September 7, 2015 at 5:01 pm #194104
I would say this was a decent category for the most part. Haven’t seen Grant and thought Alexander was more of a “film” nominee, but I like the other three contenders. Foster gave one of the best child actor performances and would’ve been my vote, Straight was a one scene wonder and deserved her win while Laurie gave us quite an iconic villain with her Margaret White.
How about you guys? Who would you have gone with and do you agree this was a decent category? Let’s discuss!September 7, 2015 at 8:38 pm #194106
Piper for the winSeptember 8, 2015 at 10:59 pm #194107
I voted for Jodie Foster for her Taxi Driver performance, but Piper Laurie in Carrie was very nearly as good. The other three, while also excellent performances, just weren’t up to Foster’s and Laurie’s.
As a side note:
All the films are very good, and if you haven’t seen any of them I encourage you to. Among them, Voyage of the Damned is under-rated and often overlooked movie. Unlike many historical dramas, it’s very close to what actually occurred.September 10, 2015 at 6:04 pm #194108
Shamefully I haven’t yet seen All the President’s Men, but I heard from somewhere that Alexander’s perf is actually even shorter than Straight’s in Network – is this true or BS? Haven’t seen Voyage of the Damned either, but from the 3 I have seen I’d go for Piper Laurie in Carrie by a mile, in a role that could have gone so wrong in so many ways, yet she nails it. Interestingly she actually thought the film was a satirical comedy when they began filming, so she was going all over the top and hysterical in some of the early takes, before de Palma told her to pull back. In the finished film she does have some quite human and vulnerable moments amid the craziness. Of course Jodie Foster was almost disturbingly good in Taxi Driver, and Beatrice Straight managed to distill a lot of complex emotional expression into a very short amount of time in Network, but Piper wins it for me.September 10, 2015 at 9:20 pm #194109
Shamefully I haven’t yet seen All the President’s Men, but I heard from somewhere that Alexander’s perf is actually even shorter than Straight’s in Network – is this true or BS? Haven’t seen Voyage of the Damned either, but from the 3 I have seen I’d go for Piper Laurie in Carrie by a mile, in a role that could have gone so wrong in so many ways, yet she nails it. Interestingly she actually thought the film was a satirical comedy when they began filming, so she was going all over the top and hysterical in some of the early takes, before de Palma told her to pull back. In the finished film she does have some quite human and vulnerable moments amid the craziness. Of course Jodie Foster was almost disturbingly good in Taxi Driver, and Beatrice Straight managed to distill a lot of complex emotional expression into a very short amount of time in Network, but Piper wins it for me.
All the President’s Men is dominated by Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman in the leads. Jason Robards as their editor (boss) is the most prominent supporting actor, followed by Hal Holbrook as “Deep Throat.” I watched it earlier this year and Alexander’s role was not memorable, not like Redford and Hoffman because of their screen time. Robards kicks them in the butt on the way through periodically as their editor making his supporting role more prominent. Hal Holbrook is there in a shadowy Deep Throat role with much less prominence. Aspects of its production will appear a little dated, but it’s still a great story.
I recommend Voyage of the Damned as an overall film for its importance as an event in mid-1939, just a few months before WWII started in Europe, that should not be forgotten. The Cuban government’s behavior was blatantly shameful, but there’s nothing the U.S. or Canadian governments did during the crisis to be proud of either. Just the opposite, and the movie downplays it. The cast is loaded with the A-list actors, including some cameos, and that is cited by sometimes as a distraction in their minor roles. Most memorable to me is Max von Sydow who plays Gustav Schröder, captain of the German HAPAG Line’s MS St. Louis. He’s the real hero of the story even if it isn’t considered the leading role (if there really is one). Lee Grant plays Lili Rosen, one of the larger and quite vivid supporting roles in the sub-plot about her family with a husband and daughter. She ultimately suffers a complete breakdown, but larger in this case isn’t significant screen time percentage.
I put Beatrice Straight in third place among the five as her role clearly a significant supporting one and she did it well.
Note about the “MS” in MS St. Louis:
The MS ship designation prefix in MS St. Louis means “Motorized
Ship.” It was powered by huge Diesel engines. SS designates a “Screw
Steamer” with coal or bunker oil fired steam engines and bladed
propellers. MV is “Motorized Vessel,” an alternate for MS seen in some ships’ registered names. The MS St.
Louis is often mistakenly referred to as the SS St. Louis, which was not it’s registered name (and incorrect as it was not steam powered).
JohnSeptember 11, 2015 at 2:20 pm #194110
This was a tough category. I would have Jane Alexander in fifth place for sure but the other four were major contenders. I am thinking Beatrice Straight squeaked out that win over Jodie Foster. Lee Grant had won the year before and I am not sure how seriously Carrie (Piper Laurie) was taken at the time…..though it did earn a Best Actress nomination as well.
My prediction for the Oscar ratings: Straight, Foster, Laurie, Grant, Alexander
My personal rankings: Straight, Laurie, Foster, Grant, AlexanderSeptember 11, 2015 at 11:16 pm #194111
This a great categorty and a great year for film overall. I even like Jane Alexander’s work although the women who really stand out in that film are Merideth Baxter and Alyn Ann McClerie.
Foster and Laurie probably lost votes for the violence and horror of their films. Grant had just won. So Straight get swept along with the rest of Network. She really is quite great in her little scene though and she just sails thru the wordy dialogue with ease. She was quite a pro.September 11, 2015 at 11:25 pm #194112
An interesting thing about this race is Talia Shire won a bunch of major critics awards as supporting actress for Rocky. Somehow she got moved up for the Oscars. I bet she’d have won if she was in supporting.September 12, 2015 at 9:56 am #194113
^I think you’re right, Shire almost undoubtedly would have won in supporting. Personally I think she is a co-lead and was placed in the right category, but he fact that she was is probably more indicative of the narrow field of Best Actress contenders that year than anything else. The same is true of Louise Fletcher the previous year (also a co-lead but could have gone supporting).September 12, 2015 at 1:04 pm #194114
Grant and Alexander are filler.
Straight has a glorious scene, full of flowery dialogue, a breakdown and a realization all played with stunning alacrity. But it’s all of 3 and a half minutes or so.
Foster is good in spurts, but she’d have better chances later on in her career.
Piper Laurie in Carrie – now this is a dynamite performance. Litteraly ground shaking. It’s total committment and one that could’ve been a campy disaster a la Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest. Instead it somehow works .
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