Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Funny Girls and the Oscars

I was watching GOOD MORNING AMERICA and the smooth, silver-haired Larry Hackett was in during the first hour.  Larry is a pop culture/entertainment expert, formerly a PEOPLE Magazine editor, who's a occasional contributor on GMA.  Today, the topic was Tiffany Haddish.  She brought life and laughs to yesterday's announcements of the Oscar nominees.  Even if she could not pronounce some of the foreign names, she was highly entertaining to watch.  Many folks hoped she would be a Best Supporting Actress nominee for her comedy luminous in GIRLS TRIP.  She got an award from the New York Film Critics Circle.  But she didn't get an Oscar nomination.
Larry said that the Academy loves dramas and comedy doesn't usually bring Oscar nominee love to the ladies.  He reminded us that the last woman to get an Oscar for comedy was Marisa Tomei, Best Supporting Actress winner for 1992's MY COUSIN VINNY.  He also mentioned the nomination Melissa McCarthy got for 2011's BRIDESMAIDS.

Well, this is just a quick reminder from me not to get discouraged if you're an actress with solid comedy chops.
The late, Madeline Kahn was one of the funniest women ever to light up a movie screen.  Did you ever see her in Mel Brooks' YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN?  She got two Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominations in her career -- for playing the floozie Trixie Delight in PAPER MOON (1973)...and for playing the German saloon singer, Lili Von Shtupp in 1974's BLAZING SADDLES.
Claudette Colbert took home the Best Actress Oscar for Frank Capra's 1934 classic, IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT.  Some film historians have called that the granddaddy of screwball comedies.  Especially screwball road trip comedies.
Carole Lombard was a master at screwball comedy and proof of that is in the classic that brought her a Best Actress Oscar nomination -- 1936's MY MAN GODFREY.

Some other women who gave comedy performances that earned them Oscar nominations are --
Irene Dunne, THEODORA GOES WILD (1936)
Irene Dunne, THE AWFUL TRUTH (1937)
Barbara Stanwyck, BALL OF FIRE (1941)
Jean Arthur, THE MORE THE MERRIER (1943)
Judy Holliday, Best Actress Oscar winner for BORN YESTERDAY (1950)
Rosalind Russell and Peggy Cass, AUNTIE MAME (1958)
Barbra Streisand, Best Actress Oscar winner for the musical comedy FUNNY GIRL (1968).
Diane Keaton, Best Actress Oscar winner for ANNIE HALL (1977)
Julie Andrews and Leslie Ann Warren, VICTOR/VICTORIA (1982)
Teri Garr and Jessica Lange (Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner), TOOTSIE (1982)

Whoopi Goldberg was the Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner for GHOST (1990).  And Meryl Streep got a Best Actress nomination for giving us some I LOVE LUCY-type comedy moments with her off-key operatic singing as FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS (2016).

There are more performances actresses gave that made us laugh and made Oscar invite those ladies to the party.... but this is just a quick blog post from me and those ladies I mentioned came to mind.  Since MY COUSIN VINNY, there may have not been as many good, juicy comedy script opportunities for women that could bring them a Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination.  That's something to talk about.  I'd like to see that change in Hollywood.  I could use the laughs.

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