Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actress – Oscars 1978

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Dyan Cannon (Heaven Can Wait)
Penelope Milford (Coming Home)
Maggie Smith (California Suite)
Maureen Stapleton (Interiors)
Meryl Streep (The Deer Hunter)

Biggest Snub:

Angela Landsbury – Death on the Nile

My Overall Thoughts:

This is a year with 5 very powerful performances where any of them could have taken home gold for their work in these roles.

My Rankings:

Supporting Actress

5. Penelope Milford
4. Maureen Stapleton
3. Dyan Cannon
2. Meryl Streep
1. Maggie Smith


5. InteriorsAllen does an amazing job with this drama which shows the effects on family members when they realize that things are changing when the adult parents choose to split up. Excellent cast help us understand the internal and external conflicts that each of the characters face over the course of the story. Allen does a great job tackling a non-comedy and proves his range as a director. His nomination for an Oscar for Best Direction was definitely warranted even in such a powerful year.
4. California SuiteFilm with four fun and distinct storylines that have only a slight connection and work quite well. Excellent cast helps keep things interesting as we get to see how each of these various situations get slowly out of control. I understand why they edit the stories together but it slightly takes away from things because one constantly expects a stronger connection between them besides the fact that they all take place at the same hotel. The Matthau segment is the best because it includes so much slapstick that is hilariously done. The Cosby/Pryor segment is the most annoying of the four because it takes things too far to the extreme. The other two segments are both interesting perspectives on relationships and are done well, but despite great actors playing the roles, something still feels missing. Smith won an Oscar for her portrayal of an Oscar nominee in this film which is a first.
3. Heaven Can WaitBeatty and Henry wrote a superb modern adaptation of Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) that is funnier and even more poignant than the original.  Excellent cast keeps this funny yet interesting. Loved the chemistry between Beatty and Christie but the best relationship actually is between Beattty and Warden.  Such a fun premise gets done right here.
2. Coming HomeExcellent anti-war film that deals with soldiers returning to their lives after seeing combat. Great performances by everyone involved. Voight and Fonda won Oscars for this movie.
1. The Deer HunterVery well made movie, but be warned that it’s very powerful.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yep!  This was a very competitive year since all 5 performances are great, but Smith does an amazing job and was a deserving winner.

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

2 thoughts on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actress – Oscars 1978

  1. Another impressive group across the board. Streep – in an early role – showing what she would become – the most nominated actress in Academy history – but to go up against Dame Maggie (with Neil Simon dialogue) is to take one’s life in one’s hands

    Liked by 1 person

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