Oscar History

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« Oscar Flashback: The Leg | Main | First & Last: The Thinking Animal »

Reader: Christian in Barcelona

We're getting to know The Film Experience readership. Today we're talking to "Peggy Sue" who you know from the comments. Though he is more likely to answer to "Christian" in person ;)

Hi, Christian. Let's start at the very beginning. Your first movie memory?

CHRISTIAN: Mary Poppins' cough syrup. I'll explain. As a kid I was always sick, so I vividly remember being amazed by her changing colors medicine. Mine was brownish and disgusting so I thought the whole flying thing was OK, but the syrup was utterly amazing!

What is your relationship to Pedro Almodóvar and his muses?

CHRISTIAN: Total devotion. My favorites are Carmen Maura, Verónica Forqué and Chus Lampreave.

Your three favorite actresses in general?

Three? Man, you're tough! I'll stick to the living ones: Kathleen Turner, Michelle Pfeiffer, Glenn Close, Susan Sarandon, and Meryl. Plus almost every single British actress out there and half of the Argentinians. I'll also say that I'll watch anything with Bates, Bening, Channing, Hunter, Lange, McDormand and Moore in it.

That is way more than three. When did you start reading TFE?

When you posted what I call "The Turner" and can be described as Kathleen's reaction shot at the Oscars spiced up with your witty comments!

The tragedy of March 30th, 1987 illustrated

I felt vindicated after years of reading all over the Internet that Sigourney Weaver was robbed (Shut up readers! I love Susan, I'm not a hater).

How often do you go to the movies?

Usually one or two on Fridays and Sundays. During the week I'm more devoted to my two hundred favorite TV-Shows.

How do you pick what you'll see?

I usually pay attention to critics/awards buzz. That includes you and Nick Davis. I saw A Separation months before the Oscar madness just because I read your review. Big draws? If someone sings something I'll probably go see it and if they're all British and wear corsets and laces I'll be there too.


Oops sorry. Take one Oscar away / Give it to someone else.

Oh! You just opened Pandora's box, here I go: Matlin/Turner, Foster/Close, Tandy/Pfeiffer, Hunt/Dench, Paltrow/Montenegro, Swank/Staunton, Witherspoon/Huffman, Bullock/Mulligan, Streep/Davis...

I said one!

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Reader Comments (28)

It's interesting that when asked about switching Oscars, the answers almost always focus on women, not men. Are there less controversial choices for actors or does this specific demographic just focus on actresses?

April 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

I'll watch anything with Bates

You can have my phone number.

April 17, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

That Mary Poppins scene makes me giggle today because when Mary has her cough syrup, it tastes like rum punch. What she MOST wanted to taste at the end of that long, absurd day was a cocktail. It's like she's telegraphing "I need a drink."

April 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHayden W

In a remake, Mary would say, "Mmmmm, vodka soda."

April 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHayden W

Christian and 3rtful must be both excited and skeptical about Bates joining American Horror Story. I sure am. Damn that Ryan Murphy...

April 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeter


Ryan Murphy keeps actresses buoyant in the sea of pop culture relevancy. Jessica Lange is back on the A-list, Paltrow earned an Emmy, with Julia Roberts on her way for 'The Normal Heart', and more women working because he's an actressexual with clout.

April 17, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

DJDeeJay: I think it's 1/3 "the demographic", 1/3 "the question is pereceived as switch a winner for a more deserving nomineee" (so you won't, for example, get people saying "Switch out Olivier for Bogart" when asked this question, because Bogart wasn't actually nominated in 1948) and 1/3 "Best Actor usually winds up honouring a strong majority of the most legendary actors, even if it's not for 'their best work'", so it feels like there's barely a point.

April 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

@ 3rtful

While I do appreciate what Murphy's doing for actresses who takes advantage of his material, I'm just not a fan of the actual work itself. 'Glee' and 'AHS' was once great, but now I found myself watching each episode thinking "I've came so far so I can't stop watching, but please let this be another bad episode." lol

I'm excited for his new HBO sex show, just because I think his shows usually come out of the gate brilliantly before nosediving in the second season. Save for 'The New Normal'.. I just never liked it.

April 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

He had me gushing until the "Witherspoon/Huffman" bit. Ew...

April 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTyler

I have no idea what is Murphy's secret, Vanessa Redgrave on Nip/Tuck I could understand because her daughter was a regular on the show. BUT HOW DID HE GET CATHERINE DENEUVE TO GUEST-STAR??????????????

Whatever, as much as Glee has shriveled in irrelevance for me, at least he helped people re-discover the awesomeness of Sarah Paulson. And American Horror Story: Asylum for my money ran circles around the first season in every which way, largely because of Lange and Paulson. It officially won me at "The Name Game".

But back to Christian's answers, okay now I regret not discovering this site earlier in life a little more. That Turner graphic is amazing.

April 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

DJDeeJay: 1/3 Demographic, 1/3 The Most Iconic and Enduring Leading Men usually get their Oscars somehow (Richard Burton ultimately didn't win because his career momentum got crushed due to his high financial responsibilities), 1/3 that it's generally perceived that the question is "replace a winner with a more deserving NOMINEE" as opposed to anyone. I don't view it that way, but that's the general assumption, and, unfortunately, there's more interesting "that won, but this WAS NOMINATED and should have won" in Lead Actress, with snubs that, at the moment of occurance, feel genuinely major are rare, occuring maybe two to three times A DECADE (The last one was, what, Sally Hawkins in Happy-Go-Lucky). In Lead Actor, however, there's usually one or two snubs that feel like major "should have been winners" A YEAR. Thus, doing "the switch game" feels less...proper.

April 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Tyler: Great acting is something you feel with your heart, not your privates. Witherspoon has been great (see Election if you want proof of that), but her boring "vaguely sexy supportive girlfriend" borderline supporting role in Walk the Line, in specific? Yeah, you'll not be seeing me get disgusted at someone being disappointed that that won an Oscar. My personal switch would be Witherspoon out for Luminita Gh Also: Beyond that, she didn't deserve it on an artistic success level (six years of waste post Election) or a current pop consciousness level. Her last three films before that film were: Sweet Home Alabama, Legally Blonde 2 and the 2004 Vanity Fair, the one that made the bizarre decision to turn Becky Sharp into a likable ideal role model. Yeah, even Jennifer Lawrence's recent win makes more sense than Reese in 2005.

April 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Peggy Sue... Christian... Hmm, nice to be finally putting a face to the name. And what a good looking face. I can see why you're a fan of Nathaniel, the actressexual must be playing a big part.

April 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

Tyler: That sentence fragment was supposed to be "Mt personal choice would be Witherspoon out for Luminita Gheorghiu (because I'm a first commercial release anywhere sort of guy, I count The Death of Mr. Lazarescu as 2005) someone possibly a bit less physically appealing than Ms. Huffman."

April 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

"largely because of Lange and Paulson"

Surpassed in trashy genius by Rabe and Cromwell, whose exits were sadly premature.

April 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Oh, God! It's SO strange to see my face here. Now I understand Joaquín Phoenix ;)

Thanks Nathaniel! You've been so understanding with my inability to pick just one or two!

P.S. I can't believe I forgot Fonda, MacLaine, and Wiest.

April 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

DJDeeJay I think The Film Experience readers are just more passionate about female actors than male ones, and can you blame them? It's easier to be passionate about them. (Many of my least favourite Oscar wins might be men, but on the other hand the snubs that hurt most are women who've lost.)

"If someone sings something I'll probably go see it and if they're all British and wear corsets and laces I'll be there too."
This reader spotlight has my approval.

April 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew K.

THAT'S "Peggy Sue"?! ~jaw-drop~

Anticipating Bates vs. Lange in the next season of AHS. Now if only Smash could free up Anjelica Huston..... The Grand High Witch herself on that show would give it some Twin Peaks-level of additional creep factor.

April 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSanty.C

I love how he ignored you in terms of wilting the lists down, three actresses, one snub etc, so funny :)

April 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrami (ramification)

I'm with Volvagia and Peggy Sue. Witherspoon was category fraud and a not very interesting take on an actually pretty interesting real-life woman. Huffman, while not in the best movie, played a three-dimensional trans-character that was kind of groundbreaking in American movies (as there have been those characters in Almodovar movies for years) and still not properly appreciated, imo. If you thought people were not ready to give Brokeback Mountain the Best Picture Oscar, it was kind of a miracle that Huffman was nominated (this is where it being her coronation on TV a la Helen Hunt was used for good and not evil) since I am pretty sure the Academy prefers the tortured souls, transgressive to society kind of people on the LGBTQ spectrum (Hello, Boys Don't Cry) than that character.

April 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

Though I like Huffman as an actress, I found her Bree to be far too mannered and affected for me to enjoy the performance. I could see what she was going for -- making the adjustment from male to female physically palpable -- but it was excessiving "acting" from my point of view. I had no issues with Witherspoon's win.

April 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

Troy H., that's what I think was great about the Huffman's performance. Her character hadn't been passing for years and years, she was still working at it and figuring it out.Bree was still "acting" how she thought she should. I'm glad she didn't make Bree perfect and polished.

April 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

Anyone whose first film memory is Julie Andrews is OK in my book. I like to think of that psychedelic medicine of hers as a precursor to all that serious recreation later in the decade. And I join you in idolatrous and wanton Jessification and Kathleenness.

April 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

DJDeeJay, I guess the distinction for me was that I saw the actress's acting more than the character's.

April 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

I thought Bree's 'acting' was not so much the transition (Terence Stamp in Priscilla acting as a passing woman naturally is probably the go-to model when playing a trans character) but her whole interactions with her son. Bree 'acting' to be a woman would have been such a terrible misfire. If Huffman is playing a character who considered herself a woman all along there would be no 'acting' necessary, just dealing with the physical transformation.

April 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

Troy -- that was how i felt too. I would not have nominated her. I found the performance very hard to watch. So strenuous that it made me tired.

April 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

Nathaniel, how do you select readers to profile?

April 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKim

Always thought Peggy sue was a women. Geez you are too hot. Thanks Nat for putting out all the interviews.

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterchand

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