30 Days of Oscar: Day 12 - Anastasia

Movie: Anastasia
Year: 1957
Nominations: Best Actress (Ingrid Bergman), Best Music: Original Score.
Wins/Snubs: Bergman won over Deborah Kerr for The King and I, and Kerr and Bergman's respective co-star, Yul Brenner, also won that year, but for The King and I, not Anastasia. This also knocks off another Best Actress winner I've seen.  I have seen so many fewer best Actress films than Best Picture or even Best Actor.  
This movie is one that makes me I'm glad I do this feature - I have had it in my Netflix queue for ages because I find the stories of royalty, and the changes during war fascinating.  When I was a kid there were constantly rumors that the Grand Duchess Anastasia had survived the Bolshevik revolution in Russia in 1918 when the rest of the Tsar's family was killed.  In 2008, DNA evidence suggested that all of the children were accounted for in the various graves they had been left in.  So it was interesting watching this movie to see what direction they went with it.  Also, I have already seen the 1997 animated movie of the same name that follows this story almost exactly.
A man who knew the Romanov family, General Sergei Pavlovich Bounine (Brenner) is particularly interested in helping gain the last of the Romanov's estate - 10 million British pounds that has to be disbursed to an heir.  He meets a woman (Bergman) in Paris with amnesia who is freaking out because she doesn't know who she is.  He convinces her that she might be Anastasia.  They go through an elaborate set of scenes where he's teaching her a lot of what she needs to know to prove her claim to both members of the former imperial court, including her own grandmother.  Along the way, she has memory flashes of things that fit with her impersonation - ultimately convincing many, many people that she is, in fact, the Grand Duchess.  Even she begins to believe it, and starts acting like it.  It's odd knowing now that they were all imposters (for good or bad), but at the time this film was made, that was unknowable.  And the film leaves us with that idea - perhaps she's real, perhaps not.  And Bergman plays it really well - growing confidence and authority shattered when a man at a press conference tries to poke holes in the story.  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.