Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)
Patricia Neal (Hud)
Rachel Roberts (This Sporting Life)
Doris Day – Move Over, Darling
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a year with 4 great performances and one ok one. Any of the four could have conceivably won.
5. Rachel Roberts
4. Patricia Neal
3. Shirley MacLaine
2. Natalie Wood
1. Leslie Caron
5. This Sporting Life – Interesting idea that shows how someone can excel in one aspect of life yet constantly fail at others. Harris does a fine job in the lead role here and both he and Rachel Roberts were Oscar nominated for their roles. The film itself moves along as a pretty tepid pace that takes away from the enjoyment since there are to many boring scenes along the way. Wis they would have explained the sport of Rugby a bit more for those unfamiliar with the sport since it is so integral to the plot of the film.
4. Hud – Not the most entertaining story, but great performances by the four main actors.
3. Irma la Douce – Really fun Wilder comedy that reunites him with Lemmon and MacLaine. The story itself is presented in a hilarious way that keeps things really funny from start to finish. The film is a bit too long at 2 and a half hours. The film can be seen as a one joke story yet they find ways to keep it entertaining throughout. The various schemes presented by the characters in the film are great and the best character is Jacobi as Mustache who steals every scene he is in. MacLaine received and Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her work in this film.
2. Love with the Proper Stranger – Wood is amazing here and I have so much more respect for her as an actress after seeing such an emotional role being played so perfectly by her. McQueen is a calm version of his action persona and it is quite enjoyable to watch them together here. I found it quite interesting to watch how they dealt with taboo subjects that they weren’t allowed to discuss openly at the time.
1. The L-Shaped Room – Very effective film that works especially given the fact that at the time that this was made, the theme was quite taboo. Caron is superb in the lead role and makes us really believe her situation and the various decisions that she must deal with along the way. The story’s viewpoint on birth out of wedlock and how such ideas are viewed by various people is done really well and helps make this film feel even more plausible. Caron was deservingly nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her work in this film.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes and No! I can understand how PN could win here, but some of the other nominees gave more powerful performances.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!