Jennifer Jones in "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing"
Lost the 1955 Best Actress Oscar to Anna Magnani in "The Rose Tattoo"
A scene in which Jones is required to omit the ecstasy at her husband's devotion to her by proclaiming, "He called me to tell me that he's STOPPED biting his fingernails!", handily summarises the ineffectuality of the moments where she is afforded a real Best Actress close-up. I can't imagine any actress transforming this unthinkably silly line into something meaningful, and to her credit Jones softens the end of it to accomodate a bashful hush. The successes of her performance largely emerge through senseless, child-like affectations, generating some belief that her marriage with Mark may be an appealing escape from Eastern roots. And she seems to be a much better judge of character development than Screenwriter John Patrick, or Director King are at building a story.
A JJ fan I am not, but if we're striving for superlatives, she's probably the best thing about the film (I'm not even going to discuss the title track!) But striving we'd be, and she can neither make me believe that love is splendour, or fashion the film's lamb-dressing into even a semblant of a worthy investment.