Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Best Supporting Actor 1968: Gene Wilder in The Producers

Gene Wilder received his only acting Oscar nomination for portraying Leo Bloom in The Producers. 

The Producers I find to be a very enjoyable comedy, where there are plenty of jokes that find their mark very well.

Gene Wilder plays Leo Bloom a nervous accountant who ends up working with a has been Broadway producer Max Bialystock (Zero Mostel) to produce a play they want to fail that way they can embezzle the funds given by the share holders of the profits for the play. Wilder begins the film as a very worried and nervous accountant, and I find he is just hilariously perfect in his first scene. He plays Bloom's nervousness just to perfection in my opinion. Now a performance like his could get old quickly but I never feel his does at all. I find he is just finds the perfect tone in this scene, to maximize hilarity caused by his performance. I just like everything he does the way he gets red and flails around when his blue blanket is taken away, and I especially like just the little things he does such as when he shakes his head up and down when Max asks if he hurt his feeling, just perfect for me. 

I do believe Wilder adds a lot to his performance, even more than just the jokes, which is all he technically needed to do. I really like how he shows how Bloom is a man who never really had any respect, and really enjoys finally being like by someone. It really works for me, he never forgets the comedy. He always puts the right manic energy into these scenes when he really gets to let loose especially in the "I'm Leo Bloom" scene. I feel his performance just simply works as well as it could. He works very well with Zero Mostel and I find they play off each other very well in every scene, especially in the first scene where they are more adverse to each other. They work well though still throughout and I was actually surprised that they made an honest friendship in such a crazy comedy.

My only real problem with the performance, and it really is not a problem exactly, that is he and Mostel really are pushed off into the background for many scenes of the film. I feel that they do not let themselves stay quiet but they merely properly allow the other more obvious comedy bits to be performed such as Kenneth Mars as the ex-nazi or the play "Springtime for Hitler". They properly step aside and let those people and scenes be funny on their own. That is not to say that they still do not still add to scenes, they certainly do, they simply are not the focus of the comedy. That is how the film work until the end of the film.

Again the comedy comes back to The Producers, and once again Wilder shines in his scenes, and tries and succeeds quite well to be very amusing. I really found it amusing when he crazily fought with Max and called him fatty fat fat, and then Wilder brilliantly stated later to Max that he was sorry for calling him fatty fat fat. I just think his performance is great, especially his ending speech where Bloom both gives a funny speech but an oddly heartfelt speech about how Max. The speech could have not worked at all, in fact this whole performance could have not worked at all, but I find that Wilder did find the perfect way of playing his character, and succeeded completely.Yes he was not always "on" but when he needed to be he was completely up to the task.


dinasztie said...

I don't think that highly of him, but he's fine.

Anonymous said...

Not a fan, didn't think the movie was that funny either.

Louis Morgan said...

Well comedy is easy to determine if you like it, and it is impossible to change someone's opinion of it, since you either laugh or do not laugh.