Blythe Danner – Brighton Beach Memoirs
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a year with 4 nominees who gave very good performances and one who completely “stole the show”.
5. Tess Harper
4. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
3. Maggie Smith
2. Piper Laurie
1. Dianne Wiest
5. A Room with a View – Moved too slowly for me and I had trouble with the way the story is being told despite it being an interesting story. The performances and production itself are excellent tho and I can understand how this film could get 8 Oscar nominations (including 3 wins for writing, art direction and costumes). The cast is great with so many well-known British actors taking part in this film. Perhaps it’s an easier film to enjoy if you have read the book it was based on.
4. Crimes of the Heart – This is a film that is a nice character study because we get to see how each of these women brought up under the same roof and with the same childhood influences deal with the various surprises that life thrown at them. The cast is superb with Keaton, Lange and Spacek all doing nice jobs as the trio of siblings. The supporting cast is also fun to watch with Shepard and Harper helping to move the story along. Harper was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in this film. The dialogue is super fast and works quite well as we learn about the lives of these women. Unfortunately tho, the story drags a bit too much and although many of the conversations between the sisters are fascinating to listen to, things meander along a bit too much which takes a lot away from the intimacy and poignancy of it all.
3. Children of a Lesser God – Matlin is amazing here and deserved her Best actress Oscar. Hurt is mediocre as usual. Interesting story but I think it would have been better if a more sincere feeling actor played Hurt’s role.
2. The Color of Money – Better than the original, but still has its moments that don’t work as well. Newman and Cruise are pretty good together. Not Newman at his best, but pretty close.
1. Hannah and Her Sisters – Allen is brilliant here and creates such vivid and realistic characters. The dialogue is superbly written and I loved the fluid interactions between the characters. As always, the cast is expertly chosen with Wiest and Caine winning Oscars for their work. Really connected with the characters and wished I could spend more time with them.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Most Definitely! DW is amazing in this role and works so well in this performance which is one of the best in her career. None of the other nominees manage to give performances that come anywhere near as powerful.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!