I don’t really have much to say about 1945. It was the end of the war, and the year is actually kind of a lost year, Oscar-wise. (Fitting, I guess.) There’s not much memorable about it, which I guess is owed to a pretty weak set of Best Picture nominees (which, for the record, do not include National Velvet or A Tree Grows in Brooklyn). Though, the year is to be commended for choosing a strong, bold film such as The Lost Weekend. This film deals with a subject most of Hollywood wouldn’t go anywhere near. (And if you think that’s progressive, just wait until we get to 1947.)
Aside from Best Picture, The Lost Weekend win Best Director for Billy Wilder (talked about here), which he deserved between this and Double Indemnity the year before this, and Best Actor for Ray Milland (talked about here), which was also well-earned. Best Actress this year was Joan Crawford for Mildred Pierce (talked about here), which was well-deserved. Best Supporting Actor was James Dunn for A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (talked about here), which was an amazing decision for a great performance in a terrific film. And Best Supporting Actress was Anne Revere for National Velvet (talked about here), which was so deserved.
In all, this year was actually really strong. All the winners were fantastic decisions. So it’s weird that I continue to think of this year as being weak or forgotten. I guess it’s because it gets lost on the shuffle amongst other 40s years. (Plus the nominees this year are very weak. Just because the best performances and films won doesn’t change that.) But this is actually one of the strongest years I’ve seen.
BEST PICTURE – 1945
And the nominees were…
Anchors Aweigh (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)
The Bells of St. Mary’s (RKO Radio)
The Lost Weekend (Paramount)
Mildred Pierce (Warner Bros.)
Spellbound (United Artists) (more…)