Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Best Supporting Actor 1998: James Coburn - Affliction

Affliction is a small, yet very interesting film about the circumstances that preceded the disappearance of Wade played by Nick Nolte, who happens to be the brother of Willem Dafoe's character, who is the narrator of the story. James Coburn play the father of these men.
Wade's father is a very abusive man. He's really the householder that tyrannizes the entire family. He is an alcoholic and he really only cares about himself. He's very mean to his sons and his wife. The first time we meet him is when he gives a work to his sons and he only stands besides and yells at them. Coburn is really great in showing the cruelty of his character. I mean, on the first side you can see that this man is kind of a satrap.
The following part contains spoilers! Then we see him a few years later. He is sitting in the living-room, alone and he says that his wife is upstairs. But we later find out that she is lying dead in her bedroom, because she froze. It happened because Coburn character didn't have it fixed. Then just before the funeral he swears to his family members. The end of spoilers. 
What I'm trying to say is that from this behavior it seems as if he was just a pure evil. But nothing is just black, or just white. In such character it must be very hard to find humanity. To find an apology for his behavior. But Coburn portrays his character in a very convincing way. There actually are people like his character that were raised in very old-fashioned opinions. They really believe that this is right and that men should rule their families and be really strict and harsh. And Coburn was really successful in showing this.
On the other he really spends a little time on the screen. His role is also not as juicy, as it might seem. Apart from two scenes (both of them I mentioned before), he doesn't have a lot to play. But his presence in the film is really great.
I have to say that this win is very similar to those traditional veteran wins (e.g. Alan Arkin, Michael Caine). The role that is not very juicy or showy, but the actor handles it very well. Though Coburn definitely had showier part than Arkin, or Caine it still wasn't the role an actor would kill for. But I still enjoyed his performance very much...

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