[Our countdown to Hollywood's High Holy Night continues. Here's abstew with a fun "battle"]
We've only 14 days to go. It seemed like the perfect time to take a look at the two films that jointly hold the record for most nominations (in case you hadn't guessed, that would be 14). One is a fabulous Actressexual's dream about back-stabbing in the theatre world and the other a small indie about a boy and girl in love. Oh, yeah and something about a ship.
Technically, Titanic holds a higher place in Oscar history, having won 11 of its 14 nominations while All About Eve went home with only six statues (though 12 was the most it could have won with double-nods in Lead and Supporting Actress). But haven't you always wondered what film would come out victorious if they had gone head-to-head? No? Well, let's find out anyway
But they weren't even in the same categories:
(All categories with * are ones that the film won)
All About Eve: Best Screenplay*, Best Supporting Actor - George Sanders*
Titanic: Best Makeup, Best Effects: Visual Effects*, Best Effects: Sound Effects Editing*, Best Song "My Heart Will Go On"*
Obviously what Eve got that Titanic didn't (and vice versa) perfectly illustrates the sort of film each is. Eve is an intelligently written, actor's showcase and Titanic is a spectacular epic. Titanic's script was hardly its selling point and Billy Zane was certainly not going to win any acting awards. If only Leo had been nominated, Titanic could take its place as the sole winner in the battle of Most Nominations. If only Eve had crazy special effects, it could take its place as the sole winner in the battle of Most Nominations. Alas, there's none to speak of in the film. Unless you count Bette Davis' expertly delivered zingers.
So for our statue showdown let's give each film what they earned as the Oscars right there: Eve 2 / Titanic 3
Best Costume Design
The battle of the dress sleeves vs. the giant purple hat. Edith Head and Charles Le Maire for Eve and Deborah Lynn Scott for Titanic both won this category, but I'll have to give the points to Titanic's gorgeous period clothes over Bette's 1950's cocktail attire. (Rumor has it Bette's dress didn't fit properly and she decided to turn the dress into an off the shoulder number instead.) Eve 2 / Titanic 4
Best Art Direction
Titanic was victorious Oscar night and it's also the victor here. Eve's theatrical settings and living rooms can't quite match the attention to detail in re-creating the actual Titanic's upper and lower cabins. Eve 2 / Titanic 5
Although Titanic won and Eve didn't, those wide shots of the ship with CGI people walking around have not aged well. In a surprise, I'm gonna have to give this showdown to Eve's timeless black and white. Eve 3 / Titanic 5
Oscar usually goes for action-y type movies in this category and I'll side with them. Icebergs breaking, ships cracking in half, the almost musical sounds of china breaking–sorry, Eve, you may have won this Oscar, but you never stood a chance here. Eve 3 / Titanic 6
No offense to Alfred Newman's All About Eve score, but that woman's haunting voice in the Titanic score (no, not Celine Dion -- Nathaniel tells me its his favorite Norwegian chanteuse Sissel Kyrkjebø) turns me into a blubbering mess every time I hear it. Titanic! And now I have to clean the snot off my keyboard. Eve 3 / Titanic 7
Titanic certainly had more to edit, but those verbal fight scenes and flash-backs wouldn't haven't worked so well in Eve if it hadn't been edited as precisely as it was. Eve 4 / Titanic 7
Best Supporting Actress
Celeste Holm All About Eve, Thelma Ritter All About Eve, Gloria Stuart Titanic
None of these actresses took home gold on Oscar night, but the clear winner here is Thelma Ritter as "Birdie", Margo Channing's maid and voice of reason. A sassy turn that could easily have been a nothing role, was, as usual, elevated by the actress' work. Ritter (in a tie with Deborah Kerr and Glenn Close) has the distinction of receiving the most female acting nominations without a win. This would have been a welcome win for what is arguably her most well-known performance. Eve 5 / Titanic 7
James Cameron certainly had a lot to deal with in directing the film–production delays, budget problems, water, a LOT of water, Billy Zane's eyeliner, Billy Zane's wig. It's amazing the finished product is as impressive as it is. But, I have to hand this imaginary statue to Eve's writer/director, Joseph L. Mankiewicz. It's just effortless filmmaking and he would never refer to himself as "The King of the World" in an acceptance speech. Eve 6 / Titanic 7
Bette Davis All About Eve, Anne Baxter All About Eve, Kate Winslet Titanic
1950 features one of the all-time great Best Actress line-ups (the other nominees were Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard, Eleanor Parker Caged, and the winner, Judy Holliday Born Yesterday). The fact that Bette Davis wasn't even able to win with her greatest role just shows how stiff the competition was. She even reached number 2 on our poll of greatest losing Actresses. But she is definitely NOT losing this showdown. Bette Davis as the infinitely quotable Margo Channing is perfection. Not even my love of Kate Winslet could overshadow that. Eve 7 / Titanic 7
So far it's a tie! Now it's time for you to decide, which film wins?
Fasten your seat belts and tell us which film makes your heart go on! Do you think any film will ever beat their nomination tally? It is possible to receive more than 14 (Technically 17 is the highest number of categories an English language live action picture could qualify for... but the nomination count could be higher if you had two Original Song nominees and you doubled up in Supporting).