Did They Get it Right? – Best Actress – Oscars 1973


Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Ellen Burstyn (The Exorcist)
Glenda Jackson (A Touch of Class)
Marsha Mason (Cinderella Liberty)
Barbra Streisand (The Way We Were)
Joanne Woodward (Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams)

Biggest Snub:

Efrat Lavie – Kazablan

My Overall Thoughts:

This is a year with four superb performances that needed to battle it out throughout the awards season with no clear front runner at all even come Oscar night.

My Rankings:

Actress

5. Joanne Woodward
4. Marsha Mason
3. Barbra Streisand 
2. Ellen Burstyn
1. Glenda Jackson

Movies

5. Summer Wishes, Winter DreamsInteresting idea that just doesn’t work at all. The story is presented in a pretty boring fashion and it’s so hard to care about any of the characters as the story moves along. None of them are shown as being sympathetic and that hurts things a lot here. Woodward was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress and Sidney was nominated for Best Supporting Actress. The most sympathetic character is played by Balsam as Woodward’s husband who has a few very impressive scenes dealing with his life during the war 3 decades earlier, but the rest is much too slow and uninteresting.
4. Cinderella LibertyVery intriguing concept that works due to the great performances by Caan and Mason. The story moves at a nice pace and allows us to find reasons to like these characters despite the way that they initially act. The story takes its time developing these characters to a point where we begin to care so much for them as we learn all of the hardships and obstacles that they each must deal with along the way. The way that they both are seeking more from life and love is great to see as they each try to break free from the various constraints of their lifestyles especially once they realize that they can have more if they try a bit harder. Mason was deservingly nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for this very complex role.
3. The Way We WereGreat premise that works quite well largely due to the great performances by the two leads. Redford and Streisand are superb together and have great chemistry in every scene that they share The way that the film tries to accentuate both the similarities and differences between the characters works quite well in establishing some of the complexities of having a relationship while also showing the beauty of it. Streisand was deservingly nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her work here, yet I’m a bit surprised that Redford didn’t get one because his character is just as complex. The dialogue is written in a very intriguing fashion which allows us to understand the characters and their personal convictions so much more. Amazing theme song by Hamlish that also deserved its Oscar for Best Original Song.
2. A Touch of ClassSo much more entertaining and funny than I had expected. Segal and Jackson have amazing chemistry together and are able to play off one another so easily. Loved the way that they played out the situations here and there are so many instances where you don’t know whether to laugh or cry because it’s all written so well. Jackson won an Oscar for Best Actress for this role and she really deserved it IMHO.
1. The ExorcistSo much better than I had recalled. This film builds the story up really well and keeps things thrilling and interesting the entire time. I liked the fact that they approach this supernatural subject from a realistic perspective and try to show that something like this can actually happen. The pacing of this film works really well and nothing seems neither forced nor rushed. The cast is great and they are do a fine job keeping this exciting and powerful. Definitely was deserving of being the very first film from the horror genre to break the glass ceiling and get an Oscar nomination for Best Picture along with 9 other nominations. It managed to only win Best Sound and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Absolutely!  GJ is great in this role and slightly outshines the rest of the nominees who all give very nice performances here especially given the fact that her character is so relatable.

Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!

One thought on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Actress – Oscars 1973

  1. Surprised with you here Rob. Agree that 4 of the 5 were excellent and made this a highly competitive year and a very difficult choice. As good as Jackson is – and as difficult as it is historically to win for a comedic lead role – she would’ve placed 4th on my ballot – behind Mason, Burstyn and Streisand.

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