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Entries in Best Actress (177)

Tuesday
Feb112014

19 Days Til Oscar (Feat. Julianne Moore)

Hollywood's High Holy Night is less than three weeks away now. Today also happens to be the 50th birthday of one Sarah Palin but rather than wish one of the worst people alive a Happy Birthday, here's a random 'What If?' question for your discussion pleasure...

Q: Julianne has been nominated for four Oscars (Boogie Nights, The End of the Affair, The Hours, Far From Heaven), famously losing all of them. If her Sarah Palin movie "Game Change" --  which won her the Globe, SAG, and Emmy --  had been a feature film, would she be 5/0 with Oscar or a winner? How would she have affected that Oscar race

Honestly you could ask the same question of "Behind the Candelabra" in this Oscar race in both the Lead and Supporting Actor categories, courtesy of biopic love and category fraud. 

P.S. Here are Julianne's Oscar looks for beauteous fun. The first three years she was a nominee. (If I ran the world she would've won two of those races) though I don't suspect she'll show this year with only Non-Stop to promote and 11 long years without a nomination.

Friday
Feb072014

"Seasons of Bette" Coming Soon

Surprise! As a side bar series to Anne Marie's brilliant "A Year With Kate" project, I present to you "Seasons of Bette". Together with Streep, who we talk about a lot, Katharine Hepburn and Bette Davis form the Holy Trinity of Oscar's Best Actress category, with 41 nominations and 9 statuettes between them. Streep is bound to have another big year in 2014 with The Homesman, The Giver and Into the Woods all arriving but we're finally giving the other two their due. 

"Seasons of Bette" won't be a comprehensive film-by-film study like Anne Marie's (Bette made 80+ features and a ton of television so, uh, no.) but I will personally be visiting each of Bette's Oscar nominated star turns, as they come up within Kate's timeline. When Anne Marie pitted them against each other in her last episode, I realized that they'd only squared off four times at the Oscars but that I had not seen all of Bette's nominated work. So join me. It's the perfect opportunity for us to fill in Best Actress viewing gaps together. Titles in red represent the years where Kate & Bette competed head on for Oscar gold. If you'd like to play along that means you've got to watch Of Human Bondage (1934) right away on Netflix Instant, Dangerous (1935) by February 24th, Jezebel (1938) by March 30th, Dark Victory (1939)  by April 14th, The Letter (1940) and The Little Foxes (1941)  by April 21st, Now Voyager (1942) by April 28th, Mr Skeffington (1944) by May 19th, All about Eve (1950) by June 30th, The Star (1952) by July 14th, and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (1962) by August 18th.

Join us?

 

Thursday
Feb062014

Top Ten: The Best of Kristin Scott Thomas

DON'T LEAVE! Don't check out of the movies now. 

I'd like to speak to your manager."
-Kristin Scott Thomas as "Crystal" in Only God Forgives

As you may have heard the great Kristin Scott Thomas, who first broke through as Hugh Grant's deliciously tart unfortunately platonic friend in 4 Weddings and Funeral and was Oscar nominated way back when for her ice hot sand- blasted eroticism in The English Patient and who has elevated countless films since has rather casually tossed off a 'good riddance' to cinema

I just suddenly thought, I cannot cope with another film. I realised I've done the things I know how to do so many times in different languages... I can't do it any more. I'm bored by it. So I'm stopping

Oh come on Kristin, Only God Forgives wasn't that bad. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan162014

Best Actress Lineup Now Eligible for a Senior Discount

There's a vicious moment in August: Osage County wherein Violet Weston (Meryl Streep), who hasn't tasted enough blood for the day, humiliates her daughter Karen (Juliette Lewis) who has recently entered her 40s that she's losing her looks. A less vicious but still hurtful joke follows later in the film when Barbara (Julia Roberts) tells her sister Ivy (Julianne Nicholson) "You can't move to New York. You're almost 50, you'll break a hip.". The Weston women, tearing each other down and using their advancing age as just one of the weapons with which to do so, probably wouldn't take comfort in the maturity of this year's Best Actress race but the rest of us should. 

Even if it's not our dream lineup (my own happens to skew much younger this year), it's a good push back against Oscar's frequent preference of youth over accomplishment... particularly in this category.

I didn't mean to become the "age" guy but I salivate at the prospect of digging into Oscar statistics each year so I couldn't pass up the chance to write about the Best Actress shortlist, when Vanity Fair asked me to write about the relatively advanced age of the group. Their average age is 55. I'd already prepped my Jennifer Lawrence piece on "The Youngest Actors To _____ " when they contacted me so that's  two in a row. But I hope y'all take it in the vein it was intended: to celebrate the glories and mysteries of Oscar stats and the breadth of talented people, male and female, from fresh faces (in both senses of the word with JLaw) to accomplished veterans that show up for Oscar honors.

Here's the full piece ! 

Due to turnaround deadlines with Oscar nomination articles, many of them are written in advance. One of my favorite things about reading other sites on Oscar nomination day is noticing where the seams are wherein they've clearly had to edit something out or shove something in quickly. I had two versions of this Vanity Fair piece ready due to the great January wars of "Will it be Amy or Meryl?" and then they both made it. Goodbye Emma! *sniffle*

One thing I noticed in researching this piece and writing about the topic over the years is that people tend to think of past Oscar lineups as older than they actually were. I believe this is just a human tendency to age up anything that came before us. If you first fell for Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada, for example, she is probably an "old" actress to you. But when she first became a sensation with the release of the Oscar winning blockbuster Kramer vs. Kramer, she had only just turned 30 or, in modern terms, was roughly the age that her put upon assistants Emily Blunt & Anne Hathaway are right about now. Fasten your seatbelts for this bumpy take-away truth: Bette Davis was younger than ALL of this year's Best Actress nominees (save Amy Adams) when she headlined All About Eve (1950).

Wednesday
Jan152014

A Year With Kate: Morning Glory (1933)

Episode 3 of 52  Anne Marie is screening all of Katharine Hepburn's films in chronological order. On the eve of the Oscar nominations, Morning Glory (1933)

In which the seeds of Oscar history are sown...

Sometimes, Katharine Hepburn’s career seems too charmed to be real. At the 6th Academy Awards, Kate won her first Oscar. For her third movie. In her second year. To put that in perspective, it took Bette Davis 23 movies and 4 years to get a nomination alone (on a controversial write-in ballot). Ingrid Bergman: 6 movies and 5 years to be nominated. Olivia de Havilland: 29 movies and 10 years to win. The other record-holding actresses of the Studio System had to slog through bad scripts and bit parts to get their golden statues, but young Kate practically waltzed into the Academy and casually picked one up (figuratively speaking, since she didn’t actually show up)

Morning Glory is the by-now cliché story of a naive actress making it big in New York. 1933's model was Eva Lovelace. [more...]

Click to read more ...

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