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Joe Pesci in Raging Bull: Lead or Supporting

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  • RobertPius
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    I rewatched this last year and was struck by how big his role is. (or am I remembering it wrong?)

    I think it is interesting since he lost to Timothy Hutton in Ordinary People which is always considered such category fraud.

    Michael O’Keefe in The Great Santini could also be called a lead role too.

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    thatnerdgreg
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    I haven’t seen the film in a while, but I’d say he was supporting. The whole thing is much more focused on De Niro than Pesci. There are several moments of just De Niro and other characters, but I don’t recall a whole lot of Pesci scenes that didn’t include De Niro.

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    Hammad Asif
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    Lol,it is a clear cut biopic about “Jake LaMotta” and it is played by Robert De Niro.

    Kubrick-Scorsese-Nolan-Coens-PTA-Fincher-Hitchock-Spike Lee-Tarantino
    19yr old Film School Student

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    Hoster1
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    Supporting placement is fine imo. That lineup had 2 actual frauds in it – Hutton and O’Keefe.

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    Eddy Q
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    Definitely supporting. True he has quite a bit of screen time but he disappears for most of the last third of the movie until the penultimate scene, and he’s present but not dominant for much of what goes on beforehand.

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    Foolio
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    I don’t understand this question. Pesci’s character is the definition of a supporting role.

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    Josh5890
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    I agree with the sentiment here. Supporting for sure.

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    vinny
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    Supporting. (sidenote this is easily my least fav performance from him…my fav being My Cousin Vinny and Goodfellas and my least favs being Raging Bull and The Super)

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    Thatcher, Prime Minister of GoldDerby
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    Darling, supporting wtf.

    As a famous singer said, "ain't nobody gonna Thatcher, Thatcher, Thatcher!"

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    RobertPius
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    Lol,it is a clear cut biopic about “Jake LaMotta” and it is played by Robert De Niro.

    Biopics can have more than one lead see Coal Miners’ Daughter, Walk the Line or Sweet Dreams.

    My point was just that Hutton gets such flack for being a fraud but the alternate winner which was probably Pesci was a sort of borderline performance imo. (and as Pesci himself said even though he lost to Hutton he admired the film and perfomance and he eventually got an Oscar too so it all worked out.)

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    Awardsfan1990
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    Pesci was definitely in the right category of supporting.

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