Best Actress 1938
Oscar Winner: Bette Davis, Jezebel
Nominees: Fay Bainter, White Banners
Nominees: Wendy Hiller, Pygmalion
Nominees: Norma Shearer, Marie Antoinette
Nominees: Margaret Sullavan, Three Comrades

The Annual Crop: ★ ★ ★ ★



Ranking the Women Oscar Forgot
 
My Pick:
Katharine Hepburn, Holiday ★ ★ ★ ★
From my full review: "Hepburn...flex[es] and sharpen[s] her character just as deftly as Grant does his, but without losing any of that soft luminosity that Cukor was always so good at discovering in her hard-angled face." Holiday really is Grant's movie, and I can imagine an argument that Hepburn lays on the wistful nostalgia for youth just a little thickly, especially at the beginning: it's a shakier allegiance to pledge than Grant's commitment to self-determination and individual pursuit, and she has a whisper of trouble figuring out how to play it. But the flip-side of that statement is that Hepburn is impressively and crucially delicate in these early scenes, playing Linda Seton as her Stage Door character would have after the humbling and edifying epiphanies of the finale. Hepburn, for better and for worse, so often races to have the audience on her side, but here she doesn't do that. You can't tell whether she even means, the actress or the character, to construct herself as Grant's romantic destiny or as his friendly confidant or his avid playmate or as a rueful, possibly envious bystander, and the fact that Holiday quite wisely and bravely argues for a permeability, even a degree of fusion, among these four modes of intimate relationship (envy and rue are intimate, after all) depends more than anything on Hepburn's fragile but firm, her exuberant but modulated contributions. Linda has her pouts and intractabilities, but the word for Hepburn's performance, and it wasn't always the right word for Hepburn, is generous. (IMDB)



From There:
Jean Arthur, You Can't Take It with You ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Constance Bennett, Merrily We Live ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Claudette Colbert, Bluebeard's Eighth Wife ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Joan Crawford, The Shining Hour ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Frances Dee, If I Were King ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Irene Dunne, Joy of Living ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Sally Eilers, Condemned Women ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Alice Faye, Alexander's Ragtime Band ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Kay Francis, Comet over Broadway ★ ★ ★ ★

Cora Green, Swing! ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Katharine Hepburn, Bringing Up Baby ★ ★ ★ ★

Priscilla Lane, Four Daughters ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Margaret Lockwood, The Lady Vanishes ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Myrna Loy, Test Pilot ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Jeanette MacDonald, Sweethearts ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Gail Patrick, Wives under Suspicion ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Luise Rainer, The Great Waltz ★ ★ ★ ★

Rosalind Russell, The Citadel ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Barbara Stanwyck, The Mad Miss Manton ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Margaret Sullavan, The Shining Hour ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Margaret Sullavan, The Shopworn Angel ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Who gets your vote in this field, and on my dream ballot below? VOTE HERE!



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