Monday, 7 December 2009

The Katharine Hepburn Awards: Featured Actors

If I had my way there would be three actors that stand out as doing exceptional jobs when featured next to Kate. John Castle as the duplicitous Geoffrey, Dean Stockwell as the sickly Edmund and possibly Cecil Kellaway’s nonconformist and affable priest. Of the categories up for contention this was the most surprising in terms of nominees.
The Nominees
Montgomery Clift in Suddenly Last Summer
Anthony Hopkins in The Lion in Winter
Sidney Poitier in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?
Jason Robards in Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Dean Stockwell in Long Day’s Journey Into Night
I’m a fan of Clift, but I was surprised at his inclusion in the lot at the expense of more popular [and deserving?] performances. Clift plays a doctor hired to analyse the victimised Elizabeth Taylor as her aunt Mrs. Venable [Kate] demands that she be lobotomised. His role is mostly nondescript and it’s also after that tragic accident he had so his good looks are exceptionally marred [I couldn’t find a photo]. I know in her book she recounts how she spat in Joseph L. Mankievich’s face because of their treatment of Monty. It’s either funny or rude, depending on who you are.
Anthony Hopkins was no surprise. His Richard is generally regarded as the best of the supporting players in The Lion in Winter, and his debut performance is certainly nothing to be reticent about. Of the three sons Hopkins has the most supporting time with Kate and his two major scenes with her and both well played. A favourite line of hers, Love me little lamb or leave me. are delivered wonderfully and Hopkins’ doesn’t shirk at the chance to show his chops.
Of the five men, Poitier has the least one on one time with Kate. I was actually unsure as where to put him. Spencer is obviously the leading man of the film, but I wasn’t quite sure that Poitier was supporting. Oh well. It’s a simple role for him – he just has to be charming. He’s effective though and his big moments in that confrontation scene with his father are well played. The man had style. That much is indisputable.
Jason Robards plays Jamie in Long Day’s Journey into Night – Kate’s alcoholic son. Other than a fifth and most superfluous character, this film is a quartet of actors trying their best. I’m not overly fond of Eugene O’Neill or this film, but when it’s good the dialogue is exceptional and Jason Robards is good here. He has less time with Kate than Richardson and Stockwell, but his internal character is well played. It’s also a more deserving performance than either of his eventual Oscar wins.
Dean Stockwell is my pick of the lot [I didn’t vote] but don’t let that sway you. It’s a pity that neither Stockwell nor Robards earned even a nomination for there performances here. Edmund is Kate’s younger son who may or may not be dying from consumption. As is typical with the younger child he’s the coddled of the two boys and his scenes with Kate are exceptional [albeit depressing].
KEEP VOTING. Polls close on Wednesday. The results will be in on Thursday.


Alex in Movieland said...

is the THING still happening on Friday? :)
if so, you should promote it much more.

joe burns said...

Only nominees I saw were Hopkins and Poiter. I think Poiter was better.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

alex I know. I meant to start on the 1st, but I've had the most craptastic week :(