And the Oscar Goes To…

         After watching all the films this semester I decided to give an Oscar for “Amber’s Favorite Movie.” Based on criteria such as good plotline, believable acting, true emotions, and an overall appeal, I would give this award to the 1949 film The Heiress, directed by William Wyler.

         The movie is based on the 1880 novel Washington Square, written by Henry James. The movie, like the book deals with different aspects of love. Dr. Sloper's (Ralph Richardson) has an absurd, hurtful love for Catherine, his daughter (Olivia de Havilland). This is due to the fact that he really loved her mother, who died during childbirth. He still resents young Catherine and cannot love her as a father really should. Ralph Richardson plays a believable character that is cruel and cold to his daughter. Olivia de Havilland portrays a wonderful young woman who just wants to find love and be loved by her father. She does find love in Morris Townsend (Montgomery Clift), but this will later prove to be untrue. Throughout the movie she does a great job of transforming Catherine from an innocent, naïve girl to a strong, powerful woman.

         The movie, like the book, also depicts different types of hatred. Dr. Sloper hates the man that is calling on his daughter, Morris Townsend. He sees that Morris only wants Catherine for her inheritance. In turn, Catherine then begins to hate her father who will not let her marry Morris. Finally, Catherine hates Morris when he leaves her on the night they planned to elope. All of these scenes of hatred are very powerful.

         The reason I chose this movie for my Oscar is that it gives viewers great characters that show true emotions. Whether it is the love shown by Catherine to Morris or the hatred shown by Dr. Townsend to Catherine, the movie does an excellent job of portraying the emotion. The actors and actresses are very believable. Overall, I think it is a movie very deserving of the “Amber’s Favorite Movie” Academy Award.

Amber Lyles

Table of Contents