As much as I respect and admire Cloris Leachman‘s performance in The Last Picture Show, which won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for 1971, Ann-Margret‘s portrayal of Bobbie-the-alleged-ballbuster in Carnal Knowledge, I now feel, dug deeper and delivered in a way that was more real, wide-open, vulnerable. All hail Mike Nichols for making this scene work as well as it does, and for generally hitting the film out of the park.

This scene alone (half of which obviously belongs to Jack Nicholson) more than proves my point about how good she was. What 2010 Best Picture nominee has a scene this raw and penetrating?

This kicks off a daily feature, running from today through 2.27, in which I’ll post video clips of performances that should have won in whatever category, but didn’t. Over and out.