Saturday, August 29, 2009

You Must Remember This.

Jose here to commemorate Ingrid Bergman who would've turned 94 today. The Swedish acting goddess starred in dozens of films, won three Academy Awards, two Emmys and the Tony Award for Best Actress in a career that spawned over four decades.

She is best known for her iconic role in Casablanca though she wasn't Oscar nominated for it. Her history with the Academy is rather bizarre. She was nominated seven times and even if she only lost on four of those occasions, it's still fair to say she was a bit underrated by them. Hollywood neglected some of her best work. Even the actress herself thought she was overrated at one point.

When she created chaos after engaging in an extra-marital affair with Italian neorrealist master Roberto Rossellini she also delivered some of her greatest work. Obviously the film industry ignored this and only accused her of immorality. But is it right to judge her on personal matters when she was starring in films like Europa 51 and Voyage to Italy? In these films she showed great vulnerability combined with strength and that certain quality only film stars have.

Out of all the actresses of her time it was Ingrid who could dive into parts without screaming "look at me" or establishing trademarks. She could go from Hollywood fare to Italian neorrealism to theatre and even that other Swedish film god Ingmar Bergman effortlessly.

The Academy of course chose to recognize her for work she could do in her sleep -- when she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1974 she graciously accused herself of award robbery -- but despite the fact that such injustices were committed, her work will live forever. Thinking of all the characters she gave us before the time of her death, any cinema lover would think it's a shame that she didn't live forever as well.

17 comments:

Encore Entertainment said...

Ingrid Bergman is wonderful...her acting style in her pre 50s area reminds me of Nicole Kidman [in her Birth, The Others era]. I know it's not a popular choice but her performance in Gaslight is one of my favourites of hers.

NATHANIEL R said...

She's one of my favorites but i do have a lot of empty spots in my "relationship" with her.

Thank you for posting this!

Rae Kasey said...

Love her.

Andy Musthang said...

When I try to enter your site, it says Site temporarily unavailable. Why is that?

Rose said...

Oh Sweden - your contributions to the golden age of cinema are immeasurable: Ingrid AND Greta Garbo (who are incidentally numbers 4 and 5 on AFI's list of the top 100 stars, respectively).

And here you can watch Ingrid's humble/hilarious oscar speech for Murder on the Orient Express :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ky5sW4no_cg

NATHANIEL R said...

andy -- ran out of money. simple as that.

the site will be back up on sept 1st

Neel Mehta said...

Out of all the actresses of her time it was Ingrid who could dive into parts without screaming "look at me" or establishing trademarks.

"Ooh, Ingrid Bergman. Now she's low maintenance."

Emma said...

Oh, what a Goddess. ♥

Kent said...

Ingrid Bergman is also one of faves. I would've awarded her the Best Actress award twice. The first for her unnominated performance in 1946's NOTORIOUS. Then again in 1978 for AUTUMN SONATA. Both very different, yet brilliant portrayals.

Jim T said...

This post made me want to learn more about Ingrid. I have seen some of her films but not many. I really want to see Gaslight. Her role seems very interesting (Plus, Lansbury young? Is that possible? :p). I am also about to see Autumn Sonata.

John T said...

Neel-love the When Harry Met Sally reference!

Kent said...

Jim T --Please see GASLIGHT. Not only is Ingrid great, but Charles Boyer is fantastic as her manipulative husband. And it's also directed by George Cukor which can't hurt (;

Anonymous said...

Great note, One of the best actresses in the history of Hollywood cinema and also one of the finest talents from Sweden (Greta Garbo, Bibbi Andersson, Max Von Sydow, Igmar Bergman, Lena Olin)

Alexis said...

Your note is fantastic. I posted a little blurb about it on my blog @ http://ingridbergmanfilms.blogspot.com/2009/08/fantastic-ingrid-birthday-write-up.html

Great to see another Ingrid Bergman fan paying her the respect she is due!
Love the blog.
Alexis

Inquiring Camera Girl said...

While I'm glad she won for "Murder on the Orient Express," - you're right, she could have played that role in her sleep. On the other hand, I think it's a complete travesty that Ingrid wasn't at least nominated for Best Actress in "Notorious" - what could the Academy have been thinking?

Jim T said...

I just watched Gaslight. Good film. Ingrid was good but I have to say that she overacted quite a few times. Boyer on the other hand was great. I didn't even know about the guy until I saw him in this movie. I might watch Autumn Sonata now. I assume Ingrid will impress me more in this film.

María said...

You're so right is too bad she's no longer on earth making movies for us. She had something that actresses lack, a mix of emotion in her face, she could easily make you laugh of cry, was strong and had huge courage, she will be miss forever. I love her in films like notorious, gaslight, anastasia, spellbound and of course casablanca.
<3
nice post
(maria from argentina)