Let’s make a short analysis. The 5 ladies that Oscar had chosen for 1945, in alphabetical order:
Ingrid Bergman as Sister Mary Benedict, in The Bells of St. Mary’s
Joan Crawford as Mildred Pierce, in Mildred Pierce
Greer Garson as Mary Rafferty, in The Valley of Decision
Jennifer Jones as Singleton, in Love Letters
Gene Tierney as Ellen Berent Harland, in Leave Her to Heaven
You can divide this group of actresses in 2 sections: the front-runners and the category-fillers. The clear front-runners were Joan Crawford – a Hollywood icon, with this being surprisingly her first nomination; for this role she had won the award from the National Board of Review. The other frontrunner: Ingrid Bergman – the winner of the past year; for this role she had won the award from the New York Film Critics Circle and the Golden Globe.
I’ll call the other 3 category-fillers, because as it seems they gave performance in low-key films and none seemed a threat to those 2 top contenders. It was Gene Tierney’s first nomination, after her big success in Laura, for which many feels she deserved special recognition (not me, I think Laura is way overrated). This was the 3rd consecutive nomination (though only second in Lead) for Jennifer Jones and from what I’ve heard the role is almost supporting. Greer Garson received her 5th consecutive nomination (6th in total) for a film nobody talks about these days and doesn’t show much potential. But we’ll see, I promise I’ll be open-minded about all.
Also interesting, three of the nominees were the Best Actress winners for 1942 (Garson), 1943 (Jones) and 1944 (Bergman). :) Let’s throw in some names of other actresses that might’ve also gotten nominated, in no particular order. We’ll ignore Ingrid Bergman for Spellbound, because she’s already on the list.
Bette Davis - The Corn Is Green
Merle Oberon - A Song to Remember
Dorothy McGuire - A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Peggy Ann Garner - A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Jane Wyman - The Lost Weekend
Betty Field - The Southerner
I almost always start with the profile of the actress that won Oscar’s love. So Joan will be first, and I’m thrilled to revisit Mildred Pierce. Oh, and by the way, here’s the video proof that 1945 was correctly drawn, in case you wanna waste 90 seconds :D