Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actress – Oscars 1988

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Joan Cusack (Working Girl)
Geena Davis (The Accidental Tourist)
Frances McDormand (Mississippi Burning)
Michelle Pfeiffer (Dangerous Liaisons)
Sigourney Weaver (Working Girl)

Biggest Snub:

Jodie Foster – Stealing Home

My Overall Thoughts:

This is a year with four very strong nominees among the 5 and any of them could make a case for winning with their performances.

My Rankings:

Supporting Actress

5. Joan Cusack
4. Michelle Pfeiffer
3. Frances McDormand
2. Geena Davis
1. Sigourney Weaver


4. The Accidental TouristYet another film that baffles me that it was nominated for Best Picture. Hurt was very overrated an actor in the 80’s and his performance here is very low-key. Davis deservingly won an Oscar for her role as a free spirit trying to connect with Hurt’s lead character. Nice supporting cast helps this film a bit, but overall it’s a downer and comes off as very average instead of groundbreaking.
3. Dangerous LiaisonsSuch a great film because the two main characters are so good at being able to do excessive scheming and manipulating to get what they want all for the fun of it. The cast is superb and Malkovich, Close and Pfieffer all shine here. I would love to have seen Rickman’s performance of the main role (see Trivia below) just to get a comparison. The story seems a bit timeless yet is perfectly placed in the days after the French Revolution. The story works really well and there is always a bit of mystery and danger in the games they play since they are quite often close to getting caught. Unfortunately parts of the story move along a bit too slowly which slightly takes away from making this film excellent.
2. Working GirlVery good movie about climbing the corporate ladder but trying to keep your integrity intact. All three leads are great despite all of them not normally fitting in with these kind of roles. Has some great scenes that are extremely funny because it shows how 80’s this all was. Excellent music by Carly Simon that was able to even win the Oscar for Best Song.
1. Mississippi BurningHackman and Dafoe work so well together because their characters are so different and use different methods to accomplish their goals. The story is quite compelling and thrilling and they easily keep us interested for the entire runtime of the film. The issues dealt with here are quite impactful and so much is said by the way they tell the story. They show us a great perspective on how it is possible that racism still existed in the South a century following emancipation.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes and No!  GD is great in TAT, but SW was even better in WG, unfortunately, se probably split her votes with JC who was fine, but probably shouldn’t have even gotten a nomination.

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

2 thoughts on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actress – Oscars 1988

  1. Not sure I agree that Cusack didn’t deserve a nomination, but she and Weaver made have indeed split some votes. Fact is – Sigourney was also nominated for Best Actress that year (for “Gorillas in the Mist”) and I think became the first actor ever to be nominated in both Lead and Supporting Actor categories in the same year – NOT to win one of the awards. This was a tough group. Pfeiffer was heartbreaking (and I sat next to her in a little restaurant in Santa Monica, CA a few days after the Oscars, and the owners of the place gave her a small vase to take home – in lieu of the lost Oscar. Not the same, but she seemed touched. McDormand was excellent as the abused Klan wife in Mississippi Burning. I think it was the first time I’d seen her in anything – and her performance left an indelible mark on me. I can still picture her in scenes with Gene Hackman. Wasn’t a big Accidental Tourist fan, so Davis’ role didn’t leave much of an impression.


  2. BTW – re: Working Girl – before Melanie Griffth got the lead role (and landed her one and only Oscar nomination) – the role was offered by director Mike Nichols to Cher, Goldie Hawn and Shelley Long – all of whom passed.


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