Best Supporting Actress 1978

1927/28 through 1997

Best Supporting Actress 1978

Dyan Cannon - Heaven Can Wait
1
3%
Penelope Milford - Coming Home
2
5%
Maggie Smith - Claifornia Suite
17
44%
Maureen Stapleton - Interiors
8
21%
Meryl Streep - The Deer Hunter
11
28%
 
Total votes: 39

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Re: Best Supporting Actress 1978

Postby Big Magilla » Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:07 am

Very nice account of your encounter with Dame Maggie, Flipp. I imagine these days she's more apt to be told by fans on the street how much they loved her in Harry Potter or Downton Abbey. It must have really taken her back (but hopefully not aback) to be cited for California Suite.
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Re: Best Supporting Actress 1978

Postby Reza » Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:20 am

HarryGoldfarb wrote:
flipp525 wrote:I had the pleasure of meeting Dame Maggie Smith last month while I was dining at the Ivy in London attending a special celebrity server night. (Smith was a diner, not a server.) She was dining with four others, including Samantha Bond who played her daughter Rosamund on Downton Abbey.

After dinner, we were both milling around the entrance to the restaurant and I grabbed the opportunity to say hello. Dame Smith was very gracious when I told her how much of a fan I was. I told her that I loved her in California Suite.

Smith: “That movie?”
flipp: “Well, I mean, you did win an Oscar for it!”
Smith: “Thank you. I haven’t thought about that film in many years.”

A friend mentioned to me that it had not been the easiest experience for her working on that film, not something I had heard before (yet might have explained her reaction). She must rarely get asked about it.

Very special moment to have a moment with a two-time Oscar winner.


The envy...

Great story flipp.


Met her after a performance of "Lettice and Lovage" in the West End in 1987. She was very gracious and signed a bunch of stuff for me and recommended that I see the film "The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne" which she had just finished filming.

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Re: Best Supporting Actress 1978

Postby Precious Doll » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:24 am

Great story Flipp. She would certainly be high on my 'love to meet' list.
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Re: Best Supporting Actress 1978

Postby HarryGoldfarb » Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:11 pm

flipp525 wrote:I had the pleasure of meeting Dame Maggie Smith last month while I was dining at the Ivy in London attending a special celebrity server night. (Smith was a diner, not a server.) She was dining with four others, including Samantha Bond who played her daughter Rosamund on Downton Abbey.

After dinner, we were both milling around the entrance to the restaurant and I grabbed the opportunity to say hello. Dame Smith was very gracious when I told her how much of a fan I was. I told her that I loved her in California Suite.

Smith: “That movie?”
flipp: “Well, I mean, you did win an Oscar for it!”
Smith: “Thank you. I haven’t thought about that film in many years.”

A friend mentioned to me that it had not been the easiest experience for her working on that film, not something I had heard before (yet might have explained her reaction). She must rarely get asked about it.

Very special moment to have a moment with a two-time Oscar winner.


The envy...

Great story flipp.
If moderation is a fault, then indifference is a crime.
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Re: Best Supporting Actress 1978

Postby flipp525 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:03 pm

I had the pleasure of meeting Dame Maggie Smith last month while I was dining at the Ivy in London attending a special celebrity server night. (Smith was a diner, not a server.) She was dining with four others, including Samantha Bond who played her daughter Rosamund on Downton Abbey.

After dinner, we were both milling around the entrance to the restaurant and I grabbed the opportunity to say hello. Dame Smith was very gracious when I told her how much of a fan I was. I told her that I loved her in California Suite.

Smith: “That movie?”
flipp: “Well, I mean, you did win an Oscar for it!”
Smith: “Thank you. I haven’t thought about that film in many years.”

A friend mentioned to me that it had not been the easiest experience for her working on that film, not something I had heard before (yet might have explained her reaction). She must rarely get asked about it.

Very special moment to have a moment with a two-time Oscar winner.
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Postby Damien » Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:50 pm

Hustler wrote:As far as I recall, Fonda stated that her work in California Suite was a way to coming back to screen after hard times in which she was blacklisted due to her political position.

That was more likely 1977's With Fun With Dick And Jane, her first mainstream movie since Klute, and a sleeper hit.

By the time of California Suite, she was already re-established as an important film actress and a box-office draw.
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Postby Hustler » Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:22 pm

As far as I recall, Fonda stated that her work in California Suite was a way to coming back to screen after hard times in which she was blacklisted due to her political position.

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Postby Damien » Wed Sep 01, 2010 8:50 pm

Mister Tee wrote:Maggie Smith and Michael Caine are the only actors to emerge unscathed from a mostly unfunny California Suite. Damien, did you really like Fonda in it? I was second to none in my adoration of her at the time, but I thought she made the fatal mistake of trying to play the material at some human level, when there was no such content to be found. Caine/Smith seemed to recognize the level of their material -- road-company Coward -- and they played it like two old pros who knew how to keep audiences happy without pretending to depth.

Tee, I haven't seen California Suite since its initial release, but at the time (which, of course, was when Jane Fonda was at the apex of her acclaim, star power and, I'd say, abilities) she cut through the facile Neil Simon script and did create an actual human being, someone that you actually cared about (which Maggie Smith didn't manage to do).
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Postby Hustler » Wed Sep 01, 2010 6:01 pm

Interiors is a great piece of art IMO. I enjoyed it as long as I admired the terrific performances portrayed by Page and Stapleton. These two ladies deserved the trophy. One for lead and the other for supporting. Stapleton shines in this category.

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Postby Uri » Wed Sep 01, 2010 5:01 am

Reza wrote:
Uri wrote:(* - Although, I must admit that when I first saw her, for some reason she reminded me of Faye Dunaway, which back in the '70 was a very high praise indeed. Strangely enough, a friend of mine, who was not that familiar with movie stars, told me after he saw The Eyes of Laura Mars that it stared "that actress from Holocaust", so I know it wasn't just me).

It was the long blonde hair that linked Streep to Dunaway.

I don't know. It's obvious that the more you are familiar with someone, the more distinctive this person gets, and now Streep's looks seem so unique to me I really find it hard to put my finger on where I saw the resemblance, but it wasn't the coloring. I haven't seen her in Bonny and Clyde or Little Big Man until a few years later, so I was much more familiar with the brunette Dunaway of the '70s. (Her features as captured in Chinatown are among the grandest manifestations of human beauty ever). I think it had more to do with bone structure or maybe it was what at first I saw as a kind of aloofness or mystery, or as so many people here just love to say (erroneously) – her apparent "coldness".




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Postby Reza » Wed Sep 01, 2010 4:20 am

Uri wrote:(* - Although, I must admit that when I first saw her, for some reason she reminded me of Faye Dunaway, which back in the '70 was a very high praise indeed. Strangely enough, a friend of mine, who was not that familiar with movie stars, told me after he saw The Eyes of Laura Mars that it stared "that actress from Holocaust", so I know it wasn't just me).

It was the long blonde hair that linked Streep to Dunaway.

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Postby Uri » Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:59 am

flipp525 wrote:
Bruce_Lavigne wrote:Page (who I seem to be alone in agreeing with the Oscars belongs in the lead category).

You’re not alone, Bruce. Geraldine Page’s Eve haunts every facet of the film and, in my opinion, is very much a lead. It's a phenomenal performance, etched with nuance, heartbreak and icy distance and longing at every turn.

Sometimes it's not about screentime or who has more scenes or whatever else. If one character so clearly resonates throughout the entire film, they can be considered a lead. I'd support Nicole Kidman's nomination in the lead category in The Hours for much the same reason. There are no hard and fast rules about these things.

I said it before – following this kind of logic, one can argue that the best leading performance by an actress in 1940 was given by whoever played the title role in Rebecca.

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Postby ITALIANO » Wed Sep 01, 2010 1:34 am

Interestingly, if it weren't for the usual silent voters, we'd have something very close to a three-way-tie - which I think perfecly captures the essence of one of the most interesting Supporting Actress races ever.

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Postby The Original BJ » Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:03 pm

I thought we'd be all over the map this year, but I'm a bit surprised at how little consensus there has been on some of these performances. It's also interesting that many of us seem tentative about our choices -- I know I wasn't totally sure who I'd pick, and thus waited to vote until after I'd read a lot of the comments here, seeing if anyone might persuade me. (I did, ultimately, end up picking the woman I thought I would this morning.)

What's also interesting for me is that I truly wonder if my vote might have been different in '78, had I been around to experience these performances in real time. That's not something I've often felt in other years, but I think knowledge of the future may have affected my rooting interests this time around.

I'll be the grouch on Dyan Cannon. I think she's shrill and totally unfunny. A big no from me.

I'm surprised to see Penelope Milford getting serious votes. I like Coming Home a lot, and I think Milford offers perfectly solid support, but I don't find anything about this performance very special. It seems to me a coattails nomination, not something that deserves trophies.

I think California Suite is almost mercifully unfunny. (The Matthau/May and Cosby/Pryor plots are particularly excruciating.) But the Smith/Caine section has both laughs and pathos, and Maggie Smith deserves a lot of credit for that: she purses her upper lip like few can, and manages to create something memorable in spite of the banality of the material. Part of me wonders, though, if this performance seemed fresher in '78 -- by the time I got to it, I'd seen Maggie Smith play this character plenty of times. And, at the end of the day, isn't she a lot like her character in the film: a great British actress nominated for an Oscar for a trivial comedy? Her character went home empty-handed; I think the actress probably should too.

So much of what we have grown to love about Meryl Streep is there in The Deer Hunter -- impressive technical skill married to an overwhelming depth of feeling, the latter movingly on display in the scenes after De Niro returns from war. But, to follow-up on Uri's comment, it's tricky to for me to evaluate Streep's role here on its own terms, without recognizing that Streep would become The Great Film Actress. And I'm not entirely sure whether I'd have liked the performance more or less in '78. On one hand, it's tempting to downgrade the work simply because so many greater performances would follow -- by Streep's standards this is basically a warm-up lap. But on the other hand, it's also tempting to elevate it -- to admire this performance as a clear breakthrough for someone who would become so spectacular. As it stands, I think this is very fine work, but with a slew of even more triumphant performances literally just around the corner, I'm going to withhold my vote for her here.

Which brings me to Maureen Stapleton. I don't hate Interiors, but I do think that a lot of it borders dangerously on self-parody. But the actors commit themselves admirably. Stapleton's Pearl is the heart of a film that desperately needs one by the time she enters the picture, and she makes a striking, moving impression. That dinner table scene -- in which Pearl is so clearly out of her element while struggling to converse with the snobs around her -- is expertly acted by Stapleton. Of course, she also has an even better nomination in the years just ahead. But, after considering Smith and Streep, I really do think I like Stapleton best this year. So the woman in red is my final pick.

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Postby Uri » Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:09 pm

I didn't comment on the previous thread, but I voted for Redgrave, and for me her win was the beginning of the Golden Age of the supporting actress category, which lasted for over a decade. A really sensational string of great choices – that Lange in '82 would be the weakest link is an indication of its strength.

Back to '78. I haven't seen Heaven Can Wait for more than 30 years so I can't say that the impression Cannon's performance had on me is fresh or even existing anymore, but I can say for sure that watching that film was not a life alternating experience.

Back then, against my better political judgment, on the Coming Home vs. The Deer Hunter debate I was totally on the latter side, and I still am. Despite all the good intention, or rather because of them, I found CH to be somehow self-righteous and simplistic, and Fonda's preaching that her film was the one decent people should embrace didn't help either. And I can't say Milford's performance stood out for me as something which didn't conform to what I saw as a rather banal piece.

Interiors is indeed a film about characters who are artificial and pretentious. The problem is that Allen's simplistically erroneous approach resulted in making an artificial and pretentious film. Stapelton was lucky, because following this by-the-numbers method of directing, she was the only one there who was allowed to breathe while acting, and it was nice since she was a very good and humane actress and she had a chance to manifest it even here.

I was coming into this thinking I'd vote for Smith. I'm a huge fan, she's a great comedian and I find the fact that she's a double winner, once for drama and once for comedy extremely satisfying, so if it ain't broken, why fix it. Plus she was great in CS, and it was definitely due to her acting chops (and the chemistry she had with Cane) rather than the material she was handed.

But then I read what Tee said. And he's so right. I don't know if younger people are aware of the impact Streep made in TDH. I guess it was like watching Hepburn in Bill of Divorcement back in 1932 or James Dean in East of Eden in real time – instinctively knowing without a doubt the this actor one is watching for the first time on the big screen is a the real - and extremely major – deal. And I remember reading reports from the Venice film festival, where TDH premiered, and the ecstatic reaction to Streep in it. It was all about looking for adjectives to top transcendent and eternal and timeless, oh and yes, Madonna like (the original one, that is). And boy, how sensationally beautiful she was, in a totally original way*. She gets my vote.

(* - Although, I must admit that when I first saw her, for some reason she reminded me of Faye Dunaway, which back in the '70 was a very high praise indeed. Strangely enough, a friend of mine, who was not that familiar with movie stars, told me after he saw The Eyes of Laura Mars that it stared "that actress from Holocaust", so I know it wasn't just me).




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