Oscar History

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"We have 12 Vacancies. 12 Cabins. 12 Links" 

Kill Screen imagines Downton Abbey as a card based RPG. Love the artifact "pants of modernity"
Deja View a relic brochure from a time when Disney was seeking animators.
Irish Times is pissed about Streep's Oscar win and illustrates, again, that a backlash grows. But here's the interesting part...

One can think of many star actresses...who will submerge themselves in films bigger than themselves. But Streep has to be bigger than the movie, to the point where she can become, in effect, a substitute for it.

You may recall we were talking about just this fascinating issue (within the Oscar symposium). It's hardly a Streep-Only topic. What does it mean to "carry" a movie and should an actor ever be asked to? 

Rope of Silicon has "sexy" issues with Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh in the upcoming feature Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho (omg please change the title). So do I and the first being that Scarjo, who I enjoy, is very different than Janet Leigh in body, age and looks. She might be able to summon up the contemplative paranoia mood of Leigh but otherwise it's a huge miss if you ask me.
Guardian odd lawsuit of day. Sandra Bullock is pissed that a watch company is selling a watch by comparing it to her Blind Side look.
Coming Soon Disney must've liked the response to titling Rapunzel Tangled because their next fairy tale musical will be based on The Snow Queen and it's called Frozen. Kristen Bell, Veronica Mars herself, gets lead vocal duties.
 remembers Black Swan with a new behind the scenes photo gallery. I don't remember Natalie wearing this white cloak thing onstage. Have I lost my mind or just my short term memory?
ioncinema details a new "slippery nature of truth" project called True Story starring Jonah Hill and James Franco. Brad Pitt's Plan B is producing. Pitt has good taste and this sounds interesting. 
Pajiba lists the 25 biggest animated hit (adjusted for inflation). Pixar doesn't even make the top 10!
Indiewire lists films they hope show at Cannes this summer

And even though I always try to let each year's Oscars go within a week's time of the ceremony, I find myself still reading Oscar recaps since I have emerged from my cave of silence. I did like these two overviews of the ceremony from two of my favorite online peeps, The Self Styled Siren and Glenn at Stale Popcorn. So if you also share the Oscar sickness, read 'em.

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Reader Comments (18)

Of course the Irish of Ireland hate Thacther. Not surprised by this piece, given the source. While there are some corners who resent Streep, others love her and her work. #1 on IMDb this week is none other than Meryl Streep.

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbrandz

"Pixar doesn't even make the top 10!"

Finding Nemo is #10. :)

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

Oh how I wish I didn't agree with the Irish Times article, albeit not nearly so strongly. (They go a bit into insult, no?) and saying Streep has done no great films since "the Deer Hunter"? I call Sophie's Choice a great film - but then again, what do I remember of it aside from Streep? Nothing, actually, and I just saw it again last year. So they may have a point.

And again, I enjoy Streep greatly - although I will no doubt be flogged here nonetheless as though I don't. (As you have been Nathaniel, but never mind that.) I just do wish a woman of her age AND her power in Hollywood (a never-before-seen combination?) used her talent to shepard greater scripts, better projects.

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJanice

You don't have short term memory Nathaniel, I've seen Black Swan 8 times now and there is no such scene with Portman in that white cloak. Perhaps something left on the cutting room floor?

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSeeking Amy

It's a bit sad that, with her win, Streep has now pretty much been validated for her uninspiring to terrible choices in directors. I'd always thought she'd only win again if she did a film that, for once, didn't have her as the only good thing about it. What a waste if she continues the rest of her career with the David Frankels and Phyllida Lloyds of the film world, but what are ya gonna do.

While we're still on the topic of the Oscars, I'm a little sad that you didn't get around to your 'how'd they get nominated' percentage game this year, Nathaniel. Always one of my favorite parts of the season. But nevermind that, you deserve three cheers and a long rest from the Oscars for all your great work. :)

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRax


The critics and bloggers always complain Streep gets the best roles. Apparently she has first choice of every script that goes through Hollywood.

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbrandz

The Irish Times article might be harsh, but I totally agree on everything he writes about "The Iron Lady". However, it's not fair reviewing Meryl's career. Her movies are not that bad, maybe except for "Mamma mia!" and "Julie & Julia". Also, her prosthetics-free performances in "The Hours" and "A Prairie Home Companion" were great. Too bad the Academy voters don't seem to go in that direction. Maybe that's part of the problem too.

In my opinion, to "carry" a movie has nothing to do with screen time or star billing, but with the talent to incarnate the soul of the story you're watching. Viola is the perfect example in "The Help".

PS Thanks for the Oscar links!

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Irish times not liking Meryl's win for Thatcher... Shocking!

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

I actually do think that "Postcards from the Edge" is a great movie.

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWill

What about Adaptation? Don't people consider that a great movie? It's definitely not considered mediocre methinks. I assume he left it out because she's supporting or because it sort of undermines his point? I guess I just find it hard to believe that Streep is getting offered all of these AMAZING scripts that she's turning down for crappier things. I feel like there just aren't a lot of great scripts with roles for a woman her age, but maybe I'm just being naive and she's just looking for crap she can dominate

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt s.

In addition to Adaptation and Postcardslet's add The Hours and Angels in America and The Devil Wears Prada and Bridges of Madison County. One can dismiss The Irish Times piece based on these omissions alone.

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbrandz

I think focusing on one part of the article does a disservice to the rest of it, however much I may not prefer the sharpness of tone. I think it would be wonderful if Streep followed the lead of Kidman and others in Hollywood to create roles for themselves and other women because those films won't get made otherwise.

Then again, I've always thought that if the A-list women in Hollywood - the most famous and highly paid actresses on the ladder - really banded together to do something about the dearth of good roles, that there'd be nothing they couldn't do if they collectively set their minds to it.

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJanice

Janice, I generally agree, and I do see truth in a lot of what the article says. I guess I'm just a little irritated by the "Streep has never been in a great movie" mantra that tends to pop up from year to year. In addition to raising a lot of questions about the standards that are used to measure "greatness," I also just get defensive about it because, well, I like a lot of the movies Streep has made.

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWill

Right, because "great movies" boast tons of interesting roles for women past their 60s. Name me 5 BP nominees of the last decade who had that except for The Queen.

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGage Creed

When I think of the notion of "carrying a movie," my mind immediately goes to two distinct ideas. The first is the very tangible, quantifiable position of a lead in the traditional sense. In this instance the actor has a presence in almost every frame of film and his or her character's very discernible arc provides the lens through which the audience experiences most of the action of the story.

The other more abstract concept deals with the actor who may share equal screen time with his or her counterparts, especially in an ensemble piece, but whose character trajectory takes on an emotional or visceral heft that supercedes that of the other players in the story. This person becomes the one in which audience invests most of its energy.

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

I thought of Michelle Williams right away to play Janet Leigh but considering she just played Monroe...
Nathaniel, who would you have picked to play Leigh?

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWayne B.

Oh man. I want to play that Downton Abbey card game immediately.

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

The cloak was probably used to aid in the effect of her growing wings in that Black Swan transformation number.

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNoNo
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