Monday, September 26, 2011

"Actress In A Supporting Role" 1986


And the Academy selected:
  • Tess Harper in Crimes Of The Heart
  • Piper Laurie in Children Of A Lesser God
  • Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio in The Color Of Money
  • Maggie Smith in A Room With A View
  • Dianne Wiest in Hannah and Her Sisters

My Ranking:

5. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Carmen in The Color Of Money

She has the most screentime of all the nominees this year, but easily gives the least impressive performance. Carmen is a character who stands around, looks sexy, and flirts; this is all her performance is required to do and that's all Mastrantonio commands. It is a boring, lifeless part full of moments where she tries too look like a vixen on-screen and couldn't look more embarrassing if she tried.

4. Piper Laurie as Mrs. Norman in Children Of A Lesser God

Even the finest films of the year can one link weak performance that somehow gets recognized and here's an example, Piper Laurie as Marlee Matlin's mother in Children Of A Lesser God. In what seems like 5 minutes (could be more) Laurie displays how her character wants to understand her daughter but has no idea how to do it. She's misunderstood and can't express it fully. That's the performance and the nomination never becomes as moving as it should have been.

3. Tess Harper as Chick Boyle in Crimes Of The Heart

Getting hit with a broom and putting on your pantyhose in front of people sounds like alot of fun but Tess Harper's Oscar nomination for it surely is not deserving. Chick is a loud, annoying, gossip queen who only appears for a brief time, and Harper plays her to an extreme hilt of over the top. As I have said before, broad comedy can be done right, but have yet to seen it done in the most brilliant way, and it's certainly not here.

2. Maggie Smith as Charlotte Bartlett in A Room With A View

It may be boring to no end, but Maggie Smith does give a nice impression as the chaperone in A Room With A View. Her character is interesting and Maggie could play these kinds of roles without thinking about them twice, she brings a nice touch of wit, but the role is too unimportant throughout the film for me to truly say she is the standout lady in charge. It's nice, but not much more.

1. Dianne Wiest as Holly in Hannah and Her Sisters

Dianne Wiest wins like a deserving thief in this horrible lineup as Hannah's whimsy sister Holly. She goes through change after change not finding a straight balance in her life including a stint with drugs. It's a complex character (one of Allen's best) that she handles with true ease, wonderful clarity, and brilliant precision. To say she blows away the screen is an understatement, she delivers and fulfills everything I could have imagined.

Honorable Omissions: None.


Louis Morgan said...

Wiest without question, although who she defeats in the category does not really do justice to her great performance. Smith has few moments, but is nothing special, Laurie simply is nothing special, Mastrantonio is awful, her nomination is quite baffling.

DistinguishedFlyer said...

I agree Wiest is one of the most deserving winners, and easily the top choice of this lineup.
Considering how weak the nominee list was, I wonder why they couldn't spare a slot for Cathy Tyson in Mona Lisa - she's the only person I can think of from this year that could come anywhere close to Dianne Wiest.

dinasztie said...

Dianne is one of my favorite winners ever. She might even be my favorite. :)