Sunday, August 21, 2011

"Actress In A Supporting Role" 1974

And the Academy selected:
  • Ingrid Bergman in Murder on The Orient Express
  • Valentina Cortese in Day For Night
  • Madeline Kahn in Blazzing Saddles
  • Diane Ladd in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore
  • Talia Shire in The Godfather Part 2

5. Talia Shire as Connie Corleone in The Godfather Part 2 

The Godfather Part 2 is a masterpiece; it's not exactly as good as the original (but then again, how many movies can be?) but it still holds an incredible impact and narrative. Talia Shire reprises her role as Connie, the fallen daughter of the family who uses sexuality to spite her godfather brother. The part is limited, the actress is terrible, and the nomination is a waste. Shire appears long enough to show the audience she has changed since the last movie, but we never know her true place here - other then quietly manipulating her brother, she does nothing in this sequel.

4. Ingrid Bergman as Greta Ohllson in Murder On The Orient Express

A controversial win that deserves it's reputation as one of the weakest winners. Bergman is already a controversial figure on this blog, because even though she does have her adoring fans, I think she's one of the worst actresses to ever take on the craft. Here, there is something a little interesting about her performance because Bergman makes the woman totally mysterious. However, it is simply a nothing part that Bergman injects no fine life into. It's all mostly one big note that leaves me cold, not to mention the fact that Bergman herself doesn't do much for it.

3. Madeline Kahn as Lili Von Shtupp in Blazing Saddles

Back again for another funny nomination is Madeline Kahn. Blazing Saddles is rightfully stupid, but it's not a movie I'd want to watch continually. Lili Von Shtupp is a famous singer/dancer who is secretly a spy and concocts a scheme to learn some information for the sheriff. Kahn is on one-note as well, not grasping any sort of depth or range in her character's material. Her famous "I'm Tired" scene leaves me tired, sitting there wondering how worse it could actually get. I do not find her funny or brilliant as some could call it.

2. Valentina Cortese as Severine in Day For Night

Even though it doesn't seem like it, Day For Night is a great accomplishment that gives a great, fresh spin on the filmmaking process. Valentina Cortese plays the famous legend Severine, who is now forced to take little supporting roles that don't show her great acting range and she turns to the bottle. Cortese approaches the part with brilliant though and precision, having wonderful moments including a long sequence where she tries to get just one scene right. That scene alone makes her performance, and there really isn't that much more too it, but what a scene it is. It is truly a terrific performance that lingers in my mind.

1. Diane Ladd as Flo in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore

She doesn't enter the movie until at least 1 hour in, but Diane Ladd makes a huge impression as Flo, the loud mouthed waitress who butts heads with Alice. Flo is a character full of dirty, flirty charm and she is a character that quickly gets over being a cliche, or most importantly annoying. She is a wonderful presence on-screen bringing forth all the downhome humor and wit that is needed for the character. Since this movie is a near masterpiece and Ellen Burstyn crafts one of the best performances ever, it would be very easy to overlook Ladd, but for me, she plays a big part and gives a great performance.

Honorable Omissions: Ann Noland in "Best Friends", Edith Massey in "Female Trouble", Mink Stole in "Female Trouble".


Fritz said...

I like Diane Ladd much more than Ellen Burstyn in Alice, so I'm okay with her win.

But ouch to the comment on Ingrid.

joe burns said...

I'm surprised, but Ladd is pretty good in her part.

I really want to see Cortese!

Louis Morgan said...

Shire certainly is unimpressive, as with Bergman although I do not know if I would go so far as calling her one of the worst actresses ever, Kahn also is nothing particularly special, since she really is not all that funny which was her only purpose.

Derek Bowman said...

As much as I adore the hilarious Madeline Kahn, this is definitely the weaker of her two nominated performances. She's still hilarious and does what she needs to for the movie. But perhaps not quite nom-worthy.

dinasztie said...

Come on? Ingrid as one of the worst actresses ever? Along with the likes of Paris Hilton, Bo Derek and such? Come on!

Anyhow, I agree about Shire, Kahn but I'm not that fond of Diane. She's not that special for me. I liked Ingrid and Valentina very much and I would go with Valentina.

Sage Slowdive said...

Maybe I should have put "nominated for several Oscars".