Gladys George (Valiant Is the Word for Carrie)
Paulette Godard – Modern Times
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a somewhat mediocre year for nominees and of the four films that I’ve seen, none stand out too far form the rest and theoretically any of them could have won.
5. Gladys George (Not seen yet)
4. Irene Dunn
3. Norma Shearer
2. Carole Lombard
1. Luise Rainer
5. Valiant Is the Word for Carrie (Not Yet Seen)
4. Theodora Goes Wild – Intriguing idea that just doesn’t work as well as one might hope. Dunne does a fine job in the lead, but is far from perfect here. Despite this, she somehow managed to get an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her work in this film.The story deals with some very risque themes but due to the way things are presented they never quite manage to make us care about those themes and how they relate to the characters along the way. The characters are good, but the failure to develop them on a deeper level hurts things too much.
3. Romeo and Juliet – Somewhat mediocre adaptation of The Bard’s famous work. None of the actors really stand out here but it is clear that the leads should have been younger than Howard and Shearer were. Its cold reception led to a drought in Hollywood when it came to adapting Shakespeare’s work until Olivier proved that it could be done a few years later.
2. My Man Godfrey – Great and fun story that manages to show how the Depression affected some more parts of society more severely than others. The way that the story plays out works really well and stays humorous the entire time. The chemistry between Powell and (his ex-wife) Lombard is great onscreen and they are able to give us such a great screwball comedy feeling throughout the film. This film is a great parable for the difference in classes in society and how its possible to try and break through such seemingly insurmountable barriers. Both Powell and Lombard were nominated for Oscars for this film as were Auer and Brady, but none managed to win.
1. The Great Ziegfeld – Great idea, just not followed through well enough. Too many musical numbers and too little of a real plot.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – I guess so! This is a pretty weak year but LR does a nice job here and was deserving of her win.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!