Saturday, October 17, 2009

Latest Oscar-winner seen: Gaslight (1944, 3rd time)

Gaslight is a harrowing tale of a woman called Paula (Ingrid Bergman) who's slowly losing her mind in the Victorian London. Ten years before, her world-famous aunt was killed in the house where she lives with her merciless husband, Gregory (Charles Boyer).
Gaslight is one of Hitchcock's greatest masterpieces. Hold on for a second! It wasn't even directed by Hitch, it was made by George Cukor. What?! The director of The Philadelphia Story, Camille and My Fair Lady. But Gaslight is one of the masterpieces of suspense. Cukor really should have received a nomination for Best Director and should have won the award.
The performances are also flawless: the only one who received the coveted gold was my personal favorite actress, dear Ingrid Bergman. Boy, was she a great actress! But she kept winning Oscars for the wrong performances and failed to win for her best work (Autumn Sonata). Even though this is definitely not her best performance and Barbara Stanwyck was also brilliant in Double Indemnity, Ingrid really nailed this role and earned that award very much. Charles Boyer is also magnificent and memorable as the emotionally abusive husband, Dame May Whitty is a great comic relief, Joseph Cotten is great as always and Angela Lansbury is just excellent in her debut (the supporting actress field was very weak, she was the best I think).
The technical part is also great, the cinematography, the art direction and the costumes are very good, the atmosphere is chilling at it's exciting even for the third time. It's really a masterpiece.
My grade: 9.5/10
Nominations: Best Picture; Best Actor (Boyer); Best Actress (Bergman, WON); Best Supporting Actress (Lansbury); Best Writing, Screenplay; Best Cinematography; Best Art Direction Black and White (Won)
My wins: I really think it should have won all of them except for Best Screenplay (Double Indemnity should have won that one) and a Best Picture tie with Double Indemnity would have been fair.

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