In preparation for StinkyLulu's upcoming blogathon http://www.stinkylulu.com/2009/05/supporting-actress-sundays-for-may09.html#links, I watched two more of the nominated movies. If you'd like a view of the nominations, here is a montage put together by Alex from Alex in Movieland, another blogathan participant:
Enchanted April (1992)
Pleasant movie about four very different women in WW1-era England who regain some life while sharing an Italian villa. Frothy, entertaining, and a little poignant at the end. Not incredibly deep and the character arcs are a little thin, but fun to watch.
Joan Plowright was nominated for her role as the middle-aged dowager who (re)opens herself to life and friendship while at the villa. Plowright plays her role well, but it does feel she could do this role in her sleep. On another note, one of the leading roles is played by Miranda Richardson. After being somewhat disappointed by her work in Damage, I was very impressed by her portrayal here.
My Cousin Vinny (1992)
This movie has the mark of many late-1980s/early-1990s comedies: lazy directing, by the book cinematography, and a predictable plot. It follows Joe Pesci as a novice lawyer who goes down to Alabama to help out a cousin wrongly accused of a crime. Marisa Tomei joins him as his working-class, very New York girlfriend. The movie is fairly entertaining and the final courtroom scenes are quite funny.
At the time Tomei won the Oscar, many were appalled. Looking back, though, Tomei really does give a great performance. Perhaps her later performances in In the Bedroom and The Wrestler are influencing me, but I see the same fierce intelligence and empathy in this same role. While it is a broadly written role, Tomei rarely overplays it.