My current Top 5

My current Top 5

11/24/2010

Best Actress 1937 - The resolution

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



Barbara Stanwyck provides some unforgettable moments and is able deliver a moving and emotionally engaging portrayal but unfortunately it is mixed with too many moments of uncomfortable over-the-top acting that almost ruin the entire experience but at the same time, she deserves some credit for following the screenplay and showing the ugly and unlikable sides of her character.



                     
It’s a performance that could have been a lot of things but unfortunately settled for only a little bit. Janet Gaynor does all the things she is asked to do but, despite a role that seems so juicy and challenging on paper, all this is actually rather undemanding and simple. The movie doesn’t ask much of her but she adds her own charm and grace to give a quite loveable performance.


Nothing in Irene Dunne's work feels forced, ever line is delivered in a rather casual way but still always includes a little irony, a little sarcasm or some hidden meaning. With the gifts of a real comedian, she plays her part in a way that never seems to try to be funny even thought her Lucy is very aware of her own behavior and her merry character. She jokes, she trades sarcastic bon-mots with her husband and recognizes even the slightest bit of humor in (almost) every situation.



2. Greta Garbo in Camille

In a part that was tailor-made for her, Greta Garbo didn’t need to stretch herself as an actress and she solely concentrated on the dramatic effects of her work but at the same time, these dramatic effects are so wonderful to watch and so easy to admire. She created something flawless here even if it’s not. Marguerite Gauthier isn’t her greatest performance but everything that made her such a legend is on full display.




Overall, the whole performance could have been a complete disaster – the obvious miscasting of European actors and the nature of the part might have ended in a boring, inappropriate or at worst unbelievable performance but in the hands of Luise Rainer, O-lan becomes one of the great female characters in movie history. She often seems invisible because she is so withdrawn and always prefers to stay in the background but when her husband tells her that everything they have is owed to her, it becomes really clear how strong O-lan’s and Luise Rainer’s presence really is. An all-around stunning achievement.



9 comments:

Louis Morgan said...

Good work Fritz, although this win was predetermined. I only really would have liked Dunne to be second though.

dinasztie said...

Great work. I knew that Rainer was going to win, but I was also hoping that Dunne would be second.

Fritz said...

Thanks, guys. I know you all like Irene very much but I was already very generous with the 4 Luises. I also like Irene but just not as much as you do.

Sage Slowdive said...

I use I agree about Garbo - I like her more, then I respect her.

Her performance in Queen Christina is brilliant though, I recommend it to anyone who wants to appreciate her acting skills.

Fritz said...

Sage, thanks for providing the only good clip of Luise in "The Good Earth"! :-)

Sage Slowdive said...

Your welcome :)

joe burns said...

I'm not surprised that Rainer won....



Can you do 1954 next?

Fritz said...

Well, I did the poll about the next year and 1961 won so I should do that next. But I will do 54 after that.

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