Supporting Actress Sundays: 1974
With Claudine's Tamu Blackwell failing to ride the coattails of Diahann Carroll's Best Actress nomination; Lenny's Valerie Perrine vaulting successfully to the lead category; The Great Gatsby's Karen Black losing an Oscar nomination after winning a Golden Globe; Young Frankenstein's Cloris Leachman losing the Funnywoman Slot to Kahn (who herself impresses more in Frankenstein than in Saddles); and critical darling Bibi Andersson barred from contention for the rhapsodically received Scenes from a Marriage, Oscar compounded the problem of the year's slim pickings by exercising some bizarrely poor judgment and tripping badly over its own arcane eligibility rules. I'd like to believe that 1974's two fêted offerings from the late, great Robert Altman, either the gambling dramedy California Split or the eccentric bankrobbing yarn Thieves Like Us, might have yielded some piquant possibilities, but I haven't seen them.
If you have your own ideas about how Oscar might have made less of a muck of things in 1974, or if you want to stick up for his chosen field of five, please leave a comment here or chez Stinky. Give some props to the formidable Ladd, who also lent some picante sauce to her brief moments in Chinatown that same year. Don't lose sleep over the fact that Bergman's asinine victory in this race very probably cost her the Best Actress statue that was so obviously due her for 1978's Autumn Sonata; the catch-22 to being overcompensated with Oscars is that you tend not to win them when you finally deserve them. And let's look forward to December's Supporting Actress Shindig, which you, YOU, YOU have the power to route somewhere interesting. For novelty's sake, since I've only seen two movies apiece in each of these years, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for 1966 or 1984, though if the electorate anoints either 1975 or 1993, I get to revisit this life-defining masterpiece or this one. L'embarrass du choix!
(Image © 1974 Warner Bros. Pictures, reproduced from DVDClassik)