September 18, 2016

The Forties: A Retrospective

A few 40's alcoholics celebrating the completion of a lackluster decade!

I now stand before you an older, more cantankerous Oscar-blogger, completely exhausted by a decade's worth of hyper-safe, hyper-conventional, hyper-heartfelt, and worst of all, hyper-repetitive filmmaking. I can hardly believe it's been two years since I began my trek through the 1940s, mostly because I feel as though this decade has been a constant state of perpetuity.

To watch the Oscar-nominated flicks of the 1940's is to be in a constant state of déjà vu...you make it through a year and yet you feel you had seen it all before - you move on to the next and it's the same people, the same slightly-different storylines, the same 1940s-branded layers of ooey-gooey sentimentality. Applying what I already know about the decades following it, the forties may very well be the most unexciting decade of films that Oscar has to offer. To be frank, I'm not sorry to leave it behind.

August 28, 2016

Olivia de Havilland, The Heiress

as CATHERINE SLOPER
 photo Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 1.13.59 AM.jpg
Won: Academy Award - Best Actress | New York Film Critics Circle - Best Actress | Golden Globe - Best Actress
And so, after a strenuous two year journey perusing through Oscar's finest of the 1940's, we end the road with William Wyler's The Heiress. I saved this one for last for obvious reasons: film quality notwithstanding, Olivia de Havilland's work in the film is often regarded as the sole saving grace for an embarrassingly desolate slate of Best Actress options in 1949. I was worried that she might not live up to the praise seemingly everyone gives her, and perhaps this might have rang a tiny bit true, but the fact is: The Heiress is a superb film, and its lead actress delivers a superb performance.

August 23, 2016

Jeanne Crain, Pinky

as PATRICIA "PINKY" JOHNSON
 photo Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 2.08.41 PM.jpg

From what I've gathered, it doesn't seem as though Jeanne Crain's work in Pinky is well-liked by Oscar enthusiasts such as myself. At face value, the film welcomes loads of criticism for its controversial casting of a very white Crain as a black woman who can "pass" as white. However, I found Pinky to be quite a compelling film, if not a little outmoded and awkward. Crain, as I found out, didn't end up being as I've been led on to believe.

August 22, 2016

Loretta Young, Come to the Stable

as SISTER MARGARET
 photo Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 11.33.42 PM.jpg
Two nuns hope to build a children's hospital. That is the concept of Come to the Stable, and that is basically everything I don't want to see when I'm watching a film. But I figured I'd put aside my stubborn prejudices, give this one a chance, and come into the film with an open mind. So I watched, and watched a little more, and as was the case with My Foolish Heart, I found myself growing aggressively disinterested by both film and its lead actress.

August 21, 2016

Deborah Kerr, Edward, My Son

as EVELYN BOULT
 photo Screen Shot 2016-08-06 at 5.04.46 PM.jpg
Before she'd go into the annals of Academy Award history as one of those respected actors who're frequently-nominated-but-never-actually-won-an-Oscar, Deborah Kerr made her first appearance on the Oscar Best Actress shortlist for Edward, My Son. And boy, what role could be more appropriate to mark her mainstream Hollywood debut than that of the long-suffering wife?