Saturday, January 9, 2010

Smackdown


The category is Best Actress and the year is 1967. I'm ready with this year's acting categories so I think I will post all of them quite soon, but let's start with Best Actress, because I feel guilty for not doing enough Best Actress Smackdowns (and I guess this category has the most fans).
So my ranking is:

1. Dame Edith Evans in The Whisperers: This performance is still with me. It's so haunting and brilliant, full of unforgettable scenes. My favorite one is when she's listening to the radio about abandoned old people (just like her) and she says "Poor old chaps!". Or when she's at the house of those disgusting people and then she starts telling about her young days, balls, which may have been only fantasies. Simply, this is an acting triumph for me at least, but I don't blame the Academy for not choosing her, because this movie is so un-American, but at least Dame Edith won all the other awards.
Grade: *****

2.Anne Bancroft in The Graduate: Why did not they give it to Bancroft then? She's equally brilliant (I prefer Evans by a nose) and Bancroft put on one of the iconic performances. I mean, can you imagine The Graduate (one of the best movies ever) without Anne Bancroft whispering to Dustin Hoffman "Do you want me to seduce you?". She's simply magnificent. Mrs. Robinson represents an awful lifestyle, she is full of sadness, regrets and she's deeply unhappy with her life. I guess people did not handle these subjects that well and they could not really make out the point of Bancroft's brilliant performance, or they did just voted against her.
Grade:*****

3.Faye Dunaway in Bonnie and Clyde: The role that made the beautiful Faye Dunaway a great star. And thank God for that. She's like a diamond as Bonnie: she's wild, she's sexy, she's horny, she's sad, she's unsatisfied, she wants to have a better, much more interesting life. She also has iconic scenes: my favorite when she's running away to see her mum and when she finally does, it's so heartbreaking. It seems to me that this was a tailor-made role for Dunaway (and she wasn't the first choice to play Bonnie) and she really nailed it. So great actress, great performance, deserved nomination.
Grade:*****

4.Audrey Hepburn in Wait until Dark: I love Audrey like everybody else on this planet, but I was a bit underwhelmed by this performance. I loved the movie, it was really chilling and Audrey was very good, I just missed something from her performance. She did not really blow my socks off as I expected her to, but she had some excellent moment, but not nearly as brilliant one as the other ladies previously mentioned. But still there was something missing from her performance and I really cannot tell what.
Grade:**

5.Katharine Hepburn in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner: I'm shocked by this win, really. If they were so sorry about the death of Spencer Tracy, why did not they give the Oscar to him, who actually deserved it? I'm not saying that Hepburn is bad, because she's not, but all she does is looking teary, shaking her head and watching Spencer Tracy with much love. She could do this in her sleep and I'm shocked because she did not win for A Long Day's Journey into Night and The Philadelphia Story but she won for this. It's so unfair and especially for her. But I must mention that there's one scene which is dead on. (The "Don't speak Hilary! Just go!")
Grade:*

OK, to sum up, either Evans or Bancroft or even Dunaway could have won, but they decided to give it to Hepburn. And add this: Hepburn got this award alone and she won for her career-best performance in a tie (?????!!!).

3 comments:

Fritz said...

Yes, Kate was the most undeserving of the bunch, but I can live with her win. I agree with you that Edith, Anne or Faye should have won.

joe burns said...

I have yet to see Evans and Audrey Hepburn, but I agree with you on everything else. Kate's win was really undeserved.

Sage Slowdive said...

Anne is my pick :)