Sunday, 27 September 2015

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 1940: Frank Morgan in The Shop Around the Corner

Frank Morgan did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Hugo Matuschek in The Shop Around the Corner.

Frank Morgan is perhaps best known for a role that I'll be covering eventually, but one element that is often found in most of his roles is that he plays a fellow who is at least somewhat nervous. This is usually played for laughs. That is the case here for the early scenes of the film, and why not there is something quite enjoyable about the way Morgan's voice fluctuates, and the way his face just seems to be so filled with anxiety in a moments notice. Morgan is a delightful side character in these scenes showing the somewhat problematic state of the shop through Mr. Matuschek behavior. Morgan is consistently entertaining in just his reactions in creating this almost constant mood of unease in Matuschek as he so badly wants everything in the shop to run smoothly though everything that goes wrong makes him become particularly troubled. Morgan while funny does a good job of making this seem like an honest and natural state of his character by just so well realizing the Matuschek's inability to relax that causes him to constantly get worked up even with minor difficulties.

What's notable here is although Morgan's depiction of Matuschek's nervousness does derive some humor for the film, it is not the sole purpose of it in this film. Morgan does not make Matuschek's behavior as simply a joke, because he does not turn him into just a caricature. Morgan actually does something very intelligent in that he creates the sense that as the story progresses Matuschek's behavior slowly becomes not nearly as funny. Technically speaking Morgan allows the humor at Matuschek expense to work because there still seems to be a good spirit in his portrayal, and the nervousness is just his way. As the story progresses though Morgan slowly loses this spirit and there just becomes something far less jovial about his attitude towards everyone. Morgan makes this work especially well because of how naturally and gradually he portrays it. He does not just suddenly change, but rather Morgan realizes the change as though Matuschek is going over something in his mind again and again that is causing him considerable distress. 

Eventually this leads him to unexpectedly his best employee Alfred (James Stewart), and in the scene Morgan is very effective by presenting the terribly dour state of mind that Matuschek is in at this time. Morgan is terrific because he so subtly portrays this descent of the man, as his performance shows a man falling apart though as a meek man. When Matuschek attempts suicide Morgan is rather heartbreaking because it is unexpected through wholly earned in the way Morgan made it always something that was there through the way he quietly creates the depression that he only grows until the final breaking point that comes from finding out that his wife has been having an affair. Morgan is great in his next scene where he is attempting to recover from his nervous breakdown and must apologize to Alfred who he had wrongly been suspicious of. Morgan is incredibly moving in depicting the sad state of regret as Matuschek finally verbalizes what has been troubling him for so long. Morgan in the final scenes of the film again does not cheat the character as he does not show a full recovery. Instead Morgan is quite haunting by portraying Matuschek as attempting to rediscover the joy of life, and while there is some success Morgan still coveys that a sadness still remains in the man. It's a very strong and surprisingly nuanced performance by Morgan, that brings a great deal of poignancy to the film's darker moments.

45 comments:

Luke Higham said...

1. Sanders (R)
2. Carradine
3. Morgan
4. Sanders (FC)
5. Marshall

JackiBoyz said...

1. Sanders (R)
2. Morgan
3. Carradine
4. Sanders (FC)
5. Marshall

Luke Higham said...

Louis: I'll put Morgan in 2nd and Carradine 3rd.

GM said...

1. Carradine
2. Sanders (R)
3. Morgan
4. Sanders (FC)
5. Marshall

Anonymous said...

John Smith:

2012 Bonus Reviews

Mads Mikkelsen-The Hunt, A Royal Affair

Bengt C.W Carlson-Lycka till och ta hand om varandra/Good Luck And Take Care Of Each Other

Johannes Brost-Avalon

Andy Lau-A Simple Life (Don't know if it is eligible...)

I came up with two more for 2012, it is from an Indian movie called Gangs Of Wasseypur 1 AND 2 and trust me this is not a movie with people dancing and smiling, this is a truth full portrayal of rural India.

Gangs Of Wasseypur-Manoj Bajpai

Gangs Of Wasseypur 2-Nawazuddin Siddiqui

Louis Please Give These Two Movies And It's Performance A Watch When You Get The Chance

Watch this:

Gangs Of Wasseypur 1 Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-AkWDkXcMY

Gangs Of Wasseypur 2 Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3PZbL8JGYQ

RatedRStar said...

1. Sanders (R)
2. Morgan
3. Carradine
4. Sanders (FC)
5. Marshall

Calvin Law said...

1. Carradine
2. Sanders (R)
3. Morgan
4. Sanders (FC)
5. Marshall

Also: thoughts and ratings for Morgan in The Mortal Storm

Anonymous said...

1. Sanders (R)
2. Carradine
3. Morgan
4. Sanders (FC)
5. Marshall
Ratings and thoughts on:
Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly and Nick Nolte in Hulk
Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Colin Farrell and Michael Clarke Duncan in Daredevil

L Rime said...

Luke, Calvin, GM, and Louis:

I ended up watching Open Range a few days ago. I was wondering if any of you had seen it. Wanted to get all of your thoughts on Kevin Costner and Robert Duvall.

Luke Higham said...

L Rime: I haven't seen it. :(

L Rime said...

Luke:

Check it out man. Take this is as recommendation. It's a pretty wonderful western. I think it's probably Costner's best work as a director and he's not too shabby in front of the camera. Duvall is pretty great and they both have fantastic chemistry on screen. I also wonder what your thoughts would be on Michael Gambon too. It's a slow burn of a film but the payoff is wonderful.

If anything, watch the movie for one of the best gunfights ever put to film.

Luke Higham said...

L Rime: I'll try to get round to it soon. :)

Anonymous said...

L Rime: Open Range, huh? Now that's a film I need to see as well!

tahmeed chowdhury said...

Louis: Ratings and thoughts on Felix Bressart in The Shop Around The Corner.

1) Sanders (Rebecca)
2) Morgan
3) Carradine
4) Sanders (Foreign Correspondent)
5) Marshall

Robert MacFarlane said...

1. Sanders (Rebecca)
2. Carradine
3. Morgan
4. Sanders (FC)
5. Marshall

Deiner said...

I liked him a lot as well

Michael McCarthy said...

Why is everyone so quick to put Herbert Marshall last? I thought he was excellent.


(Not that that means you should rank him above Carradine.)

Michael Patison said...

Going to redo my predictions and make wild ones:
1. George Sanders (Rebecca)
2. John Carradine
3. Frank Morgan
4. Herbert Marshall
5. George Sanders (Foreign Correspondent)

Luke Higham said...

The Revenant Trailer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wg72UQCJFEM

Luke Higham said...
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Luke Higham said...
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Luke Higham said...

I can't wait for this film, I'm especially excited for Tom Hardy's performance and the academy should give Lubezki his third Oscar in a row. :)

Michael McCarthy said...

...Ok yeah the new Revenant trailer is breathtaking. I think DiCaprio looks terrific and I'm now way more excited for Hardy's performance in this than I am for his performance in Legend. And the whole thing just looks so exhilarating. All I'll say as a critique is that I wish they hadn't shown any footage of the bear fight, just because I would've liked to have waited to see that whole sequence until actually seeing the film.

Luke Higham said...

Michael: Agreed. :)

Luke Higham said...

*On The Bear Fight. :)

Luke Higham said...

Louis: What are your top ten Cinematographers and Composers (Film).

Luke Higham said...

Louis: And your top ten best shot films of all time.

omar! said...

Just seen The Revenant trailer! So excited about it and I can't wait to see this movie and I have high expectations on Hardy and Leo. I can see the third consecutive Oscar for Chivo, even if Richardson (the hateful eight) and Deakins (sicario) are both strong contenders

ruthiehenshallfan99 said...

I saw Rear Window (in full) recently. I loved it! Here are my ratings for the main cast:

Stewart: 5
Kelly: 4 or 4.5
Ritter: 4
Corey: 2.5
Burr: 3.5 or 4

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Finally, your thoughts on The Revenant Trailer.

Anonymous said...

Luke: This trailer is amazing. Can't wait for DiCaprio and Hardy's performances. Lubezki must win his third Oscar. In fact, he should already have 4 (one for The Tree of Life).

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: Looking at the nominees for that year, I have to agree with you. :)

I'm happy that everyone's looking forward to my two most anticipated films this year. :)

omar! said...

Louis: what is your second most anticipated film?

Luke Higham said...

Omar!: It's Macbeth. I forgive you for mistaking me for Louis. :)

omar! said...

Sorry luke ;)

Luke Higham said...

Omar!: :)

ruthiehenshallfan99 said...

Sorry, just saw this new post. Very happy with the rating for Morgan! This is one year where I am not sure which person will win.

Anonymous said...

ruthiehenshallfan99: My best guess is that Sanders in Rebecca will win overall, but Brennan will win overall for The Westerner.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Have you seen anything new recently.

Anonymous said...

Luke: His favorite composer is Ennio Morricone. I bet that Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams, Miklos Rozsa, Bernard Herrmann and Max Steiner are on that list.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: Thanks for that, I hope that either Shore, T. Newman or Zimmer, are on that list.

Do you think Lubezki's gonna make his Cinematographer list.

Anonymous said...

Luke: Most likely. Another who would make the list is Tonino Delli Colli. The guy filmed TGTBTU, OUATITW and OUATIA.

Anonymous said...

Luke: I'm quite sure that T. Newman, Shore and Zimmer are on his list. :)

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

Morgan - 3.5(A good performance as he portrays the part with the right sort of dignity and grace, making for a likable character you'd prefer not to see anything bad happen to. He's quite good in his single emotional moment of outrage, and his off screen is quite effective due to what he did while he was onscreen)

Anonymous:

Bana - 2(He's acceptable enough in most of his scenes but also very bland. He's terrible though in his anger scenes that unfortunately come off as a constipation more than anything else.)

Connelly - 2(She's just very bland and forgettable here while lacking the needed chemistry with Bana)

Nolte - 3(He might be a bit over the top at times, but I applaud his efforts to give the film a bit of energy which is very much needed. There are some more interesting visceral moments of a truly deranged and cruel father, although there's not enough of it)

Affleck - 2(The outright bad super hero films often suffer from a disjointed tone, and Affleck is unfortunately in the middle of it. The goofy moments come off as particularly forced, and there just is something lacking in his dramatic moments. There also feels a bit of Affleck coasting in it, which is never a good thing. I will give him this he actually did the blind aspect of the character better than Charlie Cox, who I felt bested Affleck in every other respect though)

Garner - 1(She's just awful actually in that her big emotional moments come off as mopey, and she's equally goofy in the lighthearted scenes. In addition to all that she just has some downright terrible line deliveries particularly when she's trying to act tough in her final scenes)

Farrell - 1.5(Farrell just goes too over the top and too silly to the point he would be more fitting to hang out with Tommy Lee Jones and Jim Carrey. He tries to be entertaining, but give what the character needs to be its just too much of that while not enough actual menace)

Duncan - 2(Still has too many goofy moments for his own good, but at least calms down for a moment or two to bring any sort actual threat to his character)

Luke:

In regards to The Revenant trailer I began watching it but quickly stopped. Not due to the quality, but I started to feel like it was giving too much away.

1. The Thin Red Line
2. There Will be Blood
3. Days of Heaven
4. The Assassination of Jesse James
5. Lawrence of Arabia
6. Barry Lyndon
7. The Third Man
8. Once Upon a Time in the West
9. Apocalypse Now
10. The Conformist

Cinematographers:

1. Roger Deakins
2. Emmanuel Lubezki
3. Vittorio Storaro
4. Gordon Willis
5. Kazuo Miyagawa
6. Jack Cardiff
7. Robert Elswit
8. Tonino Delli Colli
9. Robert Krasker
10. Haskell Wexler

Composers:

1. Ennio Morricone
2. Bernard Herrmann
3. Miklós Rózsa
4. Hans Zimmer
5. Carter Burwell
6. John Williams
7. Max Steiner
8. John Barry
9. Jerry Goldsmith
10. Howard Shore

Michael McCarthy said...

Carter Burwell? Hell yeah Louis.