Talula Bankhead – Lifeboat
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a year with 3 very powerful performance and two lackluster ones.
5. Ethel Barrymore
4. Aline MacMahon
3. Angela Lansbury
2. Agnes Moorehead
1. Jennifer Jones
5. None But the Lonely Heart – Pretty gloomy and boring story of a young man (played by 40 yr old Grant) who resorts to crime in order to help his mother who is dying of cancer. The story itself doesn’t seem realistic at all and Grant feels really miscast in this kind of role. I’m still a bit confused how Grant got nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for this role and how Barrymore ended up winning Best Supporting Actress.
4. Dragon Seed – Interesting premise that comes across as laughable due to the way that things are presented. The use of non-Asian actors is a big mistake here since instead of the performances being seen as groundbreaking, they feel more racist than they should. The basic message dealing with how to respond to threats by a foreign nation comes across quite well even given the many mistakes made when making this film as a potential epic. MacMahon stands out among the rest of the cast and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her performance here.
3. Mrs. Parkington – Great story that works really well since it allows us to get a full understanding of the life of the main character and how she became the woman she now is. The film uses the flashbacks really skillfully and is helps develop the characters even more as we get to see how things came to be. The cast is superb and both Garson and Moorehead were nominated for Oscars for their work here and the wife and best friend of a wealthy businessman. Pidgeon is also great as the leading man here because we get to see how his character and his motivations in life slowly evolve over time.
2. Gaslight – Great premise that works so well despite feeling so ahead of it’s time. The cast is superb with Bergman having great chemistry with both Boyer and Cotten. Bergman rightfully deserved her first (of 3) Oscar for this role. Landsbury was surprisingly good in her first film role which ended up garnering her a Best Supporting Actress Nomination. Loved the way that the suspense gets higher and higher as the film moves along.
1. Since You Went Away – Amazing film that takes a complex subject and makes it so heartwarming. The mixing and matching of numerous parallel storylines works extremely well and it helps make it all seem so realistic. The multi-generational look at how people perceive war is done superbly. The cast is great and despite multiple characters and storylines, this film is so easy to follow as things move forward. Still shocked that this film only got one Oscar win of its 9 nominations (for dramatic musical score) and it is so much better than the eventual winner, Going My Way (1944).
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Not really! EB performance in NBTLH is nothing special and the rest of the nominees all gave better performances this year, but it seems as if EB might have won due to her being a veteran actress…
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!