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The Oscar Quest: A Viewer’s Guide (Best Supporting Actress)

The two macro articles I put up each time I do the Quest are the Viewer’s Guide and the Rankings. The Rankings are self-explanatory. The Viewer’s Guide is more universal. One is specific to the categories and picking winners. The Viewer’s Guide is more about how I feel about the films. If you wanted to find Oscar films to watch, you come here, and I tell you how I feel.

Last time I put out the Viewer’s Guide, it was done with a big color code, with each color used to signify how I felt about a film. Not the best system, especially since I put out hundreds of reviews each year on a star system. So we’re moving to the star system now.

Pretty simple — for each Oscar nominee’s film, I’ll assign a rating the way I’d assign a rating to any film I see each year. I don’t think anything’s gone under 2.5 stars, since I don’t think there are truly bad films nominated. The worst you’ll see is 2.5 stars, which for me means I was indifferent toward it. 3 stars is “pretty good.” 3.5 stars is “solid.” 4 stars is “liked it quite a bit.” 4.5 stars is “loved it.” And 5 stars is 5 stars.

The idea is for the ratings to help you find stuff you might like. Also, for each category I’ll tell you what I voted for, what I think would have held up as a winner from that category and how good a choice I think it was.

Here’s Best Supporting Actress:

2016 – Viola Davis, Fences — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Naomie Harris, Moonlight — * * * * * (5 stars)

Nicole Kidman, Lion — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures –* * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

My Vote: Viola Davis, Fences

What Would Have Held Up: N/A

The Choice: A

2015 – Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight — * * * * * (5 stars)

Rachel McAdams, Spotlight — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Rooney Mara, Carol — * * * * (4 stars)

Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs — * * * * * (5 stars)

My Vote: Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

What Would Have Held Up: N/A

The Choice: B-

2014 – Patricia Arquette, Boyhood — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Laura Dern, Wild — * * * (3 stars)

Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game — * * * * (4 stars)

Emma Stone, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) — * * * * * (5 stars)

Meryl Streep, Into the Woods — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

My Vote: Emma Stone, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

What Would Have Held Up: N/A

The Choice: A-/B+

2013 – Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave — * * * * * (5 stars)

Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Julia Roberts, August: Osage County — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

June Squibb, Nebraska — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

My Vote: Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave

What Would Have Held Up: N/A

The Choice: A

2012 – Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Amy Adams, The Master — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Sally Field, Lincoln — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Helen Hunt, The Sessions — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

My Vote: Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables

What Would Have Held Up: If any, Hathaway, maybe Adams.

The Choice: B

2011 – Octavia Spencer, The Help — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Bérénice Bejo, The Artist — * * * * * (5 stars)

Jessica Chastain, The Help — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids — * * * (3 stars)

Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs — * * * (3 stars)

My Vote: Jessica Chastain, The Help

What Would Have Held Up: If any, Chastain, maybe Bejo. In a way, Spencer.

The Choice: C

2010 – Melissa Leo, The Fighter — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Amy Adams, The Fighter — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit — * * * * * (5 stars)

Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom — * * * * (4 stars)

My Vote: Melissa Leo, The Fighter

What Would Have Held Up: Leo, Carter

The Choice: A-

2009 – Mo’Nique, Precious — * * * * (4 stars)

Penélope Cruz, Nine — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Maggie Gyllenhaal, Crazy Heart — * * * * (4 stars)

Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

My Vote: Mo’Nique, Precious

What Would Have Held Up: Mo’Nique

The Choice: A+

2008 – Penélope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona — * * * (3 stars)

Amy Adams, Doubt — * * * * (4 stars)

Viola Davis, Doubt — * * * * (4 stars)

Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler — * * * * * (5 stars)

My Vote: Viola Davis, Doubt

What Would Have Held Up: Davis. Jury’s out on Cruz. Maybe Adams.

The Choice: C+

2007 – Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton — * * * * * (5 stars)

Cate Blanchett, I’m Not There — * * * * (4 stars)

Ruby Dee, American Gangster — * * * * (4 stars)

Saorise Ronan, Atonement — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

My Vote: Saorise Ronan, Atonement

What Would Have Held Up: Blanchett, Ryan, Ronan, Swinton

The Choice: A-

2006 – Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls — * * * * (4 stars)

Adriana Barraza, Babel — * * * * (4 stars)

Cate Blanchett, Notes on a Scandal — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Abigail Breslin, Little Miss Sunshine — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Rinko Kikuchi, Babel — * * * * (4 stars)

My Vote: Adriana Barraza, Babel

What Would Have Held Up: If any, Hudson, Barraza, Kikuchi

The Choice: B-

2005 – Rachel Weisz, The Constant Gardener — * * * * (4 stars)

Amy Adams, Junebug — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Catherine Keener, Capote — * * * * (4 stars)

Frances McDormand, North Country — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Michelle Williams, Brokeback Mountain — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

My Vote: Amy Adams, Junebug

What Would Have Held Up: Weisz, maybe Adams, maybe Williams

The Choice: B+

2004 – Cate Blanchett, The Aviator — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Laura Linney, Kinsey — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Virginia Madsen, Sideways — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Sophie Okonedo, Hotel Rwanda — * * * * (4 stars)

Natalie Portman, Closer — * * * * (4 stars)

My Vote: Cate Blanchett, The Aviator

What Would Have Held Up: Blanchett, possibly Portman

The Choice: B+/A-

2003 – Renée Zellweger, Cold Mountain — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Shohreh Aghdashloo, House of Sand and Fog — * * * * (4 stars)

Patricia Clarkson, Pieces of April — * * ½ (2.5 stars)

Marcia Gay Harden, Mystic River — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Holly Hunter, Thirteen — * * * (3 stars)

My Vote: Shohreh Aghdashloo, House of Sand and Fog

What Would Have Held Up: If any, Aghdashloo

The Choice: D

2002 – Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chicago — * * * * (4 stars)

Kathy Bates, About Schmidt — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Julianne Moore, The Hours — * * * * (4 stars)

Queen Latifah, Chicago — * * * * (4 stars)

Meryl Streep, Adaptation — * * * * * (5 stars)

My Vote: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chicago

What Would Have Held Up: Zeta-Jones, Moore, maybe even Streep

The Choice: B+

2001 – Jennifer Connelly, A Beautiful Mind — * * * * (4 stars)

Helen Mirren, Gosford Park — * * * * (4 stars)

Maggie Smith, Gosford Park — * * * * (4 stars)

Marisa Tomei, In the Bedroom — * * * * (4 stars)

Kate Winslet, Iris — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

My Vote: Jennifer Connelly, A Beautiful Mind

What Would Have Held Up: Connelly

The Choice: B+

2000 – Marcia Gay Harden, Pollock — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Judi Dench, Chocolat — * * * * (4 stars)

Kate Hudson, Almost Famous — * * * * * (5 stars)

Frances McDormand, Almost Famous — * * * * * (5 stars)

Julie Walters, Billy Elliot — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

My Vote: Frances McDormand, Almost Famous

What Would Have Held Up: McDormand, maybe Hudson

The Choice: C

1999 – Angelina Jolie, Girl, Interrupted — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Toni Collette, The Sixth Sense — * * * * (4 stars)

Catherine Keener, Being John Malkovich — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Samantha Morton, Sweet and Lowdown — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Chloë Sevigny, Boys Don’t Cry — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

My Vote: Chloe Sevigny, Boys Don’t Cry

What Would Have Held Up: Jolie, Sevigny

The Choice: B

1998 – Judi Dench, Shakespeare in Love — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Kathy Bates, Primary Colors — * * * * (4 stars)

Brenda Blethyn, Little Voice — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Rachel Griffiths, Hilary and Jackie — * * * (3 stars)

Lynn Redgrave, Gods and Monsters — * * * * (4 stars)

My Vote: Brenda Blethyn, Little Voice

What Would Have Held Up: Dench, Blethyn

The Choice: B

1997 – Kim Basinger, L.A. Confidential — * * * * * (5 stars)

Joan Cusack, In & Out — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Minnie Driver, Good Will Hunting — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Julianne Moore, Boogie Nights — * * * * * (5 stars)

Gloria Stuart, Titanic — * * * * * (5 stars)

My Vote: Joan Cusack, In & Out

What Would Have Held Up: Moore, Basinger seemingly has

The Choice: B

1996 – Juliette Binoche, The English Patient — * * * * (4 stars)

Joan Allen, The Crucible — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Lauren Bacall, The Mirror Has Two Faces — * * ½ (2.5 stars)

Barbara Hershey, The Portrait of a Lady — * * ½ (2.5 stars)

Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Secrets & Lies — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

My Vote: Juliette Binoche, The English Patient

What Would Have Held Up: Binoche. Maybe Allen?

The Choice: B

1995 – Mira Sorvino, Mighty Aphrodite — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Joan Allen, Nixon — * * * * (4 stars)

Kathleen Quinlan, Apollo 13 — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Mare Winningham, Georgia — * * * (3 stars)

Kate Winslet, Sense and Sensibility — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

My Vote: Mira Sorvino, Mighty Aphrodite

What Would Have Held Up: Sorvino

The Choice: B+

1994 – Dianne Wiest, Bullets Over Broadway — * * * * (4 stars)

Rosemary Harris, Tom & Viv — * * ½ (2.5 stars)

Helen Mirren, The Madness of King George — * * * (3 stars)

Uma Thurman, Pulp Fiction — * * * * * (5 stars)

Jennifer Tilly, Bullets Over Broadway — * * * * (4 stars)

My Vote: Jennifer Tilly, Bullets Over Broadway

What Would Have Held Up: Tilly, and I guess Wiest

The Choice: B

1993 – Anna Paquin, The Piano — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Holly Hunter, The Firm — * * * * (4 stars)

Rosie Perez, Fearless — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Winona Ryder, The Age of Innocence — * * * * (4 stars)

Emma Thompson, In the Name of the Father — * * * * (4 stars)

My Vote: Rosie Perez, Fearless

What Would Have Held Up:

The Choice:

1992 – Marisa Tomei, My Cousin Vinny — * * * * * (5 stars)

Judy Davis, Husbands and Wives — * * ½ (2.5 stars)

Joan Plowright, Enchanted April — * * ½ (2.5 stars)

Vanessa Redgrave, Howards End — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Miranda Richardson, Damage — * * ½ (2.5 stars)

My Vote: Marisa Tomei, My Cousin Vinny

What Would Have Held Up: Tomei has. Davis could have.

The Choice: B

1991 – Mercedes Ruehl, The Fisher King — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Diane Ladd, Rambling Rose — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Juliette Lewis, Cape Fear — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Kate Nelligan, The Prince of Tides — * * * (3 stars)

Jessica Tandy, Fried Green Tomatoes — * * * (3 stars)

My Vote: Mercedes Ruehl, The Fisher King

What Would Have Held Up: If any, Ruehl.

The Choice: C+

1990 – Whoopi Goldberg, Ghost — * * * * (4 stars)

Annette Bening, The Grifters — * * * * (4 stars)

Lorraine Bracco, Goodfellas — * * * * * (5 stars)

Diane Ladd, Wild at Heart — * * * * (4 stars)

Mary McDonnell, Dances with Wolves — * * * * (4 stars)

My Vote: Lorraine Bracco, Goodfellas

What Would Have Held Up: Has Goldberg? I can’t tell. Bracco could have. Bening potentially.

The Choice: B-

1989 – Brenda Fricker, My Left Foot — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Anjelica Huston, Enemies, A Love Story — * * ½ (2.5 stars)

Lena Olin, Enemies, A Love Story — * * ½ (2.5 stars)

Julia Roberts, Steel Magnolias — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Dianne Wiest, Parenthood — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

My Vote: Brenda Fricker, My Left Foot

What Would Have Held Up: Fricker

The Choice: B+/A-

1988 – Geena Davis, The Accidental Tourist — * * * (3 stars)

Joan Cusack, Working Girl — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Frances McDormand, Mississippi Burning — * * * * (4 stars)

Michelle Pfeiffer, Dangerous Liaisons — * * * * (4 stars)

Sigourney Weaver, Working Girl — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

My Vote: Geena Davis, The Accidental Tourist

What Would Have Held Up: If any, Davis or maybe Pfeiffer.

The Choice: C

1987 – Olympia Dukakis, Moonstruck — * * * * (4 stars)

Norma Aleandro, Gaby: A True Story — * * ½ (2.5 stars)

Anne Archer, Fatal Attraction — * * * * (4 stars)

Anne Ramsey, Throw Momma From the Train — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Ann Sothern, The Whales of August — * * ½ (2.5 stars)

My Vote: Anne Ramsey, Throw Momma from the Train

What Would Have Held Up: Dukakis

The Choice: B

1986 – Dianne Wiest, Hannah and Her Sisters — * * * (3 stars)

Tess Harper, Crimes of the Heart — * * * (3 stars)

Piper Laurie, Children of a Lesser God — * * * * (4 stars)

Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, The Color of Money — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Maggie Smith, A Room with a View — * * * (3 stars)

My Vote: Dianne Wiest, Hannah and Her Sisters

What Would Have Held Up: Wiest

The Choice: B+

1985 – Anjelica Huston, Prizzi’s Honor — * * * * (4 stars)

Margaret Avery, The Color Purple — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Amy Madigan, Twice in a Lifetime — * * * (3 stars)

Meg Tilly, Agnes of God — * * * (3 stars)

Oprah Winfrey, The Color Purple — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

My Vote: Meg Tilly, Agnes of God

What Would Have Held Up: Oprah, and to an extent Huston. Tilly maybe.

The Choice: B

1984 – Peggy Ashcroft, A Passage to India — * * * (3 stars)

Glenn Close, The Natural — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Lindsay Crouse, Places in the Heart — * * * * (4 stars)

Christine Lahti, Swing Shift — * * ½ (2.5 stars)

Geraldine Page, The Pope of Greenwich Village — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

My Vote: Peggy Ashcroft, A Passage to India

What Would Have Held Up: Ashcroft

The Choice: C

1983 – Linda Hunt, The Year of Living Dangerously — * * * (3 stars)

Cher, Silkwood — * * * * (4 stars)

Glenn Close, The Big Chill — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Amy Irving, Yentl — * * * (3 stars)

Alfre Woodard, Cross Creek — * * ½ (2.5 stars)

My Vote: Linda Hunt, The Year of Living Dangerously

What Would Have Held Up: Hunt

The Choice: A-

1982 – Jessica Lange, Tootsie — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Glenn Close, The World According to Garp — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Teri Garr, Tootsie — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Kim Stanley, Frances — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Lesley Ann Warren, Victor Victoria — * * * * (4 stars)

My Vote: Teri Garr, Tootsie

What Would Have Held Up: Lange sort of? Close for sure. Garr I think could have.

The Choice: B-

1981 – Maureen Stapleton, Reds — * * * * (4 stars)

Melinda Dillon, Absence of Malice — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Jane Fonda, On Golden Pond — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Joan Hackett, Only When I Laugh — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Elizabeth McGovern, Ragtime — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

My Vote: Maureen Stapleton, Reds

What Would Have Held Up: Stapleton

The Choice: B

1980 – Mary Steenburgen, Melvin and Howard — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Eileen Brennan, Private Benjamin — * * * * (4 stars)

Eva Le Gallienne, Resurrection — * * ½ (2.5 stars)

Cathy Moriarty, Raging Bull — * * * * * (5 stars)

Diana Scarwid, Inside Moves — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

My Vote: Mary Steenburgen, Melvin and Howard

What Would Have Held Up: Steenburgen. Possibly Moriarty.

The Choice: B

1979 – Meryl Streep, Kramer vs. Kramer — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Jane Alexander, Kramer vs. Kramer — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Barbara Barrie, Breaking Away — * * * * (4 stars)

Candice Bergen, Starting Over — * * * (3 stars)

Mariel Hemingway, Manhattan — * * ½ (2.5 stars)

My Vote: Meryl Streep, Kramer vs. Kramer

What Would Have Held Up: Meryl

The Choice: A/A-

1978 – Maggie Smith, California Suite — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Dyan Cannon, Heaven Can Wait — * * * * (4 stars)

Penelope Milford, Coming Home — * * * * (4 stars)

Maureen Stapleton, Interiors — * * ½ (2.5 stars)

Meryl Streep, The Deer Hunter — * * * * * (5 stars)

My Vote: Maggie Smith, California Suite

What Would Have Held Up: Smith, and probably Meryl

The Choice: B/B+

1977 – Vanessa Redgrave, Julia — * * * * (4 stars)

Leslie Browne, The Turning Point — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Quinn Cummings, The Goodbye Girl — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Melinda Dillon, Close Encounters of the Third Kind — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Tuesday Weld, Looking for Mr. Goodbar — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

My Vote: Vanessa Redgrave, Julia

What Would Have Held Up: Redgrave

The Choice: B+

1976 – Beatrice Straight, Network — * * * * * (5 stars)

Jane Alexander, All the President’s Men — * * * * * (5 stars)

Jodie Foster, Taxi Driver — * * * * * (5 stars)

Lee Grant, Voyage of the Damned — * * * (3 stars)

Piper Laurie, Carrie — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

My Vote: Beatrice Straight, Network

What Would Have Held Up: Straight to an extent. Foster’s probably the only other one.

The Choice: B-

1975 – Lee Grant, Shampoo — * * * * (4 stars)

Ronnee Blakley, Nashville — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Sylvia Miles, Farewell, My Lovely — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Lily Tomlin, Nashville — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Brenda Vaccaro, Once Is Not Enough — * * ½ (2.5 stars)

My Vote: Ronee Blakley, Nashville

What Would Have Held Up: Uhh… Grant sort of has. Blakley or Tomlin could have

The Choice: B-

1974 – Ingrid Bergman, Murder on the Orient Express — * * * * (4 stars)

Valentina Cortese, Day for Night — * * * (3 stars)

Madeline Kahn, Blazing Saddles — * * * * * (5 stars)

Diane Ladd, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore — * * * * (4 stars)

Talia Shire, The Godfather Part II — * * * * * (5 stars)

My Vote: Diane Ladd, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

What Would Have Held Up: Good question. Most of them could have. Bergman on paper has, but really doesn’t.

The Choice: D

1973 – Tatum O’Neal, Paper Moon — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Linda Blair, The Exorcist — * * * * * (5 stars)

Candy Clark, American Graffiti — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Madeline Kahn, Paper Moon — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Sylvia Sydney, Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams — * * ½ (2.5 stars)

My Vote: Tatum O’Neal, Paper Moon

What Would Have Held Up: O’Neal. Blair. Maybe Kahn.

The Choice: A-

1972 – Eileen Heckart, Butterflies are Free — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Jeannie Berlin, The Heartbreak Kid — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Geraldine Page, Pete ‘n’ Tillie — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Susan Tyrell, Fat City — * * * (3 stars)

Shelley Winters, The Poseidon Adventure — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

My Vote: Susan Tyrell, Fat City

What Would Have Held Up: Ehh. Maybe Winters?

The Choice: C

1971 – Cloris Leachman, The Last Picture Show — * * * * (4 stars)

Ellen Burstyn, The Last Picture Show — * * * * (4 stars)

Barbara Harris, Who is Harry Kellerman and Why is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? — * * * * (4 stars)

Margaret Leighton, The Go-Between — * * ½ (2.5 stars)

Ann-Margret, Carnal Knowledge — * * * * (4 stars)

My Vote: Barbara Harris, Who is Harry Kellerman and Why is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?

What Would Have Held Up: Leachman, maybe Ann-Margret?

The Choice: B+

1970 – Helen Hayes, Airport — * * * * (4 stars)

Karen Black, Five Easy Pieces — * * * * (4 stars)

Lee Grant, The Landlord — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Sally Kellerman, MASH — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Maureen Stapleton, Airport — * * * * (4 stars)

My Vote: Karen Black, Five Easy Pieces

What Would Have Held Up: Hayes maybe has? Black could have.

The Choice: C

1969 – Goldie Hawn, Cactus Flower — * * * * (4 stars)

Catherine Burns, Last Summer — * * * * (4 stars)

Dyan Cannon, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice — * * * * (4 stars)

Sylvia Miles, Midnight Cowboy — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Susannah York, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

My Vote: Catherine Burns, Last Summer

What Would Have Held Up: Hawn kind of has. Burns on performance. York maybe.

The Choice: B/B-

1968 – Ruth Gordon, Rosemary’s Baby — * * * * * (5 stars)

Lynn Carlin, Faces — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Sondra Locke, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter — * * * * (4 stars)

Kay Medford, Funny Girl — * * * * (4 stars)

Estelle Parsons, Rachel, Rachel — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

My Vote: Ruth Gordon, Rosemary’s Baby

What Would Have Held Up: Gordon

The Choice: A-

1967 – Estelle Parsons, Bonnie and Clyde — * * * * * (5 stars)

Carol Channing, Thoroughly Modern Millie — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Mildred Natwick, Barefoot in the Park — * * * * (4 stars)

Beah Richards, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Katharine Ross, The Graduate — * * * * * (5 stars)

My Vote: Estelle Parsons, Bonnie and Clyde

What Would Have Held Up: Parsons

The Choice: A

1966 – Sandy Dennis, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? — * * * * * (5 stars)

Wendy Hiller, A Man for All Seasons — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Jocelyne LaGarde, Hawaii — * * * (3 stars)

Vivien Merchant, Alfie — * * * * (4 stars)

Geraldine Page, You’re a Big Boy Now — * * ½ (2.5 stars)

My Vote: Sandy Dennis, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

What Would Have Held Up: Dennis, maybe Hiller

The Choice: B+/A-

1965 – Shelley Winters, A Patch of Blue — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Ruth Gordon, Inside Daisy Clover — * * * * (4 stars)

Joyce Redman, Othello — * * * (3 stars)

Maggie Smith, Othello — * * * (3 stars)

Peggy Wood, The Sound of Music — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

My Vote: Shelley Winters, A Patch of Blue

What Would Have Held Up: Winters

The Choice: B+/A-

1964 – Lila Kedrova, Zorba the Greek — * * * * (4 stars)

Gladys Cooper, My Fair Lady — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Edith Evans, The Chalk Garden — * * * (3 stars)

Grayson Hall, The Night of the Iguana — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Agnes Moorehead, Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

My Vote: Lila Kedrova, Zorba the Greek

What Would Have Held Up: Ehh. Kedrova somewhat has. Moorehead on stature.

The Choice: B-

1963 – Margaret Rutherford, The V.I.P.s — * * * * (4 stars)

Diane Cilento, Tom Jones — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Edith Evans, Tom Jones — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Joyce Redman, Tom Jones — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Lilia Skala, Lilies of the Field — * * * (3 stars)

My Vote: Joyce Redman, Tom Jones

What Would Have Held Up: Ehh.

The Choice: C-

1962 – Patty Duke, The Miracle Worker — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Mary Badham, To Kill a Mockingbird — * * * * * (5 stars)

Shirley Knight, Sweet Bird of Youth — * * * * (4 stars)

Angela Lansbury, The Manchurian Candidate — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Thelma Ritter, Birdman of Alcatraz — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

My Vote: Patty Duke, The Miracle Worker

What Would Have Held Up: Duke, Badham. Then Lansbury

The Choice: A+

1961 – Rita Moreno, West Side Story — * * * * * (5 stars)

Fay Bainter, The Children’s Hour — * * * * (4 stars)

Judy Garland, Judgment at Nuremberg — * * * * * (5 stars)

Lotte Lenya, The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone — * * * (3 stars)

Una Merkel, Summer and Smoke — * * ½ (2.5 stars)

My Vote: Rita Moreno, West Side Story

What Would Have Held Up: Moreno. Then Garland.

The Choice: A

1960 – Shirley Jones, Elmer Gantry — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Glynis Johns, The Sundowners — * * * * * (5 stars)

Shirley Knight, The Dark at the Top of the Stairs — * * ½ (2.5 stars)

Janet Leigh, Psycho — * * * * * (5 stars)

Mary Ure, Sons and Lovers — * * * * (4 stars)

My Vote: Shirley Jones, Elmer Gantry

What Would Have Held Up: Jones. And Leih could have.

The Choice: B+

1959 – Shelley Winters, The Diary of Anne Frank — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Hermione Baddeley, Room at the Top — * * * * (4 stars)

Susan Kohner, Imitation of Life — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Juanita Moore, Imitation of Life — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Thelma Ritter, Pillow Talk — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

My Vote: Juanita Moore, Imitation of Life

What Would Have Held Up: Winters, Moore, Kohner.

The Choice: B+

1958 – Wendy Hiller, Separate Tables — * * * * (4 stars)

Peggy Cass, Auntie Mame — * * * * (4 stars)

Martha Hyer, Some Came Running — * * * * (4 stars)

Maureen Stapleton, Lonelyhearts — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Cara Williams, The Defiant Ones — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

My Vote: Wendy Hiller, Separate Tables

What Would Have Held Up: Hiller

The Choice: B

1957 – Miyoshi Umeki, Sayonara — * * * * (4 stars)

Carolyn Jones, The Bachelor Party — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Elsa Lanchester, Witness for Prosecution — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Hope Lange, Peyton Place — * * * * (4 stars)

Diane Varsi, Peyton Place — * * * * (4 stars)

My Vote: Carolyn Jones, The Bachelor Party

What Would Have Held Up: Maybe none?

The Choice: C

1956 – Dorothy Malone, Written on the Wind — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Mildred Dunnock, Baby Doll — * * * * (4 stars)

Eileen Heckart, The Bad Seed — * * * * (4 stars)

Mercedes McCambridge, Giant — * * * * * (5 stars)

Patty McCormack, The Bad Seed — * * * * (4 stars)

My Vote: Eileen Heckart, The Bad Seed

What Would Have Held Up: Malone is fine. Heckart or McCormack maybe. McCambridge possibly.

The Choice: B

1955 – Jo Van Fleet, East of Eden — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Betsy Blair, Marty — * * * * * (5 stars)

Peggy Lee, Pete Kelly’s Blues — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Marisa Pavan, The Rose Tattoo — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Natalie Wood, Rebel Without a Cause — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

My Vote: Betsy Blair, Marty

What Would Have Held Up: Van Fleet, Blair

The Choice: B+

1954 – Eva Marie Saint, On the Waterfront — * * * * * (5 stars)

Nina Foch, Executive Suite — * * * * (4 stars)

Katy Jurado, Broken Lance — * * * (3 stars)

Jan Sterling, The High and the Mighty — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Claire Trevor, The High and the Mighty — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

My Vote: Eva Marie Saint, On the Waterfront

What Would Have Held Up: Saint

The Choice: A-

1953 – Donna Reed, From Here to Eternity — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Grace Kelly, Mogambo — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Geraldine Page, Hondo — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Marjorie Rambeau, Torch Song — * * * (3 stars)

Thelma Ritter, Pickup on South Street — * * * * (4 stars)

My Vote: Thelma Ritter, Pickup on South Street

What Would Have Held Up: Reed’s fine. Kelly maybe. Ritter probably.

The Choice: B/B-

1952 – Gloria Grahame, The Bad and the Beautiful — * * * * * (5 stars)

Jean Hagan, Singin’ in the Rain — * * * * * (5 stars)

Collette Marchand, Moulin Rouge — * * * * (4 stars)

Terry Moore, Come Back, Little Sheba — * * * * (4 stars)

Thelma Ritter, With a Song in My Heart — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

My Vote: Collette Marchand, Moulin Rouge

What Would Have Held Up: Grahame’s fine, kind of. Maybe Hagen?

The Choice: C+

1951 – Kim Hunter, A Streetcar Named Desire — * * * * * (5 stars)

Joan Blondell, The Blue Veil — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Mildred Dunnock, Death of a Salesman — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Lee Grant, Detective Story — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Thelma Ritter, The Mating Season — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

My Vote: Kim Hunter, A Streetcar Named Desire

What Would Have Held Up: Hunter

The Choice: A-

1950 – Josephine Hull, Harvey — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Hope Emerson, Caged — * * * * (4 stars)

Celeste Holm, All About Eve — * * * * * (5 stars)

Nancy Olson, Sunset Boulevard — * * * * * (5 stars)

Thelma Ritter, All About Eve — * * * * * (5 stars)

My Vote: Hope Emerson, Caged

What Would Have Held Up: None? Any? No idea.

The Choice: B-

1949 – Mercedes McCambridge, All the King’s Men — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Ethel Barrymore, Pinky — * * * * (4 stars)

Celeste Holm, Come to the Stable — * * ½ (2.5 stars)

Elsa Lanchester, Come to the Stable — * * ½ (2.5 stars)

Ethel Waters, Pinky — * * * * (4 stars)

My Vote: Mercedes McCambridge, All the King’s Men

What Would Have Held Up: McCambridge

The Choice: A-

1948 – Claire Trevor, Key Largo — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Barbara Bel Geddes, I Remember Mama — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Ellen Corby, I Remember Mama — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Agnes Moorehead, Johnny Belinda — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Jean Simmons, Hamlet — * * * * (4 stars)

My Vote: Claire Trevor, Key Largo

What Would Have Held Up: Trevor. Maybe Moorehead.

The Choice: A-

1947 – Celeste Holm, Gentleman’s Agreement — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Ethel Barrymore, The Paradine Case — * * * * (4 stars)

Gloria Grahame, Crossfire — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Marjorie Mann, The Egg and I — * * * (3 stars)

Anne Revere, Gentleman’s Agreement — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

My Vote: Celeste Holm, Gentleman’s Agreement

What Would Have Held Up: Holm, if any.

The Choice: C+

1946 – Anne Baxter, The Razor’s Edge — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Ethel Barrymore, The Spiral Staircase — * * * * (4 stars)

Lillian Gish, Duel in the Sun — * * * * (4 stars)

Flora Robson, Saratoga Trunk — * * ½ (2.5 stars)

Gale Sondergaard, Anna and the King of Siam — * * * * (4 stars)

My Vote: Anne Baxter, The Razor’s Edge

What Would Have Held Up: Only Baxter, really.

The Choice: B

1945 – Anne Revere, National Velvet — * * * * * (5 stars)

Eve Arden, Mildred Pierce — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Ann Blyth, Mildred Pierce — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Angela Lansbury, The Picture of Dorian Gray — * * * * (4 stars)

Joan Lorring, The Corn is Green — * * * (3 stars)

My Vote: Ann Blyth, Mildred Pierce

What Would Have Held Up: Revere’s fine. Blyth could have.

The Choice: B+/B

1944 – Ethel Barrymore, None But the Lonely Heart — * * * * (4 stars)

Jennifer Jones, Since You Went Away — * * * * (4 stars)

Angela Lansbury, Gaslight — * * * * (4 stars)

Aline MacMahon, Dragon Seed — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Agnes Moorhead, Mrs. Parkington — * * * (3 stars)

My Vote: Agnes Moorehead, Mrs. Parkington

What Would Have Held Up: Moorehead on the year she had. Barrymore’s fine. Jones potentially.

The Choice: B+

1943 – Katina Paxinou, For Whom the Bell Tolls — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Gladys Cooper, The Song of Bernadette — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Paulette Godard, So Proudly We Hail — * * * (3 stars)

Anne Revere, The Song of Bernadette — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Lucile Watson, Watch on the Rhine — * * * (3 stars)

My Vote: Katina Paxinou, For Whom the Bell Tolls

What Would Have Held Up: Paxinou

The Choice: B

1942 – Teresa Wright, Mrs. Miniver — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Gladys Cooper, Now, Voyager — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Agnes Moorehead, The Magnificent Ambersons — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Susan Peters, Random Harvest — * * * * * (5 stars)

Dame Mae Whitty, Mrs. Miniver — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

My Vote: Agnes Moorehead, The Magnificent Ambersons

What Would Have Held Up: Moorehead, Wright

The Choice: B+

1941 – Mary Astor, The Great Lie — * * * (3 stars)

Sara Allgood, How Green Was My Valley — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Patricia Collinge, The Little Foxes — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Teresa Wright, The Little Foxes — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Margaret Wycherly, Sergeant York — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

My Vote: Patricia Collinge, The Little Foxes

What Would Have Held Up: Astor on paper only. Wright or Collinge probably could have.

The Choice: C

1940 – Jane Darwell, The Grapes of Wrath — * * * * * (5 stars)

Judith Anderson, Rebecca — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Ruth Hussey, The Philadelphia Story — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Barbara O’Neil, All This and Heaven Too — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Marjorie Rambeau, Primrose Path — * * * (3 stars)

My Vote: Jane Darwell, The Grapes of Wrath

What Would Have Held Up: Darwell, then Anderson

The Choice: A

1939 – Hattie McDaniel, Gone With the Wind — * * * * * (5 stars)

Olivia de Havilland, Gone With the Wind — * * * * * (5 stars)

Geraldine Fitzgerald, Wuthering Heights — * * * * (4 stars)

Edna May Oliver, Drums Along the Mohawk — * * * * (4 stars)

Maria Ouspenskaya, Love Affair — * * * * (4 stars)

My Vote: Hattie McDaniel, Gone With the Wind

What Would Have Held Up: McDaniel. Then de Havilland.

The Choice: A+

1938 – Fay Bainter, Jezebel — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Beulah Bondi, Of Human Hearts — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Billie Burke, Merrily We Live — * * * (3 stars)

Spring Byington, You Can’t Take It with You — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Miliza Korjus, The Great Waltz — * * ½ (2.5 stars)

My Vote: Beulah Bondi, Of Human Hearts

What Would Have Held Up: Bainter’s fine, but meh. Bondi could have.

The Choice: C

1937 – Alice Brady, In Old Chicago — * * * (3 stars)

Andrea Leeds, Stage Door — * * * * (4 stars)

Anne Shirley, Stella Dallas — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Claire Trevor, Dead End — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Dame Mae Whitty, Night Must Fall — * * * (3 stars)

My Vote: Andrea Leeds, Stage Door

What Would Have Held Up: Brady on paper only. Leeds on performance. Maybe Trevor.

The Choice: C

1936 – Gale Sondergaard, Anthony Adverse — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Beulah Bondi, The Gorgeous Hussy — * * * (3 stars)

Alice Brady, My Man Godfrey — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

Bonita Granville, These Three — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Maria Ouspenskaya, Dodsworth — * * * * ½ (4.5 stars)

My Vote: Bonita Granville, These Three

What Would Have Held Up: Bondi on paper. Granville I think, on performance.

The Choice: C-/C

– – – – – – – – – –

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