Sunday, May 30, 2010

Best Supporting Actress 2002

1. Catherine Zeta-Jones as Velma Kelly in Chicago: I know she has her share of haters, but Zeta-Jones forever left her mark on me in Chicago, which is one of my Top five favorite films. She has an electric presence whenever she performs and I think she nails Velma's selfishness and sadness underneath her confident persona.

2. Meryl Streep as Susan Orlean in Adaptation: Meryl Streep gives a unique, perfectly done performance which is very memorable. It's a little hard to describe given that it's so weird, but Streep is no doubt wonderful.

3. Julianne Moore as Laura Brown in The Hours: Although I don't think it come close to the brilliance of her work in Far From Heaven and Boogie Nights, Moore still excels in this film. She perfectly shows Laura's frustration and sadness living in her situation and we feel for her. There's a few shaky moments, but her last scene is magnificent.

4. Queen Latifah as Matron Mama Morton in Chicago: The role of Mama is a small one, but in my opinion, not underwritten. Meaning that it isn't a thin role, just one that doesn't have a lot of screentime, and Latifah does a great job with it. She's perfectly cast and she makes Mama a three dimensional character. Great voice too!

5. Kathy Bates as Roberta in About Schmit: Bates is very funny and she does add some air to the film. But unlike Latifah, her role is too underwritten. We get moments of bitterness from her, but they're never developed enough and Bates isn't able to rise above the underwritten material.

I know I did this category a few months ago, but if you can remember, you can see my thoughts and ranking have changed somewhat due to rewatching some of them and changing my mind. Overall, I'd say that this wasn't a great year for this category, nor was it a bad one. I loved Catherine, and I liked some of the other nominees a lot, but I don't think they were amazing. But who would be your pick and what are your thoughts on this lineup?

Saturday, May 29, 2010


I decided to make this post due to Andrew's musical blogathon tomorrow, and I decided on Rent. The stage version was a smashing success, having won four tonys and gaining huge fans. But the film version was a critical failure and didn't do well with it's fans, except for me. I love Rent, and the film was what caused me to become a huge fan of it. It is about a group of eight friends living in New York in the late 80's, who are dealing with poverty, AIDS, drugs, homlessness, and other problems, but find love and friendship with each other in the course of one year. The director decided to keep nearly all the original cast members in the film (Anthony Rapp, Adam Pascal, Idina Menzel, Taye Diggs, Jesse.L Martin, Wilson Jermain Heredia), but added two new ones, Rosario Dawson as Mimi and Traci Thoms as Joanne. All of the cast members do great work, but I thought Dawson, Menzel, and Thoms were especially great. The film is really entertaining and I think it works, although the "bursting out into song isn't realistic" thing sometimes becomes too noticeable and sometimes it lacks the soul of the original production. But the music is flawless. There are so many great songs and so many that I love! I don't think I could choose a favorite, but I love La Vie Boheme, Light My Candle, Out Tonight, Take Me Or Leave Me, I'll Cover You, I love them all. So, if you have seen it or heard of the musical, please tell me your thoughts.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Best Actress 1976: Faye Dunaway in Network

Faye Dunaway received her third Oscar nomination and won for playing Diana Christionson in Network. Diana is an intelligent, yet ruthless woman who would do anything to get ratings up and is power hungry. When she discovers that Howard Beale (Peter Finch) is having an emotional breakdown and going into mad rantings on air, she immediately sees an opportunity to make a huge hit out of Howard's new "insights" into the world and this causes terrible consequences ahead. I couldn't imagine anyone else but Faye Dunaway playing Diana and Faye plays it perfectly. She make's Diana's monolgues about television incredibly mesmerizing and it's like she's grabbed us by the throat and never lets go. Faye brings Diana thrillingly to life without going over the top , and makes her a fascinating character. She never lets Diana become one-note or a stereotype, which any other actress could have done. She and William Holden work superbly together, making their relationship believable and interesting. When he breaks up with her, Faye shows that Diana does know, deep down, what she is and that she is completely immersed in the world of television , so much so that it has become her whole life. Faye Dunaway gives a fabulous performance that adds a lot of depth to both her character and the film, which gets

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Best Actress 1976: Liv Ullman in Face To Face

Liv Ullman received her second Oscar nomination for playing D.r Jenny Isaksson in Face To Face. Jenny is a doctor who deals with mental illness, but she suddenly finds herself dealing with it herself with horrifying things to come. In the beginning, Liv Ullman plays Jenny in a subtle, arresting way- Jenny doesn't seem to have any sense of self , or she doesn't seem to know herself, and Ullman plays it perfectly. Jenny is a very difficult role to play, since Ullman must make her mental condition 100% convincing and not to get lost in her disturbing scenes by overracting or not knowing what to do with her character. And Ullman nails this. Another thing that makes her performance so stunning is that not only does she make Jenny's illness completely realistic, but also makes Jenny's struggle with her condition and her relationship with those around her incredibly real and heartbreaking. Liv Ullman gives a towering, mesmerizing performance, a must see, which gets

Monday, May 24, 2010

Best Actress 1976

The next year I'll be doing a profile/ranking on is 1976 and the nominees were:

Marie Christine Barrualt in Cousin, Cousine

Faye Dunaway in Network

Talia Shire in Rocky

Sissy Spacek in Carrie

Liv Ullman in Face To Face

So, who do think will by pick? Who are you rooting for?

Ranking of the nominees and years so far

1. 1969

2. 1974

3. 2006

4. 1988

5. 2002

1. Julianne Moore in Far From Heaven (2002)

2. Judi Dench in Notes On A Scandal (2006)

3. Maggie Smith in The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie (1969)

4. Kate Winslet in Little Children (2006)

5. Liza Minnelli in The Sterile Cuckoo (1969)

6. Gena Rowlands in A Woman Under The Influence (1974)

7. Ellen Burstyn in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974)

8. Glenn Close in Dangerous Liasions (1988)

9. Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

10. Faye Dunaway in Chinatown (1974)

11. Valerie Perrine in Lenny (1974)

12. Jane Fonda in They Shoot Horses Don't They (1969)

13. Genevieve Anne Bujold in Anne Of The Thousand Days (1969)

14. Meryl Streep in A Cry In The Dark (1988)

15. Diahaan Carol in Claudine (1974)

16. Jodie Foster in Accused (1988)

17. Jean Simmons in The Happy Ending (1969)

18. Diane Lane in Unfaithful (2002)

19. Renee Zellweger in Chicago (2002)

20. Penelope Cruz in Volver (2006)

21. Signourney Weaver in Gorillas In The Mist (1988)

22. Helen Mirren in The Queen (2006)

23. Nicole Kidman in The Hours (2002)

24. Melanie Griffith in Working Girl (1988)

25. Salma Hayek in Frida (2002)

Best Actress 1969: Final Thoughts

WOW, another amazing year! Just like 74 , all of these women gave brilliant performances and strangely, I gave the same ratings for both 74 and 69 (My first pick and second pick got 5, the rest got 4, 5/5). But I have to say that none of their films (Except for They Shoot Horses Don't They?) reached the level of fantastic. Still, what a year! I've changed my mind and are now separating my final thoughts and my ranking of the films with the ranking of the nominees and the years I've done so far.

1. They Shoot Horses Don't They?

2. The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie

3. Anne Of The Thousand Days

4. The Sterile Cuckoo

5. The Happy Ending

Best Actress 1969: The Resolution!

5. Jean Simmons in The Happy Ending:

Despite having a lackluster script, Jean Simmons still gives a subtle, honest performance which is beautiful to watch.

4. Jane Fonda in They Shoot Horses Don't They?:

Jane Fonda gives a gritty, powerful portrait of a woman undergoing terrible suffering. Devastating work.

3. Genieve Anne Bujold in Anne Of The Thousand Days :

Bujold delivers a fantastic portrayal, always in control of her character, and always convincing.

2. Liza Minnelli in The Sterile Cuckoo:

Liza is heartbreaking as Pookie, making her both loveable and unlikeable. She shows Pookie's emotions in a remarkable way.

1. Maggie Smith in The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie:

Maggie Smith is just amazing as Jean Brodie, never going too over the top. A performance for the ages.

Best Actress 1969: Maggie Smith in The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie

Maggie Smith received her second Oscar nomination for playing Jean Brodie in The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie. M.s Brodie is an eccentric, free thinking teacher who has a great influence on her girls, which results in both and good bad consequences. The film follows these events and the beginning and ending of M.s Brodie's prime.

What an achievement! Maggie Smith is amazing in this film! Every scene is played with sharp wit and she completely is her characte. r perfectly captures M.s Brodie's unique, larger then life style and makes it all fabulous. She makes M.s Brodie a loveable, iconic character that is always interesting. We see her love for her students and her passion for teaching and her chemistry with both her students and her lover (Robert Stephen) is wonderful. Nobody else could have played this role, and better then Smith could. She brilliantly shows M.s Brodie's denial at being having her prime be over, and her own responsibility in a terrible tragedy at the end. In her dramatic moments, Smith plays them with a dynamic fire that never wavers. Maggie Smith easily gives one of the best performances I've ever seen, which gets

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Best Actress 1969: Jane Fonda in They Shoot Horses Don't They ?

Jane Fonda received her first Oscar nomination for playing Gloria Beatty in They Shoot Horses Don't They? Gloria is a bitter woman who ran away from her home in Kansas in the Great Depression and decides to join a dance marathon. She is partnered with Robert Syverton (Michael Sarrazin), and they are both competing for a $1500 prize. But the marathon is a torturous experience and the people who run it are determined to keep the show on, even if that means lying about the contestant's conditions and making them suffer.

Jane Fonda blew me away in Klute and she gives another amazing performance here. She shows Gloria's bitterness and toughness and it all works. We see her determination to win , and her refusal to lose. Fonda and Sarrazin work brilliantly together, showing that all they have is each other. Fonda subtly shows Gloria's realization that they are just being used for profit and her scenes at the end are a marvel to behold, as we see Gloria's world crumbling around her. A triumphant feat which gets

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Best Actress 1969: Genevieve Bujold in Anne Of The Thousand Days

Genevieve Bujold received her first Oscar nomination for playing Anne Boleyn in Anne Of The Thousand Days. Anne is seduced by King Henry Vlll (Richard Burton) and at first is unwilling to marry him. But eventually , she falls in love with him and marries him. But after she gives birth to a daughter, their relationship begins to go downhill and terrible things are to come.

Bujold is just brilliant in this movie. She is very theatrical in the beginning, but it works, and Bujold is totally convincing. She nails Anne's manipulative behavior and her hatred of the king. She brilliantly takes her characters transformation from a young woman to a strong, vengeful queen and it's mesmerizing to watch. She and Burton might not be O'Toole and Hepburn in The Lion In Winter, but they work extremely well together, showing their love and hatred of each other. The true highlights of her performance are at the end when everything starts to unravel and Bujold is a force to behold. So, a powerful, outstanding performance which really surprised me which gets

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Best Supporting Actress 2008

1. Marisa Tomei as Cassidy/Pam in The Wrestler: Tomei delivers a gutwrenching, beautiful performance which is very authentic. She and Rourke have brilliant chemistry and she never let her role become a stereotype.

2. Amy Adams as Sister James in Doubt: Adams gives a subtle, fantastic performance which might be her best. I thought she gave the strongest performance in Doubt and she really showed the internal battle going on inside her character.

3. Viola Davis as Ms. Miller in Doubt: Davis adds a lot to the film and steers the story in the right direction. She is heartbreaking and totally makes us understand Ms. Miller's actions.

4. Penelope Cruz as Maria Elena in Vicky, Cristina Barcelona: Cruz was the only reason that I didn't completely like V.C.B. Her presence drives the film and I really felt the passions of her character.

5. Tarajii P. Henson as Queenie in The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button: Henson has a nothing role that is a complete caricature. There is nothing Oscar-worthy in this performance and there were more worthier performances that should have been nominated.

I thought this was a really strong year for this category. Except for Henson, everybody deserved their nominations and would have been worthy winners. My own personal choice though is Rosemarie Dewitt for Rachel Getting Married and I don't understand how she wasn't nominated. So, who is your choice for this year and what did you think of this lineup?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Best Actress 1969: Liza Minnelli in The Sterile Cuckoo

Liza Minnelli received her first Oscar nomination for playing Pookie Adams in The Sterile Cuckoo. Pookie is a very eccentric person who meets Jerry Payne (Wendell Burton) on the way to college and the two immediately become friends and eventually lovers. Liza won the Oscar two years later for playing Sally Bowles in Cabaret and while Sally and Pookie are very similar, Liza definitely doesn't give the same performance. In The Sterile Cuckoo, Liza gives a brilliant performance. In the very beginning, she is a little annoying, but that's the way Pookie is supposed to be played and Liza makes us fall in love with her. She really nails the cemetery scene and she and Burton have flawless chemistry through out the whole film. Liza always gives Pookie a beautiful vulnerability which is the key to her character and her performance. The scene with her on the phone is just outstanding. Liza always shows Pookie's feelings so well and that's what makes the phone scene work so well. Liza is great in every scene of The Sterile Cuckoo and she completely is the movie. So, a remarkable performance, which is great on every level , which gets

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Best Actress 1969: Jean Simmons in The Happy Ending

Jean Simmons received her second Oscar nomination for playing Mary Wilson in The Happy Ending. Mary and her husband Fred appear to be happy, but she is an alcoholic and is suffocated by being a housewife. On their 16th anniversary, she runs away to spend a vacation to think things over and to get away from their marriage. Jean Simmons is wonderful in this film. She plays Mary in a subtle, honest way which is beautiful to watch. Her scene in the hospital is a heartbreaking moment as is the scene with her friend on the plane. She has a radiant presence whenever she is on screen and she elevates her film and makes it worth watching. I also really like the scenes with her mother and her friend Agnes because Simmons is so believable in these scenes. My only problem is that I think that the film didn't quite delve in it's characters enough and that brings down Simmon's performance a bit. But still, a terrific, very honest performance which gets

Monday, May 10, 2010

Best Actress 1969

The next year I'll be doing a profile/ranking on is 1969 and the nominees were

Genevieve Bujold in Anne Of The Thousand Days

Jane Fonda in They Shoot Horses Don't They?

Liza Minnelli in The Sterile Cuckoo

Jean Simmons in The Happy Ending

Maggie Smith in The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie

So, who do you think will be my pick? Who are you rooting for?

Final thoughts and ranking of the nominees so far

Wow, this was an amazing year! All of the nominees gave superb performances and they all would have been deserving! I think this was the best year I've done so far and from now on I'll be ranking the years I've done so far from strongest to weakest and I'll be ranking the films that the nominees are in from best to worst from the year I've just finished, not all of the films that I see for all of my profiles:

1. 1974
2. 2006
3. 1988
4. 2002

1. Chinatown

2. Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore

3. Lenny

4. A Woman Under The Influence

5. Claudine (Although I'd much rather watch it then A Woman Under The Influence, since A. W. U.T.I is an exhausting experience)

1. Julianne Moore in Far From Heaven (2002)

2. Judi Dench in Notes On A Scandal (2006)

3. Kate Winslet in Little Children (2006)

4. Gena Rowlands in A Woman Under The Influence (1974)

5. Ellen Burstyn in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974)

6. Glenn Close in Dangerous Liasions (1988)

7. Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

8. Faye Dunaway in Chinatown (1974)

9. Valerie Perrine in Lenny (1974)

10. Meryl Streep in A Cry In The Dark (1988)

11. Diahaan Carol in Claudine (1974)

12. Jodie Foster in Accused (1988)

13. . Diane in Unfaithful (2002)

14. Renee Zellweger in Chicago (2002)

15. Penelope Cruz in Volver (2002)

16. Signourney Weaver in Gorillas In The Mist (1988)

17. Helen Mirren in The Queen (2006)

18. Nicole Kidman in The Hours (2002)

20. Salma Hayek in Frida (2002)

Best Actress 1974: The resolution!

5. Diahaan Carol in Claudine

Diahaan Carol gives a very strong performance that is far and away the best thing about the film. She's always real and she and James Earl Jones have beautiful chemistry.

4. Valerie Perrine in Lenny

Valerie Perrine is the emotional heart of Lenny, giving a beautiful, very intimate performance that is an essential asset to the film.

3. Faye Dunaway in Chinatown:

Faye Dunaway gives a fascinating, deeply layered performance which shows how much talent she has (And how much talent she's wasting! Come back to film!)

2. Ellen Burstyn in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore:

Ellen Burstyn's portrayal of Alice is natural and simply terrific. She makes us love her character and Burstyn is always fun to watch.

1. Gena Rowlands in A Woman Under The Influence:

Gena Rowlands never goes too over the top, but gives a devastating performance that is convincing and believable 100 %.

Best Actress 1974: Faye Dunaway in Chinatown

Faye Dunaway received her third Oscar nomination for playing Evelyn Mullwray in Chinatown. Evelyn's husband is killed and she hires Joe Gillis (Jack Nicholson) to find out who's behind it and why. But Evelyn is hiding something very dark that is the key to the whole situation and results in terrible consequences. Chinatown is a great film and Faye Dunaway is fabulous in it. She creates a very layered , fascinating character and she adds a lot to the film. When we find out who Evelyn really is and what her real intentions are, Faye is simply brilliant, showing Evelyn's sadness and her determination to get out of her situation. In the famous scene "She my sister, my daughter, She's my sister and my daughter!", Faye plays it flawlessly and she Nicholson play each other off superbly. And she really nails her last scene and it's so heartbreaking (Spoiler alert!) what happens to Evelyn at the end. So, a fantastic performance that shows how much talent Faye Dunaway has, which gets

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Best Actress 1974: Valerie Perrine in Lenny

Valerie Perrine received her first Oscar nomination for playing Honey Bruce, the wife of famous comedian Lenny Bruce in Lenny. Honey was a stripper, but she falls in love with Lenny, and they get married. But they start to have marital problems and they divorce when she goes to jail. The film cuts back and forth between his life and people telling it in interviews , including Honey, so you could say she is playing two roles, in a manner of speaking. But Valerie Perrine gives a beautiful performance in this film. She is natural and realistic and both she and Hoffman work wonderfully together. Her facial expressions are always fantastic, conveying her feelings wonderfully. Her best scene is when she is on the phone with Lenny in prison, and we really feel her pain and sadness. During the interview scenes, Perrine is so raw at points and intimate . It's wonderfully played. The only problem is is it Lead or Supporting? To me, I think she's more Supporting. I don't think that she leads the film anywhere, despite that I love her performance. I might even give her my win in Supporting, once I see more of the nominees from 1974. So, I'm a little torn on what to give it, but I've decided to give her