Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)
Grace Kelly (The Country Girl)
Grace Kelly – Dial M For Murder
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a year with 2 great performances and 3 others that are fine but not on the same level and didn’t have much of a chance.
5. Jane Wyman
4. Audrey Hepburn
3. Dorothy Dandridge
2. Judy Garland
1. Grace Kelly
5. Carmen Jones – Really boring and silly film that fails to work on any level. Dandridge and Belafonte are both great actors and singers, but neither of their characters are really enjoyable to watch as these characters. Their chemistry is terrible and don;t help make this story more plausible or believable. I’m a bit shocked that Preminger directed this film because it seems so very different from all of his other work. The story drags along for too long and the characters constantly find themselves in strange situations that don’t work. The film’s all black cast and characters also seems a bit too racist in the way things are presented. Dandridge was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her work here becoming the very first African-American female to be nominated in that category.
4. Magnificent Obsession – Interesting idea that doesn’t work as well as one would hope especially given the cast. Hudson is perfectly cast in the lead role and makes us believe the recklessness of his character. Wyman on the other hand plays her character too over the top which doesn’t manage to be effective enough. She was somehow nominated for an Oscar for her work in this film despite this. The chemistry between the two of them fails to feel realistic and that hurts things even more. The story starts off a bit too sappy and redeems itself later on even though the narrative gets a bit too silly due to the convenience of how things play out.
3. Sabrina – Holden, Hepburn and Bogart are all amazing here, but the story slightly misses its mark. Wilder does wonders with the dialogue and there are some really great zingers thrown in here every so often. Hepburn is a wonder to watch here because of her eyes and beauty.
2. The Country Girl – All 3 leads are great here and they all do a wonderful job making their characters feel real. Amazing dialogue helps this film move along at a great pace. Kelly won Best Actress for this film and she truly deserved it because of the emotional range of her character. This story manages to give us characters with lots of psychological baggage and we get to see how it effects everything they do in life.
1. A Star Is Born – Great story that remains as timeless as can be (how many films have been remade 3 times?). The story dives quite deeply into the lives of the characters and doesn’t mind spending time developing them so that we will care so much about them. Mason and Garland are both superb in the leads and truly make us believe that they are the characters they portray. Liked the nuance used here to add music to the storyline which subsequently helped the story traverse the scope of movies to the music industry for the two subsequent versions of the story. That being said, the use of movie musicals as a backdrop here hurts the film slightly because it makes those scenes with the musical numbers seem quite out of place even if the 1950’s was the decade when movie musicals were on an up-stride. Very deserving of its 6 Oscar nominations including Best Actor and Actress.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yep! GK was great in TCG and only JG gave a powerful enough performance to give her any real competition.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!