Oscar History

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AP the inventor of Etch-a-Sketch has died. If I still had one still, i would draw you the saddest frown right now. Unhappy about this!
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Playbill interviews Sebastian Stan who has now made a name for himself on all three actors mediums: film, tv, and stage (with Picnic, previously discussed)
BuzzFeed why The Amazing Spider-Man sequel will prove to be a bizarro version of Spider-Man 3 

Comics Alliance this made me lol'an extensive discussion of Batman punching animals'
Salon Richard Kramer remembers his mentor Pauline Kael
/Film Matthew Modine has had his diaries from Full Metal Jacket made into an iPad App. Great idea.
Carpetbagger Wreck-It Ralph scores at the Annie Awards
Empire Johnny Depp might finally play a non cartoon again. He could attend Black Mass, a true story crime drama, with Barry Levinson directing. He's done this genre before to varying but mostly positive results (Public Enemies, Donnie Brasco

Awards Daily on the conjoined fall & rise of Zero Dark Thirty and Argo
The New Yorker nominated The Paperboy for future camp classic now that it's on DVD "where it belongs"
Jeremy Helligar on why Joaquin Phoenix should win the Oscar instead of Day Lewis. Love this bit... 

Quell was a mix of standout characteristics of at least three of the characters played by Phoenix's Best Actor Oscar competition, a drunk like Washington's Whip Whitaker, cuckoo like Cooper's Pat Solitano (though hardly recovering) and criminal like Jackman's Jean Valjean (again, hardly reformed). If The Master had been set 100 years earlier, circa 1850, I have no doubt that Freddie would have wanted to free the slaves, too.

Do you have any impossible dream of Daniel's third going to someone else?

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Reader Comments (45)

I agree about Joaquin. His performance is an absolute monster of a performance. He deserves the win.

February 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSad man

I think we are gonna see an upset here... I wish Denzel had a chance not only because he is mesmerizing in the movie, but also because it'd be a triumph for a non-arthouse non-biopic adult drama. Flight is a very flawed movie but I love Denzel in it and I love to see megastars carrying movies so beautifully. A win here could be compared to Pitt winning for Moneyball. Same skills, same charisma... (Moneyball is much better, but the qualities of the performances are very similar).

February 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

I think Phoenix is the upset here. His duet with PSH is fantastic, he never won and he is respected as an actor, unlike Cooper and Jackman.

February 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Joaquín gets my vote and my heart. He's so sexy and brave in The Master.

February 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

My favorite Joaquin Phoenix performances: Parenthood (1989), To Die For (1995), The Master (2012). Re-watch them, he's a little Sandy Dennis, there's flashes of what he's to become as an adult actor in his work in Parenthood, there's a bit of Quell in his sex scenes with Kidman in To Die For, The Master is his potential and talent in full bloom.

February 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

My fave mle performances this year were Trintignan, Schoenaerts and Hawkes. So like you mafe your peace with Argo wining, I made my peace with DDL's third Oscar.

February 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermurtada

He's on my Oscar ballot along with Emmanuelle Riva FTW on the 24th. Let the bets begin!

February 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoel V

Daniel and Joaquin are the only ones who really deserve it out of the 5 nominated.

February 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBia

My impossible dream is that a Matthias Schoenaarts write-in campaign takes hold and shocks everyone.
My possible dream is Joaquin Phoenix taking it (although all the nominees are pretty worthy.)

February 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

This was a really strong year for Best Actor; all the performances nominated are at least very good and I wish they'd found room for Hawkes, Trintignant, and Lavant. That said, I think Phoenix towers over everyone else and I'd put Day Lewis fourth on my ballot of the nominees.

It is hard to believe they'd give Day Lewis a third lead Oscar when they've never given another actor that and that he's still relatively young and with not that many more nominations than wins. However, he's an impeccable awards show attendee and gives good speeches; he's never been anything but classy and that goes a long way. (And of course he's astoundingly talented.) I am prepared for Day Lewis but nothing would make me happier on Oscar night than Phoenix winning.

February 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAR

There might be an upset in Picture with Lincoln beating Argo but I think it's a done deal for DDL to take home his third. I think Joaquin screwed himself over with those comments, they couldn't deny the work an acknowledging nomination but it won't go further. Let's hope Hugh gets another worthy part at some point so he has an actual crack at the prize cause I don't see that happening this year either.

February 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

I am armoring myself against the swath of arrows about to be sent my way, but Joaquin should not be nominated for Best Actor. I am a great admirer of his, but his performance in The Master is so misjudged. A few nice moments notwithstanding, he really overshoots here. When he started walking around like an orangutan he killed it for me. Maybe I'm just not getting it. Hawkes or Sharma should be in this spot instead. I tihnk DDL has it in the bag, but I was hoping they would wait to give the third big guy to Nicholson or Hoffman.

February 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Of the nominees, Joaquin head and shoulders above everyone. I may be taking DDL for granted but I feel that there was no amount of risk in the performance. I think even people who like Joaquin and The Master felt like there was still something risky, messy, and raw with the performance. But that is why I and a lot of other people were so taken by it.

Weirdly enough, I thought SLP was mediocre (for something that messy in the first-half, I appreciated it more than the cleaned up third act) but there was something about Bradley Cooper in the first half-hour that touched the beats that only Phoenix seemed to do in the other nominated performances. But damn that script for changing Cooper and Lawrence's characters in the final act.

But Lavant and Trintignant would be my favorite acting performances of the year. I liked Trintignant over Riva (shocker I know, and I do like Riva's performance very much) as the film would not be as effective without him. Lavant is just in his own category. That is something I have never saw before.

February 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

That New Yorker article is so annoying. I'm tired of being told what is in "good taste" and what is in "bad taste". There is no good, there is no bad, there is only preference. Was the film realized? That is the only question that matters. Is it cohesive? Does it accomplish what it sets out to accomplish? Criticize The Paperboy for its disjointedness or its half-baked ideas by all means, but I'm so sick of reading articles that shame films for not being "respectable". Respectability is anathema to art, especially art that comes from minority voices.

February 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTB

Freddie Quell would have wanted to free the slaves? What? I have no idea what that's supposed to mean. Is it facetious?

I thought the "point" of Phoenix's character, if there is one, or if you can single one out among many, is that he is driven by whimsical, carnal, self-destructive desires. Hardly the kind of man capable of the rationality and selflessness necessary to achieve or even imagine achieving what Lincoln did. I mean, sure, he doesn't seem to mind hanging out with those migrant workers, but he isn't particularly contemplative about it either.

February 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria

CMG, I wholeheartedly agree with pretty much everything you say. I did like SLP very much, but I agree about the final act. I think that making the football game and saving Pat Sr.'s restaurant the main focus while allowing everything else (including the dance contest) to revolve around it blunted the emotional impact of that part of the movie. Pat and Tiffany worked so obsessively on that routine and for them to be so ecstatic over getting a 5 because it saved the restaurant felt kind of sitcomish. The relationship between them (and the chemistry between Cooper and Lawrence) was what made SLP so special, and it should have remained the primary focus to the end.

And Trintignant! I feel the same way about him as I feel about Matthias Schoenaarts. Their female costars, Emmanuelle Riva and Marion Cotillard, got all the love, but neither film would have had the impact that they did without the male leads, and I was more moved by their performances. It reminds me of the year that Sissy Spacek got all of the attention for In the Bedroom, while the movie was really mostly about Tom Wilkinson's character and performance. At least HE got nominated!

As for Phoenix, while I understand brookesboy's gripes with his simian-like physical choices, I think they really complemented the primal awkwardness of the character. I saw it as being not only characterization but symbolism, too. If DDL had been cast in The Master and given the same kind of performance, I have no doubt that it would be hailed as the greatest acting ever, and DDL would actually be swiping that third Oscar away from himself!

February 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Helligar

@ CMG: "I may be taking DDL for granted but I feel that there was no amount of risk in the performance."

I think many of us have forgotten by this point - given the warm embrace of Daniel Day Lewis' performance by audiences, critics, and award-giving bodies - that Lewis really did take on a lot of risk with the role. Remember how many people recoiled when they heard how high and reedy his voice sounded in the trailer? Even though historians assured us that that was how Lincoln spoke? Lewis took a lot of dimly remembered and recorded historical tidbits and combined them into a performance that feels so authentic I'm surprised so many people recognized he was even acting.

February 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria

Jeremy, I realize I'm in the minority about Joaquin, but for me, the performance just didn't work. And I was really disappointed because I love his work so much. For me, his portrayal of Quell was a misfire. And I am very afraid I am being influenced by my intense distaste for The Master. I just really did not like it at all.

February 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Phoenix is obviously deserving, but I would go with the masses and give DDL his third Oscar.

February 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

brookesboy, Fair enough. I didn't love the film either, and I can understand why it's been so divisive. (I actually wish Laura Dern and Amy Adams had traded roles because as an actress, Dern just makes more of an impression.) I'm pretty surprised that Phoenix's performance hasn't been more divisive as well. It's certainly polarizing, but that is often the case with the great performances.

Victoria, don't overthink it. Obviously, the Lincoln bit was me being facetious. Considering the character flaws I assigned to Freddie in the previous sentence, surely he wouldn't have had the mental faculties to free the slaves!

February 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Helligar

I was only trying to confirm what you meant, since it wasn't clear to me that you weren't trying to assign some kind of greater class or racial consciousness to Freddie - which isn't so far out of my ability to imagine. I still don't know why you bothered to mention it if you didn't really mean it though.

February 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria

Jeremy, that's really interesting about the idea of Dern and Adams trading. I thought Dern was one of the best things about the film and her role should have been expanded. To me, Adams was egregiously miscast, but I thought she had some effective scenes.

February 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Joaquin Phoenix over Daniel Day-Lewis any day. (Their respective performances here, of course) I'm so tired of the race being over before it begins. I'll just yawn and wait for DDL's acceptance speech to end I guess. I love him as an actor and all, but come on.

February 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrandon

Day-Lewis / Streep
Phoenix / Davis
Washington / Close
Cooper / Mara
Jackman / Williams

February 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Phoenix is the best of the nominees, but Trintignant gave my favorite male lead performance this year. I do think DDL is a great actor, but Lincoln is not among his greatest performances. That said, many big names do not win Oscars for their best performances.

February 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Victoria, I remember the first photos of him and the universal reaction was, 'THAT IS LINCOLN'. The only recoiling I can recall is the Spielberg schmaltz seeping in and the John Williams score that felt so safe.

Phoenix's character, and PTA seems to have used the DVD bonus tracks of The Master to back this up, is based on specific group of veterans who returned from the war who were never reported on or talked about because they became such outsiders to society who were not prepared for men in their condition. Even the groundbreaking, well-deserved Best Picture winner The Best Years of Our Lives never had a character close to Freddie Quell for reasons beyond censorship to an X-rated character.

February 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

Unlike what we've been having this decade, this was a great year for Best Actor. The lineup is really good and worthy, and then think about the ones who weren't nominated: Lerman, Lavant, Schoenaerts, Hawkes...

February 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLucky

There's no way DDL isn't winning. I'd love some sort of upset, somewhere ... but when is the last time we've had a big surprise at the Oscars?

It's shaping up to be Lawrence, DDL, Hathaway ... and I suppose there is some suspense in the Supporting Actor category, but it's such a boring category this year that I don't care.

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

If there is an upset in this category, I want it to be Hugh Jackman over Daniel Day-Lewis.

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMel

Joe: The last time we had a big upset in the Oscars in the lead acting categories is the year when Adrien Brody won. I don't think he was a frontrunner then. Incidentally, the perceived frontrunner then was DDL too (although not the juggernaut that DDL is in this year's race).

There are more upsets in the supporting categories. Juliette Binoche, Marcia Gay Harde, even Alan Arkin.

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMel

I'm only glad that Ben Affleck wasn't nominated for Best Actor cause you just know he would've picked up some snub sympathy votes there. And I like Argo! But I'd totally prefer it win a sympathy Best Picture than a sympathy Best Actor.

Anyway, I'd like Joaquin to win- his posture in that film was one of my favourite things of last year! But I can't begrudge Lincoln either, DDL was sooo good.

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSVG

Thank God for brookesboy, otherwise I'd be all alone re: Phoenix and THE MASTER.

And while I'm glad that The New Yorker is encouraging people to check out THE PAPERBOY, I pray I'm not the only one who didn't see its outrageous characters and shocking plot turns as over-the-top ridiculousness, but rather kind of beautiful and melancholy. One of the most honest depictions of loneliness and the extremes people go to to feel a connection.

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWalter L. Hollmann

I think Phoenix had a shot if he bothered to campaign as he is really the only viable candidate against DDL, but we all know how he feels about campaigning. Washington has 2 already and well, he has been doing a lot of paycheque films for the last decade or so (that's why I can't see De Niro winning a 3rd), Jackman is in a musical and it's one that is polarizing so he's out and as good as Cooper is in SLP, I don't think the academy is ready to crown him an Oscar winner just yet.

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrami (ramification)

A third for Washington, as the case with Streep, is a matter of inscription, not hardware.

Joaquin is the worthiest nominee in his category and the best male performance of the year and yes I've seen Holy Motors.

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Wasn't Jeremy Renner connected to The Master, specifically the Freddie Quell character (and Reese Witherspoon for the Amy Adams role with PSH, a PTA regular, the only person who was considered from the beginning)? I think had Renner given a performance in the vein of Phoenix (and I wouldn't put it past him despite his recent trip down the rabbit hole in action films), this race could have been different because Renner definitely would have campaigned his butt off and has much higher Q ratings now than he did for either The Hurt Locker or The Town. He would have gotten the benefit the way Jennifer Lawrence has this year that is also boosted by being in blockbusters.

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

The elephant in the room is that Renner's ugly. And no I don't believe he would have equaled Phoenix's work simply because no one knew Joaquin could do that!

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Joaquin Phoenix's performance in "The Master" is exactly the kind of ticky, actorly, overly affected work that I hope and pray is overlooked by everyone at every turn during awards season. Although he does have quite a few standout moments throughout the film, both big and subtle, the overall product screams, "Look at me! I'm ACTING!" It's not exactly seamless from my point of view.

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

Troy you didn't like the film. People who dislike the more are less likely to gain appreciation for the work the actors are doing it, it's very specific work for this type of film, where everything needs to be heightened or perverted for effect—Phoenix's performance only makes sense in the film its housed in. Outside of it all of your points would read as agreeably valid.

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

@3rtful: Who said I disliked the movie? I didn't love it, but there are aspects that I did admire. I'm an actor myself, so I know about the technical facets of giving a specific type of performance for specific type of film. My criticisms of Phoenix's work were definitely formed with consideration to the film that contains it.

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

ITA, Troy. Phoenix was ACTING so I could never believe for a moment this was a real character. It felt many times like I was watching an acting class. This performance was a rare misstep by a terrific actor.

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

How come no one notices the obvious choices made by Hoffman? He gave the worst highly praised performance of the year.

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

In my opinion PSH is generally overpraised and has only deserved one of his four nominations ("Capote"). His nomination could have, and should have, easily gone to another actor.

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

Troy as much as I cringe at some of his choices performance wise, he's not the worst of the nominees in his category. Arkin and Weaver are wasted space.

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

I'm no great fan of Arkin's work in "Argo" either.

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

Since we're talking upsets, I always wonder why Russell Crowe won in 2000 when he was not the perceived frontrunner. Was it because they did not want Hanks to get a 3rd Oscar for that role? Also perhaps it was a make-up Oscar for Crowe's work in The Insider the year before (although I though Spacey's win for American Beauty was deserved).

Same with Adrien Brody's win for The Pianist in 2002. You have to think there was hesitation on some voters to give DDL a 3rd or Jack a 3rd for the roles they were nominated for then.

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMel

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