And the Academy selected:
- Ethel Barrymore in The Paradine Case
- Gloria Grahame in Crossfire
- Celeste Holm in Gentleman's Agreement
- Marjorie Main in The Egg and I
- Anne Revere in Gentleman's Agreement
5. Anne Revere as Mrs. Green in Gentleman's Agreement
Doing your usual shtick is fine, but receiving an Oscar nomination for it is ridiculous. Anne Revere plays Gregory Peck's mother this time around and couldn't be more boring even if she tried. If Gregory Peck wasn't so bad, she may just be worse, but as it is, this is another one of those waste of a nomination and Revere is doing nothing she hadn't done on-screen before.
4. Celeste Holm as Anne Dettrey in Gentleman's Agreement
The performance can be captivating for most people, but for me, she's on the same level as Anne Revere. It's a totally useless performance, only saved by Holm's own acting instincts which shine through sometimes. The part doesn't offer her anything, besides being something pretty shocking for the time - a head magazine editor, but other then that, it's as dry and boring as anything can get.
3. Gloria Grahame as Ginny in Crossfire
Crossfire is pretty much on the same level as Gentleman's Agreement - but Gloria Grahame manages to make the most out of her limited part. Ginny is the catalyst to the mystery and Grahame shows how much mystery she can actually inject into the part. It's flashy and gritty at the same time, but not always amazing. Grahame surely has some overdramatic moments that could have been handled very differently. Still, it's a nice, good, mysterious performance.
2. Ethel Barrymore as Lady Sophie Horfield in The Paradine Case
Ethel Barrymore once again takes another small role and becomes a true standout. Here she plays the wife of the trail judge who is obviously mentally detached. It's hard to say if that's what's wrong with her or if she is just exhausted. Whatever the case, Barrymore fills the screen with such intrigue, such uniqueness, that another actress possibly could have misstep along the way. It's a terrific, intriguing performance that truly standouts.
1. Marjorie Main as Ma Kettle in The Egg and I
I nearly gave Ethel Barrymore the win, but Marjorie Main is simply too irresistible. She totally steals her film away from star Claudette Colbert, simply by appearing on-screen - she would later make this character her shtick, but here, it's completely fresh and engaging without ever seeming cliched, which is astonishing since this downhome humor can quickly be redid over and over again. So for what it's worth, I think Main gives a terrific comedic performance, full of rich characterization.
Honorable Omissions: None.