The Oscar Quest: Best Actress – 1955
I actually really like 1955 as a year, even though most people would probably see this as a blank year for the Academy. The five Best Picture choices were a pretty weak set overall (at least two of the choices probably shouldn’t have even been nominated), and, while I think they made the best decision, their decision was not really one that would stand out among the other films that have won in the category.
Marty wins Best Picture, which I think was the best decision based on the nominees. It’s a film I love a lot. But I’m under no illusions that this film would ever win outside of a year like this. Not that I care. Delbert Mann winning Best Director for the film (which I talked about here), is a decision I don’t think was totally necessary, but I understand it. So I guess that’s okay. Ernest Borgnine winning Best Actor this year (which I talked about here) is also a decision that I like, but only because my first choice, Frank Sinatra, already had an Oscar, So it kind of worked out in the end. Best Supporting Actor was Jack Lemmon for Mister Roberts, which I think is a great decision, and Best Supporting Actress was Jo Van Fleet for East of Eden, which, I haven’t fully made up my mind yet (but I’m about 95% sure I’m gonna go another way).
And then we have this category. This category was really only between two people, and, while I can understand why Anna Magnani won here — when you watch the performance, you can see why she would win — I still don’t get why they wouldn’t give it to Susan Hayward here. She’s been nominated a bunch of times by now, hasn’t won, is someone they’re clearly looking to give an Oscar, and she’s playing a type of character she excels at — the pitiful drunk. That’s her character. Plus, this is the first time she’s really nailed it and is really worth voting for. And you don’t give it to her? I don’t get it.
BEST ACTRESS – 1955
And the nominees were…
Susan Hayward, I’ll Cry Tomorrow
Katharine Hepburn, Summertime
Jennifer Jones, Love is a Many-Splendored Thing
Anna Magnani, The Rose Tattoo
Eleanor Parker, I’ll Cry Tomorrow (more…)