Friday, October 06, 2006

The Next Deborah Kerr?

As a child I loved Deborah Kerr's "Anna" and (he says blushing) her big hoop skirt in The King and I. It wasn't until I was a teenager that I realized that Ms Kerr held the dubious distinction of being one of those perennial also-rans at the Oscars. Six nominations and no wins, a record matched only by Supporting stalwart Thelma Ritter. When I realized this I felt bad for Kerr but also vaguely guilty --yes, I took the Oscars seriously right away-- because she was an also-ran with me, too. For, you see, my heart was elsewhere. In the theaters I was busy crushing on La Pfeiffer, Meryl Streep and Kathleen Turner and at home on the tube (where I watched old movies) my heart belonged to the emotionally combustible Natalie Wood, the divalicious Liz Taylor, and the legendary Judy G.

A few months ago after watching Separate Tables (1958) for Stinky Lulu's Smackdown I stopped feeling awful for Kerr because I thought she was, well, stinky in it ... of course they nominated her for it. All of this is a long way of bringing up an important question:

Who will never win a competitive Oscar despite plentiful Oscar noms?

A lot of people make it to 3 nominations without winning. Those (still living) who have suffered thrice: Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Angela Lansbury, Michelle Pfeiffer, Annette Bening, Diane Ladd, Piper Laurie, and Debra Winger. But at least they have a lot of company. Four nominations and up with zero wins is where it gets embarrassing...all of that losing when almost everyone else has won. The only currently living actresses to suffer this particular humiliation are: Jane Alexander, Kate Winslet, Julianne Moore, and Glenn Close. Now, Kate Winslet will obviously win an Oscar someday. Everyone knows it. She makes Academy friendly movies. She's excellent in (almost) everything. She's very young.

Who do you think will eventually match Kerr's double edged sword: lots of noms / never the competitive win ?

Vaguely Related Articles:
My Favorite Actresses (a top 50 --due for a revamp soon I think) * Natalie & Nathaniel an interrupted love story * White Diamonds. Violet Eyes loving Liz Taylor * Great Oscar Losers of the 1980s * Virginia Woolf -Kathleen Turner on Broadway * Pfeiffer Forever (a blogathon) * "Will I Be Your Mommy? Yes!" choosing roles w/ Julianne * Dear Oscar Hopeful how to keep it all in perspective *


Anonymous said...

I think Julianne Moore could easily match Kerr's total of 0 for 6 (sorry Nate). She doesn't make academy friendly movies (or more specifically is at her best in films that aren't academy-friendly) and seems to have questionable taste in scripts (Her most recent run? Laws of Attraction, Freedomland, The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio and Trust the Man.... ouch).

That said, her upcoming films show a lot of promise.

Kerr, though, was robbed for her greatest performance (Black Narcissus). She wasn't even nominated for it.

Anonymous said...

Julianne Moore probably won't get more nods. Even when she pick AMPAS friendly material, it sucks. Hollywood obviously don't know what to do with her since she don't really work in comedies.

Glenn Close seems to be on the verge of a nod all the time, and that may spell win. She is one of the most lauded performers in any medium.

Alanna said...

Is this questions limited to actresses? The first person to spring to my mind is Jude Law. Usually quite good, but there's always some guy who has put in a more intense (or showier) performance.

Anonymous said...

To be honest, I find it kind of difficult to sympathize with actors and actresses with 4 noms and no win when I know there are so many good actors out there who are likely to never even be nominated at all, including some of my very favorites...


you have a point there, anonymous.


for the very curious there are 7 actors with 5 noms or more that did not win competitive Oscars:

Richard Burton, Peter O Toole (7/0)
Deborah Kerr, Thelma Ritter (6/0)
Glenn Close, Albert Finney Arthur Kennedy (5/0)

adam k. said...

It's really hard to figure why Glenn Close never won any of those times in the 80's. Particularly the time she lost to Jodie Foster after having JUST lot to Cher a year earlier. I don't think she'll ever win.

Julianne Moore, I fear, will never win either. The only thing that looks like it might net her one soon is Savage Grace and I fear it'll be too dark to actually win the oscar.

Even Kate Winslet could have a long way to go before she actually takes the statue. This year, she'll probably lose to Mirren, and she has no other oscary films in the pipeline. 5 noms and 0 wins at age 31? Crazy.

Yaseen Ali said...
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Yaseen Ali said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Yaseen Ali said...

Sorry for the deleted comments, I have trouble typing properly today.

I also think Julianne's chances for winning Best Actress are diminishing (especially since the category is dominated by "younger" women nowadays - maybe Mirren will change that this year), but the Academy is not so discriminating in the Supporting races. I think she could win one there in the near future.

Poli said...

One person without any noms (at the moment) that I think might join the multiple noms/no wins is Kirsten Dunst, since she's so divisive an actress.

I also fear Joan Allen will never win an Oscar. Same with Winslet and Julianne. Damn shame, really.

adam k. said...

Yeah, Allen will totally never win. They hate her.

Anonymous said...

Winslet is only 31 so she has many years to go...THAT IS IF SHE DOESN'T WIN THE THING FOR THE WONDERFUL AND FLAWLESS PERFORMANCE IN LITTLE CHILDREN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Anonymous said...

Ah Glenn Close, someone I can really get into sharing outrage with in regards to her film award shuns. I still hear her acceptance for her Golden Globe win for The Lion in Winter when she was apologizing to Meryl for winning (since she's only supposed to be nominated).

Apart from the Fatal Attraction and Dangerous Liaisons losses is that how come she was completely passed over during the '90's. She had about at least three supporting roles that I believed the Academy would have given a notice to.

Nevertheless, if the Sunset Boulevard remake does push through, they just have to give it to her then.

(Sorry been lurking again and this is only my second comment. But it's Glenn Close!)
~ santy

Glenn Dunks said...

"Is this questions limited to actresses? The first person to spring to my mind is Jude Law. Usually quite good, but there's always some guy who has put in a more intense (or showier) performance."

I think the same about Leonardo DiCaprio! He totally strikes me as an actor who will get many nominations through his career (he's already at two and I predict atm he'll get a third this year for Blood Diamond) but other than Gilbert Grape his performances are never above and beyond the quality of the movie. THey're always as good as the movie, but... yeah.

BTW, if Kate Winslet wins this year they're still keeping up their patern of honouring hot young women. And it'll be her fifth nomination! And she's only 31. Crikies. But, yeah, I can see her losing just as easily.

But my choice for zero wins in their career... Annette Bening. I mean, they obviously have no qualms about passing her over for lesser beings that have already won Oscars. Plus, Warren already has, what? Three or four?

Anonymous said...

I believe that Winslet, Moore, and Close will all one day win Oscars, with Winslet winning at least 2. I think that the only person more humiliated than those four should be Annette Benning. She lost to Hillary Swank (Twice) and I really don't think she will ever win one. The only chance she has is if she goes supporting for Running With Scissors but she might want to go lead.

For the actors I think that O'Toole will and should take the oscar this year. Anyways, I think that Depp will be nominated a couple of more times but he will never win.

Vertigo's Psycho said...

If it's possible to be forgotten, yet still hold four nominations, Marsha Mason's done it. Aided by her very close association with Neil Simon during this period, she garnered four nods-all for Best Actress, no less- from 1974-82 (for Cinderella Liberty, and for Simon's The Goodbye Girl, Chapter Two, Only When I Laugh, which possibly contains her best work). Don't think she'll challenge Kerr, but Mason, who has been off the radar for many years, is as ripe for a comeback as Jill Clayburgh is, so who knows? Marsha, get off that racetrack and call your agent (and Neil!) ASAP.

I think Kerr probably should have won for The Sundowners (for me, her warm, vibrant, and earthy portrayal is about even money with Shirley MacLaine's beautiful work as Fran Kubelik in The Apartment for the prize); however, Kerr definitely should have finally taken a Golden Boy home the next year for possibly her most remarkable dramatic screen performance in The Innocents but, as is Oscar's particular fashion, she wasn't nominated (Innocents rivals the aforementioned Black Narcissus as the film containing Kerr's greatest unnominated work).

John T said...

God I love Deborah Kerr-one of my all-time favorite actresses.

As for who will be her successor, I think that it almost assuredly will be one of my other beloveds, Ms. Annette Bening. Who else turns in such critically praised work with so little reward?

Winslet, by the way, can't be counted here-she'll win, even if it takes as long as it did for Sarandon. I also think one of these days that Glenn Close will hold a supporting trophy-just a hunch.

Anonymous said...

re: Close - I have no problem with her not winning an oscar, but I wish she had won her first year (over Lange). Other than that, I haven't been hugely in love with her performances. Even her greatness in Dangerous Liaisons is more than matched by Streep and Foster that year (and the non-nominated Isabelle Huppert). That said, wasn't 1988 the wierdest oscar year ever?

Jude Law's a good choice among actors to never win an oscar.

Nick M. said...

I've seen Running With Scissors. Bening will not win.

Anonymous said...

I am not an avid Oscar watcher, but it seems to me the number of noms (even when no win) is a much better indicator of the actor's quality and prestige than wins. Look at the number of flash-in-the-pans that won once and will never be in contention again (Mira Sorvino, Halle Berry come to mind). These people are one-hit wonders. They don't hold a candle to the likes of Moore and Close.

For the actors, I agree Jude Law comes to mind as somebody who'll get repeated noms but no win. Too classy and self-effacing for Oscar glory.

Anonymous said...

I still can't beleive Pfeiffer lost to Geena Davis(!wtf!) in '88 and that biatch!(lol) Jessica Tandy in '89! as much as it hurts to say, I don't think Michelle Pfeiffer will ever be nominated again. She has been snubbed of nominations quite a bit, Age of Innocence, White Oleander, you could even make an argument she deserved nods for A Thousand Acres(horrid film, but she was brilliant) and she was perfection in What Lies Beneath(not an Oscar type film though).

I think if it were any other actress in those roles, someone who is not looked at as stunningly beautiful, they would have been nominated. Her beauty continues to hurt her career, and sadly alot of people still just look at her as another pretty face (it also doesn't help that she doesn't work that much anymore and she has turned down so many big roles...she's so frustrating sometimes!). not sure if anyone would agree with me, just my opinion.

Glenn Dunks said...

Winslet is only 31. If she keeps up her movie to nomination ratio then there is no possible way she can not win at least one. Should she be nominated again for Little Children that will be 5 in 11 years. That's Streep levels.

CNO said...

Close would win when she portraid a Queen or in a biopic, like about Bette Davis or something.
Julianne Moore... she'll get nommed twice or three time more in the next 10 years, and if winning, it would be in supporting actress.

And the Next Deborah Kerr? Annette Bening, but hardly on the Kerr's Level. Four of her's six noms were in the best picture lines. (won one GG for The King and I)

Anonymous said...

I'm sad when I think about actresses of a medium level that were so lucky to win an Oscar in the last years(Halle Berry, Charlize Theron, Reese Whiterspoon, Hilary Swank, Julia Roberts, Gwyneth Paltrow)while strong performers (Close, Moore, Allen, Bening, Winslet...) are waiting for an Oscar since years. And about Pfeiffer: It's not true that her beauty made hurt her career (and what about Paltrow or Theron??) Michelle was only unlucky otherwise She could have won a statuette for "Frankie & Johnny" or "Age of Innocence" (but the Academy is blind).
About the new "Deborah Kerrs":
They are Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Glenn Close...Unfortunately their ages are their enemies.
Kate Winslet will win an Oscar. It's sure.

Poli said...

I think the feeling with Winslet, the 'she's sure to win someday' line of thought, is why she won't win. Every time she gets nominated, they'll reward someone else thinking "I can give it to Kate some other time' I bet that's what happened to Glenn Close in the 90s.

adam k. said...

You mean in the 80's?

It is truly amazing that Glenn never won. I can see how they'd think they could always give her one later, but once an actress hits 40, that kind of thinking doesn't hold water. The roles dry up. Which is why it was so dumb of them not to give it to Close in 88. I think they just really liked Foster better. She had the more obviously baity part.

Winslet will win. She is only just barely 31. Moore, Close, and Bening are all well into their 40s, so their time in the sun has unfortunately passed. But most actresses don't win until their mid-30s. If Kate does lose this year, she'll most likely win when she's 34 or 35, on her 6th or 7th nomination (god).

adam k. said...

What kills me with the other three is that the academy totally had the chance to honor them for their definitive great performances (Dangerous Liasons, Far From Heaven, Being Julia), and they passed.

Glenn Dunks said...

If you asked me today, I don't even think I'd nominate Bening for Julia. She's a solid #6, but for me there were better ones (but, yes, the Skank didn't deserve it at all).

May I remind people that Shirley MacLaine had five nominations before she won in 1984 (her first nod was 1959 at age 25). One of those nominations was for Best Documentary, so she had four acting nominations until she finally won for an Best Picture sweeper, Terms of Endearment. She turned 50 in 1984.

For the record Bening's first nomination was in 1991 and she turns 50 in 2 years. Moore's first was in 1998 and she turns 50 in 4 years. Pfeiffer's first was in 1989 and she turns 50 in 2 years.

So... take that as you will.

Anonymous said...

Right but Maclaine won that OSCAR in 1984. In the 80's they gave all the older performers oscars reguardless of their sex. The last time a female well into her 40's or up won a Best Actress Oscar was Susan Sarandon in 1995. Frances Mcdormard was 39 when she won. Even in the Supporting Catagoires the older girls will have a rough go but a better chance.