July 25, 2015

Round-up: Best Actress 1927-1928

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5. Louise Dresser, A Ship Comes In
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4. Janet Gaynor, Sunrise
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3. Janet Gaynor, Street Angel
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2. Janet Gaynor, 7th Heaven
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1. GLORIA SWANSON, SADIE THOMPSON
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IN CONCLUSION: Little upgrades and a downgrade, but the overall ranking remains! I found myself rather uninterested in Louise Dresser this second time around so much so that I had to demote her; oddly, I was more interested in Gaynor's Sunrise performance, enough bump her up a statue, after remaining steadfast in keeping her at two statues after four prior watches of the damn film. Further, Gaynor in 7th Heaven was good enough this time to warrant an extra statue as well, but Gaynor's score for Street Angel remained the same. Ultimately, I'm sticking with La Swanson, whom I loved just as much as the first and second times I watched her, though I admit I had a moment where I considered Gaynor for the win based on the Olympic emotions she had to go through to get that one made. But...Swanson comes through!

When you look at this particular shortlist, it really makes you wonder: what was the Academy's logic? Why did they choose these specific ladies to be representative of what the Academy was about in its very first year (because you know representation had to play into it, at least a little bit)? If we're talking suffering housewives, what about Eleanor Boardman's wonderful turn in the Best Picture and Best Director nominated The Crowd? If it's movie star power they were looking for, why wasn't there room for Clara Bow, who not only starred in 1927-1928's Best Picture winner, but was also the star of the top grossing It, Hula, and Children of Divorce? Why was Mary Pickford, who would go on to campaign and win for one of the most frowned-upon performances in Best Actress history the subsequent year, not considered for My Best Girl? And the legendary Greta Garbo, who would go on to be one of the most nominated stars of the 1930s, wasn't considered for Love. Considering the breadth of female performances during this time, it's interesting that we were blessed with the batch that we got, a batch that doesn't totally make a whole lot of sense. But I suppose the Oscars have never really been known for making sense, yeah?

1 comment:

  1. I think I had ranked similarly.
    Yes, Gloria is so captivating. The film really watchable, as well.

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