June 11, 2016

Round-Up: Actress 1948




5. Ingrid Bergman, Joan of Arc



4. Jane Wyman, Johnny Belinda


3. Barbara Stanwyck, Sorry, Wrong Number


2. Irene Dunne, I Remember Mama


1. OLIVIA DE HAVILLAND, THE SNAKE PIT




IN CONCLUSION: 1948's offering of Best Actresses was an interesting batch, and with the exception of Ingrid Bergman, final placements turned out slightly different than what I was expecting. Between Bergman and Wyman, I was least impressed by Bergman and Joan of Arc, even if I get the sense that Bergman exercises her acting chops more thoroughly than Wyman does. But no points are to be given if I'm 100% bored by everything else, so therein explains Bergman's placement. I started off really enjoying Stanwyck's performance, but upon further reflection, I concluded that Dunne's more quiet work was more effective and satisfying while Stanwyck's was more explosive but lacking.

That pretty much gives Olivia de Havilland a direct path to the win, and while I ought to be more enthused by it...I'm not. I'll admit that against the competition, de Havilland's work is so much more raw, challenging, and no-holds-barred. It's excellent and I don't deny it that, but I'm not passionate about it, it doesn't resonate with me the way Monty's work did. My view on it is that she wins because no one else topped her, so to speak, and as great as it is she doesn't strike fervor from within me. It sounds like a downer win, but don't get me wrong -- she deserves it. I've respectfully enjoyed but not really, truly gone crazy for a number of victories this decade -- Davis, Davis again, ArthurCrawford, Crawford again - so this one's in line with the 1940s trend. Let's hope the winner of 1949 creates a reaction out of me, so that we end this decade on a little bit of much needed enthusiasm for this category.

For that unfavorable position of 6th Place, I imagine Joan Fontaine was pretty close to going against her sister again with Letter From an Unknown Woman.

Otherwise, I imagine the likes of Moira Shearer in 1948's top box office hit and Best Picture nominee The Red Shoes was an option. Jennifer Jones in Portrait of JennieBetty Grable had a solid year with When My Baby Smiles at Me or That Lady in Ermine, Maureen O'Hara could have been in the running with Sitting Pretty, and Anna Magnani in L'Amore was likely a favored but long shot option.

So that's that with '48. On to the last year of the decade!

12 comments:

  1. Interestingly, my tally matches precisely with yours and I don't think this was a stellar year for actresses. de Havilland took the most risks and despite the flaws, her performance demands attention. Dunne does the same in a less flashy but atypical role/performance for her. The rest seem 'also-rans' and I liked none of them. '49 will be a better year, marginally, with one outstanding difference.

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    1. Great minds think alike!

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    2. Thanks Allen, I couldn't agree with your more. By that I mean that film fans 'get it' no matter what the era. Keep on writing.

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  2. By the way, Joan Fontaine's "A Letter From an Unknown Woman" deserved a nomination at the very least.

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  3. Joan Fontaine should have won for A Letter from an Unknown Woman in my opinion. Moira Shearer in The Red Shoes was also very good. As for 1949, I think it's even weaker than this year.

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    1. I think you may be right about Fontaine. I didn't see "Unknown Woman" until last year and I'd have to see it again to be sure, but she's at her best in that film. Shearer is also a great, left-field suggestion.

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    2. So much love for Fontaine, I'm excited to give it a go!

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  4. I can't say I'm surprised by these results (except Wyman, maybe). I gave give my own ranking for Leading actresses that year (save ratings).

    1. Olivia de Havilland - The Snake Pit
    2. Vivien Leigh - Anna Karenina
    3. Irene Dunne - I Remember Mama
    4. Jennifer Jones - Portrait of Jennie
    5. Moira Shearer - The Red Shoes
    6. Judy Garland - Easter Parade
    7. Evelyn Keys - The Mating of Millie
    8. Judy Garland - The Pirate
    9. Doris Day - Romance on the High Seas

    I honestly like them all

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    1. Vivien Leigh in Anna Karenina is a good suggestion. I may have to add in to my list to watch...

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  5. I have no thoughts here since I had only seen Stanwyck's more than a decade ago. The roles seem kinda boring to me, though :)
    Olivia's doesn't seem something I would go for.

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    1. Yeah - it's a good enough bunch, but not really one that invokes excitement.

      Olivia's a divisive one. I think you might enjoy the effort she puts in to the perf?

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    2. My vibe is that i'd go for Stanwyck. :P who knows.

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