Sunday, May 31, 2009

Supporting Actress Smackdown 1992

Just look at how perturbed the normally wan Ruth Wilcox has become upon learning that she did not win StinkyLulu's Supporting Actress Smackdown for 1992. I totally feel her; though either a Redgrave or a Davis win would easily have ranked among my all-time favorites in the category, I'm especially awestruck by how much Redgrave achieves, implies, and obfuscates in a short run of extremely delicate scenes. She gets how much the audience should and shouldn't know about Ruth, and she's poignant, gorgeous, gratuitous, and a little creepy. All the more remarkable if you know that she was filming in stretches of just a few days apiece while flying back and forth to the Middle East to protest the first Gulf War. One suspects Joan Plowright was not doing the same on days when the Enchanted April call sheet was all Josie or all Miranda.

I had really hoped to participate in this month's Smackdown (as had Nathaniel, apparently), so here's a public apology to Stinky. Admittedly, the recent rules about heart distribution would have felled me. Judy (more here) and Vanessa (more here and here) would both have demanded five from me, and I'm kind of a two-hearter on all of the other three performances, though I haven't seen Damage or April in a while. I started rewatching Damage a while ago as preparation for this exercise, but the lugubrious pacing and direction and all-time-worst use of Juliette Binoche (by Malle, by the stylist, and by Binoche herself) quickly started doing me in.

In terms of my own preferences, according to Oscar years of eligibility, my list would probably go Davis, her castmate Juliette Lewis, Rosie Perez in White Men Can't Jump, Redgrave, and Richardson in The Crying Game, with a possible sub-in of Kaycee Moore in Daughters of the Dust. Pfeiffer's great in Batman Returns, but I remember her as a lead. Plus, there's tons of important work from '92 that I haven't seen or not in a while, so take these suggestions with a half-grain of salt. Except the endorsements of Judy and Vanessa: they're indelible.

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Blogger tim r said...

I missed the boat on this too, but I've commented. I reckon you'd flip for McDonnell in Sneakers, if you've never seen it.

7:34 PM, May 31, 2009  
Blogger jakey said...

I love that you mentioned Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns. I was so peeved that when they discused it on Inside the Actors Studio, they only talked about her costume! Because of the comic book nature of the film (16 years before The Dark Knight), people so quickly forget how layered her performance really was.

8:20 PM, May 31, 2009  
Blogger Sam Brooks said...

No mention of Tomei's performance here, I see! Not a fan, Nick?

9:09 PM, May 31, 2009  

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