Monday, October 17, 2011

"Actress In A Supporting Role" 1948


And the Academy selected:
  • Barbara Bel Geddes in I Remember Mama
  • Ellen Corby in I Remember Mama
  • Agnes Moorehead in Johnny Belinda
  • Jean Simmons in Hamlet
  • Claire Trevor in Key Largo

My Ranking:

5. Agnes Moorehead as Aggie McDonald in Johnny Belinda

Agnes Moorehead does her usual tough woman act as aunt Aggie McDonald in Johnny Belinda. The part is sort of annoying and Moorehead surely doesn't move the movie or standout among the cast. It's as simple as saying there just isn't enough development in Aggie to make her an interesting character even if it is a quirky part.

4. Jean Simmons as Ophelia in Hamlet

Jean Simmons' performance as the classic Ophelia is one that is mostly mediocre but completely saved by a set of brilliant scenes. She plays the character is a usual, innocent, naive way - she's not spectacular in any sense of the word, but she has spectacular scenes. Namely, the ending is brilliant (the mix and filmmaking and Simmons) that alone deserves some kind of award, but the rest of her performance unfortunately does not match that.

3. Ellen Corby as Aunt Trina in I Remember Mama

Another aunt, but Ellen Corby's performance as Aunt Trina is alot more quirky, interesting, and more engaging then Agnes Moorehead. With such a strange performance it's easy for her performance to quickly be dismissed - the way Aunt Trina handles herself is quite odd, but Corby certainly makes her interesting. It may not be a terrific performance but Corby makes the absolute best with her character.

2. Claire Trevor as Gaye Dawn in Key Largo

Claire Trevor's performance as drunk Gaye Dawn is quite an accomplishment. She never truly goes over the top with her exaggerated gangster moll, pulling the right cliches out and making them her advantage throughout the performance. It's too much of a small part, a bit awkward too, but she certainly gives one great performance no matter what. She also has the best moment in the film with her reminiscence of singing in a club.

1. Barbara Bel Geddes as Katrin in I Remember Mama

There's something about Barbara Bel Geddes that makes her totally endearing. Her performance as the daughter Katrin almost outshines everyone else on-screen - a sweet performance, full of moments where Bel Geddes gets the best of her character. Sentimentality is usually not my cup of tea, but if anyone can move me, it's her in this performance. It's a terrific performance that constantly emerges in my mind after the film is over.

Honorable Omissions: None.


Fritz said...

I just realized that I have actually seen all 5 of them! Yay. I really like Claire and Jean, but I also thought Agnes was very good. The two 'Mama'-girls rather escaped my memory...

dinasztie said...

Wow, this is another surprise. I don't like Barbara that much. It might be that she's Ms. Ellie for me forever but somehow I didn't like her that much in that movie.

I would probably pick Trevor.

Louis Morgan said...

Moorehead is fine but her part is nothing, Simmons is overshadowed by Olivier in her early scenes, but her final scene is quite strong. I was less impressed by the I Remember Mama Women. I never found Corby interesting, and although Bel Geddes is good I never found myself loving her performance. My vote easily goes to Trevor who I find is amazing in what could have been a nothing part, or an extremely overacted part.

Dazzling Aura said...

haven't yet seen "Mama" and "Belinda." I like Simmons too, but yes, she was outshines by Olivier but her last scene was fantastic. I would have picked Trevor. Her singing scene alone was brilliant. The way she moves, her eyes, the voice, wow!