Emma Thompson (The Remains of the Day)
Juliette Binoche – Three Colors: Blue
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a year with 5 very strong nominees, but one of them gives an extremely powerful performance that requires no verbalization and that help make her the front runner throughout the awards season.
5. Stockard Channing
4. Angela Bassett
3. Debra Winger
2. Emma Thompson
1. Holly Hunter
5. What’s Love Got to Do with It – Movie which chronicles a great arc for its character yet overall seems quite lackluster along the way. Bassett is amazing as Turner and Fishburne does a very nice and disturbing job as Ike. Both deserved their Oscar nominations for these roles yet neither was anywhere near the best of the nominees. The music is great and shows the musical progression of these talented musicians quite well. Not an easy film to watch due to its portrayal of spousal abuse.
4. The Piano – Great premise that moves along at an extremely slow pace which hurts its impact. The cast is great with Hunter, Neill, Kietel and Paquin all giving great performances. Nominated for 8 Oscars that year and managed to win 3 of them for Actress (Hunter), Supporting Actress (Paquin) and Original Screenplay, but it had no chance in the rest of its categories since it was up against Schindler’s List (1993) which plowed through it’s awards that year.
3. Six Degrees of Separation – Very intriguing story about how the various social classes can meet on terms that seem a bit strange. The cast is superb with Channing, Sutherland and Smith all giving amazing performances because they each feel so genuine and authentic in all that they say and do. Channing was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her work in this film even though she isn’t the standout among the three main cast. Smith obviously stands out the most in this film largely due to the fact that he plays a character very different from any that he had played prior to making this and ever since. The story is moved along so well by the dialogue which helps keep thing very captivating because it is essential a story being told about events that already occurred. I am actually quite interested in seeing how such a story could actually play out on stage since this originated as a stage play. The irony that when this film came out 26 years ago, people were much less familiar with the term of the title than they are now which means that viewers can now have a better comprehension of the film’s premise right from the start with =out the need for the characters to explain it to them half way through the story. This is a film about connections between people both who are close and who are far and they do a nice job dealing with that idea.
2. The Remains of the Day – Gives a great perspective on the life of politicians during the 30’s. The fly on the wall aspect of this story gives us so much to ponder. The way that the main character serves his employer and his profession is exemplary yet we get to see that later in life, he might regrets many of his choices since he held duty above all, even his own desires, opinions and wishes. Hopkins and Thompson are both superb here in the leads and they are helped along by an equally amazing supporting cast.
1. Shadowlands – Hopkins and Winger are both superb here and make us believe the friendship between the two of their characters because they have such great chemistry together. Shows how life can be completely changed by small decisions made along the way in life. The way that the life of University Professors are depicted shows how Lewis’ life could be so vastly changed when he meets a woman who can alter his own perspective on life. Very moving and touching film.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Absolutely! HH is superb in this role and shows that even without speech, a character can say so much.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!