Actual Nominations: Julie Andrews. Anne Bancroft. Sophia Loren. Debbie Reynolds. Kim Stanley.
This was quite a controversial year for the Best Actress category, primarily due to the Audrey Hepburn snub. Hepburn missed out on the nomination after it was revealed that she had not performed the singing in My Fair Lady (actually done by Marni Nixon) and as she had replaced the more favourable stage actress Julie Andrews. To add insult to injury, Andrews was the official winner this year as Mary Poppins. An obvious winner, it is one of her most memorable roles and to her credit she does bring exuberance to the character and makes her more appealing than the original book version, but much of the success is of course down to the writing, the one-liners, and the music. The film itself is so twee that it just isn’t my thing. Loren stars as the deceitful, clever prostitute Filomena in Marriage- Italian Style and is as sultry and colourful as you would expect while Reynolds is funny and spirited as Molly Brown in an uninspired musical. Bancroft is inspired as the complex Jo in an often difficult, ambitious, and ambiguous Pinter penned film which seems ripe for a cultural re-examination. My win however goes to Kim Stanley for another British film- Seance On A Wet Afternoon. A modern twist on Lady Macbeth, with her own desires primarily of importance, her character is both wicked and tragic, and Stanley portrays both sides without flaw whilst commanding her household and the screen in a domineering fashion.
My Winner: Kim Stanley.
My Nominations: Audrey Hepburn. Julie Andrews. Anne Bancroft. Kim Stanley. Sophia Loren. Honor Blackman. Nobuko Otowa. Tippi Hedren.
Making it over from the official nominations are Andrews, Bancroft, Stanley, and Loren who are all worthy nominees and winners. I’ve added a few newbies to the nominations- Tippi Hedren as the steely, mysterious Marnie, Honor Blackman as one of the first Bond Girls who was more than just a damsel in distress (and because any character called Pussy Galore deserves, nay, necessitates attention). Nobuko Otawa for her chilling performance as the murderous woman in Onibaba, and finally, putting right what once went wrong, Audrey Hepburn for her film stealing performance in My Fair Lady which alone makes watching the film for a non-musical fan bearable.
My Winner: Audrey Hepburn
Did I miss you pick for the Best Actress of 1964? Let us know in the comments!