Sunday, September 6, 2009

Edward Norton in American History X

Can someone please explain to me how Roberto Benigni won the Oscar back in 1998 over Edward Norton's impassioned, brilliant performance as a reformed neo-Nazi in American History X?

I just now finished watching the movie for the first time. It was good, but by far the best element of the film is Norton as Derek Vinyard. He is completely committed to this brutal character and pulls it off with terrifying, savage precision. My word, this is an affecting work.

Another note, earlier today I mentioned my appreciation of the use of black and white in contemporary films. I love the mix here. Neo-Nazi Derek's life is in black and white, the only two colors he sees and a representation of his close-minded, racist view of the world. Post-prison Derek lives in a more diverse, beautiful, full-color world. A lovely touch.


DEZMOND said...

I'd personally never give Benigni any kind of award not to mention an Oscar.
My personal favourite of Edward Norton's roles must be the one from THE PAINTED VEIL, which wasn't a good film, although it had his amazing performance, good story and amazing sets.

Ellen said...

I love Life is Beautiful, but I thought Norton was in his own league this year. How Benigni walked away with that one is beyond me.

@DEZMOND: Just added The Painted Veil to my Netfliz queue.

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