Did They Get it Right? – Best Actress – Oscars 1978

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Ingrid Bergman (Autumn Sonata)
Ellen Burstyn (Same Time Next Year)
Jill Clayburgh (An Unmarried Woman)
Jane Fonda (Coming Home)
Geraldine Page (Interiors)

Biggest Snub:

Olivia Newton-John – Grease

My Overall Thoughts:

This is a year with 3 amazing performances by nominees and two pretty good one which left things open throughout the award season.

My Rankings:


5. Ingrid Bergman
4. Geraldine Page
3. Jill Clayburgh
2. Ellen Burstyn
1. Jane Fonda


5. Autumn SonataAnother really boring Bergman film that is more of an allegory of life than an enjoyable dramatic story. The characters aren’t developed well enough and it’s quite difficult to care about any of them. The overall point of the story is all about reconciliation, but since the characters don’t feel fleshed out enough, it’s very easy to feel indifferent towards these characters as to whether they are able to find a way to mend their pasts or not. Ingrid Bergman was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her work in this film.
4. InteriorsAllen does an amazing job with this drama which shows the effects on family members when they realize that things are changing when the adult parents choose to split up. Excellent cast help us understand the internal and external conflicts that each of the characters face over the course of the story. Allen does a great job tackling a non-comedy and proves his range as a director. His nomination for an Oscar for Best Direction was definitely warranted even in such a powerful year.
3. An Unmarried WomanClayburgh is superb here because she can play the character so well no matter her situation and it feels so real and genuine the whole way through. The story is a great journey of self rediscovery after a major life change. Really found the characters interesting to watch because they are all written so well and was constantly curious where things would eventually lead.
2. Coming HomeExcellent anti-war film that deals with soldiers returning to their lives after seeing combat. Great performances by everyone involved. Voight and Fonda won Oscars for this movie.
1. Same Time Next YearSuch an amazing premise that works so well. Alda and Burstyn are both superb in these roles and despite the fact that they are both on screen alone the whole time, we never get bored of the characters because we get to see how they evolve over the course of the 25 years depicted. The way that they transition between the years helps us focus even more on what is transpiring in these characters lives between each of their rendezvous. The dialogue is superbly written by Slade and through the course of this story we get to know so much about the lives of these two people based solely on their conversations which are very dynamic and are constantly on the move. The two hours spent with these characters never feels as if they are enough and when the credits roll, we still want to know so much more about these characters. So glad I finally saw this in its entirety.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Pretty much!  Fonda, Burstyn and Clayburgh are all superb and any of them would have been a deserving winner but I guess Fonda’s dramatic performance was what gave her the edge over her competition.

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

One thought on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Actress – Oscars 1978

  1. Agree with your rankings. Loved Same Time Next Year (Alda got snubbed!) As for Olivia Newton-John – I had an enormous crush on her -I also walked out of GREASE. So picking her as your snubbee for the year… Nuts.


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