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Months of Meryl: THE RIVER WILD


"Great post and comments. Yes, Streep had to navigate the rough waters of being in her 40's! I do think she smashed through the glass ceiling for women since she persevered and then became an even bigger star in her 50's." - Sister Rona

"One of my favourite movies from my teen years - I'm shocked at how long ago this was released. It was Meryl that sold this movie for me and is the reason I saw it. At the time, and I still feel this way, she is the reason to watch and believe this film." -Filmboymichael


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Entries in Original Song (144)

Thursday
Nov232017

woof woof. It's your daily Oscar trivia

by Nathaniel R

101 DAYS DALMATIANS until Oscar. For today's Oscar trivia did you know that neither the Disney animated classic of 1961 nor the live action Glenn Close starring remake in 1996 earned Oscar nominations?

Everyone knows that the Academy didn't have a Best Animated Feature category until the 21st century began but prior to that Disney's beloved animated classics were often honored in Original Song. But "Cruella de Vil," the hit single that dog-loving composer Roger writes in the film, the one that earns him enough cash to feed and care for 101 pups in that film's happy ending was not so nominated...

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Friday
Oct272017

La Pfeiffer and the Original Song Oscar Race

by Nathaniel R

Here's some rather surprising news: Michelle Pfeiffer sings the closing credits song of Murder on the Orient Express. The song is called "Never Forget" which we never in danger of doing for anything Pfeiffer. Though opinions vary about how well the goddess sings, we personally love it when she croons. Case in point: Grease 2 (1982), The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989), The Prince of Egypt (1998), and Hairspray (2007). Listen it's not her fault that her character in Up Close and Personal (1996) was supposed to be a bad singer or that "Miss Baltimore Crabs" is Hairspray's worst song!

"Never Forget" is written by two-time Oscar nominee Patrick Doyle, a regular on Kenneth Branagh films, who also composes the score. La Pfeiffer is, of course, not the sort who would deign to sing in front of the whole world on Oscar night so they will reassign the vocals if the song is nominated.

Regardless the Original Song category is beginning to show its possible contenders so we've updated that chart and still suspect the leader is The Greatest Showman's catchy "This Is Me" - which was recently performed in NYC by Keala Settle & Darren Criss.

We eagerly await the full eligibility list of 80ish songs we've never heard from 40 movies we've heard of and 20 movies we didn't know existed before this always surprising list hits. 

Thursday
Aug242017

OTD: The Whisperers, Marlee Matlin, and "The Power of Love"

On this day (August 24th) in showbiz-related history...

1890 "Father of modern surfing" and part time movie actor Duke Kahanamoku born in Hawaii. We've written about him before. Where's his biopic?

1967 The Whisperers premieres in London. It's about an old poor woman living in solitude who is beginning to lose her grip on reality. Dame Edith Evans sterling work was instantly lauded - she won Best Actress at Berlinale and from such disparate groups as the NYFCC, NBR and the Golden Globes. She landed her third and final Oscar nomination in the Best Actress lineup (sadly only the winner, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner's Hepburn, was less than superb in that shortlist!). At the time Evans was the oldest Oscar nominee of all time in any acting category having just turned 80 years old. That record has since been undone but she's still the third oldest lead actress nominee after Jessica Tandy for Driving Miss Daisy (also 80, who won) and Emmanuelle Riva for Amour (who was 85).  Have you ever seen The Whisperers? It's haunting and quite a time capsule of contemporary British cinema of the time. [And check out Nick Davis' 5 star review of this legendary performance]

1985 Huey Lewis and the News hit #1 with their theme from Back to the Future "The Power of Love". The music video had a cameo by the car and Christopher Lloyd's "Doc" though it was mostly just the band playing in a bar. Best Original Song was one of the film's 4 Oscar nominations (it won for sound effects editing).  In case you haven't yet heard, 1985 will be our "year of the month" in September as we build to the next Smackdown.

2012 Remember that movie where Michael Shannon was evil (wait, that's not helpful) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt was a bicycle messenger (now that's more specific). Premium Rush opened on this day. Isn't it weird how some movies, like that one, feel much more ancient than they actually are while others from years earlier feel fresh as daisies? 

Happy Birthday to Them!
Oscar Winner: Usurper of Kathleen Turner's and/or Sigourney Weaver's Best Actress statue. More generously we must admit that it's super impressive that Matlin trailblazed by refusing to be a one hit wonder, turning that splashy debut into such an unlikely but full career. She's been working ever since!
Oscar Nominees: Ava DuVernay (13th), Anne Archer (Fatal Attraction), Ronee Blakley (Nashville), Robert Pulcini (American Splendor)
Cool Talents: Actress Elizabeth Debicki, Wit Stephen Fry, Auteur Takashi Miike, Novelist A.S. Byatt
80s Touchstones: Steve Guttenberg (Cocoon, Can't Stop the Music, and so many more) and Gordon Wanecke (My Beautiful Laundrette!)

Tuesday
Aug222017

link to the feeling

• Film Doctor UK good interview with a action film storyboard artist
• IndieWire David Ehrlich makes a great case that Oscar needs to change their rules about Original Song. "Cut to the Feeling" from Leap is not eligible (incidentally for the same reason "Come What May" wasn't eligible... originally written for something else and then unused for that something else)
• Variety Morgan Freeman will be this year's SAG Lifetime Achievement Recipient
• NYT and LAT remember the career of movie & television star Jerry Lewis (RIP)

• AV Club more drama for that Han Solo movie. Michael K Williams, currently Emmy nominated for The Night Of, has had his entire part cut out.
Deadline another new role for Roland Møller (in the action film Skyscraper). The Danish actor is hot hot hot after Land of Mine. You'll understand if you've seen that Oscar nominated picture
The Guardian we're promised a definitive victor in the forthcoming action film Godzilla vs Kong. But either way audiences probably lose.

TV
• Variety the annual survey of who makes what per episode of hit TV shows. Casts of Big Bang Theory, Game of Thrones, Modern Family, and Robert DeNiro (in a new series) are swimming in money. Cast of This is Us will surely eventually be but not quite yet.
• Out RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars season 3 is a go... and already filming!
• Variety Peak TV still hasn't peaked. At least in terms of quantity. One executive predicts 534 new series next year so you're not just imagining that it's impossible to keep up
• Coming Soon 'everything we know about Star Trek Discovery'... though can someone explain to me the deal with this. I keep hearing that it'll be on Netflix and that Netflix is distributing. Yet often times and sometimes even in the same single paragraph in various articles it will say "exclusively on CBS All Access" so I'm confused. Anyone?

Off-Screen
Comic Book Resources fun article on that time that the Incredible Hulk could fly in the comics

Tuesday
Aug012017

Looking Ahead at Best Original Song

Chris here. What with Nathaniel's updated Oscar predictions and my regular Soundtracking duties, my mind has been on that ever pesky Best Original Song category. How will this year shake out for the sometimes maligned category?

Per usual we haven't had many obvious contenders, though I would argue that Beauty and the Beast's "How Does A Moment Last Forever" is one of the film's bright spots - can you just imagine Celine Dion taking the Oscar stage for the first time since Titanic. Perhaps our best chance at an Original Song behemoth like last year's La La Land and Moana were is The Greatest Showman, this season's original musical. But other questions and curiosities remain: what documentary song will surprise this year? Can credits song queen Sia finally land a nomination (she'll at least have one option with Wonder Woman)?

One contender I'm already hoping has some staying power is A Ghost Story's "I Get Overwhelmed" by Dark Rooms. The track flows fluidly in and out of Daniel Hart's score (naturally, he heads Dark Rooms), encompassing both the film's intimacy and cosmic expansiveness. Lyrically, the song carries meaning for Casey Affleck's songwriter and has a whole new context in the afterlife - so it carries the kind of narrative weight the Academy's songwriting branch has been seeking. But will it even make the eligibility long list?

Do you have any Original Song hopes already?

Friday
Apr212017

OTD: Annie, John Cameron Mitchell, and Field of Dreams

On this day (April 21st) in history as it relates to showbiz...

Anthony Quinn

1904 Oscar winning cinematographer Daniel L Fapp (West Side Story and Desire Under the Elms, among many films) born in Kansas City

1914 Cinematographer Gilbert Taylor born in England. Though he was BAFTA nominated Oscar never bit despite high profile films and collaborations with famous directors. Credits include: Repulsion, The Omen, Dr Strangelove, Star Wars, Frenzy, Dracula (1979) and MacBeth 

1915 Oscar's all time favorite Mexican actor Anthony Quinn born (Lust for Life, Viva Zapata, Wild is the Wind, Zorba the Greek, La Strada, etcetera)

1918 "The Red Baron," the famous German fighter pilot, shot down in World War I. Snoopy in Peanuts fantasizes about him repeatedly and he's also been a character in many films including Wings, Hell's Angels, and Darling Lili 

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