Did They Get it Right? – Best Actress – Oscars 1984

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Judy Davis (A Passage to India)
Sally Field (Places in the Heart)
Jessica Lange (Country)
Vanessa Redgrave (The Bostonians)
Sissy Spacek (The River)

Biggest Snub:

Lily Tomlin – All of Me

My Overall Thoughts:

This is another year with 5 great actresses being nominated, but unfortunately their performances aren’t very powerful. The fact that three of them play similar roles actually helped because one is slightly better than the rest.

My Rankings:


5. Vanessa Redgrave
4. Judy Davis
3. Sissy Spacek
2. Jessica Lange
1. Sally Field


5. The BostoniansAnother really boring and tedious period drama that moves at a snails pace. This film has an amazing cast, but the interactions between the characters just doesn’t work and it’s so difficult to watch this since the story doesn’t feel focused enough. Redgrave was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her work here and that might be largely for the very ambiguous way that she plays this character. The story drags on too much and takes far too long to try and get to the main story which in itself isn’t engaging enough at all.
4. CountryIntriguing premise that probably worked much better when it came out. Lange and Shepard are both quite good here but the story meanders along too slowly. They do a nice job showing the various hardships that farmers had to deal with during an economic down and this can be seen as a film that tries to show things as they are. The story is very one sided which helps the characters gain lots of sympathy. Lange was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for this role and plays the mother trying to hold her family together in spite of the various difficulties they face.
3. The RiverInteresting idea that is presented well. Spacek is great in the lead, but she is ill-paired with Gibson who doesn’t manage to come across as a realistic enough farmer. Spacek was deservingly nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her work here and the scene with the tractor and the cow show how much work she put into this role. The story itself was probably much more poignant when this was made 35 years ago, but it still works most of the way through. The way that the “system” tries to pit farmer against farmer is shown in a genuine fashion which helps make this film even more enjoyable.
2. Places in the HeartField gives an amazingly strong performance here and keeps this film together. Her Oscar for Best Actress here was very well deserved. The rest of the cast helps, but would be lost without the role played by Field. Uplifting message about survival and perseverance in difficult times. The characters are all quite diverse but learn to work together when they find a common goal.
1. A Passage to IndiaNot as good as I’d hoped, but definitely Epically done by Lean. Second half is stronger than the first half.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yep!  In this years crop, SF gives the best performance even though none of the roles these nominees perform are superb.

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

Let me Know what you think!!

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