Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Final Conclusion - Best Actress 1959

About the field: I can again say that I saw brilliant performances by brilliant actresses. This was the second time that my pick was 100% obvious for me as I think that she was way ahead of the competition, giving one of the best performances ever. However I saw four fantastic performances and a so-so one. I enjoyed their acting immensely and this was probably one of the most versatile years. A woman having an ugly nervous breakdown, a possessive mother, a single woman, a nun and an unhappy actress. And I must also mention that they starred in excellent movies, two of them even must-see ones. And this was also the first time that I previously saw all the movies (well, I saw The Nun's Story when I was 7 and I only remember being horrified that Audrey's hair was cut). So here's my ranking (which was the easiest to make so far besides 1998):

5. Elizabeth Taylor in Suddenly, Last Summer
This performance needed over-the-topness and Elizabeth Taylor, but I felt that it was way too much for me and sometimes she got quite annoying. I said some bad things but still it's not that bad, just a missed opportunity far from being a disaster or a tragedy. Nice work but not enough from Elizabeth Taylor.

4. Doris Day in Pillow Talk
Doris Day never lets her performance be serious, but she takes the comedy part of it more than seriously. She's always in charge of the character technically as her acting mostly technical and you can see how carefully worked on and excellently crafted her peformance realy is. One of the greatest comedy performances ever.

3. Simone Signoret in Room at the Top
Simone Signoret is one of the greatest actresses ever and in Room at the Top she was able to put on an amazing performance, which I liked much more for the first time, but it was still fantastic to watch as she gave a really strong and memorable performance. Magnificent work by an extraordinary talent.

2. Katharine Hepburn in Suddenly, Last Summer
I lined up a great deal of arguments why this is not one of Kate Hepburn's worst performances but is one of her best works ever. in which she deals with all the possible difficulties of a performance with such ease and brilliance that she nearly makes it too easy, which might be true for her, but not an ordinary performer. Gutwrenching work.

1. Audrey Hepburn in The Nun's Story
A revelation: Audrey Hepburn gently amazes you, her dignity and grace on screen leaves you speechless and makes you think about her for a long time. Haunting, effective work and an amazing accomplishment by a true legend at her finest and one of the greatest performances that I have ever seen in my life. A real onscreen miracle.

So I can proudly announce that my winner for 1959 is...
Audrey Hepburn in The Nun's Story
Truly unforgettable work by an amazing actress.

I will do another year, which I will finish until next Monday. It's going to be a bit fast, but I won't be able to write until August. But we have a year and naturally I give you clues to find out:
  • Who's the First Lady of movies?
  • You Rang, M'Lady?
  • My, your, his, her...
  • It's all about women...
I will reveal the secret tomorrow, but until then I'm waiting for your thoughts, opinions and guesses of course.


Fritz said...

Wow, I didn't expect Audrey to be numer 1 but I can't complain! Great work!

My guess is that now will be 1950, but I am not really sure...your clues are not easy. I guess the first clue means either Gloria or Bette, the second one Bette and the fourth one could mean Bette or Eleanor but I am not sure what the third clue means...

dinasztie said...

Well, thanks. Oh, I'm so happy that I could give difficult clues this time. You might be right, your guesses are very logical.

Fritz said...

Oh, I meant that the second clue could mean Gloria.

Louis Morgan said...

Slightly surprising, although I suspected you might go with Audrey Hepburn since it is her best performance.

Celso said...

The Lady is Norma Desmond!
All about women... All about Eve!

I didn't got the other clues. =/

augie said...

I was a Senior in High School this year and it was an amazing year for films.
I saw Audrey's performance in July of that year and was blown away. I stayed through two showings of that film.
It is definitely her greatest performance and I read several times that Audrey considered her best work.
It was a great year for actresses, but you rightly picked the right one.
I am in my sixties and have been an Oscar buff (my family says Oscar "nut")for over fifty years. I really enjoy your blog and read it every day. Keep up the good work !!!

dinasztie said...

Thanks Augie very much! I really envy you that you could see this movie at the time and also the Oscars, which was so better back then.