Joan Allen – Pleasantville
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a year where there wasn’t a clear consensus as to which of these deserving women were the most worthy of taking home gold since none of them were able to dominate throughout the Award’s season and there was the clear front runner among the nominees.
5. Brenda Blethyn
4. Rachel Griffiths
3. Lynn Redgrave
2. Kathy Bates
1. Judi Dench
5. Little Voice – Very strange film that doesn’t manage to give us even more than it does making things feel missing. The very talented cast is completely wasted here. Caine, Blethyn and Broadbent all play very sleazy characters that don’t manage to give us any reason to care about what they do. Blethyn was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her performance here and I can sorta understand why even though it is far from being as emotional and enjoyable as her preview Oscar nomination for Secrets & Lies (1996). The music of the film is ok, but the fact that it all feels too much as if things are under duress takes so much away from the perception that we should be enjoying things. The chemistry between McGregor and Horrocks is tender yet feels underdeveloped.
4. Hilary and Jackie – Very uneven film that has great performances yet the story itself seems to drag along too much. Griffiths and Watson were both deserving of their Oscar nominations for these performances yet something is lost along the way. The idea to show parts of the story from the two very diverse perspectives of the sisters is a wise choice since it gives us more insight into why they chose to do certain things along the way. Not really sure how much of this story is really true, but they still manage to show the complexities of a life of fame even for a classical musician.
3. Primary Colors – Great movie that even now shows how and why Clinton was eventually elected. Travolta is superb as a Clinton-like candidate. Great supporting cast helps keep this believable. Bates is the standout here because her character is all over the place and it’s not surprising that she was nominated for an Oscar for this role. Reminds everyone what politicians really are and what their goals are.
2. Gods and Monsters – This is an amazing biopic because it explores the mind of the main character as he reflects on his life and debates how he wants to be remembered. This story takes place at a time when most people knew the truth about what really happened in Hollywood yet kept it all as secret as possible. McKellen and Fraser are both great here as two unlikely friends who find a way to form a connection when they both need it the most. The dialogue is superb and we get a real feeling that these characters are lost souls who are trying to understand how and why they got to where they have and more importantly, are they where they wish to really be. Condon deservingly won a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for this film’s script.
1. Shakespeare in Love – Great movie, Well done, expertly written and acted. Those who are fans of The Bard’s works, will enjoy themselves a lot.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Not question about it! JD gives such an amazing performance here and was so much more powerful than the rest of the nominees even if she wasn’t able to dominate during the rest of the Awards Season with both KB and VR pick up major wins along the way from SAG and the GG Awards.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!