Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)
Anna Magnani (The Rose Tattoo)
Shirley MacLaine – The Trouble With Harry
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a relatively weak year with 4 fine performances and one that is quite baffling but none of them stand out as being exceptional.
5. Anna Magnani
4. Eleanor Parker
3. Jennifer Jones
2. Katharine Hepburn
1. Susan Hayward
5. The Rose Tattoo – Nowhere near as good as I had expected knowing that Magnani won an Oscar for this leading role and by the fact that it was written by Williams. Lancaster, who I usually like a lot feels extremely miscast here and comedic in some ways. Not sure how this film was able to get 8 Oscar nominations (including 3 wins)
4. Interrupted Melody – Interesting idea that doesn’t work as well as one might hope. Parker is superb in the lead and was quite deserving of her Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her work here. Ford is also great as always and his character’s erratic nature is quite memorable since it isn’t easy for him to always be so supportive. The pacing of this film is pretty slow and doesn’t manage to find a way to stay interesting throughout because certain scenes drag on too much. The message about perseverance and overcoming obstacles is pretty good even if it takes a while to get there.
3. I’ll Cry Tomorrow – Interesting premise that starts off slowly and towards the end gets to be quite intriguing. The film does a nice job of showing how a star can hit a rut and spiral downward from there into places that are extremely difficult to break free from. Hayward is great in the lead and shows how great an actress she can be with the range that she uses for this character’s arc. Actress for her work in this film. She deservingly was nominated for an Oscar for Best The last third of the film is the most poignant, but the beginning of the film is much weaker even if it is meant to just lay the groundwork for things to come later.
2. Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing – Jones and Holden have interesting chemistry here because it doesn’t always work as it should. Liked the story, but it feels like it was way too predictable and not original enough. Liked how the characters kept getting so many different kinds of advice from their friends, family and colleagues which made that aspect feel more realistic. Unfortunately tho, on a whole, this film is lacking real heart and the feeling of a real romance between the characters.
1. Summertime – Interesting film with a good premise that has been used and re-used so many times over the 60+ years since this film came out. Hepburn is great in this role and was quite deserving of her Oscar nomination for Best Actress for it. She makes us believe that this is a real person as she experiences things within and slightly outside of her own comfort zone. Liked the way that she meets up with other tourists who are stereotypical tourists which helps us see her character in such a better light. The cinematography is superbly done and we get some amazing shots of Venice at both night and day. Lean directs this film extremely well and was very deserving of his Oscar nomination for Best Director for this.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Not at All! AM is the weakest of these nominees and I’m still quite baffled how she won since all 4 of the other performances were so much better.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!