Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Latest Best Supporting Actor-winner seen: Going My Way (1944)
Gosh, this movie was definitely a pleasant surprise! Most definitely. I'm not saying that I wasn't (very) prejudiced, but Going My Way entertained me and at times moved me.
It's about a young priest, Father O'Malley (Bing Crosby) who goes to a run-down parish to help the old priest Father Fitzgibbon (Barry Fitzgerald). Of course they have difficulties at first, they never see eye to eye, but they develop a friendship.
Ok, if you see The Bells of St. Mary's before this movie (like I did), then you'll understand why I was afraid to watch Going My Way. Thank God, they're quite different. There's way less singing in Going My Way, it's less soappy and it's much better.
However, I don't think that this movie was the Best Picture of 1944, because Double Indemnity owned that year. The directing award was not deserving either, because I would have expected more of Leo McCarey, the guy who directed one of the best films ever, The Awful Truth.
Again: the screenplay award should have gone to Double Indemnity. But this does not mean anything bad, because it's very humorous and lacks (yes it does) sentimentality, it's just great as it is and you don't want to kill some of the characters because they are so annoying (maybe the young couple, but they have limited screentime). So the writing was a great achievement.
Bing Crosby: sometimes I felt that some scenes were made so that he could sing and his fans could orgasm, but apart from that he gives a very entertaining, funny and lively performance, which might have been deserving of the Oscar. I'not certain at the moment though.
And now the most important thing in this entry: Barry Fitzgerald. Considering his age, I thought that this was a career-achievement award. Maybe, but the performance was one of the most deserving ones in history. I might have been a little too impressed, but he was so moving, funny and a tiny bit heartbreaking as the old pastor of St Dominic's that I remained speechless. You feel for this character who believes that he's useless and too old. However, I have to admit that his voice was a bit distracting in the beginning. About his two nomination-thing: I think that he was more of supporting, or maybe a co-lead with Bing Crosby. I don't know. I stick to supporting at the moment.
Ok, to sum up, Going My Way was a really pleasant surprise and a delightful experience. A should-see one.
My Grade: 8.5/10
Nominations: Best Picture (WON); Best Director (Leo McCarey, WON); Best Actor (Bing Crosby WON; Barry Fitzgerald); Best Supporting Actor (Barry Fitzgerald, WON); Best Writing, Original Story (WON); Best Writing, Screenplay (WON); Best Cinematography, Black-and-White; Best Editing; Best Original Song ("Swinging on a Star", WON -> Which was that?)
My wins: Best Supporting Actor and maybe Best Actor for Crosby
P.S.: The next one will be Sayonara, hopefully. Not 100%, but quite certain.