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.