4.29.2007

Supporting Actress Smackdown - 1985




The Year is...


And the Smackdowners for the 58th Annual Academy Awards are...
KEN of Canadian Ken On...
&
Yours Truly,
STINKYLULU.

Seems those goddesses and muses of Actressing at the Edges
intended for the first Smackdown of the 2007 Season
to be an intimate affair...


1985's Supporting Actresses are...
(Each Smackdowner's comments are arranged according to ascending levels of love. Click on the nominee's name/film to see StinkyLulu's Supporting Actress Sunday review.)

Canadian Ken - There’s not much meat on her bones – or fat in her performance. She’s elegant. Accomplished. But never that memorable. Handed several big scenes, Avery plays with taste and restraint. Still, that lean style probably helps counteract the pervasive Spielberg sentimentality.....
StinkyLulu - Avery's performance amplifies the character's gentility at the expense of the character's crassness. Avery allows Shug to always be a preacher's daughter, but rarely does Avery's elegant performance offer even a glimpse of Shug's unrepentant side...
TOTAL: (6)


StinkyLulu - With undeniable screen charisma and an uncommon facility with language, Huston makes Maerose – a reworking of the mistreated/rebellious crime daughter – a hoot really to watch. But, while the wedding scenes are award-worthy all by themselves, the seams really show throughout the remaining two-thirds of Huston’s performance....
Canadian Ken - From her first appearance – a distraught, defiant haute couture giraffe at a mob wedding – to her final moment, bathed in the kind of light usually reserved for saints and space visitors, Huston creates a character as original as Mae West. Nicholson thinks he’s ccol. Huston really is...
TOTAL: (7)

StinkyLulu - Madigan's a tightly coiled spring, so watch out. Here, as the movie's only spark of life, she's a woman rocked to the core when her parents’s marriage dissolves. Madigan lets loose with a startling rage, a wounded animal fighting and biting back, but tramples the character’s more pensive, existential aspects...
Canadian Ken - Madigan’s got tomboy baggage. Even at her most feminine, she’s Dennis the Menace with a deeper voice. A natural for women’s prison pix. But here, trapped in domestic twaddle, she nails it. Part family cheerleader, part family shit-disturber – and the picture’s only full-blooded character...
TOTAL: (6)

Meg Tilly in Agnes of God
Canadian Ken - The bumpkin who hears Voices. Jennifer Jones made it work. Even Milla Jovovich. Tilly? No. With her wan voice and high-school drama approach, she’s just a bad version of otherwordly. In the none-too-interesting dogfight between Fonda and Bancroft, Tilly’s Agnes is just an irrelevant bone...
StinkyLulu - A half-great performance, with Tilly flailing to stay afloat in a role that’s way beyond her depth. But Tilly “gets” Agnes – exuding her essentially sweet weirdness, her fabulously beatific pieface sticking out of Agnes’s nun’s habit. A noble effort, but a spectacular failure....
TOTAL: (3)

Canadian Ken - Oprah the actress shows up here. And delivers the goods. Her aging makeup’s excellent but the effects come from deep inside. She’s genuinely wrenching during the abortive family reunion. And the silently mouthed “Thank you” to Celie – that by itself rates the nomination....
StinkyLulu - As Sofia, Winfrey both “steals” & “anchors” the film. Winfrey’s Sofia is enormous – in voice, in girth, in spirit – and to see her broken, then reborn, is marvelous. Enduring proof of Winfrey's potential as an actress....
TOTAL: (9)


Oscar awarded Anjelica Huston...
But the SMACKDOWN gives it to:
Oprah Winfrey
with a total of (9) hearts


And now some "Final Thoughts" from our intrepid SMACKDOWNERS:
Ken Sez: Didn’t love any of these pictures. Though I did cry at the end of The Color Purple. Except for Madigan, Twice in a Lifetime’s a mess. Even Gene Hackman’s dreary. And that’s unheard of! Burstyn’s soft-spoken Edith Bunker’s disappointing. But still leagues ahead of aging starlet Ann-Margret’s “I’m a pretend barmaid” act. Jane Fonda’s crisp neurotic edge keeps Agnes from blowing away like dandelion fuzz. But, you know, I’d like to have seen Jill Clayburgh at 20, 40 and 60 play all three roles. Her inspired messiness and unpredictability might have salvaged something special from the shipwreck. As for Prizzi, I don’t get William Hickey. Never have. Never will. Turner starts out strong but gets dragged down by Nicholson’s smug silliness. There are some actors on hand (John Randolph, Robert Loggia) who can do no wrong. But only Ms Huston manages to execute a striking series of droll bull’s-eyes.
StinkyLulu Sez: For me Winfrey and Huston are the only real contenders in the bunch, and Winfrey just belts it out, with Spielberg's overwrought sentiment serving the character rather than disrupting it. In contrast, Huston's performance suffers a touch from Prizzi's general problems of tone, but she does stellar work in that first scene. (I betcha that Avery and Winfrey split Color Purple votes, allowing Huston to sneak through with the win...) All told, 'twas an innersting year -- though if I ever have to watch Twice in a Lifetime or Agnes of God again, I will know I'm really paying down some karmic debt.
So, lovely reader, tell the Smackdowners what YOU think!
Join the dialogue in comments.

And voting for next month (at right) continues til late tonite...

6 comments:

newland said...

Good work, Lulu and Ken!

A very tight smackdown, it seems, but not in a good way, since most of the performances weren't loved at all. I would have chosen Winfrey as my favourite with Huston as a close second. Both are great and make a definite impression on the viewer.

I haven't seen Amy Madigan. Margaret Avery was good in Purple, but somehow I wish they had cast Tina Turner instead, as was intended. That would have been a hell of a diva, don't you think? Tilly was a mess but she was effective. Only not Oscar worthy. Not even nomination worthy, come to think of it.

By the way, I'd love to participate again next smackdown if all the fils are available down here.

Nick Davis said...

I missed being part of this but loved reading. I haven't seen The Color Purple in forever, have never seen Twice in a Lifetime, and have a scar on my brain where I once saw Agnes of God (though I remember Tilly being my favorite part). In my fuzzy memory, Margaret Avery was my pick from this lot, but that's totally unreliable at this point. The only contender I've seen recently is Huston, who I don't totally understand in a film I definitely don't understand. Three hearts for that one, maybe even two.

Alfred said...

I have to disagree with the contention that Avery and Winfrey "split" the vote, allowing Huston to win. Huston won every precursor award except the Golden Globe.

StinkyLulu said...

Understood, Alfred. It's just one yahoo's opinion. Maybe I should have said that, by splitting the votes heading toward The Color Purple, Avery and Winfrey helped to secure Huston's win. (You'll note, of course, that Avery was not among the nominees for the Golden Globe, while the other four were. So it may be that Huston won because Avery stole some votes from Meg Tilly.)

NATHANIEL R said...

weird year. i remember liking Avery a lot (even the infamous oscar campaign was awesome --too bad they don't let actors run their own campaigns anymore) but rooting for Huston to win at the time. i always thought Winfrey was nominated due to the bold color and energy of the role but maybe I should see again...

at the time in 1985 i was quite furious that molly ringwald wasn't nominated for The Breakfast Club ... but then I was rather obsessed with molly ringwald in 1985. who wasn't?

Robert said...

I was a hardcore Mieko Harada fan for 1985.