Monday, August 29, 2011

"Actress In A Supporting Role" 1975

And the Academy selected:
  • Ronee Blakely in Nashville
  • Lee Grant in Shampoo
  • Sylvia Miles in Farewell, My Lovely
  • Lily Tomlin in Nashville
  • Brenda Vaccaro in Jacqueline Susann's Once Is Not Enough 

My Ranking:

5. Brenda Vaccaro as Linda Riggs in Jacqueline Susann's Once Is Not Enough

Once Is Not Enough is surely one of the worst films ever nominated for an Oscar - so many well known actors, so little good material at use. Brenda Vaccaro plays the man hungry head editor of a GLOSS magazine, who tires to help the empty minded January regain her memory. She is provided with nasty zingers and she milks them constantly - too put it simply, she is a piece of sour wood who needs to be thrown to the chipper. She has zero charm and even less ability to act on-screen. She gives a terrible performance that has to be seen to be believed.

4. Lily Tomlin as Linnea in Nashville

As I have already shown, sometimes a performance might be loved across the board but there may be something about it that just doesn't get me, here's another one. Lily Tomlin plays the mother of two deaf children, wife of a music lawyer, and singer in a gospel choir. Personally, I've always felt it was Tomlin herself who generates the universal love for this performance - at the end of Nashville, she is hardly the character that sticks out. She has a very short performance that consists of alot of facial acting and she does an alright job getting that across to the audience. However, there's nothing about the performance that actually screams brilliant to me.

3. Ronee Blakley as Barbara Jean in Nashville

When I said Lily Tomlin doesn't stick out at the end of Nashville, neither really does Ronee Blakley. She has the most interesting character in the film, but my heart has always been with Geraldine Chaplin, Karen Black, and nearly every other actress in the film. But, Blakley comes the closest to giving the best performance in the film, playing a pseudo-Loretta Lynn character who is on the edge of a nervous breakdown. With Barbara Jean's sweet attitude and down home values, she is pure innocence, full of life and her heartbreaking demise is a thrill to watch. It's a really great performance that is surely up there with the best in the film.

2. Sylvia Miles as Jessie Halstead Florian in Farewell, My Lovely

In a very small, bitesize performance Sylvia Miles shows how much you can cram into a character even though you barely get to know her. She plays a former showgirl who has grown to be a bitter, disillusioned alcoholic. Miles invests a charm in the lady that could have faded over time, but is still there when it comes to being around men. In a short time, she puts up a fantastic characterization that stays with me long after the film is over - actually, the film would be nothing without her.

1. Lee Grant as Felicia Carp in Shampoo

Lee Grants begins Shampoo having sex and leaves with her middle finger - in between this time, she gives a brilliant comedic performance that I love immensely. Felicia is the bored, rich housewife whose only glimmer of happiness comes with the horny Warren Beatty. She lets the witty dialogue slide off her tongue with noble ability, holding nothing back from the audience. She is a burst of energy, throwing elements of drama into her comedic timing, causing me to be totally enchanted by her. No apologies, I love the performance.

Honorable Omissions: Geraldine Chaplin in "Nashville".


hey deanie said...

Ronee Blakley is astonishing for me. The scene where she just starts singing in the church while sitting in her wheelchair is totally arresting.

dinasztie said...

Well, my heart is with the Nashville ladies, I usually switch my vote between them (now it's Ronnee). But I love Lee, too.

DistinguishedFlyer said...

Glad you liked Chaplin so much - I'd have given her the Oscar over the five nominees. She's just so loopy and weird, yet it never seemed at all forced.

Fritz said...

I'm not surprised at all! :-)

So far, we either agree or completely disagree mostly. :-)

joe burns said...

Ronee! I haven't seen Miles yet, but I feel Blakely is amazing: She is so haunting and strange, it's so mesmerizing, and off-beat, just like the film.

Tomlin is excellent, but not on Ronee's level.

Grant is annoying to me, I haven't seen her context of the film yet, but she just bothered me with her constant whining and tics. But I'll see her again.

Derek Bowman said...

I've only seen Grant, and I think my hatred of her comes from my visceral disliking of Shampoo in general. I'd definitely need to rewatch, though I can't imagine that happening anytime soon.