Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Best Actress 1984: Sally Field in Places In The Heart

Sally Field received her 2nd Oscar nomination and won her 2nd Oscar for playing Edna Spalding, a widow during the mid-depression struggling to make ends meet, in Places In The Heart.

First of all, I'd like to point out some strange similiarities between Field and another two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank: Both won they're first Oscars on they're first nominations for performances that are largely considered some of the best Oscar-winning performances in this category in both 9-digit number years (Field in 79 for Norma Rae, and Swank in 99 for Boys Don't Cry), and both received they're only 2nd nominations and won for performances that are considered mediocre and undesrving, and both won in 4-digit number years, both five years after they're first wins (Field in 84 for Places In The Heart and Swank in 04 for Million Dollar Baby). And neither have gotten another Oscar nomination since. Weird isn't it? I know I read about this somewhere , but I caught on to most of these myself.

Anyway, Places In The Heart is a movie I hated at first, but now my feelings have changed. It's not really terrible, but it's very boring and there really is no point in making this movie. It says nothing, it's not entertaining, sure, there's some good moments, but really it's nothing special. And the ending still makes no sense to me. Sally Field as I said, plays Edna Spalding, and surprisingly, her performance wasn't as bad as I thought it was the first time. She's actually very good in many scenes. In the beginning, Field does a good job of showing Edna's grief for her husband, and she does create a character out of Edna. She makes us know Edna does not know how to live the kind of life she has to lead after her husband's death, but finds the determination inside to accomplish her goal of being able to keep her house and making her children happy. Her best moment is when John Malkovich is asking her what she looks like: It's a powerful moment, and Field plays it wonderfully. Another great moment is when she, after both John Malkovich and the man Moses tell her there is no hope to her i business idea about her cotton planting, snaps at them and tells them that she WILL make sure the business works. You suddenly see the fire and life she brought so well to Norma Rae five years previously. But this performance never is great though, she's very good, but Field does not put enough life or energy into Edna, and sometimes I felt she played her too naive, or meek. Some of her moments are also a bit flat and unconvincing.

But I can't really blame Field for not being up to giving a great performance. She tried the best she could I guess, but the film is very mediocre, and she can't save it. Still, this performance is good, but not Oscar-worthy. She gets


Louis Morgan said...

I thought she was fine throughout the film, never amazing but consistently fine.

joe burns said...

I agree, but as I"ve said, there just isn"t enough life in this performance.

dinasztie said...

I really loved the movie. I thought she was very good in it.

Fritz said...

I like the movie and her performance.

joe burns said...

Dinasztie: Agree to disagree!

Fritz: I like her too to an extent, but it's nothing special, really.