Monday, October 26, 2009
Latest Oscar-winner seen: Mrs. Miniver (1942)
Another member of the should-see list. It may even make the must-see list later, but not I guess the should see is enough.
Mrs. Miniver is a story about a well-off English family struggling to survive the Second World War. Greer Garson plays the title role of Mrs. Miniver excellently. Her performance is subtle, but very human and moving. If I wanted to be sarcastic, I could say that she originated the role she played for the rest of her life (of course in different plays). Both her Oscar win and nomination was deserved.
Walter Pidgeon is good, but sometimes I felt he was only a supporting player, and his Best Actor nomination was not very deserved. Same for Henry Travers, who's not bad either, but I think you should do more for a nomination.
However, Dame May Whitty and Teresa Wright more than earned their nomination. If I had to choose between them it's Whitty by a hair, but they are both excellent. Even though they were really deserving, my pick for that year would have been Agnes "It's COOOOOOOLD!" Moorehead for The Magnificent Ambersons.
William Wyler's directing was also flawless and worthy of the award. I was really reluctant to see Mrs. Miniver because I really disliked The Best Years of Our Lives. But this was much-much better and less-less sentimental.
There are even heartbreaking moments: the ending and the bombing sequence in the middle. They are so well-directed acted and written, that they made me gasp.
You may say it's no wonder this film won Best Picture during the war, but I really believe that this movie deserves the lot of acclaim it got (even from legendary politicians Winton Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt).
My Grade: 9/10
Nominations: Best Picture (WON), Best Director (William Wyler WON), Best Actor (Walter Pidgeon), Best Actress (Greer Garson WON), Best Supporting Actor (Henry Travers), Best Supporting Actress (Dame May Whitty, Teresa Wright WON), Best Screenplay (WON), Best Cinematography Black-and-White (WON), Best Editing, Best Sound Recording, Best Special Effects
My Wins: Best Picture, Director, Actress, Screenplay (did not consider the technical part)