Oscar History

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Links: Car Eyes, Sad Batman, Oscar Guesswork, Inspiring Denzel

General Linkage
i09 Mad Mad Fury Road meets Pixar's Cars
AV Club ignoring that nobody on god's green earth could possibly want to relive the election fiasco of 2016, Megan Ellison and Mark Boal (Zero Dark Thirty) are developing a miniseries about it right now. Too soon.
Interview Mag there's going to be a biopic of Sammy Davis Jr. They have casting suggestions including Elijah Kelley as Sammy and Delroy Lindo as his father
Cinesnark has an ode to Keanu Reeves, calling him 'the last great movie star.' I personally think the demise of the movie star is a myth (that's been being told my entire lifetime... and yet my lifetime has had plenty of new movie stars in it) but I tend to like pieces like this anyway because worshipping movie stars is fun
The New Yorker looks at the silent film Different From Others, reportedly the first gay romantic drama on film

MNPP Tom Cullen has been at the gym and has a movie coming out co-starring his love Tatiana Maslany
Screen Crush Ben Affleck rumored to want out of the Batman game. I mean... he does look miserable doing it, so why not? Batman is the star not the actor playing him anyway. Notice how many faces he's already worn since 1989 and he's still just as popular
Tracking Board Mahershala Ali is joining Channing Tatum and Tom Hardy for a new crime drama called Triple Frontier

Oscar Stuff
Feinberg Forecast Feinberg is predicting 10 Oscars for La La Land, losing only 3 categories
Variety on the backlash to La La Land and why "exuberance" matters. I co-sign this post. I hate when films are deemed "not important enough" as that leads to comedies and family films and adventures and romances and all sorts of genres that produce classics being regularly overlooked at the Oscars
Write Out of LA is, on the other side, all in for the La La Land backlash 
Variety Netflix sharing Ava DuVernay's with classrooms, community groups, and book clubs
Variety Moonlight took the USC Scripter prize for adapted screenplay
Indie Wire Anne Thompson says Moonlight is "guaranteed" one Oscar win. Guaranteed feels like too strong a word for me when both of its potential wins (Adapted Screenplay and Supporting Actor) have to face off against a surging Lion which took both of those categories at the BAFTAs
... oh and BAFTA wins and gowns in case you missed those posts here! 

In Case You Missed It
Denzel Washington gave an inspiring speech at the NAACP Image Awards. I'm still torn as to whether he'll pull off a third Oscar win for Fences but I'm rooting for it, since it can't be Viggo!


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Reader Comments (42)

Emily ratatouille has defended Melanie Trump from slut shaming. Where the hell was she when Michelle Obama was called an Ape and a man for the past 8 years?? I only bring this up here bc there was a conversation about White feminism on this blog a year ago. This is the type of White feminist bs that we are talking about.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterFarrah

Denzel's speech at the NAACP awards is better than every single sour speech Casey Affleck has given all season long.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSteph

Interesting, re: Washington. So you think Denzel's performance is better than Casey's? Or do you want him to win because you don't care for Casey to nab the Oscar on account of the sexual harassment allegations against him? Just curious. (I'm #teamdenzel too.)

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

Denzel gave the best performance of the year, bar none.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

One thing that benefits Denzel when he gives a speech is a lack of politicizing. Not so much critiquing the current administration. But not walking down a racial road for white spectators to pull apart and suggest Washington sees himself as a victim despite his success and white supremacy very much alive and in place. I hope voters on the fence watch both speeches he's given and say were he to win his 3rd it'd feel as natural as he were winning his 1st.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

"and most importantly, there'd be no Denzel Washington"

when was the last time a woman was as arrogant when receiving an award?

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

I will totally watch that miniseries.

Glad that Denzel has achieved the master status although he hasn't got the movies to back it up.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Curious Nat - Did you see the news that Eva Green and Gemma Aterton are staring in the lesbian Virginia Woolfe biopic Vita & Virginia, based on Eileen Atkins' script. Thoughts? Will Eva be a betting Virginia than Nicole??

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterleigh

The La La Land backlash is one thing, but if Moonlight loses those oscars, my Lion backlash will be loud and obnoxious.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

@Farrah - I would imagine if a New York Times reporter had said *directly* to her that the (former) First Lady were an ape or a man, Emily R. would have had something to say about it. But to conflate the bile that escapes the mouths of Internet (and alt-media) trolls with an actual NYT reporter's direct, first-hand quote to an actress about a First Lady, and expect a proportionate response, or lack thereof as an damning example of white feminism, is ludicrous. What was she supposed to say when put on the spot like that? Relitigate every nasty, sexist, disrespectful thing uttered about every past First Lady since the beginning of the Republic? I think your calling her out in such a tit-for-tat manner is actually what's most revealing.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

After seeing Denzel Washington's speech here, now I REALLY want him to won over Casey Affleck. He's given much better speeches than Affleck and also, he gave a better performance.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMatt St. Clair

@Mareko oh I'm pretty sure people have said plenty nasty racist things to her personally but she would never bring that shit up. Only when it pertains to White women. That's the problem with White frminism.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterFarrah

@Mareko oh honey you have a lot to learn! She works in a sexist and racist industry! You honestly believe that no one has made racist remarks in front of her??? If so you are beyond naive.

White feminism is White women being silent about issues facing WOC and that is a problem. Because guess what we don't face the same issues.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNikki

That article's last line was a total whiff. We all know DC, SPECIFICALLY, was going to implode (they're not just bad movies, but (unlike, say, Michael Bay) they're JOYLESS bad movies), but to say their implosion will "tank the genre"? No, at this point, only a run of bad Marvel Studios films would be able to do that.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Mareko -- it's the former. I dont really believe in judging people's art based on their personal lives (i wouldn't mind Mel Gibson's ickiness so much if I didn't think he was actually a bad director on top of it). I think Denzel was spectacular in FENCES. would be very happy with a third win

though i do wish that Denzel would show more interest in the "art" of his artform beyond once ever 5-7 years. I mean, how much money does one actor need to be doing all these programmers year after year that are interchangeable no matter how much money they make.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Washington I just never ever warmed to as an Actor or Star,I find him aloof and arrogant.

He is totally MOVIE STAR though.

Nat what do you consider a Movie Star nowadays,it used to be judged on BO hence 20odd years ago why a flop meant more to the stars standing but not so much now.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMARKGORDONUK

Farrah, Mareko and Nikki

I think the issue here is perspective!

Farrah is obviously bothered by an issue, instead of understanding her point or trying to Mareko made his/her point (which was a fair point) and attacked Farrah. Then Nikki who agrees with Farrah attacks Mareko, None of this is productive.

This is my overall issue with the internet.

Sure Emilie may have had remarks about all kinds of things said to her in her lifetime including racist remarks. She only spoke out about the slut shaming remarks, because it is something she is passionate about and is bothered by. Most of all, it effects her. Racism within the industry benefits her. This is not to say that Emilie supports racism or is cool with racism, but she is less likely to share a story about that. The stories of racism we hear about are mostly from racial minorities. The stories of sexism we hear about are mostly from women. The stories we hear about Homophobia is mostly from the LGBT community.

I do agree with Farrah and Nikki that we all should speak out about all the injustices and not just certain ones. I do believe if we all did the world would be a better place. I mean if Emilie or any other White model/actress told us a story about racism within the industry. That could be eye opening for some who think that minorities are always playing the "race card". I do understand where they are coming from horrible things were said about Michelle Obama and there still are and Mareko this was not just internet trolls. I am referring to government officials and newspapers. It does seem like more people are rushing to Melania's defense than Michelle's or at least the media makes it seem that way. So I can understand why they are frustrated with Emilie and "White Feminism". It's sort of like when a White girl goes missing the story makes national headlines, missing Black and Hispanic girls do not.

My point is instead of attacking someone on a message board , try understanding their perspective and conversing with them. I do think we are all on the same side and we need to be at this time.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

Elijah Kelley as Sammy Davis, Jr. is an inspired choice and surprisingly unobvious is its obviousness.

Seeing Mahershala Ali's name alongside Channing Tatum's I assumed that he was tapped for another Magic Mike sequel. Sadly, I was mistaken.

Speaking of Ali, one of the worst decisions the Academy could make -- especially this year -- is allowing Moonlight to go home completely empty handed. After two consecutive years of #oscarssowhite and a Trump presidency, shutting out one of the most critically lauded movies of the year, which happens to be "black," would not bode well for the organization.

In a lesser year for film I don't think the backlash against La La Land would be as strong, but in the face of so many strong options people don't want to see it become an Oscar juggernaut at the expense of works that are equally -- and in some instances, more -- deserving.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

I hope they cast Meryl as Clinton!! She wld b perfect!

While they are at it, mayb Baldwin as Trump?? 😂 but seriously which actor u tink wld make a good Trump??

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClaran

Bening as Clinton release it in cinemas and let Bening win her Oscar as a poke in the eye to Trump.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMARKGORDONUK

Did you cover the fact that Noah Oppenheim is the new president of NBC News? He should be nominated for an Oscar but that is a nice consolation prize.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Damn, Denzel's speech was good.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

Elijah Kelley as Sammy Davis, Jr. is an inspired choice and surprisingly unobvious is its obviousness.

The commentary in my house was he looked more like Sammy D than anyone resembling Ricky Bell.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

"though i do wish that Denzel would show more interest in the "art" of his artform beyond once ever 5-7 years. I mean, how much money does one actor need to be doing all these programmers year after year that are interchangeable no matter how much money they make"

I don't think Denzel gives a shit about money Nathanial. Everything he does is for legacy purposes. Those "programmers" you dismiss....they condition white audiences to just see him as another actor, not a "black actor". Most of the award worthy stuff that is available to him tends to be specifically about the African-American experience (give or take the odd exception like Flight).

If he's making almost nothing but "worthy" films about being black or black in America, he's going to end up being percieved like Sidney Poitier. His stature and legacy as a actor will be condtional based on his race. Average joes love his performances in things like Man On Fire or Book Of Eli, John Q, The Equalizer...

You have your cinephile hat on, wondering why is Denzel making these genre programmers...you need to put yourself in his shoes...If he makes Fences, Malcolm X, Hurricane, Glory every year....he may be percieved as being the greatest "black actor". He gaves a bunch of noteworthy performances in genre films that can star any actor of any race, and his claim to being the greatest actor, regardless of his race, becomes a lot more solid.

He's managed his career perfectly, in a world and industry that was pretty much rigged against him.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRobbie

It depends on what time in his life they set the Sammy Davis Jr. biopic, but what about Brandon Victor Dixon? I've seen him live and he exudes charisma plus his voice is like buttah.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

Has Denzel turned down any high-profile baity roles other than the Clooney role in Michael Clayton?

His next film is a star turn in Dan Gilroy's follow up to Nightcrawler that actually sounds similar to Michael Clayton, it looks promising.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

- Keanu Reeves is the last awful movie star perhaps.

- Backlash, schmacklash.

I mean, how much money does one actor need to be doing all these programmers year after year that are interchangeable no matter how much money they make.

FWIW, Nat, Denzel gives a lot of money to charity and does quite a bit of charitable work. Also gives lots of money to the Church.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Robbie -- i think you're reaching. I have nothing against programmers or "entertainment for the masses." I just think when anyone's career tips into being almost exclusively that (which Denzels basically is with about one film every five to six years with anything like artistic ambition (see also Johnny Depp / Robert Downey Jr) that's when legacy problems come up and when you have to question why the person is an actor to begin with? Just for the fame and money?

Paul - it's cool that he gives a lot to charity. I still think he's not half as devoted to the artform that made him globally famous and uber wealthy that he should be is all. He's such a tremendous actor when his heart is in it. I just wish that heart would happen more than once ever five to six years. I guess it comes down to personal preference. I tend to prefer actors who are "one for me, one for them" in their approach, rather than "8 for money, 1 for art".. ideally of course actors can do both art and money simultaneously but that's trickier to do.

February 15, 2017 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Troy H -- i'm not sure i can get behind the notion that the Academy owes Moonlight because it is black or it will be a permanent stain if they dont reward it. I too think Moonlight is a very deserving movie (if i controlled the oscar wins this year it would get PIC/DIR/SUPP ACTOR/CINEMATOGRAPHY/SCREENPLAY given the nominated fields). But this is just reminds me that for many people Oscars So White was very specifically about blackness which is frustrating because the subject of diversity is much broader than that. If Moonlight wins just cinematography for example (which would be a *very* worthy win - i mean god that movie is beauitul) I am sure people will immediately turn on that because they'll find out that the cinematographer is white. If it loses supporting actor people will be so angry even though if Ali loses he will probably lose to a non-white actor (dev patel)

and people are angry with LA LA LAND about future losses for Moonlight even though in the categories where Moonlight has the best chances to win, La La Land, isn't the movie that will stop it from doing so.

I'm feeling newly worried about public outcries on these grounds -- i'm such a leftie and lover of diversity but sometimes in these conversations i understand why conservative people and scared old white people get so freaked out and defensive even though i think that's a self sabotaging move and also subconciously racist. OTOH I worry that hearing cries of RACISM about everything really dilutes the message. I still can't wrap my head around all the anger over Beyonce's Grammy's loss. This is not an artist that the Grammys have been unkind to. She has more grammys than almost all of my personal favorite singers combined. She has 4 times as many as similarly iconic game-changing legends like Madonna and David Bowie!!! I'm not sure that i can get behind *everything* being racist (though certainly a lot of things are racist) when it comes to matters of subjectivity like judging art.

i realize this is not what you're saying. i'm just talking aloud trying to work this out in my head.

I realize this also probably reads as a reminder that I am white. LOL. which, of course, I am. I just was really hoping that we could move beyond the "Academy is racist!" discussions this year when we had so much more diversity in nominations than usual. It's such a good sign for the future (but of course also a reflecttion of the diversity of the movies released which is the real root of the problem as I tried to argue last year)

February 15, 2017 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

"Robbie -- i think you're reaching. I have nothing against programmers or "entertainment for the masses." I just think when anyone's career tips into being almost exclusively that (which Denzels basically is with about one film every five to six years with anything like artistic ambition (see also Johnny Depp / Robert Downey Jr) that's when legacy problems come up and when you have to question why the person is an actor to begin with? Just for the fame and money?"

Except Denzel is literally the only Hollywood A-lister of his vintage who acts on stage regularly. Every 4 years, the guy takes way less money, works a lot harder, risks public humilation for 12 weeks of the year, to do something none of his peers will risk.

Daniel Day-Lewis won't do it anymore. Depp and Clooney won't. Neither will Downey jr. Cruise and Crowe won't. Pitt probably can't. Hanks has done it once in about 30 years (Lucky Guy), but I can't see him do it regularly like Denzel.

So why put himself through all that hassle on Broadway if he's just in it for the fame and money, and doesn't care about the art of acting? I think movie acting is easy for him, whether it's a programmer or artistic Oscarbait. I suspect he only really feels like he's walking a tighrope as an actor on stage, which is why he still does it.

In interviews this season, Denzel says he's doing Broadway again next year. Maybe some of these so called "artistically ambitious" movie stars should be looking to him as an example, because he's taking real risks every time he does a live run. I have far more respect and admiration for an actor that's regularly committed to the stage, than some movie star who makes a few indie movies as a form of "credit" for film critics. Denzel is a real actor still....a lot of his peers are poesurs.

He doesn't need the money. He's already got a Tony....yet he's going back to Broadway again next year. The man deserves some serious respect and credit.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRobbie

Nat, the diversity issue around Moonlight is not necessarily just #OscarsSoWhite but #OscarsSoHetero, which disappointed fans of Carol should appreciate.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Nat: As far as RDJ goes, I think RDJ was trying to get back into more performative fare more regularly with The Judge. The problem was he was trying to get back into more performative fare with The Judge. See also: Johnny Depp and, even more confusing if that's what he was trying to do, Black Mass.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

I like Robbie.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

I agree. Denzel is normalizing faces such as his own on screen for the average film-goer to see, be exposed to, accept as normal and ordinary. He is seen as more than "the black man" or "the black actor".

He also helps fund, make and publicize other people's work. He puts his fame and notoriety to good use.Antoine Fucqua is a good example of someone who's career has been consistently helped by Denzel's work with him.

And yes, his work on stage should never be forgotten. He has done lots of Shakespeare, many of the theater greatest authors, has never left the stage and probably never will.

He will also produce adaptations of all the other nine august wilson's plays for HBO.

Also,the way he has been championing his Fences co-stars this awards season has been inspiring.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

I love "La La Land" and " Moonlight" both great films in very different ways...must google Tom Cullen...Afleck should have never agreed to do all those Batman movies... as long as there are movies there will be movie stars

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

Nathaniel, the Academy is racist insofar as it exists in the United States of America where racism the system, which is far more complex an nuanced than the attitude, has been in operation since its founding. The reason that people of color tend to "see racism everywhere" is that we have a lifetime of experience seeing it everywhere, even the banal and innocuous places on both the micro and macro levels.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.


Beyoncé has 22 Grammies, but 21 of those are in the R&B category. When was the last time a Black woman won Album of the Year?In my opinion, It's not hard to understand why people have an issue with that. When was the last time a Black woman won an Oscar for LEAD Actress? Have there ever been a time where an Asian woman won?

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

Q: WTF is “Urban Contemporary”?

A: It’s where the white man puts the incomparable pregnant black woman because he is so threatened by her talent, power, persuasion and potential.

Sufjan Stevens

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterFarrah

Please do NOT go there about Beyoncé!

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterFarrah

The last time a black woman got Record of the Year was 1994 (Whitney).
The last black woman to win Album of the Year was Lauryn Hill in 1999...

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Oh, boy. This comment thread got negative/nasty fast (see first comment).


February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterHuh

Nathaniel- I really don't understand your paragraph to Troy H at all. It literally doesn't matter what wins people will complain that's not something exclusive to Black people. So what exactly are you trying to say? If Moonlight wins tons of people will complain that the Academy is pandering to Black and LGBT community. If Emma Stone win\ people are going to complain that Natalie was better or Huppert. So I don't see your point at all.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterFarrah

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