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
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.