Thursday, 27 February 2014
Best Leading Actor 2013: Bruce Dern - Nebraska
What is important here, is the quality of Dern's performance. From the beginning it's clear that his character is going to be a little nuts. He wants to walk through the entire country, just because he got a letter that says that he has won a million dollars. You might say he's pretty naive, but we can't say that. Because we never get to see what's happening inside Woody's head.
In fact, we never get the answer to the question: Why does Woody behave like this? We never know, if it's because he's old, or becuase he's just stupid, or naive, or insane, or alcoholic. We never see behind what we see on the screen. Woody's character is a kind of mystery.
There is a particular scene in the film, in which Forte's character tells Woody not to tell anyone in a bar about the money. But Woody tells it everyone. He's childishly defiant.
It must be a big challenge for an actor to play such character. Because not having a reason for some behaviour and nevertheless play it realisticly is really hard. But Dern succeeded in this with such ease, that it almost seems that this character was a piece of cake to portray.
I really love how he uses his eyes. He keeps having a glazed look and that makes you think of what is going through his head. But there are some scenes, in which he expresses his emotions, as well. And they're equally good. What I especially appreciate about Dern's performance is that it never seems forced. Even though he has got seems that could have been overacted, or stand out of his performance (in a bad way), he always stays equally subtle and great.
The only blame I'd have is that because his performance is equally great, it lacks some memorable scenes, or the moments that I would think about a long time after watching the film. This way it's just a great performance that disappears from your mind a month after watching the film. And that's a pity...
The chances of winning an Oscar: I think he's the third. But he is a dark horse of the race, so he might upset...