Saturday, June 19, 2010

Robey's Oscar Rewrites: (3)

With apologies for the lengthy break in service.


They said...

Jodie Foster, Nell
*Jessica Lange, Blue Sky
Miranda Richardson, Tom & Viv
Winona Ryder, Little Women
Susan Sarandon, The Client

(Not quite as useless a line-up as people often claim, though it could have been so much stronger if it weren't for eligibility snafus and general myopia...)

I say...

Toni Collette, Muriel's Wedding
Linda Fiorentino, The Last Seduction
Juliette Lewis, Natural Born Killers
Julianne Moore, Vanya on 42nd Street
Sigourney Weaver, Death and the Maiden

Sharing the sixth spot:

Melanie Lynskey, Heavenly Creatures
Kate Winslet, Heavenly Creatures

Honourable mentions:

Irène Jacob (Three Colours Red), Isabelle Adjani (La Reine Margot), Lauren Velez (I Like It Like That), Alberta Watson (Spanking the Monkey). Who says this was a bad year for actressing? Not me!


Guy Lodge said...

Gosh, this WAS difficult... I was amazed at how long my longlist ran. (Yes, I'm that much of a geek that I drew up a longlist.)

Particularly delightful is how much quality work there was in un-Oscary comedies and genre outings, which surely accounted for that much-derided Academy lineup -- though I agree with you that it's not as bad as its reputation (a veritable treasure trove compared to 2005, surely), and that Lange was easily the worthiest winner. She's very, very good, and yet not good enough for my list.

A few caveats before I start:

* Major actressor fail alert -- I have not yet seen Vanya on 42nd Street. How can this be?

* The usual eligibility date quibbles: I suppose Americans would put Collette in 1995 (as the Globes did), but then, some would place another of my nominees in 1993, so it's all in balance.

* Andie MacDowell in Four Weddings and a Funeral is deemed ineligible by virtue of the fact that her spectacular line reading of "Is it raining? I hadn't noticed" can't be considered an individual performance on its own.

With that, my ballot:

Toni Collette, Muriel's Wedding
Irène Jacob, Three Colours Red
Melanie Lynskey, Heavenly Creatures
Lena Olin, Romeo is Bleeding
Rena Owen, Once Were Warriors

(I do like how those last two names rhyme.)

With Jacob and Owen duking it out for the win. Hmmm... advantage Owen, for today at least.

Ten honourable mentions (I had so many that I omitted any overlaps with yours, since I agree with just about everyone you list):

Sandra Bullock, Speed; Geena Davis, Angie; Isabelle Huppert, Amateur; Jessica Lange, Blue Sky; Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle; Demi Moore, Disclosure; Winona Ryder, Reality Bites; Madeleine Stowe, Blink; Marisa Tomei, Only You; the ladies of Eat Drink Man Woman.

Of course, I haven't seen a lot of these since I was 12 or 13, so I reserve to right to change my mind. (Particularly on the lesser Moore: was my adolescent taste that dodgy, or is she really good in that film?)

tim r said...

Terrific picks! Funnily enough, I nearly had Demi on my also-rans, but she veers from fabulous to just wooden and scowly a few times too often -- still, it's good to know I'm not the only Disclosure fan around, and it's about the most fun she's ever been. Owen a particularly astute mention -- I might have substituted her for Lewis if I'd thought about it. Stowe in Blink an unexpected pick too (though I think I prefer her in Twelve Monkeys the next year).

Agreed that Lange was the worthy winner from Oscar's five, and really pretty good. Also, I didn't see Little Women until quite recently, and I must say Winona was much better in it than I'd been led to believe. Haven't seen Reality Bites.

Our only real parting of ways is on Leigh, who's nails-on-chalkboard in that role for me: I respect what she's doing, and actually think it's quite brave, but I still want to stick a zipper on Dorothy's lips and hold it shut virtually throughout. Have to file that one under interesting failures...

Guy Lodge said...

re Leigh: Admittedly, that's more of an 'A+ for effort' mention than an expression of genuine affection. I agree she goes wrong in a lot of ways, but it's a bold and exciting attempt. (Once I settled on the round number of 10, it was between her and Kathleen Turner in Serial Mom for the last honorable mention. So many Yanks... were the Brits on strike that year or something?)

NicksFlickPicks said...

Lovely! It's true '94 isn't explicitly a bad year so much as a terrible management of what could have been a stellar category, given what else was on offer that year. I haven't settled on my five, but the two names I'd throw into contention that haven't come up already are Judy Davis for The New Age (possibly also for The Ref, but I haven't seen it) and Karen Sillas in the underseen but terrific Sundance champ What Happened Was...

Crissy Rock got good press over here for Ladybird, Ladybird, which I haven't seen. Muriel's Wedding and Once Were Warriors were both '95 Oscar qualifiers, but this stuff isn't about standing on point with AMPAS, clearly!

Second the motions behind Velez and Stowe, among others.

tim r said...

And I do really like Davis in The Ref! Which for some reason was retitled here, horribly, as Hostile Hostages. Toyed with an honourable mention, but it's the kind of third-lead part AMPAS would probably have filed under supporting, even if we disagree...

Anonymous said...

Great list!
But, for me, Alberta Watson in 'Spanking The Monkey' was Oscar-worthy performance. She was flawless in a role that Susan Sarandon, Jessica Lange and others turned down because of the incest! theme. I've been watching a couple of scenes of that movie in YouTube --she's amazing.
Great blog! I've just stumbled across.

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