Official Nominations: Eileen Heckart. Jeannie Berlin. Geraldine Page. Susan Tyrrell. Shelly Winters.
What is it with this category? Why is it always crappy? Heckart won for a film most people don’t know and feels like one of those ‘well, she’s been around for decades so we’d better nominate her’. It’s fine, but nothing out of the ordinary. Jeannie Berlin gets a nomination as the slighted newlywed in The Heartbreak Kid – again, fine. Geraldine Page and another movie most people will never see – Pete ‘n’ Tillie (told ya). Guess what? Fine, nothing more, but she’s barely there. Susan Tyrrell and Fat City? Well, at least this one is interesting and probably the best performance of the bunch. Finally, Shelly Winters gets another nomination in what is the most memorable performance of the bunch. Really, any pick here as as good as another, but I do like the whole world-weary drunk thing so…
My Winner: Susan Tyrrell.
My Nominations: Talia Shire. Diane Keaton. Ida Lupino. Natalya Bondarchuk. Anne Bancroft.
I’m going to have to go Godfather again in this category. Both Keaton and Shire don’t have a huge amount to do in Part 1, but both are strong contenders in the early days of their careers. While Keaton has more depth, Shire garners more sympathy and passion from the audience as a character. I’ll throw a good old veteran nomination out there – Lupino never got one, but she gets one from me, this year as the distressed and tired mother of Steve McQueen in Junior Bonner. Natalya Bondarchuk is ghostly and tormented in Solaris while Anne Bancroft is strong once again in Young Winston.
My Winner: Talia Shire.
Official Nominations: Cloris Leachman. Ellen Burstyn. Ann-Margret. Barbara Harris. Margaret Leighton.
Again the category is stacked with The Last Picture Show choices – Cloris Leachman picked up the win with Ellen Burstyn not far behind. Ann-Margret in the controversial Carnal Knowledge seems like a strange choice given how controversial that movie was – she won the Golden Globe though, so clearly there was a lot of love for the performance. Barbara Harris doesn’t need to be here for Plaza Suite and The Go-Between sees a good Margaret Leighton performance but not one we can pick over the others.
My Winner: Cloris Leachman
My Nominations: Cloris Leachman. Ellen Burstyn. Ann-Margret. Julie Dawn Cole. Cybill Shepherd.
I always seem to have difficulty filling this category – mirroring the men’s catgeory I round out the nominatinos for The Last Picture Show and add Cybill Shepherd. Even though she’s annoying, you really can’t forget her – Veruca Salt, thanks to Julie Dawn Cole.
My Winner: Cloris Leachman
Let us know your winner in the comments!
Official Nominations: Helen Hayes. Karen Black. Lee Grant. Sally Kellerman. Maureen Stapleton.
Unusually, Helen Hayes was the first person to win in both Lead and Supporting categories with her win for Airport this year. I would have assumed such an event occurred much earlier, but there ya go. Airport is a strange one – it’s not a film, or perhaps more accurately, it’s not a genre that you think of when you think of award winning performances. The Hayes win is a strange one, clearly The Academy handed the award to her for years of service, but then she already had one so…
At the other end of the road was Karen Black, just staring out on her career and having already cemented herself as something of a potential cult icon thanks to her appearance in Easy Rider. In Five Easy Pieces she gets to truly show her chops – no mean feat when she was doing it alongside Jack Nicholson. She is Nicholson’s bit on the side for the duration of the movie, using her sexually, reluctantly dragging her along wherever he goes, and while we see her through his eyes for most of the film Black’s performance stands out on its own in showing a woman with flaws and dreams as much as Bobby. Lee Grant also received a veteran nomination, though her career had been on the rise in recent years. The Landlord is another interesting one, a low budget discourse on racial tension and the desire of the young to be free of the expectations of the old, funny and sad together. Grant’s performance is okay, not a huge role, but fine. Sally Kellerman got a strange nomination for an ensemble piece where the men are the major focus, and Maureen Stapleton received her second nomination as the wife of Airport’s central antagonist. All fine performances, but there’s one clear winner here.
My Winner: Karen Black.
My Nominations: Karen Black. Susan Anspach. Tuesday Weld. Susan Sarandon.
Only Karen Black makes it over to my list, and joining her is her Five Easy Pieces co-star Susan Anspach – a temptress and escape for Jack Nicholson’s character but one who refuses to be part of is roaming. Tuesday Weld is a different sort of temptress for a different sort of man in I Walk The Line, while Susan Sarandon makes a decent entrance as the runaway daughter of a man sick of counter-culture in Joe. Yeah, I couldn’t think of too many other performances this year I loved.
My Winner: Karen Black.
Let us know in the comments who you think should have won the Best Supporting Actress award for 1970!
What day is it? Yeah, I’ve been off the grid for a while opening all my Christmas toys and mourning the passing of more cultural legends. Double posts now to catch up!
Official Nominations: Goldie Hawn. Catherine Burns. Dyan Cannon. Sylvia Miles. Susannah York.
Goldie Hawn gets an Oscar win pre-empting her daughters nod decades later for a bright, light, eye-catching performance. Hawn shows her comic ability here, something which would continue to flourish through more well-remembered movies over the next years. It’s one of those wins which feels both apt and unusual. Catherine Burns gives an equally memorable performances for opposing reasons in Last Summer – a performance which is made more poignant given the fact that Burns only made a few more movies before retiring from acting. Dyan Cannon, continuing the trend for new or almost new actors getting a nomination, but her role may be the lesser of the four in Bob & Carol, Ted & Alice. Sylvia Miles is also memorable in Midnight Cowboy but given that her role is essentially a cameo it seems like more of a political vote than anything else while Susannah York has again a fairly small role as part of an ensemble but still does enough to ensure her scenes stand out.
My Winner: Catherine Burns.
My Nominations: Goldie Hawn. Catherine Burns. Faye Dunaway.
Two from the officials, and I’ve added only one more performer in what appears to be not the best year for this category. Faye Dunaway it could be argued is a lead in The Arrangement but I wanted to squeeze her in somewhere so here we are – it’s not a great movie but she makes it watchable.
My Winner: Catherine Burns.
Let me know in the comments who your pick for the Best Supporting Actress of 1969 is!
*Note – as I was off the grid there for a few days, I’ll promise a bonanza of posts over the next few days and into next week
Official Nominations: Ruth Gordon. Sondra Locke. Lynn Carlin. Kay Medford. Estelle Parsons.
I think Ruth Gordon is a good choice for the official win this year – it’s so rare that horror even gets nominated in the main categories, so for an actual win to occur is important. Her win is not a mere platitude on the Academy’s behalf or mine as it is a genuinely good performance. She is the overly-familiar neighbour everyone dreads having but kind of likes having, but she steadily, subtly becomes more influential and oversteps the boundary between neighbour and stalker as the film progresses though all the while she never becomes some ranting maniacal loon. This is a character grounded in reality and some sort of monstrous humanity. As a writer herself, Gordon understood character perfectly, knowing when to hold back and when to finally pull of the mask. Lynn Carlin doesn’t particularly stand out in the well acted ensemble piece Faces, while Locke does a great job in her first role in The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter. Kay Medford returns to a role she had perfected on stage in Funny Girl, while Parsons got a consecutive nomination for Rachel, Rachel.
My Winner: Ruth Gordon
My Nominations: Ruth Gordon. Kim Hunter. Inger Stevens.
A fairly lackluster year this time around, with only Ruth Gordon making it over to my nominations and a mere two additions. Kim Hunter is sympathetic as Dr Zira in Planet Of The Apes one of several cast members who manage to emote under heavy make-up while Inger Stevens is a torn, loving, broken wife in Madigan, one of several films she would make an impact in throughout 1968.
My Winner: Ruth Gordon.
Let us know in the comments who your pick for the Best Supporting Actress of 1968 is!
Official Nominations: Estelle Parsons. Carol Channing. Mildred Natwick. Beah Richards. Katherine Ross.
A decent line-up of actresses who most modern viewers would not recognise as big hitters, with Estelle Parsons picking up a deserved win for her performance as Blanche Barrow – the real life Blanche did not approve. Katherine Ross plays Elaine in The Graduate with the right amount of sadness and sympathy, and Beah Richards gets a nod for Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner after also appearing in In The Heat Of The Night. Natwick reprised her stage role in a strange choice for nomination for Barefoot In The Park, and Channing is a more obvious choice as the unusual elder in Thoroughly Modern Millie – both movies do not compare with the quality of the other three and point again towards the Acadamy’s need to shoehorn in a musical and/or theatre adaptation.
My Winner: Estelle Parsons
My Nominations: Estelle Parsons. Ursula Andress. Katherine Ross. Katharine Houghton.
Two originals, and two newbs for my picks – Ross and Parsons making it over from the main list. I add the obvious choice of Houghton who was snubbed for Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, and the unusual pick of Ursula Andress doing one better than she did in Dr No by playing Vesper (and a 007) in Casino Royale.
My Winner: Estelle Parsons.
Who is your pick for the Best Supporting Actress of 1967? Let us know in the comments!
Official Nominations: Sandy Dennis. Wendy Hiller. Jocelyne LeGarde. Vivan Marchant. Geraldine Page.
Sandy Dennis earned her only Oscar nomination and win as the meek, eventually volatile Honey in Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf. By 1966, Wendy Hiller already had 2 Oscar nominations and one win to her name and with A Man For All Seasons she narrowly missed out on a second win. Jocelyne LeGarde is the stand-out performer in Hawaii, but it was the only performance she would ever give – she was a native of Tahiti and had never acted in her life before she was asked to join the cast. Starring the likes of Richard Harris, Max Von Sydow, Julie Christie, and up and comers Bette Middler and Gene Hackman, LeGarde is the most memorbale actor in a strange movie – all the more strange as it was the highest grossing movie of they year and critically acclaimed at the time, yet no-one remembers it. Vivian Merchant would have a short but acclaimed career, the high point being her debut in Alfie where she earned her only Oscar nomination as Lily. Lastly, Geraldine Page picked up her yearly nomination, this time in You’re A Big Boy Now as Margery, but misses out again on the win.
My Winner: Sandy Denis.
My Nominations: Sandy Dennis. Sarah Miles. Angie Dickinson. Sussanah Yorke. Millie Perkins.
Only Denis makes it to my odd list of choices – Sarah Miles only has a small, but memorable part in Blow-up, while Dickinson has a bit part as Brando’s loyal wife in The Chase. Sussanah Yorke gets my pick over Hiller for both A Man For All Seasons and Kaleidoscope, while Perkins is ghastly as The Woman in cult Western The Shooting.
My Winner: Millie Perkins.
Who is your pick for the Best Supporting Actress of 1966? Let us know in the comments section!