May Whitty – The Lady Vanishes
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a year with two very good performances, 2 ok performances and one WTF nomination.
5. Billie Burke
4. Miliza Korjus
3. Beulah Bondi
2. Spring Byington
1. Fay Bainter
5. Merrily We Live – Extremely boring comedy of errors that doesn’t work at all. The characters are all quite silly and nothing in the storyline works as social commentary like they attempt. This film probably was much more entertaining when it came out, but it doesn’t age well at all. The cast is too quirky here and things are seen as being silly instead of impactful or poignant. Burke was somehow nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her work here, but she like the rest of the cast are far from perfect in making this film entertaining enough.
4. The Great Waltz – Pretty tame biographical film. The characters aren’t developed very well and this makes things quite boring along the way. The music is the best part of this film and it allows us to hear some of the great Waltz music composed by Strauss. Rainer and Gravet are both fine in the lead roles. Korjus was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her work on this film. In addition, the cinematography of this film is amazingly shot and the dance scenes are choreographed really well. Cinematographer Joseph Ruttenberg won an Oscar for his work here since it looks great even if the story itself is far from engaging.
3. Jezebel – Story that doesn’t work as well as it might have. The performances are quite good, but the story moves along too slowly. Davis and Bainter both won Oscars for their roles and Fonda is quite good here too (as he usually was). One of the best things about this film is the characterization of Davis’ character as a Jezebel because it comes across really well.
2. Of Human Hearts – Interesting look at how the way one is brought up could affect the way that they live their lives in future years. This film unfortunately falls slightly short of its goal and things aren’t as impactful as one would hope. The characters are developed quite well which allows us to try and get a grasp of the how and why they act as they do. The cast is quite good with Huston, Stewart and Coburn leading the way quite well. Bondi was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role as the family matriarch who is willing to do all she can for her family no matter the cost.
1. You Can’t Take it with You – Excellent film that shows that there may be vast differences between the classes, but one thing will always stay the same no matter what and that’s the fact that we all came from the same place and will end up in the same place and nothing can ever change that. Excellent cast helps bring out the story so well. Capra does a superb job with this story that he was quite deserving on winning his 3rd Best Director Oscar for this film. Excellent script is filled with very witty and crisp dialogue that works on numerous levels. Winner of Best Picture that year.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – I guess so! Both FB and SP are great in their roles here and either of them would have been the most worthy choices.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!