Did They Get it Right? – Best Actress – Oscars 1972

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Liza Minnelli (Cabaret)
Diana Ross (Lady Sings the Blues)
Maggie Smith (Travels with My Aunt)
Cicely Tyson (Sounder)
Liv Ullman (The Emigrants)

Biggest Snub:

Carol Burnett – Pete ‘N Tilly

My Overall Thoughts:

This is a pretty weak year for nominees and none of them gives a performance that is exteremly powerful so any of them could have theoretically won.

My Rankings:


5. Liv Ullman
4. Cicely Tyson
3. Diana Ross
2. Maggie Smith
1. Liza Minnelli


5. The EmigrantsAmazing cinematography. Complete borefest. Not sure how this was nominated for BP because the story is so slow and not much actually happens in a film that’s longer than 3 hours. Still, nice to see the perspective of foreigners on the hardship of immigration to America.
4. Lady Sings the BluesReally long and drawn out biography that is accentuated by a great performance by Ross in the lead role.  The story moves along at a really slow pace and fails to come across as being coherent enough with what it tries to tell. The way that things are presented just isn’t interesting enough to really care about what happens. The characters aren’t developed well enough besides the lead role and they all come across feeling like stereotypical caricatures of these kind of films. Supporting cast is great even if they don’t manage to be poignant enough.  Pryor and Williams stand out among them. Ross was able to get an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her work in this film.
3. Travels with My AuntNot as enjoyable as I would have hoped. The plot is fine but it keeps moving at a strange pace throughout. The cast is ok but Smith definitely stands out as the eccentric aunt. Nice seeing both Gosset and Williams in small parts that are very different from what we are use to seeing them portray. The biggest problem here is that the film has trouble deciding whether is wants to be a drama or a comedy and doesn’t work as both.
2. SounderDoes a great job of recreating depression era 1930’s in the South. Nice to learn about the hardships faced by sharecroppers and the way that the family tries to overcome the difficulties of their situation. Having read the book years ago, I recall the story being more focused and better on the pages as opposed to on the screen.
1. CabaretHas some great songs, excellent performances by all especially Minelli and Grey. Story isn’t as captivating as I thought it could be.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yep!  This is a relatively weak lineup and LM was the best of the bunch.

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

One thought on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Actress – Oscars 1972

  1. A “weak” lineup, but you’d add Carol Burnett to the list? To make it weaker? Thought Sounder was excellent. And Lady Sings the Blues. Did NOT like Cabaret – which I only saw recently in film form for the first time. I also saw a Broadway revival with Alan Cumming as the Emcee – superb! If I voted – probably would’ve been for Diana Ross (in a role similar to Lady Gaga this year – her acting was terrific and she sang the songs) – but see my earlier post on that score.


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