Thursday, June 27, 2013

Academy Awards analysis (1998)

Cate Blanchett was robbed.  Her performance in the title role of 1998's Elizabeth is one of my favorites from the 90's.  Weirdo Gwyneth Paltrow won for a decent performance in Shakespeare in Love, thanks to a major push from Miramax and Harvey Weinstein.  At the time is was likely a good bet, as she had won the Golden Globe (musical/comedy) and the SAG, while Blanchett took the Globe in drama and the BAFTA.  Meryl was likely fourth or fifth in the running that year for her turn as a cancer-stricken mother opposite Renée Zellweger in One True Thing.  Evidently Fernanda Montenegro was amazing in Central Station, but I've never seen it.  The full nominees list is as follows:

Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth)
Fernanda Montenegro (Central Station)
Gwyneth Paltrow (Shakespeare in Love)
Meryl Streep (One True Thing)
Emily Watson (Hilary and Jackie)

There are a few things I like about this: 1) Paltrow actually seems genuinely appreciative and a bit overwhelmed by the moment.  Despite this she delivered a great speech. 2) Fernanda Montenegro looks super bitchy. After the Brazilian veteran lost to Paltrow she is quoted as referring to the young winner as "...this romantic figure.  Thin, pure, virginal.   They don't have much of this type of actress in America."  She also described Paltrow's win as "an investment."  Sort of love this.  3) Paltrow in her speech describes Meryl as the "greatest one there ever was."  Meryl did a great job of acting appalled by this gushing, but I wasn't quite convinced.

This loss made it seven straight for her at the Oscars and 16 years since her last win.   


  1. This is another expected loss. Meryl looks stunning though on the night!

    Interestingly I think this may have been when the Academy became tired of Susan Sarandon. After 4 nomimations in 5 years they could have chosen her again for "Stepmom" which had similar themes to "One True Thing" and was a higher profile movie. She got nominated at the Globes but the Academy chose to continue it's love affair with Meryl instead!

    I agree about Blanchett being the more deserving winner here. This is part of the reason I disagree with the influence Harvey Weinstein wields amongst voters. Forever more Paltrow's win has been tarnished and you can't talk about it without being reminded of the relentless campaigning that went on this year. A pity.

    1. Good points about Harvey and Sarandon. Likely his influence also served Judi Dench in her supporting win for only eight minutes for Shakespeare in Love. It was more to make up for not awarding her for Mrs. Brown the year prior.

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    1. Oh Absolutely. I agree more or less with Hepburn who said the right people often win but sometimes for the wrong roles!
      Would have been great to see the awesome Lynn Redgrave win instead of Judi that year too.

      Interestingly as we said before, Judi is fast becoming a big contender in this year's race. Had she got the main prize for "Her Majesty, Mrs Brown" would she be such a big threat to Meryl's chances now? I doubt it actually.

    2. Fantastic point about Dench for this year. Had Helen Hunt not gotten in over her in 1997, Dench would've won for Mrs. Brown, then certainly not won the next year in supporting for Shakespeare in Love. Philomena this year would be far less buzz-worthy as "overdue" for a lead win. All the shoulda coulda wouldas.