Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)
Shirley Temple – Fort Apache
My Overall Thoughts:
This was a year with 5 fine performances, yet none of them manage to be powerful enough to warrant being more deserving than the rest and any could have taken home Gold in this level playing field.
5. Barbara Bel Geddes
4. Jean Simmons
3. Agnes Moorehead
2. Ellen Corby
1. Claire Trevor
4. Hamlet – Found this really boring even though I knew the story from back when I was in high school. I still like Branagh version much better.
3. Key Largo – Nicely done film noir that really captures the good and evil of all of the characters very well. The conflict between Bogart vs. Robinson is definitely a good choice for two leads with strong on-screen presence. The plot itself isn’t too complex and is pretty predictable, but it’s still quite enjoyable to watch.
2. I Remember Mama – Interesting and warm family story that works on numerous levels. The dialogue and situations that the characters find themselves in feel real because they experience so many different emotions through the trials, tribulations and challenges that they must face. The cast is great with Dunne shining throughout as the matriarch of the family. Homolka tho, steals every scene he is in as a rich uncle who tries to help whenever he can. He was quite deserving of an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for this performance. Truly a heartwarming story that gives a clear depiction of life for these immigrants.
1. Johnny Belinda – Wyman and Ayres are both superb here. Loved the way the story unfolds because they manage to give us so much information about the characters, their way of life and how things are run in such a small community. The fact that their are numerous issues discussed only in passing due to many of the censorship laws at the time would normally have caused problems with a film like this, but they do a great job of presenting things in a way that we can fully understand what is going on despite the obvious omissions. Wyman truly deserved her Best Actress Oscar for this role.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – I guess so! Being that this was a relatively weak year for nominated performances, any of them could have won since none of them stand out clearly among the rest, so CT was a fine choice.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!