Thursday, 19 March 2015

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 1972: Ian Bannen in The Offence

Ian Bannen did not receive an Oscar nomination, despite being nominated for a BAFTA, for portraying Kenneth Baxter in The Offence.

The Offence is a mostly effective film about the mental breakdown of Detective Sergeant Johnson (Sean Connery) after seeing yet another violent crime.

Ian Bannen plays the chief suspect of the crime of raping a young girl as he is found wandering aimlessly the same night. Ian Bannen just has a few moments early on the film as he naturally portrays the somewhat dazed state of the man as he is taken in. The film then cuts bluntly to Connery's Johnson beating Baxter in the interrogation room. Bannen again only has few moments though rather viscerally striking ones as he portrays Baxter writhing in pain along with some crazed hysteria as Johnson continues attacking him. Baxter is later taken to the hospital and later revealed to have died from his injuries as the film focuses on the personal fallout of Johnson as he deals with his personal demons. Bannen though is not wholly absent from the film during this period as it does occasionally cut to the past scene although in these instances only for a second or two. Eventually though as Johnson examines himself the film does finally does cut back to the interrogation in an extended scene. This time it focuses directly on what happened between the two before Johnson beat the man to death in anger.

This scene finally calms down in terms of editing as Bannen is given his one major scene. This time the film follows the calm opening of the interrogation as Johnson at first seems to just try to find out if Baxter is guilty or not. Bannen is good in the opening of the scene suggesting his earlier daze comes from the innate fearful nature of the man. Bannen expresses well Baxter as being clearly a victim of sorts himself as he sadly states his own past of being bullied and Bannen does well to realize the damaged state of the man as he reveals information about himself. Bannen does particularly well to keep the guilt in question as he begins to needle Johnson and the honestly messy state that Bannen portrays in a convincing manner in Baxter. He leaves open to the interpretation of whether Baxter is doing this to Johnson because he views him like a bully of his past, or he is merely taunting him because he knows he committed the crime. Johnson acts out in violence against Baxter's disobedience and Bannen has one particularly strong scene where he basically retires away from Johnson for a moment as shows a genuine fear in Baxter as Johnson reveals his violent side.

The final act of the scene though comes in though as Johnson looks in upon himself and wonders about his own psyche due to how much he has seen. In this moment Baxter becomes almost an odd sort of psychiatrist to Johnson as he strangely comforts him. This is where the writing though falters a bit as Baxter becomes this sinister presence that keeps on prodding Johnson in really too refined of a fashion that feels more like a villain than the broken individual we meet at first. To his credit though Bannen tries his best to make this work, although I won't say he wholly succeeds, although that was perhaps too much of a challenge. Bannen does not truly falter though as even when Baxter is probably saying things that are a tad too incisive for the way the rest of his character is, Bannen carefully never loses the persuasive anxiety within the character, though he still is unable to meld the two conflicting sides presented by the writing. Bannen nevertheless is not bad in these scenes i just does not leave the character as on a powerful note as seem intentioned. The impact of the character is diminished when he unfortunately he is at his pivotal. Bannen still gives a very good performance though the writing seems to prevent him from giving a great one.

17 comments:

mcofra7 said...

Oh dear...

luke higham said...

fuck

luke higham said...

Louis: Rating & Thoughts on Connery.

RatedRStar said...

I am surprised a little as I really liked the film =D.

Grady Tripp said...

Wow! Great to see Connery at #6 now! He's in my top 5 of the year for that performance.

luke higham said...

Well, at least I predicted a five-less year, which does soothe the pain a bit.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

I was going to give my thoughts, this might disappoint you, but it's such an interesting performance for Connery that I think it's worth saving for the bonus rounds.

luke higham said...

Louis: That's fine by me, there's not much to choose from for '72 lead anyway.

luke higham said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
luke higham said...

Louis: Are you going to review Jeff Daniels's performance in Gettysburg before or during the bonus rounds.

RatedRStar said...

@Luke: Thanks for the links.

@Louis: In Game of Thrones What are your thoughts on these performances which I didn't see in those links;

John Bradley-West
Alfie Allen
Isaac Hempstead-Wright
Daniel Portman
Finn Jones
Julian Glover
Pedro Pascal.

I should say that one of the reasons I was so shocked by that battle might have been because how strong Pedro Pascals acting was.

RatedRStar said...

Also I should say its interesting to see Aidan Gillen play villainous roles mostly nowadays like in GOT and Calvary since I am so used to his charisma filled performance on Queer as Folk =D

Michael McCarthy said...

Ahhh damn I really thought this would be like The Hill Bannen and Connery would be fives. An wow, Connery's being saved even though he's not a 5? Interesting...

RatedRStar said...

I think Connerys work in The Offence is well, offensive lol =D in the best way, he is basically a monster bully.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke: I'll just say the bonus rounds since I keep putting it off.

RatedRStar:

John Bradley-West - (The first season I felt maybe he overdid his comedic moments ever so slightly, not to the point of being bad though. As most of the performances go he only gets better as the series goes on and he came into his own as being a rather endearing presence as the almost always optimistic sidekick. Not to mention though he really delivers in the more dramatic moments, particularly in the first season where he explains why he had to join the Night's Watch, as well as the entirety of Watcher's on the Wall)

Alfie Allen - (Does quite well early on the man you love to hate as he does the sleazy despicable side of the character rather well. Of course Allen carefully gives insight this as well finding the shattered pride of Theon as really his motivation, and a genuine vulnerability in terms of where his family loyalties lie. He's excellent in the second season in the Winterfell scenes as he shows Theon basically falling apart internally as he tries to act like the man he is not. The show though turns the love to hate on its head though as they've successfully made him suffer enough and Alfie is rather heartbreaking in realizing the transformation of the man into such a broken wretch)

Isaac Hempstead-Wright - (Bran is not the most emotional character really as he stays pretty cool headed, all things considered, throughout the show. Nevertheless he does do well within the confines of the character making a likable enough hero while delivering in certain scenes rather well, such as when the execution in Winterfell)

Daniel Portman - (He's entertaining enough in portraying essentially playing a character defined by earnestness and shyness. When there is a bit of variation to the role he does well there too)

Finn Jones - (One of the weakest performances in the film although not in the way one would assume. Technically he does well enough if Loras is meant to be just a vapid pleasure seeker, but the story implies that's not the case. He's all wrong in his scenes with Renly as he plays him like a seductive manipulator rather than honest partner, which certain moments would suggest he was suppose to be)

Julian Glover - (Who better to play an untrustworthy man than the guy who uttered "Didn't I tell you not to trust anyone Doctor Jones"? Glover though is quite good at being such a lowly despicable sort here while slyly alluding to the even more devious side to him than he lets on. He just has some great small moments such as when introducing Tyrion in the trial by combat he pauses before he calls him a man)

Pedro Pascal - (Fantastic work from him and really his performance is what makes the end of the fight even more disconcerting than it already is. Pascal made Oberyn such a slick and smooth character that he frankly tricks you into thinking that he is indeed invisible. In addition to that though he brings such a powerful passion in his portrayal of his intense desire to find vengeance.)

Micheal McCarthy:

I liked the film but it's not quite The Hill. Then again The Hill is my favorite Sidney Lumet film.

Well Connery's rating could change as both he and Dern are on the border anyways, also I feel Connery's performance here is one I think deserves a second viewing.

Anonymous said...

Are you thinking on reviewing Joaquin Phoenix in The Immigrant for the bonus rounds?

Louis Morgan said...

Probably not.