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Best Actress – Sissy Spacek, “In the Bedroom”

Film: In the Bedroom

Previous wins for role: Golden Globe for best actress in a drama; voted best actress by New York Film Critics Circle, Los Angeles Film Critics Association and AFI Awards

Previous Oscar wins/nominations:
Nominated for Best Actress, Crimes of the Heart (1986)
Nominated for Best Actress, The River (1984)
Nominated for Best Actress, Missing (1982)
Won for Best Actress, Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980)
Nominated for Best Actress, Carrie (1976)

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Character bio: Spacek’s Ruth Fowler is a quiet study of a woman struck by horrible tragedy–losing a child. Her normal, happy life as a wife and a school choir leader is shattered when her only adult son is killed by a jealous ex-husband. Suddenly, nothing is what it seems to be. Ruth grieves by shutting down completely and resents her husband’s need to find closure and move on. Yet, she is faced with her own inability to let people in to help heal her wounds.

Oscar odds: This Texas native has certainly been out of the limelight in recent years, tending to her family and living a peaceful life on a farm. Perhaps she was waiting for the right script to come along. Well, it finally did. Her performance in Bedroom once again shows us how good Spacek really is, reminding us of just why she deserved those five previous Oscar nominations and the win for Coal Miner’s Daughter. Playing Ruth has given Spacek best actress honors and critical accolades from just about everyone, so the Academy should follow suit–her likely win in this category could be the only shoo-in this year. —Kit Bowen

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