Oscar History

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Aug 11 2020

Almost There: Cameron Diaz in "Being John Malkovich"


Weyou to choose the next two subjects of theAlmost There series, and you came through. After more than 800 votes overall, Cameron Diaz won out from the new-to-streaming batch. Her against-type supporting turn in Spike Jonze's 1999傀儡人生围绕得票24%的征服,与金凯瑞在美丽心灵的永恒阳光coming in as a close second. So, for now, let's focus on Diaz and her frizzy-haired Lotte…

卡梅隆·迪亚兹is an actress with plenty of performances that fit the criteria for this series about acting feats that came near to an Oscar nod but failed to make the cut. From her breakthrough in 1998'sThere's Something About Maryto 2005'sIn Her Shoes,她经常是中大奖的谈话,往往赢得了很多的前体的支持令人失望来之前奥斯卡提名的早晨。她怠慢的,似乎没有比这更值得一提的其出现在1999年,之后迪亚兹管理,以确保地球,BAFTA和SAG提名为她在演出的木偶戏的不满妻子傀儡人生

When we first meet Lotte Schwartz, we see her through the eyes of her misanthropic husband, Craig. She's a central piece of his life, but is usually at the periphery of his perception – a good morning kiss, a comforting hug, a tender hand, fragmented gestures, and body parts, never a full person. Jonze's camera indulges in this sidelining of Lotte for her first scenes but gradually allows us to see that there's something more to this woman than her wifely presence. For starters, she's caring to a fault, something that's plain to see thanks to the way she turned her house into a menagerie for animals in need.


After getting beaten up on the street for the umpteenth time, Craig decides to put his dreams of puppeteering glory on hold and applies for a desk job. His new place of work turns out to be a half-floor of a nondescript office building where, one day, he finds the doorway to a strange tunnel that leads into the mind of John Malkovich. For 15 minutes, anyone can live inside the actor's head before being vomited unto the New Jersey Turnpike. Maxine, Craig's office crush, doesn't seem particularly fazed by the metaphysical and existential ramifications of his discovery, worrying, instead, about the mercenary profitability of the phenomenon. In no time, they have a small business running on the side, selling rides on Malkovich's unsuspecting head.

What prompts Lotte's transformation is her first foray into Malkovich-land, after which she starts to question her identity, her gender, her sexuality, and her own sense of self. More than any other character in the movie, Diaz's animal lover wrestles valiantly with the intimate complexities at the heart of the story's wacky premise. Because of that, she often functions as a grounding element, an anchor tying the absurdist writing to an earthly reality. The situation is only made trickier and more prone to heartbreak when Lotte starts falling in love with Maxine through the proxy of Malkovich's body. Diaz, for her part, matches the script's challenges with impressive actorly fervor.

Far from playing Lotte's obsession and romantic epiphany for laughs, Diaz drains her portrait of any irony. The actress performs it all with the sincerity and the seriousness of a born tragedienne. Even her more endearingly goofy moments, like the nervous flirting she does during a dinner with Maxine and Craig, come off as reflections of the character's inner turmoil. Unlike many movie stars playing dowdy people, Diaz doesn't just rely on cosmetic effects to sell the idea of an unattractive individual who's aware of how others perceive them. During that dinner, she is fidgety, constantly touching her hair and fixing her expression, trying to call attention to herself but hide her body at the same time.

It's a spectacle of mousy self-consciousness that tells us all we need to know about Lotte's trepidation when dealing with Maxine's allure. Such is the actress' talent, that I have to say that nothing delighted me more about this re-watch of傀儡人生than seeing how generous Cameron Diaz is as a scene partner. She has great chemistry with everyone, even a chimp, and makes each instance of disconnection from the other actors count as a deliberate, pointed, choice. As she is repeatedly betrayed, caged, and cheated on, Lotte starts to give in to despair, but Diaz never lets us forget that, at her heart, this is a kind-hearted person who cares about those in her life - except, maybe, Craig.


Awards bodies and critics certainly seemed to agree back in 1999, with the two actresses receiving numerous nominations in the Best Supporting Actress category. Keener went on to get an Oscar nod, along with Angelina Jolie forGirl Interrupted萨曼莎莫顿的甜蜜与卑微,科洛·塞维尼为Boys Don't Cryand Toni Collette for第六感。这是一个令人印象深刻的阵容,其中科莱特大概花了迪亚兹的斑点。虽然我不会把澳大利亚女演员的点头离开(她是我的冠军了奥斯卡的选择),我可以看到为什么别人哀悼迪亚兹的冷落。她给了多年来许多提名值得表演,而且由于她退出演艺圈,好像我们永远不会看到她得到AMPAS一些过期的爱情。

傀儡人生is newly available to stream on Netflix.

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Reader Comments (25)

Best choice for an Almost There piece, so wonderful voting readers. I really like this Worthy performance. Am surprised Collette coat-tailed in (personally so pleased she did, but the film’s super hit status got her there) and that we didn’t have two nominees from one film (Most likely Being John Malkovich, or even Girl, Interrupted for Brittany Murphy)

August 11, 2020 |未注册的批评家乔治

我爱迪亚兹在这一点 - 我觉得她完全基纳的平等,并希望他们都可以被提名。


August 11, 2020 |未注册的批评家Mike in Canada

I too think Diaz deserved the nomination, but I don't mind Toni Collette being an Oscar nominee at all.


August 11, 2020 |未注册的批评家帕维尔

Nix Samantha Morton and put in Cameron Diaz and it's perfect

August 11, 2020 |未注册的批评家大卫


August 11, 2020 |未注册的批评家纳撒尼尔



August 11, 2020 |未注册的批评家adri



August 11, 2020 |未注册的批评家迈克尔·库苏马诺

The fact that that Diaz was supposed to be Maxine and that they swapped roles is so amazing.

August 11, 2020 |未注册的批评家F

I love that Susanna Kaysen, author of 'Girl, Interrupted' called Angelina Jolie's Oscar-winning performance "histrionic."


August 11, 2020 |未注册的批评家Mike M.

Not the greatest fan of this perf but I totally agree she should have been an Oscar nominee at one point. I know There’s something about Mary is and was not Academy material but Cameron’s NYFCC awarded work could have filled one of the Best Actress spots the previous year. Keener and Malkovich are MVP in Jonze’s film

August 11, 2020 |未注册的批评家Mirko

Should have won hands down.Jolie looks amateurish in GI in hindsight..

August 11, 2020 |未注册的批评家markgordonuk

On the race

Jolie totally OTT,look at me,cannot sell that last weepy monologue,infact she can't cry convincingly in anything,she's turns into Max Cady at the end,better options around her.


Collette for naturalism and charisma gr8 chemistry with Haley and the car scene.



My Nominees

卡梅隆·迪亚兹in BJM my winner


Julianne Moore Magnolia



August 11, 2020 |未注册的批评家markgordonuk


Cate Blanchett in THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY (winner)
Shirley Henderson in TOPSY-TURVY
Julianne Moore in MAGNOLIA

Other honorable mentions include Collette, Keener and Sevigny from the actual Oscar nominees, Diaz, Manville in TOPSY-TURVY, Helena Bonham Carter in FIGHT CLUB, Marisa Paredes and Antonia San Juan in ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER, Jessica Campbell in ELECTION, Miranda Richardson in SLEEPY HOLLOW, Mira Sorvino in SUMMER OF SAM, Gwyneth in THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY, Jessica Lange in TITUS, and Tilda Swinton in Tim Roth's caustic WAR ZONE. I'm sure I'm forgetting someone, too.


August 11, 2020 |未注册的批评家克劳迪奥·阿尔维斯

克劳迪奥 - 我很高兴别人爱四月格雷斯在玉兰高超的性能。迪亚兹是伟大的,比基纳IMO但1999年更是这样一个艰难的一年闯入。我自己的选票 -

1) April Grace - Magnolia
3)玛丽莎·帕雷德斯 - 我的母亲
4) Cate Blanchett - The Talented Mr Ripley
5)海伦娜·伯翰·卡特 - 搏击俱乐部

Angelina Jolie, Antonia San Juan, Julianne Moore, Toni Collette and Whoopi Goldberg (Girl, Interrupted) round out my Top 10.

I also really love Chloe Sevigny but she’s in my Leading race.


类别的旗帜的一年,我仍然have Summer Of Sam to watch...

August 11, 2020 |未注册的批评家kermit_the_frog

I will never comprehend the April Grace obsession for Magnolia.

Jolie won because she's a global superstar that crosses all demographics in terms of popularity. It was her moment being an It girl.

卡梅隆·迪亚兹应得的比好莱坞willing to give. Glad her retirement is giving her a sense of relief. I'm sure some enterprising auteur will Tarantino style bring her back to the forefront and possibly collect an overdue nod and win.

August 11, 2020 |未注册的批评家/3rtful

My 1999 Supporting Actress nomnees...

Cameron Díaz, Being John Malkovich (winner)
Antonia San Juan, All about my mother (Todo sobre mi madre)


August 11, 2020 |未注册的批评家Jesus Alonso

Loving the nods for Kidman in Supporting for Eyes Wide Shut.

August 11, 2020 |未注册的批评家Michael R

I'd have Blanchett win this year and definitely include Colette and Moore (and Sevigny if she's not Lead) among the nominees - but yeah even though I tend to prefer Diaz when she's allowed to go full-on crazy/funny/lighter, I'd strongly consider her for the last slot or two. I'd favor her over Keener in this.It's remarkable work.

August 11, 2020 |未注册的批评家ScottC

Btw I love that markgordonuk would nominate Jean Smart in Guinevere. I think about her in that all the time. I probably wouldn't nominate her because of the limitations of the role - but she absolutely kills it so I might.

August 11, 2020 |未注册的批评家ScottC

The simple adding of the actual year's nominees at some point of the article is so much better.Great listening to great suggestions to augment your already wonderful blog-making writing.

August 11, 2020 |未注册的批评家Rita

I am decidedly NOT a fan of this film, but Cameron Diaz sure had a nice late-1990s/early-2000s run with not much to show for it.

If I recall the lead-up, she was a favorite to get a nomination; and Samantha Morton and Toni Collette were the surprises.

Nobody's mentioned her yet, so I'll throw out that my supporting actress pick for that year is Cherry Jones in "Cradle Will Rock".

August 11, 2020 |未注册的批评家Guestguestguest

It was a really strong year in the category, maybe Diaz deserved a nod a couple years later for Vanilla Sky.


1。Samantha Morton (Sweet and lowdown)
2。Antonia San Juan (All about my mother)
3.Julianne Moore (Magnolia)
4.Catherine Keener (Being John Malkovich)

Next I have Sevigny, Collete, Kidman, Spacek , Paredes and Diaz.

August 11, 2020 |未注册的批评家Cafg

Jean Smart has 5 - 8 minutes on screen i'd guess but she absolutely kills those moments esp where she confronts Rea's character,the film is a bit of a gem..

August 11, 2020 |未注册的批评家markgordonuk


August 11, 2020 |未注册的批评家安东尼奥

我不喜欢卡梅隆·迪亚兹,她绝对赢得了一个NYFCC奖There's Something About Maryand I think she should've been nominated for Best Supporting Actress in傀儡人生。I think it's that she's made a lot of film choices that don't really play into her strengths and talents as an actress or have her work with filmmakers who can play to her strengths. It's a shame she's chosen to retire but I can't begrudge her for being happy right now with her life despite the fact that her husband is a total poser.

August 11, 2020 |未注册的批评家thevoid99

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