Julia Robert – Notting Hill
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a year where there were five great performances but two of them were the leaders throughout the awards season.
5. Janet McTeer
4. Julianne Moore
3. Meryl Streep
2. Annette Bening
1. Hilary Swank
5. Tumbleweeds – Really boring and tedious film about a character who constantly feels the need to flee her lifestyle over and over. McTeer was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her performance here but her character isn’t sympathetic in the least. The film tries to look at how a carefree lifestyle like this can affect a teenager who follows her mother yet makes it even more difficult for her to try and find her place in the world. The standout in this film is Sanders but his character doesn’t have enough screen time to truly show how he can help make more of a difference in the lives if these two women. The story moves along at a very strange pace and fails to find a way for the viewer to care about the characters or the situations that they find themselves in.
4. The End of the Affair – Interesting idea that moves along much too slowly. Fiennes and Moore have very poor chemistry here that is essential for such a story. The way that the story moves around in a very non-linear fashion also hurts things a bit. Moore was deservingly nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for here work here even if she was far from being the best performance in the category. The story itself moves at a super slow pace and might have been more engaging if things had moved along more fluidly.
3. Music of the Heart – Such an inspirational story that would be hard to actually believe if it hadn’t really happened because it sounds too much like a fantasy. Streep is great in the title role and although, her character at the start doesn’t come across as the kind of teacher many students would appreciate, she evolves through the course of the film. The fact that so many of the real musicians who took part in this film’s story agree to play themselves in the film says so much about how important of a story this film tells. Many of the scenes in the film reminded me of one of my favorite films about teachers which also happens to be about one who teaches music; Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995).
2. Boys Don’t Cry – Excellent performances by Swank, Sevigny and Sarsgaard. Not an easy film to watch even if you know the true story, but still worth while.
1. American Beauty – Amazing movie about getting the most out of life and not getting bogged down by it. Great performances all around especially by Cooper and Spacey!
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Absolutely! HS is superb in this role and definitely gave the most powerful performance of the nominees even if AB was right on her heels.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!