Saraband for Dead Lovers (1948, Ealing Studios)

31 Days of Oscar: Saraband for Dead Lovers (1948)

Saraband for Dead Lovers (1948)

I like to try an avoid cliches at all costs, however, when I watched this film what came to mind was the thought that if you looked up “stuffy costume drama” in the dictionary you’d find a photo of this film. Yet, there was still something about it that oddly kind of worked for me. What I think made it connect is that it was a British production with a more classical, yet more restrained acting style than I’m accustomed to for the time period. Take the same plot points and similar performances and place them in a Hollywood studio era production and it likely feels flatter than it is. Here, somehow, it retains some buoyancy. The restraint doesn’t feel forced and similarly pumping up the melodrama would seem unnatural and inappropriate.

Score: 6/10
Oscar Nominations/Wins: 1/0

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Wait Until Dark (1967, Warner Bros.)

31 Days of Oscar: Wait Until Dark (1967)

Wait Until Dark (1967)

This is a film that after having seen it I expected it to have more than one nomination. The films is very tense and the set-up is brilliant. I take some issue with the way it decides to quickly, practically brusquely, resolve itself but most of what happens leading up to that point is great. Of course, Audrey Hepburn is great in one of her more celebrated roles but Alan Arkin is also very noteworthy in this film. The climax of the film nearly makes up for the unfortunate and quick ending.

Oscar Nominations/Wins: 1/0
Score: 9/10