Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Final conclusions - Best Actress 1947

And now… the end is near… and so I face… the final conclusions! Yay! :)

It was an interesting line-up; but then again, it always is. Many/most of these performances are unknown to general public. Many Oscar fans (me included 2 months ago) know about these 5 performances just by reading about them, hearing extreme opinions (Loretta’s case) or seeing them written in an Imdb line-up. That’s why this blog is so great for me: because I get to discover them and Oscar movie knowledge is always power! :D

We had 3 heavy drama performances, 1 drama-romantic and 1 comedic-wannabe – romance-wannabe – drama. All had something special and just a couple (2 to be exact) managed to cross the finish line and create performances most worthy of this category. However, it was an easy win for me! In this 1947 ranking, the emotional connection was an essential factor for me, probably like in no other year. This criterion is what pushed a performance up to a deserved 4 and another one down to 5. And it’s this criterion that made the winner decision so obvious.

Here is MY ranking. Unlike in any other conclusions, I’m just quoting from the actual analysis done for each of ladies. [you can click on the name for the full-stuff or just scroll down]. The ladies:

"When she’s ready for a drink or talking about how to make one, you can feel the passion in her words and most of all: the thirst! (…) Angie might get smashed-up, but Susan is always in control of the character, lifting it from standard writing to a human being. (…) Because Susan makes it look so believable, you can’t help but admire the talent and get caught in the story of a woman."

"The staginess of her performance is in the spirit of the material. And what Rosalind adds is honest emotion, making Lavinia the only relatable character of the film. (…) It really is a journey for her character and Rosalind manages to underline such changes in Lavinia. Even with the overacting at times, it’s still impressive to watch and I felt a relief every time she entered a scene, as I knew something real was finally happening."

3. Joan Crawford, Possessed
"When she’s good, she’s terrific, warming our hearts and creating a relatable character! But when she’s bad… she forgets about the character and what she created before. (…) I keep going back to the beauty of the piano scene, but then remember the awful decisions in the end… "

You can find some “small elements of greatness in her performance: not in the flashy Swedish accent or the boring humor, but in the quiet scenes where we finally see some heart and (almost) true emotions. It’s mostly where the screenplay doesn’t f*ck it up and Loretta, using acting experience, is able to give us a warm, natural character.”

"An intelligent performance, just not a thrilling one. (…) There are a couple of good things to be said about it, mostly about its consistency. But truth is: even though I can understand the character, I still didn’t have an emotional connection with Dorothy’s performance. ”

The Academy’s choice is not difficult to read if you look carefully. I don’t agree with it, but I definitely don’t hate it. There’s a strong emotional connection that Loretta creates in the last 20-30 minutes that is hard to forget. I still think about it and this are the highest 2 stars I’ve given so far. If only there would’ve been more of drama in The Farmer’s Daughter… In the end, it was also a popular choice.

Anyway: the runner-up for the win was probably Rosalind due to popularity, with Hayward because of quality on 3rd, Joan as 4th and Dorothy last.

Other Best Actress years discussed so far:








What’s next?

In a couple of days I’ll announce the year I’ll do next, and finish hopefully just in time for the 2009 Best Actress nominations. Getting back to it, it’s a year from the 2 decades unexplored, and I was meant to deal with it for a long time now. It’s just as I like them: low-key and not the most glamorous. :)


Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

This might be too much to ask [but knowing me...] but I really want you to review a Natalie nod. 63 or 61 - or talk about one those films on the other plug. I don't why, but I've been thinking about her often recently.

Alex in Movieland said...

Andrew, you know I can't review an Oscar performance out of its context (that year's line-up) :)

i have seen Splendor in the Grass many years ago (twice) and I have Love with the Proper... at home in Bucharest, but never got to see it.

Unfortunately, I don't think these years will have a chance to get in the draw until next summer... :( at least judging by how I planned it.

I might see them in the next months, but right now I have no desire to see Splendor the 3rd time :)

Fritz said...

Hi Alex!

I really love your blog(s)! Great read and thoughtful reviews!

Maybe you want to check out my blog? I have done two smackdowns for Best Actress, too (1939 and 1940) and at the moment I am ranking the Best Actress winners.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

Spoilsport :) Okay, what year's next?

joe burns said...

This was an interesting year,given Young's surprise victory. I hope that you do 1950 next. Would you do 1950?

Alex in Movieland said...

Fritz, I had checked your blog before, through Andrew's blog. Doing the Best Actress winner is something brave, especially if the intention is to see again all the performances.

I just do my small local stuff, for my simple pleasure. I'm not in a rush, as I plan to do this as a hobby even ten years from now (and yes, that's at least how long it will take me to finish Best Actress :) again: no rush).
when I think Smackdown I think Stinkylulu and my respect for his is too great to tell know. I don't do smackdowns. I just write opinions about what gives me relaxing time :)

Andrew, I'll post the next year probably tomorrow or Friday. Let's leave 1947 to rest a bit :) It's gonna be as usual a disappointing choice, with disappointed ratings for generally liked performances :)

Joe, 1950 is one of the best, but I'm obviously not doing it, because I had just done the 1950s. I usually pick them in a draw. I chose 1947 and the same with the next pick, using the excuse of not being in the country. Truth is my next year is gonna be one I had planned since forever, and I need to keep my promise to it. After I finish with all the decades (March?) I'll do the draw thing again... first the 70-80-90, then 30-40-50-60 (around May-June i guess). so 1950 will be in the draw then, with other 15-20 choices :)

I wrote too much. very long day. me need sleep.

Alex in Movieland said...

Andrew I can give you a clue, but you must promise to guess it by memory (and not the easy way by checking the wikipedia BA list or imdb)! :)
And DON'T answer here. Just tell me in 2 days if u guessed right.

1. consider the clue at the end of this 1947 post we're commenting on. there's a big clue there. it really limits the possibilities.

2. it has comedy and music, maybe in the same film or maybe not.

3. it has an art/indie(?) movie queen.

Nobody write answers here :) don't. keep it until the next post.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

hmmmmm. I think I have hunch...

joe burns said...

Me too.