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Feb 25 2019

On Glenn Close's Oscar Curse

by Nathaniel R

At this point in her long and celebrated career, Glenn Close surely has reason to wonder.Consider it a reverse Sally Field: 'Youdon'tlike me?Youreallydon't like me?'

There are many familiar time-tested ways to win an Oscar and Glenn Close has tried them all.She's tried the debut performance that makes everyone's jaw drop with 'who is THAT?' wonder (World According to Garp).She's tried being the actor who becomes a kind of symbolic representation of an entire film and cast (The Big Chill).She's tried having the necessary momentum, twice actually, with three consecutive supporting nominations ending inThe Naturalearly in her career, and then two consecutive lead nominations a few years later (ending withDangerous Liaisons).She's tried having the kind of blockbuster zeitgeist hit that can carry you to win even when youaren'tdeserving though she certainly was (Fatal Attraction)...

She's tried giving the best nominated performance twice (Fatal Attraction&Dangerous Liaisons).She's tried the "comeback role" and the "personal passion project" (Albert Nobbs, her dream role, after a 23 year absence from Oscar contention while she reinvented her career elsewhere).This season she tried the "career achievement" route (The Wife) that's worked for dozens of actors and actresses whose performances were less impressive than what she delivered inThe Wife.

Glenn Close has even tried the playing a real person route, inarguably Oscar's favourite actorly trick.It's worth noting -- and perhaps quite telling -- that when she did try their favourite way of winning, with Sunny von Bulow inReversal of Fortune(1990), they didn't even nominate her.

An ill-fated tweet from yours truly early on Oscar evening:

As you know, your host here at The Film Experience (c'est moi) has been rooting for her to win the gold for over a year, been blurbed in support of her, chatted with her on a red carpet, and tweeted numerous times in her defense as he watched the internet pile on at various points with thinly veiled ageist and sexist remarks, the kind no male actor ever has to deal with (everytime someone made a joke or a glib dismissal like 'no one has seen The Wife' my blood boiled since nobody ever says that about an acclaimed male performance winning accolades and never said that about several acclaimed films this year that made far less at the box office thanThe Wife).In short this was the most painful Oscar loss I've experienced in years (in that she obviously had a great shot at a win), if not quite the size ofthe hurt I felt watching Viola Davis (The Help) lose to Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady), or the mammoth heart-stabbing that wasBrokeback Mountainlosing toCrash.

The only way off the depression ledge is to understand and perpetually remind oneself that she lost to an actually great performance, Olivia Colman as Queen Anne, in an actually great movie (The Favourite).This is easier to take than when a great actor loses to inferior work (as Close has a few times) but Close's seven losses, mean that it's noteasy, justeasier.

To those Glenn Close fans, hoping to gain some solace reading this, I have none but to remind you, as I remind myself, that great careers and great performances are their own rewards.

Glenn Close will never win a competitive Oscar.

Glenn Close and Michelle Pfeiffer remain Oscarless.The 1980s are roughly the most brutal decade in terms of the superstar actresses of a particular era never winning.See also: Kathleen Turner and Debra Winger and Sigourney Weaver,

It's time to let that dream go and console ourselves with Close's multiple Tonys and Emmys.Glenn Close turns 72 next month and great roles are few and far between for actresses in their 70s.If any exist in the next decade they will also be offered to Meryl Streep instead, with the notable exception of theSunset Blvdmusical adaptation, if it's ever made but it's hard to win for musicals and people often have their knives out for that genre, and for films that can easily be unfavorably compared to all-time classics).In the history of the Oscars only five actresses older than Glenn Close is now have ever won gold: Ruth Gordon at 72 inRosemary's Baby(1968), Josephine Hull at 74 inHarvey(1950), Katharine Hepburn at 74 inOn Golden Pond(1981), Peggy Ashcroft at 77 inA Passage to India(1984, beating Glenn Close inThe Natural), and Jessica Tandy at 80 inDriving Miss Daisy(1989).

Yes, Glenn Close has been Richard Burton'd and Peter O'Toole'd to history.但最后一个安慰注意:所在 hardly bad company to keep, the mutual talent and legacy being off the charts grand.

another ill-fated tweet:

Perhaps Oscar can take a cue from an earlier Oscar ceremony to finally give Close her due.Close famously gave Deborah Kerr her Honorary on stage, an actress, she has now surpassed as the woman with the most nominations to have never won.They should quickly repeat that history and hand Close her own Honorary.

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Reader Comments (163)

And now my gay ass is called homophobic--only proving my point that y'all need to calm down with this silly outrage culture lmao.

And while I think it was upsetting, it wasn't unfair due to "category fraud" because I don't believe Olivia Colman was supporting, and I don't think that's a very good argument.

I'm not saying get over it, but jesus, she isn't DEAD.Y'all are acting like The Academy assassinated Glenn Close via Olivia Colman lol.Turn your drama knob down a bit.Don't pity her--she is one of the most enduring American actresses ever, Oscar or not.

February 26, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

No one is presuming she is dead, just noting that the Academy must really dislike her.It was promoted for months that she would finally win an Oscar, after six prior nominations, but in the end they went with a Brit, Olivia Colman who had never been nominated before.I will believe that Glenn is not touched by this loss when they announce a new project for her.At the moment, she has no official next project announced.

February 26, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJenn

Not assassinated but humiliated yes, AMPAS voter are Glenn hating trash.The good thing is when Stoleman career bombs and people look back in anger.

February 26, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJb

It's fine to be upset.But you're wishing ill on Olivia Colman and her career now.That's just petty and childish.She had nothing to do with winning.Voters voted for her.Have fun being bitter.

February 26, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

You think gays can't be homophobic?Chile...

I'll be as "bitter" about Close's horrible loss as much as I damn well please.You know how to log off if it upsets your sensibilities so much.

February 26, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterA-Z

Hilarious how many Colman fans write Coleman in these comments!

February 26, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMatty

@Philip H

I do agree with you 100% on your assessment.The pity party has become ridiculous.There is nothing wrong with being sad nor disappointed, but it's way too much.I

We should stop complaining that Glenn is long overdue.It's the Best Actress award, not the Best Career Achievement award.We should stop saying Glenn will never win an Oscar because she is still alive and she still has a chance to win.We should stop insisting she is hated by her peers as there is no proof.None whatsoever.

We should talk about Glenn's and Olivia's performance and then debate which one is worthy of the Oscars.After all, it's the Best Actress award.You know the actress who gave the best performance of the year.

February 26, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterhickory

Glenn and still lost.

February 26, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJb

Glenn's fans will not be ignored, Dan!

February 26, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMajor Domo

More than Best Pic, this is imo the biggest upset of the night.We all knew w a preferential ballot, Roma is unlikely to win..

But Glenn as much as I'm happy for Colman, who deserves the win, I can't help but grieve for Glenn's loss.Whr is the tie when we need it!!??

I do agreed to a certain extend its seems tt thr is a resistance on The Academy's part to award Glenn.Thr's a myriad of complex factors in play n Joyce Eng fr GD wrote quite an interesting article on it.

To me, Colman might hav won but Close is still Queen of the Night, esp in tt gorgeous gold lame dress!!She IS her own Oscar!!

And all will agree tt she is a great actress, w or w/o the Oscar.

That said, I'd love to see Glenn recv an Honorary, like this Nov!!The Academy, listen up!!U still hav a chance to do right n let it be now!!

February 27, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterClaran

While I share your disappointment I don't think it's fair to say that Glenn will never win a competitive Oscar.If anything the narrative to reward her will only become stronger the next time she is nominated.And I do think we will see another nomination for her, if not more than one.Katharine Hepburn filmed her last movie role at age 87.Gloria Stuart was almost the same age when she was nominated for an Oscar for her role in Titanic.And Emmanuelle Riva was 85 when she was nominated for Best Actress for Amour.This isn't the end of Glenn Close, or her chance for Oscar gold.

February 27, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDavidRN

“No one is presuming she is dead, just noting that the Academy must really dislike her.”

It doesn’t mean they dislike her.It means the “overdue” narrative can’t be forced.If the role and film aren’t there, then they aren’t there.

The exact same thing happened with Peter O’Toole with his eighth nom for Venus, when he lost to Forest Whitaker.另一位七旬老人的屏幕传奇了 respected character actor in his forties who had finally landed the role of a lifetime.It’s the same thing.It seemed different because Close managed to win a Globe and a SAG, whereas O’Toole never did manage to gain much traction for Venus, but in the end it’s the same situation: if they don’t really care about your movie and it doesn’t appeal to them you won’t win no matter how overdue you are.They will go with the performance, not the narrative.

February 27, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJake

I'm imagining Patti Lupone cackling over her cauldron.Really though I think she should have won for Dangerous Liaisons, which was before she got on patti's dark side.

March 1, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRicky

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