Did They Get it Right? – Best Actress – Oscars 1985

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Anne Bancroft (Agnes of God)
Whoopi Goldberg (The Color Purple)
Jessica Lange (Sweet Dreams)
Geraldine Page (The Trip to Bountiful)
Meryl Streep (Out of Africa)

Biggest Snub:

Sally Field – Murphy’s Romance

My Overall Thoughts:

This is a year with 4 very deserving nominees in this category where any of them would have been able to win even though one was much more powerful and poignant than the rest.

My Rankings:


5. Anne Bancroft
4. Jessica Lange
3. Meryl Streep
2. Geraldine Page
1. Whoopi Goldberg


5. Agnes of GodDidn’t like the storyline very much, had higher hopes for this mediocre movie.
4. Sweet DreamsGreat biopic that works really well due to the spectacular performance by Lange in the title role. She does a wonderful job portraying the singer and we get a clear idea of how she rose so fast to top. Her rocky relationship with her husband is also shown here and we get to see the way her personal and professional life were entwined throughout her rise to stardom. The supporting cast is also great. Harris stands out among them all, but it was also great to see Goodman in a small yet significant role. Lange was deserving nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in this film.
3. The Trip to BountifulInteresting story that works largely due to Page’s performance and a very nostalgic kind of storyline. The film moves pretty slowly, but the excellent dialogue makes it worthwhile to watch unfold as we slowly get a better understanding of the reasons behind everything that is happening. Page does a wonderful job with the lead role and it’s not surprising that she won an Oscar for Best Actress for this role which is both heartwarming and humorous at the same time. I’m sure that this story plays out well as a stage play, but adapting it to the screen add another layer that helps keep it even more interesting from start to finish.
2. Out of AfricaEpicly done. Well deserving of the Best Picture. Parts are very slow, but done well.
1. The Color PurpleGreat film that comes across quite tame given the subject matter. I think that might have to do with the fact of when and by whom it was made. Spielberg is an amazing director, but I’m not sure he was ready for such serious subject matter. Goldberg is superb in the lead and should have won the Oscar over Page. Her Oscar for Ghost (1990) probably was an attempt to fix past errors. The story is very brutal and even at 2 and half hours, this film feels too short and could have explored things even more in depth. Holds the record (tied with The Turning Point (1977)) for the film with the most Oscar nominations with no wins (11).

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes and No!  GP was a deserving winner here but WG did a much better and would have been an even more deserving winner.

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

One thought on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Actress – Oscars 1985

  1. Interesting assessment here. Don’t really disagree with most of it and I would echo your remarks about Jessica Lange in Sweet Dreams. I thought she was letter perfect as Patsy Cline. Heartbreaking and superb. Would’ve been a tough vote for me between her and Whoopi, but bottom line – I would’ve voted for either of them ahead of Geraldine Page. She was the veteran in the group and a multi-nominated actress prior to this win. Might’ve been a bit of a factor.


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