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DeOscarize.com is based on the proposition that every once and a while, the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences make mistakes when the wrong person or picture gets the award and the right person doesn’t and thus, the right person loses the immortality an Academy Award can give to a move or a movie star. Such an opportunity was unfairly denied BARBARA STANWYCK,
who received only four competitive nominations during her career all for a Best Actress Academy Award and she won, Not one. None. Nada.
Her nominations came in the 1930’s and 1940’s which was an era whereby the film industry was compelled by the Motion Picture Production Codes
In 1938, she overcame the production code’s prejudice with a Best Actress nomination for her performance in Stella Dallas whose character has a bittersweet ending. However it was not bitter enough to suit the tastes of the so-called moral high ground so Luise Rainer won Best Actress that year and deservedly so for her performance in The Good Earth. 1941 was a banner year for Barbara Stanwyck with Academy calibre performances in Preston Sturges’ The Lady Eve however, in that film she plays a gambler and a con artist, oops moral turpitude.
She should have been nominated for her performance in Meet John Doe and would have been nominated had it not been for the Best Actress 1941 nomination hat she actually did get for her performance in Ball of Fire, in which she plays a stripper. Why would the Academy nominate Barbara Stanwyck in a role destined not to win an Academy Award because of the code? The reason was that although she portrayed a stripper
the portrayal was loosely based on the best known woman in America at that time, a stripper by the name of Gypsy Rose Lee.
So popular they even named a musical after her.
So it was for the sake of increasing box office returns more than rewarding an outstanding performance that she was nominated. Don’t get me wrong Barbara Stanwyck could play a stripper with the best of them but when it comes to collecting an Academy Award, I believe she would have stood a better chance and probably would have won for her wonderful performance in Frank Capra’s hugely underrated film Meet John Doe.
She should have won a second Best Actress Award in 1944 for her performance in Billy Wilder’s Double Indemnity. The look in her eyes while the husband beside her is being murdered is a moment of movie magic that makes movie history. Deemed culturally, historically or aesthetically significant by the Library of Congress as early as 1992. As well, the American Film Institute declared Double Indemnity the 28th greatest movie al all time.
But we’re only offering one NEW Best Actress Award. So, for which performance should it be? The approach DeOscarize.com usually takes is to find the least deserving recipient. In this case of 1941 or 1944, the choices are between Joan Fontaine who won for her performance in Suspicion but really won for her performance the previous year in Rebecca.
There is also Ingrid Bergman who won in 1944 for her performance in Gaslight. A great performance that holds up today even in a film that went stale long ago. Ingrid Bergman went on to achieve more great film performances, Academy Award nominations and 2 more wins while I would judge Joan Fontaine’s subsequent filmic output as lacklustre to say the least.
Besides, Meet John Doe remains a most underrated and still one my favourite movies so it is time now to support or oppose my decision to DeOscarize Joan Fontaine for her performance in Suspicion to make Barbara Stanwyck the NEW Best Actress of 1941 for her performance in Meet John Doe
Of course my mind can be changed by a compelling argument and I invite you to make that argument at Deoscarize dot com or else forever hold your peace. What DeOscarize.com has brought together let no one put asunder.
Of course I can see where folks might think I’m wrong. I’m prepared to make my case for DeOscarizing Joan Fontaine. Can you make the case to prevent it? Is there someone else you would DeOscarize Joan Fontaine for? Let’s discuss it.
Pick a year! Pick a category! Pick a Nominee! Name your own Nominee!
It’s Your Choice! It’s Your Universe!
Enjoy! Discuss! Prevail!
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Copyright © 2014 Thomas O’Neill