Friday, 8 July 2011

Best Actor 1988: Edward James Olmos in Stand and Deliver

Edward James Olmos received his only Oscar nomination at the moment for portraying Jaime Escalante in Stand and Deliver.

Stand and Deliver tell of a math teacher who works hard to bring the best out of his students, who society has expected very little of.

Edward James Olmos portrays the inspirational math teacher. There really is a strangely lacking amount of background information on Escalante. There is some mention that he originally had a different job, but gave that job up to be a High School teacher. There really is not all that much information why he is so devoted, but it can easily be taken that he just is. His whole giving up his other job to be a teacher could have used more explanation though as to why he has such a drive to be specifically a teacher.
I say all of that because Olmos could have then given a little more to do in explaining who this character is and why he is so devoted as he is, there are not these scenes though. In fact Olmos only really has to do one thing which is to be an inspirational and devoted teacher. Olmos does most certainly do this well enough, and it is not a one note performance either. He may be inspirational but he is tough in handling the more troubled students, or when he is trying to convince them to stay the course.

Olmos is good in all of these aspects of the character. He is believable as a teacher, through his sometimes unorthodox methods of teaching the students. He shows and ease in his method, that is appropriately realistic in terms of his approach. Olmos also has the right passion when he is fighting for his students whether it is convincing one of them not to quit, or fighting against the prejudice of the school system.

Olmos' role is fairly simple but he does portray it as well as it should be portrayed. It never is quite amazing or anything. Escalante as a character is kept pretty simple in terms of his constant devotion and dedication. Olmos stays consistent with this portrayal of devotion and dedication. It is never really is all that incredible though, but it is an entirely fine effort.


Anonymous said...

Really liked this performance. I think Hanks or Sydow will get your vote, though im hoping Hackman gets a good rating

RatedRStar said...

think I fell asleep watching this so lol =)

Anonymous said...

Same here - all of them are snoozers.

Michael Patison said...

Glad he didn't get too bad of a rating. I've never seen this, but he's a particular favorite of mine through his TV work. He remained spectacular on Miami Vice long after the show began going downhill and his lead performance on Battlestar Galactica was possibly the best male performance on a show of at least 3-4 seasons that was totally snubbed by the Emmys for the 2000s. Anyway, I'm cautiously looking forward to seeing this one.

RatedRStar said...

going back to this year actually kind of makes me feel differently now, cause when you did this year originally I was bored of 4 of the 3.5 rated performances, ill admit though im happy to see Von Sydow and Olmos finish above Hanks and Hoffman and actually I kind of felt warmed by Sydow and Olmos work, because they played genuinely nice guys lol.