Patrick Stewart did not receive an Oscar nomination, despite being nominated for BFCA, for portraying Professor Charles Xavier aka Prof. X in Logan.
What Stewart does here is fascinating in that this performance essentially must make sense of a mess of a mind. Stewart's performance has a great challenge in that as written Charles is all over the place because he has dementia and his mind, which used to be the source of his power, is fading away. Stewart needs to not only make these inconsistencies make sense, he must also connect them to the Prof. X we once knew. Stewart must make these dramatic shifts natural by realizing them each as a part of the broken man and in one phase or another of his mind while it is falling apart. The earliest scenes Stewart reveals Charles at his very worst, but not in the same way depending on the situation. In his first scene Stewart is quite great in portraying the man completely caught up on drugs and raving like a complete maniac. Stewart finds even a real tragedy in these ravings by showing this man that Logan, really even the audience, greatly revered into this complete mess of a man. Stewart makes this drugged up state particularly unusual though for a man once capable of reading every person in the world's mind now echoing just random thoughts of a man now lost in them. Charles does have a worst state than that when he undergoes seizures, which Stewart shows as the man just completely breaking down within himself that unfortunately unleashes a shock wave that becomes potentially fatal to everyone within the vicinity, that is only satiated through a direct injection which brings forth a more coherent Charles.
Stewart still does not show this to be the man Logan or we once knew by any margin. He's far more sorrowful and it downright heartbreaking to believably see the professor in this state. A state now where he reveals an actual cynicism when lashing out at Logan which Stewart plays as part mental decay, but also part of failures over the years to genuinely help the man away from his own personal demons. As rough as some of these interactions are though Stewart and Jackman both make use of the chemistry they've built over the long running franchise. The years are inherent within them and their interactions have that vibrancy as there is a glint of tenderness even if it buried over years of suffering. It is within that mess of the mind that Stewart makes such an essential and authentic part of his portrayal though where at times there is that moment of clarity, but others just rambling anger of a jumbled mind. Every switch Stewart makes just part of that jumble and that is what makes him so effective in truly revealing this decaying mind that rarely has a consistent state. The one more concrete change comes with the introduction of Laura aka X-23 (Dafne Keen) a young mutant seeking helping from Logan in order to escape her captors/creators. Stewart is outstanding the way he brings a bit of optimism back to the old professor as he treats Laura with such an absolute uncompromising affection of the man who use to believe in the best of anyone.
That spark that created the notion of the X-Men returns in Stewart's performance, but what makes this even more poignant is how faint he depicts it. He does not suddenly become the old professor, not by a long shot. Stewart still shows the man dealing with his decaying mind in this state but now with the ability to hone in any way towards this young person he sees hope in. Stewart again fluctuates so effectively from times where he brings a grandfather's concern yet still with just a touch of daffiness that had been more overt before. When he speaks to Logan now there is less of an overt cynicism towards him, though it still lies within Stewart's delivery as he urges Logan to do the right thing with a diminished yet still palatable passion towards righteousness. As the two go on the road to help her, Stewart is excellent in the way he shows the professor trying to essentially return to himself once more, these moments are absolutely heartbreaking. He carries himself again attempting to be the man he was and now when he correct Logan Patrick delivers with this level of care to try to encourage rather than discourage. One moment I love in his performance is when he helps ranchers get their horses back into a trailer by for once using his powers effectively again. Stewart is magnificent in this moment as when he looks at Logan he does smile, or act pompous yet for that moment shows the confident and concerned mentor he met in their very first encounter in the first X-Men film. This is only glimpse of clarity for the man as even when he has regained some of his optimism in his final scenes in the film, Stewart still presents this fading mental state overall. The difference though now is with that optimism as he reveals his tenderness not only to Laura but also to Logan more directly. Stewart still shows a man ravaged by his state but now content with it. He is incredibly moving in just the smallest of smiles, and gentle words that now reveal a man looking towards his inevitable demise, but no longer with anger or fear. Stewart finds this moment of clarity of introspection beautifully in his work as finally examines his own mistakes. There is a sadness in the realization of what he's done, but within that Stewart conveys this sense of understanding towards Logan, and his own demons from the past. He reflects this overt sympathy of the professor reducing himself down from his original role for a moment, though in a positive way to place himself inside the same mindset as his most difficult "student". Patrick Stewart delivers an amazing performance here. He takes what was given before and uses it to offer an even more powerful portrait of decay. A vivid depiction of a most unusual mental deterioration made convincing through his exceptional performance. Stewart does not waste this chance to take the character beyond the limits that had been placed by the previous films. He realizes the real tragedy of the Professor's demise both through how far he has fallen, but also just in those minor hints of the man he once was as well as eventually tries to be again.