The Oscar Quest: Best Actress – 1984
I hate 1984. It’s just so boring. And so weak. Not that they didn’t make a good decision. Amadeus was clearly the best film of the year and should have won Best Picture. Milos Forman also winning Best Director (talked about here) was the only good choice they could have made, and F. Murray Abraham totally deserved Best Actor for the film (as did Tom Hulce. Too bad they didn’t tie. That would have been awesome).
But outside of those awards, Best Supporting Actor going to Haing S. Ngor for The Killing Fields I don’t like (explained why here), and Best Supporting Actress going to Peggy Ashcroft for A Passage to India makes a little sense, but it’s just boring. The film and the decision. And then there’s this category. I don’t know what it is about this year, but they really liked “strong woman helps keep farm afloat” stories. Three of them got nominated in this category. Three. And the one that won had the woman doing it without a husband. She had a black man and a blind man instead. Technically I guess that does make it a “stronger” performance.
But, wow, do I disagree with three nominees here. At least three. Possibly even all five. But I can accept two. I can accept the Sally Field and Judy Davis nominations. The others just felt like filler. Stature noms. “Who are we going to nominate?” “Well, we like Sissy Spacek and Jessica Lange. Let’s go with them.” (Don’t even get me started on the Redgrave nomination.) So, let’s see if we can find any alternatives.
I’d say the actress who played Mozart’s wife in Amadeus, but that’s supporting at best. Would the Academy nominate Frances McDormand for Blood Simple? I doubt it. I liked Micki + Maude a lot, but that’s a comedy. Most people would say The Terminator, but I know the Academy. That would never happen. Uhh — Apollonia in Purple Rain? Wow, what the fuck, 1984? You sucked for good female performances.
BEST ACTRESS – 1984
And the nominees were…
Judy Davis, A Passage to India
Sally Field, Places in the Heart
Jessica Lange, Country
Vanessa Redgrave, The Bostonians
Sissy Spacek, The River (more…)