Thursday, September 8, 2011

"Actress In A Supporting Role" 1990


And the Academy selected:
  • Annette Bening in The Grifters
  • Lorraine Bracco in Goodfellas
  • Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost
  • Diane Ladd in Wild At Heart
  • Mary McDonnell in Dances With Wolves

My Ranking:

5. Diane Ladd as Marietta Fortune in Wild At Heart

Diane Ladd eats the camera in her performance as Marietta Fortune, the epitome of a Southern woman in Wild At Heart. It's not to say it's anywhere near good, because eating the screen is never a good thing. Her performance is a portrait of every cliche you can imagine about a Southern woman, and it's not good. Some may find the campiness of it as a great accomplishment but I am not one to fall that easily.

4. Mary McDonnell as Stands With A Fist in Dances With Wolves

It's a performance just as ridiculous as the one before - Mary McDonnell's performance as Stands With A Fist, a white woman hanging around with the Sioux. She's stuck with an awful part, and not many actresses could come out looking good. Still, you can't forgive the awfulness that is McDonnell here. She relishes in the blandness of the part of her movie, showing how a wild woman can suddenly become more intelligent by the touch of Kevin Costner. It's nothing more then his ego run amok and her performance can't escape that.

3. Annette Bening as Myra in The Grifters

The Grifters is a movie I sort of hate, but Annette Bening's performance as Myra is a little different. She manages to fill the character with the right amount of mysteriousness to keep it going until the very end. The movie almost depends on her to 'move' the story along and we assume she is the smartest person in the film, at least I did. She is sexy, witty, and the right kind of devious charmer to be very good in the role. It's still doesn't manage to amaze me, but it's still a good performance nonetheless...and easily the best in the film.

2. Whoopi Goldberg as Oda Mae Brown in Ghost

Whoopi Goldberg's performance as fake medium Oda Mae Brown is often looked at as one of the popular Oscar winners ever, and I would certainly agree with that. She verges on iconic during most of the movie, and her comedy is first rate. I agree with the sentiments that there is not much to the actual performance, she is only here for laughs and she does exaggerate, but she does it so wonderfully. Ghost needed more of her and Oscar win is proof that sometimes the Academy likes to go the good kind of crazy.

1. Lorraine Bracco as Karen Hill in Goodfellas

Goodfellas is one of very few films that I've seen countless numbers of times and still holds a punch for me. Joe Pesci and Lorraine Bracco's performance as Henry Hill's smart-mouthed, but well-intended wife Karen, are perfect supporting performances. Bracco brilliantly shows the arc of a woman who falls for the wrong guy, manages to stay in 'good' form for the majority of the film, and in the end falls into slimy crime like everyone else. It's a magnificent performance from start to finish, from her snot nosed comments about being good in the beginning and her need of a fix in the end, she's brilliant.

Honorable Omissions: Glenn Close in "Reversal Of Fortune".


DistinguishedFlyer said...

Agree completely - I'd probably switch the bottom two around simply because I found Ladd less dull than McDonnell, but otherwise I agree on the order too. This was a pretty poor year so Bracco really wins by default.
The Academy normally loved to nominate Glenn Close so it's a bit of a puzzle that they didn't this time, especially in such a great part.

joe burns said...

I'm surprised, I thought Whoopi would retain her win. Anyways, Bracco is fantastic, so no arguements, although I personally hated Benning, and liked The Grifters more, though I didn't love it.

Louis Morgan said...

I have not seen Ladd who seems to be quite the divisive performance. McDonnell does a great job matching Costner's dullness. I think Goldberg is fine, although I have never been crazy about her. Bracco is easily my win, and I agree with everything you say about her. I also agree about Close who is great in Reversal of Fortune.

dinasztie said...

Yay for Bracco! She's brilliant. Whoopi is very close to her but Lorraine is so brilliant! I had no big problems with McDonnell and Bening, I haven't seen Ladd.

I think great Glenn is leading in Reversal of Fortune but it's nice you mention her.

Do you like The Sopranos and Lorraine in it?

Sage Slowdive said...

Never seen it. And Bracco is a very one note actress in most things I've seen her in, almost like she is trying to relive this performance.

dinasztie said...

The Sopranos is MINDBLOWING! YOu should see that. She's brilliant there. Everything is great about that series. :)

Have you seen The Help? I think Viola Davis was brilliant.

dinasztie said...

BTW this is quite random but I remember that once you said that Six Feet Under was one of your favorite shows. But you also said you hated Alan Ball. Do you like that series now?

Sage Slowdive said...

Yes, love Six Feet Under, especially the first and second seasons. Alan Ball is as limited as they come...

dinasztie said...

I only watched the pilot yesterday but it was just great. Not Sopranos great but fantastic anyhow.