Sunday, May 31, 2009

Marisa vs. Miranda vs. Judy ~ 1992 Smackdown

I regret to inform that I had to bow out of StinkyLulu's Supporting Actress Smackdown for 1992. I haven't participated in a long time and I had really hoped to. 1992's women offer a wealth of Oscar discussables and tropes: the wisecracking dame, the old biddy, the longsuffering spouse, the maligned winner, the nominee who maybe isn't being thanked for the performance she's nominated for but for her entire year, the Woody Allen player, Oscar's perceived anglophilia versus its perceived nationalism.

The nominees were:
My vote would have gone to Judy Davis (Husbands and Wives) and by quite a large margin. To drive the point home further, she is roughly tied with Julianne Moore (Boogie Nights) for my favorite supporting actress performance of the 1990s altogether. Unless you count Michelle's Catwoman (Batman Returns) as supporting... and I'm never sure that you should. If I had a nominating ballot back in the day, these four women would have made it.
  • Helena Bonham-Carter, Howards End
  • Judy Davis, Husbands and Wives
  • Miranda Richardson, The Crying Game (I'm not sure what it is about this performance that I find so spooky but she really puts me on edge. 1992 was such a peak year for Richardson: This film, Damage, Enchanted April, the BAFTA & Globe win, the Oscar nom. When will she get another chance like this? She was even better in Spider (2002) but no plum parts as of late)
  • Marisa Tomei, My Cousin Vinny [new readers take note: she talked to me about this Oscar win on the first episode of the Film Experience Podcast]
Not sure about the fifth slot. I love Alfre Woodard in Passion Fish but it's kind of a dual lead film, isn't it? Who to put in slot five... Hmmm. Any suggestions?

Now get on outta here and enjoy Stinky's Smackdown!

P.S. Oscar prediction updates coming June 1st and 2nd. Sorry for the delay


RobUK said...

My 1992 ballot:

1 Miranda Richardson (Damage)
2 Helena Bonham Carter (Howards End)
3 Maggie Smith (Sister Act)
4 Judy Davis (Husbands & Wives)
5 Joan Plowright (Enchanted April)


i forgot about sister act.

Kathy Najimy! loved her jolly nun

mrripley said...

alfre cos she shows up well into the film its a bit of a cheat though.

my 5
bonham carter
richardson - damage for THAT scene

adam k. said...

I'd have a hard time picking anyone out of the Sister Act crew. Kathy Najimy, Maggie Smith, and also the non-famous actress who played the shy nun were all so good. Whoopi was of course the real stand-out. But it's really too light and mainstream for lead actress recognition (even for supposedly more inclusive, progressive-minded blog awards ; ).

I say give the last spot to Woodard.

Scott said...

I like the Najimy idea. But if you are looking for a 5th I'd suggest Tilda Swinton for Edward II.

NicksFlickPicks said...

...and the round-robin continues, cuz I think Swinton's a lead in that film. Though it's highly arguable. Don't you love how we never change our tune around here?

(pssst to Nat: Miranda actually won a Globe for April)

Alex Constantin said...

strangely enough, though I'm a daily visitor, I found this post while clicking on Helena Bonham Carter's IMDB page :)))

your posting in right on the page

Nat, you're so famous :D

why does everybody keep writing Howard's End and not HOWARDS END, how the film is named :) it's not the end of howard.

mrripley said...

here are a few ideas nat i know some are suilly but might jog a memeory or 2.
helen hunt - the waterdance
lori petty - a league of thier own
angela bassett - malcolm x
jodhi may - last of the mohicans
alfre woodard -passion fish
sigourney weaver -1492
nicola duffy- howrads end
grace jones - boomerang
jessica lange - night and the city
rosie perez- white men can't jump
geraldine chaplin - chaplin
isabella rosselini - death becomes her
julianne moore -the hand that rocks the cradle
imelda staunton - peters friends
emily lloyd -a river runs through it
frances fisher - unforgiven
brooke adams -gas food lodging
sadie frost - bram stokers dracula
nicole kidman - flirting

Jack said...

Interesting that you say you'd nominate Tomei, since that is (or was, I'm not sure if people have "revisited" it since her recent career resuscitation) a win with many passionate critics. Is that a revisionist placement on your list, or would she even have been on it back in '92?


Jack i loved the performance back then, too. My brother got me into Marisa on A Different World (he was obsessed)

but that said, I'll admit that i was shocked and not totally in a good way when she won (because judy davis is one of the all time greats)

my top ten of 90s (alpha order) though it could change with a rewatchAllen - The Crucible
Bening - The Grifters
Clarkson - High Art
Davis - Husbands and Wives
Keener - Being John Malkovich
Lewis - Cape Fear
Moore - Boogie Nights
Reuhl - The Fisher King
Thurman - Henry & June
Weist - Bullets Over Broadway

Anonymous said...

I'm ashamed to say I've never seen Husbands and Wives, but I think Vanessa Redgrave is really luminous in Howards End. The film really loses something when it loses her (which is quite early - but I still love it)

Guy Lodge said...

While I agree that Judy Davis towers over her 1992 competition -- nominated and unnominated alike -- I think Juliette Lewis has never got enough credit for her work in the same film. I love the balance of precocious sexual self-regard and genuine cluelessness in that performance -- she'd make my nominee list.

But then 1992 is all about "Husbands and Wives" for me, so maybe I'm just extending my love for the film.


Guy. no i LOVE Juliette in that movie. I just forgot when typing this up.

I love that "i know i made it up" line reading. and there's almost nothing better in the entire movie than that long closeup of Juliette as Woody freaks out in the cab.

she was so inspired in the early 90s (sigh)

mrripley said...

sol ewis is no 5 with that long list i gave u i missed her.

Alex said...

My birth year, so I always love returning to the movies of 1992 :)

My 5 would probably look something like this:

1. Marisa Tomei (My Cousin Vinny)
2. Judy Davis (Husbands and Wives)
3. Miranda Richardson (Damage)
4. Helena Bonham Carter (Howards End)

Maybe I'd give it to Judy, who I also love, if only because I thought Marisa should've also won for "In the Bedroom" and "The Wrestler." LOVE her.

That 5th spot would go to either Juliette Lewis (Husbands and Wives) or Vanessa Redgrave (Howards End). Nice to hear more people than I thought were on Team Helena :)

Is it bad that I considered giving a spot to Madonna in "A League of Their Own"? Probably.

My Best Actress line-up would've looked like this:

1. Emma Thompson (Howards End)
2. Susan Sarandon (Lorenzo's Oil)
3. Michelle Pfeiffer (Batman Returns)
4. Mia Farrow (Husbands and Wives)
5. Whoopi Goldberg (Sister Act)

I saw "Love Field" and as much as I love Michelle (believe me, I do), I just can't support that nomination (or that film in ANY way) especially when her performance as Selena Kyle/Catwoman had so much more depth to it. Definitely the most interesting character arc in any superhero movie. Heath Ledger's Joker is brilliant, but he's much more of an enigma than a fully fleshed out performance like Pfeiffer and compared to what she does in "Batman Returns," Ledger is definitely supporting, whereas Catwoman may be the only true superhero villian who functions as a legitimate co-lead.

Is Farrow's performance superb acting or is it all just the actual pain on film. Everyone here knows what I'm talking about.

I didn't get to see "Passion Fish" or "Indochine" so I can't judge Mary McDonnell or Catherine Deneuve

par3182 said...

judy davis – husbands and wiveskathy najimy – sister act
michelle pfeiffer – batman returns
miranda richardson – the crying game
pat thompson – strictly ballroom


par -- pat thompson strictly ballroom. interesting choice

alex 1992 is your birth year? Christ, i'm old. Anyway. i used to feel that way about Pfeiffer in LOve Field too but lately i've been thinking i should reconsider. Especially after Nick wrote it up for us here.

I love Deneuve in general but I don't think she would make my list for indochine ... though if i ruled the world she'd have other nominations and an actual Oscar so it hardly matters.

adelutza said...

Deneuve should have at least 3 Oscars by now.
As for Love Field I don't know why everybody says it's not a good film. I really like it. It touched me. I haven't seen it in a long while but I still remember some of the scenes. I know this will sound like a sacrilege here but I still wasn't able to finish Batman Returns properly. I always skip to the parts with the Catwoman

Alex said...

Nathaniel, judging from your other readers, you're not old...I'm just young :)

I really love both of the Miranda Richardson nominations for this category, but not being able to decide between Damage and The Crying Game (I eventually chose Damage) almost makes me want to just nominate someone else all together and not worry about it. But my alternate was Madonna...

Wayne B. said...

mrripley - Jodhi May! nice mention.
Her last scene in "The Last of the Mohicans" still gets me. I read somewhere a lot of her role ended up on the cutting room floor. Such a shame!


oh yeah. Jodhi May was really good in that