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Months of Meryl: THE RIVER WILD

"Great post and comments. Yes, Streep had to navigate the rough waters of being in her 40's! I do think she smashed through the glass ceiling for women since she persevered and then became an even bigger star in her 50's." - Sister Rona

"One of my favourite movies from my teen years - I'm shocked at how long ago this was released. It was Meryl that sold this movie for me and is the reason I saw it. At the time, and I still feel this way, she is the reason to watch and believe this film." -Filmboymichael

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« Introducing... Five Nominees 1968 | Main | A Gynecological Weekend »

The Smackdown Cometh

Guess what's on its way?

That's right. Supporting Actress Smackdown 1968 coming at'cha on Wednesday October 30th. If you haven't yet voted on the Reader Ranking portion of the Smackdown, please do so by Monday. Rank only the performances you've seen on a scale of 1 to 5 hearts (5 being stupendous, 1 being totes unworthy and so on)

Let's meet our panelists shall we? Their bios and "what 1968 means to them" after the jump.


Manuel Muñoz
Manuel is the author of three books, including the Hitchcock-inspired novel, What You See in the Dark.  He teaches creative writing at the University of Arizona in Tucson and is a judge for the 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.

What 1968 Means To Me

❝It’s the Year of the Tie.  If nothing else, 1968 drives me bonkers when it comes to wish fulfillment for a tie in some other year when a split decision could ease the nagging feeling that Oscar couldn’t get it right no matter the outcome.  (I’m thinking of you, 1987.)  The sight of Ingrid Bergman opening that envelope with a look of delighted awe registers, for me, as a big ol’ can of worms for those of us wacky enough to reimagine these outcomes.  What a tantalizing, frustrating possibility—that you could reward a truly major performance and get the warm buzz of sentiment all on the same night, sometimes without knowing which is which.  Burstyn/Rowlands?  Dunaway/Spacek?  Hunter/Close?  Roberts/Linney?  It just kills me.  Better to just call it for Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction and leave it that.❞

Angelo Muredda 
Angelo is a contributor to Film Freak Central and Torontoist and a doctoral candidate in Canadian literature and film at the University of Toronto. He has his father's eyes. Follow him on Twitter 

What 1968 Means to Me

❝Sally Draper slumps back in her seat and takes her first hit of LSD as Keir Dullea goes beyond the infinite. She is fourteen years old. Unlike Sally, I wasn’t around for 1968, so I’m speaking in strictly retrospective terms when I say that for me it’s the year of the Star Child and Rosemary’s unholy issue — a good time for weird births.❞   


Brad Griffith
Brad is a blogger/actor/writer/producer/etc living in Los Angeles and working at a large media institution that he's not sure he can name, but for sure can have no official opinions on their movies. Other than that, he spends his relaxation time being busy, and taking in as much culture as he can.

What 1968 Means To Me


❝1968, besides being the year of my birth, gave us "Funny Girl", which helped along a youthful appreciation (obsession) for Barbra Streisand. I used to ask to stay up late to watch it during its annual TV broadcast. Our nominee from that film has one of my favorite comebacks in cinema:
Fanny: A gentleman fits in any place.
Rose: A sponge fits in any place. To me, a stranger should act a little....strange.
What a wacky year 1968 was cinematically - from early independents to the grand scale musicals... and the Smackdown won't even include The Producers, The Lion in Winter, or Herbie the Lovebug.❞



Nathaniel Rogers
Nathaniel is the founder of The Film Experience, a reknowned Oscar pundit, and the web's actressexual ringleader. Though he holds a BFA in illustration, he found his true calling when he started writing about the movies. Follow him on Twitter but do not stalk him in New York City.

What 1968 Means to Me

Please sir, I want some more.

❝That's how I feel about every grand cinematic year but since Oliver! was my third favorite movie of all time as a child (Yes, listing predated blogging) the quote is especially relevant. I was shocked to discover much later in life that it was very uncool to love Oliver! but I love what I love and proudly. Aside from prematurely empty bowls of gruel there is no 1968 without: a pendant filled with tanas root, the voice of HAL 9000, the Statue of Liberty buried in sand, and a vinyl recording of Babs singing "My Man"❞

Brian Herrera (aka StinkyLulu)
Brian convened the first Supporting Actress Smackdown and hostessed more than thirty. He is a writer, teacher and scholar presently based in New Jersey, but forever rooted in New Mexico. Follow him on Twitter

What 1968 Means To Me

❝One of these movies came out the weekend I was born. I saw it about fourteen years later, on the evening of the very day I happily lost my virginity. Yet, as that remarkable day ended, I realized a life-altering fact. I was more thrilled by my first time seeing this movie than by my actual "first time." My name is Brian and I am an actressexual.❞


Until then, daily at noon, little helpings of 1968 for context.
(Since reviving the series we've done 1980 and 1952)

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Reader Comments (12)

i love this feature and this is in no way a dig but a question just occurred to me: can a woman not be an actressexual?

October 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpar3182

@par3182--This lady certainly identifies as such!

October 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTB

Roberts/Linney ? WTF? Ellen Burstyn should won for Requiem. Period.

October 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterm

Sci-fi/Horror classic goldmine with:

Rosemary's Baby
2001: A Space Odyssey
Planet of the Apes
Night of the Living Dead
Targets (Underrated Bogdanovich-Corman picture based on the real-life mass-murdering Charles Whitman. It is up there with Peeping Tom in terms of feeling voyeuristically culpable)

I'll join Nathaniel in saying I LOVE Oliver!. Come on, even Pauline Kael found it to be good and her whole track record versus the crowd-pleasing movie-musicals of the sixties was notoriously spotty.

Also, The Monkees film called Head. The movie is dated as can be (the movie's best song "Circle Sky" is played over inter-cuts between a live performance and news footage of the Vietnam War) but it is an amazing relic and still works as an entirely meta comment on The Monkees fighting for their creative lives and freedom. Plus it was produced by Bob Rafelson and Jack Nicholson who I will always want to refer to as, 'The Producers Who Gave Us Head'.

October 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

par3182 -- a woman can be yes but no woman i've asked to join has accepted. To be fair it is kind of a major commitment so cheers to anyone who undertakes it. It's like at least 13 hours of your life just for the love of actressing.

October 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

curious about something: who does the calculation of screen time of the performances? (or is that kind of data available somewhere?) must be an arduous task - I could never do it because I would want to be too precise and it would never work - but I like that information.

looking forward to this!

October 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

Alas, I won't be voting in this one (I refuse to unless I have seen all the nominees) because every time I start to watch Faces I get about 10 minutes in and just cannot bring myself to watch any more.

That said, I am still greatly looking forward to the Smackdown.

October 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPoliVamp

Oh PoliVamp - I hear ya. (The movie does get so much more bearable and actually quite compelling when Lynn Carlin shows up, and then it becomes an actressexual's feast when the ladies bring Seymour Cassell home...but, yes, it was only out of true devotion to this task that I forced myself to make it through that John Marley opening half.)

And, par, what Nathaniel says is true. For nearly every smackdown I ran after the first few, I actively sought/recruited/cajoled woman contributors but still only got only a handful to join in the fun. (The boys, on the other hand? No paucity of volunteers there...) For the Supporting Actress Blogathon, women bloggers represented about 1/3-1/2 of the posts but, for the smackdown, not so much...

October 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStinkyLulu

I love that Julia Roberts win, but I am team Linney. Burstyn is a distant third.

October 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

On Faces: it's a very experimental movie, and, like the word says, it includes great things and misjudged choices. It' s far from being a perfect movie, but without it, Cassavetes could never have reached movies like A Woman Under the Influence and Love Streams. I like Faces more historically than the movie itself, but if has great moments and the second hour is great-great-great.

October 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Well, perhaps I can soldier through it, although I doubt I will get The Heart is a Lonely Hunter done before the Smackdown. Thus far, I haven't loved the two I have watched (Rachel Rachel and Rosemary's Baby), but maybe this just isn't my 'year' as far as Smackdowns go.

Odd about the women not participating. I'm wondering if it is a time thing; God knows getting these movies, and then getting them watched, has been quite a task this month.

October 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPoliVamp

Carlin is the one I haven't seen. Of the other four, Gordon deserved the win. But how did Shirley Knight not get nommed for Petulia?

Manuel is a fox!

October 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

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