BEST of the Best Actor Oscar Noms (Only The '90s Edition)

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Poll Results

OptionVotes
Richard Farnsworth - The Straight Story 5
Jeremy Irons - Reversal of Fortune 3
Anthony Hopkins - The Silence of the Lambs 3
Denzel Washington - Malcolm X 2
Clint Eastwood - Unforgiven 2
Sean Penn - Sweet & Lowdown 1
John Travolta - Pulp Fiction 1
Nicholas Cage - Leaving Las Vegas 1
Massimo Troissi - Il Postino 1
Woody Harrelson - The People vs. Larry Flynt 1
Billy Bob Thornton - Sling Blade 1
Matt Damon - Good Will Hunting 1
Jack Nicholson - As Good as It Gets 1
Ian McKellan - Gods and Monsters 1
Russell Crowe - The Insider 1
Liam Neeson - Schindler's List 1
Robert De Niro - Cape Fear 1
Al Pacino - Scent of a Woman 1
Tom Hanks - Philadelphia 0
Robert Duvall - The Apostle 0
Peter Fonda - Ulee's Gold 0
Dustin Hoffman - Wag the Dog 0
Warren Beatty - Bugsy 0
Roberto Begnini - Life is Beautiful 0
Tom Hanks - Saving Private Ryan 0
Richard Harris - The Field 0
Edward Norton - American History X 0
Gerard Depardieu - Cyrano de Bergerac 0
Robert De Niro - Awakenings 0
Kevin Spacey - American Beauty 0
Denzel Washington - The Hurricane 0
Nick Nolte - Prince of Tides 0
Geoffrey Rush - Shine 0
Robin Williams - The Fisher King 0
Anthony Hopkins - Remains of the Day 0
Laurence Fishburne - What's Love Got To Do With It 0
Morgan Freeman - The Shawshank Redemption 0
Tom Hanks - Forrest Gump 0
Nigel Hawthorne - Madness of King George 0
Paul Newman - Nobody's Fool 0
Daniel Day-Lewis - In The Name of the Father 0
Kevin Costner - Dances With Wolves 0
Richard Dreyfuss - Mr Holland's Opus 0
Anthony Hopkins - Nixon 0
Sean Penn - Dead Man Walking 0
Robert Downey, Jr - Chaplin 0
Tom Cruise - Jerry Maguire 0
Ralph Fiennes - The English Patient 0
Nick Nolte - Affliction 0


Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 10 September 2011 00:34 (seven years ago) link

My favorites:

Jeremy Irons - Reversal of Fortune
Robert Duvall - The Apostle
Denzel Washington - Malcolm X
Daniel Day-Lewis - In The Name of the Father
Sean Penn - Sweet and Lowdown
Russell Crowe - The Insider

Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 10 September 2011 00:35 (seven years ago) link

Irons
Paul Newman
both Sean Penns

incredibly middlebrow (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 10 September 2011 00:50 (seven years ago) link

among the most shameful omissions:

River Phoenix - My Own Private Idaho
Daniel Day-Lewis- The Age of Innocence

incredibly middlebrow (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 10 September 2011 00:54 (seven years ago) link

I woulda put Newman on my list too.

Agree about River.

Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 10 September 2011 00:57 (seven years ago) link

Irons is the most deserving of the winners.

Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 10 September 2011 00:57 (seven years ago) link

there's not a lot that's good on that list, is there?

hipstery nayme (darraghmac), Saturday, 10 September 2011 00:59 (seven years ago) link

anti-comedy DNA:

Bill Murray - Groundhog Day
Eddie Murphy - The Nutty Professor

incredibly middlebrow (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 10 September 2011 00:59 (seven years ago) link

Farnsworth, Nolte in The Prince of Tides, Cage, and Penn in DMW also good.

Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 10 September 2011 01:01 (seven years ago) link

Downey was quite good as Chaplin, tho he's way taller.

Fishburne should've played Malcolm X, Denzel: Ike Turner.

incredibly middlebrow (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 10 September 2011 01:02 (seven years ago) link

1. Richard Farnsworth
2. Nick Nolte
3. Denzel (Malcolm X)

I'll stop there, so I won't have you two guys explaining to me how awful American Beauty is. I love Travolta in Pulp Fiction, but I'm not sure that's a lead performance (not the only example of that on this list).

clemenza, Saturday, 10 September 2011 01:04 (seven years ago) link

I'll stop there, so I won't have you two guys explaining to me how awful American Beauty is

three

hipstery nayme (darraghmac), Saturday, 10 September 2011 01:07 (seven years ago) link

Okay, bye thread. (Sorry--I've been waiting for just the right moment to do that!)

clemenza, Saturday, 10 September 2011 01:08 (seven years ago) link

I count 16/50 playing nonfiction characters, kinda low?

incredibly middlebrow (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 10 September 2011 01:09 (seven years ago) link

how many of fictionals had debilitating condition though?

hipstery nayme (darraghmac), Saturday, 10 September 2011 01:09 (seven years ago) link

oh c'mon, clem: I'm always willing to read sharp reappraisals.

Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 10 September 2011 01:11 (seven years ago) link

Just fooling and pretending. Spacey kills me in American Beauty. To me it's a much better comedic performance than 99% of actual allegedly comedic performances. I think he gets just the right balance of contempt for his job, contempt for his family (but also love, at least for his daughter), and Play It Again, Sam-level abject helplessness when it comes to Mena Suvari.

For me, it's not a strong list--which could mean it wasn't a strong decade, or could just mean (and probably does) they missed all the good stuff. (Somebody I'd like to see on there based on recent viewing: Matthew Broderick in Election.) I think a list of supporting nominations might be stronger.

clemenza, Saturday, 10 September 2011 01:27 (seven years ago) link

Richard Farnsworth - The Straight Story

Great performance in an overlooked film.

citation needed (Steve Shasta), Saturday, 10 September 2011 01:31 (seven years ago) link

Broderick's supporting actor, no?

Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 10 September 2011 01:31 (seven years ago) link

Maybe he was nominated as such, but I'm positive he'd be lead in terms of actual screen time--certainly compared to Travolta or Hopkins above.

One more thought about Spacey. I would hope that even people who hate the film--because of they think it's pretentious, because of the paper-bag stuff, because the kids are cretins (not for me; I'm trying to argue the other side)--I would hope they'd at least find Spacey funny. Or am I wrong; is he one of the reasons people hate the film?

clemenza, Saturday, 10 September 2011 01:36 (seven years ago) link

Steve Shasta, make sure you actually vote--Farnsworth will be in the lead!

clemenza, Saturday, 10 September 2011 01:37 (seven years ago) link

clemenza- hate the film, but yes spacey is good (and funny) in it- and yeah i agree that supporting turns would be a stronger list for the 90's

hipstery nayme (darraghmac), Saturday, 10 September 2011 01:39 (seven years ago) link

That makes more sense to me.

clemenza, Saturday, 10 September 2011 01:40 (seven years ago) link

i hate american beauty but i do think spacey gives a good performance in it (would've given it to penn or farnsworth that year though). best/biggest piece of ham: deniro in cape fear, pacino in hooah, hopkins as nixon, or nicholson in as good as it gets? deliberately left out hoffman there.

balls, Saturday, 10 September 2011 01:44 (seven years ago) link

Took a quick look, and for me, definitely supporting: Pesci in Goodfellas, Jackson in Pulp Fiction, Macy in Fargo, Forster in Jackie Brown, and Reynolds in Boogie Nights (missing the best of all, Jackson in Jungle Fever). Anyway, I know it's a lead-actor thread.

clemenza, Saturday, 10 September 2011 01:46 (seven years ago) link

lol at De Niro getting consecutive nominations for two of his worst films and performances.

Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 10 September 2011 01:47 (seven years ago) link

macy should've gotten lead for fargo really.

balls, Saturday, 10 September 2011 01:51 (seven years ago) link

Cape Fear for sure--dreadful.

clemenza, Saturday, 10 September 2011 01:54 (seven years ago) link

COWNSLUH

balls, Saturday, 10 September 2011 01:55 (seven years ago) link

Fargo is about as lazy and cynical as American Beauty.

btw it was a plastic bag, clemenza.

Cape Fear has its moments, and DeNiro is funnier than you seem to be claiming Spacey is.

incredibly middlebrow (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 10 September 2011 01:56 (seven years ago) link

will take cape fear over as good as it gets or scent of a woman a million times (obv never over nixon).

balls, Saturday, 10 September 2011 01:56 (seven years ago) link

I only saw Ulee's Gold the one time on release, but I remember Fonda being very good (although one of those characters who'd be annoyingly humble to some people).

clemenza, Saturday, 10 September 2011 01:57 (seven years ago) link

god when deniro dresses up as the housekeeper

balls, Saturday, 10 September 2011 01:58 (seven years ago) link

De Niro definitely wins best...worst tattoos.

clemenza, Saturday, 10 September 2011 01:58 (seven years ago) link

xp
that was robin williams?

hipstery nayme (darraghmac), Saturday, 10 September 2011 01:59 (seven years ago) link

I did think Cape Fear was MS's low at the time, but I could never have imagined Shutter Island.

incredibly middlebrow (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:00 (seven years ago) link

adding to omissions: terence stamp in the limey, marky mark in boogie nights (maybe)

balls, Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:01 (seven years ago) link

saw casino again a week ago and it holds up

balls, Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:02 (seven years ago) link

ie still a huge disappointment

balls, Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:02 (seven years ago) link

Stamp, Fonda, and Warren in The Limey def.

Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:02 (seven years ago) link

hell if clooney's gonna get regular nominations i'll sure as fuck take him in out of sight over that awful awful up in the clouds movie every time.

balls, Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:04 (seven years ago) link

oh shit -- I forgot Stephen Rea!

Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:05 (seven years ago) link

Not that it was ever going to get him a nomination, but Keitel in Smoke would be near the top of my list (arguably a supporting role, now that I think about it).

clemenza, Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:07 (seven years ago) link

lol i found out the 'twist' in the crying game when the oscar nominations were announced that year. also took a girl on the first date to the crying game. lol 90s.

balls, Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:07 (seven years ago) link

OH FUCK - keitel in bad lieutenant, add that shit to omissions

balls, Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:07 (seven years ago) link

When the audience learned The Secret, an old biddy seated in front of us turned to her companion and says triumphantly, "OH, see, THAT's the surprise!"

Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:08 (seven years ago) link

nice turn by giancarlo esposito as a young morbs in smoke

balls, Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:08 (seven years ago) link

hell if clooney's gonna get regular nominations i'll sure as fuck take him in out of sight over that awful awful up in the clouds movie every time

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

hipstery nayme (darraghmac), Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:09 (seven years ago) link

ok ok so which ones are in you guys' top fives then?

Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:09 (seven years ago) link

is the crying game the origin of twist mania in hollywood? i was thinking it didn't really kick in until sixth sense but usual suspects, david fincher's career are before that so maybe not.

balls, Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:10 (seven years ago) link

Haley Joel Osment is another victim of Award Fraud (i.e. he shoulda been Best Actor).

Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:11 (seven years ago) link

I was going to add, "But thank god he wasn't nominated for Bad Lieutenant..." It's been ages, I should probably give it another chance.

clemenza, Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:12 (seven years ago) link

Did anyone else think that Cage's winning performance was just a lot of anguished histrionics?

clemenza, Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:13 (seven years ago) link

Cage's specialty up to that point was in histrionics. The film is more histrionic than Cage and Shue are. At the time I thought Penn should've won the Oscar and let Shue beat Sarandon.

Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:15 (seven years ago) link

These are all quite good performances:

Woody Harrelson - The People vs. Larry Flynt
Robert Duvall - The Apostle
Peter Fonda - Ulee's Gold
Sean Penn - Sweet & Lowdown
Nick Nolte - Affliction

Fig On A Plate Cart (Alex in SF), Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:15 (seven years ago) link

eh top of my head in no particular order based on somewhat distant memories

irons in reversal of fortune
penn in dead man walking
penn in sweet and lowdown
travolta in pulp fiction
denzel in malcolm x

balls, Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:15 (seven years ago) link

Mike Figgis may be the only person breathing who adores Sting the solo artist.

Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:15 (seven years ago) link

thought leaving las vegas was awful flick but cage and esp shue were great in it. i do wonder how those careers are different if he loses and she wins though.

balls, Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:16 (seven years ago) link

i know for a fact that marilu henner is a huge sting fan.

balls, Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:17 (seven years ago) link

cage would've been incredible in hamlet 2

hipstery nayme (darraghmac), Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:17 (seven years ago) link

Irons' acceptance speech is class:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsXFl6IKpyI

He thanks Cronenberg for directing him in his best un-nominated performance.

Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:17 (seven years ago) link

Sting might be the only person breathing who likes Mike Figgis films.

Fig On A Plate Cart (Alex in SF), Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:17 (seven years ago) link

Sarandon's finally winning the Oscar marked the moment when she jumped the shark and lost her snap.

Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:18 (seven years ago) link

i think her snap runs a ping pong themed nightclub or something now.

balls, Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:19 (seven years ago) link

snap

Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:19 (seven years ago) link

all time fave oscar speech
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0Q_nyjuEak

balls, Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:21 (seven years ago) link

^^^^ oddest supporting actor lineup ever?

Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:22 (seven years ago) link

Pacino's mullet!

Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:22 (seven years ago) link

I liked Cage in Valley Girl, [i]Peggy Sue Got Married, and Raising Arizona, but yeah, he was pretty over the top in Wild at Heart.

clemenza, Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:23 (seven years ago) link

wonderfully understated imo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfcvPFpXUnI

hipstery nayme (darraghmac), Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:27 (seven years ago) link

i was aware that brenda fricker won an oscar for my left foot, i'm aware that the previous year's best supporting actress winner gives away the best supporting actor award and yet it still felt very weird to see brenda fricker there.

balls, Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:30 (seven years ago) link

i really dig these:

Denzel Washington - Malcolm X
Woody Harrelson - The People vs. Larry Flynt
Billy Bob Thornton - Sling Blade
Robert Duvall - The Apostle
Sean Penn - Sweet & Lowdown
Sean Penn - Dead Man Walking
Nick Nolte - Affliction

i guess sling blade was a gimmick perf, but it was a good one!

thinkin i'll vote for woody, duvall or nolte

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:38 (seven years ago) link

Brenda Flicker's win, although deserved, was classic coattails win.

Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:39 (seven years ago) link

I finally saw Sling Blade last year; it doesn't move at all! The movie only really picks up whenever Dwight Yoakam and John Ritter enter.

Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:40 (seven years ago) link

yoakam's fucken great in it! now that's a guy who never really gets his due. still a hard movie to put in context w/rest of billy bob's career (well maybe not so hard considering all the pretty horses)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:42 (seven years ago) link

yeah Yoakam should've gotten a supporting nod.

Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:42 (seven years ago) link

Irons, Duvall & Nolte (affliction) are the only ones I rate highly

buzza, Saturday, 10 September 2011 03:44 (seven years ago) link

awww @ Cronenberg getting a little ovation in the Irons clip. (Dead Ringers is probably my fave of his.)

Simon H., Saturday, 10 September 2011 03:59 (seven years ago) link

still gutted and baffled that Ray Winstone wasn't even nominated for Nil By Mouth. just about wipes the floor with this lot.

piscesx, Saturday, 10 September 2011 04:50 (seven years ago) link

eastwood imo

Lamp, Saturday, 10 September 2011 07:11 (seven years ago) link

Cage's winning film impressed hetero men who've seen too much porn.

incredibly middlebrow (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 10 September 2011 13:02 (seven years ago) link

d/ling now

hipstery nayme (darraghmac), Saturday, 10 September 2011 14:03 (seven years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Sunday, 18 September 2011 23:01 (seven years ago) link

Vote, you hippies.

Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 19 September 2011 00:08 (seven years ago) link

Jeremy Irons - Reversal of Fortune
Anthony Hopkins - The Silence of the Lambs
Denzel Washington - Malcolm X
Daniel Day-Lewis - In The Name of the Father
Robert Duvall - The Apostle
Russell Crowe - The Insider

would be my shortlist. voted for irons in the end.

strongo hulkington's ghost dad, Monday, 19 September 2011 00:17 (seven years ago) link

he's right though that he shoulda won for dead ringers.

strongo hulkington's ghost dad, Monday, 19 September 2011 00:20 (seven years ago) link

jess and I in mindmeld shockah

I want an audio recording of all of Irons' monologues from ROF ("All Sunny ate for dinnah was a sohn-DAY").

Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 19 September 2011 00:21 (seven years ago) link

Reversal of Fortune[ is one of my favorite courtroom movies, despite a sorely underused Anabella Sciorra (I guess Hollywood had room for only one Italian-American young actress after Marisa Tomei won her Oscar two years later).

Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 19 September 2011 00:22 (seven years ago) link

Anthony Hopkins - The Silence of the Lambs
Sean Penn - Dead Man Walking
Edward Norton
Woody

Voted Hopkins

ᒓᴥᒔ (ENBB), Monday, 19 September 2011 00:32 (seven years ago) link

Joe Pesci's wasnt the shortest speech though:
Hitchcock just said thank you.
still waiting for the guy who would say only "thanks" - or- say nothing

nostormo, Monday, 19 September 2011 00:34 (seven years ago) link

Of those I've seen, Cage, Day-Lewis, Penn (DMW), Nolte, Harrelson, Washington, Hopkins (SOTL) and Hawthorne. Never saw Reversal of Fortune, but sounds like I should.

Science, you guys. Science. (DL), Monday, 19 September 2011 10:41 (seven years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Monday, 19 September 2011 23:01 (seven years ago) link

whoa!

A pretty good top five.

Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 19 September 2011 23:01 (seven years ago) link

Wow--never would have guessed Farnsworth would win.

clemenza, Monday, 19 September 2011 23:05 (seven years ago) link

I didn't know Eastwood's perf had defenders -- he's at best not bad; prefer him in In the Line of Fire.

Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 19 September 2011 23:27 (seven years ago) link

Hopkins working way harder in that movie than Karloff or Rathbone. (in 20 mins' screen time)

incredibly middlebrow (Dr Morbius), Monday, 19 September 2011 23:48 (seven years ago) link

last time he worked hard in anything

The sham nation of Israel should be destroyed. (Princess TamTam), Monday, 19 September 2011 23:50 (seven years ago) link

he worked as hard as Nixon did.

Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 19 September 2011 23:51 (seven years ago) link

Dick a way more convincing cannibal.

incredibly middlebrow (Dr Morbius), Monday, 19 September 2011 23:52 (seven years ago) link

six years pass...

Watching Reversal of Fortune again, I'm amazed Oscar went with the black comedy/farcical role.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrxenZhf78I

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 31 December 2017 02:34 (one year ago) link

Scrolling through this, I feel it necessary to clarify that my second-place Nolte vote was for Affliction, not for the one where he cried a lot.

clemenza, Sunday, 31 December 2017 02:57 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

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