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Entries in Jack Nicholson (19)

Friday
Apr222016

Happy Birthday, Jack Nicholson

We've been celebrating actors all month, and today one of our most legendary deserves a double dose of celebration: Jack Nicholson turns 79!

Nicholson is currently enjoying a low-key retirement. He hasn't been seen on the silver screen since James L. Brooks misfire How Do You Know, but his monolithic legacy of landmark work still feels fresh and the films rewatchable. We're lucky to still have an actor with us who can continue to inspire awe with performances like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest's McMurphy or The Joker. It's saying something that he's Oscar's most recognized actor, but has plenty of worthy unnominated worthy performances to add to the heap - Batman, Carnal Knowledge, and even The Shining.

Yes, he remains Oscar's golden son. His winning performances - Cuckoo's Nest, Terms of Endearment, and As Good As It Gets - are a great example of the range of his talents: ferocity, graceful humor, and rascally sexuality. He very nearly missed a fourth win with About Schmidt, his most recent nomination and a performance that showed him to be an actor still ready to stretch and take risks.

If Nicholson wants to enjoy this retirment from acting, who can blame him with the long list of his films we still have to enjoy? Hopefully, even without a new film on the horizon, we'll see Jack back on an Oscar telecast in his usual from row seat, sunglasses and smiles. Admit it, you've missed him every time he's not there.

Happy Birthday, Jack - but come back soon, we miss you! What's your favorite Nicholson performance, nominated and not nominated?

Monday
Mar282016

The Furniture: Batman's Nightmare at the Museum

New Series. Daniel Walber talks production design in "The Furniture". Previously we looked at The Exorcist, and Carol and Brooklyn. And now...

In the Oscar battle between Batman and Superman, there is no real contest. Superman’s three nominations, zero wins and one special achievement award have nothing on Batman’s fifteen nominations and three wins. And it doesn’t look as if we have to worry about the tally getting complicated by any nominations for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

However, the arrival of the newest Batman movie is an excellent excuse to discuss the oldest. Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman remains the only superhero movie to ever win the Best Production Design Oscar, an honor it certainly deserves to keep...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Mar022016

The New Actor Hierarchy: Oscar's Most Beloved Male Stars


Leonardo DiCaprio is now an Oscar winner but where does he stand in history?

If you're feeling celebratory -- and we've all lived through his rise into cinematic legend so why shouldn't we? -- you really need to check out this cute video of Leo getting his Oscar engraved or this silliness of a party of bros celebrating his win like mad men (hey it's better than the bro-ness of the pussy posse reuniting) or the once mocking memes that have turned into odes to Leo Joy. Good funny stuff.

Even if you weren't enamored with The Revenant (*raises hand*) or find it downright suspect, his filmography is so loaded with memorable films that surely anyone can find one therein to direct all their feelings towards in this momentous week for the 41 year old superstar. I'm choosing to view the Oscar as a career achievement Oscar for specifically prompted by Gilbert Grape, Romeo + Juliet, and The Departed... love them all!) 

Last year when Julianne Moore won her long-awaited Oscar for Still Alice we quickly tabulated the All Time Oscar Actress Hierarchy; movement in the ranks at last!  Given that DiCaprio waited even longer for his eventual statue, nabbing his first nomination at the dewy age of 19 for What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), four years before Julianne Moore's first nomination, it seemed only right to do the same thing for the men in the wake of Leo's coronation. 

What follows is Oscar's 32 All Time Favorite Actors !
It's restricted to men with 5 or more nominations. Only the acting statistics are accounted for so George Clooney, for example, is not (yet) ranked. If you counted non-acting nominations, you'd also see DiCaprio jump a rank as he was nominated for producing Wolf of Wall Street two years ago and Brad Pitt would also factor in since he won Best Picture for 12 Years a Slave. Now that many major stars are involved in producing these types of extra nominations stats are likely to make Oscar lists of the future progressively murkier so we're opting not to include them for now. 

If you'd like to see how the ranks were determined (it's not as simple as basic addition or there would be many ties) that's at the bottom of the post.

OSCAR'S FOUR KINGS
And 28 other Royals 

after the jump 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb182016

Q&A: Actressexual Longings & Carol Gender-Flipped

It's another Q & A. Ask it and it shall be er... might be answered. When I started typing this week I couldn't stop and before I know it there were thousands and thousands of words. So that takes care of two Q&As .

Here's the first half of the mad scribblings typings then.

What is your favorite non-nominated performance from each of the five titans of the acting nominations? (Meryl Streep, Katharine Hepburn, Jack Nicholson, Bette Davis and Laurence Olivier) - SEAN

NATHANIEL: Oh this is a tough one since those people were Oscared for breathing. Okay. Let's take them in reverse order of preference as actors...

Sir Laurence Olivier. Weirdly I was just watching As You Like It (1936) just the other day. I wasn't all that impressed though he definitely had an easier time with the material and the medium than the other stagebound performers. I have seen several of his non-nominated films, mostly from when I was very young so I don't remember them well. SpartacusDracula? That Hamilton Woman? I have no idea. I'm not a Sir Larry person at all! I almost always prefer his co-stars even in his biggest hits.

Katharine Hepburn. Bringing Up Baby (1938) is such a comic jewel. Mid 30s to Early 40s is best with Hepburn. 

Jack Nicholson. The Shining (1980). Sure he goes big but the nightmare requires that level of commitment to devilish abandon. He does supersized devilish abandon in Witches of Eastwick (1987) as well but in the latter case it's distracting since the women are already sparking so much. Take it down, Jack.

Bette Davis. I confess: I haven't seen all that many of her non-nominated performances. I don't think she's very good in Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte or her late camp work and not very memorable in Three on a Match. Hmmm. Maybe The Great Lie (1941)? But Mary Astor performs Grand Theft Movie in that one. What a knockout star turn.

Meryl Streep. Easy. The Hours (2002). "I seem to be... unravelling."

lots more after the jump

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun222015

Beauty vs Beast: Down & Out In Hollywood

Jason from MNPP here, and I'm ready for my close-up - we're devoting today's edition of "Beauty vs Beast" to the late great director Billy Wilder, who was born on this day 109 years ago. If you had to pick your favorite Wilder picture, what would you go with? It's a query that'll break the brain of many a cinephile, so rich stands his cinematic legacy even all these decades later. I personally am torn between The Apartment (so glad I was able to hang out in the bar that Fran and C.C. frequent before it closed) and today's competitive centerpiece, 1950's Sunset Boulevard (aka still the greatest movie about Hollywood ever made), but cases made for a couple other Wilder films could probably convince me they were his be all everything too. Point being Billy didn't used to be big, he is big, and it's the pictures that got small without him. In that vein...

PREVIOUSLY Last week we wished Helen Hunt a happy birthday with a look back at her and Jack Nicholson's 1997 Oscar wins for As Good As It Gets -- facing them off y'all were decidely Team Carol with her thundering past a full 3/4ths of the vote. Explained Denny:

"Loved this film then and like it now, despite all the shit it gets. Jack is on fire - somehow Melvin doesn't come off like the complete and utter cliche he is on paper, and it's solely due to Nicholson's unique charisma - but it really is all about Helen Hunt and her warm, deeply lived-in performance as Carol. Yes the "fucking HMO pieces of shit" bit is great, but where the character (and the actress) really sings for me is in the quieter, more intimate moments. She somehow ups everyone's game when she's in a scene with them, and that's no small feat. But really, Carol wins just for being able to handle Melvin and all his bullshit."

Monday
Jun152015

Beauty vs Beast: Sidewalk Stories

Jason from MNPP here with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" -- the very first movie that I ever saw being filmed in person was on one of my first trips to New York City; I guess it must've been in the spring of 1997? There I was walking down a side-street near NYU, a wide-eyed country bumpkin in the big city, when who should suddenly be standing in front of me but Jack Nicholson. Jack Nicholson! That'll stop you dead in your tracks. Beside him was Helen Hunt and Greg Kinnear and you guessed it, it was James L. Brooks' multiple Oscar winner As Good As It Gets.

I watched them film for about half an hour (it was the scene where they were getting into the car to go on their mid-movie road-trip) in awe, and now whenever I think of this movie I think of that experience and how fundamental it was to cementing this city as where I wanted to live my life. There's magic around every corner, wedged terrifyingly in every crack of the sidewalk. Long story short today is Helen Hunt's birthday (and Greg Kinnear's birthday is on Wednesday) so As Good As It Gets it is...

PREVIOUSLY Last time around we anticipated the weekend's great big movie (movie-a-saurus) with a claw-off between the Tyrannosaurus Rex and the Velociraptor in Steven Spielberg's 1993 original Jurassic Park - ya'll love your Clever Girls and the Raptor slashed her way to the winning circle with 60% of the vote. Said forever1267:

"Velociraptors are one of the few movie monsters that really scared me while watching the movie. They aren't supposed to be smart! They're not supposed to be able to open doors! They're not supposed to be clever! Chills!"

Friday
Nov212014

Good Morning