1964 is a quintessential Oscar year. My Fair Lady is so obviously a Best Picture choice that it’s almost not even worth questioning the fact that it beat Dr. Strangelove. Sure, (all of those things), but when you look at what the Academy likes, it makes perfect sense.
George Cukor (finally) won his well-deserved and earned-twice-over Best Director statue for the film (talked about here), and Rex Harrison also won Best Actor for it (talked about here). Then Best Supporting Actor this year was Peter Ustinov for Topkapi (talked about here) and Best Supporting Actress was Lila Kedrova for Zorba the Greek (talked about here). Both categories were shitty and both decisions really don’t matter too much. I’m cool with the Supporting Actor decision but dislike the Supporting Actress one. 1964 is actually a pretty weak year masked by some iconic, “Oscar” decisions.
Like this category. Weak as hell. Weak, weak, weak, weak, weak. Yet — Mary Poppins wins. Who’s gonna argue with Mary Poppins winning? The decision masks how weak the whole thing is.
BEST ACTRESS – 1964
And the nominees were…
Julie Andrews, Mary Poppins
Anne Bancroft, The Pumpkin Eater
Sophia Loren, Marriage, Italian Style
Debbie Reynolds, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
Kim Stanley, Séance on a Wet Afternoon (more…)