March 29, 2015

Paul Lukas, Watch on the Rhine

as KURT MULLER
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Won: Academy Award - Best Actor | New York Film Critics Circle - Best Actor | Golden Globe - Best Actor

The Role: As the mysterious transplant from Germany with a troubling and confidential political past, Paul Lukas won every damn Best Actor prize there was to win in 1943 (my count is 4, if you also include the National Board of Review's unorthodox "Best Actors" rewards), signaling to me that this is a bravura type of performance. His is a role that sounds really interesting on paper, so naturally I came into the film pretty interested.

March 28, 2015

Joan Fontaine, The Constant Nymph

as TESSA SANGER
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The Role: As a lovestruck schoolgirl with hastily-timed heart problems, we once again find Joan Fontaine playing up the innocuous, doe-eyed girl schtick. As is to be expected, Tessa is essentially cut from the same meekish, breathy cloth as Lina and the second Mrs. de Winter, perhaps the only difference being that she is literally called a "girl" frequently in the film by a number of other characters, and the more luxe wardrobe pieces in Rebecca and Suspicion are replaced with braids and schoolgirl outfits.

March 14, 2015

1943 - 16th Academy Awards

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and the nominees were: 

Humphrey Bogart, Casablanca
Gary Cooper, For Whom the Bell Tolls
Paul Lukas, Watch in the Rhine
Walter Pidgeon, Madame Curie
Mickey Rooney, The Human Comedy
Jean Arthur, The More the Merrier
Ingrid Bergman, For Whom the Bell Tolls
Joan Fontaine, The Contant Nymph
Greer Garson, Madame Curie
Jennifer Jones, The Song of Bernadette

PLUS: 
Ida Lupino, The Hard Way

1942 took me three months to review, making it one of the more strenuous years to finish since I started this blog. My speed of blogging is obviously attributed to the amount of free time I have on hand, but additionally how stoked I am to watch these flicks is a major factor as well, and when you're served with consecutive Gary Cooper and Greer Garson movies there isn't much inspiration to be had. But let's hope I'm a bit more fast and loose with '43. 1943 is also the year the second most prestigious film awards body--the Golden Globes--made its debut! As always, please share with me your predictions on whom I'll fancy, whom I'll hate, and let me know your personal faves out of this year as well. 

March 8, 2015

Rosalind Russell, My Sister Eileen

as RUTH SHERWOOD
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After having thoroughly enjoyed Rosalind Russell's comedic turns in both The Women and His Girl Friday (performances which I feel should have landed her Oscar nominations), I had a decent amount of excitement in store for the film that actually did land Russell her first nomination--My Sister Eileen is a light-hearted and easy watch, though nothing particularly outstanding, as demonstrated by the fact that google searches will lead you to more hits on the 1955 remake than this '42 original. I did find the film and Russell to be enjoyable, though having seen better films and better performances from her, this one reads as a consolation "Welcome to the club!" nod than one of actual excellence.

March 1, 2015

Katharine Hepburn, Woman of the Year

as TESS HARDING
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I'm indifferent about Woman of the Year. Again, let's take out the classic argument that it hasn't "aged well", because it hasn't really. It's primitive in its moral-fiber and I personally found it to be too silly and slightly insulting towards women. But what can you do? This was the film that brought us the legendary coupling of Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, and you'd have to be blind not to see the literal sparks that shoot out of their eyes when they glance at each other in the picture. But at the end of the day Hepburn, in all her virile flirty glory, can't make gold out of lead. It's just too much of a subpar romantic comedy, with not much to offer either actor.