Best Supporting Actress 1980

1927/28 through 1997

Best Supporting Actress 1980

Eileen Brennan - Private Benjamin
9
24%
Eva Le Gallienne - Resurrection
9
24%
Cathy Moriarty - Raging Bull
4
11%
Diana Scarwid - Inside Moves
0
No votes
Mary Steenburgen - Melvin and Howard
16
42%
 
Total votes: 38

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flipp525
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Postby flipp525 » Tue Sep 07, 2010 5:13 pm

Big Magilla wrote:"(It's) jarringly, piece by piece, line by line, and without interruption, worthless." She went on to say that Kael's post-sixties work contained "nothing certainly of intelligence or sensibility," and faulted her "quirks and mannerisms," including Kael's repeated use of the "bullying" imperative and rhetorical question.

Besides Adler herself, you should probably attribute Wikipedia. This is practically word-for-word from their entry on Pauline Kael.




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Postby Cinemanolis » Tue Sep 07, 2010 4:15 pm

Voted for Eileen Brennan, though my choice for 1980 would be Nicole Garcia "Mon Oncle D'Amerique".

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Postby Big Magilla » Tue Sep 07, 2010 4:07 pm

Mister Tee wrote:Pauline Kael said at the time that LaGalliene spoke her lines as if she'd spent every minute of her life onstage. I never for a moment I was watching anything but An Actress, which took me out of the film entirely. I'm sorry I never saw her onstage, but this performance isn't much of a career highlight.

I think you know my opinion of Pauline and the Paulettes, Armond White, Roger Ebert and Owen Glieberman in particular. If not, let me quote her New Yorker colleague Renata Adler's dismissal of Kael's 1980 collection of reviews, When the Lights Go Down:

"(It's) jarringly, piece by piece, line by line, and without interruption, worthless." She went on to say that Kael's post-sixties work contained "nothing certainly of intelligence or sensibility," and faulted her "quirks and mannerisms," including Kael's repeated use of the "bullying" imperative and rhetorical question.

At any rate, you can more or less see LeGallienne on "stage" in the Broadway Archive production of The Royal Family as done for PBS. Netflix should have it.
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Postby OscarGuy » Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:19 pm

Tee, I'm with you on Melvin and Howard. Just ask Magilla. I didn't find it all that funny. It was disjointed and seemed to tell two different stories. It had an unsympathetic lead and Steenburgen was ok, but I don't see where the glowing reviews of her work come from.

I love Eileen Brennan and I haven't seen Private Benjamin since I was very young, but of the things I remember about the film, she is it.
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Postby Bruce_Lavigne » Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:49 pm

Steenburgen is as worthy a winner as any this category has ever produced. Simply put, she delivers a great performance in a great movie, which is more than enough to merit a win in my book.

But I'm of the opinion that Raging Bull is the greatest film of the '80s and one of the greatest of all time -- the general consensus in the "real" movie-buff world, but virtual heresy on this board. So since I don't imagine many other regular posters will do so, I feel compelled to toss a vote Moriarty's way. She's perfectly cast as the Bronx Lolita of her first scenes, but masterfully conveys a world-weary toughness later on that's all the more surprising considering her age at the time. And throughout, she holds her own against Robert De Niro, who's giving one of the great filmed performances of all time. This is a good all-around lineup, but Moriarty is an easy choice for me.




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Postby Mister Tee » Tue Sep 07, 2010 12:53 pm

1980 was the year it became clear the 70s renaissance was a thing of the past; bountiful 1979 had been not fresh energy, but a last gasp. The Oscar race in 1980, like many to follow, was largely from hunger. It in fact only attained respectability because several little projects were plucked from obscurity: at some point in that year, The Stunt Man, The Great Santini, Melvin and Howard and Resurrection had each been put on a shelf by its distributor...but the low-energy Oscar race, plus various critical boostings, eventually got all of them out there, and into major category nominations.

My major disappointment was the omission of Debra Winger, who had blazed onto the screen in the otherwise unexceptional Urban Cowboy. The film was even a box office success, so I never did understand her being left off.

Beverly D'Angelo was good, but -- whether at Spacek's direction or not -- her part wasn't big enough to nail down a nomination. And I'll continue to take the contrary position from others here: that Jessica Lange's Patsy five year later was as good or better.

I'm not real excited about any of the actual nominees.

Scarwid's nomination was an out-of-the-blue-r for me. The film had opened at Christmas with little fanfare, and I'd never heard of Scarwid till seeing her listed. She's fine, but nothing that'd lead you to expect a nomination from such a minor film.

Pauline Kael said at the time that LaGalliene spoke her lines as if she'd spent every minute of her life onstage. I never for a moment I was watching anything but An Actress, which took me out of the film entirely. I'm sorry I never saw her onstage, but this performance isn't much of a career highlight.

Private Benjamin is a movie I just didn't find very funny; it's huge success was a mystery to me. I'd liked Brennan in lots of other movies, but I found this WAY too broad for my taste.

As I've discussed here at other times, Melvin and Howard is a film that, on paper, should be right in my wheelhouse: a human comedy that extrapolates from a real event to illuminate an oft-overlooked segment of society. But, despite great expectations, I never found the film very interesting or, honestly, funny. I think Steenburgen is fine, though she's played basically that character her entire career. But my general shrug for the film pretty much extends to individual elements, including her performance. (I do plan to dig the film up at some point and give it another try, though I rarely find myself changing opinions)

So I end up with Moriarty -- though I'm not enthusiastic about her, either. She's not shown much range as an actress, to put it mildly. But Scorsese helped her capture a certain essence-du-Bronx that I'd never seen portrayed as accurately on the screen.

It's a near call; I probably could as easily abstain. But I'll throw my vote Moriarty's way, and let the Steenburgen/Brennan face-off proceed without my involvement.

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Postby Big Magilla » Tue Sep 07, 2010 9:11 am

flipp525 wrote:
Damien wrote:On nominations day, a huge shock was that Beverly D'Angelo was not nominated for her indelible performance as Patsy Cline in Coal Miner's Daughter, the raucous heart of the film. This despite the movie's Best Picture nomination/

What could account for the almost inexplicable D'Angelo omission? It really soars above this pack of nominees. Any good theories?

I don't know but the fact that she was overlooked by the New York Film Critics who went for Steenburgen, followed by Mary Nell Santacroce (Wise Blood), Le Gallienne, Moriarty and Winger with no D'Angelo in sight gave me pause early on. They did include Levon Helm as a runner-up for Supporting Actor so it's not as though they didn't appreciate anyone in the film beyond Spacek.

She was nominated for a Golden Globe along with Steenburgen, Moriarty, Winger and headscratcher Lucie Arnaz (The Jazz Singer) so it did look like she had a shot at Oscar but then Brennan and Scarwid pulled surprise nods over D'Angelo and Winger. Brennan I can understand, but Scarwid? I still don't get that one.




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Postby flipp525 » Tue Sep 07, 2010 8:24 am

Damien wrote:On nominations day, a huge shock was that Beverly D'Angelo was not nominated for her indelible performance as Patsy Cline in Coal Miner's Daughter, the raucous heart of the film. This despite the movie's Best Picture nomination/

What could account for the almost inexplicable D'Angelo omission? It really soars above this pack of nominees. Any good theories?




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Postby Precious Doll » Tue Sep 07, 2010 4:43 am

Damien wrote:But there was a much better supporting actress performance in Melvin and Howard -- Pamela Reed's as the no-nonsense second wife. Add to the fact that Reed gave another great performance that year in The Long Riders, and she, rather than Steenburgen, should have been a finalist.

Pamela Reed, another under used actress, who regularly rises about any material she performs in. Last year I finally saw Altman's Tanner 88 and was blown away by Pamela Reed's performance, she effortlessly walked away with the series.

It's a shame we don't see much of her these days.
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Postby Precious Doll » Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:51 am

A more then respectable line up from the Academy.

My choices are:

1. Nancy Allen for Dressed to Kill
2. Mary Steenburgen for Melvin and Howard
3. Beverly D'Angelo for Coal Miner's Daughter
4. Brenda Blythen for Grown Ups
5. Cathy Moriarty for Raging Bull

Runner ups include Jessica Harper & Charlotte Rampling for Stardust Memories, Wendy Hiller for The Elephant Man and Nancy Parsons for Motel Hell.
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Postby Damien » Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:11 am

A pretty good line-up, although it would have been much better if two expected nominees had made the cut.

On nominations day, a huge shock was that Beverly D'Angelo was not nominated for her indelible performance as Patsy Cline in Coal Miner's Daughter, the raucous heart of the film. This despite the movie's Best Picture nomination/

Only slightly less startling was Debra Winger's omission for her wildly charismatic breakthrough performance in Urban Cowboy (slightly less surprising only because the film wasn't as well-regarded as Coal Miner).

As for the actual nominees, Vickie La Motta is the kind of showy, superficial role any reasonably talented actress could bring off, Cathy Moriarty was perfectly fine in a showy, superficial way.

Eva La Gallienne was a feisty old dyke who showed up on Broadway in the 1970s to remind people that she was actually a "legend" of the New York stage going back to the 20s. This was an auld lang syne nomination; she has a certain presence in the dreary Resurrection, even though it's not a particularly memorable performance.

Inside Moves is as obscure a movie-nominated-for-a-major-Oscar as there is, and even during the 1980 Oscar season it wasn't well-known. A shame, because it's a lovely, if sentimental, little film about a community of handicapped people (today it might well seem condescending). Diana Scarwid has a unique and fascinating quality as an actress -- her line readings are somewhat soporific, conveying a world-weariness and detachment that are highly effective. (that I've-Seen-It-All quality was put to especially good use when she play Cristina Crawford in Mommie Dearest). I was delighted with her nomination.

Mary Steenburgen was the odds-on favorite to win here, and how could she not have been? She's just so damn cute and goofily sweet and lovable. She is a lot of fun to watch. But there was a much better supporting actress performance in Melvin and Howard -- Pamela Reed's as the no-nonsense second wife. Add to the fact that Reed gave another great performance that year in The Long Riders, and she, rather than Steenburgen, should have been a finalist.

But of the five contenders, Eileen Brennan is best. She's hilarious, and has a wonderful yin and yang with Goldie Hawn. Plus, without resorting to sentimentality, she uses comedic tics and devices so that we can sympathize with her -- mean as she can be -- for having to deal with a ditz like Judy Benjamin. A gem of a performance from one of the truly best character actresses of the late 20th century.

My Own Top 5:
1. Beverly D'Angelo in Coal Miner's Daughter
2. Debra Winger in Urban Cowboy
3. Pamela Reed in Melvin and Howard & The Long Riders
4. Eileen Brennan in Private Benjamin
5. Jan Miner in Willie and Phil




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Postby Reza » Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:47 pm

What a dull year !! Voted for Steenburgen.

My top 5 of 1980:

Mary Steenburgen, Melvin and Howard
Beverly D'Angelo, Coal Miner's Daughter
Debra Winger, Urban Cowboy
Eileen Brennan, Private Benjamin
Angie Dickinson, Dressed to Kill




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Postby Big Magilla » Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:44 pm

Not a particularly auspicious group of nominees - only winner Mary Steenburgen as Paul LeMat's daffy wife in Melvin and Howard and NBR winner/NYFC runner-up Eva Le Gallienne as Ellen Burstyn's grandmother in Resurrection were particularly notable, but notable they were.

Eileen Brennan was amusing in the droll way she was frequently amusing in in Private Benjamin and Cathy Moriarty made an interesting foil for Robert De Niro in Raging Bull, but Diana Scarwid did nothing to earn a nomination for Inside Moves. That film belonged to John Savage and David Morse.

Better than Scarwid and Moriarty, at least in my opinion, were Debra Winger as the urban cowgirl to John Travolta's Urban Cowboy and Beverly D'Angelo as Patsy Cline in Coal Miner's Daughter.

Legend has it that D'Angelo was so good as Cline that Sissy Spacek fearing D'Angelo would steal the film had her part cut to ribbons. Even so, she shines and is a much more believable incarnation of Cline than Jessica Lange would be five years later in Sweet Dreams.

For me, though, Steenburgen wins this one easily and should have won regardless of who they threw up against her.




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Postby flipp525 » Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:34 pm

For the most part, a respectable group of nominees in a hit-or-miss year.

Resurrection is a rather trite melodrama with a flimsy premise that has thankfully passed into obscurity. The great stage legend Eva Le Gallienne never quite manages to rise above the folksy tropes of her grandmother character. Her acting is too theatrical for a film that desperately needed some grounding. This was a career nomination and really not much more.

Inside Moves is such a sad little film about people who live in the margins of society. And Diana Scarwid's performance as the waitress who enters into a relationship with the broken main character is actually quite good. In another year, she might have merited more consideration. The scene where she tells Roary (played with such sensitivity by John Savage) that she wants him to be her lover, but is afraid of how it might feel to be intimate with a handicapped man is an incredibly honest moment in a film that's full of them. Savage's final monologue is also heartbreaking.

Cathy Moriarty gives what is probably the most accessible performance as the feisty Vikki LaMotta in the somewhat overly-praised Raging Bull. The 19-year-old actress more than holds her own against DeNiro; the almost grisly scenes of domestic violence are successful, in part, because of her tough, smoky-voiced resilience.

Mary Steenburgen, playing the accidentally famous Melvin Dummar's first wife in Melvin and Howard, infuses such earnestness and wide-eyed charisma into her character, the performance becomes a distillation of everything the film is about: the struggle to capture the American Dream (and no better captured than in her game show sequence). The movie itself is such a wistful, under-the-radar gem, certainly one of the best in a dismal year. Steenburgen was ahead of the pack this year winning the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress, the Golden Globe and then the Academy Award.

But there's an even better performance to recognize this year. Eileen Brennan is absolutely hysterical as Goldie Hawn's deliciously wicked commanding officer in Private Benjamin, cementing her place in this line-up with the barracks scene where she meets Hawn's character for the first time. It's one of the great comedic performances of the decade and well worth my vote.

Other female supporting performances worth considering: Beverly D'Angelo's dynamite portrayal of Patsy Cline in Coal Miner's Daughter; Dinah Manoff's suicidal teen in Ordinary People; Sally Kellerman as Jodie Foster's divorced mother and Cherie Currie as the drug addicted Annie trying to outrun her abusive father in Foxes; Wendy Hiller as the tough matron in The Elephant Man; Betsy Palmer's creepy, iconic Mrs. Voorhees in Friday the 13th; Irene Cara's indelible Coco and Anne Meara as the unforgettable Mrs. Sherwood in Fame.




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