October 28, 2015

Jennifer Jones, Love Letters

as SINGLETON / VICTORIA MORLAND
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Scroll through any actor's filmography and you'll find your handful of gems as well as a number of "huh?" films whose titles ring no bells to the collective minds whatsoever. Love Letters is exactly that kind of film. There isn't much to it that's noteworthy. It's a bland, average, trite melodrama released during an era that was chock full of trite melodramas--another face in a sea of faces if you will. But as it happens, Love Letters was a big enough hit to land itself some awards recognition. And so here I am, reviewing Jennifer Jones's performance.

October 27, 2015

Gene Tierney, Leave Her To Heaven

as ELLEN BERENT HARLAND
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In a category plagued with long-suffering wives and/or moms, noble damsels in distress and/or sweet saints, how refreshing is it to see such a demented character like Ellen Berent Harland in Leave Her to Heaven, sticking out upon the others like a sore thumb. In a way, I think Gene Tierney is perfect for this role because her beauty is the epitome of what I would consider 'chilling.' Concurrently, the entire time I was watching her I was wanting more, not quite because she was so outstanding but more so because of what she wasn't doing.

October 26, 2015

Ray Milland, The Lost Weekend

as DON BIRNAM
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Won: Academy Award - Best Actor | New York Film Critics Circle - Best Actor
Cannes Film Festival - Best Actor | Golden Globe Award - Best Actor 

Ray Milland's performance in The Lost Weekend swept just about any and all the Best Actor prizes that were available to be won back in 1945. It's the type of performance that has been heralded for its greatness to this day, and it's also the kind of performance that completely lives up to the hype.

October 6, 2015

Gene Kelly, Anchors Aweigh

as JOE BRADY
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A quick musing: Cornel Wilde is billed beneath Paul Muni (and Merle Oberon) on the posters for A Song to Remember. Likewise, Gene Kelly is billed beneath Frank Sinatra (and Kathryn Grayson) on the posters for Anchors Aweigh. Their nominations, in and of themselves, suggest that Wilde and Kelly were better than their more established co-stars. While I don't feel that way for the former, I do feel that Kelly absolutely steals the show. There's a bias here as I've always been a complete sucker for a song-and-dance guy...but this is the first time in recent memory where a performance made me feel all sorts of blissful happiness while watching it.