Oscar History

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The Film Doctor makes a passionate case for Hawaii and The Descendants... but I'm still having trouble. I just don't think it's very good. And also it's hard to be receptive to the arguments when they start by dissing The Artist. 'Can't we all just get along?' That said I do agree that the final shot is pretty wonderful. Just wish the rest of the movie was.

They Live By Night
Awww, there was an Amadeus Blog-a-Thon and I didn't even know about it. Blog-a-thons just don't have as much outreach as they used to. Totally would've done that one.
The Awl  (speaking of the 80s...) remembers The Thorn Birds in a funny piece. OMG. I was so into priestly Richard Chamberlain when I was a wee boy. 
Cineuropa Iceland's Volcano didn't go the distant with Oscar this year in the Best Foreign Film Category but it's doing very well at home to augment its critical reputation. 14 nominations at Iceland's own Oscars!

Coming Soon. So wait let me get this straight. Will Smith turned down Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained) but signed up to work with M Night Shyamalan? Has he never seen these things we call movies? Here's Will & Jaden on the set of After Earth (formerly titled One Thousand Years A.E.). They're filming in beautiful Costa Rica.

Oscar 2012/13 Notes (Too Early?)
Playbill Les Miserables... will all the Oscars belong to it. Apparently they have their sights set on Best Original Song as well. They're giving Hugh Jackman a new number as Jean Valjean.
Empire Tom Felton of Potter/Malfoy fame will play another spoiled kid, Glenn Close's in fact, in Therese Raquin. Now that Close is about to tie Deborah Kerr and Thelma Ritter for Most Losing Oscar Nominated Actress (6 times) ... I am kind of excited for her to try to beat Peter O'Toole (8 times. no competitive wins). Think she can win attention again for this classic story? I know SHE would prefer to win but it's kind of exciting for US to have someone fighting for these records. Kind of. I mean, we still feel for her. Don't misunderstand

Goings about town(s)...

Los Angeles Readers
Recover from the Oscars in a couple of weeks with some classic animation. On March 7th-11th, the LA Animation Fest happens and there's special screenings of The Iron Giant and Akira, two unmissables. Both are presented by Sean Lennon who is this year's artistic director. Would that the Akira screening could convince Hollywood to abort their current plans and only pursue this live action adaptation madness with Asian leads. More on the fest at its official site.

New York Readers
This Friday the Film Society of Lincoln Center starts a four day tribute to 70s sex symbol Raquel Welch. The brunette bombshell will be appearing at some of the screenings over the weekend. The big ticket is undoubtedly bizarre cult camp object Myra Breckinridge this Friday. She'll be interviewed by Simon Doonan (!) after the screening. No word yet on whether actor turned critic Rex Reed will appear but it would be kind of hilarious for Raquel and him to pose for a photo op I think. The actress will also be at the One Million Years BC, Last of Sheila, and Three Musketeers screenings. You can read more about Welch's allure and legacy at the New York Observer.

Need a suggestion for next weekend? You can't really go wrong with a Barbara  Stanwyck Double Feature. Author Dan Callahan (full disclosure: a friend) just released a new book on the legenadary actress and he's introducing two of her most beloved films, the screwball comedy The Lady Eve (heaven) and the western Forty Guns.

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Reader Comments (23)

Exciting news about Therese Raquin. Here's hoping Glenn Close's first Oscar is on the way... And speaking of "Most Losing Nominated People", does anyone know who holds the record for Golden Globes losses? I'm thinking Kevin Spacey, but I'm not sure.

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

Lol, Will Smith, what a joke. Can't stand him anyway. The only family member I like is Willow. I love to Whip My Hair.

I bet Glenn Close is going to milk the shit out of this rebound of sorts, being an Oscar nominee again. If she played the right moves, mayybbee she could win? Idk, it almost doesn't seem like it was meant to happen for her. Poor girl. I kinda expected her to go for the Original Song Oscar this year, but even that couldn't pan out for her.

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

The Smiths seem to be a totally manufactured business enterprise. There is no way these kids would have careers without these pushy parents. Please tell me St Emma of Thompson has said no to that Annie remake. Is that still happening?

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAdrian

Would love to see the Raquel Welch tribute she seems like a fun broad although I know she has a reputation for being difficult to work with at times. The Last of Sheila is a really interesting film, would love to see it on the big screen and hear her version of the making of it, James Mason did not talk fondly of her at all. I wonder if she'll speak about the whole Cannery Row mess.

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

Am I the only one who hates when they write new songs for movie adaptations for movies? It always screams "we want an easy Oscar nom" to me. Les Mis already has like 42 songs, why write a new one when it will inevitably lead to one of the already great songs getting cut

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt S.

you bet we feel for her Nat

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermatt

If Glenn wants that Oscar (who are we kidding? She is dying for it), now is the time to strike. I don't think she can pull it off in lead, though. But seven nominations would tie her with Burton, which could be enough for an Honorary. Maybe make a big screen of Sunset while she is at it?

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

I am salivating at the prospect of this LES MIS movie. Actually, December 2012 will be a ridiculously good time at the movies:
Les Misérables
The Hobbit
Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby
Django Unchained
Ang Lee's Life of Pi

I. Can't. Wait.

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNicolas Mancuso

If that new Valjean song comes at the expense of Turning, I am all for it.

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWalter L. Hollmann

I agree that it could be an easy nom, but I also think that the Best Song category nees a song that comes from LES MIS

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMirko

Could we have a solid 'Best Original Song' line up next year. Maybe they can even nominate Dolly for one of the Joyful Noise songs she wrote (I know the film got panned but some of those songs are pretty good)

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRamification

//Maybe make a big screen of Sunset while she is at it?//

@John T - of course you jest...right?

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJanice

I WISH they would make the Sunset Boulevard musical into a movie. Glenn was brilliant; I didn't even know she could sing like that. I'm afraid she wouldn't get the role though.

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

Thanks for the link, Nathaniel. We can agree to disagree about The Descendants and The Artist. I imagine that I could have easily over-praised the former, but I also have difficulty seeing what's at stake in the latter. While The Descendants tries to touch on the relationship between generations and our connection with the land, The Artist is about what? One man's stubborn inability to come to terms with technological change? I don't understand why everyone seems so intent to shower the movie with awards.

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterfilmdr

The Descendants is one of those films where I feel like a few tweaks to the script and pacing could have been sooooo much better, its not a bad film at all but there are some moments that seem to linger when they don't really need to. I liked the ideas it was trying to throw at me more than the actual execution most of the time.

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterramification

I will never get Will's thinking in turning down Tarantino. That could've been major for him...I'm not really into this Jamie Foxx casting though. Seems too obvious.

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBia

Just wanted to give everyone a heads-up that many of the Berlinale press conferences, red carpets, etc. are being live streamed on the festival's website.
The opening ceremony starts in an hour (19.30 CET):

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteranna

Why, oh, why can't I live in NYC? Just for a while, just to go to places like the Museum of the Moving Image (still in Astoria?) and see things like the screenings of The Lady Eve and Forty Guns--two wonderful classics with the magnificent Barbara Stanwyck.

N--Thanks so much for the recommendation of your friend's new book on Stanwyck. Will have to add to my collection. Her appearances and acceptance speeches at several awards shows in her later years (Oscar, AFI, Cecil B. DeMille) are fabulous and worth checking out on Youtube.

"Here's yum. Here's the other yum. And here's yum yum!"

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Does anyone know what the going rate for making a big budget movie musical is per minute? Can it be less than $5000 per minute? Is it $10,000? I just don't see how they can risk live singing on a project as big as Les Miz. No one has ever made it work. If you have 40 people in a shot and one person blows it, or the mike doesn't work? Yikes. I wouldn't want to be bankrolling that thing either.

Count me in as a great fan of The Descendants. The only movie I liked possibly as much this year is Hugo, but they're both so different. One is low key and subtle, the other is full of movie making magic.

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDave in Alamitos Beach

Does anyone know what the going rate for making a big budget movie musical is per minute? Can it be less than $5000 per minute? Is it $10,000? I just don't see how they can risk live singing on a project as big as Les Miz. No one has ever made it work. If you have 40 people in a shot and one person blows it, or the mike doesn't work? Yikes. I wouldn't want to be bankrolling that thing either.

Count me in as a great fan of The Descendants. The only movie I liked possibly as much this year is Hugo, but they're both so different. One is low key and subtle, the other is full of movie making magic.

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDave in Alamitos Beach

Sorry about the double post. Delete one of them. I hate technology!

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDave in Alamitos Beach

The Artist is a film about embracing change. It's about a man who must learn to change with the times, or else he will become oblivious. It may not seem like high stakes, but I feel this is a constant struggle in our world, change comes so quickly that most of us become obsolete. It's also the story of the one person who is willing to save this man from self-destruction. It's not a new story, but it's one I've always been attracted to because I tend to be a sentimentalist and an optimist. I love films about people who are strong enough to save other people from themselves (it's why I find Walk the Line so moving, despite its obvious biopic traps). The Descendants, I feel also that the film had too many half-baked ideas to really come together. I could do eithout the narration, without some of the offensive depictions of certain local characters, without some of the humor that seemed to come from another movie, without the lfather-in-law's overwrought dialogue (we get it, you think this guy's a loser, move on!), just so many little things that bothered me that they distracted from some of the stuff I really liked (the central relationships, the beauty of the setting, the underwater crying scene, the final shot, Judy Greer's scenes), there is a lot to like, but The Descendants felt labored at times, while I was completely won over by the Artist.

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRichter Scale

Ok, no one answered me and google wouldn't give me anything either. From the little I could gather the record of Golden Globes losses with no wins goes to... Debra Messing, apparently.

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn
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