Popularity in the Oscars

From Forum Without a Name

ted fontenot:  like Clint. Always have, but have always wanted to like him even more (even though I think he's the greatest post-John Wayne John Wayne leading man), but have often been disappointed. This is because his reach is constantly beyond his grasp. Clint's a smart man, I think, well-read, intelligent, but he needs to get back to feelings and instincts. (He thinks his movies out too much.) Then I think he'll be better.

Oh, you never win a best picture Oscar by being unpopular. Case in point was Michael Curtiz directing Casablanca, who won over Henry King's direction of A Song For Bernadette--people loved Curtiz, hated King.

Of course, this works on the assumption that King's work was better than Curtiz, which is debatable--you don't see any cult of adoration growing around either directors. But I do remember that Curtiz's approach was more 'pop' (plenty of cameras wooshing in on their actors for punctuation, and in fact Spielberg is on record as admiring him), while King's was understated and elegant.

Incidentally, while Bergman in Casablanca was beautiful, absolutely no one could touch her there, there's something to Jennifer Jones in Bernadette that you can't quite forget. King never shows a hint of salaciousness in his visual treatment of Bernadette, but it's that very worshipfulness of Jones' onscreen virginity that seems so, well, arousing...


gypsytrader49 said...

Astute observation. And my god...I haven't thought about "Song for Bernadette" in years! Must look for it.

noelbotevera said...

Thanks. Song of Bernadette was shown on TCM in the past few months, I think. Worth looking at again if you have the chance, since unlike Casablanca (which, after all is said and done, IS more entertaining) it doesn't get screened regularly.