Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actress – Oscars 1990

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Annette Bening (The Grifters)
Lorraine Bracco (Goodfellas)
Whoopi Goldberg (Ghost)
Mary McDonnell (Dances with Wolves)
Diane Ladd (Wild at Heart)

Biggest Snub:

Shirley McClaine – Postcards From the Edge

My Overall Thoughts:

This is a year where there was a clear front runner during the awards season where a comedic actress was able to show that she had the ability and talent to play a very powerful (and funny) role.

My Rankings:

Supporting Actress

5. Diane Ladd
4. Annette Bening
3. Lorraine Bracco
2. Mary McDonnell
1. Whoopi Goldberg


5. Wild at HeartAnother crazy Lynch film that is much too abstract for my taste. Things are just really weird and the characters fail to find an anchor that would make them worthwhile to care about. Talented cast that are mostly use to being a part of crazy films like this even if things remain too esoteric and existential for the viewer to really care about what happens to these characters along the way. Ladd was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her work on this film yet failed to win.
4. The GriftersVery dark thriller that doesn’t work as well as it could since the characters aren’t as likeable as one would expect from con artists. The cast is great and Cusack, Bening and Huston all do nice jobs with these characters as we learn to be as suspicious as they are about everything around them. The story moves in some very strange directions and doesn’t manage to thrill as much as this kind of story possibly has the potential to do. The twists and turns are interesting even if they probably don’t work as well upon repeated viewings.
3. Ghost Probably Swayze best film because he fits so well as the male lead here. Moore is amazing as the grieving girlfriend who doesn’t know what to really believe. Goldberg was amazingly cast as the charlatan turned real clairvoyant who adds a mix of humor to the very tense and dramatic situations shown here. Truly a love story that spans the dimensions of time and space and shows how deep a love can really be.
2. GoodfellasExcellent look at the life of mobsters in New York in the 70’s. Scorsese does an amazing job getting us to love these characters despite everything they do. In some ways, its easy to see that this is a continuation of Coppola’s Godfather series to show the ‘modern’ effects of the mob on society. Works really well as a biopic despite the fact that we’ll never really know how much is true. Amazing cast led by little known Liotta. One of Scorsese’s best films to date because of the realism and strong characters.
1. Dances with WolvesExcellent movie. Worthy of all it’s awards. By far, Costner’s best movie.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Most Definitely!  WG is superb in her role in Ghost and was extremely deserving of winning for this role since she was clearly much better than any of the other nominees

Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!

One thought on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actress – Oscars 1990

  1. First of all – the Grifters doesn’t work as well as it should because the con artists aren’t “as likeable as one would expect”? What does that even mean? Since when are con artists “likeable”? (other than in The Sting maybe) Plus – in this particular movie – they are ALL a nasty bunch – preying on one another (included a mother who steals from her own son…) I thought the movie was great. And coincidentally – just watched it again over the weekend. As for Whoopi – her over the top, scenery chewing role in GHOST was (IMO) merely Whoopi being Whoopi and playing the part as written. Nothing particularly nuanced or original in any phase of her performance. Other than Diane Ladd – I thought every one of the other nominees in this category gave a better performance. Bracco was a stand out in a movie chockablock with fantastic performances. McDonnell was excellent in Dances With Wolves – speaking English and her Native American language and going from damaged and suicidal to in love. And Bening (in what was the first role I remember seeing her in) – was sexy and diabolical and homicidal as her grifter. I’ve seen Ghost many times – and I have never been able to figure out why Whoopi won. I’m sure her personal popularity amongst the Academy members (and the actors branch) went a long way to putting her into the EGOT winners group.

    Liked by 1 person

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