|Holly Hunter SWEPT the season for The Piano|
But, alas, we cannot have twelve nominees, not even in Best Picture (anymore). My thoughts on the Chosen Five:
Angela Bassett in What's Love Got to Do with It?
****Impressively embodies both modest Anna May and fierce Tina Turner, especially how one transforms into the other when on stage. She never loses the potential for strength, even when during the cycle of denial/enabling/defeat that is her marriage.
Stockard Channing in Six Degrees of Separation
*****Stockard Channing has an incredible ability to be simultaneously funny and revelatory, using every whip-smart line or bit of business to build her character and the arc. Her growing awareness that the fake junior Poitier may be the most significant thing to happen to her is almost imperceptible, yet so seamless is the performance that her outburst in the last scene is credible. It's not easy, I think, to transform a high society pseudo-intellectual into an open woman well aware that her journey is just beginning. It's a powerful performance.
Holly Hunter in The Piano
***Playing a mute, Hunter must use her face and hands to express everything -- frustration, bullheadedness, longing, heartache, whimsy, ecstasy. I think she misses some beats that would lead credence to some of the film's developments, but overall, not too shabby.
Emma Thompson in The Remains of the Day
*****Screentime-wise, you may be tempted to call it a Supporting performance. Yet the story begins with her letter, the bulk of the film centered around her time at Darlington. And Thompson, because she's infallible, takes it on magnificently, bringing her trademark warmth and dignity to the role of Miss Kenton. Affection is never directly declared, but you see it in her carriage. And you know she's not into Mr. Bell (at first), but oh, baby, it's what she needs! I love Emma Thompson. I love Miss Kenton, too.
Debra Winger in Shadowlands
**Fun enough in the lighter moments of the first half, she's too rough with the role. Where is the warmth, the affection? Not here, that's for sure.
Hunter won, obviously for the wrong category. Me, I think it's a race between Thompson and Channing. And between the two...I'm gonna buy American:
SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION
how much of your life can you account for?
Wrapping things up with Best Picture tomorrow: The Fugitive, In the Name of the Father, The Piano, The Remains of the Day and Schindler's List.