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Entries in Isabelle Adjani (8)


Top Dozen List: Saoirse Ronan & The Youngest Best Actress Nominees

Saoirse Ronan, who does such a beautiful job carrying Brooklyn, the film about falling in love with and in a new world, is only 21 years old. Should she be Oscar-nominated in two months time she'll be among the 10 youngest ever so honored in that category. She's the same age now as Marlee Matlin was when she competed for Children of a Lesser God; Matlin won and still holds the title of Youngest Best Actress Winner of all time.

Most 21 year-old Oscar nominees are newbies but not Saoirse. She was nominated at 13 for her role as the tattle-tale sister in Atonement. "I saw it with my own eyes!" But should Saoirse be nominated again, she won't break a record of first to two nominations. That record has belonged to Angela Lansbury for over 70 years when she accomplished it by the age of 20. 

For fun and movie-history purposes let's look at the...


The immediate reveal of note is that 70% of the top ten have emerged in just the past twenty years. How much younger can this list get? 

01 Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012) was 9 (though years younger than that when she filmed it)

02 Keisha Castle Hughes, Whale Rider (2003) was 13.

Several more young starlets after the jump...

Click to read more ...


Hailee Steinfeld loves herself, okay?

Did you hear that the now 18 year old True Grit and Pitch Perfect 2 star has released a single? With "Love Myself" she becomes the first Oscar nominee to launch a music career since... um... wait, wait, it'll come to me.

Bruce Willis, Brie Larson, and Linday Lohan tried it years ago but they weren't Oscar nominees. Eddie Murphy and Kim Basinger did it briefly in the 80s but that was long before Oscar paid them any mind. Russell Crowe did it before becoming a movie star and kept on doing it. Jamie Foxx started recording years before the musical biopic Oscar win in Ray. Jared Leto abandoned the movies for quite a long time to be a rock star but that was also before Oscar love. Most recently Scarlett Johansson started a recording career but Oscar has yet to notice her. (sigh). Post Oscar Examples will come to me after we get back to our topic.

Hailee has gone for an "I Touch Myself"/"She Bop" style single what with that Self-Service tank in the video for "Love Myself"


Hey, you'd turn yourself on, too, if you were Oscar-nominated for your debut film. Do tell us what you think of the video in the comments, won't you? (You may also recall that Hailee was the star of my choice for "best shot" from Taylor Swift's Bad Blood video)

Previous Actors To Launch Music Careers After Their Oscar Nominations
I'd love this to be a comprehensive list but I'm sure I missed someone. Help if you can...


Minnie Driver's latest album "Ask Me To Dance" Toni Collette . Oscar nominated for The Sixth Sense (1999). Released one album "Beautiful Awkward Pictures" in 2006. You can also hear her great pipes on the Original Broadway Cast Album of Michael John Lachiusa's "Wild Party"
Minnie Driver
. Oscar nominated for Good Will Hunting (1997). Released her debut album "Everything I've Got in My Pocket" in 2004. Beautiful voice. She's since released two more albums.
Juliette Lewis. Oscar nominated for Cape Fear (1991). Juliette and the Licks released their debut album in 2004 with their first hit "You're Speaking My Language" - damn that track was goood. She's since released three more albums. I miss her music. I listened to "Uh Huh" so much in 2010!


Isabelle Adjani. First Oscar nominated for The Story of Adele H. (1975). After a Cannes win for 2 roles and two Cesars for best actress in the early 80s she released her only album "Pull Marine" in 1983. Supposedly Luc Besson directed the only music video but it doesn't seem to exist on YouTube. *sniffle*


Bette Davis. Oscared twice over in the 1930s, she continued to rack up nominations through 1962's Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?.  She's a bit of a black sheep in this list though because she wasn't trying to start a recording career with her only album. She was nearing 70 years of age when producers asked her and she cut the album "Miss Bette Davis" which includes a few movie songs she's already sung onscreen.


Patty Duke. She won the supporting actress Oscar at 16 for her co-lead role in The Miracle Worker (1962). Afterwords she got her own television show, recorded albums and had two top forty hits. 


Sal Mineo. First Oscar nominated for Rebel Without a Cause (1955). Released one pop album in 1957 at the heighth of his teen idol fame, from which he even had a top ten single. After that it was all acting again and another nomination for Exodus (1960).



So Nice, She's Been Nominated Twice: Isabelle Adjani

abstew here. With her second nomination for Two Days, One Night, Marion Cotillard joins a small but prestigious group of actresses that received both their Best Actress nominations for foreign language performances. We previously discussed Sophia Loren and Liv Ullmann so let's close out the series with French cinematic royalty... 

Isabelle Adjani
after the jump 

Click to read more ...


Tues Top Ten: Hottest Hotties of 1989

Here's abstew to continue our celebration of 1989 as the 'year of the month'. Happy 25th, 1989!

As we look back at 1989 in preparation for the Smackdown, it's important not to forget what the movies have always been about: really attractive people. The Me Decade of the 80's, perhaps the greatest/craziest time in regards to fashion and hairstyles, if they taught us anything at all, it isn't that less is more. Oh, no. More is MORE! More shoulder pads, more eye shadow, more crunchy perms with mall bangs. So let's celebrate the 80's excess with these cinematic hotties of 1989. 

Honorable Mention: Julia Roberts "Blush and Bashful Hottie", Daniel Day-Lewis "Method Actor Hottie", Meg Ryan "I'll Have What She's Having Hottie", Kenneth Branagh "New Shakespearian Hottie", Nicole Kidman "Just An Ozzie Girl On a Boat With Billy Zane Hottie"

10. Sean Connery

You Call This Archeology Hottie

Why Him: The once and eternally forever Bond star proved that even at the age of 59, he could still make the ladies swoon when he played Indiana Jones' father in the number one box office hit of 1989, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Romancing women half his age, and even managing to make a tweed travel suit and bow tie as sexy as one of Bond's tuxes, Connery like a fine aged wine, just got better with age.

Sexiest 1989 Moment: People magazine named the Scot The Sexiest Man Alive for its 1989 cover story. The headline hilariously reads, "Older, balder...and better! Here's one leading man who doesn't need to fake it." No word on exactly what other leading men were faking at the time. And apparently John Goodman was up for the title that year, so...yeah. People magazine - the nation's leading authority of unconventional sex appeal.

9. Rosie Perez
(and 8 more sexpots after the jump)

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Foreign Oscar Updates. Will France Finally Win Again?

With France's official announcement that the blockbuster The Intouchables will be their Official Oscar submission for Best Foreign Film, is the race already over? Its global tally currently rests at an astounding $364 million dollars, most of that from overseas bank. The film hasn't been ignored in American arthouse theaters exactly but it's $9 million gross and mainstream appeal (it's even in the IMDb top 100) qualifies it as a major arthouse hit but no crossover slam dunk; roughly speaking it's a hit the way last year's foreign film winner, the instant classic A Separation, was or the way Beasts of the Southern Wild is.

French cinema has had a complex intermittently passionate long-distance relationship with Hollywood since cinema began and that is reflected in their Oscar success over the years both in this category and others. France leads all countries in most Foreign Film nominations by a wide margin (36 nominees to Italy's 26) but surprisingly they have not won since the Catherine Deneuve drama Indochine rocked US arthouses twenty years ago. Will this Gallic sort-of variation on Driving Miss Daisy (is that too dismissive?) be a lock for Oscar love or will last year's swerve towards critically prestigious international cinema signal a sea change to new glory days for the category? (Yes, I still have impromptu ecstatic flashbacks to A Separation's win)

OFFICIAL SUBMISSION CHARTS 2012 -- everything in one place as we do: posters, trailers, info. Pass it on.

Current Predictions - Australia, Austria, Denmark, France and Romania 
Albania through Iran - 15 official submissions (thus far... updates in progress)
Italy through Venezuala - 16 official submissions (thus far... updates in progress)

Amelie netflix illustration by Tim Hodge (click for original source)A collection of France's biggest Oscar hits if you'd like to catch up with a movie marathon at home... after the jump

Click to read more ...


Best Shot: Isabelle Adjani in "The Story of Adele H"

Previously on Season 3 of Hit Me With Your Best Shot...

Today we're officially back to weekly "Best Shot" posts with François Truffaut's biotragedy THE STORY OF ADELE H (1975). For nearly thirty years French beauty Isabelle Adjani held the record for the Youngest Best Actress Nominee of all time; she was 20 when Adele H made her an international star. To add to Adjani's Oscar Curio factor, she still holds another record: she's the only actor or actress ever nominated twice for French language performances. Nomination #2 came for another biotragedy Camille Claudel (1988). [Marion Cotillard surely hopes to tie that particular Best Actress record later this year in Rust and Bone (2012).]

Adjani all but vanished from screens round about the time she and Daniel Day-Lewis procreated and split. The sensational Queen Margot (1994) and the reviled Diabolique (1996) with Sharon Stone were her last big draws so I assume many readers are unfamiliar and that this Best Shot subject would be a fresh choice. I did not however make the connection that post-Possessed this meant two movies back-to-back featuring women who utterly debase themselves for the love of a playboy who does, in his defense, try to warn her crazy away. Even though both films belong to my favorite subgenre Women Who Lie To Themselves™ it was a disconcerting double feature. 

Adele H doesn't just lie to herself though. She lies to virtually everyone in her relentless pursuit of her former lover Lt. Albert Pinson (Bruce Robinson) who she intends to marry. She prides herself repeatedly on her willingness to cross the Ocean for him, a big deal in 1863.

Though I'd argue that François Truffaut's marriage of traditional costume drama and nouvelle vague experimentation is sometimes an awkward one, I do love the film's take on letters which Adele mostly reads aloud as she writes, sometimes directly to the camera as in this gorgeous passage when Adele recites an entire letter to daddy while the camera actually crosses the Ocean (and then some maps) to deliver it.

She's Written A Letter To Daddy... (my second choice for "best shot")

My dear parents,
I have just married Lieutenant Pinson. The ceremony took place Saturday in a church in Halifax. I need money for my trousseau. I must have 300 francs immediately... in addition to my allowance. If you'd taken care of my music as I've asked you 100 times that would bring me in some money and I wouldn't have to behave like a beggar. 

It's in the letter readings where Adjani earns the historic Oscar nomination. Her lies are so proud and delivered with such entitled petulance that she almost seems thrilled to be reciting them. What's false is true and Adele believes this with religious conviction. And nost just Sunday only conviction but a tent-revival sort of fanaticism. Similarly perverse beats occur when she seems turned on by Lt. Pinson's sexual interest in everyone but her. Adjani is also excellent at delineating Adele's complex relationship to her family name ("H" being the clue and part of the reason I chose the movie at this time) whether she's embracing it, hiding it, or using it as dangling carrot.

Great Moments in Costuming #317,201

But for the Best Shot prize, I choose a shot that falls within a far more typically Oscar-baity context. Toward the end of the film, the inevitable occurs and Adele's internal madness is acutely externalized. After a dog bites at her heels, tearing her dress, she wanders the streets.

In an 18 second unbroken shot she approaches oblivious to the camera she's often looking at. The camera  briefly focuses on the ragged hem of her once rich gown as she passes us by before it pans up again to a bookstore window where Adele's lonely never-suitor stares at his former friend, now utterly alien. She spins about in the street muttering (inaudible) nonsense to herself. She's always spoken nonsense but now that everyone can hear it for what it is, there's no point in listening.

best shot

Don't Believe Her Lies!!!
Antagony & Ecstacy ...thinks it a damn good movie.
Film Actually... on a soldier's indifference
Cinesnatch... 'for the man you claim to be her father'
Okinawa Assault [SPOILERS] talks downward spirals and dusty mirrors

Next Thursday Night: Kim Novak and William Holden get all hot and bothered in the Oscar favorite PICNIC (1955), which I've never seen! Bring your own blankets and sandwiches (and blog posts)


'Best Shot' Resumes Production on June 27th


"Hit Me With Your Best Shot" returns from its month-long hiatus in two weeks. Will you join us? I'll try to catch up soon with Possessed (1947) which had terrible timing given my father's passing. Other than a short upcoming moment with Joan Crawford, what's next?

 Wednesday June 27th - THE STORY OF ADELE H. (1975)

For Isabelle Adjani's birthday (and considering that Victor Hugo madness will be heading our way at Christmas time) we'll look back at François Truffaut's Oscar nominated tale of obsessive love. Trivia: Adjani held the "youngest Best Actress nominee" record for three decades until a certain Whale Rider teared up.

*THURSDAY* July 5th -PICNIC (1955)

Technically this is a Labor Day movie as opposed to 4th of July but the point is who wants to sit at home blogging on Independence Day? I've never seen this - hence the choice - but I hear it's visually appealing (James Wong Howe on cinematography duties!) and I enjoy me some Kim Novak and William Holden. Bonus points: filling in the Oscar gaps. This one was nominated for 6 Oscars including Best Picture.

Wednesday July 11th - ROAD TO PERDITION (2002)

It's the tenth anniversary of Sam Mendes' self-consciously 'best shotty' graphic novel adaptation with Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Jude Law, little Tyler Hoechlin before he was an alpha werewolf and the then (mostly) unknown Daniel Craig who found it all so fucking ridiculous.

Wednesday July 18th - PINK NARCISSUS (1971) 

I like doing short movies for this series (since it's asking a lot to assign y'all a movie each week) and this one is only 64 minutes. Luishergio suggested a NSFW edition and why not? This influential cult classic (the debt Pierre et Gilles owe will never be paid in full) about a rent boy's fantasies was shot almost entirely inside director James Bidgood's apartment and yet it's visually ravishing (the intense color helps). It's one of those movies then that all indie filmmakers without $ resources ought to look at.

Wednesday July 25th TBA
Wednesday August 1st TBA
Wednesday August 8th TBA.. it's so hard to choose but you get the point.

Previously on "Hit Me With Your Best Shot"
in case you missed any...