July 5, 2015

The Best Actresses of 1927-1930: Revisited


If you were reading Oscargasms last summer you'll know that I went and binge watched/binge blogged through all the available Best Actor nominees of 1927-1931. If you've ever taken a look back at best actresses from the first three years, you'll find hastily compiled round-ups in place of individual profiles. Well because I am an obsessive-compulsive completist as well as an equal opportunist and Feminist, I think it's finally time to show some love for the ladies of 1927-1930!

Since the genesis of this blog I have outright refused to give individual profiles for the Best Actress nominees of '27-'30. I had already done so to some extent on my past few blogs and was too mentally intolerant/frustrated/uninspired to go and do that all over again. But it had to be done at some point--Gloria Swanson and Ruth Chatterton and Janet Gaynor need individual attention as well! Plus, now that I have some additional bandwidth, I can work to wipe out Oscar's earliest years and move on once and for all. Whether or not I will appreciate some of these perfs more or less or move around the original rankings is unknown.

As with the gentlemen, I'm hoping to make these posts short and sweet. Let's see if I can achieve my goal of watching/reviewing by the end of the month! My itinerary below:

1927-1928
and the nominees were: 
Louise Dresser, A Ship Comes In
Janet Gaynor, Seventh Heaven
Janet Gaynor, Street Angel
Janet Gaynor, Sunrise
Gloria Swanson, Sadie Thompson

plus:
Wings

1928-1929
and the nominees were:
Ruth Chatterton, Madame X
Jeanne Eagels, The Letter
Corinne Griffith, The Divine Lady
Bessie Love, The Broadway Melody
Mary Pickford, Coquette

plus: 
The Broadway Melody

1929-1930
and the nominees were: 
Nancy Carroll, The Devil's Holiday
Ruth Chatterton, Sarah and Son
Greta Garbo, Anna Christie
Greta Garbo, Romance
Norma Shearer, The DivorcĂ©e 
Norma Shearer, Their Own Desire
Gloria Swanson, The Trespasser

July 3, 2015

Ingrid Bergman, Gaslight

as PAULA ALQUIST
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When you have a film like Double Indemnity and a performance like Barbara Stanwyck's having solidified its places in Film Noir and cinematic histories, it's obvious that the performance which beat Stanwyck will have a mini-bad rap. Outlets like The Dissolve proudly proclaim that Ingrid Bergman's Best Actress win for Gaslight is a victory for the wrong role, but I think that's totally unfair to the actual performance itself, and underwriting the performance as a whole. Realistically Bergman would probably have won for anything that year, but Oscar politics aside, she does wonders as the scarred and fragile Paula, whose husband is slowly manipulating her towards insanity. There's no question that hers is the more forgotten performance when placed next to Stanwyck's, and it's not as though it's one of the most memorable winning performances in Best Actress history, but I do believe that it deserves more praise.

Charles Boyer, Gaslight

as GREGORY ANTON
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By now, I've watched more films starring Charles Boyer than I have ever expected to. I haven't really understood the fuss over him; with his handsome good looks and a European suaveness, his appeal has seemed to me more based on the exoticism he brings. But it is here as the evil, conniving Gregory in Gaslight, where Boyer finally breaks through the nobility/sexy foreign love interest packaging Hollywood had presented him in.