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Truly Underrated Best Actress Nominees

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    Piper Halliwell
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    #1204405434

    Not the televised winners, nor the critics favorites, nor the audience favorites. Who are the actresses nominated by the American Film Academy but have barely received any love for their great performances?

    This is an appreciation thread for those women.

    My list:

    Joan Crawford – Possessed, Sudden Fear: The actress has always been criminally underrated, with at least ten more roles in her filmography for which she could have easily won an Oscar, but for some reason Hollywood didn’t support her as much as Bette Davis or Ingrid Bergman. In addition to her winning role, she would have deserved recognition for her two other nominations as well. Sudden Fear, in particular, was a fantastic performance.

    Meryl Streep – The Post: Definitely her best performance since The Devil Wears Prada. I think everyone is a little tired of Streep’s nominations, there has been a lot of the average, not so much refreshing name check nominations for her in recent years, but I think her performance here was very subtle and quite relatable that deserved an Oscar mention.

    Ruth Negga – Loving: While Ruth got into a really strong category with a lot of good performers, I think there is an obvious reason why she had a small passionate group behind her who supported her natural, beautiful, complex turn as Mildred Loving. I am very pleased that she has been nominated and I hope to see her among the nominees with Passing again.

    Melissa McCarthy – Can You Ever Forgive Me?: It was all about Colman, Close, and Gaga that year when Melissa McCarthy was at least as much, if not better, than them in a much less baity movie. McCarthy has always been a good dramatic actress, but she hasn’t been able to show off her dramatic chops yet in a lead role. I think she’s proved all her haters wrong in this spectacular take on Lee Israel.

    Honorable mentions: Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday); Cynthia Erivo (Harriet); Naomi Watts (The Impossible); Charlize Theron (North Country); Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole); Angelina Jolie (Changeling); Judi Dench (Mrs. Henderson Presents); Meryl Streep (Music of the Heart); Susan Sarandon (The Client); Ellen Burstyn (Resurrection/Same Time, Next Year); Greer Garson (Madam Curie).

    FYC 2022 Emmys:

    Best Actress in a Drama Series: Sandra Oh in "Killing Eve"

    Best Actress in a Comedy Series: Sandra Oh in "The Chair"

    Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Kim Joo-ryoung in "Squid Game"

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    kaziz
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    #1204405453

    Dunno why I’ve seen people say these were awful or made no sense:

    Ruth Negga—Loving
    Meryl Streep—August: Osage County
    Yalitza Aparicio—Roma
    Judi Dench—Notes on a Scandal
    Gena Rowlands—Gloria
    Susan Sarandon—The Client
    Diane Lane—Unfaithful
    Keisha Castle-Hughes—Whale Rider
    Kate Winslet—Little Children
    Quvenzhané Wallis—Beasts of the Southern Wild

    Less underrated, but still underrated:

    Vanessa Kirby—Pieces of a Woman
    Gabourey Sidibe—Precious
    Jessica Lange—Frances
    Fernanda Montenegro—Central Station
    Geena Davis—Thelma & Louise
    Samantha Morton—In America
    Catalina Sandino Moreno—Maria Full of Grace
    Saoirse Ronan—Brooklyn

    Justice for Passing, Tessa Thompson & Ruth Negga.

    The Power of the Dog / Jane Campion / Benedict Cumberbatch / Kristen Stewart / Kirsten Dunst / Troy Kotsur

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    wolfali
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    #1204405656

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    Diamond Tier
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    #1204405666

    Marsha Mason was nominated 4 times and barely anyone discusses her performances.

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    skyes
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    #1204405670

    https://i.gifer.com/embedded/download/TgQw.gif

     

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    Honey
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    #1204405694

    Naomi Watts – 21 Grams & The Impossible.

    though I think she’s one of those recent multi nominated actresses that if u ask the gen public what movie they know her for, they’d prob list King Kong, The Ring, and maybe Mulholland Drive before her Oscar nominated ones. People like to joke she’s under Kidman’s shadow and needs a new agent. And then cinephiles/movie award watchers just make fun of her for collecting Kidman’s scraps/rejected roles. Pretty sure most people think she’s talented and are happy for her that she was nominated but hardly anybody really loves either performances besides MAYBE 21 grams. And The Impossible a lot of people think she got carried by the stunts for the movie for that nom anyways.

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    hillslight
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    #1204405736

    Melissa McCarthy – Can You Ever Forgive Me?: It was all about Colman, Close, and Gaga that year when Melissa McCarthy was at least as much, if not better, than them in a much less baity movie. McCarthy has always been a good dramatic actress, but she hasn’t been able to show off her dramatic chops yet in a lead role. I think she’s proved all her haters wrong in this spectacular take on Lee Israel.

    Agree 100%. She was only behind Colman that year imo and would’ve been a worthy winner.

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    George Ehret
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    #1204405799

    I’m not sure if she’s truly considered underrated, but Jill Clayburgh is absolutely phenomenal in An Unmarried Woman. Her performance is graceful, heartfelt, unabashedly feminist, and down-to-earth. SHE SHOULD HAVE WON!

    Also, having rewatched All About Eve the other day, I think Anne Baxter is almost as good as Bette Davis, which is an accomplishment considering that Bette was always on fire in every role she did.

    FYC
    Everything Everywhere All at Once for everything, everywhere, all at once

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    Manav
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    #1204405808

    In the 21st century:

    2003
    Samantha Morton (In America)

    2006
    Penelope Cruz (Volver)
    Judi Dench (Notes On A Scandal)
    Kate Winslet (Little Children)

    2009
    Gabourey Sidibe (Precious)

    2010
    Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole)

    2012
    Naomi Watts (The Impossible)

    2014
    Marion Cotillard (Two Days One Night)

    2016
    Ruth Negga (Loving)

    2017
    Meryl Streep (The Post)

    2018
    Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)

    ~Not much active now due to a higher studies course
    ~still love watching films and television shows
    ~Everything Everywhere All At Once in all categories.
    ~Currently watching Abbott Elementary

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    veronikavoss
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    #1204405871

    Meryl gets so much recognition that many of her best nominations seem taken for granted — Silkwood, Cry in the Dark, Bridges of Madison County, Doubt, Julie & Julia, etc.

    Carol Kane, Hester Street – Impressive bilingual work for such a young actress, and an interesting little film that I wish I had known more about sooner.

    Geraldine Page, Interiors – Maybe was overshadowed critically by the Autumn Sonata actresses, but this to me is the most haunting work I’ve seen from her.

    Jane Alexander, Testament – Harrowing work in an underseen classic.

    Keira Knightley, Pride & Prejudice – I remember she was only sort of barely nominated but arguably should’ve won in her lineup.

    Helen Mirren, The Last Station – I always thought this was some of the fiercest work of her career. Just such fun, fiery energy to watch.

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    Barbra Please
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    #1204405915

    Man, I love this kind of thread!

    These performances, for my money, are the most underrated great performances ever recognized for the Oscar in the best actress category.

    Anne Bancroft, The Pumpkin Eater (1964)
    Ida Kaminska, The Shop On Main Street (1966)
    Carrie Snodgress, Diary of A Mad Housewife (1970)
    Cicely Tyson, Sounder (1972)
    Valerie Perrine, Lenny (1974)
    Anne Bancroft, The Turning Point (1977)
    Geraldine Page, Interiors (1978)
    Jessica Lange, Frances (1982)
    Jessica Lange, Music Box (1989)
    Anjelica Huston, The Grifters (1990)
    Stockard Channing, Six Degrees of Separation (1993)
    Meryl Streep, The Bridges of Madison County (1995)
    Kristin Scott Thomas, The English Patient (1996)
    Emily Watson, Breaking The Waves (1996)
    Fernanda Montenegro, Central Station (1998)
    Laura Linney, You Can Count On Me (2000)
    Diane Lane, Unfaithful (2002)
    Keisha Castle Hughes, The Whale Rider (2003)
    Catalina Sandino Moreno, Maria Full of Grace (2004)
    Judi Dench, Notes on A Scandal (2006)
    Kate Winslet, Little Children (2006)
    Angelina Jolie, Changeling (2008)
    Melissa Leo, Frozen River (2008)
    Helen Mirren, The Last Station (2009)
    Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine (2010)
    Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole (2010)
    Naomi Watts, The Impossible (2012)
    Judi Dench, Philomena (2013)
    Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night (2014)
    Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years (2015)
    Ruth Negga, Loving (2016)
    Yalitza Aparicio, Roma (2018)
    Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of A Woman (2020)

    FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION

    Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All At Once
    Tang Wei, Decision To Leave

    James Hong & Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All At Once

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    #1204405925
    This post was found to be inappropriate by the moderators and has been removed.
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    Orestes
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    #1204406087

    Hmm, a lot of people’s choices here were critics’ picks, which were expressly avoided by the OP. Anyway:

    Rachel Roberts – This Sporting Life
    Sophia Loren – Marriage Italian Style 
    Geneviève Bujold – Anne of the Thousand Days 
    Glenda Jackson – Sunday Bloody Sunday 
    Julie Andrews – Victor/Victoria (perhaps her best film performance)
    Emily Watson – Hilary and Jackie (she gets overshadowed by Blanchett and Montenegro in the 1998 conversation, as well as her own nominated performance in Breaking the Waves two years prior, but she’s spectacular as cello prodigy Jacqueline du Pré)
    Salma Hayek – Frida 
    Amy Adams – American Hustle

    Also Vanessa Redgrave for Isadora and The Bostonians: although she won NSFC for both, there doesn’t seem to be much adulation around either performance from critics or fans these days, possibly because the films are not up to her level, but this is some of her best work.

    I’m sure there are many other underrated gems I haven’t yet seen.

     

     

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    Piper Halliwell
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    #1204406094

    So many mentions of Dench in Notes on a Scandal, I thought she’s the consensus pick fo the best by at least the audience? She’s usually ranked higher than most nominees in that category.

    FYC 2022 Emmys:

    Best Actress in a Drama Series: Sandra Oh in "Killing Eve"

    Best Actress in a Comedy Series: Sandra Oh in "The Chair"

    Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Kim Joo-ryoung in "Squid Game"

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    puck05
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    #1204406135

    I’m not sure if she’s truly considered underrated, but Jill Clayburgh is absolutely phenomenal in An Unmarried Woman. Her performance is graceful, heartfelt, unabashedly feminist, and down-to-earth. SHE SHOULD HAVE WON!

    100% this!! This film is so ahead of its time. I also agree that Judi Dench indeed delivered one of the best female villainous performances in Notes on a Scandal. My other suggestions:

    Glenn Close- Dangerous Liaisons

    Elisabeth Shue- Leaving Las Vegas

    Brenda Blethyn- Secrets & Lies

    Emily Watson- Hilary and Jackie

    Annette Bening- American Beauty

    Julianne Moore- Far From Heaven (my personal favorite)

    Reese Witherspoon- Wild

    Natalie Portman- Jackie

    Sally Hawkins- The Shape of Water

     

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