Future Oscar Winners: Women

Here are the actresses who I believe will win Oscars someday. Who knows if they will or if they won’t – but these women are definitely Oscar caliber.

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– Reese Witherspoon. Listen, I’ve been a huge fan of this girl since her movie debut in Man in the Moon when she was 12 years old. Sam Waterston is in the movie, Tess Harper – and Reese, a little kid, walks away with that film. Or maybe I should say: she “strolls” away with the movie because she makes it look so easy. It probably IS easy for her. She has an innate gift. Her acting is intelligent, unexpected, and very very good. But it is really her role as Tracy Flick in Election (shown in the picture above) which cemented my regard for her. I know she’s become a ginormous star since then – so now she’s appearing in “romantic comedies”, yadda yadda, but her performance of Tracy Flick has got to go down in the books as one of the most spot-on psychological portraits I have seen in the movies in a long LONG time. She’s not just good. She’s a genius in that movie. Oscar-worthy. Mark my words. She needs the role – that will “land”, so to speak … but she is very very deserving. I’m a huge fan.

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– Julianne Moore. She’s one of those actresses who doesn’t just do mainstream stuff, so a lot of her best work has been in movies that about 20 people saw. Like Safe. But that’s the deal. She doesn’t “play the game” in the typical way, although she is a big star, and everyone wants to work with her. She isn’t a mainstream actress. She has her flaws, but when she’s in the right material, she is one of a kind.

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Kate Winslet She seems pretty much, like Johnny Depp, to be a shoo-in. What I love about Kate Winslet, and this is a very rare quality (you can count on one hand the actresses who have it): She’s the type of actress where you can actually feel her blood start to race, in emotional scenes. You can actually feel her heart speed up. A flush actually covers her cheeks. She’s like Eleonora Duse, with her famous blush. Winslet’s actual physical LIFE FORCE comes off the screen. That cannot be taught.

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– Patricia Clarkson Mitchell and I were actually talking about her the other night, about her work in High Art, where she plays a heroin addict Marlene Dietrich wannabe. Mitchell said, “I swear – I had no idea who she was at the time I saw that film – and I truly believed she was German – I thought she WAS that person, and that they found a … you know … performance artist to come in and just play herself. I had no idea she was ACTING.” The woman is a complete and utter chameleon. Along the lines of Meryl Streep. She doesn’t just change her accent, her clothes, her hair … she actually seems to change her inner essence – from role to role. She’s amazing.

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– Joan Allen I think she’s the best actress working today. Mitchell and I had a great discussion about her as well – If she had started doing major films in the 70s and 80s, as opposed to the 90s and 2000s (whatever) – she would probably have 3 or 4 Oscars under her belt by now. Like Meryl Streep does. Or Ellen Burstyn. She’s that good. Hollywood doesn’t quite know what to do wih Joan Allen (and back in the 70s and 80s – Hollywood DID know what to do with Meryl Streep) … so Joan Allen doesn’t get the projects that she SHOULD. I would love to see her really get “the role” that would cement her position. Even in a movie like Pleasantville – she brings such a specific depth of emotion to it – NOBODY plays buried fiery emotion like Joan Allen. NOBODY.

And lastly. I realize this last one is a pipe dream. It will probably never happen. This is a shame. Because the woman is not only a “good actress” – tepid term – but a flat out genius. She doesn’t “act”. She channels. I’m sorry to sound so hyperbolic and new-agey – but honestly. She’s so so so good. And looking at the body of her work, I have to say (and this is a high compliment): I have NO idea who Catherine O’Hara is. Is she like Cookie in Best in Show? Is she like Sheila Albertson in Waiting for Guffman? Who is she? No idea. She appears to have no innate personality that she has to contend with (I’m sure she does – I’m just saying that it is never apparent in her acting). She is a total and utter chameleon. I thought Charlize Theron was good in Monster and all – but whatever. You put crappy makeup on a beautiful woman, make her teeth look bad, give her a scraggly wig – and everyone says “WHAT AN AMAZING ACTRESS!!” Catherine O’Hara does complete transformations – only without all the bells and whistles and fake noses and fake teeth. So I know she’ll probably never win one, but I’m putting her on the list as my way of acknowledging her giant gift.

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93 Responses to Future Oscar Winners: Women

  1. Cullen says:

    Catherin O’Hara is a goddess. Loved her since I discovered SCTV ages ago. Anyone who is a Guest alum deserves praise.

  2. JFH says:

    Cullen – I’ve always had a crush on Lola Heatherton

  3. JFH says:

    Shows how little I know about the Oscars – I thought for SURE that Julianne Moore and Joan Allen had already won Oscars…

  4. beth says:

    i’ve been a fan of kate winslet’s for some time also, but never really put my finger on the “heart racing” thing. now that you mention it–duh! how could i not have seen it? thanks for the observation.

  5. Stevie says:

    Agree completely with each of these. Absolutely. And you’re right – it’s so unlikely Catherine O’Hara would ever win an Oscar, but she’s a brilliant, pixilated genius.

  6. red says:

    I love comedic actors and actresses too – but comedic performances rarely win (or even get nominated) which I think is a shame.

  7. Stevie says:

    I know – it’s just a shame, really. That’s why people like Roz Russell never won, although her gift s were monumental. Just ask any big Hollywood star who guested on I Love Lucy how incredibly hard it is to be funny and real and smart and zany – on cue . . .

    Red, how do you feel about Ashley Judd? I think I love her, but I don’t know why.

  8. red says:

    I’m neutral on the Ashley Judd question. She can be good – she just doesn’t light me up like other actresses do. I actually thought she was very good in Heat, if I recall correctly.

  9. Cullen says:

    I also think Ashley Judd can be good. But how bad was that flick with her and Ewan McGregor! Stinky!

    Eye of the Beholder. Had to look it up. Guess I was trying to block it out.

  10. Stevie says:

    Yup, Eye of the Beholder was stinky. After Ashley slashes and kills her first victim, she wails, “Merry Christmas, Daddy!” and collapses in tears. Catherine O’Hara could do that line and bring down the house :)

  11. red says:

    cullen – hahaha I thought I was the only one who saw that terrible movie! There was actually a special on MTV or something about the making of that movie (before it came out) – and during the scene where she had to be wasted in a bar – well, Ashley Judd couldn’t do it without actually getting wasted. She drank a pitcher of margaritas or something.

    I think that reveals whatever it is that might be lacking in her work. She can’t “make believe”. She needed to have real alcohol, she couldn’t play make-believe. And – I guess I really respect the actors who can play make-believe to such a degree that we believe WHATEVER they do. This job is about – ehm – “acting” – and so there’s something lacking in her skill or something – that she was unable to “make believe” she was drunk and needed to be really drunk.

    It’s along the lines of Robert DeNiro gaining 65 pounds. Everyone else fawned at his feet for doing that – they still fawn at his feet – but I’m sorry. That’s not “acting”.

    He was great in that film. Great. But I think the weight-gain weight-loss thing is a complete gimmick and not at all what real acting is about.

  12. Stevie says:

    That’s for damn sure, Red. Spencer Tracy used to say to Olivier, “How can you act with all the crap on your face?” Stunts of gaining/losing weight, building up/building down muscles, “ugly” makeup, all turn me off. Have to say I loved Meryl Streep as the ancient Rabbi in Angels in America, but it was a stunt. That role could’ve been played by any number of old actors with no problem.

  13. Cullen says:

    I admire that De Niro can “become” someone for the role. But yeah, I don’t think that’s acting, per se. Not that I’m a subject matter expert or anything. I’m just critical.

    Juliette Lewis I think is a good example of not being able to “act.” I saw an interview where she talked about her job basically just being able to lie very well. She doesn’t study roles or anything, she just lies. Lost a good bit of respect for her then.

  14. red says:

    Yeah – gaining a ton of weight is not “good acting”. It’s an ego thing, and I belivee it’s also a failure of imagination on the part of the actor. What – you can’t just PRETEND? YOu have to gain 80 pounds??

    Russell Crowe gained a ton of weight for The Insider (my favorite role of his) and said he would never do it again. It was years ago and his metabolism has never recovered.

  15. red says:

    I realize that film is a more realistic form than the stage – so you can’t just put on a fat suit – but still. I think DeNiro is WAY over-praised for what was, basically, eating pasta 4 times a day for 3 months.

  16. Cullen says:

    But he is a good actor. Or, at least he was. He’s a parody of himself now.

  17. red says:

    Oh absolutely, Cullen. I even loved him in Raging Bull – I just thought the weight-gain took precedence over the actual acting, and I think it’s a cheap trick.

    But no doubt about it – he was awesome.

  18. Stevie says:

    Speaking of fat suits – I was touched by a comment Gweneth Paltrow made about the first time she put on the fat suit and makeup for Shallow Hal. They were testing the “look” prior to production in a hotel room. She went out into the hotel and walked around, tried to strike up conversations with people, and was ignored or given short shrift. She said, “People think they’re being kind by not making eye contact with you or looking at you, but actually it’s horribly isolating and painful to be invisible like that.” An acquaintance of mine who uses a wheelchair said the same thing to me.

    Off the subject, but on my mind.

  19. Cullen says:

    I saw that movie he did with Dakota Fanning — Hide and Seek, or Boogeyamn, or whatever else the sucky title was — and thought, “It is official. The name Robert DeNiro on a movie now means nothing.”

  20. red says:

    it’s a bummer, ain’t it, cullen??? He needs to get scared again, hungry again – he needs a challenge. I don’t even care if he fails. I just want to see him on the edge – it’s where he should be.

  21. red says:

    Stevie – Alex refuses to believe me that Shallow Hal is a good movie – and will not see it. She thought it would be one long fat joke. I thought it would be too – that’s how the commercials portrayed it – but I have tried to tell her: it’s not!!! I plead with her to see it – It’s this deep wonderful movie about inner beauty, blah blah blah … And Gwyneth was wonderful in it. I read that same quote that you did – I thought her acting in that movie was beautiful, so so compassionate. That was a real girl. Loved that girl. She truly knew who she was.

    And Stevie – the moment when Jack Black realizes that the little girl in the hospital is actually horribly burned – do you remember that scene??? That one scene is pretty much why he’s on my Oscar list. He doesn’t even need to do anything. You can just tell he is moved to his very core.

  22. Cullen says:

    Oh. I had forgotten all about Jack Black’s performance in that. Everything he’s done since has pissed me off so much … King Kong isn’t going to win my heart any more either.

    But yeah, that moment in Shallow Hall is awesome.

  23. red says:

    cullen – totally. It’s all on his face. His entire shallow life, how stupid he’s been, and … he says something to her like, “C’mere beautiful” and hugs her. God. It’s so quiet. So so so good.

  24. Emily says:

    DeNiro’s career has become almost bleak. Time was, if he was in a film, you could guess it was going to be good about 90% of the time. He seems like just a paycheck actor now. He’ll take anything, no matter how bad.

  25. red says:

    At least when Cary Grant got sick of acting he had the decency to RETIRE!!

  26. Stevie says:

    Yeah, Red, that’s when I fell in love with Jack Black. He handled that scene perfectly, and his compassion was beautiful to behold.

    I avoided Shallow Hal for a long time, too, because I thought it was a Porky’s or something. But I loved it and felt really good about it. I’m sure Alex would end up loving it, too. The whole idea that inner beauty is more important than outer beauty is a concept most of us would agree with, but has rarely been explored in Hollywood, and I was touched by Shallow Hal. The Farrelly brothers seem truly accepting of differently-abled and different-appearing people, and I’m grateful to them for incorporating such people in their movies without having to shine a spotlight on it and trumpet their “inclusiveness.” Hooray for them!

  27. Cullen says:

    Their Stuck on You was quite good also and I thought it was going to be a bunch of suck. I hate Matt Damon and still liked the movie.

  28. red says:

    stevie – what I thought was particularly great about that character in Shallow Hal – was her name Rosie?- she had ZERO self-pity. ZERO. She was too busy having a LIFE. Being fat did not define her.

    I loved her performance.

  29. red says:

    And the look on Gwyneth Paltrow’s face when Jack Black ignores her at the restaurant (it’s actually that he doesn’t recognize her) – but … there’s Gwyneth with the fat added to her face – but her EYES. HER EYES. It’s so so sad. Her heart has literally broken in that moment. Beautiful work from her in that moment. It’s almost the most vulnerable I’ve ever seen her.

  30. Cullen says:

    Totally unrelated topic, but I felt I must share:
    AFI’s top 25 film scores. The Pink Panther is #20. I guess I should be happy that it’s on the list, but I feel that it should be higher.

  31. Jen says:

    I agree on all counts here. A lot of people are saying that Reese might get the nomination/Oscar for “Walk the Line” as June Carter.

    Kate Winslet is my favorite actress today. Isn’t it amazing to think that she is only 29 or 30 years old and she has such an amazing body of work? And she’s been nominated for an Oscar, what, four times now? She’s in Ricky Gervais’ new show, “Extras”, and she has a hilarious part where she jokes about being nominated and never winning.

  32. red says:

    Jen – HAHAHAHAHA I saw that. She is so funny – smoking and swearing wearing her nun’s habit. And the moment when she gets busted doing the dirty phone call – I laughed out loud.

  33. red says:

    Stevie –

    The Farrelly Brothers. Nice Rhode Island boys. Doing my home state proud. :)

  34. red says:

    Jen – yeah, I think Reese is … just amazing. She’s pretty, cute, blonde, little … so the roles she’s getting are not quite worthy of her at the moment. The stuff she did in her teens really shows how fierce she is.

    Tracy Flick is an icon to me. Tracy Flick is everything that is wrong with the political process in this country. She is AMAZING in that movie.

    I have very high hopes for her long long career. She’s so good.

  35. Stevie says:

    Sheila – Gweneth did a fabulous job with her portrayal of a large woman. You’re right, there’s no self-pity or even self-consciousness, which I love her for. Apparently the body double who did the diving board scene and some of the times when Rosie’s arms and legs showed is this delightful young woman, full of poise, self-esteem and self-comfortableness, and it might have affected Gweneth’s performance. They became good friends on the set. So often when some gorgeous actor plays plain or ugly or fat or disabled or disfigured, they infuse the character with shame and self-pity, probably because they’re too busy thinking, “Oh, how horrible it must be to look like THIS instead of my usual gorgeous self.”

    Tracy Ullman (another candidate for never-gonna-get-it-but-totally-deserves-it comedy Oscar) does this brilliantly when she plays her characters.

  36. red says:

    Stevie –

    God. Tracey Ullman. Another “channeler”. You never catch that woman “acting”. It’s total transformation. Humphrey Bogart always used to say that when you’re acting, the character needed to “go back 6 feet in your eyes”. Tracey Ullman “acting” goes back forever in her eyes – it’s like she completely disappears. You don’t know who she is, where she is. She’s incredible.

  37. red says:

    stevie – Yeah. The reed-thin actress cannot let herself imagine even being 2 pounds overweight, let alone 100. Gwyneth obviously imagined herself very very well into what it would be like.

    I love when she calls him a “jackass” during their first meeting. It’s so real.

  38. red says:

    “You. Are a jackass.”

    Out of nowhere – in the lingerie shop. Do you remember that?? so funny, so true.

  39. Stevie says:

    Shallow Hal is full of great moments like that. That same lingerie scene, Hal is so proud of himself for making a joke about the size of the underwear, then after Rosie says “You’re. a. Jackass.” He realizes his jackassness and says, “I’m sorry, you’re probably buying those for someone you love and here I am insulting them; all I really wanted to do was meet you.” Another great Jack Black moment.

  40. red says:

    hahahaha Her face is so annoyed. She is SURE he is making fun of her.

    I also love the special hand-shake thing she does with the Dr. at the hospital. She sees him in the corridor, she exclaims happily, “Dr. Said!!” – and they do this funny hand-slap handshake – as though they’re gang members or something – It just shows that Rosie is pretty much comfortable in all kinds of environments – I just love how Gwyneth does that, though. “Dr. Said! Whasssup???”

  41. Barry says:

    If you’re going to wonder about who Catherine O’Hara is, shouldn’t you also wonder if she’s Mickey from “A Might Wind” as well? Just to, you know, complete the circuit…

  42. red says:

    I didn’t find that to be as complete a transformation as the other two. That’s why I left it off. Loved her in that movie – but to me, it had a quiet deep truth that seemed much closer to reality (as we recognize it anyway) than the other two roles.

  43. Stevie says:

    Oh yeah, the Dr Said moment! I forgot about that! Loevly. How about when she offers the doggy bag to the bum on the bench? She’s just comfortable with it, doesn’t make it a big deal.

  44. Lisa says:

    Lisa’s Two Degrees of Separation Story: Reese Witherspoon

    My aunt teaches at the snooty-snooty girl’s school Ms. Witherspoon attended in Nashville and knows her and her family very well. She was friends with my cousin and even ended up in some of his wedding slide-show pictures. Made us all go, “Was that . . .? Really? Cool.”

    But her portrayal of Tracy Flick? Not too much from the “acting,” if you know what I mean. “Spot-on” is right.

  45. Barry says:

    I thought Mickey was more a character in that movie, rather than Sheila and Cookie being more caricatures. Not that they were really caricatures, just in comparison. But boy, that movie did have truth, didn’t it?

  46. red says:

    Such truth. Her documentary interviews in Mighty Wind are … you honestly forget you’re watching an actress say lines. It looks real.

  47. red says:

    stevie – hahaha Right. You just fall in love with her. You can see why he loves her. She’s a great person.

    I love when Jack Black breaks into the house and makes out with the maid.

    I mean, it’s so STUPID but it makes me laugh nonetheless. I love how the maid, after being shocked, starts to kiss him back, passionately.

  48. red says:

    Lisa –

    Yeah. If you want to understand those who yearn to be in politics and what the hell is wrong with people like that – just watch that movie.

    My favorite scene – it never fails to just shock me – is her crying on the bed when she loses the election. It’s not just normal high-school-girl tears. It is primal RAGE. She’s so amazing!

  49. Lisa says:

    Well, what I meant was that Tracy Flick was more of who Reece Witherspoon IS that some of her other roles. But I agree, she’s a great actress. She just didn’t have to stretch herself in that role. :)

  50. red says:

    OH, I see. Yeah – there is DEFINITELY something going on in that movie. I can’t picture anybody else as Tracy Flick. She is just primal – and terrifying.

  51. Mitchell says:

    Catherine O’Hara is the best. I agree with those who cite her Mighty Wind performance…she is soo real and so connected..but remember its in service of pure.liquid. bullshit. And i mean that in the best sense..so funny!!! I know sooo many ex-hippy houswives and even her voice is so perfect..the weird lilt and constant self-questioning…like…”…I think I feeeel??…”

  52. red says:

    mitchell – hahahahaha

    “I think I feel ….”

    Yup. Her observations on the characters she plays – and how she just inhabits them – it’s just amazing.

  53. Mitchell says:

    she is so keen..of course they should have given her an Oscar for her bangs in Guffman….BULLSHIT!!!!!!! Ya know even in Home Alone she is wondrful…the panic and desperation of leaving her child ALONE! Who else could make it real and funny???

  54. Cullen says:

    The truest compliment to her isn’t any awards. It’s the sheer volume of work she gets. Imagine how much stuff she must turn down.

  55. Mitchell says:

    also..i just went on a little Jill Clayburgh film festival…did she win an Oscar..she’s freakin fantastic…and also Mary Kay Place..somebody write her a brilliant television role please!!!! I realize that as actresses…their time on the A-list is over..but…i love them..so many others..Judy Davis, Gena Rowlands,Blythe Danner,Hope Davis(American Splendor anyone?)

  56. red says:

    “they should have given her an Oscar for her bangs”

    hahahahaha

  57. red says:

    Mitchell – Jill Clayburgh is on Broadway right now – very exciting. Yup – she’s amazing. What was her big movie – something aobut “a woman” … A Married Woman… ?? something …

  58. red says:

    Nope – got it backwards. An Unmarried Woman.

    She didn’t win the Oscar that year – although she was nominated. Jane Fonda got it for Coming Home.

    I think Jill Clayburgh made people feel uncomfortable … even more so than Jane Fonda, I mean. Her portrayals were so spot-on (especially in that movie) that people kind of couldn’t deal.

    Has anyone seen that movie? Yeah, Mitchell – she’s a great actress.

  59. red says:

    You know who else I really miss? Teri Garr. I love her, too.

  60. red says:

    Cullen – absolutely. She doesn’t need the award. She works all the time, and she’s always good.

  61. Barry says:

    I felt kind of bad for her when she turned up as Phoebe’s real mom a couple times on Friends – she looked tired and bored. I miss her interactions with David Letterman…

  62. red says:

    Her appearances on Letterman were just … classic. She’s so wonderful – it’s sad. Woody Allen needs to put her in a movie. Some great director needs to revive her career. She’s so good.

  63. Barry says:

    Paging Mr. Guest….paging Mr. Guest…

  64. Mitchell says:

    Teri Garr has been very ill for many years..that is why she was doing weird local commercials in Chciago and basically any role she could get..she needs to keep her health insurance..she was famous but by no means rich. Sheila..have you ever seen Starting Over?? Its with a wonderfully subtle and heartbreaking Burt Reynolds and a riotously self-centered Candice Bergen..and of course Jill Clayburgh..i loved it when i saw it as akid and i love and understand it even more now. Check it out.

  65. Mitchell says:

    i just went to IMDB and discovered that Starting Over was written by James L. Brooks and directed by Alan J. Pakula(loved Klute..Jane Fonda rocked)…and i forgot that Mary Kay Place has a small part..i guess thats what put her in my mind. anyway…i need a life!

  66. red says:

    Mitchell – I think I saw Starting Over years ago – but I don’t remember it. I will definitely check it out again.

    Thanks for the update on Teri Garr – I did not know she had been ill. Good for her then – keeping the money rolling in.

  67. And The Oscar Should Go To…

    I think Don Cheadle should be added to this list, and Emily Watson and Emma Thompson should be added to this one. But that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong….

  68. bill says:

    catherine o’hara is the ultimate rejoinder to the comic maxim that “chicks aren’t funny”.

    The woman is beyond brilliant.

    That scene she does in “Waiting for Guffman”, crying to Fred Williard, jealous of his stoicism…

    “That’s because you’re strong, Ron! You’re strong!”

  69. red says:

    Bill – That maxim makes me want to punch someone in the nose. Sorry. I just hate that shit. It’s silly, but it hurts my feelings that such a “maxim” is even out there.

    I could fill a book with a list of funny women – not only that, women who are way funnier than men.

  70. red says:

    I so so feel like listing names right now – the hundreds of funny women who are out there. It’s the fucking men making the decisions who somehow decide “Hm. Chicks aren’t funny” to keep their little boys club intact. I’ve seen it happen at comedy improv clubs. Men laugh uproariously at each other’s stuff – and then when women come up they sit back, pondering it, intellectually, sizing her up. FUNNY women, too – I’m not talking about throwing mildly unfunny women a bone. I’m talking abot DECIDING not to accept a ragingly funny women into their club – DECIDING to shut her out – I have seen it happen. This is not about some anthropological point, like “well, men find certain things funny, women find other things funny …” Nope. It’s a hard and fast decision that is made by the male powers that be – because somehow they don’t want the “girls” to ruin their fun. To them, comedy seems like a male enterprise … and the girls should only be there to play their girlfriends, wives, or other minor parts. It’s a classic situation – which is why so many women finally give up on those assholes and form their own female-only troupes.

    Ah well. The funny women I knew at comedy clubs are having the last laugh right now. They’re basically running SNL.

    Obviously this has touched a nerve.

    I think it’s a stupid maxim, frankly, since there are millions of exceptions to it. If there are millions of exceptions – then why is it a maxim? That was what I felt when I hung out with mostly comedians – that there was this “maxim” out there, saying women weren’t as funny as men – and yet, in order to believe in this maxim, you had to completely deny reality. The reality of the situation was that Tina Fey was funnier than any guy in the room, Amy Poehler was funnier than any guy in that room, etc etc.

    But the perception was that they were second tier because they were women. It was the MEN who were REALLY funny.

    Fuck that.

  71. red says:

    oops – I went off. I’m not going off on YOU, bill – i am going off on the maxim cause I’ve seen it in action and I think it sucks.

    Sorry!!

  72. "dave" says:

    what would I have seen Patricia Clarkson in? I know I’ve seen in something – I just can’t remember — I was thinking the whife in Planes Trains and Automobiles – but could be way off.

  73. red says:

    Do you get 6 Feet Under up there in the wilds of Canada? :) She had a recurring role in that.

    She has been around forever and has been playing “wife” parts for years. She was Kevin Costner’s wife in The Untouchables, years ago. She also played Herb Brooks’ wife in Miracle last year.

    Last year she was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in The Station Agent – which was a lovely movie.

    She’s been in mostly indie movies – In indie movies she gets the good parts. In mainstream movies, she plays the wife.

    Do you watch 6 Feet Under? She played the crazy hippie sister of Ruth Fisher.

  74. Cullen says:

    Ah well. The funny women I knew at comedy clubs are having the last laugh right now. They’re basically running SNL.

    Both of them are really funny. But they have too much control over the show. There’s a very particular feel to the show now — everything has an undercurrent to it. It’s not funny. It’s not poignant. It’s annoying. It feels like what Piscopo tried to do to the show. Just my impression.

  75. red says:

    cullen – you may be right. I was just railing against the “maxim” which basically shut them out of all the fun in Chicago. It ended up being good for them because they toughened up, got really thick skins, and just kept going. Even though the guys (most of them, not all of them, but most of them) thought they were less funny – merely because they were women. And I saw both of them perform 100 times in tiny improv clubs in Chicago – and I’m telling you – they blew 90% of the guys away.

  76. red says:

    Oh, and it’s still painful for me to contemplate the Joe Piscopo years. It will take me a moment to recover emotionally.

  77. red says:

    I felt so vindicated when Mean Girls came out. I loved that movie. It was smart, mean, funny, inappropriate – I guess I just felt like the girls done real good. I remembered the two of them frolicking around in some seedy improv club 10 years ago – not getting paid – and I remember sitting in the audience crying with laughter.

    That being said – one of my major old flames was one of the “old boys club” of the improv scene in Chicago – and I loved him to death, and seeing him on stage was one of the primary joys of my life. he did have a vestige of the “girls aren’t as funny as men” maxim. Only I found it charming – because he wasn’t an exclusive members-only kind of guy. One night we were goofing around, he and I, and I somehow bested him in a joke. There was a pause. He looked at me appraisingly. He didn’t laugh – but he gave me this deep appraising look, and commented, with approval, “You’re funny.”

    It was a deep compliment. I loved that moment.

  78. Cullen says:

    My network went down, I had a reply.

    I was going to give you some emotional salve for the Piscopo by mentioning Geena Davis and Julie Brown in Earth Girls are Easy. True humor.

  79. red says:

    cullen – thank you. It helps. Nothing can take that wound away completely … but it does help.

  80. Alex says:

    Catherine Goddamn O’Hara.

    I would actually compare HER to Streep. Actually, I would compare her to Bette Davis. I love Jodie Foster, but I feel Foster has limits. Davis had none. I know people only remember her big brashy, getsure-y hands and stuff, but you and I (and most of your brilliant readers) know there was much, much more to her. I mean: Dark Victory? Now Voyager? Please.

    O’Hara is like that for me. The woman can do absolutely anything.

    I……Love…..This……List.

  81. red says:

    Alex – I completely agree with you. 100%.

    Yes – I agree that think Catherine O’Hara does not have limits. It’s because of that whole “channeling” thing I mentioned – she would probably never say that that is what she does – but it is like Streep. It is not acting. It is something else. It is actually inhabiting another human being, and disappearing into that person.

  82. Alex says:

    ……………okay, okay, okay. I’ll rent Shallow Freaking Hal.

    Honestly.

  83. red says:

    alex – hahahahahahaha

  84. red says:

    Member when you called me on a Friday night and I was watching it and you were like: “A. What the fuck are you doing home on a Friday night. And B. Why are you home on a Friday night watching SHALLOW HAL???”

  85. Alex says:

    Yes! YES! YEEEESS!

    Exactly Sheila. She IS the person on screen. I don’t care if the character is broad or small, drunk or sober, or black or white, she BECOMES that woman. There is never, ever a time that I don’t believe her.

    I need to post about Catherine Goddamm O’Hara.

  86. red says:

    Alex – I would love to hear your list of who you think will win an Oscar … I know you and I are so much into the old movie stars … but I’d love to hear your thoughts on the current-day actors.

  87. Alex says:

    I still maintain those were damn good questions.

  88. red says:

    Alex – totally. She never EVER “comments” on the character. She never EVER seems to “judge” – but still: she makes her points. She knows she’s being funny, and she IS funny … but never ever at the expense of reality.

    Her humor comes from BEING that person. I don’t know. I find her to be a little bit of a miracle, actually.

  89. Alex says:

    I am SOOOOO stealing this idea from you and making my own list. OHMAGOD!

    Brilliant.

    You frighten me.

  90. red says:

    alex – hahahahahaha

  91. red says:

    Yeah, I’d love to hear.

    I think, in retrospect, that Don Cheadle and Ewan McGregor need to be on my male list.

  92. Alex says:

    It’a a shame you can’t say “Catherine O’Hara” to Joe Shmo and they know who you’re talking about. That ticks me off.

  93. red says:

    In a way, though, her anonymity works for her. She can disappear even more effectively.

    And also – it’s kind of like this little cool secret club (which everyone who reads my blog obviously belongs to): Those Who Love Catherine O’Hara.