Canadian Ken on Thelma Ritter in THE MISFITS (1961) - CouldaShouldaWoulda Wednesdays

Yes. It's Tuesday but...

Just got a rich message from Canadian Ken with some excellent observations about the Supporting Actress Class of 1961. So, over this week and next, Lulu'll be sharing some of Ken's excellent observations with y'all, lovely reader. Kicking things off, Ken offers his thoughts on one of the more startling oversights of 1961's Supporting Actress nominations...
Canadian Ken sez...
Thelma Ritter's presence is always welcome - and Oscar voters recognized her regularly. But, to my mind, they often nominated the wrong performances. Ritter-wise, The Misfits represented the Academy's most egregious failure to nominate. Onscreen, she redefined the term "down to earth" combining a number of seemingly opposing characteristics - she was simultaneously wary and distracted, shrewd and soft-hearted . And nobody did it quite like her. Or even came close.

In The Misfits, she ratcheted it all up to full, finely tuned glory. Ditzy but pragmatic, shambling around, sometimes carryring her arm in an eloquent sling, Ritter was poignant, pithy and certainly never better. She drifts out of the picture part way through and she's genuinely missed for the rest of the proceedings. (What the heck! I still miss her.) With The Misfits, Ritter was part of a solid gold project, working with a great director and inspired co-stars..
Thanks, Ken!
And stay tuned, lovely reader, for more from Canadian Ken. Ken's thoughts on Mary Astor in Return to Peyton Place are not to be missed!
(Check back next week, same stinky time, same stinky station...)

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