(one installment in a quick series counting down from 50 to 26!)
LIZA MINNELLI IN THE STERILE CUCKOO (1969)
The competition (Cliff: 5 for 5!):
Maggie Smith in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
Geneviève Bujold in Anne of the Thousand Days
Jane Fonda in They Shoot Horses, Don’t They
Jean Simmons in The Happy Ending
The manic pixie dream girl has become such a cliche in recent years that a film about a free spirit girl who breathes life into a young man’s freshman year at college seems somewhat slight. However, Liza’s frenetic whimsy is the genuine article, making the scenes that explore the darker side of her unbalanced personality ring true. My vote still goes to Jane Fonda for They Shoot Horses, Don’t They for 1969, but a nice performance and a great complement to her showier winning turn in Cabaret.