Ida Kaminska (The Shop on Main Street)
Vanessa Redgrave (Morgan!)
Simone Signoret – The Deadly Affair
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a year with 3 stand out performances and two that are borderline and any of the three would have been worthy winners.
5. Vanessa Redgrave
4. Lynn Redgrave
3. Ida Kaminska
2. Anouk Aimée
1. Elizabeth Taylor
5. Morgan! – Terrible film that makes so little sense the whole way through. The story tries too hard to be seen on an existential level and loses any real impact that it might have had. Warner and Redgrave are both great actors but this film doesn’t allow them enough room to do anything with the characters and story that they are given. Despite this, Redgrave was somehow nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her work here. The story is quite boring and the lack of a real coherent plot hurts things too much.
4. Georgy Girl – Interesting idea that brings forth some very intriguing ideas. The characters might all be superficial in their outlooks on love and life but only Georgy seems interesting in something more than that even if she doesn’t quite know what that is. Redgrave and Mason were both nominated for Oscars for their roles here, but neither managed to win. This film is a look at life in the 60’s at the beginning of the idea of feminism, yet still keeps the characters confused as to what that truly means to them. The way that the various male characters view Georgy says it all because they are not yet willing to accept that the way of the world is changing even though it’s quite clear that it has.
3. A Man and a Woman – Great film that manages to get the whole aspect of moving on after a marriage right. There are definitely regrets that the characters can feel yet they also both want to try and find a way to move forward despite the strong memories that constantly are in their minds. Trintignant and Aimee have great chemistry together and we can easily see how they are people who can have a great relationship if only they are able to find a way to move forward past their former marriages. Lelouch was deservingly nominated for an Oscar for directing this film because he finds a great way for us to care so much about the characters as we get to see their pasts, their present and potential future.
2. The Shop on Main Street – Excellent film that depicts how the Fascist regime slowly began to take control during the dark days before and during World War II. This film gives us a very innocent view of the situation in order to help us get a much better understanding of the whole process. The film borders on comedy in certain scenes and we get to see the growing relationship between the two main characters as the chemistry builds between them. Both Kroner and Kaminska are superb in this film and Kaminska was deservingly nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her somewhat lucid/somewhat senile performance that is quite emotional and endearing. Love the way that even a simple carpenter can have conflicting emotions in a very confusing and dangerous world. I am not at all surprised that this film could win both the Golden Globe and Oscar for best Foreign Language Film.
1. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? – Such a great film because it manages to develop all four of the leads so well in such a short period of time. The audience easily gets pulled into the story and we constantly want to know more and more about the characters who are so interesting and devastating to watch at the same time. Written extremely realistically and gripping from start to finish even though it is entirely carried by its dialogue. Won 5 of its 13 Oscar nominations that year.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yep! ET was a nice choice for winning this year but AA or IK also would have been worthy choices since all three give very powerful performances.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!