We've broached the awfulness of waking up to bad news before. This has happened many times in the past two years. Such cinematic legends have been taken from us, some tragically too soon, but even when that individual has been with us for decades, as with the case of Nichols, it is still heartbreaking. Mike Nichols, at the ripe old age of 83, has left us. His legacy is a strong one, maybe not necessarily from the quality of film (which is debatable, as is all art), but his talent as an actors director was undeniable. What he was able to pull out of his actors was just remarkable. It's no surprise that he managed to direct his actors to 18 total Oscar nominations (ironically, this is the same number of feature films he directed). Sure, the iconic nature of some of these remarkable performances are often attributed to the actors or actresses who portrayed them on the screen, but without the guiding hand of a deft director, they would never have been able to reach the heights they did. So, to celebrate Nichols' legacy, I've put together a Top Ten Performances He Directed. This is strictly film (mostly because I haven't seen Angels in America), but his film work is truly vibrant and full of varied performances, so it's worth singling out.
|10] Emma Thompson~Primary Colors|
|09] Ann-Margret~Carnal Knowledge|
|08] Meryl Streep~Silkwood|
|07] Nathan Lane~The Birdcage|
|06] Dustin Hoffman~The Graduate|
|05] Natalie Portman~Closer|
|04] Sigourney Weaver~Working Girl|
|03] Elizabeth Taylor~Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?|
|02] Anne Bancroft~The Graduate|
|01] Richard Burton~Who's Afraid of Virgnia Woolf?|
As a fun fact, six of these performances have already been confirmed Fisti Nominees (so far, none have won). Those would be Ann-Margret, Bancroft, Hoffman, Portman, Thompson and Weaver. The only actor here who has had his film year finalized for Fistis and missed out on the nom was Lane, who came in 7th in a very strong Actor field (although, after some thought he probably deserved the nom). The rest in this Top Ten (Burton, Streep and Taylor) will all get noms when their years are finalized (like, for real) and at least two of them will win.