Friday, 29 September 2017

Alternate Best Actor 1974: John Hurt in Little Malcolm and His Struggle Against the Eunuchs

John Hurt did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Malcolm Scrawdyke in Malcolm and His Struggle Against the Eunuchs.

Little Malcolm follows an English layabout who attempts to create some strange virility based political party after being thrown out by college.

John Hurt's appearance here is very similair, though perhaps this is just uniform for an English near-do-well, to David Thewlis as Johnny in Mike Leigh's Naked. The comparison doesn't stop there though as they both handle their cigarettes by holding them just barely at the bottom of their mouth, saunter along with a poorly postured gate, most of the time anyways, and aren't just any sort of layabout they're the, unfortunately perhaps, philosophical sort. Now my, brief research into a recognized connection between the two brought up nothing, but I still felt I had to point it out it. Naked is the superior film though as this film feels very much stuck within its stage roots leaving itself to be really carried by the actors, luckily for the film two of those actors are John Hurt and David Warner. John Hurt is such a great actor that to see him just take on an "actor's role" is probably going to be a bit of treat. Hurt again begins in effectively creating that unique personal style of the character, that I have to believe influenced at least one film to come. Hurt's terrific at being this man who we seem to meet at a particular low point in his life, as that does seem emphasized in his very physical being. The way Malcolm deals with this problem though is rather strange, and seems like something that it's a bit difficult to make logical within the more literal medium of film.

Hurt's performance is remarkable as he does make logical sense of the character even with the odd way in which his character behaves. He does this by first establishing that starting point of the character. In the moments where Hurt is alone he portrays him basically as this loser. He just there with little to no passion within the man as he sits around his apartment doing nothing but wasting his hours away. Hurt takes this further actually by creating a real sadness in Malcolm's lack of accomplishments, which seem centered around his inability to take a further step with the young woman Ann who seems interested in him yet he fails to properly compensate. Hurt stays nuanced in these moments as he just reveals the quiet, yet palatable internalized sadness in these reactions to her. When he verbalizes essentially his impudence Hurt importantly does not place any theatricality on these thoughts. In these moments Hurt breaks down Malcolm to his purest form which is just as a sad little man pained by his weaknesses. Hurt in these moments effectively anchors the movie since he shows, that despite anything else that we will see, Malcolm is this troubled college drop out beneath anything else we may see.

Hurt builds upon his setup and we see this when we witness Malcolm interact with the other characters. In his scenes alone with the subtly named, I write with much sarcasm, Charles Nipple (David Warner) Hurt presents just a layer of a facade for Malcolm. Hurt only fashions a partial one that he portrays mostly as this surface reaction to Charles a man who seems so comfortable with himself. Hurt presents a direct anger and antagonism. Hurt carefully directs this in the scenes though as a passion, simplistic, hatred not so much really towards the man, but rather that confidence he exudes in being himself. Hurt astutely does not make these moments pure in the facade though as Hurt shows much more of the real Malcolm still in these moments. As the anger he inflicts towards Charles has still a great deal of that sadness that defines the man, and there still is a great degree of discomfort in himself even as he lashes out at Charles for being so at ease with his very being. Hurt though has another layer to facet though, sort of the crux of the story though, since it's the version of Malcolm that I suppose sells the plot as well as uses up a great deal of the film's screentime.

The last relationship is between Malcolm and two of his other friends, more of lackeys, Wick and Irwin. It is there where he fashions the political party based on proper erections, and dominant men. Hurt in these scenes creates the full facade of them which actually makes sense of the whole ridiculousness of the concept, since within the film Hurt portrays Malcolm essentially playing the part. The part Malcolm is playing is of this maniacal cult or rebel leader with the other men. Hurt does not depict this a mere fantasy for the sake of it but rather shows it as an active display of Malcolm attempting to delude himself into any type of confidence. In these moments Hurt makes Malcolm a different man but only in terms of putting on this fake act. Now all credit must go to Hurt for making these scenes make any sense, however they also are technically just a chance for some serious ACTING on John Hurt's part. Thankfully if John Hurt's doing the ACTING up all for it, especially he does bother to ground these through his other scenes. Now these scenes are a bit much with just how thick the dialogue and monologues are in these scenes of Malcolm creating phony trials, kidnappings and other duplicitous acts in the name of the part.

Hurt is great in these scenes and has earned the right to throw himself right into them. The film further benefits from them since you get to have John Hurt playing different types of roles as part of this one which is quite the splendid thing. We actually get some shades of both his later dictator in V For Vendetta, as well as how his own O'Brien in 1984 might have been if he ever got a chance to reverse the roles. Hurt brings that grandeur of the firebrand leader, and the viciousness of a true violent anarchist as he vindictively pursues his "righteous" cause. Hurt goes all the way in bringing the fullest intensity, and I'll admit it is rather fun to watch just all on its own because of Hurt. This is even as the scenes as written do become a bit tiresome. Hurt's a great actor, so naturally he's great at acting while acting within this film. He's wonderfully insane brute as he leads his men as a downright insane impotent army. Hurt carefully never loses his fundamental definition of the role as even in these scenes he has these careful moments where he breaks, where he delivers the man filled with a brief anxiety that he can only overwhelm by reinforcing his sentiments in all the more zealous fashion. Eventually though Malcolm is called directly on his delusions by Ann which is an outstanding scene for Hurt. In the scene Hurt reverts to the sad quiet man filled with desperation. When she outright asks for him to have sex with her, Hurt's amazing as in his face he represents sheer terror of a man who has no idea how to connect with a woman in any real way. It is only when his henchmen reappear that Hurt reveals slowly growing confidence again but only in the most despicable way. Hurt reveals the man just revert to his delusions, but this time it is even messier as his speaks with such certainty yet his eyes are still are clasped into a deep depression. This time the fantasy holds not a bit of enjoyment for anyone, as Hurt makes the worlds collide in a most, purposefully, unappealing way. Although I would not classify this film as a major success, or perhaps even a success, this is great performance by John Hurt. He takes a potentially unwieldy role and successfully translates the threads into a cohesive and compelling whole.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Alternate Best Actor 1974

And the Nominees Were Not:

Warren Oates in Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia

Robert Mitchum in The Yakuza

James Caan in The Gambler

John Hurt in Little Malcolm and His Struggle Against the Eunuchs

Bruno S. in The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 1949: Juano Hernandez in Intruder in the Dust and Results

Juano Hernandez did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Lucas Beauchamp in Intruder in the Dust.

Intruder in the Dust follows the story of a well to do black man accused of murdering a white man. The film falls mostly inert by too often focusing on the rather bland leading characters of the lawyer and his son who decide to help the man.

Juano Hernandez plays the most compelling role in the film and it is a notable case of non-stereotypical role for a minority actor. Of course I suppose it is worth noting that sympathetic roles often fell to the man wrongly accused of murder, but again there is more to the role of Lucas Beauchamp than merely not being an overt the top stereotype. He's accused of the murder but the situation does not define Hernandez's performance. In fact it is very notable about his work is that he does not attempt to elicit an obvious sympathy, in that he does not make Lucas a sorrowful sort despite being in jail, as that would undercut the nature of the man he portrays. Hernandez's performance is notable from his first scene as he presents this real confidence in his work but also through the character of Lucas. When he goes about helping a young man stuck in a river, Hernandez conveys presence of not really the "local helper" but rather the strength of this man who does things his ways. Hernandez is able to find a real history in this manner of this individualistic man who stands firmly as his own man.

When he is arrested we sadly don't get many scenes of him throughout the film, but the scenes in which he appears are the best in the film. Again Hernandez just is terrific in realizing the story of the man far beyond the limits we see him through the slight plot. Throughout the story Lucas refusing any easy ways out, and mentions his difficulties of the situation yet never is overcome by them. He's great though in the nuance of his work where he recognizes his plight in a very quiet way fitting to a man who has obviously been through a lot. His eyes show a wear that hasn't worn the man away, but only seem to make him all the more seasoned and ready for the world. The years that have built this man are felt through Hernandez's work that finds the substance of the role even though the film sort of fails to do so fully. Hernandez makes Lucas a fascinating character in his time, far beyond his circumstances, and I wish we had gotten a film entirely about him. Unfortunately we are granted a narrow view of the character due to his screentime, however he utilizes every moment that is granted to him to create a three dimensional character. Hernandez to his credit as an actor develops the role beyond these certain limits to steal the film in his dynamic depiction of a one of a kind sort.
Updated Overall

Next Year: 1974 Lead

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Alternate Best Actor 1949: Results

5. Anton Walbrook in The  Queen of Spades - Walbrook's role is a touch limited however he is an effective coldly manipulative Lothario then incredibly entertaining in portraying the glee and madness of his greedy soldier who believes he's found the key to his success.

Best Scene: "MY WIN"
4. Howard Vernon in Le Silence de la Mer - Vernon gives a moving performance within the limits of his film through his humane depiction of a Nazi coming to terms with his situation.

Best Scene: Finally a message.
3. Robert Ryan in The Set-Up - Ryan gives a terrific portrayal of a hopeful desperation of a man trying just for one last shot in the ring.

Best Scene: The Fight
2. Chishū Ryū in Late Spring - Ryū gives such a remarkable modest performance that creates such naturalistic and downright heartbreaking depiction of a man quietly letting go of his daughter.

Best Scene: Peeling the apple.
1. David Farrar in The Small Back Room - Good Predictions Luke, Jackiboyz, RatedRStar and Michael McCarthy. Farrar gives an outstanding complex portrait of a brilliant man, yet one suffering from pain, doubt, and self-pity.

Best Scene: Tearing apart the room.
Update Overall

Next: Review of Juano Hernandez in Intruder in the Dust, and updated Supporting.

Alternate Best Actor 1949: Howard Vernon in Le Silence de la Mer

Howard Vernon did not receive Oscar nomination for portraying Lt. Werner von Ebrennac in Le Silence de la Mer.

Le Silence de la Mer is an intriguing film about a Nazi officer taking up residency in occupied France with a small French family who refuse to speak to him.

The film takes a unique approach for this story as the French family which consists of a man and his niece almost don't speak a single word in the film. Their thoughts are represented by the narration by the man. The only person we hear actively speaking within the house is the Nazi officer played by Howard Vernon. Now this is interesting in that when we open the film, and first see Vernon's Werner von Ebrennac he could easily be any Nazi from any villain stock room in terms of his appearance. This is not to say Vernon comes out all vile and mean to begin with, he begins the part with a bright smile as the man lets himself into the home of the family, though perhaps with just a bit of coldness as needed to be in his official role. The charming Nazi who reveals his vicious intents though is a common thing though, so one will sympathize with the French family at this early stage. The film continues though and in this Vernon's performance is technically the far less distant one as the family are very static characters, almost just part of the background in a way given that they do not speak. This is even with many scenes between the lieutenant and the family however in these scenes the soldier is the only one who speaks, but he's also the only one who attempts any interaction whatsoever.

After their particularly cold initial interactions the Lieutenant attempts to change it up by only visiting their sitting room in civilian clothes trying to speak to virtues of the French such as which author best represents the French spirit. There still is no real relationship however Vernon's performance is quite effective in portraying this man trying so hard to create one. Vernon beams in almost every moment projecting the enthusiasm of just a man who wants to engage in any conversation it does not need to be even an important one. In his words, and even the way he physically engages with the room itself has the right casual style to it. There's a real warmth within this method of man who essentially just wants to make friends, or at least wants to make some human connection yet the family is wholly resilient as they stay mute. As the one sided conversation continues Vernon portrays well the two sides of the man's interactions in that he keeps a real warmth in the man trying to make a connection, as every word is said as a friend not an invader, while at the same time, Vernon reveals within his eyes the growing bit of desperation and sadness as the result of trying so hard to connect yet seemingly failing to do so.

We are given scenes though with the lieutenant outside of the silent household, although these scenes are pretty sparse in terms of actual dialogue as well. What we do see is the man's connections to his duties as a Nazi in the way he interacts with France itself. In the earlier scenes in terms of speaking on his duties and the way he goes about admiring the conquered landmarks within France, Vernon expresses the attitude of a man proud of his endeavors. Vernon though is careful to portray this with a definite conviction, the conviction of a man who speaks in these grand platitudes, that he firmly believes, yet they are more fitting to a propaganda pamphlet than a wholly genuine experience. In the film though the lieutenant slowly learns of the real intentions of his armies, and again Vernon's reactionary work is essential to the power of the film. As his superiors speak of the intentions of the Nazis to destroy rather than build we see the similair desperation and hesitations as when he takes in the silence of the family. Although Vernon is the main speaker of the film even he does not speak a great deal and the arc of the officer is left often in those silent margins. Vernon finds though changes effectively to reveal slowly a reality dawning within the soldier, and that warmth dissolves in the solider, not that he becomes a hardhearted man, but rather he is moving by revealing a man who has come to understand everything he has known has been a lie. The film leaves on fittingly a silent yet poignant moment where the family interacts with the officer their only time, indirectly, by supporting his choice to leave France due to the Nazi intention. This communication is only through a passage in a book that they set up for the officer read, and Vernon's final reaction is remarkable as he realizes the somberness still of his situation, yet with just a bit of underlying joy of appreciation for the family. Howard Vernon's work, though the least limited in the film, is still fairly limited by the confines of the film's vision. Vernon though still excels well within those confines and is essential in discovering the emotional potency of the story through his humane depiction of a Nazi with a conscience.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Alternate Best Actor 1949: Chishū Ryū in Late Spring

Chishū Ryū did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Shukichi Somiya in Late Spring.

Late Spring is a beautifully realized film about a young woman who is pressured to be married, but tries to stay with her father.

Chishū Ryū's performance as the older father, and professor Shukichi Somiya is a particularly understated one. This is notable though as a challenge in its own way though as it is needed for the tone of the film, but also for the nature of the character. What is remarkable about his work though is how effective it is despite how quiet it is. This is even more notable though because this isn't a performance as a character who is quietly in anguish or anything like that, not truly anyways. This is just a normal man living his life, that we get a window into after he has been widowed sometime before, and his adult daughter Noriko (Setsuko Hara) still lives with him in order to take care of him. Shukichi though is not ailing in any way we meet him just as he lives his life and still performs his duties as a professor. As we see him just sort of go about his day in his rather low key way fitting to a man of his position and age there's a certain charm to Ryū's performance. There isn't anything overt about this he just makes Skukichi this likable old man who expresses his personal knowledge without ego, just as modestly as you'd expect from someone who would rather share it, than brandish it in a way.

This performance though seems a challenge in a particular way in that as a performance it does not have the usual tenets of an inherently compelling performance. If I merely described what Ryū's does in the role, considering how unassuming he is, it may even sound boring, but it's not at all the case. This performance is an exceptional display again of what can be done in silence, and really in appealing to just a simply truth of a person. This is not to say Ryū's performance is even simple by any means, but rather what he does is capture the simplicity of life, but not in a simple way. The years of this man's life are within Ryū's performance that does not seem to have an acted moment within it. Ryū's work is genuine in every regard as you do just feel as though you are meeting the man living the life as he does, but how honest every scene is through his performance. It's interesting in the way he is very much engaging in this approach. He never wrongly acts out yet creates interest in this man by just always showing us to be an unmistakable person, with his own history, we are watching, never just some character created for the confines of this story.

The focus of the story is between the daughter and father. Ryū's and Hara's chemistry is essential to the film. Again it is an unassuming yet remarkable connection that the two realize in their scenes together. As in every moment of their interaction the years of tender affection between the two of them is an accepted if technically often unstated truth. The film focuses though as the father, in part due to pressures of friends and relatives, to attempt to apart his advice for his daughter to marry despite her wanting to stay with him. The original prodding by Shukichi to his daughter, might not seem especially important, yet they way Ryū plays these scenes is pivotal to the eventual end result of the film. Ryū's portrays no desire to rid himself of her, or a single bit of absentmindedness rather only the most sincere warmth as he suggests a potential suitor. Ryū importantly never depicts a pressure in Shukichi's suggestions but only the most earnest support for her. Ryū doesn't make these moments a father trying to force his daughter into anything she doesn't want, but trying to connect her with what he believes will allow her to find some happiness in her life.

The matter seems to become more difficult though when Noriko directly reveals her intention not to marry in order to take care of her father. Ryū's work is quite moving in the quiet reactions in this moment as he creates the sense of appreciation in the father, before the father tries to reject the notion by stating that he intends to remarry. Ryū places still only such a sincerity in his appeal to his daughter, as he does not show any intensity or bitterness in the idea of trying to get his daughter to leave. There is such genuine poignancy that Ryū finds in telling her to leave him and attempt to find her own happiness, because he makes this technical rejection of sorts filled with such heart and such a sense of the very real love the two have shared as father and daughter over the years. He eventually convinces her to be married, and this is where Ryū's performance took me off guard. Now I already thought he was incredibly effective in just giving this authentic modest portrayal of this man, but the extent of the power of this performance removed the floor out from under me in the final minutes of the film. In the final minutes Noriko is married leaving Shukichi to reveal to a friend that he was never going to remarry. Now the revelation of this lie is not a drop of the facade but rather merely a part of the truth of what we had seen of the man through Ryū's heartfelt performance. When he returns home alone for the first time living by himself, Ryū's is absolutely heartbreaking in revealing the loss of the man, the sadness that is in part of letting go. This again is no switch or anything like that. It is as authentic as the rest of his work, and that is what makes it so special in the revelation, though we really always knew it, that the father loved his daughter and will miss being with her. Ryū's work is outstanding as he creates such a eloquent and downright devastating portrait with such seemingly profound grace.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Alternate Best Actor 1949: David Farrar in The Small Back Room

David Farrar did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Sammy Rice in The Small Back Room.

The Small Back Room is a terrific character study/thriller of sorts about a military scientist who deals with personal and professional issues while also attempting to figure out how to disarm a new mine dropped by German aircraft during World War II.

David Farrar returns to working with Powell and Pressburger after playing the rather cold yet still the object of some of the nuns' affection in Black Narcissus. Interestingly Farrar once again shares the screen with Kathleen Byron, this time playing Sammy's girlfriend/the secretary for his department Susan, thankfully this time both are in a much healthier relationship than the one found in their previous film together. Farrar's performance here though is a major departure from that earlier turn in more ways than that though. Farrar not only is the lead here, but the part allows him to create a far more intimate character for us to sympathize with whereas his role in Narcissus was purposefully distant. Farrar might as well be a different actor with how different his very presence here is compared to that earlier role. This is evident from his first scene where a military officer, Captain Dick Stewart (Michael Gough) goes to find Sammy in order to help him with the problem of an unusual mind that has caused several deaths of civilians. We find Sammy in a bar and Farrar's performance does have this certain charisma to it in this initial scene. It is a modest charisma which Farrar attaches carefully to when his expertise is called upon, as it is by the Captain, to help solve the problem, as Farrar finds this certain spark within the man in this moment. This is a pivotal factor that Farrar intelligently introduces that keeps a possible optimism within the character by giving a hope to the man as connected to this particular problem before we learn more about his personal problems.

Once the Captain leaves, and we are left with Sammy and Susan where in an instance any propriety for the guest is lost in Farrar's performance. Farrar is rather outstanding in this scene in revealing so much in very little time. In the moment Farrar drops putting up any facade, the facade only being though that he was hiding the burden of his pain from his artificial foot. Farrar is terrific in that moment of release not a release of comfort, but rather of letting his ache and discomfort out. Farrar goes further with this though in his first scene directly with Byron. The two have excellent chemistry together, which is rather notable considering their purposeful anti-chemistry found in their previous film together. That is not to say this is anything perfect though in terms of a relationship rather both Farrar and Byron are marvelous in the way they create this longstanding relationship between the two. In simply the way they look upon each other the love between the two is deeply felt even in silence. There is more though as Farrar in the moment reveals the sheer intensity of Sammy's vulnerability which he portrays towards Susan, that Farrar shows him looking for any sort of comfort from her. These moments though are particularly natural as the two fall into this state of Susan trying to offer any relief, while Sammy suffers, and both actors realize it as this way they've been for some time.

Farrar's performance is a captivating piece of work in the way he realizes essentially both the failure and potential of Sammy in every facet of his life. The ease Farrar and Byron have together is pivotal as the time they've been together is a given, but again this is not the two actors creating a fairy tale relationship. They do something far more remarkable though in creating the difficulty in the relationship despite keeping the mutual love for one another as unmistakable truth within it all. Farrar portrays that as a constant within his own work yet he compromises it in a certain way in portraying that the comfort she offers never quite assuages that physical pain. Farrar takes this further though in portraying this amplification of the pain by presenting this self-pity around the moments, showing it to be this almost constant burden on his mind. Farrar is very effective in his scenes with Byron around other company as in every glance and reaction to others, there is this inherent insecurity that Farrar finds. It's brilliantly portrayed in his performance though as he brings out of that pain and self-pity as this troubling mindset. Farrar finds that doubt that he exudes from himself that finds the way Sammy can't seem to help but doubt where or not Susan's love for him is completely earnest. Again what's so incredible about what Farrar does is he makes it this problematic thought that finds itself in his mind, that he shows that he almost tries to fight against, yet it can't help but poison his mind.

The fall back for most of Sammy's suffering both mental and physical is alcohol. This is a performance as an alcoholic however Farrar is careful in his approach in this regard. When he is drinking he does not attach any specific desire for the drink in itself so to speak. Farrar instead finds that in the moment of drinking he portrays rather the desire to drown out his suffering, though he's rather affecting in showing that Sammy never quite achieves that even at his drunkest. As a character study we see Sammy within his job as well where he deals with bureaucratic nonsense and his colleagues making decisions for the wrong reasons. Farrar in these scenes is once again terrific in finding the mindset of Sammy as his reactions in dealing with the other men is this quiet frustration and resignation. It is only when he's called to describe his feelings through his work itself that Farrar reveals so effectively a great strength and confidence in Sammy as it relates to the one thing he can be absolutely certain of, which is his intelligence. Farrar never plays the insufferable genius but rather reveals the suffering genius in quite the poignant fashion. Eventually his self pity leads to Susan leaving him, and we are given Sammy at his worst as he falls completely into his drinking while lashing out at everyone in a drunken stupor. This could be the time for some wild overacting, yet Farrar stays true to the character as he rightfully brings the messiness of the state yet since he does not overplay it he is very  moving in just revealing the ugliness of his inebriation and the severity of his anguish wrapped up in one. Sammy is given a chance for redemption though when he is called upon to solve the mystery of how to disarm one of the live mines. Now Farrar's approach to any scene where Sammy's expertise comes into play here as his sort of turnaround feels natural, since his assurance in that regard had been well established by Farrar before this point. Farrar does not forget what came before though as when he volunteers to disarm it himself in his eyes Farrar reflects this sort of bravery in part comes to his sadness towards the rest of his life. The disarmament is a fantastic scene and Farrar is a highlight of it. He helps to ratchet the tension not only because he's made us care for Sammy up to this point, but also in the moment he finds that certain fear in every moment, with every risky maneuver. Through the scene though Farrar naturally makes it a hopeful one by showing in every action the confidence of the man fully taking over, and the anguish fading away as he comes closer to a real undisputed success. I have to admit this performance took me a bit by surprise as this is a great performance by David Farrar. He creates such a vivid portrait of the troubled scientist never falling into cliche, but rather making the man's story truly resonate in powerful fashion.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Alternate Best Actor 1949: Toshiro Mifune in Stray Dog

Toshiro Mifune did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Detective Murakami in Stray Dog.

Well given that I've reviewed nearly every other leading turn by Toshiro Mifune under the guidance of Akira Kurosawa I thought I might as well cover one that I missed. Of course I previously reviewed him for this year for his work as a doctor who accidentally contracts syphilis in The Quiet Duel, where Mifune revealed his skill in a particularly internalized role, Stray Dog however is in some ways an encapsulation of so many of the elements that makes him my favorite actor. On the first is the very idea of his collaboration with Kurosawa which simply is the greatest between any actor and director in cinematic history. Their achievement together surpasses all others without question. This is abundantly obvious within this film particularly in the earliest scenes that are almost silent in a way as we follow Mifune's Detective Murakami as he goes undercover in order to find the black market operators who have his pistol that was stolen from him. Kurosawa features much of the detail of the environment of the city, however Mifune is never lost within this technique. Mifune's presence of course helps to prevent this yet in every moment we see him he effectively conveying what Murakami is going through as he either wanders the streets or tails a potential suspect. Mifune captures obviously the determination of the detective, yet also conveys the frustrations of the chase, and even a bit humor in the degree of awkwardness he portrays when finding a perpetrator. Mifune and Kurosawa amplify the scenes together, as Kurosawa grants the us the imagery, and Mifune offers that focal point that amplifies it so well.

Mifune of course is almost always kind of the individualist within even the communal society in  every Kurosawa film, which he's here too, but more on that later. This though is the pioneer of the buddy cop duo specifically the veteran detective, here Sato played by Takashi Shimura, and the rookie Mifune's Murakami. The film follows them as they work together to find the "stray dog" aka the man who has Murakami's gun that he's using to violently rob people. Again as much as Mifune stands out as a performer he is not a showboat in all reality and does not stand in the way of his co-stars. Mifune here has, once again, terrific chemistry with Takashi Shimura, this perhaps being their best collaboration in terms of their direct interactions. Mifune knows how to share a scene as does Shimura and the two of them develop naturally the relationship between the detective. They find the right dynamic in every regard with Shimura always emphasizing the wisdom of the old mentor, while Mifune emphases the youth and inexperience of Murakami. The two only amplify this further through the striking way they interact in every scene. I love the way they contrast with Shimura always so calm, yet with certain type of potential energy in the right way in portraying the way Sato deals with a crime, against Mifune who depicts that pent up urgency of a man who both has never solved a case before but has a desperate need to do so.

Now in that desperate need is where we get the really the crux of the character and as expected Mifune uses it to realize Murakami as a distinct man. In the opening scene we get just brief moment of the a cocky young man seemingly quite happy in his job as he does target practice. Mifune in that brief moment doesn't reveal him as this huge ego, but rather seemingly someone on the rise in his life. The loss of the gun causes that shift though and Mifune is terrific in revealing that shattered confidence that stems the early desperation in Murakami as he attempts to recover the weapon. When the gun gets into the wrong hands though, and his loss inadvertently causes death due to the violent man who bought it, Mifune naturally shifts the character again. Mifune brings such a powerful emotion within the case by keeping this underlying and so palatable shame within Murakami. Every time they hear news of an injury or death caused by the gun, Mifune is terrific in the way his reactions convey the immediate deep despair in Murakami as that shame rises to the surface once again. Mifune makes this facet of the character but does not allow it to overwhelm the role entirely as he delves deeper into Murakami all the while the investigation continues on. Within that there is a key facet to the character which is Murakami's relationship to the man they are trying to catch.

Murakami's association to the stray dog is not of any real association, but rather a connection in theoretical mutual experience as both were former soldiers from the war who came back to their normal lives with nothing to show for it. The experience of the war, something that Mifune had experienced in real life as well, is something innately in his performances as it can be found within his personal intensity as a performer even when he's not directly emotional. This provides such a depth within his work here as Murakami as within his approach there is an undeniable sense within his performance of technically a harsher life that was behind him though still haunts him to a certain extent. When Murakami speaks of the stray dog, and how he could have potentially gone his way of life given his similair circumstances, Mifune is outstanding in the way his eyes seem to look within to convey the way Murakami is examining his own pains from the past. This is a consistent factor that Mifune brilliantly realizes though is naturally eased within the story as Sato always counters that Murakami is indeed a better man. Mifune beautifully realizes within his work they idea of that thought that perpetuates throughout. Again Mifune even when not front and center never wastes a moment. In his moments with Shimura, when he presents an overt comfort towards the younger man, Mifune effectively portrays the slight ease yet not removal of these thoughts that are a burden to the man. One of the best moments within Mifune's performance though is almost silent when he listens to the stray dog's girlfriend defend his actions by essentially explaining his plight, which is no different than what Murakami went through. Mifune's reaction hold such power as he depicts Murakami's understanding that his choices made him a different man. Mifune when finally speaks is incredible because he does reveal sanctimony in verbalizing the different path, as there still is the sense of the shared suffering, yet now with the conviction that he was in the right. Again as much as this is accomplished portrayal of this man dealing with his shame from his current failure, and the demons of the past, he is also simply a great lead in this police procedural. Mifune is captivating to watch as he works the case in every respect in creating again that urgency, but also in every moment with Shimura the learning process as he sees the seasoned officer work. Mifune naturally builds towards the climax of the film which is amazing scene for him as he represents the strength of Murakami coming into his own as a detective yet also the direct underlying fear of the danger in the moment, but with emotional intensity of man knowing he is truly fighting for a just cause.  I've said before, but it's always worth saying, and I hope to have the pleasure of saying it again, which is this is a great performance by Toshiro Mifune. It's a turn that reveals just how effortless yet remarkable his collaboration with Kurosawa was as well as his ability to not only giving a mesmerizing performance to watch, but also one that wholly captures the complexities of his character.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Alternate Best Actor 1949: Anton Walbrook in The Queen of Spades

Anton Walbrook did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Captain Herman Suvorin in The Queen of Spades.

The Queen of Spades has decent atmosphere and some great moments, though it perhaps has too much time between each of them, following the story of a Russian soldier going about a most unusual plan to win at cards.

The Austrian actor Anton Walbrook who perhaps made his international name through the films of Powell and Pressburger, here stars in perhaps less complex role as a Gothic villain. I must say the plan of Captain Herman Suvorin in this film is not exactly the most sensible even for a greedy louse. He goes about by first slowly seducing a Countess's ward in order to just get access to the Countess to demand to know basically how to supernaturally cheat at cards, because he read that she should know in a book, then use that knowledge against the rich officers he refuses to usually play cards with. Captain Suvorin has a serious not being able to see the forest for the trees problem, but I digress. As little as Suvorin's plan makes a whole lot of sense we get Walbrook here acting in as a highly unsympathetic rouge, there is more than a little entertainment to be found from this. In the first half of the film Walbrook is rather successful at being a slimy creep in his method of seduction, that involves very little passion just some random threats. Walbrook to his credit somehow makes it sort of work in his own style to this as he has this persuasive quality within his essentially pretty pathetic words. Walbrook never hides that the Captain is this terrible man yet he still fashions a convincing Lothario through his unique presence as actor. 

After making his way into the ward's mind though he gets to come in and threaten the Countess in order to learn her secrets. It is in this scene where we see Walbrook working up towards something in creating the vicious greed of Suvorin. This is but a warmup though when Suvorin using what he gained from the confrontation finally plays cards. Now this scene is where really is all that matters in regards to Walbrook's performance. Now to be sure Walbrook is pretty over the top here in his darting eyes, and the sheer almost drooling joy in his delivery every time he says "My win" or bets again. He's goes pretty hammy here to be sure, but I would be lying if I did not say I did not find him to be wildly entertaining in his portrayal of the mad greed of the Captain. Walbrook is a hoot throughout the scene in just going all in both literally and metaphorically as they play with Captain seemingly having supernatural help. Eventually though, given that this is a Gothic morality tale, the helps runs out leading to Suvorin losing everything. This thankfully gives us all some more of that very rare rather glorious, delicious, ham from Walbrook in his realization of the Captin's insane ramblings as he loses his mind after he loses the game. Anton Walbrook's performance is not this realization of this complex character it is rather creating essentially a straw man to be burned by the moral of the story basically. In this perhaps somewhat simplistic way Walbrook's work here is a success, it is not a great performance by any margin, however it is rather fun to watch.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Alternate Best Actor 1949: Robert Ryan in The Set-Up

Robert Ryan did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Bill "Stoker" Thompson in The Set-Up.

The Set-Up is a terrific film noir/boxing film that follows a boxing match where everyone is on the fix except for the man who's suppose to take the fall.

Robert Ryan is best known for playing heavies in supporting roles so it is interesting to see him here playing not only the lead but also one of the few characters who is not corrupt in the film. Early on we learn of the setup then we are introduced to Ryan's Stoker as he speaks to his wife Julie (Audrey Totter) before he goes off to fight. One only needs to look at Ryan to see that Stoker is an over the hill boxer as Ryan carries this certain underlying despair in his eyes. Stoker though wishes to fight and even speaks about the fight as a chance to potential greatness in the ring. Ryan is very moving as he carries that despair yet is convincing as Stoker makes such statements. Ryan does not depict this as lying to his wife, but rather unintentionally lying to himself. In his delivery Ryan doesn't invoke really a hope but rather this desperate need for a hope in every statement. Ryan reveals this man just trying to put himself in this optimistic mindset despite always reinforcing that underneath Stoker's feelings of doubt are probably as stronger if not stronger than his wife's. Ryan setups so effectively the state of Stoker before he goes to the arena to prepare, portraying just this man dangling on a thread trying so hard not to fall.

Now Robert Ryan is the lead in the film yet in a very specific manner as he acts as the focal point for what is Robert Wise's rather brilliant portrait of the whole atmosphere around the boxing ring. The film takes a great deal of time with Stoker as he awaits his own matches and watches the other boxers prepare to fight. Ryan makes the most out of every second in this largely reactionary performance. Ryan amplifies every other little snippet of a boxer's story through his performance, and in each of these we get a little more insight into Stoker's own life. In the womanizer coming off a victory, Ryan infuses Stoker with an intense distaste not exactly for the behavior rather reflecting his sorrow over his tense relationship with his wife. In the face of the few boxers who are up and comers Ryan finds this incredibly poignant moments as in his eyes you can see a bit of happiness for the men, as well as in the idea of success at all, but also again that sadness still underlines it as he seems to look at himself in the past when he still had an overt hope. This despair only becomes all the stronger though in watching another washed up boxer being beaten within his life. In every single one of these moments there is such a power to them because of how honestly realizes Stoker's investment in their stories since in some way they are like his own.

Eventually it becomes Stoker's turn for the match where we get one of the most powerfully realized boxing matches ever depicted in a fictional film. It is not quite typical though as we focus on almost everyone in the stadium in addition to having the drama right within the ring with Stoker taking on the younger smug boxer who is in on the fix. Ryan is terrific in this sequence, now Ryan a former amateur boxer is believable in terms of fighting, but he goes far further than that with his performance. Ryan portrays physically a certain type of fight as in every moment there is such an intensity in really the heart he brings in every punch, and every moment of facing his opponent straight on. Ryan in every strikes shows a man fighting for his life in a way finding this strength within still an emotional desperation. I love the fierceness in Ryan's his work suggesting Stoker lashing out against everyone and everything doubting him. When Stoker is told of the fix late in the round Ryan only goes further with this idea revealing such a disdain for the idea, and showing a man doing something for himself. When Stoker achieves knockout it is a great moment though as Ryan depicts physically the sheer exasperation of the fight, but also the instance of pride in a man who has had so few of them. Robert Ryan proves his measure in a leading role, technically against type, by delivering this marvelous bittersweet portrait of this boxer. He does not hesitate in revealing the severity of the desperation and vulnerability of the man, which in turn makes his few moments of happiness and hope deeply affecting.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Alternate Best Actor 1949

And the Nominees Were Not:

Anton Walbrook in The Queen of Spades

David Farrar in The Small Back Room

Robert Ryan in The Set-Up

Howard Vernon in Le Silence de La Mer

Chishū Ryū in Late Spring

And a Special Review of:
Toshiro Mifune in Stray Dog

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Alternate Best Actor 1935: Edward G. Robinson in The Whole Town's Talking and Results

Edward G. Robinson did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Arthur Ferguson Jones and "Killer" Mannion in The Whole Town's Talking.

The Whole Town's Talking is a rather enjoyable screwball comedy about a mild mannered clerk being mistaken for a hard edged gangster.

The Whole Town's Talking offers Edward G. Robinson the chance to go far out of his type, but also play right into it. The out of it type is in the role of the clerk Arthur Ferguson Jones whose main worry at the beginning of the film is just getting to work on time. As usual Robinson proves his measure in yet another type of role here. I've covered him in somewhat meek roles before in his film noirs with Fritz Lang, but this is step away from those roles even. Robinson isn't just meek here he's hilariously meek. Robinson's great though in that he's not playing a guy who is pained in any way due to his modest nature, it's just the way he is. Robinson is delightful in throwing himself fully into playing the role to a tee with every little mannerisms, from his slight smile, to his unassuming physical posture, that just emphasize how much of a harmless man Jones is. There's even a particularly enjoyable scene early on where Jones attempts to fashion a more normalized Edward G. Robinson look, and Robinson is great in portraying Jones awkwardly attempting to contort his face into his normal gangster expression. Robinson though is wonderful though by just how endearing he makes everything about Jones, in just how earnest his depiction of every one of those mannerisms are. There's nothing difficult about them in Robinson's approach, they just are the normal behavior of this sweet clerk.

Unfortunately for Jones he happens to look just like the gangster "Killer" Mannion, which leads him to be arrested early on though eventually released when the mix up discovered. Now after some rather amusing moments from Robinson depicting first an abject terror then an abject joy due to first the mix up then random boons due to the mix up we run into Robinson's second performance. The evil Killer Mannion first appearing deep in shadow there at Jones's apartment to exploit the mix up for himself in order to commit crimes more easily. Now Robinson obviously should be more comfortable as Mannion given this sort of role is how he became a star to begin with, and to be sure he's very comfortable in the role, however this isn't just a copy of Little Caesar here. Robinson actually purposefully overplays the role a tad, in a good way, in that he sort of does a Edward G. Robinson parody type of gangster performance as Mannion. This could be a bit much, but it's just right for the tone of the film. You of course have to still take him seriously as Robinson is always menacing whenever he wishes to be, yet he keeps Mannion from being a downer on the fun by accentuating his typical mannerisms a tad. Robinson finds the right balance as he does make Mannion a genuine threat, yet he's still funny as well by being such an obvious gangster even when he's pretending to be Jones.

Many of the highlight scenes of the film are of Robinson acting against Robinson, this being a fairly early example of the single actor sharing chemistry with himself. He has a real way of acting terrifying while acting terrified at the same time, or acting vicious and gentle at the same time. Robinson has a great deal of fun in every one of these scenes developing a rather amusing dynamic with himself as Mannion misuses the poor clerk. Eventually though the best Robinson scene though does come alone when the meek Jones must pretend to be the tough gangster in order to save himself and his friends. Robinson is sort of outstanding in this sequence as he effectively portrays a struggle just to play his usual part in a most entertaining fashion. The best part being without a doubt when Jones has to brandish a Tommy gun himself and fires at Mannion's henchmen. Robinson is downright hilarious in portraying Jones almost crying as he shoots the gun, and wrenching in fear as he attempts to be menacing even for a moment. This is yet another terrific performance from Edward G. Robinson as he excels at not just one but two types of roles in this screwball comedy.
Updated Lead Overall
Updated Supporting Overall

Next Year: 1949 Lead

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 1992: Results

5. Tony Todd in Candyman - Todd begins his performance in creating a unique approach to a cinematic boogeyman unfortunately the film finds its way into making it a standard one.

Best Scene: The Candyman appears.
4. Graham Greene in Thunderheart - Greene manages to find the right humor while still making an emotional impact as his cop who acts as more than one type of guide.

Best Scene: Finding the murder victims.
3. David Bowie in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me -  Bowie in literally a couple of minutes creates a fascinating enigma that leaves quite the impression.

Best Scene: "We're not gonna talk about Judy"
2. Wesley Snipes in The Waterdance -  Snipes gives a terrific performance here creating the right charismatic bluster that hides the sad man beneath it all.

Best Scene: Raymond wins the bet.
1. Ray Wise in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me - Wise gives an outstanding reprise of his all-time great television turn, this time effectively realizing the extremes of the man and granting insight into Leland Palmer's mind.

Best Scene: Leland apologizes. 
Updated Overall

Next Year: 1935, Won't necessarily do a lineup. 

Monday, 4 September 2017

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 1992: Tony Todd in Candyman

Tony Todd did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying the titular role in Candyman.

Candyman begins as a rather atmospheric horror film following the investigation of an urban legend, but it loses its way to a more overt slasher film once the titular character fully appears.

This is not a knock against Tony Todd in the role as the ghostly monster who you summon by repeating his name in the mirror so many times. Now I should clarify there can be some entertainment to be had from the second half of this film, it is just the first half suggests the sort of horror film that really gets under your skin rather than the more routine one that follows after. Tony Todd's initial appearance though actually suggests the better path as he appears from a distance in what is a rather chilling scene. Although Todd at 6'5'' is a rather menacing figure to begin with, and that bloody hook does not exactly hurt things in this regard, Todd's performance does take this even further. In this scene he carries an eerie presence that is far more off-putting than if he was just playing it as some overt psychotic. Todd instead plays it as though he this higher being of some sort, though this higher being that desires a death sacrifice. His gaze has a murderous glint in his eyes, yet it seems to look even beyond that as a force beyond the earth. Todd's voice, which needs to be said is an amazing voice to begin with, though takes it even further. Again he does not just go for an overt evil routine instead there is almost a certain allure he brings within his delivery that makes the Candyman a tempter, even while he does not hide the terrible result that would be at the end of that temptation.

After that initial scene though the film becomes far less creative in its use of the titular character. He mostly shows up, says something cryptic, kills someone, then leaves. Now to be fair though Todd's approach in itself is never the problem. His performance remains compelling to at the very least a certain extent as he does so effectively realizes the enigmatic nature of the being. The film though overuses and misuses his performance. It slowly peels away what made him so effective in the first scene till the end where he just has basically lost all his mystery. Unfortunately the trick Todd pulls itself loses its luster and he cannot adjust to something that maintains the sort of horror wonder of the character when he starts flailing around like just any other horror villain. In the end it is the film that is frustrating one not Todd however a part of that frustration comes in how it ends up wasting this performance. From that opening scene one can see the potential for a truly remarkable creation of a different type of terror by Todd, unfortunately the film settles just for a tall guy with a pointy weapon.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 1992: David Bowie, Harry Dean Stanton, Ray Wise and Frank Silva in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me

David Bowie did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Phillip Jeffries in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me acts a prequel to the original Twin Peaks series but also really a bridge, 25 years before, for the third season of the show. In serving that purpose it is extremely effective as an episode in the series, though an outsider may be a bit lost if they are viewing it all on its own.

David Bowie is actually only in about two minutes of the film, if even that, in his role as missing F.B.I agent Phillip Jeffries. He appears mysteriously out of an elevator in F.B.I headquarters, rambles seemingly incoherently then disappears without trace, yet leaves an ever lasting memory in this time. Of course credit must go to David Lynch's brilliant set up of the scene, but this scene would not be what it is without David Bowie. Bowie is of course known best as his work as a musician however onscreen he has a singular screen presence, an almost otherworldly quality. This is most useful in this role as one sits up and takes notice the moment Bowie ever enters the frame, Bowie's mere existence amplifies the already enigmatic nature of scene. It is not merely about Bowie being so fascinating in it of itself, but as his performance as agent Jeffries. The beginning of which is Bowie portrayal of the state of Jeffries which seems to be a of a man who sees far beyond one's normal existential crisis. The very particular emotional distress Bowie exudes isn't of just a time traveler, but of a man who has been through hell learned terrible secrets behind his whole universe and is here to tell the story. There is a painful urgency yet confusion that Bowie brings in every bit of that strange anguish he delivers in the role. As he makes Jeffries this man barely in his place with only this minor grip on reality trying to explain his story before disappearing while we witness a blood curdling scream by Bowie. To make everything all the more fascinating though Bowie uses a southern American accent in the role, which is some strange masterstroke. This only makes the already effortlessly intriguing Bowie all the more captivating. Bowie in just a couple of minutes, again if that, leaves an undeniable impression, creating one of the most enthralling figures in the grand Twin Peaks universe.
Harry Dean Stanton did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Carl Rodd in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.

Speaking of effortlessly compelling actors look no further than Harry Dean Stanton, who can do more in a couple seconds than some actors can do in 3 hours. Stanton though is rather different than Bowie in terms of their exact presence, in fact sort of the opposite in that Harry Dean Stanton certainly always feels like a man of our world, which is part of his great appeal. Stanton appears as the trailer park owner that housed a murder victim whose death F.B.I agents Chester Desmond (Chris Isaak) and Sam Stanley (Kiefer Sutherland) are investigating. Stanton initially appears as a seemingly more ill-tempered sort when the agents knock on his trailer door before his normal wake time. Stanton is hilarious in his initial grumpiness though this does aside as he reveals Rodd to be a nice enough guy who just doesn't like being woken up early. Stanton is very entertaining though particularly in contrast to the straight laced F.B.I. agents. Stanton just has a way with any line quite honestly and couldn't be a better fit for David Lynch's unique style of comedy. Stanton finds the appropriate tone for sort of Americana humor found with Lynch, as Stanton makes it quite funny in that particular style, yet he also makes it quite earnest. Stanton finds the humor in just his every little moment, such as commenting on his coffee, or his straight forward confusion at what the F.B.I are doing exactly. Now Stanton just being this friendly trailer park owner, would be enough. There is more though as the seriousness of the situation does arrive, and in an instance Stanton naturally reveals another side to Rodd as the investigate the murder victim's trailer. Stanton in his single line of "See, I've already gone places... I just wanna stay where I am" alludes so haunting to the man's own history in his unknown but there is also something poignant in the second half of a man just wanting the stability in his quiet life. As usual Stanton makes quite an impression in just a few minutes as Carl Rodd giving a great introduction to a character, which he thankfully was allowed to reprise in the show's third season.
Ray Wise did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Leland Palmer in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.

It is also worth noting that Ray Wise was not Emmy nominated for his work in the series leaving one of the all time great television performances unrecognized. Ray Wise's work actually there shows perhaps the wide gap there was between film/television, something that Twin Peaks, very much ahead of its time, was trying to reduce. I mention that as it is likely if someone gave that same performance today they likely would break out across the board, or least for a little while. Of course this is also trying to understand Wise's baffling low key career in general as I've found him to be an incredibly dynamic performer no matter where he turns up. Anyway Wise's reprise begins when he appears after the elongated prologue featuring Bowie, Stanton and the F.B.I. agents, as the film jumps to the titular town to focus on the final days of murder victim Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee). Wise obviously playing her father Leland, who in the series we eventually discovered, spoilers, that he was her murderer. Of course it's not so simple and where in the series we saw the phases of the man from a certain distance, here we are given the intimate detail of Leland's broken self. The first side we see of him Wise is terrifying as Leland demands Laura wash her fingernails before dinner. Wise in the moment is of this horribly abusive father. Wise persecutes her though in this horribly controlling way as he does it as though he is teaching her lesson, with his "father knows best" delivery that makes the moment all the more chilling.

A moment later though Wise instantly switches to a heartbreaking tone in the purity of the despondence that he shows in Leland as he profusely apologizes to his daughter for his earlier demands. Wise in this moment is completely earnest and sympathetic in his portrayal of such a tender sorrow as Leland attempts to explain himself. This is extremely inconsistent from the previous scene yet this is not a flaw in Wise's performance but rather the truth of it. Wise in that moment shows that being absolutely the purest form of the true Leland Palmer, which is as this loving father. A loving father that Wise does bring such a terrible shattered warmth, as he shows a man attempting to genuinely care for his daughter. Wise though makes every moment of it seem as though he on this horrible edge, as he suggests Leland is always a second from a complete emotional breakdown. Wise is harrowing to watch though as he does not make this in any way false, despite what we have previously seen, as he presents something being deeply wrong in this yet there is an absolute truth in his guilt. Wise in doing this though realizes the grave predicament that Leland Palmer exists in.

The predicament is not that Leland is struggling with his worst impulses but rather that he is literally possessed by an evil spirit that thrives on the suffering of humans. Although the idea of the demon inside can be taken as a metaphor, but in this case it's not. Now the literal in itself is potentially a ridiculous concept but it never feels as such due to the brilliance of how Wise portrays it, as well as another reason which I will get to soon. Wise though creates this state of the man which he does not show as a Jekyll and Hyde but rather something much worse. Wise depicts it as a man essentially being torn from within as his own self is constantly corrupted, which he is occasionally released from yet he can do nothing about it. A genius element in Wise's work in that, even though it's not even required, he actually in many ways allows for both the literal and metaphorical interpretation of Leland's mind. Wise's work is outstanding as he manages to find all that makes of the man without losing control of it. He realizes so effectively this confusion in himself in every moment as in his physical manner there is always this horrid pressure to this as a man who seems never at ease whether he is giving into his shame, to the monster within, or if even he's not directly either. Wise portrays a man who is simply wrong from the inside out yet makes sense of this insane idea. Wise is downright amazing in every scene as he brings the warmth in portraying Leland's love for his daughter, but he is also terrifying as he brings about her own corruption and death. Wise's work in the television series was great, and this performance is an incredible companion of that work as he reveals the internalized horror of the man.
Frank Silva did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Bob in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.

The true source of the evil in the story though is in the spirit Bob played by Frank Silva. Silva's original appearance coming from a sudden bit of inspiration by David Lynch leading Silva, originally a set dresser, becoming one of the most iconic characters from the series. It's a fascinating thing as the image of Silva taken out of context perhaps shouldn't be terrifying, he's just a guy with long hair in denim, yet he's one of the most horrifying figures in any fictional work. Silva's performance is essentially a silent one except for some grunts, which should not be hand waved as his delivery of them as human animal are truly disturbing. Silva embodies this concept of this evil spirit, which is that of seemingly man's worse inclination and desires personified. Silva does not need to speak in order to strike fear. Silva's performance is almost entirely physical and as that it is something unforgettable. Silva's very being is of an urge, a terrible urge, to do whatever creates suffering. There is this lust, yet this hate, there is even a strange sorrow, yet joy all in Silva's performance that is pure unadulterated emotion. A single part of what Silva's doing could be even empathetic in someway yet his combination of all of it, all at once, in this way creates this figure that is one of the most unnerving as Silva is otherworldly yet entirely human all at once. He is a boogeyman that strikes that particular almost existential fear yet with a grounding that carries a most visceral sting. Although of David Lynch's work amplifies all of this, yet there is a reason that the mere sight of Bob behind a dresser is one of the frightening scenes in any film, as Silva gives the boogeyman a face, a most terrifying one.