Monday, May 11, 2009

May Flowers, Kathleen Turner

May Flowers, weeknights @ 11:00

Kathleen Turner as Joan Wilder. She's a hopeless... no, a hopeful romantic. What a slam dunk star turn that was. And how galling that Romancing the Stone didn't net her an Oscar nomination. It was deglam and glam in one package. Plus it was super fun and Oscar should remember to have fun more often. Fun movies sometimes have more staying power than dutiful prestige pics. Not all the time but why eliminate them because they aren't serious? Screwball comedies were as far from serious as it gets and Oscar didn't hate those.

The Oscar Nominees that year were four previous winners and one breakthrough performer (Judy Davis)
  • Judy Davis, A Passage to India
  • Sally Field, Places in the Heart (winner)
  • Jessica Lange, Country
  • Vanessa Redgrave, The Bostonians
  • Sissy Spacek, The River
<-- Kathleen as "China Blue" also in 1984. She wasn't a dainty feminine thing, don't let the rose fool you.

If I had been giving out my awards back then, the Best Actress list would not have been 60% farm wives. My list might have read like so...
  • Judy Davis, A Passage to India
  • Mia Farrow, Broadway Danny Rose
  • Sally Field, Places in the Heart
  • Kathleen Turner, Romancing the Stone (and Crimes of Passion)
  • Lesley Ann Warren, Choose Me

    umm... one caveat.
    I never saw The Bostonians... but back in 1984 when I was a wee boy I was very obsessed with Daryl Hannah in Splash and Elisabeth Shue in Karate Kid so I had no time for Vanessa Redgrave!
Basically, Mia Farrow excepted, no movie star had as much right to bitch about the Academy's choices as Kathleen Turner did in the 1980s. Those two just couldn't catch a break with AMPAS. I don't know who they pissed off but it was someone important and vengeful. Turner couldn't even catch a break with TONY voters after her gobsmacking "Martha" in Edward Albee's immortal Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (pictured backstage below)

In case you missed it and you are Turner-simpatico (more people should be) you should listen to my interview with Bill Irwin from last year's Rachel Getting Married. I kept making him talk about Kathleen. I couldn't help myself!

NOTE: For the next 24 hours for no particular reason whatsoever I'm going to be celebrating 1984 --an impromptu 25th anniversary celebration. Join me. Party like it's 1984. Coming up: The Top 10 of 1984 and a look back @ Terminator.

For now feel free to discuss Oscar's 1984 Best Actress choices and yours. You know you want to.


MrW said...

Have you seen A Private Function? Maggie Smith's performance in that one would not only be my favorite performance by a lead actress in 1984, but also one of my two or three favorite performances ever by Maggie Smith.

Fernando Moss said...

My 84 choices would have been:

Judy Davis - A Passage to India
Mia Farrow - Broadway Danny Rose
Carmen Maura - ¿Qué He Hecho Yo para Merecer Esto?
Lily Tomlin - All of Me
Kathleen Turner - Romancing the Stone

RobUK said...

Vanessa Redgrave would have been my winner that year. I'd happily recommend you catch The Bostonians; one of the very best pre-Room Merchant Ivory movies.

But I also echo Fernando's Carmen Maura love. I'm never sure exactly about eligibility years for foreign language releases though - would it have been 84 or 85... or did it never even get a US theatrical release?

Arun said...

My 84 ballot would be:

Judy Davis, A Passage to India
Vanessa Redgrave, The Bostonians
Maggie Smith, A Private Function
Sissy Spacek, The River
Kathleen Turner, Romancing the Stone

with Turner taking the win. I haven't seen Choose Me but I'll give it a look

Brodie said...

Ok, I haven't seen much of 1984, but my win is easily Drew Barrymores explosive performance in Firestarter. For such a young girl to portray such a fierce attitude of like, giving up, as if she's been through so much already that's she's gonna get revenge regardless of what happens to her, is just phenomenal. I wish genre performances and child performances were better recognized because she was just amazing.

par3182 said...

karen allen - starman
judy davis – a passage to india
mia farrow – broadway danny rose
wendy hughes – careful, he might hear you
kathleen turner – romancing the stone


omg. Hughes was amazing in that. i forgot all about that movie.

robuk -- What Have I Done to Deserve This? was an 85 release in the States

John T said...

Yippee-celebrate 1984 (the year I was born!!!)

Oddly, I'm not well-versed at all with the ladies of this year, so I can't countdown that year.


well John T... get on that! you should have a viewing marathon to acquaint yourself with your year o' birth

Mikadzuki said...

1984 is all PARIS, TEXAS as far as I'm concerned. I just want to step into that film forever and wrap myself into its golds and blues and moody reds, with Ry Cooder's score echoing in eternity...

Like John T, I'm not really acquainted with the actresses of this year, but I'll get to it.

Anonymous said...

Sandrine Bonnaire, "À Nous Amours"
Judy Davis, "A Passage To India"
Diane Keaton, "Mrs. Soffel"
Vanessa Redgrave, "The Bostonians"
Gena Rowlands, "Love Streams"

Chris Na Taraja said...

I don't think i saw any of the 1984 choices, alas i was a lad, but I did see Romancing the Stone.

The movie was a blast, but I don't think of it as award winning. Maybe Oscar has brainwashed me.

But really, how many of you folks would have had her on your list before Nat suggested it?

Then again, Oscars are a popularity contest half made by suggestion and campaigning. I know, I'm jaded. Maybe I need to watch Romancing the Stone again to rekindle my youthful optimism. It works when I see Goonies. : )

Anonymous said...

Hey, I was born in 1984!!
I haven't seen many films from that year, but here are my favorites:

The Terminator
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Body Double
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Romancing the Stone
Sixteen Candles
The Muppets Take Manhattan
Beverly Hills Cop
The Karate Kid
Top Secret!
The Woman in Red

adelutza said...

I don't know why you picked exactly 1984, but it is the release year of my all time favourite american movie Once Upon A Time In America. Jennifer Connelly played the young Deborah and one of my favorite scenes in the movie is when she dances and the young Noodles watches her through a hole in the wall. If my memory serves Amadeus went out that year too, another amazing movie.

jimmy said...

i just think it's a darn shame she did not win for "peggy sue"....

mrripley said...

1984 nat let's see i did my 80's noms last year and here is how 84 panned out * my winner

sally field places in the heart*
genevieve bujold choose me
vanessa redgrave the bostonians
jessica lange country
judy davis a passage to india

what about supp actress

elizabeth berridge amadeus
amy madigan places in the heart
jaqueline bisset under the volcano
peggy ashcroft a passage to india
geraldine page the pope of greenwich village

Unknown said...

Judy Davis -- for sure.

Kathleen Turner -- Romancing the Stone.

Sandrine Bonnaire - A nous Amour. (I don't think Oscars nominate difficult French (eg. Huppert) ..unless it's fanciful or worthy/earnest)

Gena Rowlands - Love Streams.
Sally Field -- Places in the Heart.

Judy or Gena should have won it.