April 6, 2014 at 1:18 pm #150198
We surely talk a LOT about the Queen of the Oscars, Meryl Streep, but not as much about the King, Jack Nicholson.* I don’t think I would give more Oscar wins to anyone than Jack, who is my favorite actor (along with Dusting Hoffman and Jack Lemmon). He’s the embodiment of greatness in film (AND method acting): he gets into every role so brilliantly that it’s hard to believe he’s not playing himself. Of course, there’s a touch of Jack everywhere but I feel that his cool personality only works in his favor, and makes him look as if these performances keep flowing out of him without any effort. That’s the definition of a true master for me. So let’s see his nominations. I indicate my wins for him with *s.
1969: Easy Rider (Gig Young was an amazing winner, I love that movie too much)
1970: Five Easy Pieces (it’s a very tight race with Scott, but that performance is too legendary)
1973: The Last Detail (he’s amazing so it’s kind of painful not to give him the win)
1974: Chinatown* (every second is legendary)
1975: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest* (the most frightening and charismatic sociopath ever, what a brilliant, deceptive performance)
1981: Reds (Sir John Gielgud edges him out only barely for me)
1983: Terms of Endearment (easy to see why he won, but it’s my least favorite win of his, Sam Shepard is my pick)
1985: Prizzi’s Honor (usually considered terrible, but I’m OK with this nomination, even if it’s not his best, it’s interesting)
1987: Ironweed* (oh boy, this is his most underrated performance, just astonishing)
1992: A Few Good Men (I’m fine with him here, a bit too 90s movie for me, though, not really Oscar-material for me)
1997: As Good as It Gets* (hilarious and touching, beautiful acting)
2002: About Schmidt* (a true crowning achievement of his career, I adore The Pianist, but there’s no doubt in my mind that Jack should have won)
That’s 5 out of 12 for me. 😀 Although it might seem like I’m a crazy fan and I am, I totally base that on my admiration for his performances, not the other way around.
*Before anyone starts bitching about them being movie royalty, I’m considering the Oscars only (even though I find them two of the greatest performers ever)April 6, 2014 at 1:58 pm #150200
It’s easy adding others
The Departed (to hell with the reviews)
The Witches of Eastwick (delicously overthetop Jack, and speaking of Pfeiffer)
The Shining (ditto, and thanks, “Johnny”)
The Crossing Guard
The Two Jakes (what a great “pig” he is here)
Wolf (speaking of Pfeiffer….)
Batman (best villain imo….or at least tied with Heath)
The King of Marvin Gardens
Truly one of the best thespians around.April 6, 2014 at 2:24 pm #150201
The Academy got it right every time with him in my opinion.April 6, 2014 at 2:37 pm #150202
He doesn’t do it often on television or on camera, but I encourage anyone who’s a fan of his work to look for his videos, speaking about roles. He had so much interesting insight about the Joker in Batman—really, Jack is a thinker and it shows in his work. And his talk intro-ing Cuckoo’s Nest for AFI is a hoot!
I loved the conversation Spielberg had with Kubrick, which the former recounts, when Kubrick totally shut Spieberg down when he said he thought Jack was bad in The Shining. That is an Oscar nomination worthy performance.
His nomination total isn’t overblown like Meryl’s. The work is strong, the films are strong, many of them being classics that people continue to revisit.April 6, 2014 at 2:50 pm #150203
Great actor. The only nomination he received that I disagree with is As
Good As it Gets (one of the few Brooks films I dislike). The
nominations/wins I would have given him:
1969: Nominated – Best Supporting Actor, Easy Rider
1970: Nominated – Best Actor, Five Easy Pieces
1971: Nominated – Best Actor, Carnal Knowledge
1973: Won – Best Actor, The Last Detail (his greatest screen performance by a huge margin imo)
1974: Nominated – Best Actor, Chinatown
1975: Nominated – Best Actor, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
1980: Nominated – Best Actor, The Shining
1981: Nominated – Best Supporting Actor, Reds
1983: Nominated – Best Supporting Actor, Terms of Endearment
1985: Nominated – Best Actor, Prizzi’s Honor
Won – Best Actor, Ironweed (his second-best screen performance, hugely
underrated, Douglas should have won for Wonder Boys)
1989: Nominated – Best Supporting Actor, Batman
1992: Nominated – Best Supporting Actor, A Few Good Men
2002: Won – Best Actor, About Schmidt (need to see competition again though)
2006: Nominated – Best Supporting Actor, The Departed (how the HELL did Wahlberg get this nomination instead of him?)
15 nominations, 2 winsApril 6, 2014 at 3:13 pm #150204
He’s one of my favourites, based on what I’ve seen from him, which is not even all of his nominated performances. He really is the Oscar King, and deservedly so. I don’t know if I would have given him more than 3 oscars, because I support spreading the wealth, but I would have preffered for him to have won for About Schmidt than for As Good as it Gets. One of his best performances was in A Few Good Men, but that category was absolutely packed with worthy performances, so I can’t pick him to win there.April 6, 2014 at 3:56 pm #150205
Honestly I have not seen half his nominated performances, but all his wins are incredibly deserving and I might even add a couple that didn´t win.
Also, I hate he wasn´t nominated for the shinning, probably one of his most iconic and enduring performances ever (probably the performance that will most be remembered in the future by the mainstream audience). And the departed, even more so because wahlberg got in…WAHLBERG (tha f*******K?)April 6, 2014 at 5:42 pm #150206
Poor Mark. I found him worthy of his nomination.
So many dumb assed, biasedagainstgenre snubs to The Shining. At least the Saturns honoured Scatman and Stanley. Also posthumously for Bela Bartok. That music gives me goosebumps every time.April 6, 2014 at 5:45 pm #150207
It’s amazing that Wahlberg got in for The Departed, terrific nomination. Jack deserved his nomination too, don’t know how he missed on that one. Maybe the Leo talk in supporting also hurt him.
I hate his performance in Prizzi’s Honor. He was still rewarded for it at other awards and critic’s groups, ridiculous.
About Schmidt…. I absolutely love the movie and Jack in it, it would have been such a deserving win, but that year was just so difficult with him, Day Lewis and the sudden Brody win which was also very much deserved.April 6, 2014 at 5:49 pm #150208
Don’t get me wrong; I thought Wahlberg was terrific in The Departed. I’m just surprised he was able to get the nod over Jack.
If you had told me that only one actor would get a nomination for The Departed, I would have thought Wahlberg to be third in line.April 6, 2014 at 7:06 pm #150209
Overrated by academy, and all of his 3 Oscars were underseved.April 6, 2014 at 7:30 pm #150210
Poor Mark. I found him worthy of his nomination.
So many dumb assed, biasedagainstgenre snubs to The Shining. At least the Saturns honoured Scatman and Stanley. Also posthumously for Bela Bartok. That music gives me goosebumps every time.
That Razzie nom for Kubrick just comes off as so random when I look at from today’s perspective. Weird.
I love Jack, and support the majority of his nominations, maybe removing only Prizzi’s Honor and As Good As It Gets (haven’t seen Ironweed. That said, I’m not sure if I have him winning for anything but Cuckoo’s Nest (also haven’t seen Last Detail). Maybe Reds? He’s great in Easy Rider, but apparently that would have been the year Once Upon a Time in the West was eligible, and I’m partial to Jason Robards.April 7, 2014 at 4:21 am #150211
In my Oscar book. this is how Jack stacks up!!!
1969 EASY RIDER – sup………Gig Young easily the best
1970 CARNAL KNOWLEDGE lead….losing to Hoffman in Little Big Man
1971 FIVE EASY PIECES lead….close but losing to Malcom McDowell in A Clockwork orange
1973 THE LAST DETAIL..lead….losing to Pacino in Serpico
1974 CHINATOWN..lead….great performance by my win was Pacino again in Godfather II
1975 CUCKOO’S NEST…lead…one of the all time greatest male performances…WINNER
1980 THE SHINING..lead…great year for actors…losing to DeNiro for his iconic raging Bull
1981 REDS..sup. easily the winner over Gielgud
1983 TERMS OF ENDEARMENT..in my book he is lead here, daniels supporting…easily the winner over Duvall
1985 PRIZZI’S HONOR lead…I loved this performance but William hurt easily the winner
1987 IRONWEED lead..great performance, probably his 2nd best ever and easily a winner over Douglas
1989 BATMAN…sup…another iconic Nicholson performance ..my choice was James Spader in Sex, Lies and Videotape
1992 A FEW GOOD MEN- sup…..loved the performance and i have him the winner over Hackman
1997 AS GOOD AS IT GETS…lead…easily the winner
2002 ABOUT SCHMIDT- lead…I have DDL as the winner for gangs
2003 SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE–lead…almost matched Keaton with his brilliance in comedy…Ben Kingsley in HOSAF my winner
2006 THE DEPARTED sup… shouldve made the cut..i have Jackie Earle Haley for Little Children as my winner
17 NOMINATIONS AND 6 WINS!!!!
Oscar King!!!April 7, 2014 at 5:12 am #150212
Where were all of you Ironweed
fans in 1988 when I sat in a move theater in Los Angeles and the audience made
a steady stream out the exit doors as the film played and left me alone on the
aisle by the time the credits ran? The common consensus then was that the
Pulitzer Prize winning novel was not well served by director Hector Babenco.
Reviews were not enthusiastic about Nicholson either.
Hal Hinson wrote in the Washington
Post, “Nicholson, in particular, is a disappointment. In The Witches of Eastwick, he was doing
Jack, and he did it for all time. And so there was reason to believe that doing
Jack was behind him, that he would reach inside himself to find fresh,
unexplored areas of his talent. Nicholson hasn’t played it safe here; he isn’t
simply doing Jack. Instead, he’s diminished all of his natural magnetism
without discovering anything to put in its place. He hasn’t become a deeper
actor, merely a duller one.
Janet Maslin wrote in the New York Times, “As
Francis Phelan, Jack Nicholson seems seldom to move, except in flashbacks that
show Francis as a younger man. It’s a fine performance, very true to the
burned-out quality of a man confronting his own failures, but the overall
effect is unavoidably glum.”
Dave Kerr wrote in the Chicago
doesn`t disgrace himself, and even adds a few brief flickers of wit here and
there, though there isn`t much he or anyone can do when the scenes run as hoary
as a tearful confession at his infant son`s graveside.”
the Los Angeles Times review, Sheila
Benson, concludes her review calling the five major performances “shattering,” wrote
a single sentence in regards to Nicholson’s work, “Nicholson’s performance doesn’t whimper for our
approval, and it carries some of the intensely ironic Irish humor that runs in
a vein through the book.”
As I recall at the time, Nicholson’s nomination was a complete surprise.
Most expected the Best Actor nomination to go to Mickey Rourke for the other
literature-based film on alcoholism, Barfly
April 7, 2014 at 6:11 am #150213
Oh wow, I’ve only seen 6 out of 12 (including his three wins), that means half of them. What a shame, I need to see the other six asap.
One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Tears of Endearment
As Good as it gets
I’m fine with his wins for One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest and As Good as it gets. I’m not so found of his Tears of Endearment win because I’m not found of that film in general (safe for Shirley MacLaine’s performance).
He was so goddamn creepy in The Shinig. So iconic.
Ironweed is an incredible hard film to watch. Just depressing and so very very long. But he was great in it. So was Meryl in her (supporting) role. Her out of nowhere nomination (not even a Globe nod!) was more surprising that year than his.
They had great chemistry together in Heartburn a year earlier. That movie not (Academy) awardsworthy, though personally I’d givem them both a nom for a Comedy Globe (yes, it felt pretty much comedy to me).
Two favorites of mine are also The Witches of Eastwick and Wolf.
I still preffer Nicholson overall as the Joker, if I had to choose between him or Heath Ledger. The latter really richly deserved his Oscar for his psycho performance, but I found Nicholsons mixture of an “old fashioned” gangster and psycho more entertaining than just “pure” psycho. He was wonderful quiet in About Schmidt and so overly funny and great with Diane Keaton in Something’s gotta give.
And he should have been nominated for The Departed. Why he was not…. I still don’t know.