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Best Actress 1994

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    gabspss
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    #1203884239

    What do you think of this line-up?

    Some people say it is the worst of all time, but I disagree, I think we have 5 good/great performances in 4 forgettable films (and one being REALLY bad) and 1 good film.

    Here’s my ranking of the performances:

    1. Winona Ryder in Little Woman – She was excellent and she also benefited from being in the only great film nominated here.

    2. Jodie Foster in Nell – RANGE. This is a brave performance by Jodie Foster, who never fails in not disappoint.

    3. Miranda Richardson in Tom & Viv – She was the only good thing about this mess.

    4. Jessica Lange in Blue Sky – Yes, she’s in 4th place for me, but I don’t mind her win. She was really good in a interesting film. Also, she’s Jessica Lange, how can you be mad at she winning?

    5. Susan Sarandon in The Client – I mean, she was good, but how exactly this is an Oscar worthy performance?

    It's about the chaotic editing in Moulin Rouge!

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    Jazzy
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    #1203884582

    Yes, Sarandon was the weakest link. I instead would’ve nominated either Sigourney Weaver in Death and the Maiden or Jennifer Jason Leigh in Mrs Parker. This was the year of the famous controversy involving Linda Fiorentino in The Last Seduction and how she was ineligible for an Oscar nomination because her film was released on both Showtime and in theaters. Had she been nominated would she have won? I doubt it. It was great performance but I don’t think the Academy would’ve gone for it. As for Lange, she made a worthy winner. It’s a somewhat weird movie but it’s got a strong performance from Lange. As for the lineup, it was definitely not the worst year. There were weak or awful lineups in other years: 2007, 2010, 2017, 1970, 1973 are just some examples.

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    Lieutenant
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    #1203884781

    Winona Ryder was so great in Little Women!

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    zordon
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    #1203884872

    This is deservedly considered one of the weakest years in this category.

    Sarandon was my winner (strong maternal lawyer in a popular movie, come on), I liked Ryder and even Foster, but I will never understand Lange winning for a movie she did in 1991. Could not stand Richardson as Viv.
    Even the Fiorentino controversy aside, there were couple performers that would make better nominees: Irene Jacob for Red, Jennifer Jason Leigh for Mrs Parker, Jamie Lee Curtis for True Lies or even SAG nominee Meg Ryan for When a Man Loves a Woman.

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    BamaEd
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    #1203885039

    Sarandon was nominated partly because she hadn’t won yet so they like nominating folks for a lot until they win (or until they are done without for whatever pejorative reason). But also, it was a very good movie star turn in a crowd pleasing box office hit. She did win the BAFTA for this role, against Fiorentino, Jacob, and Thurman.

    Leigh hit in a few places but the film didn’t hit overall, plus there was all the talk over Leigh’s accent for the film. But what hurt her and helped Richardson was the studio. Mrs. Parker was released domestically by Fine Line Features (Miramax handled international distribution). They also couldn’t get Weaver nominated and also couldn’t get Hoop Dreams nominated. Tom & Viv was released by Miramax and so former nominee Richardson got her second and legendary actress Rosemary Harris got her first nom.

    I’m much more surprised Meg Ryan couldn’t pull a nomination for When a Man Loves a Woman. She had good notices, a SAG nom (it’s first year of existence), and was a change of pace role. I feel she was super close with When Harry Met Sally and had a huge hit the year before with Sleepless in Seattle. Plus, she was part of a Hollywood supercouple with Dennis Quaid.

    Foster was a slam dunk nod for her technically tougher role, but having won twice within 5 years, they weren’t going to award her again, not for this. It would have to be a no doubter to award a 3rd so quickly.

    Ryder had the disappointment of losing as the front-runner the year prior, she had great reviews in Reality Bites earlier in the year, and she was the shining star in young Hollywood. She was definitely a strong #2.

    But Lange never won for lead, some felt she deserved it over Streep for Frances while others bemoan the timing of two great performances released the same year. Also, it was a way to honor Tony Richardson. Finally, because of the nature of the character, Lange had the biggest performance of all the nominees.

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    RobertPius
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    #1203890755

    Yes, Sarandon was the weakest link. I instead would’ve nominated either Sigourney Weaver in Death and the Maiden or Jennifer Jason Leigh in Mrs Parker. This was the year of the famous controversy involving Linda Fiorentino in The Last Seduction and how she was ineligible for an Oscar nomination because her film was released on both Showtime and in theaters. Had she been nominated would she have won? I doubt it. It was great performance but I don’t think the Academy would’ve gone for it. As for Lange, she made a worthy winner. It’s a somewhat weird movie but it’s got a strong performance from Lange. As for the lineup, it was definitely not the worst year. There were weak or awful lineups in other years: 2007, 2010, 2017, 1970, 1973 are just some examples.

    I don’t think Fiorentio would have won. I never really understood why critic’s groups allowed her in their awards. It was a TV movie first. I think they were happy to find a chance to award Lange again since her first Oscar was for the odd Tootsie situation. She is really good in the film even if the film is a bit choppy. It sort of seems like the end is just tacked on.

    You don’t like 1973? I love that year. To me it is one of the years where any of the five would have been deserving.

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    Army Of Me
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    #1203890989

    1. Winona Ryder, Little Women – She was coming off a general hot streak with the Academy, after narrowing losing the supporting race the year before. Ryder had also established an interesting body of respected work (Mermaids, The Age of Innocence), mixing commercial (Beetlejuice)and the more off-beat choices (Heathers). Reality Bites, for example, was a well received Gen-X dramedy that was extremely different than her Jo March. She was also in her fair share of disastrous Oscar bait that failed, such as Great Balls of Fire!, Bram Stroker’s Dracula and The House of Spirits. I was always surprised that this particular Little Women adaptation was not more well received by the Academy. It received three nominations and yet it was very well reviewed and had commercial success. Ryder’s Jo March was worthy of winning awards, particularly with this set of fellow nominees.

    2. Jodie Foster, Neil – The performance was borderline supporting and she didn’t get much dialogue… but she was fully committed to the role. She might have won if she had not recently won two awards.

    3. Jessica Lange, Blue Sky – The film was a mess and she was all over the place but it’s easy to see the many reasons why she won. She was an absolute force since winning her supporting Academy Award for Tootsie, amassing four other nominations in the 80s. The performance was loud, showy and really was the only reason to see that film.

    4. Susan Sarandon, The Client – She was solid in a Grisham procedural. I’m surprised she won a BAFTA for this film, although it was very popular, it was the 90s after all.

    5. Miranda Richardson, Tom & Viv – I recall absolutely loathing this film at the time. She’s a wonderful actress and was win-worthy in Damage, but the nomination was the reward.

    Honorable Mentions
    1. Sigourney Weaver, Death and the Maiden – The film was an acting showcase and its a shame they didn’t respond to the performances. Weaver, for some unknown reason, fell out of favor with the Academy in the 90s. She delivered in a few really award worthy films that were overlooked, like The Ice Storm and A Map of the World.

    2. Jamie Lee Curtis, True Lies – She’s wonderful in the film, but as mentioned before I could see this performance going lead or supporting.

    3. Irene Jacob, Red – A captivating performance that deserves more recognition.

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    Elazul
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    #1203896400

    Meg Ryan should have been in contention. I guess she never really caught on with the industry but HFPA did like her so the snub for this one just a year after Sleepless In Seattle comedy nomination is baffling.

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    ENGLAND
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    #1203896433

    Kathleen Turner for Serial Mom

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    Emmyfan
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    #1203896973

    I wish What’s Love Got To Do With It were released in 1994 because Angela Bassett would and should have won the OScar.

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    ENGLAND
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    #1203896992

    I wish What’s Love Got To Do With It were released in 1994 because Angela Bassett would and should have won the OScar.

    I feel like they would have found a reason to not award her. Jessica Lange also had the overdue factor.

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    DCurrie
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    #1203897297

    Yeah, this is was a pretty weak year…

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    Melvinezq
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    #1203897322

    I feel like they would have found a reason to not award her. Jessica Lange also had the overdue factor.

    But, her performance is no Holly Hunter in The Piano, the only force that is acceptable to beat Bassett. Yeah, I know that Lange is on top of her buzz and it feels like she is the treasure of the industry. The whole topic will be different.

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