Saturday, December 5, 2009

Latest Oscar-winner seen: Laura (1944)

I did not think that I would write this down: I was a bit disappointed. I had very high expectations and this movie did not live up to them. I really liked it, but I really don't understand the big fascination towards it. I mean it had everything: great story, magnificent dialogues, terrific performances and an unbelievably beautiful Gene Tierney.
It's about an inspector (played by Dana Andrews) who falls in love with the ghost of the dead woman (Gene Tierney), whose mysterious death is investigated by him. We also get to know an obsessed "supporter" of Laura (Clifton Webb), the two-faced fiancé of Laura (Vincent Price) and his aunt (the brilliant Judith Anderson).
So it has the terrific story, I especially loved the ironic one-liners of the magnificently flamboyant Clifton Webb ("Have you heard of science's new triumph, the doorbell?"). So the screenplay is really one to die for, it really deserved that nomination, but I think that Double Indemnity owned that category.
The acting is also terrific: Dana Andrews (a really underrated actor) creates a very complex and mysterious character, I really liked his performance. Same for Vincent Price, although he could have had more screentime, I wanted to see more of him.
Judith Anderson is chilling again (OK, not as much as in Rebecca), her scene where she explains to Laura why SHE should marry Vincent Price is just priceless. In my opinion, she was just robbed of the nomination. 1944 was a very weak year for Best Supporting Actress, she really could have been honored in some way.
But I haven't mentioned the two very best performances: Clifton Webb is just brilliant, his nomination was richly deserved, but I'm not sure about the win. I mean he was really great but I have to be more familiar with his competition.
Gene Tierney gives her career-best performance: she's beautiful, desirable, mysterious, loveable, I was certainly seduced by her. A nomination would have been justtified.
The direction is also great in mixing the various genres, it was really worthy of the nomination.
I'm saying so many good things, but still it was a tiny bit disappointing. I really
enjoyed it, it was full of unforgettable scenes, but sometimes it really slowed down and it was boring. I don't regret telling the truth because that's what I felt.
The cinematography award was deserved though.
My grade: 7.8/10
Nominations: Best Director (Otto Preminger); Best Supporting Actor (Clifton Webb); Best Writing, Screenplay; Best Cinematography (WON); Best Art Direction-Interior Decoration, Black-and-White

1 comment:

joe burns said...

Haven't seen this either.