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Entries in Joan Allen (6)


13 Days Til Oscar: Matthew McConaughey... And the 2000 Best Actress Race?

[The Oscar countdown continues with new contributor Matthew Eng - he wrote that popular Jennifer Lawrence piece! -- making a fascinating cross gender lines comparison to 13 years back]

Thirteen years ago, the only acting prize Matthew McConaughey seemed likely to ever win was a Razzie*. Or, you know, at least a Teen Choice Award. And yet, here we are, thirteen years later, all those Wedding Planners and Failure to Launches gone (but not forgotten), and Matthew McConaughey just so happens to be:

  1. an Oscar nominee
  2. the indisputable frontrunner of the Best Actor raceand
  3. a presumable Oscar winner.

It’s the Second Coming of McConaughey, a shockingly successful, rule-breaking career reversal that approximately zero people saw coming. But can you really blame us, especially considering that pre-Magic Mike McConaughey seemed pretty intent on solidifying his status as a Hopeless Hollywood Himbo, continually submerging his skills behind a pair of wide-eyed peepers, a self-satisfied smirk, and a notorious, Southern-fried catchphrase that may have made for one great Matt Damon impression but which can still send even some of the more willing McConaughey converts up the wall?

It’s always nice to see a performer sizably step up their game, to start choosing roles for the challenge, rather than the check. Maybe it’s the nature of the Dallas Buyers Club role or maybe it’s the inconsistent reputation of the genre he spent the better part of the past decade residing in, but McConaughey’s performance and subsequent awards trajectory have been giving me major flashbacks to Julia Roberts and the 2000 Best Actress Race, which culminated with Roberts’ inevitable coronation nearly thirteen years ago. [More...]

Click to read more ...


Tues Top Ten: Stars Without (Competitive) Oscars

Do you miss Oscar season or are you glad it's over? I'm feeling a little bit of both right now, which is why this image that a reader sent me is so great. It's Glenn Close & Michelle Pfeiffer on Oscar night in 1989, when they both lost for their roles in Dangerous Liaisons (1988). Michelle did take the stage as a presenter that night (alongside Dennis Quaid).

Who knew that the Merquise de Merteuil and Madame Tourvel could exhibit any such tenderness for each other? (Or maybe the Merquise is just looking for the softest spot on Tourvel's neck in which to sink her fangs?)

So the picture got me to thinking about stars who've never won Oscars despite multiple nods. (Of course the most egregiously mistreated stars in Hollywood are the great actors who've never even been nominated... but that's a different list.) For this Tuesday Top Ten, I thought we'd do things a little differently and the rank will be determined not by my opinion but by Oscar's through the number of nominations. I determine the order if stars have the same number of losing nominations.


Honorable Mentions: Mickey Rooney, Eleanor Parker, Kirk Douglas (yes, they're all still alive), Jane Alexander, Debra Winger, Diane Ladd and Marsha Mason each won three-to-four nominations but since none of these famous actors are working much or at all in features anymore, I decided to make this a list of top “working” stars instead. As for the bottom third of the top ten list, since there are a lot of stars who’ve earned three nominations without ever winning, I had to make judgement calls as to who to include. So my apologies to: Laura Linney, Joaquin Phoenix and Sigourney Weaver (and others with 3 nominations) who just-missed here.

Johnny Depp, The Dangerous Liaisons girls and more after the jump...

Click to read more ...


My Link, My Fate, My Fortune... Chanel No. 5

Studio Exec visits the set of Darren Aronofsky's Noah
The New Yorker interviews screenwriter Melissa Matheson for the 30th anniversary of E.T. The Extra Terrestrial
Movie|Line first tease of Carrie. Hmmm, looks very BIG for such an intimate horror story
Yahoo on the internal wars for each character on Homeland. Such a good season 2 thus far, yes?
Nicks Flick Picks spends an evening with Joan Allen at the Chicago Film Festival 

Chanel No. 5 Joe Wright directs Brad Pitt as the first male spokesperson for Chanel No. 5. Joe is the new Baz. Discuss.
Acidemic suggests streaming Netflix options you might not have thought of that are Halloween appropriate.

Today's Very Best News
Tina Fey & Amy Poehler will co-host the Golden Globes. YES. But can they switch show duties with Seth MacFarlane please? Now I have to look forward to the Golden Globes even more than usual and I'd rather be THAT excited for Oscar.

Barbra Streisand singing with her son Jason Gould this past week in Philly. The family that sings together...

Finally, for you readers who are also writers... Nail Your Novel has tips on how to prepare for National Novel- Writing Month. I tried to do this once (a sci-fi novel actually) and I liked the exercize but it's hard to do when you're also writing a daily blog. But if you've been stuck in your own writing, I highly recommend.


Actress a Day: Joan Allen

My fingers were itchy for some sketching. So let's get back to Actress a Day...

Why Joan Allen today? 
Two reasons...

1) She finally nabbed a new leading role! She'll headline A Good Marriage which is based on a Stephen King short story about a woman named Darcy who discovers her husband and the father of her children has been leading a gruesome secret life. No word yet on who will play the evil husband but apparently the wife's role is juicy. Yay! We need some Joan back in our lives, don't we? [src]

2) In my failed rush toward Toronto I forgot to mention that I was a special guest on the Award Circuit Power Hour this week where we discussed festival buzz, the Best Actress and the Best Supporting Actress races. One of the things they do on the Podcast is a game called "Give Them an Oscar" and the holy name of Joan Allen was invoked. You can listen here.

So... what would you give Joan an Oscar for? Do tell in the comments.


Oscar Flashback: Supporting Actress 1998

Yesterday on twitter I ended up in a fun alternative Oscar argument with Joe, Julien, Will and Jacob and it was amusing because nobody agreed on anything...

Get your hands off ________'s rightful Oscar.

So let's expand that conversation to include TFE readers. If you'll recall had you lived through it or know the year went like so...

Winner: Judi Dench, Shakespeare in Love (also won NSFC & BAFTA)
I'm actually fine with this win (from the nominee pool, I mean) though I'm aware many internet dwellers are very anti-Shakespeare in Love



  • Kathy Bates, Primary Colors (Chicago, BFCA & SAG winner)
  • Brenda Blethyn, Little Voice
  • Rachel Griffiths, Hilary & Jackie
  • Lynn Redgrave, Gods and Monsters (Spirit & Globe winner)


So that supporting shortlist was essentially one extended cameo (Judi), three normal size supporting roles (Kathy, Brenda, Lynn) and one co-lead title character (Rachel). My feeling is that it's a dull list even though the performances are relatively good (the only nomination I objected to wholeheartedly was Blethyn's) because it's too closely tied to knee-jerk Bait when there were more inspired more challenging performances available from supporting actresses that year, many of them a bit more off the well trodden period piece prestige path.

But what surprised me more was that nobody agreed on the "wish it'd been...". What a year it was for supporting actresses. Consider these names which came up.


  • Patty Clarkson, High Art
  • Toni Collette, The Velvet Goldmine
  • Imelda Staunton, Shakespeare in Love
  • Lisa Kudrow, The Opposite of Sex (NYFCC Winner, Spirit Nominee)
  • Kate Beckinsale, The Last Days of Disco
  • Julianne Moore, The Big Lebowski
  • Joan Allen, Pleasantville (OFCS, Boston, BFCA, LAFCA & Satellite winner)

    and still more no one mentioned last night on Twitter...
  • Kimberly Elise, Beloved (Satellite winner)
  • Thandie Newton, Beloved
  • Sharon Stone, The Mighty (Globe nominee) 
  • Christina Ricci, Buffalo '66, Opposite of Sex, Pecker (Florida winner)
  • Anne Heche, Psycho
  • The Lovely Laura Linney, The Truman Show


Mine would've gone like so: Winner - Clarkson; Nominees - Dench, Collette, Kudrow and...???


Reader Spotlight: John from Boston

Continuing the Reader Appreciation Series, here's a conversation with John (pictured left) from Boston. He's been reading the site ever since it launched and hearing that warms the cockles of my heart. Loyalty is definite top ten top three material as character traits go, don't you think?

Nathaniel: Do you remember your first movie?
JOHN: I think my first movie was Cinderella.  I was so frightened of the evil stepmother that we had to leave early.  When I was young, every movie scared me.  I didn’t sleep for years after E.T.  (yet somehow/somewhere I became obsessed with this medium).

First movie obsession?
Probably Clue.  I remember renting it when I was home from school with chicken pox in fifth grade.  I probably watched it 10 times in one weekend.  It is so campy, but so utterly entertaining.  …and what a cast!!!  Eileen Brennan as Mrs. Peacock and Madeline Kahn as Mrs. White are classic!  I still bust that one out every once and a while.

I love that one, too. Mrs. White is the best in the movie but when I play the game though I am always Professor Plum or Miss Scarlet.

Mrs Peacock and Mrs. White

 Okay, you're suddenly in charge of the cinema for a year. How do you wield this awesome power?

  • Todd Haynes and Julianne Moore have to make at least 2 movies together
  • Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Sandra Bullock are put on one year hiatus (Meg Ryan would be too, but what the hell has she done lately)
  • No sequels
  • No Oscar campaigns
  • I decide all Oscar nominees and winners

Heh. Okay. Who are your three favorite actresses?
JULIANNE MOORE is the God to whom I pray.  I saw her receive the Hasty Pudding award in February.  She cannot be more awesome.  There are too many awe-inspiring performances to name.  JUDI DENCH continues to amaze me.  I thought she could only be the strong, comic matriarch until she blew me away in Notes on a Scandal.  MERYL STREEP is a given.  She is so perfect every time out that I take her for granted.  If she doesn’t win a third Oscar sometime soon there is no justice.  Katharine Hepburn, Cate Blanchett, Julie Christie and Angela Bassett get special recognition.

Take one Oscar away from someone. Give it to someone else.
I can’t only do one here.  I have to take advantage of the moment.  I would go back to 1958 and give Susan Hayward’s Oscar for I Want to Live! to Rosalind Russell for Auntie Mame. Auntie Mame is my all time favorite and Russell is so spot-on.  One of the best comic performances ever!  Second, in 2005, I would take Reese Witherspoon’s Oscar for Walk the Line and give it to Joan Allen in The Upside of Anger.  It is a major travesty that this performance was not even nominated (Keira Knightley in Pride & Prejudice…what was the Academy thinking?). That was definitely Allen’s best--better than her three Oscar-nominated, which are all fantastic. 

2005's Film Bitch Gold Medalist Joan Allen has other fans. She shoulda won the Oscar.

Finally, I would take Kim Basinger’s 1997 Supporting Actress win for L.A. Confidential and give it to Julianne Moore in Boogie Nights.  This is my third choice because I still have faith that Juli will win one day.

Have you ever dressed up as a film character for Halloween? Has a film character ever dressed as you?
Like so many others in the past, I was tighty whitey clad Tom Cruise in Risky Business two years ago for Halloween.  I had the right hair at the moment .  He’s not a film character, but Matthew Morrison’s Will Schuester definitely raided my tie/cardigan collection.

Okay John. Let's wrap up. The movie of your life. Tell us about it.
Stephen Daldry would direct the movie of my life starring James Franco (I am not scarred enough by the Oscar gig to not cast him).  The movie is part Seasons 1-3 of Brothers and Sisters, part Mean Girls, part Into the Wild, part Latter Days, part The Devil Wears Prada, part…

So many parts!

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