Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Verdict -- Best Supporting Actress 1949

#5. Elsa Lanchester in Come to the Stable: I don't think any actress could have done much with the role of Amelia Potts, though few could have made her as weird and outlandish as Elsa Lanchester. Even though the part is nothing to write home about, I can't help feeling that Lanchester could have made her character a little less strange and more understandable. Well, at least the actress appeared to be having fun with this performance.

#4. Ethel Barrymore in Pinky:  If anything, Ethel Barrymore felt very comfortable in this role, playing a type that fit her well. Perhaps that is why she never decides to take her performance to another level, instead playing her role firmly but lacking in further depth or introspection. She's not by any means awful, but instead just solid in her characterization. Miss Em is crusty, rude, and just a little bit saucy and Barrymore never tries her hand at going past those parts. A solid supporting turn that didn't need the awards recognition.

#3. Celeste Holm in Come to the Stable: I have to admit that Celeste Holm's performance is by no means all that much better than Ethel Barrymore's, but the fact that I enjoyed Holm's weirdness gave her a slight edge. She's everything the slim role calls for--happy, adorable, and wields a perfectly respectable French accent to make her character as much of a joy as she's meant to be. Simply put, this is not Oscar level material Holm was given, so she doesn't get a chance to do anything with it. But man does she play a mean game of tennis.

#2. Mercedes McCambridge in All the King's Men: Without a doubt the most emotionally complex role of the bunch, and I can see why this performance would strike enough people's fancy that she would get the win, but McCambridge doesn't quite rise to the occasion for me, and instead finds herself trapped in a film that doesn't know what to do with her. Her performance has a very strong beginning, a weak middle (in part thanks to her lack of significant screentime with Broderick Crawford), and an nonexistent end. We don't see a strong character growth as the film progresses, and I wish we had one or two more scenes to flesh Sadie out further. Uneven work.

#1. Ethel Waters in Pinky: I had an easy choice in this very weak year for the Supporting Actress category, with Ethel Waters's soulful work as Dicey Johnson coming out victorious. She leaves a strong emotional impact that lasts much longer than I'd expected. Dicey Johnson is by no means a great character, but it's the simplicity and natural acting style of Waters that makes this a great performance, even if it lacks weight. Even though she's my weakest winner yet, there is still a lot to take from her performance and I'm pleased that she is my winner.

The Year in Review: This was such a weak, dismal year to review. I'm not a huge fan of any of the films, even if I found something to like in each of them. Ethel Waters was an easy choice, though I certainly understand those who enjoy McCambridge's work. Poor Mercedes couldn't quite catch a break with me, as both of her nominated performances did not perform well. Sorry, Mercedes! I can't imagine anybody truly loving the ladies of Come to the Stable, but I'm sure Ethel B. has her fans. This next year will be my 10th, which makes me realize how slow these have been coming along. As always, I'm hoping to pick up the pace but I'm suppose I'm pretty content with my slowness.

All Supporting Actress Nominees Ranking:
  1. Patty Duke in "The Miracle Worker" (1962)
  2. Dorothy Malone in "Written on the Wind" (1956)
  3. Thelma Ritter in "Pickup on South Street" (1953)
  4. Linda Hunt in "The Year of Living Dangerously" (1983)
  5. Anna Paquin in "The Piano" (1993)
  6. Cher in "Silkwood" (1983)
  7. Eileen Heckart in "The Bad Seed" (1956)
  8. Emma Thompson in "In the Name of the Father" (1993)
  9. Julianne Moore in "Boogie Nights" (1997) 
  10. Ellen Burstyn in "The Last Picture Show" (1971)
  11. Patty McCormack in "The Bad Seed" (1956)
  12. Claire Trevor in "Dead End" (1937)
  13. May Whitty in "Night Must Fall" (1937)
  14. Mildred Dunnock in "Baby Doll" (1956)
  15. Angela Lansbury in "The Manchurian Candidate" (1962)
  16. Ethel Waters in "Pinky" (1949)
  17. Gloria Stuart in "Titanic" (1997)
  18. Alfre Woodard in "Cross Creek" (1983)
  19. Barbara Harris in "Who is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?" (1971)
  20. Geraldine Page in "Hondo" (1953)
  21. Anne Shirley in "Stella Dallas" (1937)
  22. Amy Irving in "Yentl" (1983)
  23. Kim Basinger in "L.A. Confidential" (1997)
  24. Shirley Knight in "Sweet Bird of Youth" (1962)
  25. Cloris Leachman in "The Last Picture Show" (1971)
  26. Margaret Leighton in "The Go-Between" (1971)
  27. Rosie Perez in "Fearless" (1993)
  28. Mercedes McCambridge in "All the King's Men" (1949)
  29. Joan Cusack in "In & Out" (1997)
  30. Ann-Margret in "Carnal Knowledge" (1971)
  31. Donna Reed in "From Here to Eternity" (1953)
  32. Glenn Close in "The Big Chill" (1983)
  33. Alice Brady in "In Old Chicago" (1937)
  34. Mary Badham in "To Kill a Mockingbird" (1962)
  35. Holly Hunter in "The Firm" (1993)
  36. Celeste Holm in "Come to the Stable" (1949)
  37. Ethel Barrymore in "Pinky" (1949)
  38. Minnie Driver in "Good Will Hunting" (1997)
  39. Thelma Ritter in "Birdman of Alcatraz" (1962)
  40. Winona Ryder in "The Age of Innocence" (1993)
  41. Grace Kelly in "Mogambo" (1953)
  42. Mercedes McCambridge in "Giant" (1956)
  43. Marjorie Rambeau in "Torch Song" (1953) 
  44. Elsa Lanchester in "Come to the Stable" (1949)
  45. Andrea Leeds in  "Stage Door" (1937)

1 comment:

dinasztie said...

Seems to be a weak year but at least you only had to watch 3 movies.