Best Actress Rewind


by Matt Mazur

13 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... Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes 

Oscar Nominees:

Leslie Caron - Lili
Ava Gardner - Mogambo
Audrey Hepburn - Roman Holiday
Deborah Kerr - From Here to Eternity
Maggie McNamara - The Moon Is Blue

Mazur Nominees

Anne Baxter … The Blue Gardenia

Danielle Darrieux … The Earrings of Madame De…

Ida Lupino … The Bigamist

Marilyn Monroe …  Gentlemen Prefer Blondes & Niagara

Jane Russell … Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Oscar Winner: Hepburn, in exactly the kind of starry, big, ingenue debut voters fall hook, line and sinker for; confusing glamor, beauty and charm with actual good acting. Sure, she Roman Holiday is but one of several iconic turns by the legend, but, as Emma Thompson pointed out recently, Hepburn “can’t really act.”

Mazur Winner: It is impossible to not recognize the sheer versatility of one of cinema’s most iconic women: Marilyn Monroe. Unlike Hepburn, Monroe’s iconicity is backed up by actual talent and range—qualities she is not usually given proper credit for. As proved in both the noirish, nasty Niagara and the bubbly girlishness of Gentlemen, Monroe was more than capable of anchoring films of all genres, gamely tackling whatever challenge was thrown at her. In my personal awards, I definitely do not stick to the stuffy Academy rule that says nominees can only appear from a single film, so Monroe wins for both of her ace performances this year.

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