Saturday, August 28, 2010

Flashback: Best of the 90s. (Pt 1)

Remember when I shared those 80s scrapbook pages on "Before Websites Pt 1 and Pt 2"?

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.
Leonardo DiCaprio (Gilbert Grape) & Ed Harris (The Truman Show)
  • 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.
That's what I said then. As you can see I wasn't yet a frothing at the mouth "Category Fraud!" crusader since there's at least two "leads" in there. In fact, for '99 I chose Haley Joel Osment (ru: Jude Law) who is obviously the lead of The Sixth Sense and in my runners up I list Rupert Graves in Where Angels Fear to Tread and how is that anything but the lead role? The weirdest nominee in this best of decade top ten is Tommy Lee Jones. I barely remember that performance -- I think he had white hair and that there was some rabidly anti-gay tone to his scenes? -- and what I do remember I don't like. I'm so confused that it's listed but that's what the pages say. The other thing that sticks out at me is that I was apparently on a first name basis with Kevin Spacey (unhh....) and I excluded Burt Reynolds in Boogie Nights (very odd).

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]

Juliette Lewis (Cape Fear) & Patricia Clarkson (High Art)
  • 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?
That's what I said then. Obviously Catherine Keener would've made the list for Being John Malkovich had I waited a year to compile this. (I'm always so hesistant about brand new movies. A weird tic. And apparently I did the same thing here declaring 1999 movies ineligible for these top tens. Weirdness.) But nothing much surprises me about these supporting actresses. Love them all and the next ten would be almost as wondrous.

Best Actor
[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.
That's what I said then. And said rather repetitively, too. I used some of those exact same lines for Best Supporting Actress. Where was my editor? Oh, yeah. That was me. Elsewhere in the magazine I proclaim Kevin Spacey in American Beauty Best Actor of 1999 and now I would definitely rewrite history to pretend that I chose Jim Broadbent in Topsy Turvy (who I at least nominated. Yay, me). I had also forgotten that DDL made so few movies in the 90s (only 5) despite becoming a big star with the first of those (The Last of the Mohicans). And then he made even less in the Aughts (4) ! Does this mean we can only expect 3 movies from him from 2010-2019? And if so, does one of them really have to be a Sherlock Holmes sequel since he works so infrequently?

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.

River Phoenix (My Own Private Idaho) & Christopher Guest (Waiting For Guffman)

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.
*

38 comments:

Vertigo said...

I'm only 25 now, so I was just a kid back then and my movie taste was, well, not very good. Movies were always my passion, but I wasn't thinking about making lists and all that stuff, but I've had a few scrapbooks. Ahh, sweet memories. Scissors, glue and all those articles and photos from The X-Files!

So, as I said, I was just a kid, and I loved, LOVED Batman Forever and Batman & Robin. I'm so embarassed thinking about it, I even think they were better than Burton's movies. How pathetic and funny is that?

James T said...

Thanks so much for sharing!

I adore Deam Man Walking and that's why i think i should tell you that tou kind of spoil the movie for whomever hasn't seen it.

I haven't seen many of these movies but i really wabt to see Gods and Monsters, The Ice Storm.

I REALLY want to see Remains of the Day but i want to read the book first.

I didn't even know of The Sweet Hereafter. You seem to like it. I'll keep it in mind.

I am interested in learning about Miller so i was thinking of watching The Crucible but not sure. Maybe read The Death of a Salesman instead (or first)?

The three female performances I think more than any other from the 90s are probably Stone's (Basic Instinct), Linda Fiorentino's (The Last Seduction) and Paltrow's (Great Expectations).

MD said...

I was born in the early '90s and I'm pretty much ashamed of the number of movies I've seen from the decade. Pretty sure I never even finished Titanic (I was 10 when my sister was watching the VHS. I told her it was stupid.) One day I'm going to have to do a catch up.

I think my biggest gap here is probably Fargo. I've been meaning to get around to it for an extremely long time. On a related note, I loved what pretty much everyone was doing in The Big Lebowski. Two or three of them would probably make my list of performances.

Scott said...

Oh, all of our lists change as we age and see things a bit differently, and there are lots of superb performances on your lists (I particularly like Fiennes, Spacey, Davis, Clarkson, Benning, Holm - and yeah, I'd include Hopkins in that set) so I'd say if you feel a little sheepish about some of your tastes back then, you were still exhibiting good taste too.

I guess I'd come at this from the opposite side of things and think about what performances you always thought were excellent from day 1, and still do now. I think those tastes that don't change even as you learn more are sort of the more interesting ones. So as to performances like that, I'd add (in addition to some of the things you mentioned): Jude Law in Ripley, Bill Murray in Rushmore, Chris Eigeman in Metropolitan, Jeremy Irons in Reversal of Fortune, Day-Lewis and Hopkins in some other movies (Age of Innocence and Nixon) as well as the ones you mention, Helena Bonham Carter in Wings of the Dove, Miranda Richardson in Damage, and Michelle Pfeiffer in Age of Innocence. It's so weird that after that she didn't make another awards-worthy movie for the rest of the decade.

MrW said...

Is Best Actress to come in part 2?

However, here would be my Top 10 lists, compiled right now (in chronological order)

Supporting Actor:
Joe Pesci (Goodfellas)
Alec Baldwin (Glengarry Glen Ross)
Ralph Fiennes (Schindler's List)
Harvey Keitel (Pulp Fiction)
Martin Landau (Ed Wood)
Burt Reynolds (Boogie Nights)
John Goodman (Big Lebowski)
Bill Murray (Wild Things)
Tom Cruise (Magnolia)
Jude Law (Talented Mr. Ripley)

Top choice would be either Landau or Goodman.


Supporting Actress:
Anjelica Huston (Manhattan Murder Mystery)
Anna Paquin (The Piano)
Kirsten Dunst (Interview With the Vampire)
Dianne Wiest (Bullets Over Broadway)
Julianne Moore (Boogie Nights)
Sarah Polley (The Sweet Hereafter)
Jane Birkin (A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries)
Lynn Redgrave (Gods and Monsters)
Catherine Keener (Being John Malkovich)
Antonia San Juan (All About My Mother)

Top choice: Keener.


And Best Actor:
Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of the Lambs)
Jack Lemmon (Glengarry Glen Ross)
Denzel Washington (Malcolm X)
William H. Macy (Fargo)
Leslie Cheung (Happy Together)
Peter Fonda (Ulee's Gold)
Dustin Hoffman (Wag the Dog)
Ian McKellen (Gods and Monsters)
Russell Crowe (The Insider)
Bob Hoskins (Felicia's Journey)

Top choice would be Hopkins or Macy (who is the male lead in Fargo in my books).

James T said...

Um, yeah, I forgot La Pfeiffer as Catwoman but that's only natural, right? I hust saw her in the first pic....

Probably the first female film character i fell in love with.

Dimitra said...

Since I was born in the 90's, I'll just mention which ones I have seen and which ones I've been meaning to.

Have seen: SLJ and Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction. I didn't like the film as much as I expected (given my enjoyment of KB and IB), but I really liked their performances, especially Jackson's.
Anthony Hopkins in Remains Of A Day. I can't really tell, because his character annoyed the hell out of me!
Daniel Day-Lewis in The Name Of The Father. Utterly brilliant.
Edward Norton in American History X. Same as DDL. I always enjoy his performances.

Been meaning to see: My Own Private Idaho, The Truman Show, What's Eating Gilbert Grape? and Boogie Nights mostly.

Where are the leading ladies?

joe burns said...

For Best Supporting Actress, I'd say:


Moore for Boogie Nights


Jolie in Girl Interupted

Keener in B.J.M


Bracco in Goodfellas

Goldberg in Ghost

Tomei in M.C.V

Tilly in Bullets Over Broadway

Ect....

Bia said...

It's an odd choice but for Best Actress: Sarah Michele Gellar in Cruel Intentions. I thought she was so deliciously evil in that role...amazing.

Also Sharon Stone in Casino and Claire Forlani in Meet Joe Black.

NATHANIEL R said...

Dimitra -- i feel like THE TRUMAN SHOW ia hardly ever discussed anymore and I myself haven't seen it since it opened. Maybe I should rewatch? I remember finding it utterly fascinating and i imagine with the rise of reality television it probably still feels super relevant. anyone seen it lately?

Bia -- Claire Forlani. really? I never hear that name. I'm not sure i ever made it all the way from MJB.

James T -- weird to me that Paltrow is among the 3. The other 2 make sense. What was it about Great Expecations?

MrW -- best actress next but of course.

Arkaan said...

Nathaniel, rewatch The Truman Show. It really holds up, and it's just a terrifically made film.

As for how these lists change, I feel like they're always changing.

Paul Outlaw said...

Nat, the phrase "agree to disagree" comes to mind. That one of my all-time least favorite "actresses" makes it onto your best supporting list TWICE absolutely boggles my mind. ;-)

Those two slots could have gone to Miranda Richardson (in The Crying Game), Angela Bassett (in Strange Days), Toni Collette (in The Sixth Sense and Velvet Goldmine), Alfre Woodard (in Passion Fish) or any number of dazzzling thesps.

But to each his own...

NATHANIEL R said...

Paul -- she is a divisive one that Uma.

The Pretentious Know it All said...

Helena Bonham Carter for supporting for Howards End? I know Redgrave got the attention in that category at the time, but re-watch, if you haven't done so recently. Her work is absolutely fantastic (like everything else in the film).

In supporting actor, Nathaniel...I'm curious about your thoughts on Jaye Davidson. That's such a divisive performance.

Caden said...

The '90s were my teens and early 20s, so this brought back some happy memories (Judy Davis! River Phoenix!) but also reminded me what terrible taste I had in movies at the time (I remember being deeply touched by Forrest Gump and Rudy). A few I'd add to your list:

Actress:
Cecilia Roth, All About My Mother
Reese Witherspoon, Election
Alicia Silverstone, Clueless

Actor:
James Duval, Nowhere

Supporting Actress:
Cathy Moriarty, Soapdish

Vertigo said...

@Nathaniel:

"i feel like THE TRUMAN SHOW ia hardly ever discussed anymore and I myself haven't seen it since it opened. Maybe I should rewatch? I remember finding it utterly fascinating and i imagine with the rise of reality television it probably still feels super relevant. anyone seen it lately?"
Oh you definitely should watch it again. For me it's a real masterpiece and one on my favourites movies ever, I can't even count how many times I've seen it.

Glenn said...

LOVED this. But, like you, I'm not a sucker for the NOW NOW NOW talk of many blogs and would rather read stuff about other years than the current one. Can't wait for Best Actress.

Rewatch The Truman Show. Like most Peter Weir movies it holds up remarkably well and was so prescient. Even more so than originally estimated.

Steolicious said...

Lead Actor 90's
Haley Joel Osment - The Sixth Sense
William H. Macy - Fargo
Dustin Hoffman - Wag the Dog
Jack Nicholson - As Good as It Gets
Ian McKellen - Gods and Monsters
Kevin Spacey - American Beauty
Matt Damon - The Talented Mr. Ripley
Al Pacino - Scent of a Woman
Anthony Hopkins - The Silence of the Lambs
Johnny Depp - Edward Scissorhands

Supporting Actor 90's
Phillip Seymoure Hoffman - The Talented Mr. Ripley
Jude Law - The Talented Mr. Ripley
Michael Caine - Little Voice
Robin Williams - Good Will Hunting
James Cromwell - Babe
Martin Landau - Ed Wood
Ralph Fiennes - Schindler's List
Danny DeVito - Batman Returns
Joe Pesci - Goodfellas
Leonardo DiCaprio - What's Eating Gilbert Grape

Supporting Actress 90's
Whoopi Goldberg - Ghost
Shirley MacLaine - Postcards from the Edge
Michelle Pfeiffer - Batman Returns
Kathy Najimy - Sister Act
Dianne Wiest - Bullets Over Broadway
Uma Thurman - Pulp Fiction
Illeana Douglas - To Die For
Marianne Jean-Baptiste - Secrets & Lies
Brenda Blethyn - Little Voice
Lynn Redgrave - Gods and Monsters
Toni Collette - The Sixth Sense
Maggie Smith - Tea with Mussolini
Chloë Sevigny - Boys Don't Cry

Winner:
Anthony Hopkins - The Silence of the Lambs
Ralph Fiennes - Schindler's List
Marianne Jean-Baptiste - Secrets & Lies

It's always hard to choose, especially in the actress category.

Anonymous said...

Best Supporting Actress 90s:

Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns or The Age of Innocence
Kate Winslet in Sense and Sensibility or Hamlet
Sigourney Weaver in Ice Storm
Cate Blanchett in The Talented Mr Ripley
Catherine Keener in Bein gJohn Malkovich
Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction
Toni Collete in The Sixth Sense
Joan Allen in Nixon
Emma Thompson in In the Name of the Father
Angelina Jolie in Girl Interrupted

Manuel said...

Im posting again since the anonumous option is not the best. Well here we go:
Performances that almost made the cut in the best actor cathegory: Ralph Fiennes in Quiz Show, Hayle Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense, Daniel Day Lewis in The Age of Innonsence, Edward Norton in American History X, Laurence Fishburn in Whats Love Got To Do With It


Best actor 90s:
Anthony Hopkins - The Silence of the Lambs
Daniel Day Lewis - In the name of the father
Geoffrey Rush - Shine
Ian McKellan - Gods and Monsters
Russell Crowe - The Insider
Denzel Washington - Malcolm X
Robert Downey Jr - Chaplin
Temuera Morisson - Once Were Warriors
Kenneth Branagh - Hamlet
Sean Penn - Dead Man Walking

Performances that almost made the cut: Burt Reynolds in Boogie Nights, Nick Nolte in The Thin Red Line, Ben Kingsley in Schindlers List, Colin Firth in Sense and Sensibility, Henry Czerny in The Ice Storm, John Turtorro in Quiz Show, Philip Seymor Hofman in The Talented Mr Ripley

Best supporting actor 90s:
Ralph Fiennes - Schindlers List
Tom Cruise - Magnolia
Kevin Spacey - The Usual Suspects
Kevin Kline - The Ice Storm
John Malkovich - Being John Malkovich
Geoffrey Rush - Elizabeth
Leonardo DiCaprio - Whats Eating Gilberg Grape
Henning Moritzen - The Celebration
Russell Crowe - L.A. Confidential
Christopher Plummer - The Insider

Performances that almost made the cut: Joan Allen in The Ice Storm, Cameron Diaz in Being John Malkovich, Anna Paquin in The Piano, Paprika Steen in The Celebration, Lisa Kudrow in Opposite of Sex

Best Supporting Actress 90s:
Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns or The Age of Innocence
Kate Winslet in Sense and Sensibility or Hamlet
Sigourney Weaver in Ice Storm
Cate Blanchett in The Talented Mr Ripley
Catherine Keener in Bein gJohn Malkovich
Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction
Toni Collete in The Sixth Sense
Joan Allen in Nixon
Emma Thompson in In the Name of the Father
Angelina Jolie in Girl Interrupted

Bia said...

"The three female performances I think more than any other from the 90s are probably Stone's (Basic Instinct), Linda Fiorentino's (The Last Seduction) and Paltrow's (Great Expectations)."

Love all three of these too, actually just watched Great Expectations the other day. Very underrated...

Dominik said...

part 1 of 2
List making is fun, so I want to join. Born in 1981, I started becoming interested in movies in the mid-90’s. My taste was never the same as the crowd’s, but I’d still say that my movie taste was maybe not the very best back then.
@Caden – like you, I got totally manipulated by “Forrest Gump” back then, it would probably have been my best of the 90’s back then. Today, out of shame, I probably try to make it worse than it really is. I have no list of the bests I picked then, but I made one-sentence reviews for every movie I’ve seen in the time between 1996/97-2000/01. I don’t know why I stopped, but I still have these reviews, and I used them as a help to make my own top ten lists. There are so many movies in there that I haven’t seen in ages, and where I am not sure if I would still like them and there performance as much as I did. For some, I am pretty sure I wouldn’t, e.g. Forrest Gump being that great, but for all others that I haven’t seen for long I’ll just I’d like them as much as I did.
Enough talk, I’ll go to the lists:

Best Actor
Kevin Kline – I Love You to Death(1990)
Danny DeVito – Other People’s Money(1991)
Colm Meaney – The Snapper(1993)
Bill Murray – Groundhog Day(1993)
Kirk Douglas – Greedy(1994)
Brad Pitt – Interview With the Vampire(1994)
Jack Nicholson – As Good As It Gets(1997)
Edward Norton – American History X(1998)
Johnny Depp – Sleepy Hollow(1999)
Kevin Spacey – American Beauty(1999)

Note: If I had made that list in 2000, probably Tom Hanks for “Forrest Gump” would have been on the list, and the winner. But today I just can’t do it!
Note #2: This list actually seems pretty poor. And I even had trouble finding 10. Have I missed so many great movies of the 90’s? Where was Robert De Niro? Best I have seen of him from this time was “This Boy’s Life”, but that’s not good enough for the list. I have seen “In the Name of the Father”, which many of you mentioned, but I guess I’d have to see it again, because I was probably too young to appreciate it when I saw it.

Best Actress
Kathy Bates – Fried Green Tomatoes(1991) (also for Dolores Claiborne(1995))
Ellen Barkin – Switch(1991) (also for This Boy’s Life(1993))
Rebecca De Mornay – The Hand That Rocks the Cradle(1992)
Meryl Streep – Death Becomes Her(1992)
Kate Maberly – The Secret Garden(1993)
Jennifer Jason Leigh – Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle(1994) (also Dolores Claiborne(1995) and many more)
Kate Winslet – Heavenly Creatures(1994)
Susan Sarandon – Dead Man Walking(1995) (also White Palace(1990))
Christina Ricci – The Opposite of Sex(1998) (also Addams Family Values(1993) and supporting in The Ice Storm(1997))
Annette Bening – American Beauty(1999)

Note: If I had made that list in 2000, probably Helen Hunt for “As Good As It Gets” would have been on the list. I haven’t seen the movie in ages, so I can’t really judge, but I just can’t believe she deserved that Oscar in any way anymore. Also Jessica Lange for “Blue Sky” would have been, I haven’t seen that movie in ages too, but I am pretty sure she was good but it was too much of a baity role and performance.
Note Rebecca DeMornay: I know you can say many bad things about this movie, but I’m pretty sure I would still like it today. And hey, Nathaniel, that was one of the first movies “God herself”, as you call her, was in.
Note Kate Maberly: I considered this the best performance ever by a child for a long time
Note Jennifer Jason Leigh: I found the movie itself brutally boring, but it is the best of this underrated actress’ many great performances

Dominik said...

part 2 of 2
Best Supporting Actor
William Hurt – I Love You to Death(1990)
Raul Julia – Addams Family Values(1993)
Christopher Lloyd – Addams Family Values(1993)
Gary Oldman – Léon a.k.a. The Professional(1993)
Samuel L. Jackson – Pulp Fiction(1994)
Gary Sinise – Forrest Gump(1994)
Antonio Banderas – Four Rooms(1995)
David Strathairn – Dolores Claiborne(1995)
Skeet Ulrich – Scream(1996)
Cuba Gooding Jr. – As Good As It Gets(1997)

Note Gary Oldman: He’s probably a bit over the top, but all-in-all, I think he is also rather under-appreciated (by Oscar, that is).
Note Gary Sinise: With all my despise for “Forrest Gump” lately, I still feel pretty safe saying he was good.
Note Skeet Ulrich: He just slipped in because I couldn’t really decide between a couple of other runner-ups, and I thought I had to honour my beloved “Scream”-trilogy in some way.

Best Supporting Actress
Joan Plowright – I Love You to Death (1990)
Joan Cusack – Addams Family Values(1993)
Maggie Smith – The Secret Garden(1993) (also for The First Fives Club(1996))
Julie Kavner – I’ll Do Anything(1994) (also for Forget Paris(1995))
Kirsten Dunst – Interview With the Vampire(1994)
Amanda “Honey Bunny” Plummer – Pulp Fiction(1994)
Joan Allen – The Crucible(1996)
Cameron Diaz – Being John Malkovich(1999)
Catherine Keener – Being John Malkovich(1999)
Miranda Richardson – Sleepy Hollow(1999) (@Crying Game, Damage)

Note Joan Cusack: For some time, I had to see anything with her after I’ve seen her as Debbie Jellinsky Addams!
Note Kirsten Dunst: Still like her, but I have never seen her top this one until now.
Note Cameron Diaz: Funny how I like her so much more, when she’s not her usual blonde-bimbo-self! Accuse me of blasphemy, but I even think I liked her more then Keener.
Note Miranda Richardson: I have also seen “Damages” and “Crying Game”, for which Miss Richardson has been cited by many of you, and if I had liked those movies more, I probably

Some movies that some of you mentioned, that I’ve seen, liked, liked some of the performances, but just not enough to include them: Schindler’s List, The Usual Suspects, The Truman Show, Boogie Nights, The Sweet Hereafter, Silence of the Lambs

Some mentioned, that I’ve seen, and were not exactly my cup of tea, though I liked some of th performances (but not enough to include them, and that despite not liking the movies): Fargo, The Sixth Sense (poor Haley Joel Osment), Bullets over Broadway

Some mentioned that I have not seen yet, but want to: Cape Fear, The Big Lebowski
Some I maybe should/have to/want to rewatch: Too many

Some other comment: @Vertigo – I was so keen to see “Batman Forever” back then, missed it in the theatre, and when I finally saw it on video, in a first state of shock I almost thought I had seen something good, but shortly after that I was like WTF? Was that supposed to be a movie? Or a video game? Or what? I did not see “Batman & Robin”, and have no desire to ever do.
@James T – why do you mention Gwyneth Paltrow in „Great Expectations“? – my Worst Performance by an Actress in a leading role of the year, decade, century!
@Bia: really?

James T said...

Nathaniel - It's just that Estella's coldness combined with the cold beauty and, for me, good (or very good) perf by Paltrow made my 12yo self see the movie three time at a theater. And I love that we can never really guess her thoughts.

I suppose i wouldn't have liked the movie or the perf so much if i had read the book (and/or seen the 1946 movie?)

James T said...

Domonik - wow! I really don't see how you can't hate other performances more than that one unless you really cared to love the perf, before watching the movie, and Paltrow's approach was completely different than what you wanted to get.

Dominik said...

@James T - Maybe I am exaggerating when I say it like that. But I will keep doing it, because it is my way to have a little fun with a movie that was a total bore and disappointment for me: even Robert De Niro wasn't good, Chris Cooper felt totally out of place, and Paltrow was the worst. Don't ask me what I expected, it's been rather long that I saw it, but these things I wrote I remember vividly.

James T said...

Dominik - If you feel that, I can't do anything about it :p

Many people didn't like that movie and/or the performances.

For me, Paltrow's character was a fascinating creation. But her looks also helped.

Volvagia said...

My Supporting Actor List:

Gary Oldman, JFK
Martin Landau, Ed Wood (decade bronze)
Alan Arkin, Grosse Pointe Blank
Ralph Fiennes, Schindler's List (undeniable decade winner)
Steve Buscemi, Fargo
John Travolta, Pulp Fiction
John Mahoney, Barton Fink (decade silver)
Robert De Niro, Jackie Brown
Nick Nolte, The Thin Red Line
Tom Cruise, Magnolia

Supporting Actress List:

Julianne Moore, Boogie Nights
Joan Cusack, Grosse Pointe Blank (decade bronze)
Patricia Arquette, Ed Wood
Uma Thurman, Pulp Fiction
Frances McDormand, Fargo
Annabella Sciorra, The Addiction
Lorraine Bracco, Goodfellas
Marcia Gay Harden, Miller's Crossing (decade winner)
Toni Colette, The Sixth Sense
Catherine Keener, Being John Malkovich (decade silver)

My Lead Actor List:

Gerard Depardieu, Cyrano
Anthony Hopkins, Silence of the Lambs
Bruce Campbell, Army of Darkness (decade silver)
Morgan Freeman, The Shawshank Redemption (decade bronze)
Samuel L. Jackson, Pulp Fiction
Jeff Bridges, The Big Lebowski (decade winner)
Ed Norton, American History X
John Cusack, Grosse Pointe Blank
Liam Neeson, Schindler's List
Jim Broadbent, Topsy Turvy

Lead Actress List:

Lili Taylor, The Addiction (decade and year silver)
Anjelica Huston, The Grifters
Jodie Foster, The Silence of the Lambs
Michelle Pfeiffer, Batman Returns
Kate Winslet, Sense and Sensibility
Brenda Blethyn, Secrets and Lies (decade bronze)
Minnie Driver, Grosse Pointe Blank
Annette Bening, American Beauty
Emily Watson, Breaking The Waves
Julianne Moore, Safe (decade winner)

Dominik said...

"Ed Wood" and "Goodfellas" mentioned again... I might want to see those, too. Also "Safe" and "Topsy Turvy" mentioned again, I just looked these two up because I had no idea what they are about. So "Safe" sounds like it maybe interesting... and "Topsy Turvy" is about Gilbert & Sullivan. Hm, do you have to be a musical fan to like it, or is there something else about it?

NATHANIEL R said...

Dominik -- it's less a musical than a period drama about the creation of a musical. If you like Mike Leigh's very immersive character studies you should *definitely* see it. Broadbent is just fantastic in it and it's a musical biopic but Oscar likes those better when they cover entire lives and have arm chair psychology about EVENT IN CHILDHOOD WHICH DEFINED THE PERSON FOREVER.

zzz

Paul Outlaw said...

Nat - LOL re: zzz

PS. I'd be interested in your take on Strange Days--Bigelow, Fiennes, and (especially) Bassett.

NATHANIEL R said...

Paul -- i was once quite obsessed with that movie. Love it. especially Bassett in it. "memories were meant to fade. they're designed that way for a reason." PREACH.

Trophy Husband said...

My top 20 of the 90's ( in no particular order- going off past notes )

JFK
Pulp Fiction
Saving Private Ryan
Boogie Nights
Sling Blade
Good Fellas
Silence Of The Lambs
In The Name Of The Father
Casino
L.A. Confidential
Unforgiven
American Beauty
Ed Wood
Schindler's List
Shadowlands
Leaving Las Vegas
The Usual Suspects
Fargo
Malcolm X
Shawshank Redemption

Oh... and I must say that I thought Day-Lewis was great ( and underrated ) in The Boxer. He trained a full year with a pro boxer before shooting began, and the trainer said by the end of the year of training, that DDL could have easily have turned pro if he was younger. The movie in itself is very personal and deep. It recieved some acclaim but not as much as I thought it would. Emily Watson and Brian Cox are good in it too.

Paul Outlaw said...

I gotta watch Strange Days again pronto...

Volvagia said...

My "20 best films of the 90s":

Mother and Son (beautiful cinema)
Safe
LA Confidential
The Big Lebowski
Fargo
Miller's Crossing
The Addiction
Heat
The Usual Suspects
Terminator 2
American Beauty
Magnolia
The Thin Red Line
Being John Malkovich
Election (My view is: To count as a "high school film" you need to be primarily about the experience of high school for one or more students. The focus on Mr. McAllister in that movie (and, on another note, the focus on the adoption in Juno) means they don't count for me. Which is why I included Mean Girls instead.)
Festen
Saving Private Ryan
Unforgiven
The Last of the Mohicans
GoodFellas

Manuel said...

Nathaniel, you have made me curious about the movie Safe. Tell me, why do you love it so much? My first movie-experience with Julianne Moore was The Fugitive and Short Cuts. I was not blown away then did later in Boogie Nights, Magnolia and The End of The Affair though

vg21 said...

Oh, that "book scene" in The Remains of the Day! I agree with Anthony Hopkins being the best in the 90s, and that film is purely magnificent. My favourite of all times.

Burning Reels said...

It's funny how tastes change - for instance back then, i'd much more readily buy into biopics and 'twist' films - I think it's the natural development for many cinefiles?

Speaking of Julianne - I was rewatching The Hand That Rocks The Cradle at the weekend...I forgot about her neat supporting role and her silly death - still quite an enjoyable film though.