Yesterday we covered all of Hugo before the dramatic turn reveal through that the film is not about Hugo or the automaton or even Georges Méliès, but rather about the movies.
This is the part where it gets exciting for me, because I get to talk about the reason I love this film so much. Yesterday, I left off with the cover of “The Invention of Dreams.” Today, we’ll dive into just how Hugo is about the history of film, what it tells us, and how it manages to teach viewers about film history without them even realizing it. (It’s like that old tale of the kid not liking a vegetable, and then eating it without realizing it and going, “Oh, I guess I do like that.”)
Today, we go back through a history of the movies:
Still not sure what I think about 1949. All the King’s Men wins Best Picture, which I think was probably the strongest choice among the nominees. It’s a really great movie. It’s just on the weaker side of all-time Best Picture choices, and that tends to make me feel like the year is on the weak side.
Broderick Crawford won Best Actor for the film (talked about here) and Mercedes McCambridge won Best Supporting Actress for it (talked about here), both of which were terrific decisions. Best Actress was Olivia de Havilland for The Heiress (talked about here), which is one of the best decisions of all time in the Best Actress category (though that specific category was so weak it’s beyond words). And Best Director was Joseph L. Mankiewicz for A Letter to Three Wives (talked about here), which made absolutely no fucking sense to me at all. I cannot even begin to understand how they came to that decision.
And then there’s this category. This is another one of those decisions that I just don’t understand. Sure, the category was weak as hell, but — not Ralph Richardson? After the year he had?
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – 1949
And the nominees were…
John Ireland, All the King’s Men
Dean Jagger, Twelve O’Clock High
Arthur Kennedy, Champion
Ralph Richardson, The Heiress
James Whitmore, Battleground (more…)