For 1987 to 1996, the Actress of the Decade Comes Down to a Coin Toss?
Three months ago I began a series of articles on the best actors and actresses of each of the nine decades of Oscar. I was satisfied with the approach I was taking until…this month. My scoring system works great when the results come out like the 1987 to 1996 Actor of the Decade.
|Top Actors of the Decade|
|1987 to 1996|
|Actor||Lead Actor Nominations||Lead Actor Wins||Supporting Actor Nominations||Supporting Actor Wins||Total Academy Award Points|
|Daniel Day Lewis||2||1||0||0||9|
Clearly, Tom Hanks deserves that honor since he won Best Actor twice and Anthony Hopkins won only once. Both were nominated three times.
Now, let’s look at the Actresses of the decade.
|Top Actresses of the Decade|
|1987 to 1996|
|Actress||Lead Actress Nominations||Lead Actress Wins||Supporting Actress Nominations||Supporting Actress Wins||Total Academy Award Points|
It’s a tie…and it’s kind of a mess. Including Supporting Actress nominations, Susan Sarandon, Meryl Streep, and Emma Thompson all have one more nomination than Jodie Foster. Because Jodie Foster won twice, she passes everyone except Susan Sarandon. The two actresses tie because my scoring system values a Lead Actress win twice as much as a nomination. Previously I’ve handled ties by letting IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes results for nominated movies act as a tie breaker. In this case, it’s inconclusive.
|Tie Breakers for Top Actresses of the Decade|
|Avg IMDB & Rotten Tomatoes Ratings for Nominated Movies|
|Released from 1987 to 1996|
|Actor||IMDB Avg Rating||# of Votes||Rotten Tomatoes % Fresh||How Fresh?||# of Critics Reviews|
|Susan Sarandon||7.3||242,422||88%||Certified Fresh||191|
|Jodie Foster||8.5||971,401||84%||Certified Fresh||125|
The critics like Susan Sarandon’s movies more, but Jodie Foster rides Silence of the Lambs to a decisive IMDB nod.
In trying to decipher an advantage in these tie-breaker results, I reached a very different conclusion. They’re probably not that relevant. Critics and viewers may like a movie because of an actors performance, or they may like it for an entirely different reason. It isn’t like Oscar voting which is focused solely on the performance of a single actor. It would be better to use Golden Globe or Screen Actors Guild results as tie breakers or supplements to the scoring system.
And, is an Oscar win twice as valuable an indicator of greatness as an Oscar nomination? No, it’s even more valuable.
|For Best Actress in a Leading Role|
|Number of Actresses Who Have:|
|% of Total Nominated|
|Been Nominated More than Once||85||38.8%|
|Won More Than Once||13||5.9%|
It is easier to be nominated twice than it is to win once. And, it has been more than five times as hard to win twice as it is to be nominated twice.
I’ve got to rework my scoring system. For now, with only two decades left to consider, we’ll keep it as it is. For Actress of this decade, it is a coin toss with a coin weighted towards Jodie Foster and her two wins.