Thursday, 4 November 2010

Best Actor 1962: Marcello Mastroianni in Divorce, Italian Style

Marcello Mastroianni received his first Oscar nomination for portraying Ferdinando Cefalù in Divorce Italian Style.

Divorce, Italian Style is a really enjoyable Italian film. It is very strange at times, but also interesting to watch, and most importantly is very funny.

Marcello Mastroianni's performance in this film is a comedic performance the type that the academy does not like to nominate too much, since his performance is almost entirely comedic. His type of comedic is dead pan brilliance. Mastroianni creates Ferdinanado so perfectly from the opening shot, where there is simply just something funny about him. Specifically what he does physically as Ferdinanado. His posture he uses and that face he makes is just perfect. The way he is always looking is simply hilarious and really works brilliantly along with a character who is planning to murder his own wife to go marry his cousin. This concept could seem  too dark but is instead hilarious due to the script, and due to Mastroianni perfect expressions throughout the movie.

Mastroianni is great in every scene getting every laugh he can possibly get with the script with his perfect timing and delivery. I really like how you hear his thoughts along with his voice. You know what he is thinking but the other character do not. Do to this there is always a joke to be let in on by his reactions which are always perfect always adding the humor to his scenes. I like him throughout the film but there are some specific scenes I thought were incredibly good. I like especially the scene where he looks at himself in the mirror admiring his looks and charm, but slightly saddened by his stomach. Simply brilliant Mastroianni is because it is a pretty simple moment, but Mastroianni makes the most of it with his humorous performance. One other scene I really liked was a pivotal scene where he is partially beaten too his objective, his reaction with "What about my honor?" he could not be better his hangdog expression is perfectly hilarious.

This performance really is a simple brilliant comedic performance, that despite the fact his character never really changes, nor does he have that many emotional scenes it is an incredible accomplishment. I found myself liking this amoral jerk, because of Mastroianni is so funny and charming. He really takes this role and shows how good a comedic performance can be in the simplest sense. It really is genius work because he never seems to go for laughs precisely but he certainly got them from me. He created his whole character brilliantly with his face his cigarette, and walk. He never misses a chance for humor with his character. I could not get enough of him in this he is that good, I could have certainly watched the further adventures of this rather stupid man who thinks he is so smart, because Mastroianni's performance is just comedic gold.


dinasztie said...

I totally agree. He's just brilliant. Mastroianni was such a great actor.

Could 1977 be your next year? It would be interesting to read your thoughts about his performance in A Special Day.

Louis Morgan said...

I can do that year soon but I have another year planned already for the next year.