Thursday, 8 September 2011

Best Supporting Actor 1989: Marlon Brando in A Dry White Season

Marlon Brando received his eighth and final Oscar nomination for portraying Ian McKenzie in A Dry White Season.

A Dry White Season details a white South African (Donald Sutherland) who begins to see the serious problems with his country due to Apartheid.

Marlon Brando is not an actor who is looked particularly fondly in his late career as most of his roles usually were either in bad films, and were clearly just pay check sort of roles. Many times even if the film may be regarded in at least a semi positive fashion Brando was usually criticized for clearly not trying at all in his roles. His role in A Dry White Season though seems a little different though in that film is not regarded poorly, and Brando was nominated for an Oscar for his role.

Brando appearance in the film is very short and really he is only in two scenes. He plays a human rights lawyer in South Africa who attempts to help Sutherland's character find a little justice, or maybe just a little truth in what happened to Sutherland's gardener. Brando in his first scene is appropriately cynical showing that the lawyer has seen far too many cases turn out the wrong way in South Africa, but with a small undercurrent of a passion that indicates he will still try.

In second scene Brando gets to do an actor's favorite thing which is to be the lawyer who tears into criminals, the criminals this time are South African Officials. Brando is good in this scene, although not amazing. He is fairly effective displaying the fact the McKenzie knows his ways about officials lies, and Brando manages this to make it an effective scene where he bluntly displays the crimes to the criminals. Than after this scene he goes away never to be seen again in the film. Brando is short but effective he not truly great short performance like say Montgomery Clift in Judgment At Nuremberg, or Jackie Gleason in The Hustler, but it certainly is decent. 


dshultz said...

Ah, what the hell, if I'd had as successful an early career as he, I'd have quit after the first ten years. And then come out of retirement every few years to act peoples brains out.

dinasztie said...

Haven't seen him.

mrripley said...

What did you think of Sutherland.

Louis Morgan said...

I thought he was fine.

Tom said...

I never saw this one.

Dhiraj said...

Eccentric greatness and survival intelligence are uneasy bedfellows. Grandeur of Marlon Brando’s persona is not based on a petulant self loathing mal-adjusted personality. He is an icon-perhaps the most influential actor because of his ability to find new ways of communicating brutality, beauty and vulnerability in one frame. He is great because he never failed to fascinate- even in his trashy movies.