Best Supporting Actress 2017

Vote for the best of this bunch

Mary J. Blige - Mudbound
No votes
Allison Janney - I, Tonya
Lesley Manville - Phantom Thread
Laurie Metcalf - Lady Bird
Octavia Spencer - The Shape of Water
Total votes: 23

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Re: Best Supporting Actress 2017

Postby mojoe92 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:15 pm

Manville. That’s because she’s the best of the worst here.

Should have been Haddish and if not Haddish, Hon Chau

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Re: Best Supporting Actress 2017

Postby Big Magilla » Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:35 pm

flipp525 wrote:
Big Magilla wrote:I really wish that Marjorie Prime had been a better film or that Lois Smith would have had one really great scene in it rather than a series of merely good ones, but since she doesn't, she just misses the mark

She was your fifth slot sight unseen!

She remained in my top five for quite a while after I did see her and, as I said, she just misses the mark. Actually, I thought her bemused nun in Lady Bird had more spark, but that was little more than a cameo. At least, unlike the Academy, she does have one nomination from me for Five Easy Pieces.

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Re: Best Supporting Actress 2017

Postby Sabin » Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:33 pm

Best Actress was filled with take-charge characters bursting with self-expression, growing, and changing, Best Supporting Actress was a lineup of mothers. Lesley Manville may be a sister, but she is a mother. Octavia Spencer may be a co-worker and a wife, but she is a mother. They all struggle under the burden of expectation...except for Allison Janney, which is why it perhaps shouldn't be surprising that she won. LaVonna lives a miserable life, near the end of it requiring a breathing tube...but she's going to go to the grave being exactly who she is.

Like BJ, I discovered her in 1999 with American Beauty. I never really watched The West Wing but my girlfriend is putting me through a retrospective right now (which in our currently administration is a special kind of torture). C.J. Cregg is far and away the best female character Aaron Sorkin has written. There's something very right about Allison Janney winning an Oscar. One gets the sense that Hollywood applauds itself for allowing Allison Janney to win it for all the tall girls out there, and play women (at least on television) who are desired for their attractive intelligence. So then it's something of a bummer that she must win an Oscar for playing evil. This isn't a bad win, but it would be nice if she could win for something that isn't merely favorably compared to Melissa Leo in The Fighter.

Janney was always out in front of the race with Laurie Metcalf, and behind them...a string of women that I suspect would be lagging in other years. Best Supporting Actress tends to have a "One Year On/One Year Off" quality to it. Some years are packed with worthy nominees and other years it feels as though they struggle to put a list together which results in nominating Laura Dern for a ten minute flashback.

Octavia Spencer was nominated for what we can call "The Octavia Spencer role": a woman of color, usually married, struggling against the establishment in small doses. She's very good but we've seen her do this better in The Help and Hidden Figures. I think The Shape of Water is her weakest nomination because she essentially serves the same purpose as Richard Jenkins: cameraderie, exposition, and context. Holly Hunter is perfectly fine in The Big Sick, but I've never understood her acclamation. It seems like a coup of casting, unlike Ray Romano who seemed to reveal something personal and unexpected. I haven't seen Downsizing so I can't speak to Hong Chau's performance, but that movie flopped. Nobody saw it. Would it be spoken about any other year? As for Mary J. Blige, she doesn't have much to do. Her triumph is being convincing. I found her nomination baffling.

In a race that could have included Michelle Pfeiffer for mother!, Bria Vinaite for The Florida Project, Tiffany Haddish for Girls Trip, or Allison Williams or Betty Gabriel for Get Out to name a few, I found the lineup surrounding Janney and Metcalf to be uninspiring. Which is why Phantom Thread's large take on Oscar morning was so welcome, and Lesley Manville was at the center of it. I've gone back and forth about giving her my vote. She absolutely destroys every scene, and won me over in a way I didn't quite feel in Another Year.

I wasn't quite sold on Metcalf's chances of winning because it wasn't showy enough. So much of the film happens in subtle gestures because gestures and quiet dismissals are all that Marion needs with her daughter. Lady Bird isn't a film made for Oscar clips, of course her scream at the end of the opening car scene certainly qualifies (for me, it's tied with "The Sunken Place" from Get Out as scene of the year). It's as much a feat of casting as any this year. Metcalf's face is so long that her smiles feel like a struggle against years of depression. Her crying departure from the airport wouldn't make my top twenty of Metcalf moments from Lady Bird, but I suspect one of the many reasons she didn't win was it wasn't big enough.

Marion may not be as awful as LaVonna, but she's real. Every girl I've dated has described this kind of relationship: the micro-aggressions, the freezing out, the controlling. And there's a reason why the women in my life hasn't stopped talking about Laurie Metcalf's performance. Because she truthfully embodies a person they struggle with to this day. I think it's a great performance and she has my vote.
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Re: Best Supporting Actress 2017

Postby flipp525 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:50 am

Big Magilla wrote:I really wish that Marjorie Prime had been a better film or that Lois Smith would have had one really great scene in it rather than a series of merely good ones, but since she doesn't, she just misses the mark

She was your fifth slot sight unseen!
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Re: Best Supporting Actress 2017

Postby Big Magilla » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:24 pm

As with best supporting actor, the problem here was in determining who the other nominees should have been in addition to my clear choice for a winner - the marvelous Laurie Metcalf in Lady Bird.

Octavia Spencer does seem like a modern Thelma Ritter. For most of The Shape of Water she's the wisecracking Ritter of All About Eve and most of her other films, but in the end turns into the heart-wrenching Ritter of Pickup on South Street. It's that final scene, not the earlier wisecracking ones, that earns her the nod.

Lesley Manville is someone I've enjoyed in numerous British TV mysteries. In Phantom Thread she finally has a big screen role that demands attention and is a good nominee.

There were two high profile supporting turns by actresses playing characters from Hell this year - Allison Janney's overdrawn, ridiculous bitch of a mother in I, Tonya, whose awards haul had been a head-scratcher for me even before I saw the film. Melissa Leo's over-the-top, but ultimately more realistic mother superior of the old school in Novitiate is the one who have gotten her dragon lady slot.

I really wish that Marjorie Prime had been a better film or that Lois Smith would have had one really great scene in it rather than a series of merely good ones, but since she doesn't, she just misses the mark and my fifth slot therefore goes to Holly Hunter, who does have a couple of standout scenes in The Big Sick.

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Re: Best Supporting Actress 2017

Postby ksrymy » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:37 am

I wasn't as charmed by Mudbound as everyone else, as I thought it was very heavy-handed. I did like Mary J. Blige, but a nomination seems a bit much. I'll stick with listening to "Be Without You" and "Family Affair" if I want to experience Mary.

I like Allison Janney quite a bit, but I just didn't find her as great as everyone else did in I, Tonya. She's certainly funny ("So... are you two fucking?"), but it's all scenery-chewing in a campy way that doesn't quite mesh with the rest of the film.

This is the first time I actually agree with Octavia Spencer getting a nomination. I really didn't dig her at all in The Help, and her performance in Hidden Figures seemed coattail-y. And while she's stuck here, again, in the '50s and '60s playing a subservient role to rich white folk, I think her talents are put to best use here. Her sassy one-liners work best because it's the kind of girl-to-girl talk I hear at work frequently myself ("It takes a lot of lies to keep a marriage going" had the crowd cracking up at my first of three screenings). And, unlike the previous two films for which she was nominated, she's actually given something important to do in this role (not to say that rocket science isn't important, but it's something she's already good at whereas she is foisted into something entirely new in The Shape of Water).

Lesley Manville is marvelous in Phantom Thread, and I'm so glad they used the clip of her at the ceremony that they did. Manville's stern, big-balls, no-funny-business attitude is the perfect foil to Daniel Day-Lewis' character when he starts to let emotion seep into the cracks of his façade. Though her character's range isn't too wide, Manville takes every scene she's in and steals it with a steely-eyed stoicism that's enough to stop the heartbeat of even the most fearless person.

But there was no better performance in any category this year than Laurie Metcalf's in Lady Bird. This film is uncompromising in its look of how real lower-middle-class families function. The mother who loves her daughter but can't put up with her shit anymore is something we all know or have seen, and Metcalf plays it to absolute perfection. Her arguing with Lady Bird, especially, during the dress-shopping sequence is marvelous and her silent car ride to and from the airport is brutal. It's one of my favorite performances in all of film history. And one of the most robbed performances in the history of these awards. There's just something about this role that strikes me right into the deepest recesses of my heart.

However, I thought this category was also super weak this year. Because, alongside Spencer, Manville, and Metcalf, the only other performances I really liked were Betty Gabriel's creepy maid in Get Out and Michelle Pfeiffer's sexy, unnerving performance in the underrated mother!.
Last edited by ksrymy on Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Best Supporting Actress 2017

Postby The Original BJ » Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:04 pm

The women just boxed out (Hong Chau & Holly Hunter) would have been the ones I'd have considered above...

...Blige, though I will say I definitely felt she was an actress first, and a pop star trying her hand at drama second. I just don't think the role offers her anything that should prompt best-of-the-year accolades.

Spencer was a delight, as always, though she also doesn't have a substantial enough part to approach win territory. (And I'd like to see her next nomination be for something other than a civil rights-era role where she works for white people.)

I became an instant fan of Janney in the fall of '99, when I discovered her in American Beauty and The West Wing. And I think she's a hoot here, obviously a terrible mother, but not one completely without compassion for her daughter, and Janney does an excellent job allowing those moments to sneak through. I don't much object to her Oscar.

Manville's nomination was a great surprise, for her cold and precise performance, in which even a simple facial expression can land with such cutting impact. She's a great foil for both Day-Lewis and Krieps.

I never saw Roseanne, nor any of Metcalf's much-praised stage work, so she wasn't an actress who I'd seen in anything other than small roles here and there. But I adored her in Lady Bird, and think she's operating in a much more human dimension than Janney's scene-stealing mom, with moments both laugh-out-loud funny (her reaction to Ronan's "What if this is the best version?") and heartbreaking (the airport goodbye). She gets my vote.

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Best Supporting Actress 2017

Postby bizarre » Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:15 pm

A fun race, a fun category and an interesting benchmark of how the Academy's taste in nominees is reverting to a very old-Hollywood style lead actor-character actor binary.

I respect Mudbound, and I'm pleased that an actress of colour can get nominated for this kind of role, but my response to Blige's performance boils down to her lack of expressive range. I don't think she's a naturally skilled actress and though she deserves credit for fitting into the film's stylistic tapestry seamlessly I think the narrative around this nomination was more of a reward for a popular singer moonlighting, and I think the acting is on a par with other historic nominations of that kind (Peggy Lee et al).

Octavia Spencer is an actress I like a lot, and she wrings more from this material than the other supporting actors in the film do, but this is still a lazy nomination for a solid read on an unremarkable role.

Allison Janney delivers the one liners with verve, but plays the character with uncertainty. She never seems quite sure whether she's doing a caricature in a farce or a psychological study in a drama, and errs on the side of caution by playing broad notes in both directions.

Lesley Manville's best moments are used more as a tool by the film than as character detail, but she's such a tart, refreshing presence here. It's a great out-of-the-box nomination for a deserving actress (truly - she should have won for Another Year).

Laurie Metcalf is wonderful, finding something that's both organic and truly novel in the character most oversold and under-served across all media - the loving mother. She's a winner.

Few of the also-ran contenders sustained a campaign all the way to the end of the season, but outside of Janney & Metcalf three of the spots could easily have been filled by one of four ladies: Hong Chau, spinning straw into gold in Downsizing - she looked like a good bet, but the film was too divisive, no one 'got it', the character had backlash and Matt Damon was hardly an endearing figurehead in 2017 in the context of his weak responses to the #MeToo movement; Holly Hunter playing another thorny-nice mother in The Big Sick, may have ultimately been seen as delivering the 'lite' version of Laurie's performance in Lady Bird, though Hunter's work has its own charms; Tiffany Haddish in Girls Trip would have had a nice moment had she gotten to read out her own nomination on-air at the announcement, but that didn't happen - I think she's fun in a nonsensical role in an aggressively bland comedy, but there were some efforts to replicate a Melissa McCarthy-in-Bridesmaids-type run; finally, Kristin Scott Thomas, who is nice in Darkest Hour but is probably glad she wasn't nominated for such an uninspiring background role.

Also on the bubble at different times were: Melissa Leo, very very good in Novitiate (a film underserved by a poorly managed campaign and poor BO performance), Allison Williams, also very very good and very, very weird (and a dream nominee of mine) in Get Out, although most press went to Catherine Keener (doing her thing, but beneficiary of an iconic scene) and Betty Gabriel (a great discovery with her own iconic moment) - Tatiana Maslany (Stronger), Bria Vinaite (The Florida Project), Nicole Kidman (The Killing of a Sacred Deer and The Beguiled), Kirsten Dunst (The Beguiled), Julianne Moore (Wonderstruck), Julia Roberts (Wonder), Rosamund Pike (Hostiles), Juno Temple (Wonder Wheel), Dafne Keen (Logan) and Lois Smith (Marjorie Prime).

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