Friday, 29 July 2011

Best Actor 1999: Russell Crowe in The Insider

Russell Crowe received his first Oscar nomination for portraying Jeffrey Wigand in The Insider.

The Insider details the story of a former tobacco company executive's attempt to tell what he knows, despite many hindrances.

Crowe plays the corporate whistle blower, who is suppose to be a middle aged man. Crowe in terms of age was sort of miscast, and I can't say I entirely believed him as the middle aged executive, but I will say that it really is not the whole of the performance, because in the end it really is only a minor aspect of this performance. Crowe approaches the part in an interesting fashion, because he never really portrays Wigand as some of saintly figure, who is doing something he must do because of some sort of amazing passion for good or anything like that. Crowe instead more realistically always portrays Wigand as just a normal man, nothing more, a very normal man who certainly pains himself to do the right thing, not that he doesn't want to do the right thing, but hesitates due to the situation as any man would.

This is an interesting performance by Crowe because he really portrays it in a very withdrawn, and in a rather close to the bone fashion. He really acts out very little in this performance, and generally portrays Wingard's mental struggles in a rather inwardly drawn fashion. He certainly bursts out in emotions but Crowe appropriately shows that this is not really the natural way of Wingard, but is only really brought out under the extreme pressure of his situation. Every aspect of Wingard Crowe tenders to underplay, to actually greater effect, than he more overtly portrayed each of Wingard's emotions. Crowe properly suggests what he needs to about Wingard, Wingard is not perfect, but he certainly tries his best to be honest, even if he does struggle with the concept. Crowe portrays the struggle well, as long with the strain that slowly bears down on Wingard. Crowe because of his restrained fashion comes off realistically as well as effectively. Crowe performance is not an overly complex one as Wingard, but it is a fulfilling one. Crowe portrays everything he must quite well, whether it is the character's past or present state Crowe succeeds in easily portraying his pain, as well as his reluctance. The film spends little time on Wingard's whole personal life rather weaving it through in the main story line only from time to time, but Crowe successfully shows who Wingard is whenever he has a chance to. 

1 comment:

mrripley said...

Plummer was the clear stand out in the cast.