And the Academy selected:
- Catharine Burns in Last Summer
- Dyan Cannon in Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice
- Goldie Hawn in Cactus Flower
- Sylvia Miles in Midnight Cowboy
- Susannah York in They Shoot Horses, Don't They?
5. Sylvia Miles as Cass in Midnight Cowboy
Midnight Cowboy is a simple masterpiece, wildly deserving of it's Best Picture win. Sylvia Miles' very brief appearance as a client of Joe Buck's, Cass, is a strange nomination. If anything, it's extremely over the top, and overreaction of an overreacting scene. She handles the scene with an unexpected, over-exaggerated force that is to be seen to be believed. I don't hate the performance (obviously the film helps her out) but I don't respect or appreciate it that much either.
4. Susannah York as Alice LeBlanc in They Shoot Horses, Don't They?
I try to never use the expression overrated, but here, I think it is suited; Susannah York's performance as a Hollywood actress in They Shoot Horses. She is playing a character constantly on the edge, she may not look it, but she does finally snap. That is sort of the entire performance, and while her last scene shows why the performance is so loved, the rest does quite get me up to speed. A good performance, but nothing that quite feels amazing to me.
3. Goldie Hawn as Toni Simmons in Cactus Flower
Goldie Hawn is like a ball of sunshine in Cactus Flower, playing the put upon girlfriend of Walter Matthau. Her performance is the one that feels the most authentic, showing the great ray of light that I'm assuming was meant for her character. Sure, it is not a perfect performance and it sometimes falls into the blandness of her film, but Goldie Hawn is still a nice, strong, and unforgettable presence here.
2. Dyan Cannon as Alice in Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice
Dyan Cannon is certainly a surprising wonder, playing one of the title characters Alice, she finds the perfect, funny balance between prude and surprised sexiness. Alice is perhaps the most straight laced character in the film, but also the smartest. She is shocked to learn of her friend's doings, but she's not one to totally write them off and forget them - she is interested, even though she would never do it. It is simply a magnificent performance throughout, holding my attention no matter what she was doing.
1. Catherine Burns as Rhoda in Last Summer
Tremendous doesn't even begin to describe it - Catherine Burns in Last Summer. Rhoda is the least appealing character of the film, and what Burns turns her into is cinema gold - a teen afflicted with angst, guilt, and an overall feeling of bleakness tied in with memories is amazing. I don't exactly care for the film (especially that evil Barbara Seagull Hershey) but Catherine Burns has to give one of my favorite performances ever. There is so much depth to it, it's hard to know even where to begin describing it.
Honorable Omissions: Brenda Vaccaro in "Midnight Cowboy" and Pamela Franklin in "The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie".