For the 13th week of 2021 as part of Wandering Through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks. We return to the Oscars in the subject of Best Supporting Actor/Actresses winners as it’s the role where it’s the supporting players that get the spotlight as some tend to be better than the leads themselves. Yet, there’s also those that tend to win mainly out of category fraud or in just bad taste. Here are my three picks of these wrong choices:
Best Supporting Actor
1. John Mills-Ryan's Daughter John Mills without question is a great actor and certainly one of the finest to come out of Britain yet his performance as the mentally-challenged village idiot in David Lean’s romantic epic isn’t just a bad performance but serves no purpose to the film’s narrative about an Irish woman who marries an older man and then has an affair with a PTSD British officer that becomes scandal. All he does it witness and do some sort of pantomime as it’s kind of the definition of someone going full-retard. Chief Dan George’s performance in Little Big Man is way more interesting as he should’ve won as Mills’ win felt more like a win for his career achievement than his performance.
2. Melvyn Douglas-Being There I have no issue with Melvyn Douglas’ performance as an ailing millionaire who is charmed by a simpleton gardener whom he believes is a man of great wisdom and such. It's a performance that has Douglas not really doing much at all but spend half of the film lying in bed and talking. The fact that he beat Robert Duvall for his performance in Apocalypse Now and Frederic Forrest for The Rose just feels wrong.
3. Cuba Gooding Jr.-Jerry Maguire A performance that hasn’t aged well largely due to the fact that the character is nothing more than an underappreciated loudmouth who believes in his own hype and makes his agent lose all of his other clients to an asshole. Gooding is good in the film but he kind of overdoes it as he just spends much of the film acting like an entitled asshole. His win also doesn’t age well considering that he would later appear in some of the worst films ever made. Plus, the fact that his performance beat such better performances such as William H. Macy for Fargo and Edward Norton for Primal Fear is proof of how wrong the Oscars can be.
Best Supporting Actress
1. Jennifer Connelly-A Beautiful Mind Jennifer Connelly is an amazing actress yet her win really feels more like an apology from the Oscars for not considering her work in a much better film in Requiem for a Dream. Plus, it’s a performance that is clichéd as the supporting wife of a mentally-ill mathematician as it really does nothing to break out of its conventions. Adding insult to the win is the fact that Connelly went up against better performances from both Helen Mirren and Maggie Smith from Gosford Park, Kate Winslet in Iris, and Marisa Tomei in In the Bedroom while other actresses that could’ve been nominated are Laura Elena Harring for Mulholland Dr. and Scarlett Johansson for either Ghost World or The Man Who Wasn’t There.
2. Renee Zellweger-Cold Mountain A performance that is a definition of Oscar-bait though it really feels more like the Academy giving Zellweger her Oscar since she didn’t win the year before for Chicago. It’s not a bad performance as a country bumpkin who helps out Nicole Kidman but it tends to go into the realm of over-acting. Zellweger beat the likes of Shoreh Aghdashloo for House of Sand and Fog, Patricia Clarkson for Pieces of April, and Holly Hunter for Thirteen which weren’t just better performances but an example of women who just act and don’t try to be showy or vain in their performance.
3. Melissa Leo-The Fighter A performance that is overblown, over-acted, and really loud to the point that when my dad watched the film, he hated it and said “she won the Oscar? She’s awful!” Adding to the stain of that win was an Oscar campaign that should never gotten a lot of attention as Leo didn’t just beat her fellow co-star and fellow nominee Amy Adams in the same film. The Oscar really should’ve gone to Hailee Steinfeld for True Grit, Helena Bonham Carter for The King’s Speech, or the real pick in Jacki Weaver for Animal Kingdom. Weaver’s performance is far more interesting as the mother of a crime family instead of a loudmouth mother who was a bad influence to her two sons and did nothing but hold them back.
© thevoid99 2021