My current Top 5

My current Top 5


Best Actress 1956 - The resolution!

After having watched and reviewed all five nominated performances, it's time to pick the winner!

5. Katharine Hepburn in The Rainmaker

Katharine Hepburn is obviously miscast in this movie about a spinster who experiences a night of romance and passion with a con man. She shows her character’s longings and dreams in a mostly artificial way that never grab’s the viewer’s attention until she finally becomes more believable in the second half as an unexpected object of affection. A mixed performance of an uninteresting character.

Even though she plays the central character in this story of murder and madness, Nancy Kelly remains mostly invisible next to the Supporting performers. Her performance was born on the stage and shows a lot of theatrical over-acting that should have been reduced for the camera but Nancy Kelly also finds enough shining moments as a mother caught in the most extreme situations and helps to make the plot and her character’s actions believable.

Ingrid Bergman’s interpretation of this mysterious woman who might be the real Anastasia or just a swindler mostly focused on her suffering and misery and never gives any complexity to the character or the movie. This way, she doesn’t become as fascinating as the plot suggests and needs but Ingrid Bergman is still able to impress with an intense and haunting performance that shows her undeniable talents very effectively.

2. Carroll Baker in Baby Doll

The thumb-sucking, naïve and lusty Baby Doll is a character that’s almost impossible to play realistically but Carroll Baker carefully avoids all clichés and makes an unforgettable impression. She rejects all opportunities to overact and adds a lot of depth to the role while burning up the screen in her scenes opposite Eli Wallach. A fascinating and intense performance that constantly surprises with new dimensions.

In a movie that tries to overshadow the actors with various songs and stunning sets, Deborah Kerr realizes all the possibilities of this thin part and gives a lot of shades and edges to her character. Deborah Kerr is dramatic when she needs to be but never overdoes it. She understands the light nature of the movie and fits her acting perfectly to its needs while bringing a lot of humor and dignity to the part that other actresses might have missed.


joe burns said...

I'm really surprised that Bergman is third and that Carol Baker isn't your pick.

Fritz said...

Where did you expect Bergman to be?
And it was VERY close between Kerr and Baker.

joe burns said...

I expected Bergman to rank fourth or fifth, but I was leaning more towards fourth.