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Supporting Actress Smackdown '80: Eileen, Eva, Diana, Cathy, and Mary

It's the return of "Stinky Lulu's Supporting Actress Smackdown" now in its new home at The Film Experience. The year is... [cue: time travelling music] 1980.  That year's Oscar roster was a semi-surprising mix of silly comedy and warm drama with a preference for fresh as dew faces. Oscar ignored notable performances that found favor at the Globes in various ways (Beverly D’Angelo in Coal Miner’s Daughter, Lucy Arnaz in The Jazz Singer, Dolly Parton in Nine to Five and Debra Winger in Urban Cowboy) and instead honored these five...


Eileen Brennan, Eva La Galliene, Cathy Moriarty, Diana Scarwid, and Mary Steenburgen. For each actress it was their first and only Oscar nomination... which is quite rare (as TFE readers have researched/noted. That statistic could theoretically change since Moriarty and Steenburgen still act regularly. Steenburgen was recently even seen in a Best Picture nominee (The Help, 2010) for which she shared in the SAG Best Ensemble win.)

Will Mary Steenburgen win the Smackdown like she won the Oscar? Read on! 


Glenn Dunks is a New York-based Australian who writes about film for Quickflix, Junkee, Metro and The Big Issue all of which can be found at his eponymous website. Follow him @GlennDunks

Matt Mazur (Pop Matters) is a New York-based publicist. His vast archive of actress interviews (including Sissy Spacek and Courtney Love) can be found here. Follow him @Matt_Mazur 

Nathaniel R (The Film Experience) is the founder of The Film Experience, a Guru of Gold  and CNN International Oscar pundit, and the internet's actressexual ringleader. Follow him @NathanielR

Brian Herrera (aka StinkyLulu) convened the first Supporting Actress Smackdown and hostessed more than thirty. He is a writer, teacher and scholar presently based in New Jersey, but forever rooted in New Mexico. Follow him @stinkylulu

And You! We also factored in reader ballots sent by e-mail! So let's get to it...


EILEEN BRENNAN as "Captain Doreen Lewis" in Private Benjamin
Synopsis: A proud and mean Captain's career and dating life are tripped up by a ditzy blonde princess who keeps getting in her way.
Stats: 48 yrs old. 20 minutes of screen time (18% of running time). One of three Oscar nods for Private Benjamin

Glenn: Capt. Doreen Lewis is never given an arc, much to the detriment of the film – although we’ll say nothing of that weird lesbian denouement, yes? – so Brennan has less to work with. Still, even without a three-dimensional character, it’s no surprise that the film goes downhill the moment it leaves the army base and Brennan’s assortment of sour faces and vocal deliveries. She never betters the look of horror she gives upon Goldie Hawn’s disrespect at roll call ♥♥♥  

Matt: Fun, frisky, yet commanding work by a veteran character actress that is a perfect fit for the Supporting Actress category. Brennan is divinely evil and steely but there is also a depth.  Though her character skirts parody, as a producer Brennan's co-star Goldie Hawn was smart to cast Brennan in a role that requires it's performer to be extremely rigid in the vocal and gestural elements of the character. To play this woman, much discipline was required and Brennan was an actress of tremendous skill. Playing someone so regimented and buttoned-up can be a disaster but Brennan rises to the challenge memorably. ♥♥♥  

Nathaniel: How on earth does she make a frown read as a self-satisified smirk? It's magic. The way she condescendingly squeaks "Judy. Benjamin." after meeting Private Benjamin alone secures my love (and laughter). And yet, she never betters that five star introduction, mostly because there's little character left to play thereafter; the film references An Unmarried Woman but its a weak imitation of the then popular liberated woman subgenre of movies. It needs but too rarely serves up Brennan's delicious comic bullying .  ♥♥♥ 

Reader Write-In Votes: "Flawless comedic performance with unexpected layers" -  Christian. (Eileen's average w/ readers ♥♥♥½) .

StinkyLulu: There’s a wondrous alchemy in Eileen Brennan’s performance. It’s a nothing nonsense nemesis of a role, as riven with cheap gags and hoary cliches as the whole of Private Benjamin. But Brennan — through a deft mix of fearlessness, vulnerability and schtick — lets you delight in Captain Doreen Lewis just enough to make loathing her that much more fun. A master class in comedic villainy ♥♥♥♥

Eileen wins 16½  ❤s 

EVA LE GALLIENE as "Grandma Pearl" in Resurrection
Synopsis: An old woman takes in her disabled granddaughter after a tragic car accident and guides her in finding her life's purpose as a healer
Stats: 81 yrs old... the last Oscar nominee to be born in the 19th century. 15 minutes of screen time (14.5% of running time). One of two Oscar nods for Resurrection

Glenn: Her stage background comes in handy for this very theatrical role. She handles the character’s rather grandiose moments much more elegantly than director Daniel Petrie does in other moments. Still, the role is little more than a mechanism to kick the story into its next phase and then slink into the background. Le Gallienne has a way of focusing the viewer on her, it’s just a shame the script gave her more to do ♥♥♥  

Matt: Deceptively simple work from one of America’s greatest stage actresses, and bringing La Galienne’s single film performance to life is an accomplishment that co-star/producer Ellen Burstyn lists as one of the proudest of her career. Technically virtuosic, warm and complex, La Galienne has very little screen time but her character’s impact on the film is staggering. Her work here is all about seizing every moment and relishing the finer details and gestures of the character. Burstyn once told me that something La Galienne does in their final scene has stuck with her for her entire career: The actress lowered the register on her voice and turned up the volume when she said the word “love” at the end of a climactic scene between the two women -- she  “dropped the word into her heart”. For me, the clear winner for a performance that is deep, profound and under-recognized ♥♥♥♥♥  

Nathaniel: Her rich theatrically trained voice is so full of shading, memory and unspoken conversation that you yearn for her company whenever she's offscreen. That makes her too infrequent conversations with her screen granddaughter (Ellen Burstyn, the film's lead) rich and universal, elevating what is essentially a stock role (elderly advice dispenser). I mention the voice because it was so hard to see her performance in the bad vhs version online, the only one currently available. (sigh). I'm eager to see the film properly because her final scene is a marvel.  ♥♥♥ 

Reader Write-In Votes: "What I loved most about this performance doesn't really lend itself to long discussion:  it's heartfelt simplicity.  One of the most heartbreaking goodbyes I have ever watched." -  Nick C. (Eva's average w/ readers ♥♥♥) .

StinkyLulu: I’d probably be a sucker for Eva LeGallienne’s Grandma Pearl even if her entire performance was just her having beatific reactions to her granddaughter discovering the dimensions of her gifts. But LeGallienne’s depth of presence in the scenes bookending those many reaction shots — as early on, when she’s Edna Mae’s caregiver, rebuking herself for bringing out that photo album; and finally, when they both stand as two women bonded by their intimate proximity to death — well, LeGallienne just slays me. True, Madeleine Sherwood’s (awesome) cameo might thrill me most, but it’s LeGallienne’s work throughout Resurrection that moves me deepest ♥♥♥♥♥

Eva wins 19 ❤s 

CATHY MORIARTY as "Vicki LaMotta" in Raging Bull
Synopsis: a young woman marries a prizefighter
Stats: 20 yrs old. 1st nom. 31 minutes of screen time (25% of running time). One of eight Oscar nods for Raging Bull

Glenn: She certainly fits the bill as an object of affection, and with the black and white photography the camera is positively in love with her. Her deep voice would make her hard to pin down in the landscape of 1980s cinema, but for Vickie it is perfect. Unlike others in the genre, Moriarty exhibits a physical presence and mental strength just as potent as her beauty, something her character was wise to develoe from years of being surrounded by brutes  ♥♥♥♥  

Matt: Competent work from this newcomer, but a performance I find to be a tad overrated by Oscar-watchers, whose preference tend to skew young, blonde and ingénue. Moriarty’s lack of experience shows when she is stacked up against such a powerhouse as Robert De Niro, and while Scorsese’s skill at teasing out complexity and nuance from unknowns provides basic support, Moriarty’s characterization is not terribly imaginative or well-realized when you consider some of Scorsese’s triumphs with younger supporting actresses such as Jodie Foster (Taxi Driver), Juliette Lewis (Cape Fear) and Winona Ryder (The Age of Innocence) ♥♥  

Nathaniel: Her first (silent) scene involves men staring at her. "What are you thinking about? Why do you keep looking?" Pesci asks DeNiro and that's a reasonable question since Scorsese & Moriarty present an often blank slate bored beauty for men to project on to (at first lustfully to Vicki's advantage and later with jealousy to her danger). Moriarty holds her own, smartly underplaying in her best scenes (frontloaded though they are as she sizes up Jake and tests her own considerable sexual power) but her eventual outbursts are less gripping and the film is, finally, uninterested in the woman beside the bull.  ♥♥ 

Reader Write-In Votes: "She's great for a beginner [in a Scorsese movie], but the character is 2.5-dimensional at best...and Moriarty is no Foster or Minnelli." -  Paul (Cathy's average w/ readers ♥♥♥) .

StinkyLulu: Cathy Moriarty’s Vickie LaMotta feels like a triumph of Scorcese’s acuity for verisimilitude in casting. She looks and sounds like she might have actually once been Jake LaMotta’s child-bride/trophy-wife/punching-bag. And while Moriarty’s languid melancholy looks great through Scorcese’s worshipful lens, the performance remains gossamer thin 

Cathy wins 12 ❤s 

DIANA SCARWID as "Louise" in Inside Moves
Synopsis: a lonely waitress falls for her disabled boss and his best friend at a local pub. 
Stats: 25 yrs old. 28½ minutes of screen time (25% of running time). The film's sole Oscar nod.

Glenn: A strange film gets an even stranger nomination (literally the only nomination for the film from any awards body.) Richard Donner’s film initially hasn’t the slightest idea how to utilise her greatest asset: the juxtaposition between Scarwid’s lower-ranged voice and pixieish appearance, She is, however, eventually given a couple of nicely-handled speeches that at least help explain how she was nominated and why her character exists at all. ♥♥  

Matt: Dreadful, grating work and a baffling nomination. When the big claim to fame is the return of Oscar-winner Harold Russell (The Best Years of Our Lives) to the screen, you know your movie is the definition of “failed Oscar bait”.  Released to coincide with “International Year of Disabled Persons”, Inside Moves is 1980’s I Am Sam, and Scarwid, if you will, is her film’s Dakota Fanning: childlike, wide-eyed, inexperienced, yet still somehow sort of oddly endearing despite her total lack of skill. Weird performance, even weirder movie, really weird character. ♥♥  

Nathaniel: Initially the film seems only half interested in Scarwid but soon she's ingratiating herself with easy-to-work with wallflower warmth. Scarwid handles the 'just one of the guys that's noticably a girl' friction well in a pivotal party scene and nails romantic cowardice in her closeups. But the script undercuts her work in the final act, making her naturalistic performance a bit inscrutable or at least at odds with the plot-mechanics. ♥♥♥ 

Reader Write-In Votes: "As written, Louise is always more plot convenience than character, in any one of Inside Moves' skimpy subplots. But as performed by Scarwid, she's a credible, charming, and compassionate woman, one whose emotional uncertainty and odd sense of humor easily elevate this surface-skimming role." -  Matthew. (Diana's average with readers ♥♥½) .

StinkyLulu: Inside Moves just makes me feel really bad for Diana Scarwid. She somehow takes the ridiculous and shabbily-written role of Louise and delivers a decidedly okay performance, only to be steamrolled by the Dunaway-train the following year in Mommie Dearest? No one deserves that… At least she got this (nearly incomprehensible) Oscar nomination for her trouble. ♥♥

Diana wins 11½ ❤s 

MARY STEENBURGEN as "Lynda Dummar" in Melvin & Howard
Synopsis: a flighty woman leaves her loser husband (twice!) and shakes it at tittie bars and game shows to pay the rent
Stats: 27 yrs old. 32½ Minutes of Screen Time (34% of running time). One of three Oscar nods for Melvin & Howard.

Glenn: Works hard to make the initially unlikable Lynda palatable and relatable thanks to the kind of bubble and pep that can only be found in a fresh-faced newcomer digging into such an opportunity. Steenburgen’s lack of audience baggage allows scenes like that in the strip club and the tap performance to have an authentic giddiness (think Amy Adams in Junebug) where with a big star they may have appeared more as affected showboating. It’s of little surprise that she won the Oscar ♥♥♥♥  

Matt: Another I find to be slightly overrated. Her sweep of the critic’s prizes is perplexing given the cutesy-quirk factor of her performance (this is a character that Zoeey Deschanel would play today and that’s cause for alarm). Meant to be charmingly effervescent, Steenburgen at times comes off gawky and shrill but acquits herself nicely in the film’s quieter moments. (Strange, that the Academy would choose to not nominate her the following year for a much stronger, voter-friendly turn in Milos Forman’s Ragtime) ♥♥  

Nathaniel: I might be tempted to argue that Lynda is an early version of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl but instead of male-scripted fantasy Steenburgen roots this happy/sad beauty in arrested development reality; she's adorable but a girlwoman mess. The actress is smart enough to give her a very youthful physicality that's full of nervous energy, sudden movements and weird instant enthusiasms for foolhardy pursuits (stripping, tapdancing, sandwich-making, remarrying Melvin). Plus she's a scream -- that weird waving/dance she does when she sees Melvin at the strip joint? I died.  ♥♥♥♥ 

Reader Write-In Votes: "The scene that sealed the deal for my #1 placement was her talent show performance - the mix of nervousness, devil-may-care sexuality and dagginess was just brilliant." - Travis. (Mary's average w/ readers ♥♥♥♥) .

StinkyLulu: Steenburgen's performance captures the peculiar mix of comedic absurdity and human vulnerability guiding Jonathan Demme’s fascinating riff on the American dream. It’s an enigmatic, charismatic and silly performance (one that would almost make more sense if it were Altman directing Shelley Duvall) that also confirms Mary Steenburgen’s gifts as a distinctive and welcome screen presence ♥♥♥

Mary wins 17 ❤s 


You really wanna marry me again?

Oscar tied the knot with Steenburgen without a moment's hesitation (she also won the Globe and the holy trinity of critics prizes: NYFCC, LAFCA, and NSFC) but after an intermittently passionate but nonmonogamous flirtation the Smackdown says:

It's not you, Mary, it's us."

And chooses Eva Le Galliene... in this tight race.

We love you, Grandma!" 

Thank you for attending the Smackdown! 
If you're new to the Smackdown here is last month's pie-throwing brawl and the old archives at StinkyLulu. Previously this month in the lead up we covered the Teachers from Fame, Born in '80 Beauties, Stinky's First Oscars, These Character's Intros, and we meant to cover the most storied snub (Beverly D'Angelo in Coal Miner's Daughter) but ran out of time. Sorry Bev!

Coming Soon: The Final 2 Smackdowns of the Year!

TUES, OCT 29th Supporting Actresses of 1968 
Featuring Discussions of Rosemary's Baby, Funny Girl, and More... (New Panelists TBA)

SAT, NOV 30th Supporting Actresses of 2003  
10th Anniversary Party for Cold Mountain, Mystic River, and More... (Panelists TBA) 

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Reader Comments (44)

Y'all are doing 2003? OH BOY. I can't wait to hear your thoughts on Renee Zellweger's "Ruby Thewes".

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

Let the Zellweger games begin - has a score of one heart from each panelist been given before?

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMorganisaqt

Yes, for Ingrid Bergman in "Murder on the Orient Express" (1974). She was proclaimed The Ultimate Stinktress (or something like that), although I wouldn't be surprised if she has to share her prestigious title with Renee in two months time.

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

I remember now! And rightly so, shudder. I think Shoreh will take this from Clarkson in a nailbiter - fantastic work though guys :D

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermorganisaqt

Oooooh, I was really hoping 2003 would pop up since that was my first full year of following the Oscars (having jumped in midway through the prior year). I have STRONG OPINIONS about Ms. Zellweger (as I imagine most do), and I think that I already own all the movies except for 1 (so no Netflix drama for a change). Looking forward to this.

Also, I squeed at being the selected commentary for Eva's fan-ballot. So glad this is back and love reading the writeups.

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPoliVamp

For 2003 Marcia's going to be running the streets trying in vain to get voters attention,one of my fave ever oscar nominated losing performances.

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermark

Great! I only need to watch The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. That will give me enough time to mentally prepare for the amount of vitriol that Renée is going to get.

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

SOOoooooooo any comments on 1980, the year in question?

September 30, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R


Such a weird year and if you add those who got snubbed it gets weirder!

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

peggy sue --- right. Glenn says not to talk about it but i feel like maybe we shoudl talk about that weird lesbian thing with Capt Doreen lewis. the movie doesn't prepare you for it at all which makes it seem like kind of a coarse ball buster = dyke homophobe type joke?

September 30, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

The only performance I've seen from the 1989 crowd is Moriarty in Raging Bull. It's funny, after I saw the film I immediately pulled up IMDb to see if she was nominated because I thought she was great! I'll have to revisit that one to see if my feelings have changed. Of the four that I haven't seen I have to say I'm most anxious to get a look at Resurrection, such a shame I'll probably have to see it in terrible quality.

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThefilmjunkie

See I liked Moriarty for the way her performance was calibrated as somebody whose spent so many years surrounded by these brutish male figures that she's learnt how to be just like 'em and give as good as she gets. Although, as StinkyLulu hypothesised to me the other night, was she just acting as herself?

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

I frequently wonder if the Academy went into this sort of depth with their nominations how different the Oscars would be. I'm a bit surprised by La Galliene (though this makes me that much more anxious to catch this film if I can ever find it in some format), as I was expecting Brennan (the Smackdowners usually being kinder to comedy than AMPAS).

The fact that Moriarty and Steenburgen were the only repeats at the Globes makes me curious about who was the person trying to take out Scarwid. The also-rans' films at the Globes (save D'Angelo) didn't really make an impact at the Oscars, so perhaps none of them was in sixth. Could we have seen Barbara Hershey in The Stunt Man or Blythe Danner in The Great Santini or Anne Bancroft in The Elephant Man? Anything's possible, though I suppose that's the joy of postulating on sixth places at the Oscars. Like the mysteries of Stonehenge or the Nazca Lines, the world may never know.

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

These "just acting as herself" marginalizions are always so interesting -- and infuriating -- to me. The (possibly sexist, certainly prejudiced) implication is that they know who "she" is. It reminds me of when many brushed off Courtney Love's performance in The People vs. Larry Flynt as "playing herself." Ever consider that "Courtney Love" is a character she's been playing -- and how -- for 30 years? That she's actually a brilliant actress *in life.* (Not all great actressing happens solely onscreen.)

Anyway, back to subject, I always have had a soft spot for Diana Scarwid/Inside Moves and Eileen Brennan/Private Benjamin, but it's hard for me to fathom how Beverly D'Angelo was *not* nominated for her Patsy Cline in Coal Miner's Daughter. I'd give that one a win by a country mile.

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

Yea for Eva!! My choice by a mile. I love Mary Steenburgen, Eileen Brennan and Cathy Moriarty but compared to Eva here their work, fine though it may be, just can't compete.

To me even though it might be over the top I would have loved to see Cathy get a nom for her delicious turn as Montana "She could blow at any minute!!" Moorehead in Soapdish.

It's a crying shame that for Eileen Brennan this was her sole nomination. Such a talented woman and worthy of recognition many times in her career.

It's too bad there wasn't time to review snubbed work, I agree Beverly D'Angelo was cheated. Diana Scarwid didn't belong in this lineup and took her place. I don't think she would have won if nominated but the acknowledgement would have been deserved.

Looking forward to the 1968 Smackdown, still have to watch Faces but I'm doing that this week to be prepared.

Where I'm going to run into trouble is 2003, there are three I haven't seen Pieces of April and Thirteen, no problem with those two but I don't think I can endure Cold Mountain. I abhor Zellweger and am completely indifferent to both Law and Kidman (an unpopular stance but there you are) and since I've NEVER heard a single complimentary statement about Zellweger's performance it sounds like an unnecessary slog.

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

Yeah, that's a baffling miss for D'Angelo. Especially in the face of someone like Scarwid whose film literally didn't receive a single nomination anywhere else throughout the entire season. La Galliene was popular with critics and had a best actress nomination for Burstyn to boost her up. And given PRIVATE BENJAMIN was not only a best actress nominee, but a screenplay nominee as well (was that film like a BRIDESMAIDS-esque cause celebre in 1980?) shows it was quite popular. La Galliene and Brennan had long reputations so they naturally chose them over an actress from THE JAZZ SINGER and Debra Winger (which the Globes had nominated) and the aforementioned D'Angelo.

What's curious about 1980 though is the final nominees seem so outside of the box and random. Which is good in a way, and maybe that really was a year where "weak" could have been used to describe. Of course, that was still a little bit before big moviestars were taking the supporting roles and the Academy still sometimes had to search in odd places for nominees, I guess.

I'm still confused as to how Dolly Parton wasn't nominated for 9 to 5 though. I know it's a lead performance, but a newcomer would get supporting out of those three ladies, yes? Hmmm. Maybe Parton and D'Angelo split the country music vote.

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

Wow. I truly thought I would be the outlier on the EvaLG appreciation.

And Mareko - I get so mad at Scorsese when I watch 'RagingBull'. He just doesn't pause on Moriarty the way he does on Pesci/DeNiro (or even Foster a few years earlier). I actually love Moriarty unloosed in 'Soapdish' so I always feel a bit cheated by how controlling Scorsese's camera is when reviewing her work here. I think she's capable of more than the film/Scorsese permits, which is what thins her performance in the final film.

Also for more of my 1980 supporting actress love, see:

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStinkyLulu

2003 is a year of such awesome performances! Except for the winner, that is.

I have always wanted to see Resurrection (I am a major Ellen Burstyn fan) and now I want to see it even more. I don't know if I can take watching it on YouTube, though.

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Am I correct in noting that none among us have yet commented upon Gloria Grahame's cameo/bit-part as Mary Steenburgen's mother in 'Melvin and Howard'?

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStinkyLulu

Suzanne -- i'd skip it on youtube. In the end I had to just watch Eva's scenes but i could barely see any faces except for Ellen's and Sam's who are well lit and often in flattering closeup. A horrible fate for a film that interesting to only be available in a nearly unwatchable version.

Glenn -- weird how this category has changed so much both because leading roles always compete now (this lineup is 100% supporting which is joyous to me) and because big stars are now willing to take small roles leaving little room for character actors to build engaging enduring reps with occasional plum opportunities for Oscar notice.

September 30, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

('Resurrection' seems to be in fairly regular rotation on premium cable, which is weird but which is where I caught it. SO if you happen to know anybody with the full suite of Cinemax, you might ask them to dvr it for you in the coming weeks, when it's slated to air a couple times in the next weeks.)

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStinkyLulu

Also check Amazon there is a DVD available from the Universal Vault series. The power of Burstyn and LeG compels you!

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMatt Mazur

I quite liked RESURRECTION, but I felt Petrie's direction was a bit weird at some point (that car crash at the start) and thought it could have build stronger tension towards the religious radical moment late in the movie. Ellen is fabulous and Eva's final scene has that great line about "if we only loved each other the way we say that we love him maybe we wouldn't be in all of this bother" (I paraphrase, but closely).

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

I like StinkyLulu's 1980 Best Supporting Actress Top 10...Shelley Duvall could be easily in my Top 5, even if in Best Leading Actress category (I don't care Razzies disagree)

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMirko

the correct actress won ... too bad not an Oscar

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrick

Stinky-that is an awesome tip-I'm going to program that for my DVR!

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

I guess that Oscar campaigning must have been so different back then. I mean Coal Miner's Daughter was nominated for Best Picture, correct? Plus Actress of course and probably director and writer? How that missed a standout Supporting Actress nom is bizarre to me. It wouldn't happen today unless D'Angelo had already won before. She did her own singing and was a pivotal person in the leading lady's life. Oh well, just let it go.

I'd also have nominated Debra Winger as well, but maybe people felt that being in a big money-making movie was reward enough? At least Debra wasn't forgotten by Oscar in the ensuing years, unlike Beverly...

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDave in Alamitos Beach

Mirko & Stinky -- i'd always thought of Shelley as a lead in The Shining. but i haven't seen it in a few years. That said i LOVE her in it and do not understand the haters. talk about genuine feeling FEAR all caps

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

(I consider it a supporting performance, but I could see it being legitimately run in either category)

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStinkyLulu

I agree with Nat: Duvall is lead in The Shining (and Popeye, that same year, in which she is a delightful yin to the former's distressed yang). Can we have a Duvall-a-thon chez The Film Experience? It'd be worth it just for an opp. to watch 3 Women again.

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

Oh, and thank you, StinkyLulu, for the Soapdish shout-out. I know it's not chic or fashionable, but I absolutely think Cathy Moriarty should've been Oscar nominated for how well she played the shit out of that Montana Moorhead character (much the way Joan Cusack did -- and should've been nominated -- for Addams Family Values). Oscar had its head up its (AMP)ASs.

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

Mareko -- Both of those performances are just so enjoyable but I think Cusack is straight up genius in her film... such comic inventiveness that actress has. so crazy and cool that she was oscar nominated twice for onscreen silliness... it's so rare!

September 30, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I know I mentioned this to you in email, Nathaniel, but it's good to see my thought that there really isn't a big standout, five-star ratings across the board, performance from this year. It made it so much more difficult. Moriarty was my MVP, but clearly I'm in the minority. Still such fun to read and watch along with you all!

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJordan

To be fair, the Academy have nominated Joan Cusack twice and both for comedic performances.

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

I was super excited to see Le Gallienne win it, mostly because I thought it would go to Steenburgen (who I really enjoyed and was in an easy to love performance) or to Brennan (whom I love as an actress but whose part didn't wow me in any way).

I was a little surprised by the lack of love for Scarwind (she was 2nd place on my ballot), but I can understand how her movie hurt her a bit. I enjoyed it, but I could see the shortcomings in the narrative.

I've never seen Coal Miner's Daughter (it is in the Netflix queue, I swear!) - had Beverly D'Angelo been nominated, do you think she would have won this Smackdown? History tells me that Steenburgen was on the fast track for the win, but were would the Respected Smackdowners have placed her?

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPoliVamp

Barbara Hershey is a such a daffy, daring, and three-dimensional diva in The Stunt Man and would've been such a pleasing addition to this roster. As someone who doesn't quite get what exactly Mary Steenburgen is trying to do in Melvin and Howard, Hershey is a welcome antidote to everything that irks me about Steenburgen's turn, while sharing and improving upon many of Lynda Dummar's same characteristics, i.e. an inherent playfulness that doesn't distract from the character's deeper humanity nor occasionally render her featherweight, a believable vexation toward her significant other that doesn't get washed over by a blithely pixieish demeanor, and an eccentric sense of humor that seems part and parcel of the character, rather than serving as mere compensation for an underwritten character.

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew Eng

I wonder how many votes LeGalliene might have gotten in 1980 had screeners been available. I still stand by Mary Steenburgen, with another shoutout for overlooked Angie Dickinson in "Dressed to Kill."

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPatryk

polivamp -- i was not surprised but i do think Scarwid is underrated here (and maybe elswhere too - omg she's so fun in what lies beneath for example ;) but i blame the movie.

stinky was right in his preliminary thoughts this year was all about PRESENCE. all of these actresses had it in these roles but the roles aren't always asking for a lot more than that

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

Nat: somehow I became Travis in that Moriarty reader write-in comment...
I hope he's impossibly handsome and articulate, hence the confusion. ;-)

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Paul -- i'm sorry! ack. i will look at that again.

September 30, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

1980 was not such a good year for movies. All of these performances are a little underwhelming. And for all of you D'Angelo lovers out there, look, I love her too. But she's in Coal Miner's Daughter for maybe 5 minutes? I honestly don't see how anyone can say that she is better than these 5 nominees, as underwhelming as they might be.

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCharlieG

Ooh, 2003! Rooting for Holly and Shoreh!!!!

October 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

I would vote for the divine Mrs. Brennan. Her character, Captain Doreen Lewis, did have an arch in this movie. It is very subtle, but it is there. Yes , she is the antagonist in this movie and her reactions to Goldie Hawn's Judy Benjamin are pitch perfect. After thinking that she was finally ridding herself of Private Benjamin( the tap tap tap of her pen is priceless)and her decision to stay works well with Brennan's attempts to break Judy. After she leaves for Europe , you get that wonderful scene where Capt. Lewis confronts Judy and the joy of finally getting Judy to leave the army is class act acting. She finally got her wish. I enjoyed Ms. Le Galliene's performance, my runner up,but I go to one thing. Which actress supported the Lead Better , if each performer was terrible, which one would hurt the performance of the lead most, and for me , that would be Eileen Brennan. Enough Said

November 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaejae

This post must be very old, but I just found it and Im surprised nobody mentioned Brennan winning an Emmy and Globe when she reprised her role in the series. She got two more Enmy nods and another Globe nod. It's specially surprising since this was mentioned when discussing Barbara Barrie the year before.

October 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBD

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