Leslie Cheung did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Yuddy in Days of Being Wild.
Leslie Cheung plays the sort of lead to the film. I say sort of lead because the film somewhat randomly jumps between characters although the consistent factor is that Yuddy is behind something that's happening to them often inadvertently. Cheung's performance is very one note which may seem strange considering the nature of role. Yuddy is basically a playboy who spends his time mooching of his non-mother, and charming women then proceeding to break their hearts. It might seem as though one would have to switch a bit to be believable. The strength of Cheung performance though is that Cheung does it all in a single manner really. The overriding quality that Cheung exudes is the self-indulgence in Yuddy. He's about as selfish as one can imagine and Cheung presents in a particularly interesting way. It's almost in a look of his which is that of the beautiful romantic, well you know the beautiful romantic of a romantic novel. This one look is basically enough for the character because of how much Cheung manages to bring out of it.
In the scenes where he charms the women Cheung does not necessarily change from that note by any means though but he manages to have this certain false allure about it in these scenes where he speaks to the women. Cheung manages in these moments to be that his expression is that of the deep thoughts, and there is in fact a certain charm about him when he speaks the words to woo the women. It's an interesting trick to be sure which Cheung pulls off flawlessly. It becomes particularly fascinating when we gets the scenes where he's basically done with the women or when he's talking to his non-mother. In these scenes it becomes abundantly obvious just how much of a lie those other scenes are as Cheung cleverly reveals the "deep thoughts" to be vapid nothings. Cheung shows simply that there's nothing really to Yuddy as a man. He's a big nothing who just happens to be good at suggesting that he's something else. Cheung handles this so well though because he's so convincing at making this other side to Yuddy while in not way hiding his true nature.
The only time it seems we might get a bit more from Yuddy is near the end of the film when something happens to him that obviously must break his reserve. Of course it does not reveal as much as one might think, in fact Cheung does well to once again not really give any more depth to Yuddy. It's an effective final scene though because what Cheung does is show that even in a more stressful situation he once again can't help but be terribly indulgent. He once again shows him thinking those deep thoughts with the only difference in this case being that he has at least something to think about for once. Cheung gives a very good performance here because he renders his one note so wonderfully and it's intriguing how much he gets out of it. My only reservations come in terms of the way the film uses him. His appearances a bit random and sometimes really quite brief. We get parts of interactions but the film almost seems to purposefully diminish his impact by skipping what one would assume would be important scenes. Nevertheless I can't fault Cheung himself as his realization of Yuddy is rather remarkable.