March 28, 2016

Über Early Actress Predictions

The 88th Academy Awards may have been on exactly one month ago, but per the tradition of this blog, let's take an advanced look ahead at the 89th Academy Awards, specifically keying in on my beloved Best Actress category. With 2015 being an excellent year for actresses, 2016 looks to be pretty strong as well - how exciting!!

Below you'll find some of my predictions on next year's Best Actress contenders. I'll kindly remind you that I correctly predicted 3/5 ladies last year (almost 4/5!), a big step up from my 1/5 the year prior. So statistically speaking, I guess you could conclude that at least two of the below should be expected for next year.

March 26, 2016

1948 - 21st Academy Awards

And the nominees were:
Lew Ayres, Johnny Belinda
Montgomery Clift, The Search
Dan Dailey, When My Baby Smiles At Me
Laurence Olivier, Hamlet
Clifton Webb, Sitting Pretty
Ingrid Bergman, Joan of Arc
Olivia de Havilland, The Snake Pit
Irene Dunne, I Remember Mama
Barbara Stanwyck, Sorry, Wrong Number
Jane Wyman, Johnny Belinda

Well damn, 1947 took way longer to finish than I expected. We're coming down the home stretch here (!!!!!) so I'm going to try my damnedest to power through the final two years of the forties as quickly and concisely as possible so that I can leave it behind once and for all.

1948's contenders leads us to an unusually fresh batch of pickings in the Best Actor category, with four of the five actors securing their first lead actor nominations. At the other end of the spectrum is a completely omnipresent Best Actress category, with all five ladies being returning nominees.

As per usual, let me know who your faves here are, and which ones you think I'll take to or hate :)

**Side note: the next Best Actress covered here will be the 100th Best Actress nominee I've written about!! This won't be the 100th Actress review overall, given the handful of ladies I covered under the Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda category as well as the few covered under NYFCC, but whatever. A special mark nonetheless! Who will be the lucky lady to be number 100???? I don't even know, I'm still figuring it out! Woo hoo!

***Second side note: The 100th Best Actor won't be officially coming along until 1949, with the discrepancy here being that there're a number of lost Best Actor nominees and an uneven count of nominees between 1934-1935.

March 13, 2016

Loretta Young, The Farmer's Daughter

Won: Academy Award - Best Actress
It was of course a shocker at the time, but in retrospect, Loretta Young’s Best Actress victory should come as a surprise to nobody. Because when you're up against a reckless alcoholic, an embittered woman with a murderous family, and a woman losing her mind, the morally-correct-small-town-farm-girl-who-excels-at-all-domestic-tasks-and-has-big-dreams-of-being-a-nurse-but-instead-gets-sucked-into-an-impromptu-political-career is a much more friendlier female archetype for the for the Academy to channel its attention to. So sure, this one definitely goes down in Oscar history as one of those stunning come-from-behind victories, but the role and performance itself bears no elements of excitement to match the glory of its actual win.

March 12, 2016

Deborah Kerr, Black Narcissus

Won: New York Film Critics Circle - Best Actress
I can’t quite but my finger on it, but I thought Deborah Kerr was so magnetic in Black Narcissus. Perhaps it’s due to the film’s monochromatic use of colors towards her Sister Clodagh and her fellow nuns, the whites and greys of her face contrasting against an otherwise vibrantly colored film, creating a striking radiance on her. Perhaps it’s her tightly coiled intensity, which bubbles slowly inside of her as the film progresses.