Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Alternate Oscars: Best Actor and Supporting Actor of 1973 (Re-Do)

I wasted most of Sunday afternoon writing a long essay explaining why I'm not nominating Marlon Brando this time around for his performance in Last Tango in Paris, and then I realized I didn't care — and if I don't, why should you?

Suffice it to say, it's a lousy performance in a terrible movie, and what the likes of Pauline Kael once saw in it eludes me. (You can read her infamous review here.) As Andre Soares put it in his review for Alt Film Guide (here), "the film will feel erotic only to those who can't spell the word 'sex.'" The disturbing revelations about Tango's production history (recounted here) only underscore my distaste for this repellent product.

Brando's work in Tango still has its champions (here), and if you're a fan, I say good for you, but twelve of the fifteen alternate Oscar sites I follow fail to mention him at all, and as great as Brando often was, this performance rightly belongs in the dustbin of cinema history.
By the way, if you're wondering how the votes I am not revisiting turned out, The Sting won the alternate Oscar for best picture in a squeaker; Liv Ullmann won best actress for Cries and Whispers and Scenes from a Marriage; Ingmar Bergman won best director for the same two movies; and Harriet Andersson edged out Valentina Cortese for best supporting actress.

My choices are noted with a ★. A tie is indicated with a ✪. Historical Oscar winners are noted with a ✔. Best foreign-language picture winners are noted with an ƒ. A historical winner who won in a different category is noted with a ✱.

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