And the Academy selected:
- Judy Davis in Husbands and Wives
- Joan Plowright in Enchanted April
- Vanessa Redgrave in Howard's End
- Miranda Richardson in Damage
- Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny
5. Judy Davis as Sally in Husbands and Wives
Woody Allen doesn't always tickle my fancy (actually he more or less becomes unimpressive for me) and Husbands and Wives is surely a lowpoint, only praised for Judy Davis' performance as Sally, a new divorcee who likes to be annoying, or something to that effect. Maybe it's just the fact that all the overacting, all the ridiculous screaming, and all the bitter, unrealistic dialogue becomes too much as soon as it begins. An uninteresting, bombastic performance.
4. Vanessa Redgrave as Ruth Wilcox in Howard's End
Like Woody Allen, period pieces for me are usually just uninteresting. Of course, everyone could jump on that and say I have no taste in films, but I know I don't :) Vanessa Redgrave is usually also praised this year for her brief, yet somehow important performance as aristocrat Ruth Wilcox. She doesn't make a huge impact on me, playing subtlety as high as she can, but somehow I do sort of get the praise for it. Still, a very dry characterization.
3. Joan Plowright as Mrs. Fisher in Enchanted April
Joan Plowright had some kind of comeback with the role of cranky, bitter Mrs. Fisher in Enchanted April and her performance is quite charming. It's a performance full of opportunities to steal everyone elses spotlight and she sure succeeds with that. Another period piece, but somehow this one feels totally different thanks to the nice little performance from Plowright and Miranda Richardson. It's not amazing, but a good performance nonetheless.
2. Miranda Richardson as Ingrid Fleming in Damage
Playing a role similar to Anne Archer in Fatal Attraction, Miranda Richardson plays Ingrid, the adoring and unknowing wife in Damage. Ingrid is quite more naive then Beth Gallagher because when she finds out she has a massive emotional breakdown that leaves her quite delusional and broken. It's a superb performance that starts out a little unusually but ends on the exact right tone.
Perhaps the most infamous win ever has no shame in being infamous. Marisa Tomei is riotous, touching, and brilliantly funny as Lisa, the auto expert and funny girlfriend of Vinny. Comedy can be hard to pull off, but Tomei has no problems pulling off unexpected moments of flat out loud hilarity and is often unappreciated for her way of making all of this 100% believable. It is a terrific, great piece of enjoyable work.
Honorable Omissions: Alfre Woodard in "Passion Fish" and Miranda Richardson in "The Crying Game".