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Leading Lady Week 6: The 1980s


The 1980s.  The era of excess, neon, and shoulder pads.  The ladies assembled in this decade are living legends who continue to rack up awards and are cited as the best of the best.  We have action heroes, comediennes, and those who did a little bit of everything.  The 1980s boasts one of my favorite teen actresses, and another actress who I consider the best comic actress we’ve had since Lucille Ball, so I’m pretty biased during this decade.  Remember, voting runs from Monday to Monday, and any clickable links will take you to any published content.


Films That Secured Her NominationAbsence of Malice, Places in the Heart, Steel Magnolias

My Thoughts on the Nominee: I wasn’t quite sure where to put Sally Field because she’s done consistently strong work over several decades.  I know her best due to her work in the 1990s, but the 80s saw her win an Oscar (infamously giving her “You really like me” speech) as well as give my mother her favorite film Steel Magnolias.  I guess you could say this is another choice influenced by my mom.  Field is set to appear at the Oscars next week for her work in Lincoln, so I think that might just help her score a few votes more than she would have otherwise.  This is a decade filled with immortal heavy-hitters, making it anyone’s game.


Films That Secured Her NominationThe French Lieutenant’s Woman, Sophie’s Choice, Silkwood, Out of Africa, A Cry in the Dark

My Thoughts on the Nominee: Can we just declare Meryl Streep the winner now?  Honestly, I love the other nominees here, but Meryl Streep is the Holy Grail of actresses.  Just look at the movies listed above, and those are JUST her movies from the 1980s.  Sophie’s Choice alone is worthy of her winning entirely.  I will say, Streep isn’t my favorite actress, but she’s a powerhouse that I think voters will immediately gravitate towards.  Good luck to all the other ladies in this decade because she’s the one to beat.


Films That Secured Her Nomination: Private Benjamin, Overboard

My Thoughts on the Nominee: I adore Goldie Hawn; she was part of my inaugural slate of Veronica winners.  Her output in the 1980s wasn’t perfect, but her two big films, Private Benjamin and Overboard, are comedy classics and staples in my house.  She’s a comedienne that I consider the 1980s Lucille Ball and her output in the 1990s cemented that.  I did want to include her in the 1990s, but the category was too full.  Regardless, I hope Goldie gets a few votes because she deserves it.  And I didn’t plan on having Hawn and Streep square off in the same category, but I think it’s funny that we have a recreation of Death Becomes Her going on now.


Films That Secured Her NominationGhostbusters, Aliens, Gorillas in the Mist, Working Girl, Ghostbusters II

My Thoughts on the Nominee: Sigourney Weaver continues to pop up in movies and surprise me.  She’s an astounding actress who started the “final girl” trope in science fiction, as well as crafting the bad-ass Ripley in the Alien franchise.  You have to respect a woman who can act, and could kick the crap out of you.  Weaver has a consistent output of work in this decade, both popcorn films and art pictures, but I’m not sure if she has enough power to unseat Streep.


Films That Secured Her NominationSixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, The Pick-Up Artist, For Keeps

My Thoughts on the Nominee: I’ll admit, I’m rooting for Molly Ringwald in this decade.  She conveyed all the angst and emotion of being a teenage girl for me, and I identify with Samantha Baker from Sixteen Candles; call it cliché if you want.  No matter what, Ringwald has to be a serious contender due to her association with John Hughes and creating the teen genre as we know it.  Her bubbly personality helped girls everywhere find their identity, and hopefully she gets up there to fight it out with Streep.

Good luck to all the nominees.  I’ll update everyone on Thursday.

Kristen Lopez View All

A freelance film critic whose work fuels the Rotten Tomatoes meter. I've been published on The Hollywood Reporter, Remezcla, and The Daily Beast. I've been featured in the L.A. Times. I currently run two podcasts, Citizen Dame and Ticklish Business.

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