Thursday, February 19, 2009

Only Got One Scene? Make it Count!

update: I did some tinkering here. Messed up on my awards spreadsheet. Oops

I used to really love giving prizes for limited or cameo roles and I used to fantasize that one day some struggling actor would write me an email saying "i can't believe someone noticed what I was doing in that scene! ur my new BFF" and whatnot. But this bizarre fantasy never became reality and now I find that my awards for limited and cameo roles only torture me by reminding me of the major studio's continual campaign tricks between lead and supporting roles with Oscars. Having a third category makes things yet more confusing still! For instance, are all those female roles in Rachel Getting Married supporting characters or limited roles? Of course if you have one you have the other which makes it infinitely more confusing.

Exactly what is a limited role? I guess I'm masochistic like that to even ask. But I like to recognize the lesser known actors, the blue collar faces of cinema if you will, when they make an impression or lift a scene in some noticeable way. So here's to them

*

38 comments:

Erik said...

You know, in the symposium I bitched about "Burn After Reading," but in your line-reading awards (great idea), this made me laugh out loud:

"I thought you might be worried... about the security... of your shit" Brad Pitt as Chad Feldheimer in Burn After Reading *

JA said...

Your continued dedication to Carice Van Houten makes me very pleased, Mr. Rogers.

And word to Lena Olin's scene at the end of The Reader being what makes the film coalesce. I know I like this movie much more than most people (even you included, Nat) but I think what you say about it here, and her scene, is choice.

Cristhian. said...

How about " En-ra-ha", as gloriously delivered by Eddie Marsan in Happy Go Lucky?

J.L said...

I'm glad you had Essie Davis as Semi-finalist :) i thought i was the only one that noticed her.

Great selection otherwise too. Especially the actresses, i haven't seen Valkyrie but if Carice is as good in this as she was in Black Book then she's also deserving

Rich Aunt Pennybags said...

I was surprised that Dianne Wiest was left off the list, but overall great list. I love that you named the Wendy's guy so much better than those lame Papa John/TDK commercials because of Dalmachian not the other guy in them.

Neb said...

I love that you included Andrew B. Blake from "Rachel Getting Married."

His scene was so heartbreaking that I was almost touched to tears, up until the point that I realized it was all crap. Fantastic.

brianmaru said...

Couple of lines that stick out in my head.

"Look at me!" by the Ledger's Joker as he screams at the fake Batman before murdering him on tape.

"I just don't want you to hate me" by Rourke in The Wrestler. It made me cry in the trailer itself, the movie even more so.

"En-ra-ha" of course by Marsan.

Great selections overall. I love that the creepiness of David Dastmalchian is in a series of Wendy's adds, so he can frighten me more often and out of nowhere.

I also found the father from Let the Right One In to be great in his one small scene.

Julia said...

Oh no! What about the hilarious tango instructor in Happy Go Lucky?

NATHANIEL R said...

JULIA ack!!! i forgot her. recount!!!!!!

Howler said...

Yay! I mentioned Unax Ugalde (as "that Spanish guy", I didn't know his name) under your post about "sexpot" category. Thanks for remembering him.
And yes, what about Poppy's flamenco teacher? And umm... Tom Cruise in "Tropic Thunder"? LOL
As of line readings: "En Rah Ha", but the one by Poppy, not by Scott; "Chinese. Why?" by Maria Elena, "fuuuck" by Cassidy and anything Kirk Lazaurus (or whoever he is or thinks he is) says in "Tropic Thunder".

Hayden said...

My favorite Rachel Getting Married line reading:

"You can't let anybody tell you what you are."

"Thank you, Carol."

So snarky and hilarious. I saw it three times in theaters and laughed out loud each time.

Anonymous said...

I just noticed that starring in a movie with Oscar-nominated Kate Winslet is an easy way to get FB nomination for Individual Line Reading Award. Tom Wilkinson first, then Patrick Wilson, now David Kross ;P

Hayden said...

And speaking of Carol, I feel like Anna Deavere Smith (ANOTHER fabulous Tony thesp) deserves some credit somewhere. I think she was so graceful and sensitive to the action around her, from that awkward glance at Debra Winger at the rehearsal dinner to being Bill Irwin's emotional anchor to her take-charge demeanor when Kym's MIA to the believable excitement she feels when Rachel makes her big announcement to the utter joy across her face dancing at the reception...

Anyway, I loved her, and she's utterly thankless virtually everywhere I've looked.

Hayden said...

Anyway, I feel like a combination of the script and editing direct our attention towards the awkwardness of Carol's position as stepmother, and she really handles the pressure like a pro. There's something really soothing about how level-headed she is.

Ángel Ramos said...

You forgot Karina Fernandez the flamenco teacher in Happ-Go-Lucky give yor last spot in Best Actress in a Limited or Cameo Role to her please!!!

and also the win <------

Jack said...

When I saw Zoe Kazan in that little foursome picture on the blog, I was getting quite excited that she might be in the final five nominees. She didn't quite make it though (although I see an empty space, so why not bump her up one?) She was definately the ONLY good thing about "Revolutionary Road" to me, and her small performance made her one for me to keep an eye on in the future. Similar to how I felt when I first saw Amy Adams in "Catch Me If You Can".

adam k. said...

Uh oh, one spot left, and Dianne Wiest and the flamenco teacher still have to be accomodated.

I think someone will have to be bumped out of the category due to having too much screentime. As much as I loved the performance, I'd boot Allison Pill to make room for actual limited roles. I thought she was an out-and-out supporting actress in Milk (and a great one).

But I love this category, as there's always lots of stuff worthy of nomination (though the categorizations can get confusing).

Cristhian said...

You need to rework this, buddy. This flamenco teacher snub in the best cameo category is almost as hurtful as the Sally Hawkins' Academy Award nomination snub.

18 Year Old Blogger said...

A little OT but Tilda confirmed she is presenting BSActor and now its being said that Hathaway is opening the show with Jackman...

Anonymous said...

This is one mess of a sentence:
For instance, are all those women Debra Winger, Anna Deavere Smith and Anissa George in Rachel Getting Married do they have limited roles or supporting ones.

Jim T said...

1) Nate, will you choose which was the best peformance of the year (male, female, lead, supp) like in the Far from Heaven case? I'd like that :)


2)Winslet should take the award for best non-verbal response after Kross' "Do you love me?". Or maube I just love giving her awards!?

chris Na Taraja said...

WARNING: RACHAEL GETTING MARRIED SPOILER...

Even if Debra Winger was in a few short scenes, the black eye she gives her daughter persists.

I heard that she hid in the bed during Shirley and Jacks scene in Terms of Endearment.

Can Debra Winger possibly be limited?

Brooke Cloudbuster said...

I enjoy the inclusion of Lena Olin, one of my very favourite actresses (I would give her one of the supporting slots in a second) and Carice Van Houten, who was very good in a very limited and underwritten role. She sadly had one of the most stupid moments in the movie, where she put her hand on her stomach as if to signify she was pregnant, which wasn't revisited after. One sharp cut and the film loses nothing.

Arkaan said...

I don't get the purpose of a limited/cameo category, but I think a good rule of thumb is that if a performer has more than one dialogue scene, then it's supporting.

So all three of the RGM women are supporting. Hell, you could make a case that DeWitt is a leading performer in the film, even.

NATHANIEL R said...

ok. WOW. i so messed up on my spreadsheet. i have fixed this category

Kurtis O said...

Fine insights as usual, but I don't get the love for Lena Olin in "The Reader." I thought her average at best. (I really didn't like that film outside of Winslet's work and the photography.)

Kurtis O said...

BTW: By "love," I mean the general response to the film at large, not just your take.

Ryan said...

Nice call with Olin (obviously) and Unax Ugalde for the limited role lineup. Also, this is slightly off topic, but still has to do with Film Bitch Awards and screentime…

I’m still conflicted as to I’d crown “the best”; SO torn between Cruz, Tomei and Winger.
Alas, I’ve been meaning to ask why Debra Winger didn’t make it into your Best Supporting Actress lineup, let along finalists… and you being so (justly) gaga over RACHEL GETTING MARRIED?

The film was one of my top 5 favorites of the year and I really feel Demme and Winger are most responsible. She just blew me away with her masterfully subtle approach to that character— endowing Abby with such a poignant slow burn, while deftly masking it at the same time. I mean, just consider the telling way she strokes her neck during Kym’s toast. And the final shot of her in the car window… mmmmmm. Just brilliant, no?

Arkaan said...

1. The big scene with Winger is so problematic though.

2. The line I keep remembering from RGM is Bill Irwin's "We've only just met, but I'm gonna say it - we love you." Line of the year.

Glenn said...

I saw The Reader yesterday and Olin's scene is the one that I keep thinking about. I have her in my supporting actress lineup.

I could've sworn she plays someone her own age as judged by the trailer, but then I recognised her as the old lady and thought I was seeing things. Interesting.

Although I also though her present-age character, as seen in the trailer, was meant to be a therapist (?!?) so I was even more confused as to why Lena Olin of all people was playing to completely different characters of no relation. And then it made sense.

You're right about her scene though. My eyes welled up during some of Winslet's later scenes and then comes Lena Olin to basically slap you through the cinema and ask "how dare you!"

Q said...

Karina Fernandez for the GOLD!!! She was excellent in her scenes. So glad you recognized her.

And my personal favorite line reading from your list was Kristen Davis, although I believe it's more of a "NO!!! No." Am I right? I haven't seen it in a while. And don't really want to see it again. (Not bad, just boring.)

Garen said...

I just saw The Class last night. When I got home and saw the limited/cameo awards were posted I immediately hoped that Fatoumata Kante (aka Souleymane's mother, I had to do some hard googling for that name) would be on there.

Probably my favorite moment of the film was when her son translated the disciplinary committee's decision. Her eyes acted circles around the room I think. Maybe there should be an award for best isolated body part acting...?

NATHANIEL R said...

what a great choice Garen. I wish I'd thought of it.

Michael said...

I consider a cameo/limited performance as just one scene in a film. I would definitely place Viola Davis in here this year.

My favorite ever is Donald Sutherland in JFK. Just one of the three performances he should have been nominated for an Oscar for! (MASH and Don't Look Now being the other two. Hell even Ordinary People would have been fine). And he has zero! What a travesty.

Michael said...

And it just occured to me that Viola Davis technically has two scenes in Doubt... But, still. I would place her here :-D

Michael C. said...

Strangely, I think my single favorite line reading of the year was not a line reading at all.

When the police officer informs the Joker he killed six of his friends, and Heath Ledger silently mouths the word "six" it totally floors me.

Would that qualify?

Cassandra7 said...

Best one-scene no-dialogue role ever: Vanessa Redgrave as Anne Boleyn in "A Man for All Seasons."

Guy said...

Karina Fernandez is obviously a great call, but then, one could fill up the limited performance categories with "Happy-Go-Lucky." Kate O'Flynn (as Poppy's younger sister) actually made my Best Supporting Actress ballot.

As for line readings, it's hard to include foreign films if you don't know the cadences of the language, but in "The Class," I loved the beautifully judged irony of Esemerelda's reply to Marin when asked to read -- "Avec tres, tres grand plaisir." OK, it doesn't work out of context, but that cracked me up.