Mary McDonnell (Passion Fish)
Michelle Pfeiffer (Love Field)
Emma Thompson (Howards End)
Sharon Stone – Basic Instinct
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a year with 4 very powerful nominees and one very good one. All of them have merits going for them and any could have taken home Gold for their work.
5. Michelle Pfeiffer
4. Catherine Deneuve
3. Mary McDonnell
2. Susan Sarandon
1. Emma Thompson
5. Love Field – Great premise but just isn’t as powerful as a story like this should be Pfeiffer is quite good here, but she feels limited by the script which tries to be too tame for its own good. This film deals with issues of racism at a time when things were just beginning to change and the different characters attitudes towards those changes are apparent as the story moves along. Haysbert who was largely unknown at that point does a fine job but again, the script limits the characters too much.
4. Passion Fish – Interesting idea that shows McDonnell’s budding star power in the lead, but overall feels a bit unsatisfying. The two main characters are both developed quite well and it’s interesting to see how their friendship blooms over the course of the film but something constantly feel out of place with the storyline that takes away from enjoying it even more. McDonnell deservingly was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for this role because it is such a challenging one. Part of the story meanders along too much and it would have been even better if it was a bit shorter.
3. Howards End – Great analogy of how the British class structure worked a hundred years ago. Excellent cast led by Hopkins and Thompson. Thompson deservingly won an Oscar for Best Actress for this interesting role. Probably easier to comprehend in book form than visually on screen, but still enjoyable.
2. Indochine – Interesting epic film that tries to explain how the country of Vietnam became such a volatile place through the history of occupation that it suffered for years before its independence. Denueve does a wonderful job in the lead role and manages to slowly change during the many years that this film is set in. She was deservingly nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her work in this film yet didn’t manage to win. The story flows quite well and touches upon numerous smaller threads that all eventually come together in order to show the various opinions of those affected by all that happens in the country at that time. This film in some ways is a time capsule about the years where the people of Indochine were seeking their independence from French occupation. Definitely can understand how this film could win an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
1. Lorenzo’s Oil – Great story that show how strength and perseverance can lead to changes in life. This is such a powerful human story that works on so many levels. Unfortunately the explanation of the science often gets too technical and its easy to get lost when dealing with those aspects of the story. Nolte and Sarandon are both superb in this film and show how talented they both are.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yep! ET is superb in HE and is slightly better then the rest of these very powerful nominees
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!