Myrna Loy – The Best Years of Our Lives
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a year with 5 very talented nominees, but the roles played by them aren’t all powerful enough. Two of them stand out among the rest and were in the best positions to take home Gold for their work.
5. Jane Wyman
4. Celia Johnson
3. Jennifer Jones
2. Rosalind Russell
1. Olivia de Havilland
5. The Yearling – Pretty interesting story that probably is much better as a novel instead of on film. Peck, Wyman and Jarman are all fine here, but some of the scenes feel quite contrived. Says a lot about the hardships and loneliness of life at that time and place.
4. Brief Encounter – Somewhat interesting idea that moves so slowly that you just want something to happen and it doesn’t…
3. Duel in the Sun – Not such an enthralling epic film since it loses its focus much too often. The cast is quite talented, but most of them give very over the top performances which take away from the realistic feel of things. The story looks at the way people can be torn between good and evil and need to be strong to follow the more difficult path of being good than the easy one that leads to more evil. Gish was nominated for an Oscar for her work here as supporting actress while Jones received accolades and an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. The ending is a bit cheesy even if it isn’t very predictable.
2. To Each His Own – De Havilland does a wonderful job in the lead role and plays her character in a pretty powerful way. The way that the story jumps around in time helps make things even more impactful due to the way that the flashbacks are presented. The story moves along at a great pace and the message is told in a very poignant way. The film debates the issue of nurture vs. nature as this character tries to find a way to be the best mother she can be despite the various problems with being a single mother in that day and age and the different problems that she faces. She was a very deserving winner for an Oscar for Best Actress for this powerful and poignant performance.
1. Sister Kenny – Russell is superb in the lead role and manages to hold this story up so well from start to finish. She is able to show how it is possible to achieve just about anything is you just persevere no matter the opposition. Interesting how this film was made before the Polio vaccination was discovered by Salk, so having that information enhances the work of the characters in the story towards that eventual goal. Besides the main character, none of the other characters are developed well enough but that usually is par for the course in films where they want to help accentuate the main character. The story is told quite well and doesn’t feel as if it skips over too much of the true events even though it spans so many years of the career and life of this famous nurse. Russell was very deservingly nominated for an Oscar for her work here as Lead Actress.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yep! Both OdH and RR are amazing in these roles, but dH was able to edge her competitor possibly due to the fact that her performance is slightly more poignant to watch
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!