After having watched and reviewed all five nominated performances, it's time to pick the winner!
Ava Gardener makes her Eloise very earthy and immediately likeable and she basically meets all the challenges of the script but it can’t be denied that these challenges are set very low. Ava Gardener’s personality fits the part just right but this soap opera never demands of her to stretch her talents but always seems like a warm-up for more to come.
Leslie Caron effectively portrays the sweetness and naivety of the character and is that way much more believable than expected but if the highlight of a performance are the scenes when the character is talking to four puppets, then it becomes clear that this is a role that, even with a serious and dedicated performance, doesn’t offer a real challenge and makes it hard to be taken fully seriously.
It’s an overall very unsatisfying movie and leading character – Maggie McNamara tries her best but unfortunately both her performance and her part don’t develop and that way loses the interest of the viewer very soon. Still, it’s a charming and interesting piece of work that unfortunately couldn’t really rise above the material but the lively presence of Maggie McNamara is still the only reason that The Moon is Blue doesn’t fail completely.
2. Deborah Kerr in From Here to Eternity
Deborah Kerr had wonderful material and an intriguing character to work with but it seems that in her performance, she relied too much on the strength of this material and let the writing dominate her performance. Still, her Karen is a strong creation, a woman who is as common as mysterious and as repellent as appealing.
1. Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday
More than anything, this is a case of excellent casting rather than brilliant acting. Audrey Hepburn may succeed in this part, but there was actually nothing she could do wrong – both because the writing is too undemanding and the part of Princess Ann fitted her so completely that even with a bad performance, her charming personality would still have been satisfying enough. Still, in this weak line-up, her winning combination of talent and charm seems like the most logical choice for the gold.