Winner '45:
First Saw It:
The Lost Weekend
March 11, 2004, on DVD
Bridesmaids: Anchors Aweigh, The Bells of St. Mary's, Mildred Pierce, Spellbound
My Vote: Anchors Aweigh, though it's only narrowly less flawed than Mildred, Weekend, or Spellbound
Overlooked: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, To Have and Have Not, Dillinger

The Lost Weekend
Director: Billy Wilder. Cast: Ray Milland, Jane Wyman, Howard Da Silva, Philip Terry, Doris Dowling, Frank Faylen, Frank Orth, Mary Young, Anita Sharp-Bolster, Lewis L. Russell, Lillian Fontaine. Screenplay: Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder (based on the novel by Charles Jackson).

Photo © 1945 Paramount Pictures
Why this emphasis on liquids? Very dull liquids? Typewriter IN THE CLOSET; We're both trying: "You're trying not to drink, and ... I'm trying not to love you"; Bottles in air vents and vacuum bags, with woobly pre-Theremin music; "That's the nice young man who drinks" - to bartender: "I've decided to ask your hand in marriage"; "One more reproving word, and I shall consult our lawyer about a divorce" - "You're awfully pretty, Mr Birnam"; "I'm John Barrymore, before the movies got him by the throat - I'm W. Shakespeare!"; JW: "And I'm tied up at the office - I can't look after him"; they're all keyed up waaay too much; Nat imprecates him immediately for drinking but then serves him all night (wet circles on the bar); HdS about Gloria: "Istn it amazing how many guys come down from Albany just to see Grant's tomb?"; Fascinated by all the stage drinking in La Traviata - but the reactoin shots of RM and the length of the scene are a bit much; Long flashback to meeting JW at the opera - "Love is the hardest thing in the world to write about - it's so simple"; A fantasy of trenchcoats with concealed bottles in place of the Traviata cast?; why?; Overhears Helen's parents talking shit about him, like how he never graduated from Cronell or held a job; Monologue after monologue from RM, the first explanation to JW about drunkenness and writer's block around 48:00 is especially dire; Bought guns and bullets; PT and JW just stultified in their framing and behavior as RM bloviates; JW: "Because I've got a rival, because you're in love with this?" - no psychological precision - 3 years ago...; Restaurant erupts into "Somebody Stole a Purse!" after foiled restaurant pickpocketing; the long, arguable pointless pawn-shop trudge, during which Rosza really startes to lose his mind (also full of dissolves and sharp angles - camerawise and in mise-en-scene - barred gates - Yom Kippur!); Slightly ridiculous faint down the stairs at Gloria's, after he's stood her up for a date but arrivs asking for money; Oogah-boogah tenure in the DT house (at around 1:10); Nurse Bim, with his hip out: "Delirium is a disease of the night" - not pink elephants, but LITTLE animals; Howling, roaring DT victim hallucinating beetles all over the place; "It's little animals, it's always little animals!" - bearded, drunken, punshing dark light; Well, there is a core, and now I see what it is - a sponge...; He's pawned her coat in order to get back his gun; Dialogue can't help pointing out the symmetry of the coat-swap duplicating the circumstances of their first meeting; She's sending him out of the room on false pretenses looking for the gun, just as he sent Wick looking for his typewriter at the beginning; "I'm ashamed of the way I talked to you - like a narrow, insensitive, small-town teetotaler"; "Of alcohol, morall anema, fear, anger, DTs..." - the "two Dons" thesis; Rain reflected on JW's face as she lobbies against his suicidal urges; The paeans to his future writing success at the end of the movie are just so wet and limp, and RM has never connected to them; "My mind was hanging outside the window - it was suspended, about 18 inches below"; "I wonder how many others are out there like me" in the "concrete jungle" - "another binge, another bender, another spree" - full circle to NYC pan, final lines in the film; C+

Academy Award Nominations and Winners:
Best Picture
Best Director: Billy Wilder
Best Actor: Ray Milland
Best Screenplay: Charles Brackett & Billy Wilder
Best Cinematography: John F. Seitz
Best Film Editing: Doane Harrison
Best Original Score: Miklós Rósza

Golden Globe Nominations and Winners:
Best Picture (Drama)
Best Director: Billy Wilder
Best Actor (Drama): Ray Milland

Other Awards:
Cannes Film Festival: Grand Prize of the Festival; Best Actor (Milland)
New York Film Critics Circle: Best Picture; Best Director; Best Actor (Milland)
National Board of Review: Best Actor (Milland)

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