Lionel Barrymore – It’s a Wonderful Life
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a year with 4 great nominees and one amazing one. There was really no question as to who was the front runner.
5. William Demarest
4. Clifton Webb
3. Charles Coburn
2. Claude Rains
1. Harold Russell
5. The Razor’s Edge – Interesting look at how someone effected by war and destruction could try and find a better way to live his life especially when everyone else tries to remain in their high society circles. Also liked the way this film dealt with personal tragedies and jealousy because it all feels so real. Great cast led by Powers. Baxter really deserved her Best Supporting Actress Oscar because the range of her character is really immense.
4. Notorious – Hitchcock does a wonderful job with this story and is able to keep up on the edge of our seats the whole time. Bergman and Grant work very well together and their chemistry is apparent in every one of their scenes together. The plot twist works quite well and I loved how certain thing are only alluded to, but are still quite apparent. Not Hitchcock’s best, but still extremely entertaining.
3. The Green Years – Quite a poignant story that works pretty well. The entire cast does a nice job but Coburn steals every scene he is in and was very deserving of getting an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role as the child’s great-grandfather. They do an excellent job showing the ups and downs of life which helps make things feel very realistic throughout. Just like life, some of the things that happen come very unexpectedly which also helps make things feel even more genuine. The idea that one needs to have faith in life no matter what happens rings so true in this film and they present this really well and is still very relevant even after more than 70 years.
2. The Jolson Story – Parks is superb in the lead role and is able to give us the persona of a man who became the voice of the first “talkie” musical. The way that this film shows a character who loves what he does and can never get enough of it is amazing and it’s easy to feel that the character never wants to stop entertaining people as much as he can. Great music and a very inspirational story about finding what you love and trying to keep doing it for as long as you can.
1. The Best Years of Our Lives – Amazing film because it remains timeless with its themes even after 70 years. Unbelievable cast helps make this film feel so real. It deservingly won 8 Oscars that year and remains extremely powerful in so many aspects. The bond shared by these men is indescribable and their need for one another to weather the return home is such a powerful and emotional theme that is repeatedly shown here.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Absolutely! HR gives one of the best performances of any actor or non-actor in this film and his character and performance remain one of the most poignant reminders of the effects of war that still rings true even after more than 70 years.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!