Ten years ago tomorrow, the bad cop / good cop drama Training Day debuted in theaters. It was a relatively inauspicious debut (for our purposes) in that, though the film was an instant hit, Oscar fanatics weren't really breathlessly awaiting its debut like it was a 'prestige picture' per se. The film surprised and wound up with two nominations for its leading actors, one in lead (Denzel Washington) and one in supporting (Ethan Hawke) because that's how Oscar do.
All it took was a couple of awesome soundbites and a sense that Denzel Washington was peaking as a movie star with that loss for Malcolm X still a regularly discussed Academy embarrassment and *BOOM* Julia Roberts was all
I love my life!"
.... and it was Oscar Number Two for Denzel!
Were you watching?
King Kong ain't got shit on him.
Oscar #2 let Denzel into the slim ranks of actors with two competitive gold men. Here's the complete list in the order it occurred (because I like to make things difficult for myself).
- Luise Rainer (The Great Ziegfeld and The Good Earth 1936-1937)
- Bette Davis (Dangerous and Jezebel 1935-1938)
- Walter Brennan (Come and Get It and Kentucky 1936-1938) *
- Spencer Tracy (Captains Courageous and Boys Town 1937-1938)
- Fredric March (Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and The Best Years of Our Lives 1931/32-1946)
- Olivia deHavilland (To Each His Own and The Heiress 1946-1949)
- Vivien Leigh (Gone With the Wind and Streetcar Named Desire 1939-1951)
- Gary Cooper (Sergeant York and High Noon 1941-1952)
- Anthony Quinn (Viva Zapata! and Lust for Life 1952-1956)
- Ingrid Bergman (Gaslight and Anastasia 1944-1956) *
- Peter Ustinov (Spartacus and Topkapi 1960-1964)
- Shelley Winters (Diary of Anne Frank and A Patch of Blue 1959-1965)
- Elizabeth Taylor (BUtterfield 8 and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf 1960-1966)
- Katharine Hepburn (Morning Glory and Guess Who's Coming To Dinner? 1932/33-1967) *
- Helen Hayes (The Sin of Madelon Claudet and Airport 1931/32 -1970)
- Marlon Brando (On the Waterfront and The Godfather 1954-1972)
- Glenda Jackson (Women in Love and A Touch of Class 1970-1973)
- Jack Lemmon (Mister Roberts and Save the Tiger 1955-1973)
- Jason Robards (All the President's Men and Julia 1976-1977)
- Jane Fonda (Klute and Coming Home 1971-1978)
- Maggie Smith (The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and California Suite 1969-1978)
- Melvyn Douglas (Hud and Being There 1963-1979)
- Robert DeNiro (The Godfather Part II and Raging Bull 1974-1980)
- Meryl Streep (Kramer vs. Kramer and Sophie's Choice 1979-1982)
- Jack Nicholson (One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest and Terms of Endearment 1975-1983) *
- Sally Field (Norma Rae and Places in the Heart 1979-1984)
- Dustin Hoffman (Kramer vs. Kramer and Rainman 1979-1988)
- Jodie Foster (The Accused and Silence of the Lambs 1988-1991)
- Gene Hackman (The French Connection and Unforgiven 1971-1992)
- Dianne Wiest (Hannah and Her Sisters and Bullets Over Broadway 1986-1994)
- Jessica Lange (Tootsie and Blue Sky 1982-1994)
- Tom Hanks (Philadelphia and Forrest Gump 1993-1994)
- Michael Caine (Hannah and Her Sisters and Cider House Rules 1986-1999)
- Kevin Spacey (Usual Suspects and American Beauty 1995-1999)
- Denzel Washington (Glory and Training Day 1989-2001)
- Hilary Swank (Boys Don't Cry and Million Dollar Baby 1999-2004)
- Daniel Day-Lewis (My Left Foot and There Will Be Blood 1989-2007)
- Sean Penn (Mystic River and Milk 2003-2008)
* They won again after this for a total of 3 Oscars (except Hepburn the all time leader with 4 competitive acting wins)
The thing I find most interesting about seeing them all together like this is that it instantly reveals that if someone is going to win a second Oscar it usually happens quickly after the first... 3 to 6 years being common. (which immediately makes you wonder about people by the name of Helen Mirren, Marion Cotillard, Javier Bardem and Kate Winslet). The list also shows us that the late 1930s were just brutal for actresses whose names weren't Bette or Luise, that the 1970s were the most friendly towards previous winners and that 1938 and 1994 are strange anomalies, years in which three of the four Oscar winners had already won gold. It's only so long before we have a year with all four since there's a first time for everything.
Only four people have ever won more than two acting Oscars and the last to join the club was Jack Nicholson in 1997 for As Good As It Gets. The universe assumes that Meryl Streep will be the fifth, but will she? Quite a few two-timers are still working.
Answer Me These Questions Three
- Which three double winners did you find most deserving of both?
- Which three would you immediately remove if you had a time machine?
- Who do you think is joining the two-timer ranks next?
Serious Film's Michael Cusumano here to report on what will surely go down as one of my favorite titles of the New York Film Festival and one of the most entertaining movies of 2011.
Of the many pleasures of Martin Scorsese’s new documentary George Harrison: Living in the Material World the most amazing must be that it managed to make several Beatles songs feel new again. For the first hour of the documentary we watch as the young and intense Harrison takes a backseat to brilliance and charisma of Lennon/McCartney. When the unspeakably beautiful strains of Harrison’s Something finally break out over the theater speakers, it isn't just the power of the music that gets to you but the thrill of watching a world class talent explode with his full potential. It's an emotionally overwhelming moment, far from the only one in Scorsese’s second great rock documentary after his equally brilliant Bob Dylan masterpiece No Direction Home.
As with that documentary, Marty skips right past the usual biopic beats and aims for the heart of the man. In the film's opening moments we cut from the early seeds of Beatlemania straight to the band’s final, tired dissolution under a mountain of legal documents. It’s Marty’s way of alerting us that this will not be the usual Ed Sullivan and screaming teeny bopper montage we’ve all seen a thousand times. Rather, this is the story of one of the 20th century’s seminal figures and how achieving unimaginable success at an early age led him to search for a fulfillment fame couldn’t bring.
Five years in the making, Material World automatically qualifies as essential viewing for anyone who cares about rock history or, for that matter, documentary filmmaking. In addition to new interviews with all the key players in the story including surviving Beatles Paul and Ringo, Marty’s research team has done an heroic job tracing down footage that hasn’t seen the light of the day for decades, including moving, unfiltered looks at the tension of the band near its end.
Harrison was a driving force not just in music, but in charity, the British film industry, and, with his well-publicized embrace of Eastern cultures, a major, radical influence on spirituality in the western world. Dealing with a man at the heart of the entertainment industry who nevertheless hungered for spiritual truth, Scorsese clearly has a strong affinity for his subject. And for all the cultural significance covered, the success of this film comes down to Scorsese’s earnest attempt to map the soul of his fellow artist.
Previously on NYFF
A Separation floors Nathaniel. A frontrunner for the Oscar?
Carnage raises its voice at Nathaniel but doesn't quite scream.
Miss Bala wins the "must-see crown" from judge Michael.
Tahrir drops Michael right down in the titular Square.
A Dangerous Method excites Kurt... not in that way, perv!
The Loneliest Planet brushes against Nathaniel's skin.
Melancholia shows Michael the end of von Trier's world.
Alexa here. I have an abiding love for Susan Sarandon, who turns 65 today. It's great to see her going strong, supporting Wall Street protesters and getting Sister Helen Prejean to preside over her daughter's wedding. While I'm still waiting to find some killer indie poster designs of my favorite Susan films (The Hunger, White Palace), here are some fun curios from around the internet celebrating the beauty with the planet-sized eyes.
China's Oscar submission this year, Zhang Yimou's The Flowers of War (previously discussed) was not released in time to show up in the nominations for its own country's Oscar equivalent. Nevertheless two Asian submissions for this year's Best Foreign Film Oscar race are competing for the "Golden Horse". While there are multiple film awards which hail from Asia (it can be horribly confusing to follow) The Golden Horse is the oldest and most inclusive of the awards institutions as there are no nationality requirements, only that the film be predominantly in a Chinese language. As is our habit and general proclivity let's start with Best Picture and Best Actress, the two most important categories in any awards show.
- Let the Bullets Fly (China / Hong Kong)
- The Piano in A Factory (China)
- Return Ticket (China Taiwan)
- A Simple Life (Hong Kong's Oscar Submission!)
- Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale (Taiwan's Oscar Submission!)
Let the Bullets Fly, set in the 20s, pits Chow Yun Fat (playing a local tyrant) against an intruding bandit chief for control of a provincial town. The Piano in a Factory is a dramedy about a child of divorce who lets it be known that she will live with whichever parent can provide her with a piano. Her money-strapped musician father concocts a plan to raise the money. I couldn't find much info on Return Ticket (damn those movie titles with utterly generic titles that lead you all the wrong places in google searches) The Oscar submissions are discussed on the Foreign Film Charts so chase those links above.
- Michelle Chen, You Are the Apple of My Eye
- Deanie Ip, A Simple Life
- Qin Hailu, The Piano in the Factory
- Shu Qi, A Beautiful Life
The Best Actress shortlist has a huge age range from 28 year old Chen (who looks even younger) to 63 year old frontrunner Deanie Ip who recently won Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival for her role as an aging nanny who needs the man she raised (Andy Lau) to care for her. The category is rounded out by superstar Shu Qi (sometimes credited as Qi Shu) who is familiar to international audiences from several films that have travelled the world (Millenium Mambo, Three Times, So Close, Transporter, etcetera). A Beautiful Life is described as a romantic tragicomedy in that it begins as a romcom only to veer towards disability drama as the beautiful gold-digging Shu Qi meets and mistreats a man who really loves her before he receives a terrible diagnosis.