Why didn't Whoopi get Best Actress for The Color Purple?
I know Geraldine Page had lost a lot of awards but Whoopi would have been the first black women....was that not a big issue then?
I do remember being upset that the NAACP protested the movie getting so many nominations because they were upset at the way black men were portrayed, then when the film lost all the awards, they complained that they should have won.
Good question, OP. I think two possible theories: 1) the NAACP's railing against the film as an affront to black men and making clear they wouldn't be supporting the film during awards season; or 2) not enough Academy voters were comfortable yet with the idea of awarding the top acting prize for an actress to a black woman and wouldn't be for some years to come (when Halle won for "Monster's Ball").
But I do think Whoopi was deserving that year, much more so than Geraldine Page for the snoozefest that was "Trip to Bountiful."
It was her eighth nomination so for all intent and purposes, a Lifetime Achievement. Like Alan Arkin for a nothing performance in "Little Miss Sunshine".
They never get an Oscar for their first nomination, and to add to that it was also her first movie role. And I think that's appropriate, a single performance could be a fluke, and that was pretty much the case with Whoopi. She didn't become known as a great dramatic actress, she made cheesy comedies. I don't think she deserved to win for Ghost either, a crappy romcom.
R4, meet Jennifer Hudson.
The (elderly) Academy establishment didn't think she was a real actress. They would have happily supported someone like Cicely Tyson, who had been working for decades, but not this loud, raucous, comedienne from NYC.
Yes obviously there are exceptions, but that was also supporting actress. I thought Heath Ledger should've won for Brokeback Mountain, but I knew it'd never happened, especially not for lead actor.
A lot of people didn't like "The Color Purple" when it came out. People thought Spielberg sentimentalized it quite a bit, and was terrified of depicting lesbian sexuality on sreen (both of which are very substantive criticisms). Also, there are problems with the story going back to the original novel: Celie making a good business selling her special pants (which look like Zubaz) always seemed very anachronistic.
Also, it was Whoopi's first nomination; and Geraldine Page had been nominated so many times before. it was seen as a career achievement award. And the role was for a famous piece specially originally written for Lillian Gish, considered one of the greatest American actors of all time--so for Horton Foote to let them make a movie of it with page was considered a big deal.
Right r8, it was the prettiest possible movie that could ever have been made about impoverished sharecroppers. Many critics complained it looked cartoonish.
[quote]They never get an Oscar for their first nomination
Gwyneth, Helen Hunt, Marisa Tomei, Mercedes Ruehl, Timothy Hutton, Barbra Streisand, Anne Bancroft, Robert DeNiro, Diane Keaton, Jason Robards, Sally Field, Jessica Lange, Linda Hunt, William Hurt, Kevin Kline, Geena Davis, and on and on and on.....
Now eliminate winners in the supporting character, and people who ages ago. Who's left?
Let's try that again.
Lead actor winners only, no ancient history.
And whatever the case, Whoopi's career as a serious actress did go nowhere.
Marion Cotillard, Jean Dujardin, Kathy Bates, Jeremy Irons, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Reese Witherspoon, Forrest Whitaker, Sandra Bullock, Roberto Benigni, Geoffrey Rush, Kevin Spacey, Hillary Swank, Halle Berry, Adrian Brody, Charlize Theron, Jamie Foxx, Emma Thompson, Nicholas Cage, .......
give up no r11?
And all of those went on to be primarily known for cheesy comedies, their wins now considered to be flukes. Oh wait, that only describes Whoopi.
You said they never award on the first nomination...your statement has been disproved. They often award for the first nomination. Admit defeat and stop changing the topic....you idiot.
R11/12/14, who is obviously a Republican 'cause he hates facts, doesn't seem to know that Whoopi won an Oscar a few years later.
Please. The Hollywood backlash against Spielberg at the time, for which the race issue was trumped up, prevented anyone or anything connected to THE COLOR PURPLE getting an award. The fact that he turned it into a whacked fairy tale (Oh, wait. That's close to what the novel is.) didn't help.
Goldberg was magnificent. The rest of her career has been a long slide. Avery was wonderful, but crapped out on her Oscar campaign big time. Winfrey looked great but cannot act.
And how many won first nom, first role? Admit that's no one or *extremely* few... you idiot.
No r17, unlike Whoopi who recently said she loves Canada's ultra-conservative PM, call him a "good guy", I hate Republicans.
Well, it wasn't "rape-rape."
People in the biz really felt like Spielberg Disney-fied that story, made it "Song of the South". And privately joked that it was called "The Colored People". I was waist deep in the movie business then and remember it well -- Whoppi wouldn't even have come in second (that would've been Streep for "Out of Africa", I bet). Most thought Cher and Kathleen T, neither nominated, could've/should've won if life was fair.
Far more likely to win would've been Winfrey in supporting and nobody would've complained. (Miss Huston could've been rewarded later). It was a good showy role with a cool arc, from tough to defeated, and her work still holds up.
First black woman to win Best Actress would've been long before, 1972... if they had just delayed releasing "Lady Sings the Blues" one year. No way any of those nominees that next year, not even Streisand and really not Glenda Jackson again, would've beat Diana Ross. Loooong before Halle Berry was around.
[quote]Winfrey looked great but cannot act.
Disagree. Oprah is a very competent actress, particularly in these downtrodden types of roles (see Women of Brewster Place, Native Son, etc.).
Diana would've also had to get over the "first role" hurdle, r22. It's really too much to ask that actors prove their first performance isn't a fluke before being awarded the top prize? Because Diana's performance was obviously a fluke, nothing but embarrassments followed, her acting career was dead before the end of the decade.
[quote]And how many won first nom, first role? Admit that's no one or *extremely* few... you idiot.
But idiot....that wasn't you point that was being disputed...the point was you said they never gave an award for a first nomination. You keep changing the topic to prove you are right.
As to your point of people who won for their first role ever....Barbra Streisand, Julie Andrews, Anna Paquin, and Marlee Matlin come to mind.
AND J. HUD!!
Daniel Day-Lewis first nomination winner.
Wow 4, and Paquin was supporting, Andrews in the 1964. There's been a mere 94 lead and supporting actress wins since Andrews, 4 isn't an *extremely* small percentage at all, is it. And I did mention it being her first role was a factor in my first post @ r4... idiot.
Interesting debate -- but I still think the voters didn't care as much about career stuff then (Oscar himself wasn't that old). So Diana Ross would've been rewarded -- and the black thing not even as big an issue -- with the thought that she would deliver more amazing work like "Blues". And who knows, maybe she would've if she had that pedigree. Though Cicely Tyson never was back again either so who knows.
P.S. I remember Whoopi noting that her place in history, even before she won for "Ghost", was that she was "the first one asked back." As in a second nomination. Hard to believe... is that still true? It's not like you see Angela Basset with multiple nods. (Denzel, yes).
Timothy Hutton, Julie Andrews, Shirley Booth, Barbara Streisand, Marlee Matlin, Haing Ngor, Jennifer Hudson, Mercedes McCambridge, Tatum O'Neal, Anna Paquin, Katrina Paxinou, Eva Marie Saint, Gale Sondergaard, Jo van Fleet.
Fourteen people who won acting Oscars for their film debuts.
[quote]Interesting debate -- but I still think the voters didn't care as much about career stuff then (Oscar himself wasn't that old).
Oscar was 43 when Ross was nominated. that's a significantly long time.
The depths of r28's stupidity is mind boggling.
r28 (etc.) sounds .....odd. They must be from another country or Asian. Can't we ban THOSE people?
Enough of this Geraldine Page bashing! Enough!
Right r32, great comeback, in other words you had no comeback.
R30, so now we're including men and reaching back to Gale Sondergaard's 1937 win for Best Supporting Actress. 14 is 7.7% of the 180 acting Oscars awarded since Gale's win.
I'm sorry if that's over your head r33, but in layman's terms it means only an extremely small percentage of Oscar wins have been for first roles. Something OP is highly reticent to admit.
That it was her first role and that hurt her chances was never disputed. What was disputed was your statement in r4 that "They never get an Oscar for their first nomination"
You all are forgetting that for one thing Spielberg was bashed far and wide for that awful film and was not nominated for Director; and also that Page was the talk of the town from the second she was nominated, and it was sort of like their giving Streep the award this year - constant media attention focusing on Page's many nominations - in fact, Page's award that year sort of created the score-keeping that has gone on ever since, because every article written about her pointed out her multiple previous nominations, and Jeff Bridges and Kate Winslet and even Streep this year can thank Page for their "better late than never" prizes. Paul Newman was the other actor who got that "making up for past errors" thing started, when they gave him an honorary award one year as if in compensation, not predicting that he would win for real just a year or two later.
But no one had a chance against Page that year.
Next up: How did Jessica Lange win an Oscar for Tootsie?
Some posters moan about the trolls but without them we'd be stuck in these repetitive showbiz threads.
Coming soon: How did Marisa Tomei win an Oscar for My Cousin Vinny?
r36, I meant that as a generalization, obviously there are exceptions. There are 40 acting Oscars per decade though, so it's not that surprising a fairly sizable list of first-nom winners could be made, while still being a relatively small number of the wins. And I actually screwed up counting the male/female, lead/supporting Oscars since Sondergaard, it's 300, so the first-role win percentage is just 4.6%, going by r30's tally.
Plus you keep ignoring that I did bring up, in r4, the first-role factor "and to add to that it was also her first movie role." So I wasn't switching the topic by bringing it up again. Whatever the case, your subject header asks "why didn't she get it", and you've now admitted the real surprise would've been if she'd won, becoming included in the tiny percentage of first-role winners.
Let it go, R39. You sound like a fucking idiot.
And you sound like a fucking troll.
[quote]They never get an Oscar for their first nomination, and to add to that it was also her first movie role.
Maybe they just thought Geraldine Page gave a better performance than Whoopi Goldberg.
R43, that never happens.
R39, 41, et al. II'm not the poster you've been arguing with biut I'm gonna definitely side with him on this one. I really would have hated playing childhood team games with you, as you seem fond of changing the rules as you go along.
Your point was and I quote:
[quote]They never get an Oscar for their first nomination, and to add to that it was also her first movie role.
Do you know the meaning of "to add to that?" Do you know the difference between what you said and "they never get an Oscar for their first movie role?"
And then later adding other factors that were nowhere near your original statement like:
They must be lead roles
They can't be ancient history (The Color Purple"is from 1984, not exactly yesterday).
They have to be female.
They have to be people who later had cheesy careers.
Only tells me you're a brat who can't lose but can't back up winning.
You'd be lots of fun to work with I bet.
[quote] So Diana Ross would've been rewarded -- and the black thing not even as big an issue -- with the thought that she would deliver more amazing work like "Blues".
Ross should have one but as of the time, only one African American actress had ben awarded, in a supporting, no less, but it was impossible to beat the Minelli pedigree, especially after a prior nomination. Of course Ross's performance holds up beautifully and we all know now Liza was just playing Liza.
[quote]I know Geraldine Page had lost a lot of awards but Whoopi would have been the first black women....was that not a big issue then?
You mean that they should have given it to her based on race? Honey, people chose the better performance.
Has an Asian woman ever won Best Actress?
Lots of women have lost when the deserved it and men too.
It works both ways
Bette Davis should have easily won for "Of Human Bondage" but wasn't even nominated.
The next year she won for "Dangerous" which was OK but not that great.
[quote]Honey, people chose the better performance.
Awww, aren't you just the sweetest thing?
Whoopi Goldberg lost because Geraldine Page was alegendary, accomplished actress who gave a superb performance. She truly deserved to win. Whoopi Goldberg's turn in TCP was incredibly overrated; it was no big deal at all.
Considering how astonishingly mediocre a talent Whoopi Goldberg is, it's amazing that she's won so many awards. I tend to think it's because people feel sorry for her because she's so plug ugly. They vote for her out of pity.
Goldberg got an Oscar for her incredibly pedestrian performance in "Ghost" so it all evens out eventually.
Speaking of Ross, she would have won had it not been for Gordy's obnoxious trade ad campaign. It was ten years ahead of its time but voters felt like he was trying to buy the award, which of course, he was.
I am a big, big fan of The Color Purple. It belongs on any short list of the greatest movies ever. Whoopi absolutely should have won.
Whoopi was excellent but Page was giving a career-topping performance, one of the truly great film performances ever.
The Color Purple was Whoopi's first film, or at least her first film that was widely seen.
Geraldine Page was widely considered one of the great American actresses, had numerous oscar nomination (I believe this was her sixth or seventh), had never won, and was old.
All of that meant more than making history by awarding the first black actress to win a leading oscar.
As, frankly, it should have.
I thought Page was completely deserving of the award for "Bountiful" but what surprised me more was that Rebecca DeMornay gave a wonderfully nuanced performance as the army wife who was going home to live with her mother.
That year Meryl Streep (Out of Africa) won the
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards
While Whoopi Goldberg got the National Board of Review
Norma Aleandro (Official Story) won New York Film Critics Circle Awards
And Vanessa Redgrave (Wetherby) won the National Society of Film Critics Awards
So Best Actress was a mixed bag that year, with no consensus with the critics for Best Actress that year.
R8, "a lot of people didn't like The Color Purple when it first came out"? Erm, I remember it being referred to as "Song of The South."
The Color Purple was seen as Spielberg's first "adult" film about "real" people - a drama. He watered it down but toning down the violence, the abuse and the lesbianism. He took a black woman's story and turned it into a white boy's version of a black woman's story.
Also, the role of Celie was really a cipher. She has more presence in the novel because she's the narrator but in dramatic form, she's a pretty passive observer - it's the supporting characters like Shug Avery and Oprah who are active and colourful. Whoopi was playing a passive cipher.
I suppose too, like Streisand, there was a certain sense that Whoopi was entitled to an Oscar (she was sore loser on the night too, wasn't she - or was that the following year?) and I don't think the Academy likes being told what they "have to" do.
But yeah, a passive cipher was no competition for the scenery chewing, 8x nominated, end of life Geraldine Page. And Whoopi got hers a few years later for a much better performance that played more to her skill set.
[quote]Disagree. Oprah is a very competent actress, particularly in these downtrodden types of roles (see Women of Brewster Place, Native Son, etc.).
YMMV R23. Winfrey pretty much portrayed the same character in all of these parts. She drops her refined speech patterns and slips into the so-called black vernacular, and calls it acting. She's done it in almost every role she's been in since TCP. She is NOT a good actress. AT.ALL.
OK I'm lost. What does YMMV stand for?
I can hear the Village People singing it...
Your Mileage May Vary. It just means you might have a different opinion on the subject/disagree with the poster.
We literally just had this thread a few weeks ago.
And all the responses are the same.
R58, Whoopi also won the Golden Globe. At the time there was no SAG or Critics Choice, so being the only main precursor the GGs gave Whoopi the edge.
One reason is because the movie so thoroughly debased and demeaned men. Male votes were not keen to vote for that
Stop acting like Spielberg's COLOR PURPLE was not a piece of shit. It was a piece of shit. Among other things, it totally lied about the girl-on-girl love that is so important to the book. Spielberg left out the gay stuff, big time. It's an awful movie, and if you liked it, you're an idiot.
best actress winners since 1950 with no previous oscar nominations (lead or supporting) (includes some who would later win for the second time on a subsequent nod):
Judy Holliday, Shirley Booth, Audrey Hepburn, Joanne Woodward, Simone Signoret, Sophia Loren, Anne Bancroft, Patricia Neal, Julie Andrews, Julie Christie, Barbra Streisand, Glenda Jackson, Louise Fletcher, Diane Keaton, Sally Field, Marlee Matlin, Jessica Tandy, Kathy Bates, Emma Thompson, Helen Hunt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Hillary Swank, Halle Berry, Charlize Theron, Reese Witherspoon, Marion Cotillard, Sandra Bullock
best actress winners since 1950 with previous nominations (including wins) (lead or supporting) before their first win:
Vivien Leigh, Grace Kelly, Ingrid Bergman, Susan Hayward, Elizabeth Taylor (won best actress twice during this period), Katharine Hepburn (won best actress three times during this period), Maggie Smith, Jane Fonda (won best actress twice during this period), Liza Minnelli, Glenda Jackson (second win, she also won previously for her first nomination), Ellen Burstyn, Faye Dunaway, Jane Fonda (won best actress twice during this period), Sissy Spacek, Meryl Streep, Shirley Maclaine, Sally Field (second win, she won previously for her first nomination), Geraldine Page, Cher, Jodie Foster (two wins during this period), Holly Hunter, Jessica Lange, Susan Sarandon, Hillary Swank (second win, she won previously for her first nomination), Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, Helen Mirren, Kate Winslet, Meryl Streep (won twice during this period).
Best actress winners since 1950 who had previously won oscars (either before or after 1950), previous oscars for leading actress except where noted):
Vivien Leigh, Ingrid Bergman (her second best actress win, would go on to win a third oscar for supporting), Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn, Jane Fonda, Glenda Jackson, Sally Field, Jodie Foster, Jessica Lange (previous oscar supporting), Hillary Swank, Meryl Streep (first win: previous oscar supporting, second win: previous oscars lead and supporting).
So, kind of a mixed bag.
It still doesn't support umbrage that Whoopi didn't win over Page. Page was an acting god and her win for A Trip to Bountiful was her eighth - 8! - nomination.
r64, you are wrong that Goldberg's golden globe win gave her the edge over Page for the following reasons:
1) Page had already won two back-to-back best actress golden globe awards, for Summer and Smoke (1962) and for Sweet Bird of Youth (1963).
2) Had Page not won an oscar for Trip to Bountiful she would have had 8 nominations with no win, which would have made her the most oscar-nominated actress never to have received an oscar.
This movie is at least 40 years old. Get fucking over it.
Miss R4 sure got her wig snatched off on this one. Her scalp must be bleeding.
You know, that little exposé that was done by one of the top movie sites that revealed the Oscar voting pool to be upwards of 79% white, 70% over 50, and 90% male pretty much freed me from ever having to wonder why the Academy makes the choices they do or to even care all that much what the choices are.
What a group of old white dudes have to say about artistic merit matters very, very little to me anymore.
Both Whoopi's performance and the movie stand the test of time. Quick, what won best picture in 2002? Who won best actress in 1986? Answer: who the fuck cares? Good art always stands the test of time and doesn't need an arbitrary award to validate it.
R60, What do you think of Oprah in Beloved?
[quote] Whoopi also won the Golden Globe. At the time there was no SAG or Critics Choice, so being the only main precursor the GGs gave Whoopi the edge.
That same year Meg Tilly won the GG for Agnes of God.
Also Jon Voight won the GG for Runaway Train, but
Yet Angelica Huston for Prizzi Honor was the front runner for the supporting actress Oscar.
And Bill Hurt was the front runner for Kiss of the Spider Woman
So the GG don't really give anyone an edge then and now.
"You know, that little exposé that was done by one of the top movie sites that revealed the Oscar voting pool to be upwards of 79% white, 70% over 50, and 90% male pretty much freed me from ever having to wonder why the Academy makes the choices they do or to even care all that much what the choices are."
Actually in terms of color and gender that might - everything else being "equal" - be pretty representative of the movie community. There are of course a great many female actors but not all that many women in other crafts (unfortunately!).
Still given that the acting wing of AMPAS is the largest - correct me if I'm wrong but I think that's right - it's still quite strange that the Academy is 90% male.
r49 responding to r48 made me lol...
and didn't Diana Ross lose because Cycely Tyson split the vote? (and besides Liza was just too fabulous too lose in Cabaret.)
Uh, wtf happened to R8?
Poof, (pardon the pun) he's gone!
She didn't win because she is expressionless in a pretty bad movie ?
I must have missed something.
Whoopie didn't win because she isn't that good in The Color Purple. Whoopie was never a particularly great actress. She's fun in Ghost because she can ham it up, but even that is not really an Oscar worthy performance.
Geraldine Page, on the other hand, is one of the greatest actresses of her generation and definitely deserved the award.
I repeat: COLOr PURPLE was a pandering racist homophobic boring reductive piece of absolute shit that pissed off lots of people and that no one really liked.
[quote]Geraldine Page, on the other hand, is one of the greatest actresses of her generation and definitely deserved the award.
Please, she was a ham bone and all but forgotten. Ask ten people who she was and I guarantee you nine have no idea or even heard of "A Trip To Bountiful".
[quote] Ask ten people who she was and I guarantee you nine have no idea or even heard of "A Trip To Bountiful".
Ask ten people who Andrew Jackson was and they'll say "Michael and Janet's brother?"