5. Glenn Close – Best Actress – Look back at any decade since 1979, and Meryl Streep could be called America’s Most Celebrated Actress. Streep collected 21 Oscar nominations and nabbed three wins over her career, so it is difficult to make a case for another actress to topple this aforementioned, fictional acting title. In the 1980’s alone, Streep collected seven Oscar nominations and two Best Actress wins for “Kramer vs. Kramer” (1979) and “Sophie’s Choice” (1982), but if she is the most decorated actress from the 80’s, Glenn Close might be the runner-up.
Close earned six Best Actress Oscar nominations with five coming in just seven years from 1983 to 1989, and quite frankly, if one had a time machine to jump back to 1988 and right a wrong, the Academy should take another vote on that year’s Best Actress Oscar. Cher won for “Moonstruck” (1987) in a lovely performance that let the singer stretch her acting muscles, but Close’s work as Alex Forrest, the vengeful ex-lover in director Adrian Lyne’s “Fatal Attraction” (1987) is a role that stands the test of time.
Close frightened every married man in America during the fall of 1987, and the phrase “find a bunny in a pot” became a cemented, permanent brick in pop culture for 31 years.
She should have won.
Close has another chance for Oscar gold in 2019, because the Academy rightly nominated her for Best Actress in “The Wife”. The movie – directed by Bjorn Runge and co-starring Jonathan Pryce, Max Irons and Christian Slater – is perfectly named because Close owns every frame in which she appears and her character Joan Castleman is the most intricately-entwined with the plot. Joan carries a deep mystery, and over the course of 100 minutes, the narrative slowly reveals its secrets, and she offers subtle clues along the way. Close is mesmerizing, and since Joan is quiet and reserved, this acting legend communicates so much over pure silence and brief discourse, and meanwhile, a bubbling angst churns just beneath the surface.
If the Academy gets it right, they will wholly recognize Close…finally.
Image and Trailer credits: Sony Pictures Classics