The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actress – 1954
Let’s get the recap out of the way quickly, because I’ve got a bone to pick with these nominees. On the Waterfront wins Best Picture in one of the best Best Picture decisions of all time. Elia Kazan wins Best Director in a good decision that almost had to happen, but one that didn’t necessarily need to (I talked about it here). Best Actor was Marlon Brando, a top five decision of all time. Best Actress was the big Grace Kelly vs. Judy Garland debacle. People feel very strongly about this. Grace won for The Country Girl. I’ll divulge my opinion some time in the future. And Best Supporting Actor this year was Edmund O’Brien for The Barefoot Contessa, probably because of a vote split among the three Waterfront nominees. So, that’s the year. Pretty good overall.
Now — this category. What a weak fucking category. That’s not to say they didn’t make the right decision (category fraud will do that. But still, thank god for category fraud), but, seriously, this is awful. There’s only one out of five decent nominees. Two, if you want to include the historically significant one. Still, three I disagree with, and that means — look for alternatives. Is it the category or is it the year. Let’s see.
Other supporting actresses that could have been nominated: …yeah, I got nothing. Maybe Thelma Ritter for Rear Window would have given the category a boost by giving it a stronger film. Mercedes McCambridge for Johnny Guitar would have been a fun one. But otherwise — nothing. Wow, this year sucked for supporting female roles.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – 1954
And the nominees were…
Nina Foch, Executive Suite
Katy Jurado, Broken Lance
Eva Marie Saint, On the Waterfront
Jan Sterling, The High and the Mighty
Claire Trevor, The High and the Mighty (more…)