Best Actress: 1965

Official Nominations: Julie Christie. Julie Andrews. Elizabeth Hartman. Simone Signoret. Samantha Eggar.

The big shock this year was that Julie Christie pipped Julie Andrews to the post, though I believe this was the right decision. Andrews basically gives the same performance in The Sound Of Music as she gave in the previous year’s Mary Poppins while Christie gives a rollercoaster showing in Darling, portraying the ups and downs of fame and life in 60s Britain. Her performance is often harrowing, frequently innocent, equally knowing, and says a lot about the unfortunate celebrity culture which still thrives today. Add to this the fact that she also stars in Dr.Zhivago this year and we have a definitive 12 months for the actress. Elizabeth Hartman gives an honest, touching performance in A Patch Of Blue as a blind teenager who falls in love with Sidney Poitier’s character. At the time she was the youngest ever (22) nominee for the award. Rounding up the nominations are Signoret for Ship Of Fools and Eggar for The Collector. Signoret gets a deserved 2nd nomination for her gloomy addict, while Eggar earned her only nomination as a kidnap victim in Wyler’s effective thriller. It’s a tough call between all of the nominees, excluding Andrews.

My Winner: Julie Christie.

My Nominations: Catherine Deneuve. Julie Christie. Natalie Wood. Patricia Neal. Tura Satana.

Christie makes my list of nominations too, a list which features some obvious choices and some debatable ones. Catherine Deneuve gives one of the best performances of the decade in Repulsion where she subtly appears as shy, withdrawn, terrified, haunted, confused, and murderous. The film and the performance was arguably the most important at bringing her to a worldwide audience. Natalie Wood does a Hilary Swank 30 years earlier, shocking the US with her honest portrayal of a tomboy broken by stardom in Inside Daisy Clover, although most of the film’s commercial failure came from Redford’s homosexual character. It’s another relationship and film which the world was not ready to witness. Patricia Neal (in a year when she basically was dead for almost a month) starred as more than John Wayne’s love interest in In Harm’s Way, one of the last old school war epics. My final nomination is sure to shock some, but I feel it is justified given the long-lasting notoriety of the film. Satana effectively makes Faster Pussycat, kill kill! work. She is the driving force behind the plot, the energy, and most of the film’s best moments. She created the character from scraps of information, and makes a grindhouse absurdity almost believable. Improvising most of her best dialogue, she commands the screen and should have gone on to bigger, better things.

My Winner: Catherine Deneuve.
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Let me know who you think was the Best Actress of 1965!

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