Best Actress Rewind


by Matt Mazur

3 September 2010

Oscar-watcher Matt Mazur dips into the history of this category and compares the Academy nominees with his own (frequently better) nominees!
Should have won...Deborah Kerr in Black Narcissus

Oscar’s Nominees
Joan Crawford ... Possessed
Susan Hayward ... Smash-Up, the Story of a Woman
Dorothy McGuire ... Gentleman’s Agreement
Rosalind Russell ... Mourning Becomes Electra
Loretta Young ... The Farmer’s Daughter

Mazur’s Nominees

Joan Crawford … Possessed

Jane Greer … Out of the Past

Deborah Kerr … Black Narcissus

Rosalind Russell … Mourning Becomes Electra

Gene Tierney … The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

Oscar Winner: In one of the biggest upsets in this category, in Academy history, Loretta Young came from nowhere to take the top honors for playing a farmgirl and maid who eventually becomes a Congresswoman. In a very proto-Sarah Palin move, she runs and wins with no experience. Young is charming at times, but the film itself is devoid of intelligence or comedy, preferring to focus more on the fairytale.

Mazur Winner: Though she was not nominated for Black Narcissus, Deborah Kerr was an Academy favorite, garnering several nominations before finally being given a career achievement trophy in 1994. The real crime is that her magnificent, ghostly performance as a nun grappling with both supernatural and earthly problems in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s went unnoticed that year, other than by the usually-trusty New York Film Critics Circle. Kerr’s is one of the best performances by an actress, period, not just of 1947.

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