Although the nominees from this project's current focus are an enjoyable bunch, the decision to choose my favourite from amongst them has possibly been the easiest to date. Not because the other four are particularly weak, but simply because one film clearly hijacked my brain for a couple of hours ... in a good way.
The nominees for Best Picture of 1944 are:
- Double Indemnity
- Going My Way
- Since You Went Away
Quite a diverse group. One feel-good musical, one epic melodrama, one political biopic, one classic noir and one noir-ish. As I stated above, there is one clear winner for me, so I will dispense with my usual back and forth. In no particular order, the four non-winners are as follows:
The Academy's pick, Going My Way, is a lovely film that put a smile on my face but nothing more. Wilson is wryly fascinating but occasionally dry. Since You Went Away is striking at times but mostly sappy and overly sentimental. Gaslight has a few elements that are similarly possessed by my favourite, namely the mystery and the noir cinematography. However, the suspense is undermined by the film's predictability making it slightly inferior in my eyes.
Those with decent deductive skills have already figured out which film has taken my first place. Its intrigue and tension combined with its evocative visual style helped it to stand out above the rest in my humble opinion. Therefore, it may now be officially declared that Double Indemnity is my favourite of the Best Picture nominees from 1944.
Best Picture of 1944
Going My Way
As always, you can vote for your own favourite using the poll above. For the next year of focus, I had considered studying 1971 for the sole reason that the IFC Center here in New York was presenting A Clockwork Orange with midnight screenings this weekend and I figured it might be nice to take this project to the big screen. But, alas, the snowy weather kept me away. That and the fact that my lovely wife loathes the film and the thought of a midnight screening on my own was not so appealing. So, I'll save 1971 for later, and instead go back to where it all began by reviewing the very first Academy Award nominees for Best Picture (or Outstanding Picture as it was known then).
And the nominees for Best Picture of 1927/28 are:
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
A short shortlist, to be sure, but it contains the only silent films to be nominated for the big award, so it will be an interesting week ahead. Stay tuned...