Previously: 78, 79, 81, 82, 83, 85, 87, 88, 90 and 95
Twenty years after her first nomination for The Deer Hunter (1978) Meryl Streep replaced Bette Davis as runner up to Katharine Hepburn's Oscar throne with her cancer victim in One True Thing. For a very short time period (i.e. twelve months) the three legends had a 10-11-12 Oscar nomination spread. Streep would soon leave both Hepburn and Davis in the dust. But we'll get to her #1 status when it rolls around.
1998 the nominees were
- Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth
- Fernanda Montenegro, Central Station *Nathaniel's vote*
- Gwyneth Paltrow, Shakespeare in Love
- Meryl Streep, One True Thing
- Emily Watson, Hilary & Jackie
Other '98 women for context:
Globe nominees that didn't make Oscar's cut were Susan Sarandon (Stepmom), Jane Horrocks (Little Voice), Cameron Diaz (There's Something About Mary), Meg Ryan (You've Got Mail) and Christina Ricci (The Opposite of Sex). Elsewhere in Awardsland, Ally Sheedy (High Art) took Best Actress at the Indie Spirits, besting Alfre Woodard (Down in the Delta). Weirdness: Emma Thompson, an awards staple, couldn't get any traction for a mimicry job (Primary Colors).
Anne Heche & Ellen Degeneres still had tongues wagging --- >
1998 was a double dipper year for Drew Barrymore (The Wedding Singer, Ever After), Sandra Bullock (Practical Magic, Hope Floats) and Anne Heche (Six Days and Seven Nights, Psycho) who was the controversial rage at the time as the first out lesbian* headlining major studio movies.
Major 90s stars like Angela Bassett (How Stella Got Her Groove Back), Holly Hunter (Living Out Loud) and Jennifer Lopez (Out of Sight) came on strong. And Oprah Winfrey (Beloved) didn't generate the awards enthusiasm needed.
Finally, this is the year we met Lindsay Lohan, future hot mess -- and like Heche, also a future faux lesbian! -- in her wonderfully able child star debut in The Parent Trap. It was so wonderfully able, in fact, that I fell hard for her. To emphasize why that is unexpected is to admit that the Hayley Mills film was my BEST-MOVIE-EVER until I was about eight years old. Even thinking of it now in 2010 makes me all teary-eyed with nostalgia.
He's not so sure. Oscar's roster is Classic Bait: terminal illness, mental disorders, Shakespeare, royalty porn, older person opening their heart to a child (Yes, they have a thing for that, too). How could any of these performances not have been nominated even if they weren't as good as they are? Originally in the now mythic war for the statue between Paltrow & Blanchett I favored Blanchett but my opinion of Paltrow's star making turn has grown considerably over the years. Still, I'm not sure either would make my list. I'm not sure who would make my list. Strangely, given the topic at hand, I barely remember Streep's cancer mom.
Apologies to Watson but she'd probably be the first to go to make room for one of the worst snubs of the decade. I'm talking about Ally Sheedy's devastating photographer/junkie in High Art. I was madly in love with both Hunter and Ricci's smart sexy comic work in '98 so maybe I'd dump a couple more of the Oscar women for them. Who knows? Revisits are in order. But to make a long story short, the LAFCA got it exactly right with their tie; Ally Sheedy and Fernanda Montenegro tower over 1998's actress field.
*Anne "Celestia" Heche's lesbianism was short lived of course. But still. People were all "Oh My God!" -- OMG! wasn't in the vernacular yet -- "They're letting an out lesbian play romantic straight leads in movies! The world is going to end."