Oscar History

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"They call this war a cloud over the land..."

... But they made the weather and then they stand in the rain and say 'Shitit's raining!”

Isn't that a great line from Cold Mountain? It's profound down-home truth and blunt poetry at once.

Realizing you're your own worst enemy is tough business. Even if you've realized it countless times before. Many have you have asked whatever happened to the 2003 Supporting Actress Smackdown and if you don't mind a little navel gazing you can click for more on the why and the new hopeful when...

Though I still don't want to bore you with the many reasons why it did not appear as scheduled. And as rescheduled... the fact is that it did not. And once the shame set in that I didn't deliver and that I had failed my participants (and they wrote wonderful things!) it was hard to think straight about it and get the work done. The Smackdowns are great fun to write and read but they're also a lot of work. For me Shame often takes the shape of over-promising and under-delivering. Which is just maddening. Because in truth, I am hugely proud of what's been delivered every day for years at The Film Experience. But when you over-promise it looks like you're not delivering. Overachiever's Self Sabotage!

Anyway. I am setting the shame at my blunder aside because I really miss the Smackdown and want it to return. I'm still deciding on a follow up year because it's not the work that's the problem (I love doing the work of The Film Experience) but feeling guilty when I over schedule myself and come up short. But anyway. I finally cracked my own whip and am making progress towards finishing it so it'll be here soon. Just wanted to let you know.

Speaking of Over-Promising...
Here's what I have planned for the rest of April (all 10 days of it). Mean Girls theme week (starting April 23rd), Supporting Actress Smackdown (Thursday the 24th) Tribeca Film Festival Coverage (April 20th-30th), two new episodes of Hit Me With Your Best Shot (April 22nd & 29th), April Showers, a new interview, April Foolish Oscar Predictions in all categories (April 27th-30th), and about 7 other things I'm working on. In short, I've gargantually over-promised. I should laugh about this rather than cry. I mean well! I really do.

I shall deliver what I can. Wish me luck. 


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Reader Comments (26)

Still be interesting to know your thoughts,rankings,snubbed and decisions of 10 yrs ago.

April 20, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermark

I recommend 1989 as a follow-up for the Smackdown. 3 superb performances, a really good one, and one disaster that's nevertheless entertaining.

April 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMike M.

Weirdly enough, I actually watched all the films for the Smackdown (including Cold Mountain, which was the only one of the five I'd never seen before and which was a very tough sit), but then I forgot to turn my ballot in by the deadline. So I sympathize.

April 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Love the site no matter how long I have to wait for such things.....

April 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJames

1989 is an option. i'm looking at different years but i'll draw up a list and that'll be on it.

April 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Gotta admit it is pretty darn frustrating when you don't come through. Nowadays, whenever you say something will be posted by a certain day I just assume it won't and then am pleasantly surprised if it is. If you want this site to keep improving and gaining a reputation, I would recommend being a bit more professional.

April 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMia

Mike M: Was Julia's the worst performance?

April 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoel

You should feel no shame. We get fresh content daily - who could ask for anything more.

April 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

Terrible winner...

April 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAlberto

Yeah. You do a great job, Nat. Thanks.

April 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

If we're going to talk about Cold Mountain, let's just talk about Jude Law and all of the incredible cameo performances!

April 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTyler

Please end the suspense and tell us that Holly won!

P.S. 89 was a great year, but I'm not particularly in love with that line-up. Wiest gets my vote.

April 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Mia is right, you're a horrible person Nathaniel. I'm starting a white house petition to have you deported. Shame on you.

April 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTy

Glad to hear the Smackdown is coming & that I didn't suffer through Pieces of April, Cold Mountain and Thirteen in vain because I hated those movies.

I'm intrigued by any year but if '89 is chosen it will give me a reason to finally watch Enemies, A Love Story. I've wanted to for years but forget about it when it comes time to watch something new. I love the cast but Mazursky's movies are a variable bunch.

April 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

Nat instead of a smackdown why don't you just do small write ups on each and give them gold,silver broze.

April 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermark

joel, Mazursky's movies are often problematic but I always get something very rich out of them. He has a way of extracting a lot out of his actors. And there are always those little moments of humanity that take you by surprise. I'm watching Alex in Wonderland now, about halfway through, and it's fascinating if a bit puzzling. I'm hoping it all comes together at the end.

April 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Ty - lol! Thanks for lightening the mood or lighting a match ;)

April 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

I'm one of the few people who think her work in that movie is fun, layered character work utterly beyond reproach. Man, I dug everything about that movie, truth be told. It's so queer when you look at the storytelling style: a patchwork of people on the fringe of tragedy, perverse and freewheeling. Such oddities on display.

April 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHayden W.

I have to laugh at what a terrible shot of Renee that is. lmao.

April 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDerreck.

Well, if I'm not wrong that was her Oscar clip!

April 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue


My OCD is acting up again, so I need to know this year's winners.

kthxbye lol. <3

April 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHolden

I love this site unconditionally, and that's that.

Now let's talk about THAT SCREENCAP. Nobody who was going to give Zeeeee anything but 5th place would freeze-frame it there. I'm SO excited for the smackdown.

April 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMargaret

Margaret -- but I kid you not. Freeze that movie in virtually any scene and you will get an unflattering pulled face. I promise i had no ulterior motive other than i wanted a shot of her saying that line. The only time Renée stops pulling faces is when Ruby listens to music (or at that weird happily every after ending)

April 21, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Actually, fair enough, she was mugging something fierce for the duration of her screentime. I guess I forgot just how brutally unflattering it was.

April 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMargaret

Please don't beat yourself up over anything. You provide a wonderful site with so much diverting content. Just to cheer you up and give you a laugh, try watching this:
It's the French and Saunders parody of Cold Mountain, which includes the dvd commentary about
Renee's overacting by "Nicole Kidman".

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLadyEdith

Joel --- I certainly think so.

And joel6, I really recommend 'Enemies, A Love Story.' Ron Silver, Anjelica Huston, and especially Lena Olin are great in it, but it's strength isn't limited to the performances.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMike M.

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