Thursday, June 18, 2009

Streep Nom #2, 1979

An open discussion thread for each of Streep's nominations. The nominees for 1979 were...

  • Jane Alexander, Kramer vs. Kramer
  • Barbara Barrie, Breaking Away
  • Candice Bergen, Starting Over
  • Mariel Hemingway, Manhattan
  • Meryl Streep, Kramer vs. Kramer
...and Meryl won. The first of her two (only two. sigh) Oscar wins. As a little kid I was really into Breaking Away because my sister was in love with it... and I worshipped everything my big sister loved. Barrie was quite an endearing presence as the cycling nut's mom. Hemingway and Streep are my favorite among the nominees these days. The Golden Globe lineup went 3/5 with Oscar, trading out Mariel and Barbara for Valerie Harper in Chapter Two and Kathleen Beller in Promises in the Dark... yes that Kathleen Beller, "Kirby Colby" from Dynasty for your 80s nostalgia freaks! I personally still wonder if Oscar ought to have thrown a nomination towards crazy-eyed, long-legged, codependent dancing freak Ann Reinking in All That Jazz (more on her performance here).

Which performances are you most crazy about from 1979 and how close did Oscar get to your dream ballot?


Anonymous said...

I'd do Barrie, Bergen, and Streep and switch in MacLaine and Weaver. Loved Alexander at the time, but not so sure now. And, I never quite bought the Hemingway performance, charming as it is.


NicksFlickPicks said...

I don't buy Hemingway, either, but I'm not in a position to offer much better except the extraordinary Barbara Harris in The Seduction of Joe Tynan.


csb maclaine and weaver for what? supporting actress... which films. i'm blanking.

nick what is up with barbara Harris getting the continual stink eye from the academy?

i obvs really need to see this Joe Tynan movie

Erik L. said...

Bless you, bless you, Nathaniel for including "Everything Old is New Again." I had that clip on my site last year, watched it I don't know how many times, and still love it. When Ann Reinking does that highstepping thing 18 seconds in, I just die. What nonchalant grace. And what a shame she came of age when Hollywood stopped making musicals. But how great to see an actual dancer dancing in movies. You know?

As to '79: "Breaking Away" is one of the great American movies — by which I mean it's about America, about the class differences in America, and about the limits of reinvention here — and Barbara Barrie was the quintessential mom within it.

Haven't seen "Kramer" in while so hard to compare. I'm sure Meryl deserved her award. But did she deserve it for "Manhattan" instead?

normadesmond said...

sorry, i adored "starting over" back then. my crush on burt reynolds really GREW as i watched him give a lovely performance. jill didn't hurt the proceedings either. and as for candice, she was terrific. i have no idea who i wanted to win back then, but i'm happy that meryl got it. meryl should have it all.

NicksFlickPicks said...

(I'm guessing MacLaine for Being There and Weaver for Alien, given that she doesn't dominate the whole movie as she does the rest of the franchise.)

Bing147 said...

I'd assume Nicks got where he was saying MacLaine and Weaver in though I consider both of those lead.

The only one in this category I feel needs a shout out is Eva Mattes is Herzog's Woyzeck, she's truly incredible. Kinski isn't so bad himself in the same movie but she owns the thing.

Kent said...

My nominees would've been:

Candice Bergen -Starting Over
Veronica Cartwright -Alien
Mariel Hemingway -Manhattan
Ann Reinking -All That Jazz
Meryl Streep -Kramer vs Kramer*

Meryl would've won hands down --no contest. Mariel would be the runner up. Candice was so fantastic as well.

Nat, I agree with you about Ann Reinking. She's so lively and helps energizes the film.

I thought Veronica Cartwright was great. She carried so much emotion --almost outshone Sigourney Weaver. However, I still consider Sigourney's role lead.

Dame James said...

I only have two nominees for 79 and they include Streep for Kramer and, actually, Leland Palmer (Joe's ex-wife) in All That Jazz. I always found her to be the most interesting among the women in Joe's life.

Anonymous said...

I actually thought Jane Alexander was superb in Kramer..... I found her chemistry with Hoffman so unique and odd but at the same time quite palpable. The little moment when Ted touches her face as she plaintively talks about her ex-husband and the look that she then gives back to Ted is sublime. Granted, Alexander's tired, forlorn screen presence sometimes comes across too stiff or mechanic (All the President's Men). I loved her characterization here and I completely support the nomination (Though Meryl did indeed deserve to win) Did you not like her Nat?

- Sean C.


Sean C... i actually didn't really like Alexander's work. Felt like she didn't overcome the schematic counterpoint nature of the part.

Kent... I haven't seen Alien in a really long time but i usually dig Cartwright in everything.

i really need to revisit some of these movies.

Joe Shetina said...
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Q said...

Ummm... definitely siding with Dame James. Leland Palmer is the All That Jazz performance that blows my mind... aside from Roy Scheider of course. Her little dance rehearsal opposite Scheider is one of my favorite moments of cinema.

groovy_acolyte said...

Ann Reinking was basically playing herself in All That Jazz. And I'm not saying she wasn't frikkin' fantastic anyways, but could that have anything to do with her lack of a nom?

Anonymous said...

Oops! Sorry that I didn't elaborate on my choices earlier. I'll do so now.

Though both MacLaine and Weaver seem like leads in their movies, I find them both better suited to the supporting category.

Prior to Alien, next to NO ONE knew who Sigourney was. And, until the latter part of the film, she is part of an ensemble. Doesn't this type of breakthrough usually result (if it does at all) in a supporting nomination?

Regarding MacLaine, I recall reading long ago that the studio suggested her for a supporting nomination and that she later regretted holding out for lead as it probably cost her a nomination. Also, had her role been played by a lesser known actress, it would never have been considered lead. Though I may be wrong. ;-)

Btw, Nick: Yes! Of course Barbara Harris!! Oh, the lack of love for that gal!!


Glenn Dunks said...

I never understood the Hemingway nomination. I die for that movie, but her nomination has always puzzled me. In terms of All That Jazz, I actually tend to err on the side of Leland Palmer.

Fernando Moss said...


3.MERYL STREEP "Manhattan" & "Kramer vs. Kramer"
4.BO DEREK "10"
5.JANE ALEXANDER "Kramer vs. Kramer"

Morgan said...

Leland Palmer in "All That Jazz" is my personal coulda woulda shoulda. I really wish she could have seen a nomination.

Dude said...

i'd hands down give it to streep over any supporting performance of 79. her joanna is one for the books, especially the already mentioned first minutes of the film when she leaves the family. masterful!

Anonymous said...

my line-up could have been:

Jane Alexander
Barbara Barrie
Mariel Hemingway
Eva Mattes (I second Bing147...she's amazing in WOYZECH)
Meryl...of course the winner...

mirko s.

Terris said...

Mmm... can't express any opinion over the other actress, but Streep and Alexander.
I wasn't even born at that time and the only movie I've watched is Kramer.
I just think Alexander nom was out of place... I mean, sh was really good but the part itself was not Oscar-nom-worthy, in my opinion.

Alex said...

I wouldn't see why Ann Reinking would get negative buzz for a nomination, especially since Woody Allen was a sure-fire nominee just two years earlier. If that's not "playing yourself" than I don't know what is. (Just to clarify, I would've nominated both of them.)

My ballot for what could be my favorite Supporting Actress year probably would've looked something like...

1. Meryl Streep (Kramer vs. Kramer)
-maybe my favorite Supporting Actress performance of all time
2. Ann Reinking (All that Jazz)
3. Mariel Hemingway (Manhattan)
4. Sigourney Weaver (Alien)
5. Jane Alexander (Kramer vs. Kramer)
(with Shirley MacLaine for "Being There" being a VERY close runner-up)

Just to put it out there, for me Meryl in 79 was like Kate Winslet last year. I'm sure that Meryl got more votes for "Manhattan" than, say, Candice Bergen, but because she had more votes for "Kramer vs. Kramer" that knocked out "Manhattan" because of that rule where you can only have 1 nomination per category. (We're all agreed that Kate got more votes for "Revolutionary Road" than Angelina Jolie, right?)

Yancey said...

I was never over the moon with Meryl in "Kramer vs. Kramer." There was always something artificial with her role, and Dustin Hoffman is the one that stole the show there. But I haven't seen any of the nominees here besides Streep and Jane Alexander, so there's no way for me to say if anyone else in the lineup was more deserving for the win (I wouldn't have chosen Jane Alexander either).

Chris Na Taraja said...

I'm sure, at the time, I had only seen MEATBALLS and THE MUPPET MOVIE (which was up for 2 Oscors in 1980, (best song, and original score, sadly Miss Piggy was not up for it, cause she might have taken Meryl down)


Chris. omg. i loved the Muppet movie. I wanted it to win everything ;) well it or EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

Hayden said...

Mariel Hemingway is miles beyond her competition.

Unknown said...
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Catherine said...
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Catherine said...

That "Everything Old" clip you posted, Nat, is easily my favourite clip from any film, ever. It casts a spell over me.

Having said that, I'm another Leland Palmer cheerleader. Her very last moment in the film - his clenched fist, the stuck out tongue, the visible tears welling up in her eyes - is so fascinating and complex and wonderful.


Catherine... yeah, maybe i would include Palmer too. that moment sure was wonderful as was her reaction to Air Erotica and her general wariness/understanding/hurt/acceptance about his womanizing in general

so maybe i'd go:
Barrie - breaking away
Hemingway -manhattan
Palmer -all that jazz
Reinking -all that jazz
Streep -kramer vs. kramer

but then i'd have to leave other people out. ARGH.

Netshopper said...

Meryl's performance in Kramer was the standout that year. Given that the director allowed her to write and improvise for her role and she had to put up with Hoffman's agressive ego, the win was justified. Add to this her heartbreaking situtation with Cazale and the other two films she was in that year, her skyrocketing path was blazed.

ctrout said...

My choices from 1979 are:

1. Veronica Cartwright - Alien
2. Christine Lahti - ...And Justice For All
3. Barbara Barrie - Breaking Away
4. Cheryl Barnes - Hair
5. Meryl Streep - Kramer vs. Kramer

Anonymous said...

No one here thought Diane Keaton was better in Manhattan than Mariel Hemingway?

Alex said...

Anon, I consider Diane Keaton lead in "Manhattan" (and would've nominated her)