Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)
Meryl Streep (The Bridges of Madison County)
Joan Allen – Nixon
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a year with 5 great actresses being nominated in the category but 3 of them easily surpass the other two with much more powerful and poignant performances.
5. Meryl Streep
4. Elisabeth Shue
3. Sharon Stone
2. Susan Sarandon
1. Emma Thompson
5. Leaving Las Vegas – Pointless story about two lost souls who don’t even try to help one another. Don’t know why Cage won an Oscar for playing this character. Even Shue, the best Babysitter any kid could want couldn’t help here.
4. The Bridges of Madison County – Really boring film despite the fact that two great actors play the main roles. There is no chemistry between the characters and it’s really hard to believe their “fling”. The story meanders along at an excruciating pace and it’s hard to not have your mind wander as things (don’t) move along. This is probably so much better on paper than on the screen because in that medium its easier to understand the character’s motivations more clearly. This story actually has a great message but unfortunately getting to that point isn’t an easy task.
3. Casino – There are plenty of better Mafia movies out there. Go see them before you waste 3 hours on this one.
2. Dead Man Walking – Both Sarandon and Penn are superb here and Sarandon deservingly won Best Actress at the Oscars for this performance. The story isn’t an easy one to digest yet they manage to try and make us understand the various viewpoints when it comes to the issue of capital punishment. We get an intimate look as the final days of a convicted man who must decide whether to bear his heart to a clergy(wo)man while trying to discover what he himself truly believes. Robbins does a great job directing this film in a way that we feel as if we are in the room with these characters at the most intimate moments possible.
1. Sense and Sensibility – Expertly made period piece that feels more modern than one would expect. Amazing cast helps bring this story to life. Takes a little while to get familiar with the customs of the day, but is done in a way that it feels like a timeless romance movie.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes and No! SS is great in DMW but ET was even better in S&S but I can understand why Sarandon was able to overtake her to win.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!