Tuesday, September 6, 2011

"Actress In A Supporting Role" 1988


And the Academy selected:
  • Joan Cusack in Working Girl
  • Geena Davis in The Accidental Tourist
  • Frances McDormand in Mississippi Burning
  • Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous Liaisons
  • Sigourney Weaver in Working Girl

My Ranking:

5. Joan Cusack as Cyn in Working Girl

Doing something with nothing is one thing, being barely noticeable is another. Joan Cusack's bitsize performance is one that denies both. She is noticeable in the film, almost looking like a clown throughout the film, but she does nothing with the role. Her wise-cracking, 'I know everything' attitude gets annoying quickly and by the time she becomes noticeable again, she is gone. Her one liners aren't gold, and neither is she.

4. Frances McDormand as Mrs. Pell in Mississippi Burning

In a cliched part, Frances McDormand manages to be incredibly boring as Mrs. Pell a nice, kind, and understanding wife of a racist cop. She brings her usual awkwardness to the part and when it comes to being touching, she fails miserably. She has even less to do on-screen, throwing herself at the camera whenever she's in the same room. It's a pretty terrible performance that has McDormand written all over it.

3. Sigourney Weaver as Katherine Parker in Working Girl

Sigourney Weaver's performance as the arrogant, extravagant, and fabulous Katherine Parker is an interesting creation. She fills the screen with an overwhelming sense of superiority and usually this is the kind of performance that has me immediately interested, but not this time. She doesn't give a bad performance or even a mediocre one, but it's one that personally impresses me. She has the right amount of charm to pull herself through the film, but it's not the kind of charm that makes me love a character. Still, a nice achievement.

2. Michelle Pfeiffer as Madame Marie de Tourvel in Dangerous Liaisons

I love La Pfeiffer - she manages to be a beauty with a wave of talent that can outlive any film, bad or good. Here she plays Madame Marie de Tourvel, a woman who is known for her outstanding moral decency. In short, she is the only main character with any kind of morals and unknown to her, she is soon to be the prize of two filthy aristocrats. Pfeiffer manages to beautifully convey all of the emotions of her characters without missing a beat. It's a terrific performance and she manages to be the best in the film, no matter how morally responsive her performance is.

1. Geena Davis as Muriel Pritchett in The Accidental Tourist

Say what you want about the movie version, but The Accidental Tourist is a great story and the book is brilliantly written (I personally love the movie too). Geena Davis' performance as Muriel Pritchett, is the startling, bright colored spark that comes into William Hurt's dreadful life. She is funny, heartwarming, and the right kind of light in this dark tale. Part stalker, part desperate clown, and part romantic charmer, Geena Davis hits every note with wonderful precision. It's a memorable, exciting, and brilliant performance.

Honorable Omissions: None.


joe burns said...

I disagree, I find Michelle underwheming, and I don't really like Cusack or Weaver: Their fine, but they don't do anything that special. I need to see Davis in it's entireity.

My pick is McDormand! I think she does a terrific job n the film!

dinasztie said...

Oh. Well, Geena Davis must be the type of performance that grows with each viewing. However, I saw it only once so... I'm not that fond of her. She's kind of dreary and over-the-top at the same time. Strange combination that didn't work with me.

I would go with Siggy, probably. I loved her bitchiness and such. Pfeiffer is excellent but the others are pretty forgettable.

Oh, 1990 is next, I can't wait, I hope I don't have to wait much. I hope you go with Lorraine Bracco! :D

Louis Morgan said...

I severely need to rewatch most of the performances, particularly Davis who I recall liking. I basically agree about McDormand, although I guess I disliked her less.

Derek Bowman said...

Maybe it's my diehard Sigourney loyalty, but I really don't like Geena Davis' performance. The movie is terrible, and she is completely strange and creepy in the worst way possible. I don't really see her getting any better upon a rewatch, but I'll give her a fair shot when I get to 1988. =)

SigSig on the other hand is so deliciously evil yet charismatic at the same time. Probably her worst nominated performance, but still a great achievement.

dinasztie said...

I want to ask you Sage: do you like Siggy Weaver? :)

Malcolm said...

The line up was fine for me, I guess.

1. Weaver - deliciously fantastic
2. Pfieffer - tragically affecting
3. Cusack - humanely hilarious
4. Davis - somewhat lacking but unusually irresistible
5. McDormand - very limited but Isaw the effort

I would have replaced McDormand with Mercedes Ruehl in Married to the Mob or Amy Wright in The Accidental Tourist. :)

Sage Slowdive said...

Not really...

Amy Wright would have been a worthy nominee.

DistinguishedFlyer said...

McDormand for me - the sequences with her & Gene Hackman are superb - but Davis is very good too. My only complaint is that the role was a little too self-consciously odd, and Davis herself frequently seemed aware of it (especially in the looks she sometimes gave to Hurt right after she'd said something to him).

hey deanie said...

Joan Cusack is my winner here, hands down.

Sage Slowdive said...

Care to explain why?