I had the poster to Woody Allen's Husbands and Wives (1992) above my drawing table in my college apartment for a whole year plus. I was obsessed with the movie and it remains among my top five from Woody Allen's filmography. The public and media were too entranced by the tabloid-ready Allen/Farrow split that preceded its release to notice how damn good the movie was. My five favorites (the top four being total freaking masterpieces to put it bluntly) are...
- Manhattan (1979)
- The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)
- Annie Hall (1977) sometimes this is #4
- Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) sometimes this is #3
- Husbands and Wives (1992)
Even as the film was mostly ignored in favor of the scandals (it says a lot about Farrow and Allen's trouper professionalism after 13 films together that they made it through this one despite their nuclear meltdown offscreen) the towering performance of Judy Davis was impossible to shove aside in quite the same way. Though she eventually lost the Oscar many thought she would win, her turn remains one of the very best of the 1990s. This was revelatory work. Her "Sally" was alternately proud, juvenile, fussy, uncomfortable, pitiable, hilarious and despairing but it always an entire person you were seeing. So I want to wish a Happy 53rd birthday to the wondrous Judy Davis today! I still despise the movies for letting her drift away.
If they only had the Oscars once a decade, I'd still be nominating Judy for that performance and she'd be a threat to win. My ballot for Best Supporting Actress of the 90s would (probably ~ I haven't revisited) read...
- Patricia Clarkson as "Greta" in High Art (1998)
- Judy Davis as "Sally" in Husbands and Wives (1992)
- Catherine Keener as "Maxine" in Being John Malkovich (1999)
- Julianne Moore as "Amber Waves" in Boogie Nights (1997)
- Dianne Wiest as "Helen Sinclair" in Bullets Over Broadway (1994)
You know you want to share your top 5 of the supporting actress 90s in the comments. And your top five Woodys, too!