Best Actress – 1976

Official Nominations: Faye Dunaway. Marie Christine Barrault. Talia Shire. Sissy Spacek. Liv Ullmann.

I love and hate this category this year. There are at least three people I’d love to pick or can see winning officially. Faye Dunaway finally got her win this year, starring in Network as a clinical ratings whore, someone who will do and allow anything as long as it gets people watching. Dunaway heightens the satirical tone of the role, but it’s a powerful, convincing, and alarmingly accurate depiction of what we now see as commonplace in big business, and especially entertainment and media. Talia Shire stars as the mousy Adrian, the pet store worker who steals Rocky Balboa’s heart – her growth from extremely shy to coming out of her shell, while not extraordinary, is done with such honesty, heart, and conviction that you can’t help be swept up in it. The third front runner is Sissy Spacek as the shy, bullied Carrie White – mocked by her classmates, hounded and caged by her territorial zealot mother, she snaps and wipes out her entire school thanks to her telekinetic powers – you know the drill. Any of these three are deserving winners.

Marie Christine Barrault is more a staple of the French TV movie, occasionally appearing in wider big screen releases such as Cousin Cousine – I generally don’t enjoy films which resolve entirely around affairs but this one works because of its charm – Barrault being good as the wife of a cheating husband. However, it’s a 1975 movie and as per my rules, that means she’s out. Finally, Liv Ullmann gives a typically strong performance as yet another broken woman in yet another Bergman film – it’s definitely one of her best performances, my only issue being that it’s not all that different from what we’ve already seen her do for Bergman.

My Winner: Talia Shire

My Nominations: Faye Dunaway. Talia Shire. Sissy Spacek. Jodie Foster. Lauren Bacall.

The three main front runners make it over, and joining them in arguably her biggest and best year is the young Jodie Foster, who gets my nomination here for The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane. Lets not forget that this year she also made Taxi Driver, Freaky Friday, and Bugsy Malone – though the less said about those final two, the better. Nevertheless, these are each iconic films in their own way, but her lead performance in the creepy and little known The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane shows a mature command of the screen. Lauren Bacall adds some class to John Wayne’s final film The Shootist – a widow and mother who comes to form a mutual understanding and respect with the dying lead character.

My Winner: Talia Shire

Let us know your winner in the comments!

One thought on “Best Actress – 1976

  1. John Charet August 4, 2019 / 7:50 pm

    I would choose any of them really 🙂 Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

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