Friday, June 25, 2010

Streep @60: Music of the Heart

Angela Bassett would like to welcome you back to Streep at 60: Live From Carnegie Hall. Today's topic: Wes Craven's Music of the Heart (1999).

"I want to thank each of you for your generous support and I sincerely hope that you enjoy the blog post."
If you need someone to introduce something, you choose Angela Bassett. It's the only way to go. She will always e•nun•ci•ate for you. I lead off with Angela's intro to the concert which concludes Music of the Heart because this is the sort of film that is entirely about its heartwarming climax. In fact, when it comes to movie narratives, the Inspirational True Story is the subgenre that most begs a swift telling. Inspirational Stories are about inevitable triumphs. The audience knows it's coming so too much dilly-dallying is deadly.

Music of the Heart tells the story of Roberta Guaspari (Meryl Streep) who started a violin program in East Harlem. The program was forever endangered due to a lack of funding for arts education (same as it ever was), but it changed the lives of Roberta, her family, and thousands of students while it lasted.

<-- Streep with her screen son (Michael Angaro way back when!)

When we first meet Roberta she's angry and red eyed, tearing up photos and screaming out the window at movers. Her husband has recently left her and she's moving back in with her mother (Cloris Leachman). With the help of her pushy mom and an old school friend who always had the hots for her (Aidan Quinn) she crawls towards a new life. She wins a teaching job from an East Harlem principal (Angela Bassett) who's impressed by her talent and chutzpah. We spend the rest of the movie watching Roberta find her footing as a single mom, teacher, and Inspirational True Person.

Like The River Wild (previously discussed), the simplistic story is complicated by Streep's detailed characterization. We know when Roberta is worried, turned on, sad, relieved, amused or angry... and she's often angry though Streep is careful to delineate the varieties thereof. Streep's violin skills won attention during the film's release -- is there anything she can't do or pick up quickly should a role require it? -- but that's a technical aspect of the performance that's a necessity rather than an interesting character interpretation. The most intriguing element of her performance is undoubtedly the push and pull between her meek wifely persona and the iron willed single woman she's forcing herself to become. You can feel this especially in the arc of her relationship with Aidan Quinn. Though he's helping her move forward into her new persona, she often seems to be retreating in his presence, replaying her marriage as it were.

Though it's not often discussed when praising her work, Streep's always been particularly skilled at conveying external romantic arcs and the erotic internal (which will hopefully serve her well in Great Hope Springs). I don't mean this in a garish "I'm sexy!" way but in a grounded flesh and blood way. She can hit all the notes that any good actor can about sexual attraction but she also drops enough conflicting suggestions into her performances to keep you guessing about how much Character A likes being with, romantically loves and desires to have sex with Character B and how consistently or deeply she feels or has ever felt those things and whether those types of love are satisfyingly portioned out. If you stop to think about romances, isn't that far more truthful than merely portraying attraction or the lack of it.

"Whoa. Slow down here a minute.
That's a little too much like getting married."


But it's strange to talk about how much she does or doesn't want to have sex with Aidan Quinn in Music of the Heart, because A) who wouldn't? and B) she's playing this romance while entirely buried in Wal-Mart's Old Maid line. Question for all: Is Roberta Streep's frumpiest character? You'd barely know she had breasts or hips underneath all those layers and heavy ankle length dresses. Roberta barely remembers that she has them either, given that her two sons are forced to play matchmaker in the second act.

About that second act. Music of the Heart is more enjoyable than its reputation suggests but it does lose considerable steam when it jumps forward ten years. There's a fun moment shortly before the movie's phantom intermission when Roberta conspiratorially teaches her students to make the audience wait for the final notes of a song. The promised moment of silence and release in the mini-concert is quite a satisfying finish. (There's even a slo-mo fadeout like the movie is ending!) Until, you realize, that was only the curtain on Act 1. You've now seen Roberta triumph over her past meek self, lazy students, disbelieving faculty, and her commitment-phobic boyfriend. Now, you'll watch her triumph all over again but on a larger scale.

Roberta's artful baiting , that "wait for it..." theatrical finish, only lasts a few beats. Craven's "wait for it" finish involves a whole second movie. Roberta teach her students discipline. Wes Craven, taking a rare step outside the horror genre for this true story, merely tests his audience's patience.

Music of the Heart is moving, yes. I teared up, I did. But what Inspirational True Story involving kids and learning isn't? Streep makes a valiant effort with Roberta, though, and her sensitive performance is the best and arguably only reason to see this inelegantly structured, awkwardly told story.


As you may know, Music of the Heart netted Streep her 12th nomination. Some context now.

That honor tied Katharine Hepburn's nomination record and kept Jack Nicholson permanently at bay (the next time he was nominated, she was too). It took Hepburn 49 years to win 12 nominations. Streep did it in only 21. Hepburn is still the champ for Oscar wins with 4 competitive statues to her name. Streep's insane nomination record is working against her when it comes to actual wins. When you're nominated in more than 50% of the Oscar races in your working lifetime -- she has been -- what incentive do they have to give you yet more recognition in the form of a win?

for 1999 the nominees were

  • Annette Bening, American Beauty
  • Janet McTeer, Tumbleweeds
  • Julianne Moore, The End of the Affair
  • Meryl Streep, Music of the Heart
  • Hilary Swank, Boys Don't Cry *Nathaniel's vote*
Whatever one thinks of the merits of Streep's nominated performance, deserving or not, it was her most obvious "default" gong. My guess is it's the only competitive field in which she ran 5th in the final voting tallies.

Other 1999 women for context
It was not a competitive Best Actress year. Though there was critical love for Reese Witherspoon (Election) anti-comedy bias and poor box office worked against her worthy hilarious performance as Tracey Flick. Cecilia Roth (All About My Mother) had a passionate but very small fanbase. Beyond that, it didn't seem like anyone was really competing: Michelle Pfeiffer (Deep End of the Ocean, The Story of Us) had a double dose of loud pre-release hype that didn't translate to actual buzz once the films underwhelmed, other Oscar-types like Jodie Foster (Anna and the King), Sigourney Weaver (A Map of the World) Susan Sarandon (Anywhere But Here), Kate Winslet (Holy Smoke!) and Kristin Scott Thomas (Random Hearts) failed to generate enthusiasm for one reason or five others. Meanwhile, Julia Roberts (Notting Hill, The Runaway Bride) ruled the box office and Franka Potente (Run Lola Run) made a frantic dash through the nation's arthouses.

Nathaniel's medals would divvy up like so...

  • Gold (Winslet. I still think Holy Smoke! is her best work)
  • Silver (Swank)
  • Bronze (Bening or Witherspoon?)

    For the fifth nominee I'd go with either Moore, Potente or Roth. (I haven't seen McTeer's much lauded Tumbleweeds performance.)
Do you have strong feelings, warm or otherwise, towards Music of the Heart? Who would make your 1999 Best Actress list?
*

46 comments:

joe burns said...

I like both Swank and Benning- Although I should see all of Swank's performance, since I turned it off right near the end. I think Reese is my personal pick.

Michael Parsons said...

I loved this performance to death. Perhaps it was the movie, perhaps it was Meryl having her first victory against Madonns since loosing the part in Evita, perhaps it was pure sentiment. It is firmly in my DVD collection.

cal roth said...

Among the nominees there isn't a single performance half as good as Swank's.

I think Annette Bening is pretty damn awful in American Beauty (one more time she follows the same Cruella deVille template Glenn Close had set before).

Moore is good but lacks the mistery and period elegance Sarah needs (Deborah Kerr was a zillion times better), McTerr is overrated (generic performance) and, you know?, Streep is second best?!

L O V E Winslet in Holy Smoke, but SWank still wins my gold. Cecilia Roth is bronze.

adelutza said...

This film was terrible. It was the first time when I felt that Streep is getting nominations by default

Peggy Sue said...

I must rewatch "Music of the Heart" right away. Don't remember much of it and generally that's not a good sign.

I think Hilary was great in "Boys Don't Cry". Also love Jeannetta Arnette(Chloë's mom) in it.

Clarence said...

I did like Meryl Streep in Music of the Heart. I actually liked the movie in general. When I first saw it as part of my English project, I did see she was too fussy, but in a way that fit well with Roberta's characterization. This was seriously one of those times where I felt that Meryl was kinda annoying but I think that it served the film well because Roberta seems to be filled with so many thoughts about her kids and her work and her love life that she's so overworked it makes sense she's annoying.

Hilary Swank gives the best damn performance of that year. I know you don't like her but I'm glad to know you actually like her in this film. Shame that she can't do much anymore.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

1999's race is between Moore and Bening for me with Bening topping it quite easily then Reese and Hilary fight it out and the last spot either probably goes to Pfeiffer even though she was sleepwalking at times and the movie was bland (I remember liking McTeer but I can't remember it now).

On Streep, eh she's doing a capabale performance and she'd probably be a runner up, but that's because the year is so insanely weak.

brandz said...

i still can't believe Reese Witherspoon didn't grab a nomination that year. she totally got Tracy Flick so right. Swank gave the best performance that year and deserved the win. my guess is is Streep placed 4th in final vote with McTerr coming in 5th.

NATHANIEL R said...

brandz -- but mcTeer was a big deal that year... like a Melissa Leo type situation where people just wanted her nominated. I don't remember much excitement for Streep.

but i was pleasantly surprised by the performance (if not the film)

Anonymous said...

my lineup:

Best Actress:

1. Hilary Swank, Boys Don't Cry - Winner
2. Kate Winslet, Holy Smoke! - Runner Up
3. Reese Witherspoon, Election
4. Annette Bening, American Beauty
5. Cecilia Roth, All About My Mother

Alt: Franka Potente, Run Lola Run!

Glenn Dunks said...

Swank's win is so refreshing, although it just makes the sadness of her win for Million Dollar Baby even stronger.

Robert said...

Witherspoon, Swank and Roth all make my list. But the Best Actress trophy goes to Emilie Dequenne from Rosetta.

/3rtfu11 said...

Sigourney Weaver had three parts in the 90’s that deserved serious Academy attention – Dave ’93 sup actress, Death and the Maiden ’94 best actress, and A Map of the World ’99 best actress.

I will not lie I was upset that Bening lost the statuette. I love bitchy and theatrical performances.

Andrew R. said...

I'd go with either Bening or Moore, it's almost a tie. Probably Bening.

Haven't seen Tumbleweeds, Music of the Heart is a really poor film for Streep (default nom?), and Boys Don't Cry is the weaker of Swank's two Oscar wins. (It's way, way, WAY too similar to Jodie Foster in The Accused.)

Trevor said...

It's a shame so few people have seen "Tumbleweeds." It's a great little gem of a film, and Janet McTeer blows through that performance like nobody's business. What is it about Brits being so convincing as Southerners? It's the weirdest thing. And I'd guess that Meryl's overall rep would have at least merited fourth in her year over Julianne Moore. I never liked "The End of the Affair" that much, so I'm probably biased. I would have given her slot to Reese Witherspoon for "Election." Maybe if they'd gotten that first nod out of the way, people wouldn't have been in such a mad rush to vote for her in "Walk the Line" later on. But that's another story. Couldn't stand Annette Bening. In this round, nothing would have topped the Swankster though. I pretend she didn't win for "MDB" and only this year so this can shine a little brighter on its own. Very nice write-up!

Kurtis O said...

Two things:
1. "Streep's violin skills won attention during the film's release, but that's a technical aspect of the performance that's a necessity rather than an interesting character interpretation."
- I'm surprised you dismissed this so quickly as just a "nececessity" of the performance, when you know there are many actresses who would not have taken the time to master the violin for the role. For me, the very best thing about this otherwise forgettable movie is it represents a whole different aspect of Streep's dedication for her craft. Her having learned the violin makes the movie, and, in fact, I would assume it was her idea.

2. "Music of the Heart is moving, yes. I teared up, I did. But what Inspirational True Story involving kids and learning isn't?"
- Freedom Writers

Alex said...

1999 was such a good year for movies. I have yet to see Holy Smoke, Tumbleweeds, All About My Mother, The End of the Affair, and A Map of the World (yeesh), but I'm really happy with my Best ACtress line-up as it stands:

1. Annette Bening (American Beauty)
2. Hilary Swank (Boys Don't Cry)
3. Reese Witherspoon (Election)
4. Michelle Pfeiffer (The Deep End of the Ocean)
-so incredibly underrated
5. Meryl Streep (Music of the Heart)

Also, the only year where Meryl comes in 5th on my personal list.

Anonymous said...

i think 1999 is when i really started to try and see nominated films/perfs in the cinema.

my top 5 would be - wins

moore -the end of the affair
weaver - a map of the world
bening - american beauty*
swank - boys don't cry
winslet - holy smoke

i liked streep but felt any actress could've done this role it was just obvious like mr hollands opus though dreyfuss was way better in that film,funny nay you don't mention that madge was the original choice.

MRRIPLEY said...

oh yeah the talented mr ripley's paltrow is great plus kidman in eyes wide shut but are they lead or support,i never know!!!!

MRRIPLEY said...

I hated tumbleweeds and mcteer in it.

MRRIPLEY said...

3rtfu11- totally gree about weaver don't foget 1997's the ice storm glad you brought up her warm sincere work in dave but she is not well liked and is a sore loser,check out her 1988 youtube clip losing best actress to jodie foster at the oscars,she can't believe it!!!

RobUK said...

Loved this performance, liked the film, and actually thought its nomination was pretty just.

I never rated Julianne Moore's performance that year, and always found her's to be the nomination that irked.

My picks for the year:
1) Swank
2) McTeer
3) Winslet
4) Bening
5) Streep

Steolicious said...

In 1999 "The Talented Mr. Ripley", "Being John Malkovich" and "The Sixth Sense" are my favorite Films but they don´t have had "the" Leading Lady.

Beside of Hilary it was kind of a weak year. In Moores performance is something missing, Bening has a great story to tell (my 4th fav movie this year) - but it wasen´t her brigtest role. Pfeiffer is my 5th sloth because I´m a Fan, she does well as over-the-top mommy and back in 1999 I liked the movie. Stiles was at this point more of a starter/breakthrough but for me she does better in this than some real noms ever did in whatever they did... Witherspoon nails it, always fun to see her in "Election". Maybe it isn´t Streeps best or most important role but when you look at the other performances, she really is one of the top five in 1999. By Meryls performance we can see shes acting and the Academy love this ones. But in Swanks case there is no acting, I had the feeling she really lives the character, she was the best!

6. Annette Bening, American Beauty
5. Michelle Pfeiffer, The Deep End Of The Ocean
2. Meryl Streep, Music of the Heart
1. Hilary Swank, Boys Don't Cry
3. Reese Witherspoon, Election
4. Julia Stiles - 10 Things I Hate About You
7. Julianne Moore, The End of the Affair
8. Lara Belmont, The War Zone
9. Susan Sarandon, Anywhere But Here

It was a stronger year in the supporting cat.
Toni Collette - The Sixth Sense
Maggie Smith - Tea with Mussolini
Chloë Sevigny - Boys Don't Cry
Cate Blanchett - The Talented Mr. Ripley
Brittany Murphy - Girl, Interrupted
Thora Birch - American Beauty
Angelina Jolie - Girl, Interrupted
Gwyneth Paltrow - The Talented Mr. Ripley
Samantha Morton - Sweet and Lowdown
Mena Suvari - American Beauty
Elaine May - Small Time Crooks
Helena Bonham Carter - Fight Club
Christina Ricci - Sleepy Hollow
Cameron Diaz - Being John Malkovich
Helen Mirren - Teaching Mrs. Tingle
Natalie Portman - Anywhere But Here

Did not saw Janet McTeer, Tumbleweeds and Kate Winslet, Holy Smoke...

cal roth said...

The missing thing in Moore's performance is really mystery: she is really an emotional and intense actress, and that works wonders in movies like Boogie Nights, Far From Heaven, Savage Grace and Blindness. But she just can't hide the audience anything, you know: every emotion is evident just by looking at her face. It's not lack of subtlety or overacting. She is just not suitable for inner character complications that have to be hidden.

Deborah Kerr was magnificent in the same role because her face always suggested a lot of things that she never tried to show us or even make us know that they existed: she is not a powerhouse like Moore, but could do things like Black Narcissus or The Innocents or this The End of The Affair.

NATHANIEL R said...

@cal -- i sort of hear you except that [safe], one of her very best performances, is all sorts of internal and mysterious.

though admittedly it's her pyrotechnics on the outside (like the pharmacy scene in Magnolia) that garner the most attention.

an it's crazy talk to suggest that Bening is stealing from Close. They both do grand dame theatrical bitch but Bening uses humor so much more than Close. Consider both of their Merquise performances and they're just so different playing the *exact* same character.

@Steolicious -- wow. i didn't expect to see Meryl anyone's runner up that year. thanks for sharing your list.

@Joe -- uh,wha???? you didn't finish Boy's Don't Cry? It's so good. was this like a "Phoebe's mom" give it a happy ending type of thing?

@Michael -- it's funny that you mention Madonna. I am also always happy to do so but i'd actually forgotten that this role was originally sort of hers.

@Glenn -- agreed.

@Kurtis O -- i'm not sure i'm being too dismissive. I mean should I give Hilary Swank credit for working out for Million Dollar Baby as part of her performance? To me those things are just the mandatory parts of the characters. But maybe there are lazier actors out there.

I guess i run into this problem in other ways too. Like seeing Charlize Theron praised for the A+ level makeup in Monster when she didn't do the makeup. Not to start up that whole argument again ;)

but i do think it's interesting that everyone responds to different parts of character building.

@Robert -- i guess i should see Rosetta

troyhopper said...

Great analysis, as usual. Kinda makes me want to see the film now. Kinda.

I've only seen Swank's and Benning's performances from that year, but having recently revisited "American Beauty" a few months ago, all the love I once had for the movie quickly transformed into "God-this-is-actually-pretty-bad" sentiment. Consequently, Benning would definitely be out.

Witherspoon's Flick is just as indelible a portrayal in my mind as it was when I first saw it, so there would be room for her on any list.

Deivith Coast said...

I didn´t like Swank that much. I think I simply didn´t like Swank. Well I hate her and I wasn´t amazed by her in this movie. She bored me so much... To me, in 1999 nobody is as perfect as Sarah Miles, Julianne Moore is GORGEOUSSSSS... I´ve always preferred her in The End of the Affair than in Far From Heaven, I love Neil Jordan´s film and she is...heartbreaking she can´t be better. My favourite Moore´s performance. Well that film is great, Nyman´s music is unforgettable and so romantic, the cinematograpy, Fiennes, Rea... The script!!! I love that kind of romanticism, I cry in that film in such a scandalous, hearty way...

My second choice is the other perfection of the year, miss Cecilia Roth great performance in perfect movie full of great performances (but Roth is the best), and Winslet is my bronze, maybe it´s also my favourite Winslet performance. Campion is God: Hunter, Kidman, Winslet, Cornish: poker of greatness. AMAZING performances. Everyone but Winslet are gold in my personal awards, maybe Winslet could be my silver...I don´t know, Cecilia is marvelous...

Fourth and fifth would be Bening and Witherspoon/Weaver. I need an award for Bening any year pleaaseee!!! I love her so much!!

I haven´t seen McTeer though when in 1999 I saw some images of her I wanted so much to see the movie, she looked like someone I would have loved a lot, I really like her in photos.

By the way, have you seen Topsy Turvy? I´ve always wanted to see it!

And off topic but I need to say it: SOCIAL NETWORK TEASER TRAILER!!!! AWESOME!!! I´ve always had faith in that movie! I need to see it NOW!!!

NATHANIEL R said...

Deivith... i have seen Topsy turvy. it's pretty damn good. But just carve out a huge block of time.

cal roth said...

Ok, safe, but that's not a trick she is used to work, right?

She is not a Samantha Morton. Most of the time you know what she is feeling and that's the beauty of her acting.

She may have done that in safe, but not in The End of the Affair, in a role that's supposed to be a femme fatale with a big twist. You have to wonder. Moore doesn't let you to do that.

(I've just looked her imdb page and, from what I've seen, you may say safe is her only mysterious work)

- On Close and Bening, 1988/1989 is not the right time to compare them, since they were not typecast yet. By the late 90's Close and Benign were reduced to Disney villains.

This exact comparision Carolyn Burnham / Cruella deVille is pretty accurate, in my opinion. It's always the same note of largen than life bitchiness with a pathetic tone, that "humor". The're both playing the part to the outside, what is right in a Disney movie, but not so much in an intimate suburban drama.

That's why I think Meryl Streep would be the perfect choice to play Carolyn - she would add elements and details to the part, instead of flattening it. The movie has its misogyny, and Streep would overcome it. Bening's superficial and hysteric take on the part accentuate this misogyny.

NATHANIEL R said...

@Cal -- but that is still a problematic comparison because Bening's "cartoons" are so superior to Close's in that time frame (late 90s). So, if she's stealing, she's elevating like she's fucking Tarantino ;)

cal roth said...

Her cartoons may be superior to Close's, but they are just wrong for the movie we're talking about! All the actors fight the archetypes they're playing and make them deeper: Birch, Bentley, Cooper, and even Suvari, not to talk about the marvelous Kevin Spacey. Bening is the only one who embraces the archetype, as if she thought Carolyn was not a human being, but a cartoon. Bening didn't understand Carolyn, at all.

cal roth said...

You may say the problem is the screenplay. Yes, but Ball and Mendes, as a director, give a lot of room for the actors to make their parts grow deeper. Bening refuses to. She is literal. Like all the actors are in a movie and she is in a bad tv series.

MRRIPLEY said...

I disagree i think she clearly was human the slap to her daughter proved it,her wail of loneliness in the car,she was human but she found a diff wway to express it,the emotion she throws about shows why she is human.

troyhopper said...

Totally off topic, but I have to say that the first fraction of a second that I initially saw the picture I actually thought it was Jenifer Lewis instead of Angela Bassett. Now I can see how fitting it was that she played her mother in "What's Love...," thought she's only a year older.

Anonymous said...

Anon: You mention that Madge was the original choice. Who is Madge and for what film Music or Opus?

I'm Confused...

OtherRobert said...

I thought the Wes Craven comment was a joke. Like, this film's so bad it's scary.

Wow. I mean, not that I dislike Wes Craven. I don't. It's just, this was a Wes Craven project? Who did he owe money to to get sucked into this kind of film?

Streep is good in it and I appreciate her actually playing the violin. I really don't like it when an actor's character hinges on playing an instrument and they don't. It's the one problem I have with Angelica Lee's performance in The Eye (original). If she actually played the violin for that wonderfully shot sequence, she probably could have gotten US awards traction.

But I digress. I don't mind Swank's win only because Witherspoon wasn't nominated. That performance is so perfect for that film. I just like to assume too many people hated the character to award her, which proves how good she was in the film.

Anonymous said...

Was Madge Sinclair the original choice to play the Angela Bassett principal part in Music of the Heart???

NATHANIEL R said...

OtherRobert -- i think that happens all the time with obnoxious characters. Only the "love to hate" characters seem to be able to hurdle the unlikeablity problem for instant traction.

anon 12:35 -- He means Madonna. and for this film. It's the one part other than Evita that both Madonna and Streep wanted.

Mike M. said...

A very weak category aside from Swank and McTeer, who were miles ahead of the rest.

My ballot probably would have been:
1. Hilary Swank (Though I sometimes contemplate switiching her with McTeer...Boys Don't Cry is one of my favorite films of the 90's and Swank is great in it, but I've always considered Chloe Sevigny the true stand-out.)
2. Janet McTeer (Fabulous work from a very gifted actress. I wish we saw her in the movies more often.)
3. Sigourney Weaver
4. Reese Witherspoon
5. Julianne Moore

I must confess, I don't like American Beauty and think it's Bening at her weakest. The script requires her to be nothing but a shrill, obnoxious stereotype of a suburban matriarch. Befuddled at the critical acclaim for this performance and that she was considered the front-runner for the win.

/3rtfu11 said...

3rtfu11- totally gree about weaver don't foget 1997's the ice storm glad you brought up her warm sincere work in dave but she is not well liked and is a sore loser,check out her 1988 youtube clip losing best actress to jodie foster at the oscars,she can't believe it!!!

Unaware she was disliked. I believed what Nathaniel said about Oscar being a cruel mistress to superior 80’s actresses like Close, Pfeiffer and Weaver not getting their just due. Both Close and Weaver have been unjustly shutout. God I hate Streep’s streak of a strangle hold on the Academy! She’s the only female untouchable in the business – all the other women have to line up and suffer the typical fate.

NATHANIEL R said...

@<3rtful. -- Well, it's not really Streep's fault that everyone loves her :) or maybe it is with that personality.

@Mike M -- i know. McTeer disappeared quick. I remember finding her kind of riveting in The King is Dead (title?) a dogme movie. or maybe The King is Alive? i dont' remember but i thought she was very watchable. i guess i should go back and watch tumbleweeds.

also i don't really think that Bening was considered the frontrunner. I mean, I personally always expected Swank to win (she had the deglam and the backstory -- i'm just poor white trash having a suddenly magical career. I grew up in a trailer park!) I think people thought it was a contest primarily because of the SAG win for Bening and because there were some who hoped that BEAUTY would repeat the IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT / CUCKOO'S NEST / SILENCE OF THE LAMBS top five category sweep.

Anonymous said...

Music of the Heart was awful. One month, years ago, I decided to watch all of her nominated performances and I remember thinking this one was her worst. Not a bad performance, but not outstanding or worthy of a nomination.

I really need to watch Holy Smoke!

Mirko S. said...

my line-up:
1) Bening
2) Mc Teer
3) McTeer
4) Swank

I don't particurarly like Streep's perf (maybe for sentimental reason: even if Madonna had played Roberta in the movie, the Academy would have never given a default nomination to her...), so I reserve the fifth slot to one of these girls:
Nicole Kidman (EYES WIDE SHUT...I don't buy the supporting placement)
Kate Winslet (HOLY SMOKE)
Reese (ELECTION)
Emilie Duqueenne (ROSETTA...great debut!)
Cecilia Roth
Sophie Marceau (THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH...I know I'm crazy, it's just I really love her in the film, no matter that normally bond girls roles are not award worthy material...anyway I'm aware that she is supporting...or not?)

NATHANIEL R said...

Mirko -- you have McTeer twice so you have two spots open.

Mirko S. said...

Sorry Nathaniel, this is my CORRECT line-up:
1) Bening
2) Mc Teer
3) Moore
4) Swank

I don't particurarly like Streep's perf (maybe for sentimental reason: even if Madonna had played Roberta in the movie, the Academy would have never given a default nomination to her...), so I reserve the fifth slot to one of these girls:
Nicole Kidman (EYES WIDE SHUT...I don't buy the supporting placement)
Kate Winslet (HOLY SMOKE)
Reese (ELECTION)
Emilie Duqueenne (ROSETTA...great debut!)
Cecilia Roth
Sophie Marceau (THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH...I know I'm crazy, it's just I really love her in the film, no matter that normally bond girls roles are not award worthy material...anyway I'm aware that she is supporting...or not?)

5:11 AM

joe burns said...

Ha ha, no I didn't, I was stopped.