Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Best Supporting Actor reviews: Arthur (1981)

I really don't know why I chose to see this movie instead of the others, probably I was willing to watch a comedy instead of a heavy drama and I'm glad I did so as I ahven't seen such an entertaining, relaxing and funny movie (and also a Best Supporting Actor winner) since The More the Merrier (so not a long time LOL).
Arthur tells the story of Arthur (Dudley Moore), a not-so-young millionaire who's also a cheerful drunk having a cynical servant Hobson (Sir John Gielgud). Arthur has to marry a real plain-Jane, called Susan (Jill Eikenberry) in order to get a great fortune. However, he falls in love with an also not-so-young, but optimistic woman, Linda (Liza Minelli).
I just felt joy throughout this movie. It's so utterly entertaining and just pure delight, it's just like tasting a good cake. Back in the eighties they made such great comedies. Naturally lots of credit goes to the director, Steve Gordon who's comedy direction is simply brilliant. I feel the same for his flawless screenplay, which is also one-of-a-kind. Those line are so funny (and a bit dumb but in a good way if you know what I mean) and witty that you're constantly amazed by them. I really do love Chariots of Fire (and I think it defintely, 100% deserved that Oscar and was 2 times better than all the other nominated movies), but I would have given the screenplay win to Arthur.
Dudley gives a fun performance as Arthur. Although I don't know his work at all,
I can say that he was hilarious in this one. His overacting really fits this character and it was a good idea to make him some kind of a cliché character, the happy drunk. I'm saying that his nomination was truly deserved (also his Golden Globe), but that Oscar deservedly went to Henry Fonda.
However, I'm just SHOCKED and APPALLED that Liza Minnelli was not nominated as she gave one of her greatest screen performances (after Cabaret of course) as Linda the kind and sweet love of Arthur. She's so radiant, warm and witty, that you're constantly amazed at her grand talent. I'm not much of a fan of hers, but I've always enjoyed her works and I'm glad she was such a great and essential part of her movie.
And naturally, Sir John Gielgud, that brilliant British acting legend. All the words and expressions of praise can't be enough to salute his great performance that magnificently combines those hysterical one-liners with the dramatic part. If you want to see totally mindblowing comedy acting, he's your choice. I mean, although I was completely confident that nobody could be better than Jack Nicholson in Reds, I was wrong. Gielgud more than deserved his award in that very strong race, where everyone was worthy (including Razzie-nominee James Coco who was also great). A sure member of my Top 10.
And my review would be annoyingly incomplete if I did not mention the catchy and classic score of Burt Bacharach. I'm sad that it was NOT nominated along with the also classic and very deserving score of Chariots of Fire. But thank God Arthur won Best Song.
Gosh, I'm so happy that I saw this movie and I would watch it anytime. Once again: pure fun.
Nominations: Best Actor; Best Supporting Actor (Gielgud WON); Best Original Screenplay; Best Original Song (WON)
My wins: Supporting Actor, Screenplay, Song


Sage Slowdive said...

I love this movie! Especially Liza...

joe burns said...

I haven't seen this in a long time, but I remember liking all of the performances and I also remember it being very short.

dinasztie said...

Do you think that Gielgud was deserving?

joe burns said...

If you're asking me, then I thought yes. He was very funny, from what I remember.

Fritz said...

I really enjoyed the movie and Gielgud was certainly the highlight!