Thursday, March 02, 2006

Thursday Triple: Great 80s Oscar Losers

You can't see me but I'm bouncing off the walls. Drinking whole pots of coffee before 8 AM. Planning my Oscar Party. Writing. Trying to push this hellfire and brimstone vision out of my head. But I can't stop ~ It's Oscar Week.

Because I'm so sweet (and over-caffeinated) you get a triple "triple" today. This is Part One. I dedicate this to the people who deserve to win on Sunday night but who will surely lose. Heathcliff, I'm speaking to you! You aren't the first. You won't be the last.

3 Great Oscar Losing Lead Performances of the 80s
(I've excluded Pfeiffer and Turner from the running since we've already discussed both -click their names for a refresher on the discussions, if you will)

Dustin Hoffman's "Tootsie" loses to Ben Kingsley's "Gandhi" in (82)
One of the many times when playing a historical character cinched someone an Oscar that woulda been otherwise hard fought. Sir Kingsley is a superb talent so this isn't a knock against him so much as a "hello, have you seen what Dustin Hoffman does in Tootsie". That's a miracle of a performance in an amazing American comedy. I think it's Hoffman's best performance. All-Time. One of the best comedic performances. All-Time. There's no convincing me otherwise.

Glenn Close's "Fatal Attraction" loses to "Moonstruck" Cher (87)
I was a Cher-aholic in 1987 along with the rest of the known universe. "Baby I Found Someone" rocked that silly portable radio ghetto blaster in my bedroom. She got me babe. I was all about Cherilyn's trifecta that year: Witches of Eastwick, Suspect, and finally the Cher-apotheosis known as Moonstruck. But 20 years later... I can still hear Alex Forrest's threatening voice, can't you? 'She's not going to be ignored.'

Glenn Close's "Liaisons" lose to "The Accused" Jodie Foster (88)
If you are Glenn Close, you are probably still pissed.

Previous Thursday Triples:
Cross-Eyed Divas
Nature Boys


John T said...

For me, the three greatest leading performances to ever lose Oscars (I can't restrict myself to the 80's, as it is my least viewed decade at the Oscars):

Marlon Brando losing to Humphrey Bogart in 1951 (OK, I understand the need to give Bogie an Oscar more than anyone, and The African Queen is a terrific film, but he should have won years earlier for The Maltese Falcon or Casablanca-not this year, when one of the single greatest performances ever was being given).

Ralph Fiennes losing to Geoffrey Rush in 1996 (This is my personal favorite modern performance-sweeping, doing things in the desert that hadn't been done since Peter O'Toole, Fiennes absorbs his surroundings and creates a definitive romantic persona-Rush, a fine actor, doesn't have a perf in the same league).

Orson Welles losing to Gary Cooper in 1941 (The great Citizen Kane debate-some may argue in Best Picture and Director categories (justly), but Welles performance, one of the best the Academy has ever deemed worthy of a nomination, is just as Oscarable).

NicksFlickPicks said...

I agree about Fiennes.

Also want to add that 1987 Best Actress was that rare thing: a field of five totally justifiable winners. Cher probably would have been my last pick, even though she's great. I could see myself voting for any of the other four, though.

Glenn Dunks said...

I can completely understand Glenn Close being pissed about missing for Dangerous Liaisons but for Fatal Attraction? She's great in it, but... nah. I don't get that one.

It's so odd watching that 87 Oscar speech of Cher's that I found on YouTube. To paraphrase Sally Field, they all loved her - REALLY loved her.

J.J. said...

Kingsley and Hoffman are great, but the real deserving winner from '82? Paul Newman. No theatrics. Just searing, disarming truth.

Anonymous said...

I'm not Glenn Close and I'm still pissed about Liaisons.

Anonymous said...

Glenn Close did an absolutely splendid job in "Fatal Attraction," which was practically a genre film (bordering on horror). Not only did she take a very tricky role (verging on camp) and make it believably real and terrfying, but it's her singular, unforgettable performance that made the movie a cultural touchstone of the era that it is to this day. However, that said, I do wonder sometimes what Debra Winger would have done with the role if she has not turned it down. (P.S. I miss Debra Winger a lot. :-( I can't be alone in this, can I?)



no. you're not alone. Rosanna Arquette is also holding her breath for Winger's return. ;)

NicksFlickPicks said...

Seriously, Marcelo, have we got a film for you!

Anonymous said...

I thought Jodie totally deserved her oscar for The Accused. Close was fantastic, though.


Jodie ? worst of the nominees in 88.

Anonymous said...

I heard about "Searching for Debra Winger" but never got around to actually queuing it up on ye ole Netfilx. Would you recommend it, Nick (or Nat)?


Anonymous said...


How do you reckon Jodie Foster's performance in "The Accused" is WORSE than Melanie Griffith's grating one in "Working Girl"?! I thought Miss "I *heart* Antonio" was your nemesis, yet you give her props over Miss "I'm a closeted dyke" (I'm sorry -- I kid because I love).




Nick and I are like personal missionaries for it. Hi-lar-ious delusional and ever watchable.

oops. forgot about the un-actress Melanie Griffith. OK. second worst for Jodie then. No but seriously I don't like the Accused performance. It's very fussy. I feel about it the same way I feel about Felicity's performance this year. I didn't buy it for one second. I just watched the gears turn the whole time (kinda like how I think Pauline Kael (?) felt about Streep)

Anonymous said...

You leave my Jodie alone. I may have to make some disparaging Michelle Pfeiffer remark now (where's Patricia Heaton when you need her?)

Anonymous said...

Jessica Lange's loss for Frances was terrible, though everyone can safely say that it made it better that she lost to Meryl for Sophie's Choice and got the supporting oscar for Tootsie. She's lucky to have gotten such a great consolation prize...there was nothing like that for Sigourney when she sadly lost in 88...

qta said...

Here is the Glenn Close breakdown...


The World According to Garp
The Natural
The Big Chill
Dangerous Liaisons
Fatal Attraction

She lost them all!

Glenn Close is one of the greatest actresses of all time, and the fact that she is 0/ 5 at the Oscars is criminal beyond belief.

Jody Foster had TWO!
Marisa Tomei has ONE!
Hellen "FREAKING" Hunt has ONE!

Now we have a new generation of Glenn Closes:

Juilianne Moore &
Joan Allen &
Kate Winslet

Anonymous said...

Michelle Pfeiffer in "Dangerous Liasons" she was Amazing in that movie and who can forget The Fabulous Baker Boys."

Glenn Dunks said...

Damion, at least Kate Winslet it only 30! She still has a good 40 years left to churn something out!

But, that list is so sad.

I'd throw Sigourney Weaver on that list alongside Allen (!!!), Moore and Winslet. She also has 3 noms without a win. Although, Sigourney is slowly working towards maybe another Oscar ceremony. Slowly, but surely.

(I liked Jodie in The Accused but prefered Close, Weaver)

BTW, My least favourite snubs on the 80s were both from 1989, and both in the Supporting Actress category and both ladies have three names.

Laura San Giacomo for sex, lies and videotape and Jennifer Jason Leigh for Last Exit to Brooklyn.

Glenn Dunks said...

Oh, and let's not forget Jamie Lee Curtis who hasn't even had the chance to be on a list of multiple oscar nominations-yet no wins list because... well... she's never been nominated.

Anonymous said...

Glenn Close losing for Fatal Attraction is one of the travesties of losing an Oscar of all time.

That one single line "Im not going to be ignored Dan."

I was terrified after that.

To me, that is her single best performance ever (Dangerous Liaisons coming in 2nd)

Anonymous said...

O and Nathaniel by the way, Jodie Fosters excellent performance in The Accused is not fussy. She played a rape victim so believably.

and Transamerica is an excellent movie. Felicity Huffman deserves her Oscar nomination.

adam k. said...

With all due respect to Hoffman (who I LOVE in Tootsie, which I own and watch often), I think it was not so much the real person factor as the fact that Hoffman had just won a lead oscar 3 years prior, for (I think) the very last performance he gave before Tootsie (long break after Kramer).

And also, it wasn't just any real person, but GANDHI. Not Howard Hughes or Harper Lee, but GANDHI. It's understandable that he won, however great Hoffman was in Tootsie.

Anonymous said...

I agree completely with your take on Hoffman. In fact, I'll take it one-step's the best cross-dressing/transexual/man-woman or woman-man performance ever. I believe he really should have won that year, but the fact that he won for Kramer vs. Kramer a few years before probably drove some voters to choose Kingsley (who gave a brilliant performance too, its just that Hoffman's was better)

As for Glenn Close, she truly deserved the award for Fatal Attraction. The role could have been a joke if handled by any other actress...but she made it one of cinema's most memorable villains. I don't think we'll see a performance/role like that ever nominated again.

Glenn Dunks said...

So... i suppose I should see Tootsie, huh?

(don't throw rocks at me, please. I'm fragile)