Best Actress 1972

1927/28 through 1997

Best Actress 1972

Liza Minnelli - Cabaret
27
57%
Diana Ross - Lady Sings the Blues
10
21%
Maggie Smith - Travels With My Aunt
0
No votes
Cicely Tyson - Sounder
6
13%
Liv Ullmann - The Emigrants
4
9%
 
Total votes: 47

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Postby ITALIANO » Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:11 am

flipp525 wrote:
jowy_jillia wrote:Ross and Tyson would split the black votes.

Oh, jesus. Are we really being this reductive? "Vote-splitting" doesn't work out as perfectly mathmetically as all that.

I tried to teach them that it doesnt, but it's so deeply rooted that now I know they will never learn.

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Postby Big Magilla » Wed Oct 21, 2009 12:59 am

According to Inside Oscar, Minnelli, Ullman, Tyson and Ross started out as equals, but then Lost Horizon opened dooming Ullman's chances. Tyson and Ross were expected to cancel each other out but then Berry Gordy took out adds in Ross' behalf.

Nevertheless, as some of us knew based on instinct, it was Liza all the way.

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Postby Okri » Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:24 pm

Mister Tee wrote:Well, I wouldn't have predicted this would be the one, but...yes, dws: someone will be able to more or less match Vivien Leigh's landslide.

Hey, I thought it'd be her in that thread.

So of course, I voted Tyson.

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Postby flipp525 » Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:53 pm

jowy_jillia wrote:Ross and Tyson would split the black votes.

Oh, jesus. Are we really being this reductive? "Vote-splitting" doesn't work out as perfectly mathmetically as all that.
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Postby jowy_jillia » Tue Oct 20, 2009 2:08 pm

Liza Minnelli wasn't completely sure first, but when the nominations was annnounced she was pretty much a shoe-in.

Ross and Tyson would split the black votes.

Lost Horizon had opened (though I don't know if this affected Ullmann's chances to win in the negative way). Ullmann could have been a threat
1. Cries and Whispers had opened in NY
2. She had already won some critics prizes in the 60s.
3. The Emigrants was a swedish film nominated for Best Picture, so the the support for the film must have been good.

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Postby Mister Tee » Tue Oct 20, 2009 1:34 pm

dws1982 wrote:
Mister Tee wrote:NBR would go the other way with ludicrously sentimental choices (like recently-deceased Robert Ryan in '73's The Iceman Cometh).

To me that's one of their "broken clock is right twice a day" moments. Of all the stupid choices they've made over the years, and during that period specifically, that's about the last one I'd call out.

I actually didn't mean that as a particular knock on Ryan (although I thought he was a bit watch-me-orate in the film; Fredric March gave, to me, a more pitch-perfect performance). The point was, Iceman was hardly the sort of film NBR otherwise went for, and he didn't figure in any of the rest of awards voting or nominations that season. The sole reason I can see for NBR singling him out is that he had died prior to the film's release. And that was typical of their retro Hollywood approach during the period.

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Postby dws1982 » Tue Oct 20, 2009 1:00 pm

Mister Tee wrote:NBR would go the other way with ludicrously sentimental choices (like recently-deceased Robert Ryan in '73's The Iceman Cometh).

To me that's one of their "broken clock is right twice a day" moments. Of all the stupid choices they've made over the years, and during that period specifically, that's about the last one I'd call out.

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Postby Mister Tee » Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:49 am

Damien wrote:I think the people who say that Liza was a shoo-in are mis-remembering.

Let's stipulate that, back then, there weren't shoo-ins in the way there are now, when such as Helen Mirren or Philip Seymour Hoffman sweep the critical field and win a hundred self-reinforcing minor awards on their way to gimme Oscars. There were only the two critics groups (NY and National) plus NBR and the Globes. The National Society generally prided itself on contrary picks (esp. in foreign languages), and NBR would go the other way with ludicrously sentimental choices (like recently-deceased Robert Ryan in '73's The Iceman Cometh). The Globes were hit-and-miss, usually falling more to the conservative side than Oscar (cf. the Love Story sweep in 1970). So there wasn't the deadening consensus we get on nearly everything today; even totally-likelies such as Steiger in '67 or Fonda in '71 weren't viewed as laydowns the way Day-Lewis was in '07.

Granting all that, I'm saying I thought Liza was the way-ahead front-runner, and would have considered the barely-know Ullmann or Tyson winning a huge upset.

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Postby Reza » Tue Oct 20, 2009 2:00 am

Surely Liza also had the support of ''Old Hollywood'' amongst the members because of Judy Garland. Awarding Liza was akin to awarding Judy.....posthumously, in a way.....although Liza's performance DOES stand up on its own.

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Postby Damien » Tue Oct 20, 2009 1:19 am

I can remember being on a plane going from North Dakota to Hartford on Oscar Day 1972 (I believe it was March 28, 1973 -- I only remember that because March 28 is my sister's birthday) and reading newspaper articles about that night's Oscars.

The general feeling was that Liza was the frontrunner, but that the critical acclaim for Tyson and Ullmann should not be disregarded (the former won the National Society and National Board of Review awards, the latter the NY Film Critics and Golden Globe, with Liza getting the Musical Globe), and that Ross - as Cher would be 15 years later -- was hugely appreciated for being a music icon who transcended being a "mere" singer through her acting . . . and with Ross and Tyson there was also discussion about no black woman winning Best Actress.

I think the people who say that Liza was a shoo-in are mis-remembering.




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Postby Big Magilla » Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:23 pm

Liza for sure.

My recollection of 1972 is that Liza was expected to win from the moment Cabaret opened, if not the moment it was announced she would be making the film. It was the quintessential star performance of the era, even more impressive in retrospect given her career pretty much stalled afterward.

The critically acclaimed and award-winning performances of Cicely Tyson and Liv Ullmann were much admired, but it was Liza's year and it was was generally expected that Tyson and Ullman would have to wait to win, though no one could have predicted that they would still be waiting 37 years later.

Diana Ross' Billie Holliday was more impressive than anyone could have imagined but she was not a serious contender, Mister Tee is correct that all the p.r. twaddle came afterward.

Maggie Smith, a last minute replacement for Katharine Hepburn (who got cold feet) in Cukor's Travels With My Aunt is better than she is generally given credit for, but this is not one of her great performances. She had no chance.

Although I like all five nominees, it's a shame there was no room at the table for Joanne Woodward in The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds. It's one year in which six nominees would not have been unwarranted.




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Postby Mister Tee » Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:48 pm

Well, I wouldn't have predicted this would be the one, but...yes, dws: someone will be able to more or less match Vivien Leigh's landslide.

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Postby Reza » Sun Oct 18, 2009 2:02 am

My top 5:

Liza Minnelli, Cabaret
Cicely Tyson, Sounder
Diana Ross, Lady Sings the Blues
Juliet Mills, Avanti
Maggie Smith, Travels With My Aunt

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Postby Damien » Sat Oct 17, 2009 6:03 pm

Liza Minnelli, and a tip of the hat as well to underrated Michael York, who was excellent in the difficult role of Brian.

This reminds me of a sign seen at the gay rights demonstration in Washington last week. "If Liza can marry two gay men, why can't I marry one?"
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Postby Mister Tee » Sat Oct 17, 2009 3:19 pm

Maggie Smith was clearly the fifth slot (one that might easily have gone to Woodward in Gamma Rays). The material is weak -- bargain-basement Auntie Mame -- and even the performance is not up to Smith standards.

The idea of super-coiffed Diana Ross playing Billie Holliday had seemed so outrageous upfront (like Tom Cruise playing Lestat), the mere fact that she performed acceptably caused critical inflation.

Tyson, mostly unknown at the time, was quite solid, and wouldn't have been a bad choice.

Ullmann was beginning her mid-decade reign as the foreign actress even American audiences knew. At the time I gave her my personal prize, partly because I'd already gone for Minnelli in '69, and partly out of a 21-year-old's desire to avoid the obvous choice.

But, sure, Liza, in a movie that as much defined cinema for me in the 70s as any other. Her singing is of course divine, but even just as an actress she does things with a level of subtlety seen nowhere else in her career (credit Fosse, who achieved a similar feat with Valerie Perrine two years later).

Italiano, you're correct that the histories suggest it was a close race, but sometimes (like with last year's American election) you shoudln't believe the insider reporting, which tends to recycle its own bullshit. It's true there was some groundswell for Ullmann, who got a Time Magazine cover (back when that actually meant something) in early autumn, was boosted anew by the December NY opening of Cries and Whispers, and won the Golden Globe. But, for god's sake, she couldn't win four years later when she was the most famous foreign actress since Sophia Loren; how was she going to triumph as a newly-famous actress speaking Swedish?

As for Ross...I read plenty of accounts afterward that she had been the shoo-in until Berry Gordy pushed the campaign too hard. I think this was a case of publicists talking to one another and convincing themselves of non-reality. Ross was a film neophyte in a moderately successful, critically-middling film. Minnelli was a daughter of industry royalty, on her second nomination, in a film that came damn close to winning best picture. I never had a second's doubt she'd emerge victorious.


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