Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)
Mildred Natwick – The Trouble With Harry
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a year which features 3 very solid performances along with two others that are a bit baffling that they were even nominated.
5. Marisa Pavan
4. Peggy Lee
3. Betsy Blair
2. Natalie Wood
1. Jo Van Fleet
5. The Rose Tattoo – Nowhere near as good as I had expected knowing that Magnani won an Oscar for this leading role and by the fact that it was written by Williams. Lancaster, who I usually like a lot feels extremely miscast here and comedic in some ways. Not sure how this film was able to get 8 Oscar nominations (including 3 wins).
4. Pete Kelly’s Blues – Pretty mediocre gangster film that doesn’t work that well. Webb is fine in the lead yet isn’t able to bring more to the role that would make us care even more about him or his troubles in work and in love. The story meanders along and feels a bit too paint by numbers from start to finish and is quite predictable throughout. Lee received an Oscar nomination for her work as a club singer who seems to be drunk most of the time. Nice seeing Devine and Marvin in small yet significant roles.
3. Rebel Without a Cause – The story presented here is quite timeless because it deals with the way children have trouble identifying with how their parents act and vice versa. The main cast of Dean, Wood and Mineo is great and they all seem quite believable as troubled teens. Part of the themes discussed here seem too connected to the 1950’s, but it’s easy to find connections to teens nowadays also. The idea that people do things without any reason, perhaps just out of boredom or because it’s easy is very prevalent here. This film shows how much of a future was possibly in store for Dean had he not died tragically a few months before the film was even released.
2. East of Eden – Very interesting look at the relationships between family members as they are affected by all that happens around them. Cast is great with Dean, Massey, Van Fleet and Davalos all giving stellar performances. The story is quite deep and I believe that the novel by Steinbeck does an even better job at showing the intricacies of these relationships.
1. Marty – Feel good movie. Worthwhile. Very worthy of it’s 4 Oscars including Best Picture, Director and Actor.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yep! JvF is great in EoE and was deserving of winning even if both NW and BB were close on her heels.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!
Sort of agree with you that this may have been a 3 horse race, but disagree on the “baffling” part in reference to Peggy Lee. I thought she was very good in Pete Kelly’s Blues – playing an alcoholic! She was a singer acting for the first time – and did a very good job – much like Bobby Darin – another popular singer with a string of hit records – who was nominated for a terriic supporting dramatic turn in “Captain Newman, MD” in 1963.
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