Tuesday, February 05, 2008

 

Not loved enough

Nearly every winner found someone who'd say something good about them.


21. CLARK GABLE (IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT)
(28 POINTS)

"Gable's performance is the perfect transition from the pre-code era (when it was made and released)and the Hays-code-enforcement days (during which it won all those Oscars). He exudes a certain masculine sexuality that is never overt enough to be censorable, but comes across loud and clear nonetheless."
Brian

22. NICOLAS CAGE (LEAVING LAS VEGAS)
(26 POINTS)

"I don't know if I ever want to see this film again because it's so disturbing, but Cage is this movie."
Brian

23. BEN KINGSLEY (GANDHI)
(24 POINTS)

"Kingsley's work here is absolutely an example of 'the sort of performance that wins Oscars,' meaning it's technically challenging and requires him to convincingly play a great real-life historical figure. But it's a genuinely great performance, not a mere impersonation, because it has a powerful and comprehensible through-line of feeling. Kingsley, more so than director Richard Attenborough and Robert Bolt, is mainly concerned with the effects of Gandhi's experience on his emotions and psyche; this is clear in every scene of the movie. The real story of the film isn't the liberation of India from British rule, or the life and death of a martyr, but the psychological evolution of a man who comes from humble origins and ascends into greatness — and how he uses his own charisma (a fact he becomes increasingly aware of) as a tool to persuade, manipulate and inspire others. The real story takes place inside Mahatma Gandhi, and without Kingsley's emotional transparency, I doubt it would have come through as strongly."
Matt Zoller Seitz
"The first (and best) of many chameleon-like performances from this actor. For those of us too young to remember the mahatma ourselves, Kingsley IS Gandhi. A world apart from his angry, violent (and also Oscar nominated) role in Sexy Beast, thus highlighting his versatility. Kingsley's understated Gandhi is proof than less can often be more in a performance."
Michael Maccarone

24. GENE HACKMAN (THE FRENCH CONNECTION)
(23 POINTS) (tie)

"Fresh-faced yet somehow worn, aggressive and arrogant yet still sympathetic, Popeye Doyle is a fascinating character to watch, thanks to Hackman's multi-faceted, uncompromising, entertaining and exciting performance."
Dave

24. CHARLES LAUGHTON (THE PRIVATE LIFE OF HENRY VIII)
(23 POINTS) (tie)

"Henry VIII was King of England for 38 tumultuous years, during which he beheaded many people (some of them his wives), sired almost as many children (both legitimate and otherwise), and permanently changed the course of history by telling The Catholic Church to go fuck itself. Strange then, that while watching The Private Life of Henry VIII, you can't help but feeling that The Lewder Tudor's greatest single achievement may have been providing Charles Laughton with a role to go to town with. There have been many Henrys over the years, but none has yet to match the brilliance of Laughton's signature creation; unctuous, irrepressible, and ultimately, pathetically human, the actor serves up a riveting tour-de-force which is equal parts Falstaff and King Lear — and all Henry VIII."
Josh R

26. ROBERT DUVALL (TENDER MERCIES)
(22 POINTS)

"Astonishing performance in a little-known gem; he barely talks in certain scenes but says volumes."
C.H. Hankins

27. GARY COOPER (HIGH NOON)
(21 POINTS)

"Can you imagine this flick without the great Cooper as Will Kane? It's a film built on a gimmick, being told in 'real time,' but Cooper's Will Kane makes the central conflict palpable and real."
Richard Christenson

28. WILLIAM HOLDEN (STALAG 17)
(17 POINTS)

"Holden’s portrayal of J.J. Sefton — a World War II P.O.W. who will do anything to make his miserable existence more comfortable — is a performance that has stayed in the mists of my memory ever since I saw Stalag 17 on television as a kid. It’s not just that Sefton approaches the wankeritude of, say, Claus von Bulow — it’s just that he knows through experience that you can only depend on one individual to survive this cold, cruel world and J.J.’s numero uno. ('So maybe I trade a little sharper…that make me a collaborator?') Many individuals (including the film’s director, Billy Wilder) have criticized the scene at the end where Sefton gives his fellow P.O.W.s the big 'F.U.' as he descends into the tunnel to make his escape … then pops back up to give them a friendly wave. Speaking only for myself, I have no problem with it — I like to think that Sefton has had a 'Road to Damascus' conversion similar to Rick Blaine in Casablanca."
Ivan G. Shreve Jr.

29. LAURENCE OLIVIER (HAMLET)
(15 POINTS) (tie)

"Beautiful actor, beautiful performance."
Anna Laperle

29. FOREST WHITAKER (THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND)
(15 POINTS) (tie)

"Idi, Idi, Idi Amin. Most amazing man that's ever been. (How many
people remember that song?) And Forest Whittaker is amazing in the
role. His ability to seamlessly shift between the charismatic side
of Amin and the chilling side is clearly Oscar-worthy."
Lesley

31. ART CARNEY (HARRY AND TONTO)
(14 POINTS)(tie)

"Probably the most unfairly lambasted win in Academy history, Carney jumps far away from his famous persona and gives one of the all-time great film portraits of aging and loneliness. It's a quietly heartbreaking piece of work that's been overshadowed by the performances it beat."
Daniel Smith

31. BRODERICK CRAWFORD (ALL THE KING'S MEN)
(14 POINTS)(tie)

"Great transformation from bumpkin to kingpin."
Jim Morton

31. ROBERT DONAT (GOODBYE MR. CHIPS)
(14 POINTS)(tie)

"The forefather of all of those other boys-school teachers we've seen onscreen over the years, and, alongside Michael Redgrave in The Browning Version, it's the best, the standard that all of the others try to live up to. It may be a sentimental film, but Donat's performance is incredible in the way it so convincingly glides from 20s to 80s over the course of the film."
Daniel Smith

34. PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN (CAPOTE)
(12 POINTS)

"Hoffman may be the greatest actor working today, and — even if he looks less like Capote than Toby Jones — he really got inside the skin of this tortured writer."
Jeffrey M. Anderson

35. SIDNEY POITIER (LILIES OF THE FIELD)
(10 POINTS)

“AMEN!”
Brad Yasuda

36. MICHAEL DOUGLAS (WALL STREET)
(9 POINTS)

"He was Gordon Gekko from the inside out. If you need a friend, get a dog."
M.A. Peel

37. WILLIAM HURT (KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN)
(8 POINTS)(tie)

"Hurt gives a flashy, chilling and occasionally touching performance here. The thing that pushes it into my top five is his subtle hints at seduction of Valentin, cumlminating in an intercourse scene that haunts me to this day. Cast against type, Hurt delivers a truly moving and masterful performance."
Brooke

37. PAUL NEWMAN (THE COLOR OF MONEY)
(8 POINTS)(tie)

“It took long enough for him to win for playing ‘Fast Eddie!’”
Brad Yasuda

37. GEOFFREY RUSH (SHINE)
(8 POINTS)(tie)

"Rush came out of nowhere with this performance that is certainly emblematic of what one should be looking for in determining the "Best" actor; that is, total and impeccable immersion in a role."
Timothy Reynolds

37. KEVIN SPACEY (AMERICAN BEAUTY)
(8 POINTS)(tie)

"Can you really have a first class performance in a cheap smug middlebrow movie in a year when there was at least two dozen patently superior to it? Surprisingly, yes. The movie is a lie but Spacey is true."
Tamsin Leyton

41. ERNEST BORGNINE (MARTY)
(7 POINTS) (tie)

"Unlike Karl Malden or Lee J. Cobb, great actors to whom he might be compared, Borgnine wasn't Method. He was a product of the US Navy, not the Actor's Studio. Which suited his portrayal of Marty just fine: a shy, not-so-good-looking regular guy just tryin' to figure out what he wants to do tonight. It's a modest, unaffected performance that may actually have aged better than some of the heavy dramatic competition of 1955, including James Dean in East of Eden.
Jim Emerson
41. FREDRIC MARCH (DR. JEKYLL & MR. HYDE)
(7 POINTS) (tie)

"Both of March's Oscars are for terrific performances, but of the two I prefer his 1931 portrayal of a man stifled by sexual morality, then furiously unstifled."
Brian

43. DUSTIN HOFFMAN (RAIN MAN)
(6 POINTS) (tie)

"I think the thing that strikes me most about Hoffman in Rain Man is that he keeps all emotion out of a performance that could have easily been overwhelmed by any bit of it. Raymond connects because Hoffman keeps him unconnected."
Mike

43. CLIFF ROBERTSON (CHARLY)
(6 POINTS) (tie)

"I haven't seen this one in a very long time, but it's stuck with me. Like so much of Robertson's work, just a study in keeping it simple. Sure, he runs the IQ gamut here, but without any undue showing off at all. Just a terrific piece of work with no funny business. For all his acclaim, Robertson is underrated. If I had seen this more recently, I might have ranked it higher."
Bob Westal

43. JON VOIGHT (COMING HOME)
(6 POINTS) (tie)

“The guy who did this beautifully detailed, sensitive work doesn't
match up at all with the loony bird who goes by the name of Jon
Voight today.”
Shack2000

46. YUL BRYNNER (THE KING & I)
(5 POINTS) (tie)

"You could tell he'd already performed this role 2000 times on Broadway — he looks like he's having fun."
Michael Maccarone

46. GARY COOPER (SERGEANT YORK)
(5 POINTS) (tie)

"Cooper treats small town, aw' shucks simplicity with genuine care. He does brilliant things with the restrained looks on his face."
Fox at Tractor Facts?

46. JACK LEMMON (SAVE THE TIGER)
(5 POINTS) (tie)

"It is hard to watch this movie again because Lemmon's performance is so good I don't want to go through the angst of watching this character fall apart."
C.H. Hankins

46. VICTOR MCLAGLEN (THE INFORMER)
(5 POINTS) (tie)

"A beautiful piece of acting. He expresses fear, indignance and selfishness in one big breathless performance."
Jonathan Lapper

46. SEAN PENN (MYSTIC RIVER)
(5 POINTS) (tie)

"His performance was both intense and subtle. There was no way for you to be unmoved by it."
Monica McCulloch

51. TOM HANKS (PHILADELPHIA)
(4 POINTS) (tie)

"Although Tom Hanks was probably more recognized for Forrest Gump I have to go with Philadelphia because you feel his pain in every scene."
Luke Phillips

51. EMIL JANNINGS (THE LAST COMMAND)
(4 POINTS) (tie)

"I have a weakness for hypnotic scenery-chewing silent film performances. Since I was born after 1929, I've not seen The Way of All Flesh, but future Nazi Jannings' mesmerising, maniacal general in The Last Command comfortably ranks among my favourites."
Goran

51. PAUL MUNI (THE STORY OF LOUIS PASTEUR))
(4 POINTS) (tie)

"Paul Muni was one of the best actors in Hollywood in the '30s. Starting with Scarface he continued to give amazing performances in I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang, Bordertown, Black Fury, The Life of Emile Zola and The Good Earth. I'm amazed he only has one Oscar.
Mark White

51. MAXIMILIAN SCHELL (JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG)
(4 POINTS) (tie)

“Maximillian Schell's performance is so unique, speaking English, but pretending to speak German as the defense attorney is strangely convincing...it's like reading subtitles, but better.”
RC

51. SPENCER TRACY (BOYS TOWN)
(4 POINTS) (tie)

51. DENZEL WASHINGTON (TRAINING DAY)
(4 POINTS) (tie)

"Like his mentor Sidney Poitier, Washington has far too often played the noble, stoic hero, so rewarding him for his turn as a dangerous, seductive, crooked cop was an unusual and welcome gesture from the Academy."
Jeffrey M. Anderson

57. BING CROSBY (GOING MY WAY)
(3 POINTS) (tie)

"Portraying "niceness" convincingly is incredibly difficult, but Crosby's natural acting style is just perfect for Father O'Malley."
DBONA

57. RUSSELL CROWE (GLADIATOR)
(3 POINTS) (tie)

57. TOM HANKS (FORREST GUMP)
(3 POINTS) (tie)

"For a popular movie, its funny that no one seems to like it, maybe its a Gump backlash for some reason. Whatever you may think of the movie, I thought Hanks played this about as perfectly as its possible to do, including the accent, having been in that part of the country and hearing that very accent."
Patrick Wahl

57. ROD STEIGER (IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT)
(3 POINTS) (tie)

“White counterparts to Sidney Poitier (ALSO great in this film!) always tried too hard. Steiger finally got it right.”
Fox at Tractor Facts?

61. WARNER BAXTER (IN OLD ARIZONA)
(2 POINTS) (tie)

"One of the Academy's most delightful and unpretentious awards, for Baxter's sprightly, bemused Cisco Kid. The fun has gone out of the Oscars ever since."
Jeffrey M. Anderson

61. JAMIE FOXX (RAY)
2 POINTS) (tie)

"More than mimicry, at least for me. Who knew Ray Charles was such a bastard?" Odienator

61. REX HARRISON (MY FAIR LADY)
(2 POINTS) (tie)

"I have a confession to make! I am giving this slot to Rex Harrison over Robert De Niro....tough choice but logic tells me De Niro should already get an overwhelming number of votes, and I'm well aware how most of the participants have no love lost for musicals. Rex really should be recognized. Again, no great transformation required here, but he IS Henry Higgins. The Broadway show and the movie would not exist without him - despite his being unable to actually sing at all. Warner Bros. originally wanted to put Cary Grant in the title role when it came time to make the film. Grant came back with, 'Not only will I NOT accept the role of Henry Higgins, but if you don't give it to Rex Harrison, I will never make another film for Warner Brothers.'"
Alexa Cochrane

61. LEE MARVIN (CAT BALLOU)
(2 POINTS) (tie)

"I don't care much for the film, but Marvin did a wonderful job in dual roles. I believe it takes more skill to make us laugh than it does to makes us weep."
Richard Christenson

61. AL PACINO (SCENT OF A WOMAN)
(2 POINTS) (tie)

61. SPENCER TRACY (CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS)
(2 POINTS) (tie)

"It's been said "actors have noted that Tracy's work in 1930s films sometimes looks like a modern actor interacting with the more stylized and dated performances of everyone around him." Amazing, that was my exact reaction last week while watching Captains Courageous, for the first time."
Mizze
"At the end of Captains Courageous, Manuel, the kind Portuguese fisherman, wades in the sea water, very near death, after a violent boating accident and speaks to the young boy (Freddie Bartholomew) who has become his surrogate son. He doesn't want the boy to know how badly he's injured. In fact, we know that the top half of Manuel's body has been separated from its lower half. Spencer Tracy, as Manuel, with no help from any kind of practical or optical effect, absolutely convinces us of the reality of this event. It is a devastatingly powerful moment in film and it is all Tracy's. Unforgettable."
Curtis Burch

67. ROBERTO BENIGNI (LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL)
(1 POINT) (tie)

"You read that correctly; one of the five best. Genuinely funny and original; a rare sincerity reminiscent of Chaplin)."
Jonathan Ara

67. DUSTIN HOFFMAN (KRAMER VS. KRAMER)
(1 POINT) (tie)

"Here is a great performance by Hoffman. He does everything right in this role of the single father trying to get to know his son."
Svanur Pétursson

67. JACK NICHOLSON (AS GOOD AS IT GETS)
(1 POINT) (tie)

“Surely Jack has his detractors for As Good as It Gets, but he carves out such a unique character that is one of the best film characters every played, and no one could have played Melvin Udall but Jack.”
RC

67. JOHN WAYNE (TRUE GRIT)
(1 POINT) (tie)

"Dustin Hoffman was the better actor, but Wayne's fun with the role as Rooster Cogburn was infectious. This is a very subjective call on my part. My own feelings are that Wayne's best performances were in The Searchers, Red River and The Shootist. It is interesting to note that True Grit and The Shootist were originally to star George C. Scott."
PS Nellhaus


Labels: ,


Comments:
Ditto on Robert Duvall in Tender Mercies.
 
I also agree about Art Carney in "Harry and Tonto." Sentimental? Well, there's a fine line between sentiment and sentimentality. And I think Art Carney walks it perfectly in that movie.

Ed, I find the results of these surveys, and the comments, absolutely fascinating. Thank you for doing all this work.
 
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Follow edcopeland on Twitter

 Subscribe in a reader