Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Essential Performances of the ‘90s Tournament: Round Two, Showdown 14

Thanks for voting all, there are still more than half a dozen open polls (all HERE) so help me find the finest performance of the 90s.

The full bracket is HERE and if you’re new to the showdown, background on its genesis is HERE. If you’re interested enough and love any of the upcoming performances feel free to defend them on your own blogs and send me a link so (information HERE).

This poll closes in five days on Sunday, 2nd.

Frances McDormand in Fargo (1996) as Marge Gunderson
"...she exudes a folksy wisdom that is neither ironic or trite" - Nick
Marge might not be the type of character which seems to unfold with a strident need for subtleness in performance but McDormand performs a deft trick where in each moment she’s playing the individual beats of the character so well, yet within the context of the film she’s still in touch with its zany individuality. It sort of encapsulates the type of performances which looks easier than it actually is. Marge is, at most times, a simple woman but Frances’ performance is never simplistic.

Emily Watson in Breaking the Waves (1996) as Bess McNeil
"In lesser hands these moments would come off as “weird” or “gimmicky”, but Watson is completely convincing" - Courtney
Whereas Frances must do the best to prevent a standard character from lacking nuance Emily must prevent a fantastical character from not seeming over the top. Taking into consideration Watson’s subsequent performances, the organic way her Bess unfolds only underscores the meticulousness of her performance made all the better for the way she obfuscates that precision with a natural aura.

Random: Both these ladies were nominated for their work in 1996 for Best Actress. Two of their fellow nominees (Brenda Blethyn and Kristin Scott Thomas, my #1 and #2 that year – were knocked out in round 1). So, consider this a redux of the 1996 Best Actress race. Choose wisely.

Alex (Alex in Movieland) is in favour of Emily Watsons work and he offers a defense of it.



Squasher88 said...

Wow, I really need to see Breaking the Waves now if she's strong enough to beat Marge Gunderson! I thought Frances would take this easily.

Alasdair said...

You really should watch Breaking the Waves. Watson's performance is one of the greatest of all time!