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Entries in Dustin Hoffman (19)

Monday
May272019

50th Anniversary: "Midnight Cowboy"

by Mark Brinkerhoff

Gay pride month is nearly upon us, so what better time to revisit Midnight Cowboy, the first LGBT-related Best Picture Oscar winner, which arrived in theaters 50 years ago this week. It remains, incidentally, the only X-rated film (for “homosexual frame of reference" and its "possible influence upon youngsters”) ever to win the Academy’s top award. 

Centering on Joe Buck, a wannabe hustler from Texas who finds himself entirely out of his depth in the big city (New York, that is), Midnight Cowboy succeeds poignantly, in the words of its director, as an “exploration of loneliness.” It also doubles as — and doubles down on — disastrous toxic masculinity: how men often are conditioned to (mis)treat others, not to mention themselves, as disposable, degradable objects of disaffection. 

In this ambling story, callousness reigns supreme, with humanity increasingly lost in the constant shuffle, on the streets of Manhattan...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb202019

Great Acceptance Speeches: Dustin Hoffman, "Kramer vs. Kramer"

We asked Team Experience to share their favourite Oscar acceptance speeches as we countdown to Hollywood's High Holy Night. Here's Ben Miller...

Dustin Hoffman had an incredible run of films at the start of his career.  After breaking through with The Graduate in 1967, he followed that with the legendary Midnight Cowboy, and steadily continued on with Little Big Man, Straw Dogs, Papillion, Lenny, All the President’s Men and Marathon Man.  When 1979 rolled around, he was 42 years old and already had three Best Actor nominations under his belt.

Hoffman was no fan of the Academy at the time.  In the midst of his 70’s run, Hoffman called the Oscars a garish and embarrassing evening.  He even drew the ire of Frank Sinatra during the 1975 ceremony.  Despite that, the Academy didn’t mind all that much as they nominated him again in 79 for Kramer vs. Kramer, and this time they gave him the award...

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Tuesday
Nov132018

Top 10: Oscar's All Time Favorite Leading Men

by Nathaniel R

I was shocked to realize that De Niro, Hanks, Penn, and Pacino -- none of them made the top ten!

Okay okay. Since we did Supporting Men and Supporting Women during the summer, I figured we should complete the set. Who are Oscar's 10 favorite leading men? We'll work the ranking like so: Nominations count most, with wins acting like half a nomination to help determine rank. The tiebreaker is the spread of time of nominations which can denote either long term fandom on the Academy's part or shortlived enthusiasms. If there's still a tie at that point, other Oscar statistics (like if they were nominated for producing or supporting or whatnot) break the tie.

Only 20 men throughout film history have scored 5 or more nominations for Best Lead Actor and though this year's currently pulsing competition for Best Actor is chalk full of previous nominees, none of them are regulars to that degree. Here are the ten runners up followed by the all-time top ten list... 

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Thursday
Feb012018

Months of Meryl: Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

Hi, we’re John and Matt and, icymi, we are watching every single live-action film starring Streep. Previously Julia, The Deer Hunter, Manhattan and The Seduction of Joe Tynan


 #5 — Joanna Kramer, a mother and divorcée embroiled in a messy custody battle.

It’s 1980. Kramer vs. Kramer is a critical and commercial smash (the top-grossing film released in 1979). The dawn of a new era approaches and one actress is anointed as its icon...

“The face is beautiful but anguished, haunted by sorrow, despair, determination and love. Can one face express all these warring emotions, with a grave dignity that adds a deeper beauty to the physical structure? Meryl's face can and does in the extraordinary first image of "Kramer vs. Kramer". This first shot of a superbly crafted film prints indelibly upon the eyes and consciousness of the audience the face of a young actress who, at 30, may become the strongest performer of her generation, first American woman since Jane Fonda to rival the power, versatility and impact of such male stars as Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino...

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Friday
Sep292017

NYFF: The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)

Team Experience is at the New York Film Festival. Here's Manuel Betancourt on Noah Baumbach's new film, coming to Netflix on October 13th.

If the title hadn't clued you in just yet, Noah Baumbach's latest frames itself as a collection of short stories. Explaining this structure at a press screening during the New York Film Festival, the Frances Ha and The Squid and the Whale director said it had helped him create these discrete "stories" that together would tell a larger narrative about this (you guessed it) dysfunctional family.

We first meet Danny (Adam Sandler in full Punch Drunk Love mode), a middle-aged man who can't help but get needlessly irritated at the parking situation in New York as he heads to visit his father with his college-bound daughter in tow (Grace Van Patten, a revelation). Harold (Dustin Hoffman), who now lives with Maureen (Emma Thompson, having a ball in a much broader comedy than the melancholy film around her), is a sculptor who's made a modest name for himself. Jaded by the world, full of himself, self-assured of his scathing opinions about other people's work, Harold is an oppressive force, the kind of man whose ego all but fills the room...

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Tuesday
Apr112017

Noah Baumbach Heads to Netflix

Chris here. Consider me outright clamoring for whatever Noah Baumbach does next, even if Mistress America (and for that matter his DePalma doc) wasn't as long ago as it feels like. Time is a slow beast when you're waiting on beloved writer/directors. His next, The Meyerowitz Stories, is his most star-studded and it just got picked up by Netflix.

The film stars Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson (all hippied out to the left), Ben Stiller, and now Netflix mainstay Adam Sandler as a family reuniting in New York to celebrate their artist father. Baumbach's work has been an evolving array of comic tones, so where on his spectrum it will land from bitter pill Margot at the Wedding to the farce of Mistress America is anyone's guess. If nothing else, this could be his largest platform yet - especially if this noteworthy cast is also met with Baumbach's less misanthropic side.

Netflix, for what it's worth, already has confidence in the film: this will be one of their few titles that will also receive a theatrical release, along with this year's Oscar hopeful Mudbound

Baumbach's films have only been outside shots at best, aside from a screenplay nomination for The Squid and the Whale and some Globe-nominated performances. But if this could even be a comedy contender at the Globes, I suspect Netflix will need to put more than a toe in the theatrical waters to clearly mark its theatrical/television territory. Are you excited for Noah Baumbach's latest?