Well inbetween scrapbooking two decades back and the total new digital world of the Aughts, there was the long transitional period of the 1990s. Remember when the internet was just text (Anyone? Anyone?). The last two issues of my 90s zine (that pre-website relic mentioned in the Julianne Moore interview) were published in 2000.
<-- "90s character collage" Oil on canvas. I'm confused why I included The Phantom Menace because I hated the movie. I think I wanted something "up to the minute" Ha!
I had just moved to NYC and was in the process of chucking Quark for Dreamweaver. The first version of the site was already up and rapidly taking over my life so I'm not sure why I was trying to do both web & print. It was transitional hedging maybe. Plus html was way confusing at first before apps starting doing all the coding for you. Different era.
Interior "Ten Best" pages --- >
I thought I'd share these ancient lists on "Best of the 90s" for fun. I can't really stand by half the choices now 10 years later but can you stand by all your choices from Spring 2000?
Best Supporting Actor
[Top Ten Chronological Order, Winner in Red. Original text with the names listed. The very first one surprises me like you don't even know but we'll get to that in a minute.]
- Tommy Lee Jones, JFK (1991)
Tommy back when he was exciting to watch onscreen.
- Michael Lerner, Barton Fink (1991)
The funniest supporting turn of the decade
- Leonardo DiCaprio, What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)
The breaking point of Hollywood's It Boy.
- Ralph Fiennes, Schindlers List (1993)
Astoundingly frightening American debut.
- Samuel L Jackson, Pulp Fiction (1994)
Much celebrated bible quoting hitman. Great.
- Martin Landau, Ed Wood (1994)
Great character actor doing comic justice to a legend.
- Kevin Spacey, The Usual Suspects (1995)
Kevin's much lauded Keyzer Soze role.
- William H Macy, Fargo (1996)
Almost as great as McDormand. High praise.
- Rupert Everett, My Best Friend's Wedding (1997)
Wasn't even nominated. What?!?!
- Ed Harris, The Truman Show (1998)
Terrific work from the ever magnetic actor.
So yeah, I'm not happy with this list at all. I'd probably only keep half of it. But I'd need to watch a few movies again.
Best Supporting Actress
[Top Ten Chronological Order, Winner in Red. Original text with the names listed]
- Annette Bening, The Grifters (1990)
As the delicious decadent Myra Langtree she was radiant.
- Uma Thurman, Henry & June (1990)
Seduced Henry, Anaïs and the world as June Miller.
- Juliette Lewis, Cape Fear (1991)
At just 18, stole the show from Lange, Nolte and DeNiro.
- Judy Davis, Husbands and Wives (1992)
Gave Allen's neurosis a whole new energy level.
- Uma Thurman, Pulp Fiction (1994)
The hip film's central female role. Uma nailed it.
- Dianne Wiest, Bullets Over Broadway (1994)
Dianne is always a treat. Against type, she soared.
- Joan Allen, The Crucible (1996)
Breathtaking. One of the great screen presences.
- Julianne Moore, Boogie Nights (1997)
Should've won the Oscar. What were they thinking?
- Christina Ricci, The Ice Storm (1997)
Smart sad work. Confirmed her best-of-generation status.
- Patricia Clarkson, High Art (1998)
How did this marvelous turn go so unnoticed?
[Top Ten Chronological Order, Winner in Red. Original text with the names listed. I've recreated the illustration here just because I thought it was funny and I remember being super angry that Anthony Hopkins started going hammy and/or phoning it in starting about the mid 90s.
I no longer have any strong feelings about him. The quality dropoff was so severe that even know 15 years later I see his name in casting items and I feel nothing more than "Why'd they go with him? Laziness in thinking about their options?". Like, what was he doing in The Wolf Man? I feel like you give that same part to some hungry actor his age who never got inundated with huge offers and they're going to reward you with something special even if the movie bites. I don't mean to sound cruel about Sir Hopkins and I did name him Best Lead Actor of the Decade and that's saying something. He'll always have 1991-1993 when every performance was an event!]
- Anthony Hopkins, Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Perhaps overcelebrated but it's a juicy star turn.
- River Phoenix, My Own Private Idaho (1991)
A transformation that made him an icon.
- Denzel Washington, Malcolm X (1992)
Should have easily bagged him the Oscar.
- Daniel Day-Lewis, In the Name of the Father (1993)
Does anyone else miss this guy? Great actor.
- Anthony Hopkins, Remains of the Day (1993)
Unquestionably fine. Does repression like no one else.
- Nicolas Cage, Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
His last great performance before big budgets beckoned.
- Sean Penn, Dead Man Walking (1995)
Completely believeable difficult turn as a repentant killer.
- Ian Holm, The Sweet Hereafter (1997)
A performance as complex as the film. That's high praise.
- Ian McKellen, Gods and Monsters (1998)
Should have won the Oscar. What were they thinking?
- Edward Norton, American History X (1998)
Fierce work that confirmed his best-of-generation status.
I'm also a bit surprised that I didn't give the top prize to River Phoenix as I was quite obsessed with My Own Private Idaho in the 90s. River Phoenix would've turned 40 last week. One has to wonder what would be different in the movies had he lived. Which star would never have risen up instead. Which roles we're familiar with would he have ended up playing?
I'm disappointed looking back that I didn't list Christopher Guest whose "Corky St. Clair" in Waiting for Guffman is arguably the finest comedic character creation of the 1990s. He should've made the list.
You know what to do in the comments. Your lists please... and how have they changed over the past ten years. What did you love or hate then that you've changed your mind about now? And let's say you were born in the late 80s or in the 1990s. Which of these movies have you always meant to see but just haven't got around to yet?
p.s. If you're new to the blog and want to see more recent "best ofs" you can check out Best of the Aughts or my awards for 2009.