Oscar History

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Entries in Alan Arkin (2)


50th Anniversary: Wait Until Dark

by Tim Brayton

This week marks the 50th anniversary of Wait Until Dark. The grotty thriller was initially mostly sold on the basis of a third-act gimmick (the climax takes place in total darkness, and theaters were instructed to turn down all security lights and such things for the climax). And yet here we are, half a century later, and gimmick or not, the film holds up extraordinarily well. It's one of the best thrillers of its generation, with two of the best genre performances ever, one from brand-new screen actor Alan Arkin (it was just his second feature film role), the other from beloved screen icon Audrey Hepburn, functionally at the end of her career (she'd retire for nine years, and only made four more films over the next 22 years).

Quite a strange Audrey Hepburn vehicle it is, too...

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SAG Nominations: Bless Them For 'Charlotte Bless'

The Screen Actors Guild Award nominations, now in their 19th year, are often a bipolar experience to read through. I'm annually enraged by the rules dictacting who receives a nomination when an ensemble nomination happens, but generally speaking there tends to one thing worth being super-thrilled about in the mix beyond all the sleep-inducing reiterations of every Oscar pundit's list.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
DANIEL DAY-LEWIS / Abraham Lincoln - "LINCOLN” (Touchstone Pictures)
JOHN HAWKES / Mark - "THE SESSIONS" (Fox Searchlight)
HUGH JACKMAN / Jean Valjean - "LES MISÉRABLES" (Universal Pictures)
DENZEL WASHINGTON / Whip Whitaker - "FLIGHT" (Paramount Pictures)

In with Bradley Cooper. Out with Joaquin Phoenix? The Master enters the Oscar nomination period looking shakier than ever. We could see a complete shut out or 4 or 5 nominations for the handsome, well acted but ultimately not too accessible film. It might just be the year's biggest wild card at this point.

It's worth noting that people often emphatically exaggerate the meaning of "snubs". For all we know Phoenix's no show here was a matter of one vote, rather than anything to do with the movie (though it probably isn't well enough loved) or his feelings about awards campaigns. MORE...

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