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Entries in Best Picture (84)

Tuesday
Feb182014

12 Days Til Oscar: Best Picture Nominations by the Dozen

Tim here, with your daily dose of Oscar numerology. We’re now in the third year of the Academy’s undoubtedly well-intentioned "some random number that always turns out to be nine" approach to selecting Best Picture nominees, and for some of us, this is irritatingly arbitrary. But it could be so much worse. Think of how awful it must have been to been a rabid Oscar fanatic in the first decade of the award’s existence: depending on the year, there were anywhere from three to twelve Best Picture nominees, until it was finally nailed down at a nice, round ten at the 9th Academy Awards, for the year 1936.

The magic number of the day being 12, I'd like you to join me, for a closer look at 1934, the first of two years with 12 nominated films (for space reasons, I am alas compelled to leave 1935 to fend for itself) - the first year, as well, that the awards corresponded to a single calendar year. What can we learn about the Academy’s tastes and habits down the decades from each of these?

BEST PICTURE It Happened One Night (released by Columbia)
What It Is: One of the greatest of all screwball comedies, in which the sexily odd-looking pair of Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable cross country and banter.
The Slot It Fills:
The long-abandoned "comedies are a valid form of artistic expression like anything else" spot. But, of course, the period in which the film came out was unusually good at producing top-notch comedies starring the best movie stars of the day.

Only 11 more slots to fill after the jump

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb172014

When All Acting Nominees Come From Best Pictures...

If you're an Oscar stats geek, you should check out the new blog 1:37:1 which responded to the recent debate about whether or not the number of Oscar-nominated films is shrinking due to the expanded Best Picture field with lots of charts. It's fascinating but requires concentration. Then a follow up specifically looking at the acting categories.

All was lost this year for male actors without Best Picture heatThe most interesting finding in the second article is how enormously rare it is for an acting category to feature only performances from Best Picture nominated films. It's happened only 10 times in Oscar's entire 86 year history and 2 of those times were this year alone including, for the first time ever, in a supporting category. That's a disturbing development if you're of the opinion (and you should be) that great performances can happen anywhere including within movies that aren't otherwise popular or great.

The Only Times (Once All Acting Categories Were Invented) When All Acting Nominees in a Category Came From a "Best Picture"

• 1939 BEST ACTRESS Davis (Dark Victory), Dunne (Love Affair), Garbo (Ninotchka), Garson (Goodbye Mr Chips), Leigh (GWTW)
• 1940 BEST ACTRESS  Davis (The Letter), Fontaine (Rebecca), Hepburn (Philadelphia Story), Rogers (Kitty Foyle), Scott (Our Town)
• 1942 BEST ACTOR Cagney (Yankee Doodle Dandy), Colman (Random Harvest), Cooper (Pride...), Pidgeon (Mrs Miniver), Woolley (Pied Piper)
• 1943 BEST ACTOR Bogart (Casablanca), Cooper (For Whom The Bell Tolls), Lukas (Watch on Rhine), Pidgeon (Madame Curie), Rooney (The Human Comedy)
• 1964 BEST ACTOR Burton (Becket), Harrison (My Fair Lady) O'Toole (Becket), Quinn (Zorba the Greek), Sellers (Dr Strangelove)
• 1966 BEST ACTOR Arkin (Russians are Coming...), Caine (Alfie), Burton (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, McQueen (Sand Pebbles), Scofield (Man For All Seasons)
• 1977 BEST ACTRESS Bancroft (Turning Point), Fonda (Julia), Keaton (Annie Hall), Maclaine (Turning Point), Mason (Goodbye Girl)
• 1988 BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS Cusack (Working Girl), Davis (Accidental Tourist), McDormand (Mississippi), Pfeiffer (Dangerous), Weaver (Working Girl)
• 2013 BEST ACTOR Bale (Hustle), Dern (Nebraska), Ejiofor (12 Years), DiCaprio (Wolf of), McConaughey (DBC)
• 2013 BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR  Abdi (Capt. Phillips), Cooper (Hustle), Fassbender (12 Years), Hill (Wolf of), Leto (DBC) 

a sample chart from 1:37:1

As we can see and to no one's surprise if you've ever read an Oscar stat in your life, Best Actor has the closest ties to the Best Picture race. In the 64 year span (1944-2008) in which we had only 5 Best Pictures a year, though, this exact correlation Actor-Pictuer has only ever happened twice (1964 & 1966). 

Do your share Mark Harris's original concern that the Academy is actually looking at less films now than they use to for honors?

Sunday
Feb162014

BAFTA Winners & Gowns

Since they aren't broadcasting the ceremony live across the pond -- we'll get an edited tape-delayed version -- we aren't watching. We'll only give BAFTA its due once it joins us in the 21st century. If you're waiting to be "surprised" during the tape delay abridged stuff, don't click to continue this post. If you are as unwilling to care about things you can't watch live as we are, and don't even value themselves enough to include the audience (even in the UK it's not live), than click away to read the winners with some commentary

And gowns!

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Feb162014

The Last Link Years

Inside Movies Anna Kendrick talks the making of The Last Five Years
imgur Best Picture nominees as Legos
David Kawena has added Prince Hans from Frozen to his NSFW 'Disney Heroes' series
TFE ...and speaking of Frozen, I've updated that best "Let it Go" covers post with new entries 

 

Movie Morlocks Montgomery Clift in The Young Lions and the second chance that never was
Gothamist John Henson, puppeteer and son of Jim Henson, dies at 48
Sad and Useless "famous women with Steve Buscemi eyes" 
Variety reports on the Sci-Tech Awards. Goodbye to film, hello all digital 
THR The LEGO Movie blooper reel 

And Happy Birthday to Me! Netflix will release the second season of Orange is the New Black on my birthday June 6th.

Such a thoughtful gift!

Monday
Jan272014

Podcast: Sundance Debrief and DGA Reactions

On this week's special cross-country podcast recorded live from Utah, Nathaniel welcomes back Katey Rich in New York, Nick Davis in Chicago, and special guest Guy Lodge, also in Chicago en route to London. Guy and Nathaniel share their Sundance favorites, the chief crossover being Richard Linklater's Boyhood

Other Topics include: The Producers Guild of America and Directors Guild winners and what that might mean for 12 Years a Slave and Gravity come Oscar night, categories where we'd enjoy ties on Oscar night, and favorite "overheard" bits in movie theater lines regarding Dallas Buyers Club and Philomena

You can listen to the podcast right here at the bottom of the post or download the conversation on iTunes. Continue the conversation in the comments! 

Which tie would you love to see this year?

Sundance Debrief and Oscar Ties