Oscar History

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Entries in Film Bitch Awards (84)


Supporting Actor (and Lead Actor) Chart Updates

tfw you always think of Best Supporting Actor as the dullest and weakest of Oscar's annual acting races but then remember it's only because of how they pick 'em because there are already more than enough stellar candidates for a truly exciting and deserving lineup and even more worthy players to come with movies left to see so this list could double in size and it's going to be so painful to say goodbye to any of these men when you have to narrow it down to a measly five at year's end and how are you going to do that exactly and why do you put yourself through this to "list"?  [WHEW. Run on sentence intentional. Sometimes you have to spill and all the feelings want to come out at once.]

Twelve favorite supporting actors to date for 2016 in no particular order are pictured below. Films left to see that could affect this race include: Hell or High Water, Sully, Bleed For This, Hacksaw Ridge, Fences, and Silence... and probably a few I'm forgetting.


Of course Oscar views these things differently and Best Picture heat and level of fame helps more than it should in the acting categories. Let there be Chart Updates!

Best Actor Chart
Best Supporting Actor Chart 
Best Actress Chart
Best Supporting Actress Chart 


Tues Top Ten: Best Performance of the Decade (Thus Far)?

Today's top ten was inspired by Robert MacFarlane who asked what the greatest performance of the decade was on twitter to a quick flurry of responses involving some usual suspects: Phoenix, Hoffman, Cotillard, Blanchett and some unusual suspects: O'Connell, Culkin, Pitt. But the question naturally lingered because who doesn't love ranking such unrankables?

Let's do this!

Ranking likely to change tomorrow. Oscar nominated roles marked with asterisk. Oscar winning roles with double asterisk 

Honorable Mentions (No Particular Order): Binoche in Certified Copy, * Keaton & Norton in Birdman, * Riva in Amour, ** Day-Lewis in Lincoln, ** Bale in The Fighter, * Rampling in 45 Years, and many others...

10 James Franco, Spring Breakers (2013) --look at his shittttttttt
09 * Marion Cotillard, Two Days One Night (2014) --transcendent
08 * Cate Blanchett, Carol (2015) --daringly stylized, mesmerizing
07 * Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom (2010) --she did a great thing, sweetie
06 Charlize Theron, Young Adult (2011) --the layers. the layers
05 * Viola Davis, The Help (2011) --smart. kind. important. (and other wonderful adjectives)
04 Matthew McConaughey, Magic Mike (2012) --lawbreaker in the house
03 Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy (2012) --Bless Charlotte Bless
02 ** Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine (2013) --from airplane to park bench, perfection
01 Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

What are yours? 


Film Bitch Awards ~ The Grand Finale

Another film year closes. Tonight when the Best Picture prize is handed out (it'll be a nailbiter down to the wire, even if The Revenant is taking lots of craft prizes) it's all over but the post-mortem party and then we're on to 2016's movies. At last! But first, if you haven't checked Nathaniel's own annual tradition the Film Bitch Awards (the name came from friends in college before the site existed -- yes, i was giving out imaginary prizes every year since, like, junior high -- and it stuck for better and SEO worst), please do.

Nominations and gold, silver, and bronze medals in 18 traditional categories and 22 "extra" fun ones have all been announced. Consider this a yearbook of TFE's most beloved screen adventures and obsessions from the 2015 film year. I wish we could have an awards show (perhaps a video show for 2016? though we'll need more funds first. Hint hint. Subscribe!) or forge actual medals. But for now these annual prizes will have to do!

PAGE 1  Picture, Director, Screenplay
Carol and Mad Max begin their huge medal runs. Which will emerge victorious?

PAGE 2  Acting Categories
Prizes for Steve Jobs, 45 Years, Love and Mercy, Creed, and more... 

PAGE 3  Visual Categories
Ex Machina refuses to leave empty-handed despite fierce competition

PAGE 4  Music & Sound Categories
Sicario gets much of its punch from its ear candy. Or ear poison, rather, because that shit is sinister.

PAGE 5  Extra Acting-Related Categories
*JUST ANNOUNCED* Nominations and Medals in the Limited and Cameo categories including honors for Magic Mike XXL, Grandma, lesser known actors from Spotlight and more...

PAGE 6  Memorable Characters
Prizes for Inside Out and more...

PAGE 7  Best Scenes
Here's where films of all genres and target audiences tend to rise up to joust with each other. Notices for a huge swath of high and lowbrow achievements: 50 Shades of Grey, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, TangerineDiary of a Teenage Girl, and many more...

Please enjoy and discuss. It's more fun when movie-love is communal!



Film Bitch Awards - Best Scenes of Multiple Kinds

We're nearly finished* with 2015 Film Bitch Awards, our own annual year in review yearbook/party and of imaginary Oscar ballot (well, half of it is that). Today the remainder of our Best Scene categories with six final scene categories. This group hands more nominations to films from the top ten list of course but for highlights to point out here on the blog before you click over, we're using films outside the top ten list. 

Obviously this page (and post) of awards contains mild spoilers so if you haven't seen the films and wish to stay pure, these are not the awards categories you're looking for. Here is one nominee I felt the need to gab about (maybe you will too?) from each category...

While Creed was mostly ignored by the Academy, chances are its big box office (which significantly outgrossed Stallone's last two attempts are reigniting the franchise) will insure a big career for Michael B Jordan. Can Tessa Thompson hope for the same (it's always trickier for actresses of color)? They're wonderful together. Especially endearing is the scene in her apartment where Adonis makes up a godawful wrap and they end up collapsed on the floor, caught up in the moment. It's an upside down shot from above and they're something beautifully innocent and pure but also sexy about this kiss. (Later they'll bring the heat in a proper sex scene at Rocky's house. "but what about your Uncle?" / "He old!" Ha!)

Angelina Jolie's third directorial effort By the Sea was mercilessly trashed upon arrival but this was always going to be its fate. The Jolie-Pitts are extremely mainstream-famous. And household name blockbuster stars that the public has longed to see paired again onscreen aren't supposed to reunite for an indulgent overly serious tribute to Euro art cinema of the 1970s. That's for the other kind of movie star, like the Julianne Moores and the Ryan Goslings of the world, whose filmographies are built on eclectic sensibilities and crisscrossing between the ittybitty and the giant. But By the Sea isn't without its moments. The best scene, repeated in different forms like a musical riff, is when the couple sits on the floor in their hotel room and shyly watches another younger couple (Melanie Laurent & Melvil Poupaud) make love in the next room through a peephole. It's beautifully sympathetic and tragicomic, an estranged couple tiptoeing back to intimacy through surrogates.

David O. Russell's Joy is an easy movie to quibble with. It often feels like five different movies that haven't reconciled themselves. This problem (?) is embedded right in its prologue which jumps from inside a stylized soap opera, to Diane Ladd's wonderfully expressive fable-like narration, and back to the soap opera but this time "outside" of it through a TV set, and into little Joy's bedroom where she makes a castle and theorizes about her possible superpower (maybe she doesn't need a Prince?). Ladd's Grandma guides us through this collision of styles and ideas with an expertly dropped line about Joy's creativity that doubles as a guide to how to watch and make ambitious movies.

The patience to figure it out."

Will Joy grow on us with time? Perhaps it might. Perhaps we quibbled too much. Perhaps Russell didn't have the patience to truly figure this one out but there's a lot to figure therein.

Spotlight may have the most mellow finale we've ever nominated in this category but there's something about its sober work ethic and the core ensemble wide shot, with Walter "Robby" Robinson centered, that really lands emotionally and elevates the film. His phone rings and they all just return to work. Where they've always been.


I've been disappointed these last few years that it's more and more common for films to have virtually no credits at the beginning and double up at the ending. So shout out to Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation which has great opening and closing credits. The opening credits would be spoiler-alert central if they didn't come at you so aggressively with machine-gun montage speed. The ending credits are even more stylish --both an homage to the TV show and film appropriate -- with action frames from the film outlined by the wicks of time bombs; this movie is a blast.

[Read more about these two sequences at The Art of the Title.] 

When writing about the Film Bitch Awards I often revisit a whole bunch of movies in clip forms, particularly the earlier releases that are blurry int he memory. Here we are at the end of the prize-giving and here comes Diary of a Teenage Girl and it suddenly looks just as good as everyone claimed it to be (I was previously in the admired but only admired camp). It was easy to turn certain movies off after checking the scene in question but I kept getting sucked into this film, as if it were the first time. One of the best moments is an animated interlude "The Making of Harlot" where a 'Beautiful Junior,' getting it on with Minnie, remarks upon her aggressive sexuality with something like judgment in his voice (though he's benefitting). Giant Minnie, holding him in her King Kong paw, turns away, with a single teardrop and casts him aside. True movie magic.


* Only three categories left to announce (Limited Roles x2 & Line Readings). Can you believe we're actually going to finish this year before the Oscars**?! Wheeee. We'll announce those three categories plus all the Gold Silver and Bronze medals at some point in the next 24, ya dig?

** Okay technically I won't have finished, damnit. I never named the Animated Feature nominees (we only go 3-wide here) because I was trying to see Boy and The World before voting. So we'll be finished with everything but that category.


Musical Moments

Time for more Film Bitch Categories. We're almost done*. Click away for the nominees in two more scene categories involving music.

Films featured in this round include (deep breath now): Chi-Raq, Ex-Machina, Girlhood, I'll See You In My Dreams, The Last Five Years, Magic Mike XXL, A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, Ricki & the Flash, Straight Outta Compton, and Victoria

*Only eight more categories to go... Best Scenes (not featured in these categories), Opening and Closing Scenes, Title Sequence, Sex Scenes, Best Kisses, and Best Actor and Best Actress in Limited or Cameo Roles... (which generally means no more than 2 scenes). We'll name our gold, silver, and bronze medalists on Friday/Saturday.


Film Bitch Awards: Diva and Sexpot Nominations

I'm working on the character page portion of the awards. Today write-ups for the Diva and Sexpot of the year with nominees from Magic Mike XXL, Saint Laurent, Spy and more. Hero & Villain categories coming shortly.

Bear in mind that I don't let characters cross over into more than one category lest they dominate too many categories so, for instance, you won't see Lysistrata from Chi-Raq under Best Diva, though she is one because she fits the Sexpot category to a T (and A). She owns it. And she's not giving it away. "No Peace. No Pussy." 

The film doesn't work at all if you don't see how badly Chi-Raq (Nick Cannon), her gang leader boyfriend, wants that "nappy pouch". Teyonah Parris is on in this movie and it's so hard to believe it's the same actress that played quiet confident Dawn in Mad Men, just trying to earn her paycheck in that office with all that crazy white folks drama. (Remember that awkward episode when Peggy tried to confide in her. -so uncomfortable)

Chi-Raq is now streaming on Amazon Prime and on DVD and you should watch it. 



Personal Ballot: Casting, Ensemble, Breakthrough

Ready to start pouring over Nathaniel's annual Film Bitch Awards? The time is now. As longtime readers probably have gleaned, in my secret alternate fantasy life I became a casting director. It's one of the three jobs in movies I always thought I'd be terrific at (the others being editing and screenwriting). This is not bragging. It's fan-fic journaling. All cinephiles are allowed, indeed encouraged (at least here), to harbor such 'in another life' fantasies! The natural pull of casting is probably what keys up the interesting in SAG's Ensemble category so much even though they don't ever seem to absorb the meaning of the word but just pick five pictures they liked. 

Now that SAG has had their say, here are the Film Bitch Nominees in the casting friendly categories:  Casting, Ensemble, and Breakthrough Performers. You'll see major shout outs to Sicario and Brooklyn in particular, both the casts and their casting directors (Francine Maisler and Fiona Weir, respectively). It's still mortifying that they were looked over in terms of communal acting whenever ensemble prizes were handed out anywhere. Diary of a Teenage Girl, which we probably haven't talked about enough, is also honored twice over. 

And a note to remember as you read them: If a performer is nominated in one of our regular Oscar-adjacent acting categories they are not eligible for Breakthrough (so no double dipping) which is why you don't see Jacob Tremblay from Room for example since he was already nominated in Leading Actor