Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Unrewarded Woman

Over at The Film Experience I participated in a poll to find the best Oscar-nominated best actress performance that didn't win. It was fun, but produced an ultimately rather predictable selection for both numbers 1 and 2. It's not at all hard to figure out what they'll be, but before you click over (or read further, since they're both on there albeit not in the same final position) take a guess and see if you're right.

My own top ten was a rather tough list to compile and in the end I just threw my hands in the air and conceded defeat. I mean, there is literally no way possible to get 20 performances into a list of ten. Literally no chance whatsoever so I just had to go with my gut. My gut actually should have reminded me of Natalie Wood in Splendour in the Grass and Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard, however, and I'm ashamed a forgot them and didn't include them. The latter is even mall strange since my number one performance was from the same year and I even mention Swanson in my write-up at The Film Experience. I'm a nut like that, I suppose. I blame not having seen them in so long. I need to rectify that and make up for my actressexual sins.

Sadly, unlike Nick Davis I haven't seen every nominated performance - hell, the number is surely on the sad side of 50% - but it's not like there aren't plenty of fabulous performances to choose from. I wish I could have found room for Davis for Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, Elizabeth Taylor for Suddenly Last Summer, Sigourney Weaver for Aliens, Meryl Streep for Silkwood and maybe even The Devil Wears Prada, Ida Kaminska for The Shop on Main Street, Katharine Hepburn for The Philadelphia Story, Ellen Burstyn for Requiem for a Dream, Bette Midler for The Rose, Kim Stanley for Seance on a Wet Afternoon, Shirley MacLaine for Some Came Running and The Apartment, Jane Fonda for They Shoot Horses Don't They?, Susan Sarandon for Thelma & Louise, Sissy Spacek for Carrie.... gah!

Anyway, take a look at the top ten I submitted. Where would you fall on the scale?

1. Bette Davis, All About Eve
2. Emily Watson, Breaking the Waves
3. Judy Garland, A Star is Born
4. Elizabeth Shue, Leaving Las Vegas
5. Julie Walters, Educating Rita
6. Barbara Stanwyck, Double Indemnity
7. Nicole Kidman, Moulin Rouge!
8. Geraldine Page, Interiors
9. Barbra Streisand, The Way We Were
10. Whoopi Goldberg, The Color Purple.

"At least you didn't forget me."

"How many roles as famous as those like Bette Davis as Margo Channing in All About Eve were originally cast with different actors? Davis did such an outstanding, iconic turn as aging Broadway star Channing that it’s hard to imagine Claudette Colbert in the role as originally planned. It’s hard to imagine why I’m even having to write this passage. Alas, that’s what comes from being a participant in what is surely one of the most famous actress line-ups of all time. Losing votes to equally iconic Gloria Swanson as well as her own co-star, Anne Baxter, meant that Judy Holliday walked away with the statue. Davis lost the Golden Globe, too, but at least she won a prize from the hoi polloi of the Cannes Film Festival!"


Mel said...

Oh Glenn I know you are a Kidmaniac but her performance in Moulin Rouge was weak and corny. She's done much better work: in Rabbit Hole, for instance; or in heaps of non-Oscar-nominated films.

Philip H. said...

You mentioned Bette Midler in The Rose. That's all I've wanted someone to do to make me feel less insane. I love you for this, thank you.

Anonymous said...

well then you MUST watch susan sarandon in thelma and louise. trust it was beyond oscar worthy.