This week we are back with the Oscar Winners edition for the Thursday Movie Picks series. I am, yet again, running late with the post because I’ve overbooked myself with an article for work. This happens more often than I’d like but that’s just my own fault for not scheduling these Thursday posts. Anyway, as the theme is Best Actor and Best Actress Oscar winners, I’ve decided to do a Thursday first. I’m going to list just two performances, one from each category, that have some meaning to me. You’d think it’s easy but most of my favourite Oscar wins are actually for supporting roles so.. there was some thinking involved.
2. MARLON BRANDO in THE GODFATHER (1972)
Feeling completely stumped by this week’s theme I went with an unusual route. I scrolled all the way back to the beginning, and then picked the first winning performance I’ve seen. So from 1928 since 1971 – complete blank! Yes, I’m aware of the movies themselves but I haven’t seen any of the winning Best Actor performances. That’s until 1972 when Marlon Brando won for The Godfather.
The Godfather is well loved. A lot of people have told me this but don’t hate me: I just couldn’t fall in love with this movie myself. That being said, Brando gives a great performance. The movie itself has moments that are memorable and I have nothing bad to say about it. It’s simply not my cup of tea.
This was Brando’s second and last win, he will be nominated the following year but will lose to Jack Lemmon. His career takes a deep dive after that and many of his performances won’t be remembered well. Before his death in 2004 his last movie role is in The Score (2001). I read that The Score was good and Brando finishes his career on a positive note. Despite of his difficult personality and problems in his career after the 70’s, Brando gave us Don Vito Corleone and inspired many during his lifetime. Because of this he will be remembered as a great actor.
1. HALLE BERRY in MONSTER’S BALL (2001)
Another challenge awaits. I went back and worth a lot here. The latest winners don’t really speak to me when it comes to Best Actress category. Maybe just Olivia Colman but that’s solely for her personality and speech giving abilities. I was looking at the list with different set of eyes. Eventually a performance stood out, one crucial one that speaks volumes about the Academy Award.
Halle Berry’s win in 2001 for Monster’s Ball.
For those who don’t remember, Berry was the first woman of colour to win in the Best Actress category and she is currently still the only woman of colour who has won in this category. How fucked up is that? While this should be a week of celebration and a post of admiration, it’s in an instant become something more serious. I’m sorry for that but truly, how can this be!?
I haven’t seen Monster’s Ball for its entirety. I’ve seen bits and pieces here and there. I haven’t been able to see it for Heath… I just can’t. But I’m certain I would love Monster’s Ball a lot. So here’s to Halle Berry for this significant win in this white washed category! I’ll take a shot for that too, Halle, yes I will.
THIS SERIES IS CREATED BY WANDERING THROUGH THE SHELVES3
I’m not wild for the whole Godfather trilogy honestly. They are fine films but nothing I return to. Brando does give a very fine performance truly worthy of his award, a reminder that when he applied himself he was able to be revelatory.
I hated Monster’s Ball and Halle Berry in it. She has Sissy Spacek’s second Oscar at her house is all I’m sayin’.
I’m sure based on what you wrote in the intro that you haven’t seen my picks since they are all before your cutoff date, but I think you’ll be pleased that I did a theme within the theme by tying them together through one performer.
Mrs. Miniver (Greer Garson-Best Actress) (1942)-Kay Miniver (Greer), her architect husband Clem (Walter Pidgeon-also Oscar nominated) and their three children are living a comfortable life in a small village outside of London until war is declared. Eldest son Vin (Richard Ney-who shortly after the film’s completion married Greer!) leaves college to join the Royal Air Force while also falling for and marrying local girl Carol Beldon (Teresa Wright-winner for Best Supporting Actress). As the war arrives on their doorstep they must endure bombing raids and many other hardships and tragedies meeting them with perseverance and fortitude.
Goodbye, Mr. Chips (Robert Donat-Best Actor) (1939)-1n 1870 schoolteacher Charles Chipping “Mr. Chips” (Donat) fresh from university is a strict disciplinarian to his young students at his new public-school post making him unpopular. However, on holiday he meets and impulsively marries the feisty suffragette Katherine Ellis (Greer Garson-Oscar nominated) whose love softens and humanizes Chips until he becomes a beloved institution on campus and a source of inspiration through the tough years of World War I onward into the 20th Century.
A Double Life (Ronald Colman-Best Actor) (1947)-Legendary stage star Anthony John’s (Colman) method is to totally immerse himself in the parts he plays. This is fine when he appears in comedic roles but with more serious roles, he becomes unpredictably volatile as his real-life self slowly ebbs away leading to the end of his marriage to Brita (Signe Hasso) his frequent costar. Now despite all warning signs he has undertaken Othello partnered again with Brita, though having a young mistress, Pat Kroll (an incredibly young, very thin Shelley Winters in her first important role), and as the part overtakes him, he descends into madness. Though Greer isn’t in this film she and Colman costarred (the year she won for Mrs. Miniver) in another big success for both “Random Harvest” where Colman was again nominated for Best Actor.
I actually haven’t seen Monster’s Ball but it’s crazy that Halle Berry remained the only actress of color to win in the Best Actress category!! Dayum that’s gotta change, pronto!
We match on Brando! Loved his performance. Halle Berry was great in Monster’s Ball but her “make me FEEL good!” line just makes me laugh every time. It’s so ridiculous.
I still can’t believe Berry is still the only woman of colour to win in that category. It is so fucked up!
I can’t get over the fact that Berry is still the only woman of colour to win! Of course I believed you but I had to look it up myself anyway and I’m just…what!
The Godfather films are not my favourite but Marlon Brando owns the role and how I remember when Sacheen Littlefeather came to the podium saying Marlon declined the Oscar…the Gasps. I was little but I remember. Halle Berry is not one of my favourite people to be honest but she was excellent in this role and deserved it.
Halle Berry was fantastic in Monster’s Ball… I’m still baffled that she was the first and only woman of color to win in the category. I still haven’t seen The Godfather! I need to remedy this.
I can’t believe I still haven’t seen Monster’s Ball. I know what the film is about and caught bits and pieces over the years but never the whole thing. It’s on my to-watch-list, though!
Yeah, it’s hard for me to watch it now with Ledger and all but yeah. It’s worth a watch for sure!