Oscar History

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Entries in Best Picture (185)


Q&A: Artists in Movies and Uninspiring Best Pic Lineups

For this weeks Q&A I asked for an art theme to celebrate the joint birthday of Vincent Van Gogh and Francisco de Goya on this very day! So we'll start with a few art-focused topics before venturing to rando questions.

TOM: Which film about an artist (in any field of the Arts) that you were not particularly knowledgeable about made you want to see/hear the real work by that artist? 

I vastly prefer non-traditional biopics so I'm susceptible to stuff that piques curiosity rather than gives you a greatest hits. So I like bios like Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould (1993). I have some problems with I'm Not There (2007) which is my least favorite Todd Haynes film but I respect the hell out of it conceptually. In terms of movies about painters I definitely became more interested in Francis Bacon after Love is the Devil (1998) and not just because of Daniel Craig in the bathtub! I already cared about Caravaggio before seeing Derek Jarman's Caravaggio but I hope people see that one, too. 

BRIAN: If you had to recommend a budding Cinephile a movie based on an artist, a work of art, or has artistic themes what would it be?

Hmmm. A lot of movies about painting aren't very good (Watching someone paint being only a notch more interesting than watching someone write). So let's do "artistic" theme and the answer there is easily Amadeus (1984). It's such a useful movie to reference in ways both commonplace ("too many notes!") and contemplative (what makes the difference between competent journeyman skill and true genius?). One of my other favorite "art" movies is High Art (1998)...

8 more questions after the jump

Click to read more ...


Q&A: Iconic Couples, Vote Counts, Favorite Kurosawas

There were so many good questions this week for the Q&A that we had to do this twice. Here are more questions asked of your host Nathaniel, and now answered. Thanks for being engaged readers!

Nicole & Ewan at MTV Movie Awards 2002Since there's been talk of how sweet it would be to see Leo and Kate both win Oscars this year, I've been thinking about recent screen couples that have captured audiences' imaginations in that way, that people would love to see win Oscars at the same time and I couldn't think of any quite on that level. Are there any post-Titanic screen couples you think of as legendary pop culture pairings? -EDWIN

Had Nicole Kidman & Ewan McGregor ever reteamed post Moulin Rouge! I think they might have become a screen couple like that. The fact that they haven't is a tragedy since we will love them until their dying day. You could argue that Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling (The Notebook) qualify. I think if Heath Ledger were still alive this might have happened with him and Jake Gyllenhaal since they're both such tremendous actors and liked each other quite a lot. It would have been fascinating to see them co-star in a second film in a totally different genre. 

The Film Experience is 1000% behind today's Hollywood realizing that reteaming stars who had insane chemistry is one of the best traditions of Old Hollywood. It's not only fun for fans, it's also marketable! Wouldn't you be so excited if Kate & Leo made a comedy together in 2018?

What's your favorite performance given by an animal actor? -TYLER

Asta as "Mr Smith" from The Awful Truth (1937) which is my first or second or third* favorite screwball comedy of all time. (It's hard to decide because they're so many great ones)

If it was up to you to decide, would you release the official vote counts from old Oscar ceremonies? Or would that take away the fun of endless speculating? is there a particular race you would want to know the official tally? - MARCELO

The answer and more after the jump...

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8 Days til Oscar...

If you haven't fully investigated the Best Picture Chart you should do that today. There are several unusual ways to rank the 8 nominees for Best Picture: machismo factor, number of deaths, MPAA ratings, running time, and more.

Sample to your right. Check it out 

Ranking, my friends, is mandatory since Best Picture is determined on a preferential ballot. There's mine to the far right (this was crafted the day of nominations so no "backlash" was in play). Theoretically the preferential voting puts polarizing pictures at a disadvantage but what isn't polarizing these days?

How would you rank them? Are you still undecided as to which film will win? Three good indicators (SAG Ensemble, PGA, and DGA) famously went to three separate pictures (Spotlight, The Big Short, and The Revenant) confusing the matter more than is usual. If you missed the latest podcast Nick and I talked about the most difficult categories to predict which we're guessing are: Picture, Director, Costume Design, Production Design, and Sound



Boy Culture revisiting Maurice with director James Ivory 30 years later
The Guardian previews Alone in Berlin, a new WW II drama starring Emma Thompson & Brendan Gleeson
Playbill How the Newsies choreographer got Channing Tatum tap dancing for Hail, Caesar!
The Film Stage 15 movies to see after you've seen Hail, Caesar!

Film Mixtape Chris Feil's top ten.
MNPP [nsfw] Tom Hardy on the set of Taboo... with tattoos 
Antagony & Ecstasy comparing current Best Picture nominees to previous Best Picture winners 
Pajiba on Star Wars...dildos? 
i09 argues that Virtuosity (1995) starring Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington now works as a 'bad movie we love' instead of just a bad movie 

Today's Watch...
I was watching George Clooney and Channing Tatum lounge and dance about in Roman soldier and Sailor costumes during the big game so I watched the new movie commercials afterwards. X-Men Apocalypse, Captain America: Civil War, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2, The Jungle Blook, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Jason BourneIndependence Day: Resurgence are included after the jump.

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Q&A Pt 2: Comic Winners? Revisiting Characters? Oscar Darlings of 2026?

Yesterday we got all the Leonardo DiCaprio questions out of the way so now on to other Reader Questions. Let's jump right in. Here's eleven questions from readers. You asked. I'm answering.

EUROCHEESE: What's your favorite comedy to win Best Picture?

NATHANIEL: Toss up between It Happened One Night (1934) and Tootsie (198---Damnit. Tootsie is >>>>>>>>>>>>>> Gandhi)

CHRIS JAMES: Sylvester Stallone now holds the record for the longest time between Oscar nominations for the same character (39 years between 1976 nomination and 2015 nomination). Which nominated roles would you love to see a sequel of 39 years after their original film with the same actor reprising the role? Is there some from the past year or are there any characters this year you would love to check in with 39 years down the road?

NATHANIEL: What a cool question! Unfortunately a lot of these characters might not be alive in 40 years... so we'll have to stick with (mostly) the younger players and wonder who still has story left in them? Brooklyn ends so winningly in the golden sunshine, so let's leave Eilis there. I'd say Ma & Jack from Room but I don't wish them anything but completely normal non-eventful lives after Room

Some of the "true life" characters died or died much sooner than 39 years after the events of the film.Which leaves us with Therese Belivet from Carol which is the correct answer. Rooney Mara will be 69 years old in 39 years so that puts her at the same age as Charlotte Rampling now...

Click to read more ...


Spielberg's Best Pictures and New DVDs

Time to check in to see which movies we all can check back in with or catch up with now that they've hit the home market. The big title, Oscar wise is Steven Spielberg's 10th Best Picture nominee as a director, the cold war drama Bridge of Spies with Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance both doing fine work as a lawyer and the spy he must bargain with for a prisoner of war trade. Only one of Spielberg's directorial efforts has ever won Best Picture (Schindler's List, 1993) but which is your favorite? I'd rank them like so...

  1. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  2. Schindler's List (1993)
  3. Jaws (1975)
  4. E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982)
  5. Lincoln (2012)
  6. The Color Purple (1985)
  7. Bridge of Spies (2015)
  8. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
  9. Munich (2005)
  10. War Horse (2011)

With the disclaimer that everyone knows I'm not a Spielberg aficionado really (the top three are the only ones I'm completely wild about from this list with Close Encounters of the Third Kind also a favorite but Best Picture was not among its 8 (!) nominations. [Trivia Aside: It's tied for second place with The Dark Knight and some other films for 'most nominations without Best Picture,' though the expanded Best Picture field will probably insure that no more films join said list. The all time record holder is They Shoot Horses Don't They (1969) which is completely amazing film but somehow missed a Best Picture nomination despite 9 other bids for the gold.]

ICYMI Murtada just got done ranking the Spielberg Nominated Performances so we're in that sorta mood you could say

Also New on DVD or BluRay

Burnt Bradley Cooper is a chef. And lots of actresses orbit him
Chi-Raq Spike Lee's randy funny raging update of Lysistrata (See: Best of 2015)
Downton Abbey (Final Season) which I'm loving as it airs
Freeheld in which Julianne Moore & Ellen Page fall in love and fight for their rights
Goosebumps in which monsters come to life and Jack Black and kids fight them
Our Brand is Crisis a rare flop for Sandra Bullock as a campaign manager
Suffragette Mulligan, Streep and Bonhman-Carter fight for their voting rights
Truth Cate Blanchett and her fabulous curls fight a losing battle to bring down President Bush with his sneaky draft-dodging

New to Netflix Instant Watch

Better Call Saul (S1) in which Breaking Bad lives on to hold on to its Emmy slots. Now Streaming on Netflix.
Lila & Eve Viola Davis goes vigilante. February 6th.
Love (Gaspar Noe) in which Gaspar Noe splooges into the camera (in 3D!). This explicit sex drama should have really been something but Christ it's a bore. February 4th. 
Mad Men (S7.2) in which we try to be all zen while saying goodbye to the greatest TV show of all time. February 5th.

We might start doing a poll where you choose which old movie, just released to Instant Watch, you want to force Nathaniel to watch and write up and discuss with y'all. What'cha think? Some of this month's new/old options are Charlie's Angels (2000), Cruel Intentions (1999), Full Metal Jacket (1987), Jennifer 8 (1992... I used to be really into this one because: Uma), Losing Isaiah (1995), Stardust (2007), Teen Witch (1989), and I Love You Phillip Morris (2009)


Podcast: Sundance Buzz and SAG Awards Chatter 

Nathaniel,  NickKatey, and Joe vape with Leonardo DiCaprio at the SAG Awards. Also we share the Sundance titles we're most curious about...

39 minutes 
00:01 Sundance Winners: Swiss Army Man, Netflix and Amazon
09:30 Birth of a Nation and other black films that could take the pressure off of it as the #OscarsSoWhite corrective
13:52 Most anticipated titles
16:30 SAG: Boosts for Spotlight, Alicia Vikander
22:20 Don's Plum vs. Flora Plum
25:15 Brie & Leonardo & final SAG thoughts

Related Reading For Context:
Best Ensemble Choices -From Nathaniel
Best Ensemble Choices -From Joe
Nick's SAG Blogging - a first for him
Leo's Vaping - via E!

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes soon

SAG Reactions

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