The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actress – 1987

Thank God we’re almost done with 1987. I hate this year. It’s not that they made bad decisions, it’s just — it’s so boring. The Last Emperor is just a boring Best Picture choice. It’s a great film, but does anybody care that it won? Bernardo Bertolucci winning Best Director for it (talked about here) is a good decision, I’ll give them that. But the film is just so boring as a Best Picture winner.

Michael Douglas won Best Actor for Wall Street (talked about here), which is a wonderful decision, and one people can’t complain about because the category is so weak. Best Actress was Cher for Moonstruck, which, as I said here, I hate as a decision. Really hate. Holly Hunter and Glenn Close were such better choices. And Best Supporting Actor was Sean Connery for The Untouchables (talked about here), which — it’s Sean Connery. Of course it’s great.

Which brings us to this category. Oh yeah, we’re looking for alternatives here. I definitely disagree with two of these nominees. And since most of the other three are so weak, I’ll sacrifice any one of those three as a third nominee. Let’s see if there were any other performances worth nominating instead — nothing. At least at first glance. Wow, this year sucked. Every decade has one, it seems.


And the nominees were…

Norma Aleandro, Gaby: A True Story

Anne Archer, Fatal Attraction

Olympia Dukakis, Moonstruck

Anne Ramsey, Throw Momma from the Train

Ann Sothern, The Whales of August

Aleandro — Gaby: A True Story is a true story about Gaby.

I wish I was able to just have that be my synopsis. But I’m too earnest about movies to leave it like that.

Gaby is a developmentally disabled girl, and the film is about her parents trying to raise her. And Norma Aleandro is her nurse, who cares for her. And we see her as she grows up and graduates high school. That’s the film. It’s very 80s. Also very boring.

I really have no idea why Aleandro was nominated. I saw nothing here worth nominating. But, she’s here, so, we move her to the back of the line and try to find someone worth voting for.

Archer — Fatal Attraction is such a great film. It’s a classic too, so if you haven’t seen it, you need to get on it.

Michael Douglas has an affair with Glenn Close while his wife is out of town. He figures it’s a one night thing, but she doesn’t. She goes crazy white bitch on him. When he tries to end it, she slits her wrists. Then she goes psycho, stalking him, doing crazy shit like boiling his daughter’s pet rabbit. Crazy shit. Glenn Close is awesome here. Naturally it ends how you think it’s gonna end. It’s pretty fantastic.

Anne Archer plays Douglas’s wife. She has a complicated part, and pulls it off convincingly. Really though, Glenn Close was the only one who should have won for this film. Archer was nice to have been nominated, but shouldn’t have won. It’s not that kind of role. Strong, but not worth more than a nomination.

Dukakis — Moonstruck is a film I don’t like very much. Perhaps it’s because I’m too close to the material. Either way, my views on this film will be forever tainted. Because I grew up around people who were like the characters in this film. That’s not exactly a basis for me liking it.

Cher plays a Brooklyn accountant. She’s engaged to Danny Aiello, older than her and pretty boring. She’s not really in love with him. He has her invite his estranged brother (Nicolas Cage, oh yeah) to the wedding, while he’s in Italy to tell his sick mother about the marriage. Cher ends up having an affair with Cage and falling in love with him. The part of the movie we’re concerned with is Cher’s parents. Her father, Vincent Gardenia, is having an affair. Her mother, Olympia Dukakis, knows about it. And she demands her husband stop having the affair. That’s pretty much all Olympia Dukakis does in this movie. I don’t quite know how she won. She’s entertaining, but this is not a performance that should have won. Therefore I am convinced she only won because she is who she is. Otherwise, I don’t think she should have won this at all.

Ramsey — Throw Momma from the Train is a comedic version of Strangers on a Train. Billy Crystal is a writer with writer’s block because his ex-wife stole his book idea and got famous off of it. Danny DeVito is a single man living with his mother (Ramsey) whom he hates. They meet in a writing class and end up seeing and having a conversation about Strangers on a Train. They discuss how the murder situation in the film would solve both of their problems. Crystal thinks it’s a joke. Then, a few weeks later, his ex-wife turns up missing. And he discovers DeVito took him seriously. So now he has to go and kill DeVito’s mother for him, because that’s part of the bargain. And a lot of the comedy from the film comes from Crystal’s attempts to kill Anne Ramsey. It’s a funny film.

I have to tell you — if you’ve seen this film, you know how good Anne Ramsey is in it.

She’s so great here.

Sothern — The Whales of August is an old person film. Bette Davis and Ann Sothern are old women. They’re in a cottage on the beach. They do old person things. Vincent Price is there. There’s a pseudo-old person romance going on. That’s pretty much the film. It’s very boring, despite also being very short. Not my cup of tea at all.

Ann Sothern was nominated because she was almost 80. That’s it. Never gonna win in a million years, despite the weakness of the category. So that’s another one we immediately cross off.

My Thoughts: How the fuck does Anne Ramsey not win this? Had they not seen Throw Momma from the Train? “Owennn!!!!!!” That right there wins an Oscar. That’s such a perfect character creation. I mean, really. She’s the only person worth voting for here. What a weak set of nominees. But really. It’s Anne Ramsey all the way. I guess I understand Dukakis because she’s a respected actress, but Ramsey is my vote all the way.

My Vote: Ramsey

Should Have Won: Ramsey

Is the result acceptable?: No. And kinda yes. I think Ramsey was the best performance here, and to see them just give it to someone else just feels unacceptable. Yet — Olympia Dukakis is probably the second choice in this weak ass category, and her over anyone else aside from Anne Ramsey is the best decision. Better her than one of the other three. Plus Olympia Dukakis is a respected actress. So, it is kind of acceptable. Plus, it’s mostly a dead category, so it is acceptable based on that. Nothing really stands out, so it’s just a dead category. So, yeah, I guess it’s acceptable. Anne Ramsey was still the best performance here, though.

Performances I suggest you see: Throw Momma from the Train. See this. It’s so awesome. It’s really great.

Fatal Attraction is also an awesome movie. Perhaps the finest in crazy white bitch movies. See this. It’s incredible. Glenn Close is fantastic.

Moonstruck — I’m not recommending it to you for any reason except because of Nicolas Cage. That is all.


5) Sothern

4) Aleandro

3) Dukakis

2) Archer

1) Ramsey

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