Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Streep Nom #10: The Bridges of Madison County

We've been looking at each Meryl Streep Oscar nod and its competitive field. Previously: 78, 79, 81, 82, 83, 85, 87, 88 and 90.

When The Bridges of Madison County premiered in summer (a rare Eastwood berth, indeed) it seemed like Streep might finally win her 3rd Oscar the following Spring. She'd been away from the awards race in what seemed like forever. Hilariously, that "forever" absence had only been four consecutive years (1991-1994) but for Meryl, that's an eternity. In fact, a four year absence had never happened before and has never happened since all these years later. By the end of the 1995 film year, a really actressy one, the story was a lot different and the race was suddenly all but sewn up for Sarandon with only Streep and Stone as dark horse possibilities.

1995 the nominees were

  • Susan Sarandon, Dead Man Walking
  • Elisabeth Shue, Leaving Las Vegas *Nathaniel's pick. This performance kills me.*
  • Sharon Stone, Casino
  • Meryl Streep, The Bridges of Madison County
  • Emma Thompson, Sense & Sensibility
Trivia note: With this 10th honor, Streep tied Bette Davis & Jack Nicholson's overall nomination records (at the time -- Jack wasn't done giving Streep a run for #1) making them the collective #2 Oscar favored actor after Katharine Hepburn.

Back to the actual competition. How many times have we heard this almost-win story now? Meryl is flouncing along giddily in the general direction of the podium for her third triumph when suddenly...

But let us not bemoan that elusive third Oscar and instead marvel at how many valid choices Oscar made for 1995 and how good their roster might have been even if it had looked a lot different.

---> Meryl with Tom Cruise at the Oscars in March '96. (Note frosty snubbed Nicole, not yet ascendant, by his side)

Other 1995 women for context: Oscar chose the entire Globe Drama slate which meant that the comedic nominees were snubbed: Nicole Kidman (To Die For), Vanessa Redgrave (A Month by the Lake), Toni Collette (Muriel's Wedding), Annette Bening (The American President) and my fav Sandra Bullock perf (While You Were Sleeping). Two critical darlings Julianne Moore [safe] and the eternally snubbed Jennifer Jason Leigh (Georgia) were ignored due to being ahead of their time and upstaged by their co-star, respectively, though Leigh did win the coveted NYFCC prize. Box office queens Alicia Silverstone (Clueless) and Michelle Pfeiffer (Dangerous Minds) failed to scare up awards attention outside of MTV.

Other female leads that year included: Angela Bassett (Waiting to Exhale), Julie Delpy (Before Sunrise), Lori Petty (Tank Girl), Winona Ryder (How to Make an American Quilt), Elizabeth Berkely (Showgirls) and Sarah Jessica Parker (Miami Rhapsody) getting her first taste of romantic comedy lead stardom to come.

Bassett had a fiery 95 (Strange Days & Waiting to Exhale)

Finally, the year included a few leads who were previous Oscar winners Jessica Lange (Rob Roy), Geena Davis (Cutthroat Island), Holly Hunter (Home for the Holidays) and Kathy Bates (Dolores Claiborne) none of whom were received as warmly as had often previously been the case.

See what I mean about the year being actressy? And so many fine examples of different flavors of it, too.

Nathaniel's List: It's a tasty Oscar vintage for sure -- they done good -- but I'd have to remove Stone's effortful hot mess and Thompson's sensible sister to make room for two redheads who staked their first unmistakable claims to genius: Moore & Kidman. And though I'll always love "Cher" in Clueless, I can't make room for her in such an abundant year. That said, it's utterly shameful that the Globe Comedy nominations excluded her.


Your thoughts on the year, please. It's so rich, don'cha think?


Deivith Coast said...

Elizabeth Shue´s performance is also my pick!! You have nailed it, that performance kills me too...I adore her, she´s great!I need to protect her and being her friend, and I love her so much! And she´s really beautiful!

But in my awards I would be divided between Shue and Kidman. Suzanne Stone is mythic. So quotable, so wise... Love the one on Gorbachov.

And yes, I think we coincide in the top 5. Stone and Thompson are my least favourites (very sad for Thompson, I love her and I love that movie, and she is great in the film, but what a year for actresses...), and those spots are for Kidman and Moore. Safe is marvelous and that performance...One of Moore´s bests. Magnetic. And Sarandon in Dead Man Walking is...Well I can´t think about that movie without wanting to cry.That film is, maybe with Seven, the best of the year. And the tears that remains are for being cried in Madison. There was a time when I didn´t hate Clint Eastwood! I´ve always loved that movie, maybe it has that horrible ideology of Eastwood movies behind too, but in this case it works for me, and the scene in the cars with the rain...OMG!!!

Volvagia said...

Good, and maybe I'm overjudging, but I'd probably remove Sarandon as well and replace her with Lili Taylor. Yes, the Abel Ferrara vampire. It may not be a PRO managing to all-caps a sympathetic character arc, but as one of the few acting theses on pure, unreasonable, evil (See also: Kirk Douglas as Chuck Tatum, Stanwyck as Phyllis Dietrichson, Mitchum as Harry Powell), it should deserve a nomination.


Volvagia -- i haven't seen that one.

Deivith -- i can't make it through Dead Man Walking without bawling so i've only seen it once. Can you believe it? And I love it. It was my favorite film of 1995 actually (at the time) and id still give both lead acting awards to the same two films, but just reverse the genders...

Actor Sean Penn, Dead Man Walking
Actress Elizabeth Shue, Leaving Las Vegas

Kamila said...

It was a great year indeed for movie actresses. The five nominees were amazing, but we could have Nicole Kidman, for instance, on Emma Thompson's place.

My personal winner is Susan Sarandon. HER performance kills me, Nathaniel!


kamila -- well that's the beauty of 95. in any normal year Sarandon or Streep or Moore or Kidman or Shue could have been my winner with ease. But 95 makes it so so hard to pick a winner. I still change my mind occassionally but i always seem to drift back to that bruised hooker in Vegas throwing her lot in with a suicidal soul. just heartbreaking.

Robert said...

My personal winners are two actors who are still waiting for Oscar love.

Julianne and Sir Ian.

vatz said...

Kidman may have well been the 6th vote-getter and Leigh MAYBE the 7th. it's definitely the closest she ever got to getting nominated.


vatz -- i'd agree that JJL got closer here than usual. I find the previous year even weirder though. The 94 field was so dull and yet they had a biopic performance by JJL with vocal mimicry and everything. but they passed?

and let's not even start on Meg Ryan -- playing alcoholism and a huge star doing a stretch role and they still chose the people they chose? WEIRDNESS. I'll never understand 1994.

i would actually bet that the momentum of two attention getting ACTING roles in a row helped JJL in 95 but not quite enough.

James T said...

The Best Actress nominees and their films were just great that year! (I haven't seen Casino)

I saw Dead Man.., Bridges.., Sense.. and Leaving.. all in the last 2 years ([safe] too) and Dead Man Walking might be in my top 10 of all time though I have many more movies to see. What a year!

I really can't say whom I'd give the award to. Moore and Kidman are indeed great as well.

I actually contributed nothing to the conversation.. But I really can't decide. How do people do it?

Alex said...

My ballot is actually identical to yours (Kidman, Moore, Sarandon, Shue, Streep), but Susan Sarandon definitely comes out on top for me. It's such a great year, though, and I want so much to include Bening and Thompson.

I actually met Sister Helen Prejean at a lecture once and brought my DVD of Dead Man Wlaking with me. I handed it to her and kindly asked her to sign it, and she gave her little Louisianna chuckle and drawled out, "I'll just sign on Susan's neck. Don't think she'll mind that." Also, Helen crashes of Susan's couch whenever she's in New York. I thought that was so cool.

/3rtfu11 said...

All the Academy had to do was give Sarandon the Oscar in the previous year and Streep would've gotten her 3rd.

btw I love Sharon Stone's nomination; under valued as an actress I adore her and I’m glad she at least has the honor.

Kathy Bates paid a price for winning a Lead Actress Oscar – she was subbed for every possible shot at another lead nomination with Fried Green Tomatoes and Dolores Claiborne. The Academy likes their fat actresses in the supporting category. They also dislike Bates showing any signs of effeminacy -- Evelyn Couch is a wife – who finds her sexuality – Dolores Claiborne is married to a man you looks like David Strathairn and gives birth to a daughter who grows up to be Jennifer Jason Leigh – they Academy is cruel and bias.

badmotherfucker said...

I absolutely ♥ Nicole Kidman in To Die For. It's clear from the moment she appears that she understands what Gus Van Sant is going for and delivers in spades. It's amazing she hasn't been offered a comedy as good since. Has everyone forgotten how funny she can be?

James T said...

Alex, thanks so much. Beautiful story!

Arkaan said...

I can make four great line-ups that humiliate the last couple nominated slates. Nathaniel didn't even mention the great foreign language performances.

Watching a clip of that ceremony on youtube, and you see just how HAPPY the non-winning nominees were for Sarandon. Streep was jubiliant - I think the only other non-winner to look that happy was Holly Hunter in 1993.


@badmotherfucker -- i have no idea why Kidman makes the choices she makes but i have the same issues with JUlianne MOore. It's like both of them have fine taste in challenging fare and zero sense of how to pick mainstream proejcts. It's not like all mainstream movies are bad. But yeah, i actually wonder why more of the good mainstream directors don't work with her.

@alex -- i love that story. That's cool that they're still in touch.

/3rtfull -- the oscar to sarandon in 94? that would've been so weird.

James T -- not all comments have to have a conclusion. ;) hey, i'm still undecided about some years myself.

/3rtfu11 said...

the oscar to sarandon in 94? that would've been so weird.

I’m a lone wolf in my belief that Susan Sarandon’s Oscar win is truly a make-up for subbing her in Bull Durham.

joe burns said...

It's a shame that Sarandon and Shue had to be in the same category- Both gave amazing performances. But I think Sarandon deserved it a little more. But wasn't Shue her strongest competition? I've seen Thompson as well, who was good, but not really great to me. Jenniffer Jason Leigh was good in Georgia, not perfect, but I might have given her a nomination. What did you think of her?

Walter L. Hollmann said...

Of the nominees, I've only seen Thompson and Streep; with the added possibilities, Silverstone and Bening. I need to catch up! Anyway, I love Streep in Bridges, and I can't believe the movie is as good as it is (I HATE the book). But from what I've seen (again, not much) I would have given it to Thompson. I love my period romances!

vatz said...

"I'll never understand 1994."

Nor will i.


/3rtfull -- well i don't think that's why but I do think Sarandon gives the best performance of 1988 and that's when i woulda given her the Oscar (Bull Durham)

but i can't get behind an Oscar for The Client. Just... no.

/3rtfu11 said...

but i can't get behind an Oscar for The Client. Just... no.

Makeup Oscars usually are bitter pills.

Chris said...

Kathy Bates' performance in Delores Claiborne is maybe the best of her whole career. She deserved a nomination, if not a win, more than any of the nominees.

Glenn said...

This was an astonishing year for the actresses, wasn't it? And I haven't even seen Madison County or Georgia and Muriel's Wedding is a 1994 release for me.

dinasztie said...

I also pick Penn for actor and Shue for actress. But Sarandon and Thompson are close.

sar said...

the academy always makes strange descions
with their wiiners and nomeenies

1992 sharon stone should have been nominated for basic instinct
she was amazing in BI as Catherien trammell
what teh were thinking?

finally sharon gets her oscar nod
but what a terrible mistake not giving her the oscar
she deserved it.

halley berry ,seriously????
i like halley, but she didnt deserve the oscar

nicole kidman gave her best performance in her career as satine in moulin rouge
she was my favorite that year

salma hayekk was great as the painter frida Khalo
the academy had a debt with nicole
so the academy gave nicole the oscar for teh boring movie the hours

MRRIPLEY said...


MRRIPLEY said...

Anyone agree that only 2 supporting actors were worthy harris and spacey,the other 3 cromwell,roth and pitt should have been replaced by bacon,cheadle and phoenix!

Peggy Sue said...

What a great year! Best of the decade (tied with 93)? And my personal favorite actually won! That's quite unusual! I felt sooo happy watching Susan getting that standing ovation... and what a lovely speech she gave!

Shue's final scene in "Leaving Las Vegas" is truly devastating. Great performance indeed and shame on Hollywood for not giving her better roles after that.

About the rest of the nominees I would remove Stone for Collette or Moore. Can't decide either!

PS "Bull Durham" is a rare gem. Love it!

MRRIPLEY said...

Can I ask i noticed nat you mention ryan in 1994 would you have given her a nom over any1 in that line up i know i would,what about foster in 1994.

Laika said...

It's an unusually strong year when you can say Emma Thompson gave the fifth-best performance (I seriously can't use the word 'worst' for a performance that subtle and restrained). I'd have to give it to Stone, whose utter commitment to a monumentally unsympathetic character renders the performance almost unbearable - in a good way! Is there another best-actress nominated performance that so resists empathy or identification? Even old school bitch goddesses and femme fatales like Stanwyck in 'Double Indemnity' allow the audience to enjoy their bad behaviour - and Stone is good at that kind of bad girl, in her Verhoeven movies. Ginger, on the other hand, is a plausibly real-life kind of horrible.

Also: in a miracle, Oscar actually managed a field just as good the following year. Between them, '95 and '96 can boast nine all-time great performances and one really, really good one (sorry, Keaton...). Why can't they manage that more often than they do?

Guy Lodge said...

I would have given Sarandon the Oscar in 1995. And 1981. And 1991. And (invisible nomination notwithstanding) in 1988. And in 2009, for her devastating supporting turn in The Lovely --

Sorry, got carried away there. But I meant those first four sentences.


@GUY, wow. I didn't take you for such a fan. But it's true that she is just excellent in all four of those roles. Her fourt best for sure... and in a rare case an actors best are the ones she's most rewarded for.

John said...

What a great year! I love all the nominated performances! I even love Sharon Stone's hot mess-ness. I would probably take out Streep and Thompson and put in Moore and Kidman.. giving Moore the win!

JP said...

Of the nominated actresses, I would have given Meryl the Oscar. She was so understated and perfect in Bridges.
The only '95 performance that I may have preferred was Nicole Kidman's in To Die For.
All of that said, I don't think there was a chance anyone was winning that year but Sarandon. She was "due", and the performance/part were very strong.

John T said...

I'd argue that she was probably more rewarded for Lorenzo's Oil than Bull Durham, but there's no question which one is better. I do love that fabulous redhead.

Mirko S. said...

my line-up:
Angela Bassett (STRANGE DAYS)
Nicole Kidman (TO DIE FOR)
Elizabeth Shue (LEAVING LAS VEGAS)
Sharon Stone (CASINO) winner

I know there's no great love here about Stone and her perf...but she really killed me in Scorsese's pic (btw I prefare CASINO to GANGS OF NEW YORK, THE AVIATOR, THE DEPARTED...all of his movies Academy seemed to cherish a lot!)

even if I like Sarandon and I'm happy she won a golden boy her perf in DEAD MAN WALKING has never been one my fav (but I loved her very much in ATLANTIC CITY, THELMA & LOUISE, BULL DURHAM...and of course in FRONT PAGE, ROCKY HORROR and THE HUNGER but that has nothing to do with the Academy)

Thompson IMHO was not so great in SENSE & SENSIBILITY (instead KATE WINSLET was delicious!)...I prefere her in CARRINGTON (btw Jonathan Pryce was so overlooked that year in the Best Actor Race...)

troyhopper said...

I would include Angela Bassett's (literally) blazing performance in "Waiting to Exhale" as one of 1995's better female portrayals. It's such a well-calibrated effort in the way she alternates between rage and heartbreak.

cal roth said...

I would have gone with Streep, but if she weren't nominated, all the other nominees would make a great choice, specially Shue.

I am surprised that Shue didn't win: I mean, it's the perfect surprise win routine: perfect chemistry with co-star, hooker role, with a gold heart, too hot to be true, lots of suffering. Just like Halle Berry.

If they had categoryfrauded her, she would have won supporting, for sure. But we don't like category fraud.

PS: I want to remind you that Isabelle Huppert delivered one of her best turns that in Claude Chabrol's La Ceremonie. Fantastic cynicism. Volpi Cup winner.

My ballot:

Meryl Streep: The Bridges of Madison County (winner)
Elisabeth Shue: Leaving Las Vegas
Susan Sarandon: Dead Man Walking
Julianne Moore: Safe
Isabelle Huppert: La céremonie

cal roth said...

I love Susan Sarandon as everybody else, but I never felt the was the best of any year?

Wow, and how could I forget Thompson in Carrington? That's my runner-up, not Shue. I can't decide who to drop: Huppert or Sarandon?

cal roth said...

And I don't understand the love for Kidman? It's the ROLE, not the performance! Her bitchness is too easy. It's a standard bitch with great lines.

It's not a Linda Firentino in The Last Seduction! Now we're talking bitchness!

Magicub said...

I want more comments about Streep performance!! I'm a Kidmaniac and i loved Shue's performance but I want more comments about Streep performance!!, Francesca Johnson, the cars,the rain...

Volvagia said...

My Current List:

Lili Taylor, The Addiction
Julianne Moore, Safe
Julie Delpy, Before Sunrise
Kate Winslet (cat fraud), Sense and Sensibility
+ (placeholder) Emma Thompson, Sense and Sensibility
(I'm guessing Kidman's the one I'd ultimately go with.)

Ian said...

That was an awesome final five. As much as I was rooting for Nicole Kidman that year, I can't begrudge Stone, Sarandon, Streep, Shue, and Thompson their nods. If I had to take one out, I guess I'd have to take out Emma Thompson. I think she was a tad too old to be playing Elinor, and at least she already won (and would win again deservedly for adapted screenplay that year). Love that Susan Sarandon ended up winning. "Dead Man Walking" is still as devastating as ever. She was brilliant in it, and for my money, Sean Penn was better here than he was in his two Oscar-winning roles. Especially his first one. It's weird that only Streep has continued with the Oscar nods and no one else in this group. I thought for sure that at least Sarandon and Thompson would have had another nod by now. I hoped that Shue and Stone would get in again to prove that their first and only nods weren't flukes, but still. Great lineup. Lots of great snubs that just missed out too.

OtherRobert said...

Wonderful year for actressing. I fully support Kathy Bates in Delores Claiborne, who did not have the advantage of working with anything resembling a decent source like she did with Misery. The film only works because of her performance, and even then there are times where it feels like it's on life support.


eeek. i just realized i listed like a million names and forgot ANGELA BASSETT who was great in "Waiting to Exhale" oopsie. i had to go back and add her.

magicub -- i'd love to hear more from people about their feelings on BRIDGES too. I should've watched it again for this post... and I probably will this year but i have to keep this series moving or it will never end ;)

Kimberly said...

It's funny that when people talk about Bridges everyone picks the car scene. While it is incredible, it's never what gets me. I'm absolutely devastated by the dinner, when she explains to him why she can't go. It's so simple, so quiet, such an emotional knockout. Because it's the truth. Or when they take the walk outside the first night they meet. OR when Robert calls and tells her she can back out of meeting him at the bridge. There are a million scenes in this movie I love. It truly is one of my favorite Streep performances and probably my most favorite romance stories. You truly forget that it's Meryl...she is Francesca.

Beyond that I can't comment on the race, having only seen Sense & Sensibility. (Yes, I know, I'm sorry - I'm as embarrassed to admit it as you are horrified to hear it!)

cal roth said...

Well, I have commented just before how Streep amazes me in this movie and said how she looked natural and fresh. The main reason that makes her to reach the soul of Francesca is her canal approach to the part.

She instantly channels the divas of Italian cinema, their explosive sexuality even when they are unglamourized, that feeling of "too much of a woman" (it's a straight thing, but I'm sure you understand).

You may remember, for example, Sophia Loren in A Special Day, and the way that housewife decides to stay home that day and has sexy with her stranger neighbor - and, more than sex, how that day changes her way to see her own life.

It's like you can feel the smell of her legs, her strong hands, her willing kisses.

At the same time, she never makes her italianness a caricature: you see the foreign eyes in a body that learned to be in a different culture, not so carnal, and she delicatetely touches Clint's shirts like she is controlling herself, like the inner Francesca, that Francesca from Bari is exploding inside the American wife she became.

I've said before Streep's kills are impressive, but this is the top of her career because these skills sell me a real person in every level and layer I can see. She is just... relaxed, like she doesn't have to fight to reach any dramatic note because she simply controls the part to the point you don't see her, Streep, anymore. It's not like a biopic impersonation, where you DO see the actor working oh his mimicry. It's like Streep was born Italian, and doesn't even have to be precise with her accent (it's NOT that perfect, and that comes from the son of a Italian woman) because she have the soul of Francesca.

And the face, too. The moment we see her enter Clint's car her face just looks like the face of Silvana Mangano, and we doen't have even 10 minutes of screentime.

You know, this performance has all the Streep tics (accent, strong character work...) but it feels so easy that she doesn't need to convince anyone. In Sophie's Choice, for example, we know Sophie scene after scene, and Streep plays a different layer os the part to help us to discover who she really is.

IN Madison County she refuses to BUILD the character. No matter she still has to reveal things and show emotions we are not expecting, the job is already done when we see her first scene.

She has done that before, but with shallow parts, like The Devil Wears Prada, for example, or dramatic parts the require her to act in a stylized way (The French Lieutenant's Woman), which are the best parts to act with you are a technical performer.

But, now, this time in Madison County, she becomes sublime because all the things she learned as actress serve the portrait of a real and deep soul, that actually looks like reality and not as a helluva job of acting.

Of course she have a lot of help from her chemistry with Clint as an actor and as a director, in the heights of his amazingness - tender, sensitive, generous, discreet...

In my opinion The Bridges of Madison County is the best love story of the 90's (tied with Happy Together) and one of the best movies of the decade (Cahiers du Cinema goes with it for the best of 90's, you know?).

The movie has a lot in common with Brokeback Mountain, and that really comes from a westernized and stoic vision of romantic love. It's like Ethan and Martha finally have their 4 days together, even with no future.

But this too long.

Volvagia said...

The issue was really Sharon Stone's placement for that role. A great role: YES. A Lead Role: NO.

My Supporting Actress lineup:

Annabella Sciorra, The Addiction
Sharon Stone, Casino
Ashley Judd, Heat
Gwyneth Paltrow, Seven
(placeholder) Edie Falco, The Addiction

Volvagia said...

My winners would probably be Julianne Moore and Annabella Sciorra in lead and support respectively.

Peggy Sue said...

I agree with you Carl. I think this particular performance goes way beyond acting skills. It is close to pure magic.

When I first heard that Meryl was playing Francesca I was appalled. I knew she could play british, danish and polish but italian seemed far away from her range and looks. Sarandon, Rossellini or Huston were the obvious choices to me.

Should have known better! When I saw it I totally believed her voice inflections, gestures, everything! and what's more important, I totally got the character's inner fight and dignity.

sar said...

sharon stone
such an under valued actress
im talking generally.
charismatic, talented, beautyfull, sexy
the most of the times she gets the bad girl role
but she does her bad girls like nobody
i love her villians
even Laurel from catwoman

sharon stone she is my favorite actress in whole world since basic instinct

Dominik said...

1995 was the first year I watched the Oscars. I don't remember who I was rooting for, or which performance I found the best (never the same thing, I actually very seldom see any nominated pic before Oscar night). It's a long time since I saw the three out of the five I have seen (haven't seen "Casino" or "Sense"), so I really don't know.

I guess though I expected Stone to win. The media coverage that I had access to strongly suggested that. Never liked her much, so I was pleasently surprised to see Sarandon win. Btw I don't remember seeing it, but I heard that when Sarandon won, Sharon Stone stood up and left. Anyone know about this?

My 1995 experience also defined most of my few own theories about how Oscar works which I'd like to share, for better or worse(these are only applying to the four acting categories):
1. Oscar copies the Golden Globes when it comes to nominations, disguises this fact a little
2. a) Everybody expects to see the GG winners for supporting and lead in Drama win. Especially those mainstreamist commentators who say what everyone says and try to sell it as their own unique carefully contemplated opinion.
b) However, there is always at least one, but not more than two surprises when it comes to the winners.
c) Performances that were not also nominated for a GG don't win.
3. People like Sharon Stone and Brad Pitt always win Golden Globes but never win Oscars.
4. No actor wins more than 2 Oscars. Katharine Hepburn is the exception that proves the rule right, probably due to some supernatural special "Great Kate" superpower.

I dropped rule no. 4 after Jack won for "As Good as it Gets", and I read about a certain supporting performer of the 1930s and 40s named Walter Brennan.

The last Oscar season prooved my rules no. 1 and no. 2a even better than 1995 did, however it let my rules no. 2b and 3 fall to pieces after so many years when they seemed to be so true.

fuzzbuzz said...

How miscast Eastwood was in this film. He pulled down Meryl's performance. This was the flick that finally showed Clint as an old, tired man that he is.

If only Jeff Bridges had been her leading man, this flick would have been oh so believable. Meryl might have pulled out her third Oscar win, but it wasn't to be.

/3rtfu11 said...

4. No actor wins more than 2 Oscars. Katharine Hepburn is the exception that proves the rule right, probably due to some supernatural special "Great Kate" superpower.

I dropped rule no. 4 after Jack won for "As Good as it Gets", and I read about a certain supporting performer of the 1930s and 40s named Walter Brennan.

The character actor whom won 3 Oscars won them for three reasons – one Oscars didn’t mean much in the beginning it wasn’t as important and political as it is now – two he’s a damn fine character actor so no one begrudges his wins – three most important in the beginning everyone including the extra’s union could vote for the Oscars – all of his Oscars are plaques not actual statuettes.

Jack Nicholson is an Academy untouchable just like Clint Eastwood

Hepburn was old – so awarding her and re-awarding her was the thing to do

Streep still being a young’in and an untouchable – continuously being nominated whether she deserved it or not and she has not always deserved her nominations.

They also loved Ingrid Bergman and had she lived – she might have earned another Oscar whether it’s competitive or honorary.


yeah, Ingrid and Jack both have 3 so a 3rd is not out of the question for Meryl.

she just needs a year like 1982 or a year like 1994 again: the first, a performance that they simply cannot die or second, a year where noone excites them so they think, "hell another for a beloved veteran. why not?"


fuzzbuzz -- wow. i had never realized that Streep and Bridges are the same age but they are. That would make an interesting screen pairing. Although Hollywood is usually averse to same age pairings for romantic co-stars. They always want the woman younger. But at least it's improved a little and they don't always need the woman 20 years younger anymore ;)

Dominik said...

Oh, right, forgot Bergman. She has three, too.

"Streep (...) continuously being nominated whether she deserved it or not and she has not always deserved her nominations"

- and even more continuously being nominated for a Golden Globe. I remember she didn't attend the 1995 GG ceremony, and I think it happened again and again in the following years, feeling to me like she wanted to say to them something like: "What is this sh*t all about, why do you nominate me every f**king year if you don't have the slightest intention to actually give me an award?" (she probably wouldn't use these exact words but more classy ones, unless it would be totally crucial and true to the character she plays) Anyway, her repeated absence from the GG ceremonies also nourished my belief a threesome is quite impossible. But I think I recently found out she has won 6 GG, so again here my impression is probably not so right. (Though some were for TV work I believe...)

Dominik said...

Something else I have to say: I just found out the next post in this series will be about the year the skinny blonde skeleton who can't act won her Oscar. *Eww*

James T said...

Nathaniel - That's why La Streizand exists. She did a movie only to be a pair with Bridges. She can do one for Meryl :p

Graham Greenlee said...

I agree with Volvagia about Stone... Sharon has my favorite performance of the nominees, but she really is more Supporting in Casino. It's not her story and she doesn't have the screentime (she appears in maybe half to 60% of the film) for Lead status in my book.

I would have voted for eventual winner Susan Sarandon myself... And while Nat's article has the "Streep's Third Oscar" angle to it, let's not forget that Sarandon was on her fifth nomination at this point and had pretty much hit the "she's got to win sometime" status that recent winners like Kate Winslet and Sean Penn (for Mystic River) have. While 1995 wasn't exactly Sarandon's year to lose, she had a LOT going for her (clearly.)

All of that said, it is interesting that Streep had already gotten to the point where people were asking "Where's her third Oscar?" and 15 years later, we're STILL asking that question. (BTW, I say 2008 for Doubt, since Kate Winslet should have won for Revolutionary Road instead of The Reader.)

Shtajner said...

YEAR 1995
Jennifer Jason Leigh GEORGIA (runner-up)
Sandrine Bonnaire LA CEREMONIE

Supporting Actress:

Sean Penn DEAD MAN WALKING and Nicolas Cage LEAVING LAS VEGAS (tie)

Supporting Actor:
Kevin Spacey SE7EN


Volvagia said...

Actually Sharon Stone's screen time proportion in Casino is closer to 15-20%. I do pay attention to run time vs. screentime as I watch movies. If only her proportion was 60%, a screen time amount I would count as lead. Both Winslet and Thompson were in approximately 40-45% (lead range is 40-100% for me) of Sense and Sensibility, as a comparison.

Volvagia said...

Nicky's in 45-55%, depending on whether you count voice over as being "on-screen." (DeNiro is in half of the scenes with Nicky.) DeNiro is in 40-45%, again if you consider voiceover as being an "on-screen" presence. (Stone is in roughly half the scenes with DeNiro, so around 20-25%.). The remaining 15% of unaffiliated time deals with the handling of a Mafia Casino. (DeNiro + Pesci = Co-Leads)

Lead Actor:

Joe Pesci, Casino
Robert DeNiro, Heat
Kevin Spacey, The Usual Suspects
Bruce Willis, 12 Monkeys
Al Pacino, Heat

Volvagia said...

Of course, casting Jeff Bridges could have led to to a groan worthy tag-line. "Watch a man make love on his namesake:

The Bridges (Bridges is bolded) of Madison County.

Volvagia said...

Why don't I just say Supporting Actor and Picture for the sake of it?

Supporting Actor:

Kevin Spacey, Seven
Val Kilmer, Heat
Brad Pitt, 12 Monkeys
Christopher Walken, The Addiction
(placeholder) James Cromwell, Babe


Heat - winner (I can't argue with this hard edged, intelligent cop picture)
The Addiction - Silver (An inscrutable piece of A/V literature that milks it's metaphor (vampires are heroin addicts) until it's absolutely bone dry. Note: Sizeable influence from George A. Romero's Martin)
12 Monkeys - Bronze
Seven (Very good, but not, as the Empire list says, the third best of the year)
The Usual Suspects (Again, a great showcase lead role, and an outstanding movie but not the second best of the year.)

Lead Actor Winner: Spacey
Supporting Actor Winner: Walken

sar said...

teh truth is
all the people from the film industry hate sharon stone
thats why sharon didnt win the oscar

sadly truth of false

she got a bitchy rep....(witch i think is unfair)
thats the reason we havent seen her in big movies lately
she would have been the perfect leading lady for
notes of a scandal
revolutinary Road
and why she didnt get these rolls????
i suposse the reason is Martin Scorsesse
he told all important directors not to worck with stone
ahhhh there is ahuge boicott against my favorite actress sharon
witch i hope ends this yearrrrrr

Arkaan said...

Why do I cherish the Sarandon victory? Simple.

--It's a great performance (so not simply a career honor - the work merited it on it's own) a great movie (none of this "she stands out" or makes the material rise to her stature. Everything about this movie, the performances, the writing, the directing is amazing)

--... in a great category (Streep, Shue and Sarandon would make worthy winners in ANY year of the 90's

--in a great year (the nominees, plus Moore, Delpy, Kidman, Gong Li, Isabelle Huppert, more and more and more)

jc valencia said...

among her 'almost-wins', this probably stings the most for me. adaptation comes a close second. give the woman her third oscar already!

in as much as i loved sense and sensibilities' last scene (when elinor had her breakdown), nicole should have been nominated instead of emma.

lastly, too bad sharon's career went down hill after 1995. with her recent choices, no one takes her seriously nowadays.

sar said...

JC Valencia:
sharon stone´s career
went down hill cuz she had a reptuation as a bitchy pèrson (wicth was totally on fair)
and nobody wanted to worck with her
she doesnt take bad choices
there is a boicot against her , and she doesnt ger hired by the big names in hollywood
well have to fidn out
what scorsesse told to all directors about sharon

Glenn Dunks said...

Stone's nomination is what keeps me hoping that the likes of Drew Barrymore will eventually get nominated.


or Sandra Bullocks?

Volvagia said...

Of course, of all things, I count Mary Badham as the lead (and not a great one) and Gregory Peck as just a support (a movement that would have secured O'Toole and Peck their Oscars) in To Kill a Mockingbird. (Cut Telly Savalas from Support, Cut Lancaster from Lead, add James Mason and Frank Sinatra. Now, I think you might just have the best possible list for Actor and Supporting Actor.)

Lead Actor:

Peter O'Toole, Lawrence of Arabia - winner
James Mason, Lolita
Frank Sinatra, The Manchurian Candidate
Jack Lemmon, The Days of Wine and Roses
Marcello Mastroianni, Divorce, Italian Style

Supporting Actor:

Ed Begley, Sweet Bird of Youth
Victor Buono, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
Gregory Peck, To Kill a Mockingbird - winner
Omar Sharif, Lawrence of Arabia
Terrence Stamp, Billy Budd

Volvagia said...

Best Supporting Actors of the 60s:

Gregory Peck, To Kill a Mockingbird
Sterling Hayden, Dr. Strangelove - winner
George C. Scott, The Hustler
John Cassavetes, Rosemary's Baby
Omar Sharif, Lawrence of Arabia

P77 said...

As much as I love and admire Susan Sarandon's performance in "Dead Man Walking," and as much as I routinely love Meryl Streep in just about all she does, and as much as I was rocked by Sharon Stone's work in "Casino" (the scene where she drives onto the lawn and goes toe to toe with DeNiro is stunning), I will never back down from my opinion that Elisabeth Shue delivered what was hands down, the best performance of any actor or actress in 1995 in "Leaving Las Vegas." I would actually put her performance in the same category as Robert DeNiro in "Raging Bull" and Charlize Theron in "Monster," because it was THAT good. Elisabeth Shue is an underrated and underused actress and based on her performance in "Vegas," Hollywood is idiotic for not giving her her pick of projects after the fact. She deserved that Oscar and hopefully one day, she'll get the chance to go for it again.

minerva said...

I still can't believe Meryl Streep DIDN'T win an Oscar for her work in The Bridges of Madison County.
She has deserved the Oscar more often than only twice. Silkwood, Out of Africa, The Bridges, One true thing, The Devil wears Prada, Doubt, Julie & Julia -the most important ones, how she didn't win?