MY FAVORITE PERFORMANCES BY BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR OSCAR WINNERS:
( 1943 ) CHARLES COBURN in “THE MORE THE MERRIER”
When your intro to Coburn is “In This Our Life” & “Kings Row” you’re bound to be scarred for life. But when I finally saw “…The Merrier” and saw what a jolly gentle little pixie Coburn is, wrapped around Jean Arthur’s finger, I’ve changed my mind about him. He can do no wrong.
( 1950 ) GEORGE SANDERS in “ALL ABOUT EVE”
He is delightfully bitchy in this classic. His Addison DeWitt is a law unto himself and does not give a fig about anyone as long as he gets what he wants. Ya gotta love a performance from a guy who doesn’t care. Hs acid tongue is music to my ears. Dear boy!
( 1963 ) MELVYN DOUGLAS in “HUD”
With all those years of not being Cary Grant or not Joel McCrea or not Gary Cooper, but giving fine supporting performances, Douglas finally gets an Oscar where his age spotlights his gravitas. A man of integrity has an S.O.B. for a son.
( 1971 ) BEN JOHNSON in “THE LAST PICTURE SHOW”
Laconic Ben had to be convinced by John Ford to take this role. Luckily he listened to Pappy. He was the heart of this movie. You know he’s seen some things.
( 1989 ) DENZEL WASHINGTON in “GLORY”
That tear. That one tear. You can’t break him. And that’s what breaks you.
(Two-time Academy Award winner. Go on with your baad self.)
( 1990 ) JOE PESCI in “GOOD FELLAS”
He was an absolute firecracker in this movie; its Life force. He car-ried that movie on his back. It’s an Edward G. Robinson role. Pesci gives a fantastic portrait of a psychopath.
( 1992 ) GENE HACKMAN in “UNFORGIVEN”
His cruelty was a breathtaking thing to behold. But it wan’t cruelty for cruelty’s sake. Alright, so maybe it was. But when it’s Gene Hackman, it’s okay. I want him making movies again. He was a presence, and I bought him here in the wild wild west as much as I did careening underneath the El.
( 2000 ) BENICIO DEL TORO in “TRAFFIC”
He’s got the Gary Cooper “High Noon” role. One man alone against a whole drug trade. Benicio is a talent and stands out in an all-star cast. Will you marry me?
( 2007 ) JAVIER BARDEM in “NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN”
I’m in shock that this film won the award for Best Picture. Yes, I was rooting for it. But it was dark and violent and…you know how the Academy is; all politically correct. This worked because of Bardem. A dark unfeeling automaton, with the weirdest hairstyle this side of Moe Howard. Bardem was everything. Another well-deserved award.
What a breath of fresh air he is. Whether as a dastardly Nazi or a charlatan bounty hunter, the twinkle in his eye makes him extremely watchable. He’s just a little off-center. Both films were directed by Quentin Tarantino so neither movie might be your cup o’ tea, but you’ll be missing some very good performances.. Tarantino is a good director, who knows movies. And he creates interesting characters.
NEXT: My Favorite Performances for BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS…