The Oscar Quest: Best Actress – 1936
Like me some 1936. But I don’t love it. This would be the fuck on the “Fuck, Marry, Kill” list. Fuck 1936, Marry 1939, Kill 1937.
The Great Ziegfeld wins Best Picture for 1936, and it’s a fantastic decision. It’s a quintessential Oscar film, and a really great film at that. Everything a film from 1936 that won Best Picture should have. Best Director this year was Frank Capra for Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (talked about here). I like that the film got recognized, but I don’t like the decision. Leonard should have won for Ziegfeld or Van Dyke should have won for San Francisco and that great recreation of the earthquake they have there.
Best Actor this year was Paul Muni for The Story of Louis Pasteur, which is a fine decision, although I say William Powell should have won for his Ziegfeld performance and his My Man Godfrey performance. Muni was better served winning the year after this for The Life of Emile Zola, which would have added a bit more legitimacy to that film winning Best Picture. Best Supporting Actor (the first in the category’s history) was Walter Brennan for Come and Get It, which makes sense. He is the quintessential supporting actor. Best Supporting Actress was Gale Sondergaard for Anthony Adverse (talked about here), which I don’t get at all. To me, Alice Brady was a much better choice.
And then this category — I don’t get it at all. Not at all. She was a supporting character in the film, for one, and they seem to be basing the award on one scene. Plus she won the year after this — I don’t like this decision at all.
BEST ACTRESS – 1936
And the nominees were…
Irene Dunne, Theodora Goes Wild
Gladys George, Valiant is the Word for Carrie
Carol Lombard, My Man Godfrey
Luise Rainer, The Great Ziegfeld
Norma Shearer, Romeo and Juliet (more…)