruocheng - 4(He gives a great deal of heart to the role of technically the man there to break the emperor. He brings a nice bit of life to the role that might not have been there otherwise making it rather disheartening when he is being paraded around as a dunce at the end of the film)

Chen - 4(She rather effectively goes from the Empress with grace until slowly falling into opium addiction and becoming nothing more than a burned husk by the end of the film)

Big Trouble:

Cattrall - 3(Goes for similar overt style as Russell a believe but she's just not as good at it as he is. I still thought she was fine though)

Hong - 3.5(I usually enjoy Hong anyways and this case is no different as he gets a larger role. Hong is creepy yet funny in the way he plays his character as deal than he really is)

Dun - 3(He's more there for his moves than his acting ability, but he's certainly enough the role still)

Wong - 3(There really is not a lot of him, but Wong nicely handles the role of the wise old sage in a way that he should)