So the much anticipated ranking is:
I would be lying if I said I wasn't really moved by this performance. To some, this work of Jennifer Jones would be flat and uninteresting, but I really enjoyed every minute of it. Although it's not a grand achievement by today's standards, it's an incredibly moving and loveable piece of work. Jennifer excels at showing Suyin's humility and pure emotions. Again, this is nothing fantastic but something really lovely.
In a role that's the least baity of her category, Katharine Hepburn excels. It takes some time to fully realize her greatness as Jane Hudson, but the outcomes are simply astonishing. Kate injected an incredible amount of charm into the character that made extremely loveable. And eventually, it's Kate's charisma and fascinating personality that makes her completely irresistable here.
Eleanor Parker's vibrant, wonderful performance as Marjorie Lawrence is a real treat to watch. She approached this character in a very odd way (for her time) and the result is something endlessly charming and impressive. She does way more than I expected her to do and gets the most out of this showy, interesting part. A really pleasant surprise coming from a hard-to-find movie.
Anna Magnani is all around brilliant as Serafina Delle Rose. The intensity of her work is just amazing and you can't take your eyes off her. Her scene in the church alone deserved an Oscar, not to mention her whole work. She's highly emotional, over-the-top and theatrical and yet it all feels brilliant because of her extraordinary talent. Unforgettable performance.
An unbelievably great performance, which I (sort of unexpectedly) loved from the very first minute. Susan is simply marvelous at showing Lillian's pain and struggle with alcohol and makes her film extremely disturbing and hard to watch. However, she also makes an unforgettable impression that hits you really hard in your guts. In her signature role and personal favorite work, Susan Hayward is fantastic. And she sings, too!
So I can proudly announce
that the winner is...
I'll Cry Tomorrow
Cheers, Susan... :)
Final thoughts: A great year with two amazing performances. Deciding between the two was incredibly difficult. I was surprised by how great the others were. Yes, Jennifer is the weakest link but she was also really lovely. I've never really warmed up to Kate so after a few days my appreciation for her work cooled down a bit. Eleanor was, however, so wonderful but I need to be less generous with the grades. So the ranking was not that difficult in the last 3 places.
About the next year: All I can say is FINALLY! A year with at least two iconic quotes, one iconic character (or even more) and at least four brilliant actresses. I've been hunting (literally, well, almost) for one film for a long time and now I have it! I almost gave it up, my mind constantly said "Snap out of it!" but then the year said to me "I'm not gonna be ignored, Dan."
What do you think?