My current Top 5

My current Top 5


Best Actress 1969 - The resolution

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

Liza Minnelli is the emotional, but also intellectual core of this movie and carries it with ease and naturalness on her shoulders. She does not re-invent the free-spirited character she is playing but still gives her own, touching and beautiful interpretation of it and her performance is ultimately very warm, memorable, beautiful and occasionally heartbreaking.

With her believable display of royal status and of strength in a woman who must constantly hold her own against a man who wants to control every aspect of her life and her easiness of delivering Anne’s constructed lines without losing their emotional core and her ability to display charm and happiness just as effectively as anger and fear, Geneviève Bujold surely got a lot out of a part that could easily have been lost in a movie that is actually about her.

Jean Simmons delivered a very touching performance in a challenging role that took good use of her own characteristic screen presence and charisma. She showed the few ups and many downs in Mary Wilson’s life and while most of her performance seems to follow a standard formula for depressive characters, she still mixed it with various refreshing and unusual acting choices from which The Happy Ending benefited greatly.

2. Jane Fonda in They shoot Horses, don't they?

As Gloria, Jane Fonda was able to use her usual screen presence and acting style and create a character without falling into the traps of her own deficiencies as an actress because Gloria is a character that benefits from the strength of the movie and the strength of the remaining players and also does not overexpose Jane Fonda and that way gave her just the right amount of both support and screen time to use her own talents with great effect. The final results is a very natural and haunting performance beautifully fitted to the dark and haunting atmosphere of the movie.

Maggie Smith handles comedy and drama with equal ease, she is a leader, a victim, a lover, a manipulator, she's entertaining and provoking at the same time and she commands the screen with so many outstanding scenes that the end result is quite simply one of the most fascinating tour-de-forces ever put on the screen.


Anonymous said...

Hmm,i don't think Smith's win is deserved that much in this group of performances,but to each his own:)Whats interesting about you is that you very rarely surprise.That is probably because you already done your rating of all best actress winners.You always give either rating i expected or a little less,very rarely better rating.And everything you wrote "negative" about Fonda i could easily rewrote for Smith.(I think personally that real standout this year is Minnelli)So its really about taste,as it should be.Anyway,always interesting reviews,but pretty much expected ones.

Fritz said...

Well, I simply take it as a compliment... :-)

Anyway, I, for example, was surprised about this year when I started it - I expected to have Minnelli much higher and Bujold on place five but things turned out differently. So maybe I don't surprise you but I constantly surprise myself. :-)
Of course, if you're only looking for who is my number 1 then yes, I may not surprise very often.

And I think that my rating system also probably makes surprises less since the grade 4 covers all performances from "great to really great" and 3,5 all those from "okay to very good". I probably should have chosen a different, more nuanced way to grade the performances but now I started this way and don't want to change it anymore.

Anonymous said...

Well its not either offense or compliment its just opinion of one of (hopefully many!)your loyal readers.It's more important that you surprise yourself,and i guess that's why you doing this in the first place.but you did surprise me with your rating of J.Christie in 1971 since i thought that i'm the only one who totally love her.I just love surprises,its more interesting!And that will happened when your opinion surprises me.You can't help me,i know,but just think that your ranking of all winners killed suspense in 30+ years since we know who will win.Still,your blog is must read for me!

Sage Slowdive said...

Good work as always!!

Fritz said...

@Sage: thanks a lot! :-)

@Anonymous: Well, you're right that my ranking probably did kill suspense in a lot of cases. Looking back it might have provided more suspense if I hadn't done that but I think my rankings of the single years is not only about "who wins" but also about "and what about the other four?" and so still (hopefully) provides some interest in this aspect. And thanks for calling my blog a "must-read"! :-)

Anonymous said...

"my rankings of the single years is not only about "who wins" but also about "and what about the other four?""
Exactly,that's why I'm reading.And who knows maybe some not yet seen performances by you in years where best actress winners are in top 20 can still surprise you!

joe burns said...

Not quite the ranking I expected, but it's good Smith won!

Could you give us a clue as to what's next?

Fritz said...

Well, 1975 won the poll so it's next! :-)

Alex in Movieland said...

I'm one of those very few who are not fans of Maggie's win. Maybe I've missed something when I saw it years go, but I just didn't connect to it.

Fonda, from what I've seen.

Fritz said...

Well, if you're a Fonda-fan, than her performance will surely amaze you (I mean, I dislike her but even I have her on number 2) and I can see why Smith's performance could be rather unimpressive to others but I just love her.

dinasztie said...

For me it's easily Fonda. :)

Fritz said...

I know! :-)

joe burns said...

I know your opinion of Jane in Coming Home has changed, but given your past problems with Fonda, I'm surprised she was second here. I really enjoy her work in general. They Shoot Horses Don't They? is a nightmarish movie though.