February 5, 2014 at 7:36 pm #138503
As we wait and see how the Dylan Farrow allegations effect Cate Blanchett’s Oscar chances, I am reminded of one of my favorite female roles who lost the Oscar. Judy Davis in Husbands and Wives. Davis won the LA Film Critics, National Board of Review, National Society of Film Critics, London Film critics, and almost all of the other minor critics awards. She was runner up for the NY Film Critics to Miranda Richardson. It was a powerhouse comedic turn that clearly should have united voters behind her as it did the critics. She had the comedy of Marisa Tomei combined with the foreign appeal of Redgrave, Richardson, and Plowright. She should have been a no brainer to continue to sweep. But didn’t.
But something else was happening in 1992. Woody Allen and Mia Farrow were involved in a nasty separation and allegations were circulating of an inappropriate relationship with his step daughter Soon Yi.
When it came time for the awards to vote in 1993, Judy Davis was passed over at the Globes and Oscars for 2 inferior performances, Joan Plowright in Enchanted April and Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny. I guess I can understand why Tomei won, but Plowright?? Come on. Judy was clearly paying for Woody’s sins. Voters must have been too freaked.
Did the mess involving Woody scare people off from Judy Davis that year? If it did could the same thing happen as this mess blows up perfectly timed right before ballots get mailed?February 5, 2014 at 7:52 pm #138505
Since I wasn’t even born at the time, I’m not aware of the impact that scandal had over the awards season. If it did cause Davis to lose the Oscar, it’s really a shame. I for once think the voters should separate what’s personal from what’s work and what’s art. And it’s obvious that if the scandal really causes an outrage it should be on Allen himself only and not anyone else involved. I think his actions, if they are true or not I don’t know, don’t take away the merit of his work. But if someone should suffer from backlash is him, not his actors. Davis, like everyone else in her position, wouldn’t turn away a great role in a great director’s film just because he has a troubled personal life. The same goes for Blanchett… I mean, who would refuse to play such a role!? No sane actress, I say.
Regarding Blanchett, I think this recent controversy won’t affect her. Her performance is undeniably great. She has already swept most of the awards season and she has nothing to do with the Dylan Farrow story. If anything, the Academy would look very bad for awarding someone else over her.
Regarding Mr. Allen himself, I think is bullshit to ask other actors not to work with him. Everyone knows how good he is. Everyone knows the benefits of being in a Woody Allen film. He writes roles men and specially women long for. He writes roles like no one else. Attack him all you want, but don’t attack those who are trying to make the most out of their careers in the film industry.February 5, 2014 at 7:53 pm #138506
Davis was overrated in that, and they knew it.
jk. No, Marissa Tomei got the most votes and won, that’s what happened; she was the quirk and they enjoyed her performance. A Yawn to the first sentence.February 5, 2014 at 8:42 pm #138507
Mia Farrow discovered the affair in February 1992. The child molestation charge occurred in August 1992. “Husband and Wives” was released in mid-September of 1992.
Judy Davis and Woody Allen were nominated for Oscars for said movie in January/February 1993, almost a year after the scandal broke.
AMPAS went ahead and nominated Judy and Woody after everything happened, so I’m not sure if the scandal prevented them from winning.
Tomei won because mostly because she was the youngest and the only American of the 5 nominees, and the other 4 actresses were veterans.February 5, 2014 at 8:43 pm #138508
It probably didn’t help, but I don’t think it’s the reason she lost. I’ve always worked under the assumption that Tomei was the apple in the bunch of oranges.February 6, 2014 at 2:20 am #138509
^ Yeah I agree. It certainly didn’t help, but that must’ve been a VERY tight votecount.
This is probably my favorite Woody Allen-directed performance of all time (still have to see how Cate Blanchett’s Jasmine holds up with time), so regardless of how much I’ve enjoyed Tomei in Vinny and am personally a HUGE fan of Miranda Richardson, I just still can’t deal with her losing that year.February 6, 2014 at 5:29 am #138510
It also didn’t help that Vanessa Redgrave (Howards End) was probably still stinging voters who remembered her infamous political speech when she won for Julia in 1977. Judy Davis also doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to work ethic (from what I have read and heard around).
Marisa Tomei also was brilliant in My Cousin Vinny.
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FYC: Derbyite of the Year, 2017February 6, 2014 at 7:12 am #138511
See, I think that Allen’s personal life more likely cost Davis an Oscar than he will cost Blanchett an Oscar for several reasons.
First, the breakup and allegations were fresh and raw in 1993.
Second, the movie was very clearly the last time that Allen and Farrow would be working together after a very successful 10 year run.
Third, the film’s subject matter was about relationship problems, including a plotline about Allen’s character’s friendship, and possibly more, with a young student of his.
I personally don’t think that what was going on Allen’s personal life definitively cost Davis the Oscar, but references to his personal life were made quite often when discussing her nomination. Just two years later, Dianne Wiest went on an awards sweep for a Woody Allen movie in which he didn’t appear and which bore no resemblance to his personal life whatsoever and, since that time, the effect of his personal life on his films did not surface until the Mia and Ronan Farrow tweets during his lifetime achievement award last month from the Golden Globes. But Blue Jasmine also doesn’t feature an Allen performance and the relationship drama that occurred in that film cannot be compared as easily to the current real-life dustup. I also suspect that parallels to Allen’s personal life may have also affected the Oscar chances of Manhattan, but I’m also not sure how much was known about his relationship with a 17-year-old at that time.February 6, 2014 at 7:40 am #138512
Good point, Nate, re Allen being or not being in the movie affecting its Oscar chances.
But I have to say that it also has to do with his acting schtick wearing thin and that affects the overall quality perception of his films.February 6, 2014 at 7:46 am #138513
I still do that telephone scene to friends all the time. “You two like that sports shit”February 6, 2014 at 9:33 am #138515
Davis was beyond brilliant and gets my vote for the win, but was she even a factor in this race? I feel people make her out to be a bigger frontrunner than she really was. She didn’t even win any precursors back then, unlike Richardson and Plowright.February 6, 2014 at 10:41 am #138516
Does anybody remember 2003?
Adrien Brody wins (in a major upset, no less) for a film directed by Roman Polanski? (Who went on to win an Oscar himself the same evening)….?
If Blanchett loses, it will not be because of the Allen association. Davis was not the frontrunner a lot of people assume she was back then; statistically, Plowright and Richardson were in the best positions, and Redgrave was a political hot potato. I would have voted for Davis myself, but I can absolutely appreciate the obvious talent on display in Tomei’s comic performance. (Something else that probably ought to be noted is that at the time, Davis’s primary claim to fame was her participation in experimental/art/prestige films during much of the 1980s; it wasn’t until she became one of the grand dames of telefilms during the 90s that her reputation as an actor really started to take off outside of critics’ circles. If she had stuck with her 1980s comfort zone, very few people today would probably know who she is now, let alone about her two Oscar nominations.)