Thursday, 26 May 2016

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 1971: Edward Fox in The Go-Between

Edward Fox did not receive an Oscar nomination, despite winning a BAFTA, for portraying Hugh Trimingham in The Go-Between.

The Go-Between tells a story about star-crossed lovers separated by social classes whose relationship is facilitated for some time by a young boy visiting the estate the two live on for the summer. The material itself runs thin with the film's length, though director Joseph Losey's execution of it is often intriguing.

Now the standard version of such a story would be shown from the lovers in this case the richman's daughter Marian Maudsley (Julie Christie), and the tenant farmer Ted Burgess (Alan Bates). The emphasis here is based on the go-between, the boy Leo (Dominic Guard) who delivers messages between the two in which they set up their rendezvous. This firmly maintains the perspective of the child, and we only see the events unfold through his view of them. This technically limits every other character in a way since we only see them in the way they interact with the boy, which is obviously not exactly as they are. This includes Edward Fox, despite his scarred physical appearance, which is only explained briefly by someone else as a wound he received in the Boer War. That's all there is left to it, and as with every one else the perspective of Hugh is kept very tight. However Fox still does well within this frame in the majority of scenes as just an unassuming yet charming gentleman who is more than kind and courteous to his betrothed Marian, despite that she continues her efforts to meet Ted as frequently as she can.

Fox has two strikes against from the start then due to the film's perspective, but also being the other man which is traditionally a thankless role. Fox though thrives more effectively than any other member of the cast within this confinement. Most scenes with Fox are just Hugh being a pleasant enough fellow, which he does well. There is one scene though where he gets a chance for more when Leo alludes to the relationship between Marian and Ted directly to Hugh. Fox is downright brilliant in this scene as again what he says to the boy keeps everything properly respectable in his description of Ted as a lady killer. What's outstanding about Fox's work is that he says everything else silently in the scene. In his face as he hears the name mentioned Fox reveals the pain and discomfort of a man realizing he is not truly loved by his soon to be wife, but also portraying a definite acceptance of the situation all the same. It's a fantastic scene for Fox as he wholly establishes Hugh's own view of the affair without a word being said. After that remarkable moment Hugh returns to the background for the rest of the film, but Fox with that moment makes Hugh more than just a part of the background. This is a good performance as Fox makes the most out of a thin part.


RatedRStar said...

Louis: I honestly dont mind if you see Witness again, I would only give Ford a 4, its more so much that those 2 key scenes which I felt showcased something that Ford usually doesnt do.

I must say I am surprised by Foxs score, as was many others by that Fox was either ranked 2nd or 3rd in everyones predictions lol, I guess I thought that Fox was untouchable due to his great performance in Jackal =D. I think Edward Fox is an underrated actor not often given a chance.

Michael McCarthy said...

So what are your ratings and thoughts for von Sydow in The Touch?

RatedRStar said...

Louis would you be interested in a film starring Mr Fox, David Warner and Trevor Howard =D? might be worth a look, I am certain there is still another good Fox performance out there since he seems a very underrated actor.

Ill probably be asleep by the time the next year is put up, my 5 nominees will probably remain the same whichever year you choose since I think everyone has seen them now lol.

Louis Morgan said...


von Sydow - 4(He's what got me through the film to be honest. His role here is even made almost as little as Fox's above. von Sydow was just on mark in every scene, and made Gould look amateurish whenever they shared the screen. He made the affair itself hard to believe, since von Sydow comes off far more charming and engaging than Gould does, even while technically being just the average guy he should be in order to be what the role demanded of him. He also managed to make his character's struggle, despite being given little focus, rather affecting as he so honestly portrayed his mix of sadness and anger at his wife. The best scene and worse scene in the film was when von Sydow confronts Gould about the affair since von Sydow was so good, and Gould was so bad.)


Yes I would be.