Sunday, April 25, 2010

Smackdown


The category is Best Actress and the year is 1962. This was also a year I've been putting off for ages (since December), because the decision was sooooooooo difficult. But I've concluded everything and let me tell you that this is one of the greatest races ever.

The much worked on ranking:

1. Anne Bancroft in The Miracle Worker: Again, the most important decision, the #1 spot was an easy choice. Anne Bancroft gives a heartbreakingly beautiful performance in a heartbreaking movie, The Miracle Worker. Her co-operation with Patty Duke is one of a kind, and truly, truly unforgettable. At first, she seems to be a strict and confident woman and than we see her talk about her childhood (that monologue is dead on) and we become stunned. Anne Bancroft was a brilliant actress, always giving strong performances but this time she really outdid herself.
Grade: *****

2. Geraldine Page in The Sweet Bird of Youth: I love Geraldine Page and this performance. She used to be my pick, but my love has cooled a bit. No problem, she's awesome as Alexandra de Largo, an aging movie star having a nervous breakdown. The greatest thing about this performance is that you instantly feel sympathy for this poor woman, who suffered so much, who's getting old, but still wants to be adored. And Page, she does everything possible with this role and gives one of the greatest performances ever.
Grade: *****

3. Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?: I wish this movie came out in 1963. Davis would have won that Oscar hands down. And it would have been well-deserved. Davis gave the performance of a lifetime as the mad has-been child star, "Baby" Jane Hudson. She's not a cute little girl anymore with curly blonde hair. She's a devastated, crazy and drunk woman, a (tiny bit) similar to the character played by Mo'Nique in Precious. And yes, Bette is over-the-top, but she's brilliant and marvellous. So that's all.
Grade: *****

4. Katharine Hepburn in Long Day's Journey into Night: Well, this is a performance when I was really disappointed. I've read everywhere that this is Hepburn's greatest performance and it's heartbreaking and everything and so on and so on. It's amazing for sure, but not as much as they say. For example, I think she was far more brilliant in The Lion in Winter. But if you judge her based on her achievement, she deserves praise. She knows where to do what and she has some heartbreaking scenes, I just still could not like her that much.
Grade: ****

5. Lee Remick in Days of Wine and Roses: I feel guilty for giving her this spot, but she's the least brilliant of this bunch. In Days of Wine and Roses, Jack Lemmon gave his (probably) greatest performance ever, so it's more about him than Remick, who's absolutely great too. At the beginning of the movie, she's just an innocent woman NOT drinking ANY alcohol, but in the end she becomes a broken-down, bitter alcoholic. It's really painful to see her go through this change, but it's not painful to praise Lee Remick for it.
Grade: ****

What do you think?

4 comments:

Fritz said...

Amazing line-up!

Twister said...

I have only seen Bancroft and Davis and both were incredible! I really want to see Hepburn and I too have heard alot about how great she is...maybe for me she will be, I hope.

joe burns said...

I have only seen Bancroft, who was great of course. I might do a profile of this year, but I'm planning on doing another 60's year after 1974, which I'll do after I'm done with 1988.

Sage Slowdive said...

I guess we all have different opinions of course, but I hardly think Bette Davis came anywhere near Oscar material.