Top Five… Jack Nicholson Oscar-nominated performances
Jack is the daddy of the Oscars. No man has been nominated more than him. He’s been nominated 12 times, has won three, has been criminally overlooked a few times (The Shining, Batman, The Departed) and believe it or not has even appeared in some crap (Anger Management). It was a tough job picking his five best, but someone’s gotta do it…
5. Easy Rider
This film might have been all about Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper, but while the two were bickering over creative differences, as egos do, Jack sails in in classic Jack style, takes the Oscar nod, and leaves. The character of George Hanson may not even appear until halfway through the film, and clocks out well before the end thanks to a well-placed machete, but it was enough to earn Jack the first of his Academy award nominations.
4. A Few Good Men
Jack Nicholson plays Jack Nicholson. Normally an insult for an actor, but not here. Nobody plays the bastard schtum military big wig like Nicholson, and boy does he suit that uniform. The perfect antagonist to Cruise’s enthusiasm. The film’s not as good as 12 Angry Men, though.
3. As Good as It Gets
Jack Nicholson plays Jack Nicholson again, but this time he is clearly having too much fun. Never has homophobia been so hilarious. Of course, Melvin Udall isn’t really homophobic, he’s just a p***k. Only one actor could make the audience sympathise with someone who hates everyone. His genuine efforts to understand why Helen Hunt’s Carol rejects him is as heart-wrenchingly endearing as watching a kitten repeatedly try to climb up a slide the wrong way.
He’s got the hat, he’s got the suit, he’s got the tie; all he needs is the mac with the upturned collar and the newspaper with the eye-holes in it. You might be forgiven for thinking Jack’s JJ Gittes is going to fall into the oh-so-gaping stereotypical private eye. But what he does instead is put in the performance that turned him from star into mega-star. It was all uphill from there, his next stop being the final one on this list. If Tom Cruise had’ve demanded the truth the way Jack does, he might have got his answers earlier.
1. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Hmmm… we need someone to play a character who is a bit insane, who isn’t really certifiably insane, but goes into an insane asylum anyway, and then sort of goes proper insane in the end… who should we get? This film won all Big Five Academy Awards (It Happened One Night was the only movie to do it beforehand) – Best Actor for Jack, as well as Best Actress, Director, Screenplay, and Picture. Actually, the latter four were probably because of Jack too.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE OSCAR-NOMINATED JACK NICHOLSON PERFORMANCES?