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Entries in Teresa Wright (6)

Saturday
May312014

Smackdown 1941: Margaret, Mary, Sara, Patricia & Teresa

Behold the Supporting Actresses of 1941, two stalwart mothers, two helpless pawns, and one reckless diva. All but one of them, the diva and eventual winner, were in Best Picture nominees in this highly satisfying Oscar showdown.

THE NOMINEES

Allgood, Astor, Collinge, Wright, and Wycherley

Oscar had entered its teenage years by 1941, (14th annual Academy Awards) but it was still a green enough institution that all of its supporting actresses were first timers. Mary Astor, who won the Oscar, was the only star among the nominees and she was having a great year also starring in the noir classic The Maltese Falcon. Career momentum issues should never be underestimated with Oscar outcomes. Astor was joined in the shortlist by two sturdy character players in their 60s: the British stage actress Margaret Wycherley and the Irish screen actress Sara Allgood (who had been featured in some early Alfred Hitchcock movies). Rounding out the nominee list were two true finds making their charmed film debuts in the Best Picture nominee The Little Foxes, Patricia Collinge and Teresa Wright, the latter of whom was an instant darling in Hollywood and would win the Oscar the following year for Mrs Miniver. There's that momentum factor again.

THIS MONTH'S PANELISTS

Angelica Jade Bastien, Anne Marie, Nick Davis, Nathaniel R, Stinkylulu and You - we tabulate reader votes and quotes from your ballots appear!

Without further ado, the main event...

1941
SUPPORTING ACTRESS SMACKDOWN

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
May272014

Introducing... The Supporting Actresses of 1941

The next Supporting Actress Smackdown hits this coming Saturday and you can still vote as part of the panel. Your votes count toward the outcome since one of the panelists spots is for the readers! We'll look at How Green Was My Valley for Best Shot late tonight but for now, it's another edition of "Introducing..." How do we first meet these 1941 characters who will then grant their actresses the honor of becoming Academy Awards Nominees? Was the direction, music and lighting already helping to single these ladies out for honors?

Here's how they're introduced in their films...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan162014

Jennifer Lawrence and the Youngest To...

With her nomination for American Hustle this morning, Jennifer Lawrence has become the youngest actor of either gender to receive her third Oscar nomination. She is only 23. Or, if you'd like to get technical about it, 23 years 5 months and 2 days. Whether you think her work in American Hustle is great or terrible (and factions have formed on both sides) or you have a more nuanced perspective on what does and doesn't work about it, there is just no denying her screen dynamism. That's what they use to call "It".  

Here's how the stats break down and which legends Jennifer is toppling. Did the performers with similar records flame out early? Read on...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Nov162013

Chart Revision & Trivia: Supporting Actress

June SquibbHaving recently seen Nebraska a second time (full review coming), I'm more confident that Alexander Payne favorite June Squibb (who played Jack Nicholson's wife in About Schmidt) can ride her scene-stealing laughs in the new film to a nomination. The film opened yesterday in limited release and though the Oscar attention is all on Bruce Dern at the moment, that could well change since the film is endearing on more than just the Dern-level.

Trivia Alert #1 If June Squibb is nominated she will be the third oldest nominee ever in the Supporting Actress category after Gloria Stuart (Titanic) and Ruby Dee (American Gangster)

August Osage County and Jennifer Lawrence trivia after the jump

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Wednesday
Aug072013

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

While we're on the subject of Alfred Hitchcock, having just discussed the most memorable performances in his films, we thought we'd look at Hitchcock's own favorite Shadow of a Doubt (1943) for this week's Hit Me With Your Best Shot. I wasn't surprised that the film failed to score in that list we just made, if only because the whole cast is so memorable. How do you choose amongst them? What's more, the subject of the film is, if you ask me, not the gruesome crimes that are continually referenced but the family unit itself. How protective and proud of one's own blood should you be? How do you preserve the family's happy cohesion, whether real or imagined? What to do about the rotten apple in the bushel? 

Since Shadow of a Doubt (1943) is strangely underseen given Hitchcock's own love of it and the endurance of so many of his films, I don't want to spoil any of its surprises (the writing was Oscar nominated and deservedly so). But I will say that the surprises do not include the nature of Uncle Charlie (Joseph Cotten). He's bad news.

But how bad?

That's up to his family to gaily ignore or vaguely worry over and for his favorite niece and namesake (Teresa Wright) to puzzle out. Shadow of a Doubt has several delicious shots that are case studies in Hitchcock's mastery of visual storytelling and his glorious understanding of the power of shot variation (which is, if you ask me, the single element of filmmaking with the greatest depreciation in quality over my lifetime). I'm absolutely crazy about the way he shoots the growing conflict between the niece and her uncle... which you think will play out like cat and mouse but is closer to cat and kitten in its visual language since Young Charlie is no scurrying fool but a resourceful creature. My favorite shot is one that should be welcoming, but plays out with just as much potency as a disturbingly intense closeup of Uncle Charlie earlier in the film during a particularly nasty monologue.

Uncle Charlie is merely standing on the porch this time. Young Charlie would "like to pretend the whole dreadful thing never happened" but she knows that her "typical American family" home is no longer a sweet or safe one. 

Other Best Shot Choices...

Cal Roth on Hitchcock's repetitive "truth reveal" shot
Film Actually likes the fourth wall broken and Cotten's intriguing performativity
The Entertainment Junkie loves the camera's retreat from Teresa in the library
Antagony & Ecstacy puts a ring on it. It's one of his favorite Hitchcocks.
The Film's The Thing there's evil right beside you!
And...
We Recycle Movies cheats by never getting past the opening credits! 

NEXT WEDNESDAY: The Color Purple (1985). Won't you sing 'Miss Celie's Blues' for us by selecting your "best shot" from that Spielberg hit?

Friday
Aug242012

Movie Love

Hello, readers of The Film Experience – Matt Zurcher, here. Aside from joining in on a few recent editions of Hit Me With Your Best Shot, it’s my first time writing at The Film Experience. I want to publicly thank Nathaniel for inviting me to cover for him today. In order to introduce myself, I wanted to make a little list focused on a trademark of this site – the adoration of actresses.

Is it possible to fall in love at the movies? I’m not talking about the fleeting arousal that Hollywood manufactures so well – I’m talking about that strange, lingering fantasy. Pauline Kael’s book titles – “I Lost It at the Movies,” “Going Steady,” “Reeling,” “When the Lights Go Down,” and “Movie Love” – all render moviegoing as a sexual experience. I can’t disagree with Pauline. There is something deeply intimate going on between the viewer and the screen. Fiction isn’t so far from Fact. When we’re properly pulled in, we don’t separate our feelings for the person sitting next to us from the person whose face is 20 feet tall.

These are five performances that continue to enchant me. Who have you fallen for in the dark?

5. Teresa Wright, The Best Years of Our Lives [Wyler, 1946]


I want to give the biggest high-five to the casting director of Best Years of Our Lives. Teresa Wright was not the most beautiful or charming choice to play the romantic lead and daughter of Frederic March’s WWII veteran. But her presence in Best Years is warmer than a Snuggie. She is the ultimate girl to take home to your parents. She isn’t sexualized and creates a portrait of calm concern for her family and relationships. She plays a young woman who believes in the value of emotional intimacy. Gregg Toland’s photography can’t be left out of this discussion. It’s a perfect example of Hollywood manufacturing the impossible ideal that pushes film so close to us.

four more lovely ladies after the jump

Click to read more ...