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Entries in Oscar Snubs (30)

Thursday
Sep202012

Hitchcock Arrives Early

Hitchcock, which was formerly known by the very expositional title Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho will now open Friday November 23rd says Fox Searchlight. The Oscar game board was already quite crowded but Searchlight isn't exactly a shrinking violet when it comes to their own chess pieces. With The Sessions opening in October, and Hitchcock ideally positioned a month later for Thanksgiving weekend, they're clearly feeling confident.

 

2012 was already so crowded (particularly in Best Actor!) but what the hell, right? It's not like anyone will have an easier time being invited to Oscar dinner again than Anthony Hopkins if he nails the mimicry. While it's absurd to suggest that an Oscar for someone playing Alfred Hitchcock is like an Oscar for Alfred Hitchcock, who AMPAS is consistently flogged for not honoring properly, but... well you know how people love a proxy.

And the man himself was always particular about timing. If Fox Searchlight, really wanted to go all out with this movie they'd get really fussy about the screenings, too, to further the Psycho for Psycho homaging.

Imagine everyone being forced to sit down before a movie starts in 2012! Although this might constitute cruel and unusual punishment rather than a savvy marketing ploy; in 1960 they didn't play 25 minutes of commercials before movies began. (In 1960 they still understood that 'no commercials' was a major pro for the movies, something TV could never offer you.) 

Sacha Gervasi, who previously directed the very winning documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil! helms his first traditional feature but if he can bring the humor and pathos of that documentary to this biographical comic/drama than this might be a winner. The all star cast includes Helen Mirren as Hitchcock's wife and Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh. Toni Collette plays Hitchcock's longtime personal assistant Peggy Robertson. Might we have new Supporting Actress candidates to consider too? Even leads if the story thread about Hitchcock's marriage gets lots of screentime.

Time to update the charts again. I just did and this news and the new Oscar dates have already made them seem so out of date and long ago. And now we've even got a new "live singing!" Les Miz video to enjoy. This Oscar race? It's on.

P.S. My weirdly persistent flu -- which you've seen reflected here in erratic posting -- turns out to actually be pneumonia. Boo. So I am a mess and must stay in bed rather than attend my NYFF screenings.... [weeping]! But perhaps I'll be a blogging maniac as I mend. Laptops were invented for bed rest.

Friday
Sep142012

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.

Tuesday
Jul032012

Take Three: Alfre Woodard

A great 1990s duet: PASSIONFISH with McDonnell & WoodardCraig here with Take Three. Today: Alfre Woodard

Take One: Passion Fish (1992)
After dismissing a string of unsuitable nurses, recently paralysed TV actress May-Alice (Mary McDonnell) opts to hire Alfre Woodard’s mysterious Chantelle in John Sayles’ Bayou drama Passion Fish. Chantelle enters the film out of nowhere, off a bus and into May-Alice’s house. She doesn’t let on any overt details about her life, but there’s a hint of intrigue about her, something amiss and troubling. It's evident in the slightly trembling nervous manner in which Chantelle goes about her new position. McDonnell’s icy actress will gradually thaw as a result of her dependency, but not before she attempts to make life miserable for Chantelle – who’s having none of it.

Chantelle is headstrong and defiant and she doesn’t suffer defeat readily. Woodard embodies these traits, but never adheres to over-familiar actorly tics in the way she conveys them. When wheeling May-Alice outside for exercise, Chantelle leaves her to fend for herself with a sarcastic motivational response.

Mary Alice: I want to go back inside!...It’s uphill!
Chantelle: So's life!"

Instead of merely showing us McDonnell’s abandoned reaction, Director John Sayles shows us Woodard's nurse pensively thinking in a swing chair. Chantelle is not the concrete-hard carer she likes to make everyone think she is. [more on Passionfish and two more takes after the jump]

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jun232012

Another "Prometheus" Mystery: Will There Be Oscar Play?

Ridley Scott's Alien franchise prequel Prometheus should probably be a film I take great objection to. The first reason I ever loved the series (beyond Lt. Ellen Ripley, queen of all action heroines) was how it doubled as an ever evolving adventurous launch pad for young auteurs. It's got the same premise virtually every time so you sit back and immediately see the director's vision in sharp relief against each previous or subsequent film. Even the lesser entries in the series have this to recommend them and in the 90s, even after Alien Ressurection I wanted them to keep making Alien films so we could see it through the different set of rising auteur eyes each time. I didn't really want Ridley Scott to go back for this reason. I especially didn't want him to go back back. Backstory and prequels -- conceptually, they are like safety nets for the imagination. Don't be afraid of wondering... we'll catch you!


Where is the mystery? Or rather, why don't people want more of it. Why do you they want so many answers?

Thankfully, Prometheus doesn't rob the Alien franchise of all of its mystery and magic. It's not midi-chlorian level obnoxious. And given the screenplay and execution, for better and worse, the new film creates its own mysteries. Some or these are intentional and some surely not, some internal some external. What did David⁸ say to The Engineer in the penultimate sceneIs the MPAA's request that Ridley Scott remove the entire abortion sequence -- not so coincidentally the strongest sequence in the film -- the dumbest thing they've done since Blue Valentine's NC17? Or is it just the thousandth priceless example of how aesthetically stupid they remain and or the millionth piece of case evidence that they should never be allowed anywhere near art!

This week since I know I desperately need to update the Oscar predictions I've been thinking of another Prometheus-specific mystery. Will it have an awards future? [Aliens & Oscars after the jump]

Click to read more ...

Friday
Apr202012

Have Link Will Travel

New York Times on Paul Thomas Anderson's secretive new movie The Master. It's about... something.
MNPP Charlize Theron and Alexander Skarsgård are dating? The Mayans were right about 2012 
Your Movie Buddy interviews The Hunter's storied leading man Willem Dafoe 
Draw Adrian Draw isn't happy about Anne Hathaway as Catwoman but is sketching her anyway
Michael Musto "who's your favorite Taylor?" fun question except there's only one appropriate answer. La Liz! Not that I don't appreciate Taylor Mac...

The Incredible Suit unexpectedly loves The Avengers ... even the Hulk part.
Awards Daily Sasha Stone loves HBO's Girls and Lena Dunham in particular
Stale Popcorn meet the Cannes class of 2012. Serious Thespians (lol) 
Flavorwire always finds interesting things. Did you know that crazy auteur Werner Herzog didn't realize that crazy auteur John Waters was gay for 30+ years. lol
Gold Derby who will Laura Dern (Enlightened) knock out of the Emmy Best Comedy Actress race this season? 

Today's Most Oscary Discussable:
Stranger Than Most looks at the oddest Best Picture snubs of all time. i.e. films that were nominated in the always Best Picture related fields (Dir+ Editing + Screenplay + Acting) and still missed out. Incidentally I love every single one of the "top five" that weren't actually top five (They Shoot Horses Don't They, Hud, Thelma & Louise, Bullets Over Broadway, and My Man Godfrey)  Like crazy 'would run away with them for lost sex-weekend' kind of love. That's how much!

Hud (1963), for example, is a movie I continuously feel guilty about not forcing upon people at every opportunity -- we should totes do it for "Hit Me" but I keep forgetting to put it in the schedule. It's just a freaking masterpiece. And it's weirdly underdiscussed given how many of Paul Newman's films endured.

Wednesday
Jan252012

Farewell Oscar Hopeful! (Snubs That Hurt Us)

Last night at 4 AM this was the only image my brain would settle on...

I don't normally spend time in the middle of the night thinking of Fassbender lying naked in bed (Shush!). It's just that I had the worst insomnia I'd had in months. As I stared down at this still image in my state of delirious sleep deprivation I'm reasonably certain that he stared back, his eyes shifting just a little. He must have seen a mirror image of his vacant orbs and haunted zombie expressionless. Only with less handsomeness.

Brandon's addiction was sex and mine is the Oscars but either way we are powerless against our disease. Perhaps it was all the Oscar Morn Excitement catching up to me? Fassy's frozen image reminded me that I forgot to offer my condolescences to the Oscar Forgotten yesterday. Some people and cinematic contributions you'd be really happy to spend another 32 days celebrating but the time has come to say goodbye. [sniffle]

Farewell Oscar Hopeful. Better Luck Next Time
8 Snubs/Omissions That Hurt The Most

08 Melancholia Best Anything
Given that mad Dane Lars von Trier's sole nomination is in songwriting (find a more hilarious Oscar statistic, I dare you!) we never suspected that this would be an Oscar film. But the tiny scattered awards crumbs for his dreamy apocalyptic depression metaphor, arguably his best film in a decade, allowed us to pretend in a feverish bipolar sort of way that miracles would occur and it would wake up as the nomination leader. No, not really. But it's a shame that that masterful Cinematography and Kirsten Dunst's spooky narcoleptic bride won so little traction.

Click for 7 more

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Nov232011

Do Movies About Movies Win Oscars?

George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) has had it with the movies in "The Artist"Over at Fandor's Keyframe blog I'll be musing about the Oscar race on a biweekly basis. This week's topic is the unusual abundance of movies about movies in this year's Oscar race from Marilyn Monroe (My Week With Marilyn) to George Melies (Hugo) to Hollywood's seismic sound shift in the late 20s (The Artist). But one thing I didn't dwell on too much in the article (which I hope you'll go and read!) is the lack of Oscars won for movies about movies.

Everyone predicting a win for The Artist (2011) before the nominations are even announced should consider the following list and sobering fact: No movie about movies has ever won Best Picture.

Movies About Movies: How Do They Do With Oscar?
(Best Picture Nominees are in red) 

Janet Gaynor (already an Oscar winner) was nominated again for playing an actress who wins a fictional Oscar in "A Star is Born"1930s
What Price Hollywood (1 nomination. 0 wins)
A Star is Born (7 nominations. 1 win + 1 honorary) 

1940s
Was Hollywood too busy with patriotism to make movies about movies? Or were they still too enamored by live theater to turn their cameras on themselves?

1950s
Sunset Blvd  (11 nominations. 3 wins)
The Bad and the Beautiful (6 nominations. 5 wins)
The Star (1 nomination. 0 wins)
Singin' in the Rain (2 nominations. 0 wins)
A Star is Born (6 nominations. 0 wins)

1960s
Sweet Bird of Youth (3 nominations. 1 win)
8 ½ (5 nominations. 2 wins) 
Inside Daisy Clover (3 nominations. 0 wins)
The Oscar (2 nominations. 0 wins)

1970s
Day For Night (4 nominations. 1 win) 
The Way We Were (6 nominations. 2 wins)
The Day of the Locust (2 nominations. 0 wins)
California Suite (3 nominations. 1 win)
All That Jazz (9 nominations. 4 wins) 

1980s
The Stunt Man (3 nominations. 0 wins)
The Purple Rose of Cairo (1 nomination. 0 wins)
The Kiss of the Spider Woman (4 nominations. 1 win)
Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (6 nominations. 3 wins. 1 special achievement.)
Cinema Paradiso (1 nomination. 1 win) 

Baby Herman (a handful off camera) and Roger Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)... which would have been a worthy Best Picture contender.

1990s
Postcards from the Edge (2 nominations. 0 wins)
Bugsy (10 nominations. 2 wins)
Barton Fink (3 nominations. 0 wins)
Chaplin (3 nominations. 0 wins)
The Player (3 nominations. 0 wins)
Ed Wood (2 nominations. 2 wins)
Boogie Nights (3 nominations. 0 wins)
Gods and Monsters (3 nominations. 1 win) 

Jude Law as Errol Flynn and Cate Blanchett as Katharine Hepburn in "The Aviator"2000s
Shadow of the Vampire (2 nominations. 0 wins)
Mulholland Dr (1 nomination. 0 wins)
Adaptation (4 nominations. 1 win)
The Aviator (11 nominations. 5 wins)
Tropic Thunder (1 nomination. 0 wins)
Nine (4 nominations. 0 wins)
Inglourious Basterds (8 nominations. 1 win) 

2010s
The Artist (we shall see)
My Week With Marilyn (we shall see)
Hugo (we shall see)

A semi-random selection of movies about movies that Oscar ignored: The Cameraman, Man With a Movie Camera, Sullivan's Travels, Stand-In, Peeping Tom, Contempt, Beware of a Holy Whore, F For Fake, The Last Action Hero, Stardust Memories, Blow Out, The Majestic, Irma Vep, Living in Oblivion, Be Kind Rewind, Guilty by Suspicion, Los Angeles Plays Itself,  etc...

You'd think that Hollywood's High Holy Night, which is one big self-congratulatory spectacle, would embrace movies about movies and they do to a point. But perhaps even Hollywood's notoriously fulsome egos feel sheepish about taking it all the way. Do they fear it would be overkill, the back-patting night of nights morphing into something far more orgiastic, a daisy chain of self regard? 

What are your favorite movies about movies? Do you think The Artist can buck the trends here?


Related: my new keyframe article and a previous roundup on Keyframe "top ten films about filmmaking" which I also had the pleasure of contributing to and which should give you plenty of rental ideas.