Best Actress 1999

1998 through 2007

Best Actress 1999

Annette Bening - American Beauty
4
9%
Janet McTeer - Tumbleweeds
1
2%
Julianne Moore - The End of the Affair
7
16%
Meryl Streep - Music of the Heart
2
5%
Hilary Swank - Boys Don't Cry
29
67%
 
Total votes: 43

mojoe92
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Re: Best Actress 1999

Postby mojoe92 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:17 pm

Voted on this a long time ago without ever seeing McTeer's performance and I regret my vote to Swank.

Janet McTeer was amazing and gets my vote now

Did anyone else get vibes of Melissa Leo from this? I think white trash/hillbilly roles I think Melissa Leo now

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Re: Best Actress 1999

Postby bizarre » Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:05 am

My choices:

1. Hilary Swank, in "Boys Don't Cry"
2. María Galiana, in "Solas"
3. Reese Witherspoon, in "Election"
4. Séverine Caneele, in "L'humanité"
5. Sawsan Badr, in "The Closed Doors"
ALT: Julia Stiles, in "10 Things I Hate About You"

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Postby ITALIANO » Sun Mar 07, 2010 1:04 pm

Nobody forced you.

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Postby Sabin » Sun Mar 07, 2010 12:58 pm

Yes, I can believe many good things in an American, but what I mainly see in the American Sabin is a worrying lack of logic (and, I'm afraid, intentional).

Because I never, ever said that Hilary Swan was great in Boys Don't Cry (and seeing her compared to Falconetti honestly shows lack of taste, not just logic) and bad in everything else; I said that she was ALWAYS bad, or at least bland. And I firmly believe so.

I'm sure that many Americans agree with me. They are not stupid. Others, including you and the members of the Academy, swear that she was brilliant in this movie (I think she wasn't even the best actress in the movie). Yet, since you mention Bjork and Falconetti, let me point out that while we can only "guess" what they could be in other movies, what their film career would be had they made more films (and what you guess could be wrong), in Hilary Swank's case we know FOR SURE. She's not a great actress, Sabin, as you admitted. So, you see, I was right again.

Huh. I guess you're right. We have been talking to you for ten years.
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Postby ITALIANO » Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:11 am

It's true, back then I was the only one to be unimpressed by Swank's acting turn in Boys Don't Cry (at least on this board; in Europe others agreed with me when the movie first came out). And I'm proud, because I think I saw her limitations as an actress before it became obvious even to those who had thought so highly of her. I can understand the sympathy towards the character she plays in this movie - and I admit that she was perfectly cast; but 18 people still picking her as the best of the year can only be explained, especially after a decade and several mostly disappointing performances, as a case of collective hallucination, let's say it openly now.

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Postby Damien » Sun Mar 07, 2010 3:47 am

1999 was the year I joined UAADB and I remember the Best Actress discussions very well. Can't believe a decade has passed.

AT the time, I was rather dumbfounded that Italiano was so dismissive of Hillary Swank's performance. He was just about the only person I encountered who wasn't blown away. I'm happy to be in the majority on this one. I think it's an astonishing performance, made all the more memorable by Swank's refusal to sentimentalize her character. I recall one moment where she does something obnixious and another character calls her on it and she says with a mixture of pride, humor and guilt, "Yeah, I'm a real asshole." That one line reading epitomized how she nailed the contradictions and depths of the character. She was also really hot in the movie. :laugh:

And I'm not one of those who says she's given two great performances, and the rest has been shit. I love almost all her work (didn't see the Necklace movie, though) and think she should have been nominated for DePalma's Black Dahlia. My only disappointment with Swank since Boys Don't Cry is that she and Chad Lowe broke up. They were my favorite celebrity couple, and frequently rescued abused animals.

Julianne Moore is an actress who always leaves me cold. She gives her best performance in End of the Affair -- a truly great film based on a truly great novel -- but she's still not quite good enough. One doesn't sense any real deep passion in her Sarah, her screen presence has too much of an air of aloofness to it.

Streep and McTeer give perfectly fine, unexceptional performances in less-than-fine movies.

And then there's Ms. Bening's irritating cartoon performance in that silly cartoon of a movie. She's a talented actress whom I've liked elsewhere, so I will say that she probably gave Sam Mendes the performance he was looking for.

My Own Top 5:
1. Hillary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry
2. Julia Roberts in Notting Hill
3. Agnés Jaoui in Same Old Song
4. Reese Witherspoon in Election
5. Louise Goodall in My Name Is Joe




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Postby ITALIANO » Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:36 pm

Yes, but on this board it's years that I keep reading "she isn't a great actress BUT....". But she's competent, but she was good in Boys Don't Cry, but she's occasionally impressive... but, always but. For once, let's just say that she isn't a great actress, and stop. Two Oscars are really too much.

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Postby Big Magilla » Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:57 pm

I wouldn't call Swank a great actress, but she is a highly competent one who had two great opportunities and made the most of them.

Perhaps it was the characters more than the characterizations, but whatever the reason she struck the right chord at the right time with both of them.

While her choices of film projects since her second win have not always been wise, she did turn in an excellent performance as the inspirational schoolteacher in Freedom Writers, and though Amelia suffered from a wan script and a co-star (Richard Gere) who sleep walked through the film, she was really good.
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Postby ITALIANO » Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:27 pm

Sabin wrote:quote] A truly good actress should be, if not always memorable, at least interesting; in her non-nominated roles, Swank isn't exactly bad - just bland, inexpressive.

Huh. Well, that's a shitty thing to say.

Not about Swank. She's not a great actress. I don't like this revisionism that because Swank has not had a great career that excludes her from intermittent greatness. When she won in '00, it felt awesome.

Is Björk is a truly good actress? Probably not. I'd imagine watching her in a series of other films might be insufferable. What if Falconetti absolutely sucked in her other roles? If Swank showed up in Boys Don't Cry and Million Dollar Baby AND you continued to see nothing special in those films, she would earn a footnote of being "that rare mysterious actress who shows up from time to time to take on truly challenging roles and [in them] die horrible deaths. Who IS she? What makes her tick?" Instead, we have "Hilary Swank, really good in two roles." I don't think she deserves her Oscar for Million Dollar Baby, only because that was one of the great lineups of our time. As is, I think it's one of the better acting wins this decade, and I can say that while keeping in mind how disappointing it is for me that Staunton or Winslet didn't win.

To sum up: I don't think people should care that Hilary Swank is not a "great" actress any more than I don't think people should care that Mo'Nique is not a "great" actress. One should vote for the performance and not what you think the rest of their career will look like. I'm sure Italy has bigger mysteries to tend to than "What is this Hilary Swank bullshit?"

I'm glad you trust your memories. I like to revisit mine from time to time, if you can believe that in an American.[/quote]
Yes, I can believe many good things in an American, but what I mainly see in the American Sabin is a worrying lack of logic (and, I'm afraid, intentional).

Because I never, ever said that Hilary Swan was great in Boys Don't Cry (and seeing her compared to Falconetti honestly shows lack of taste, not just logic) and bad in everything else; I said that she was ALWAYS bad, or at least bland. And I firmly believe so.

I'm sure that many Americans agree with me. They are not stupid. Others, including you and the members of the Academy, swear that she was brilliant in this movie (I think she wasn't even the best actress in the movie). Yet, since you mention Bjork and Falconetti, let me point out that while we can only "guess" what they could be in other movies, what their film career would be had they made more films (and what you guess could be wrong), in Hilary Swank's case we know FOR SURE. She's not a great actress, Sabin, as you admitted. So, you see, I was right again.

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Postby Sabin » Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:44 pm

You want to understand my idea of "brilliant"...

Well, the thing that I like most about Hilary Swank's portrayal of Brandon Teena is that, within the context of Kimberly Pierce's Boys Don't Cry, it's a mad-dash of a performance. It's a portrait of an exhilaration junkie. Owen Gleiberman (or someone) wrote that in watching Swank play Teena play Brandon, there's a shit-eating "I can't believe I'm getting away with this!" grin that is infectious. Boys Don't Cry is structured around this "role of a lifetime" tour de force. By which I mean Brandon's. Swank's has been labeled some kind of powerhouse, the movie being "hers" essentially. It's not. It's one of the most brilliant ensemble pieces of the past ten years or so. It would not work without Chloe Sevigny or any number of other performances in this film. So it's hardly a one-woman show like Monster. But within Boys Don't Cry [inhabited by Swank] is joyous fearlessness. It only feels "actorly" in the joy that an actor gets in cutting loose, a single-mindedness. That's who Brandon Teena was. I guess in that way, Hilary Swank's is a more "specific" kind of powerhouse, but absolutely no less valid.

A truly good actress should be, if not always memorable, at least interesting; in her non-nominated roles, Swank isn't exactly bad - just bland, inexpressive.

Huh. Well, that's a shitty thing to say.

Not about Swank. She's not a great actress. I don't like this revisionism that because Swank has not had a great career that excludes her from intermittent greatness. When she won in '00, it felt awesome.

Is Björk is a truly good actress? Probably not. I'd imagine watching her in a series of other films might be insufferable. What if Falconetti absolutely sucked in her other roles? If Swank showed up in Boys Don't Cry and Million Dollar Baby AND you continued to see nothing special in those films, she would earn a footnote of being "that rare mysterious actress who shows up from time to time to take on truly challenging roles and [in them] die horrible deaths. Who IS she? What makes her tick?" Instead, we have "Hilary Swank, really good in two roles." I don't think she deserves her Oscar for Million Dollar Baby, only because that was one of the great lineups of our time. As is, I think it's one of the better acting wins this decade, and I can say that while keeping in mind how disappointing it is for me that Staunton or Winslet didn't win.

To sum up: I don't think people should care that Hilary Swank is not a "great" actress any more than I don't think people should care that Mo'Nique is not a "great" actress. One should vote for the performance and not what you think the rest of their career will look like. I'm sure Italy has bigger mysteries to tend to than "What is this Hilary Swank bullshit?"

I'm glad you trust your memories. I like to revisit mine from time to time, if you can believe that in an American.




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Postby ITALIANO » Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:35 pm

Ok, and I admit that I should watch the movie again (though I trust my memory). But again, I can understand dismissing Moore and, say, voting for Eleonora Duse - but I still don't understand whom you voted for this year, because after all we are also comparing five actresses here. Hilary Swank, maybe..? Just so that I can understand your idea of "brilliant", nothing else.

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Postby Sabin » Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:09 pm

I wrote about The End of the Affair elsewhere, but the difference between Moore as projected-upon and Moore as remembering-herself is negligible. This is not to say they must be polar opposites, but I don't find "either Moore" an alluring fountain of secrets or mystery. It is possible to play British, passionate, secretive, repressive, AND religious without hiding behind [gorgeous] costumes and Moore doesn't quite pull it off. I was absolutely captivated when I saw it ten years ago. Now, I think it's a grand production with a dull leading performance.
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Postby The Original BJ » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:12 pm

This is the kind of field where to say that one performance towers over the rest almost denigrates what is, to me, a mostly terrific field. (I'm afraid I don't agree that this is a weak lineup overall...with one glaring exception.)

But Hilary Swank is indeed the clear standout here for her wrenching breakthrough role. Her not-certain victory marked probably the single happiest win for me in my decade-plus of Oscar-watching, (and also serves as Roberto Benigni's finest screen moment.) No Best Actress winner since has even touched her tremendous accomplishment here.

I'm a bit surprised to find others so underwhelmed by McTeer. I think she's a joy in Tumbleweeds, and the fact that her trashy Southern mama is such a far cry from her real-life persona makes me admire her characterization even more.

Had Annette Bening beaten Swank, as many thought would happen (mostly based on that SAG win and her film's Best Picture pull....hmm...where have I been hearing that lately?), I would have been outraged. But I am 100% fine with her nomination. I thought she managed to create an appropriately larger-than-life caricature that was ALSO deeply felt, an impressive balancing act. She even seemed to work against the script's tendencies to vilify Carolyn, so that she ended up as tragic a figure as her husband. (I recognize that most of the anti-American Beauty crowd will completely disagree with me here, and that's fine -- I can see how some would find this turn completely over-the-top, though I think it's more complex than that.)

Julianne Moore was lovely as always in The End of the Affair, yet another of this category's beautiful portraits of a woman's commitment to her faith. But I see what Sabin and dws are saying -- by Moore's standards, it's less bold and energetic work than usual, and I do prefer a good number of her other performances, nominated and otherwise.

The one blot on this category was, in a rarity for her, Meryl Streep, in the utterly saccharine Music of the Heart. (Sidebar: how come when an actress as great as Meryl gets nominated for total garbage, everyone recognizes it as placefiller...but when Sandra Bullock does, she becomes the frontrunner?) Given the available options -- the terrific performances others have cited by Witherspoon, Roth, and Weaver -- this nomination was a real groaner.

And, not to further agitate the fray, but Nicole Kidman absolutely deserved recognition this year, but Supporting Actress seems a much more appropriate place.

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Postby Mister Tee » Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:08 pm

Sorry to interrupt this dick-swinging match, but I haven't yet commented on the '99 race.

The nomination slate was deeply disappointing, beyond Swank and Moore, for being so generic -- especially in picking one of Streep's least distinctive performances -- when Sigourney Weaver had given one of her best performances in A Map of the World, and Witherspoon had made such an indelible impression in Election. They would have made for a far livelier group of nominees.

McTeer's a good actress overall, but I thought Tumbleweeds was pretty bad. The best to say for McTeer is she didn't sink to the level of her dreadful young co-star.

Bening had good moments in American Beauty, but also some bad, over-the-top ones.

Moore was second best -- I'm closer to Italiano's position than Sabin's -- but Swank just outclassed the field. It's true Swank can be utterly uninteresting, verging on bad in many other films, but here she hits the bulls-eye, and I can't consider voting for anyone else.

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Postby ITALIANO » Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:05 pm

Sabin wrote:
No, I never think of a performance in terms of "supporting" or "leading" - just in terms of good or not, and Kidman is not.

Copy that. Disagree.

As for End of the Affair, again, RE-rewatch. She's very good.

Julianne Moore isn't bad but I don't think she quite conveys the inner-life and turmoil of Sarah Miles. I like her quite a bit. Apparently Kristen Scott Thomas and Miranda Richardson were both considered and I think they would make much stronger choices. She's a bit wooden opposite Ralph Fiennes whose passion seems ill-aimed.

So you voted for Hilary Swank. I see.


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