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1981 Best Supporting Actress

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    Owl-Always-watching
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    #1203444500

    I been waiting for some one to do this year. Was Mary Steenburgen always they front runner ?
    Nominees

    Mary Steenburgen – Melvin and Howard

    Cathy Moriarty – Raging Bull

    Eileen in Brennan – Private Benjamin

    Diana Scarwid – Inside Moves

    Eva La Gallienne – Resurrection

    I have never seen Inside moves or Resurrection but it seems to me if Mary Tyler Moore would of gone Supporting that she would of easily won.

    anyone remember this year?

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    Emmyfan
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    #1203444509

    My vote would have been for Eileen Brennan. I was impressed by Diana Scarwald’s performance. Diana played Christina in Mommie Dearest.

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    RobertPius
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    #1203444551

    I believe Steenburgen swept all the major critics groups and the NBR plus the Globe so she was set. (although yes if MTM had gone supporting she’d have won.)

    Melvin and Howard was like a film that wouldn’t die. It came out early in the year got great reviews and then flopped at the box office. They managed to keep it playing in NY and probably LA in one theater and people remembered it at awards time. Steenburgen was one of those quirky actresses like Sandy Dennis or Geena Davis that they loved to give supporting actress to.

    I guess Eileen Brennan had the best shot at beating her since she was in a popular film.

    The surprising thing about this year is two people who may have had a chance at winning didn’t even get nominated. Beverly D’Angelo (Coal Miner’s Daughter) and Debra Winger in a star making turn in Urban Cowboy. The Globes included both of them.

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    arodfan
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    #1203444647

    I believe Steenburgen swept all the major critics groups and the NBR plus the Globe so she was set. (although yes if MTM had gone supporting she’d have won.) Melvin and Howard was like a film that wouldn’t die. It came out early in the year got great reviews and then flopped at the box office. They managed to keep it playing in NY and probably LA in one theater and people remembered it at awards time. Steenburgen was one of those quirky actresses like Sandy Dennis or Geena Davis that they loved to give supporting actress to. I guess Eileen Brennan had the best shot at beating her since she was in a popular film. The surprising thing about this year is two people who may have had a chance at winning didn’t even get nominated. Beverly D’Angelo (Coal Miner’s Daughter) and Debra Winger in a star making turn in Urban Cowboy. The Globes included both of them.

    Actually, I think the person who had the best shot at beating her was Cathy Moriarty, as Raging Bull was a best picture nominee and her performance got raves and was central to the film’s success. Moriarty also got loads of runner-up citations at critics groups. D’ Angelo and Winger would’ve made great nominees, especially Winger. I highly doubt Brennan had any chance of winning. She was probably 3rd or 4th considering a complete lack of precursor noms and everyone talking about Goldie more than her. Scarwid was definitely last, since no one saw her film.

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    Sam_Malone
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    #1203444769

    Steenburger was the odds-on favorite, the category was locked up (due to the reasons cited here).

    I agree that it was probably Moriarty who was the runner-up. However, appreciation has grown for RG over the years up to the point where we think that the film must have been the runner-up in all categories it did not win. I am a bit sceptical whether this was true back then.

    I do not see Brennan winning here, however, they nominated two performances from a popular comedy; so they must have seen and liked the film a lot.

    I agree that nobody saw Scarwid’s film and they have not missed anything. She’s going to be Christina Crawford forever, whether that’s fair, it’s another question.

    Lastly, my favorites that year: My runner-up is D’Angelo (and I agree with everything said here about her), then Minoff from Ordinary People, Barrault in Stardust Memories and Lee Remick in The Competition. Winner is Moriarty. Personally, I have never gotten the appeal for quirky Steenburgen.

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    Elazul
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    #1203444922

    Beverly D’Angelo really should have been there although I think it somewhat hurt her that she did not have enough screentime for such a role. Did they come up with the idea of the Sweet Dreams movie because of that?

    I have not yet seen Melvin and Howard, is it in the vein of Demme’s Something Wild or a different tone?

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    ArtIsntEasy
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    #1203445205

    Beverly D’Angelo definitely deserved to be nominated.

    I’m glad Sam Malone called out Dinah Manoff; she gave a lovely brief performance in ORDINARY PEOPLE….but my opinion is that MTM should’ve gone Supporting and taken this Oscar in a cakewalk.

    As it stands, I support Steenburgen’s win.

    I think Moriarty was probably the runner up.

    I haven’t even been able to locate INSIDE MOVES so I can’t comment on Scarwid sadly.

    Oh and actually you want to know another Supporting performance I loved from that year that I felt the actress made the most of her limited screen time: Anne Meara in FAME.

    “The art of making art is putting it together...”

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    keithw
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    #1203445260

    I really liked Diana Scarwid in “Inside Moves” and, at the time, thought she should win – though she really had very little chance at the time. I just rewatched “Melvin and Howard” last week. Mary Steenburgen was great in it but I still don’t think she deserved the win over Eileen Brennan who stole every scene she was in in “Private Benjamin”. I need to rewatch “Raging Bull” sometime.

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    Emmyfan
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    #1203445329

    I have to agree about Diana Scarwid in Inside Moves. I saw it and I remember thinking wow she is pretty good in this movie. If voters saw the movie, then Diana would be a threat.

    If I were ranking based on performances AND not the actual chance of winning:

    1. Eileen Brennan
    2. Diana Scarwid
    3. Cathy Moriaty
    4. Mary Steenburgen
    5. Eva La Gallienne

    I also agree that Mary Tyler Moore would have won this hands down if she were nominated in Supporting.

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    Emmyfan
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    #1203445333

    I actually saw Diana Scarwid’s Inside Moves on Netlfix about 8 years ago. Just think, Diana went from this to Mommie Dearest

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    arodfan
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    #1203445657

    Inside Moves was such a small film that no one expected Scarwid to even be nominated. It also had no passionate fanbase, so I’m shocked they went for her instead of D’Angelo or Winger, who were both in hugely popular movies and had great visibility. Steenburgen was an unquestionable lock and I support her win here. Didn’t see Resurrection so I can’t comment on La Gallienne.

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    Emmyfan
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    #1203445914

    Eva La Gallienne is not in Resurrection that much and did not deserve the nomination. The other four nominees at least did something.

    I will defend Diana’s nomination and kudos to whoever worked their marketing push for her because it is refreshing to see someone from a little seen film that has the performance to back up the nomination.

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    arodfan
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    #1203445998

    Eva La Gallienne is not in Resurrection that much and did not deserve the nomination. The other four nominees at least did something. I will defend Diana’s nomination and kudos to whoever worked their marketing push for her because it is refreshing to see someone from a little seen film that has the performance to back up the nomination.

    I think it was her NBR win that did it. That’s the sole reason she got nominated, besides the fact that they desperately needed a filler nominee(although they could’ve gone with D’ Angelo or Winger).

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    RobertPius
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    #1203446106

    Scarwid probably did get seen. She was one of the few nominees during this period who got in because of the Z Channel which was a cable TV station that only played in parts of LA where lots of academy members lived.

    It specialized in acclaimed films that didn’t get much box office traction. It is the reason things like Carol Kane, James Whitmore and Maximillin Schell happened in 1975.

    Scarwid also campaigned hard to get people to watch the film at home (and remember this was pre-screeners so a film at home was a unique thing.

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    RobertPius
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    #1203446112

    Dinah Manoff is really good in Ordinary People in a small but pivotal role. (She is Lee Grant’s daughter btw.)

    However it was Elizabeth McGovern that they tried to get that Supporting Actress nomination for.

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