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Entries in Oscar Trivia (291)

Wednesday
Aug172016

120 Nominated Performances, Ranked. Who's Next?

As you will undoubtedly understand, I'm not up to speed at the moment. But I find a weird comfort in list-making and cine-dreaming, wondering what our next batch of Oscar contenders will look like. Will it be a great vintage or a weak one? Or, more usual, a weird combo of both. It's far too early to tell though we're hopeful. As I was wandering aimlessly around the web this morning I found this very enjoyable video from Ali Benz ranking all Oscar acting nominees this decade. Like a moving scrapbook of Oscar's classes for the past six years (2010-2015). Some things about the order make me so crazy but that is the joy and discussability of list-making. 

Here's the video and after the jump I'll rank them all myself. Busywork is good for me today.

120 Oscar-nominated Performances of the Decade - RANKED - from Ali Benzekri on Vimeo.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug152016

Q&A: "Who is that?" Actors, Streep Classics, and Gendered Oscars

Last week there were too many questions we wanted to answer to fit it all into one post so here's a second round up of eight reader questions and brief answers. Ahem. (One answer is most definitely not brief.)

MATT ST CLAIR:  When I saw Laura Linney in the trailer for Sully, my heart sank because it saddened me to see another great actress stuck in those stock "wife worrying over the phone" roles. When do you think Hollywood will ever get tired of seeing older women portrayed as supportive wifes or mothers and let more of them be in charge of their own stories?

How I wish I had a good answer to this. The answer might be a more diverse body of people telling stories because then chances are slightly better that it won't always be straight white 30-50something men as protagonists. Now, it's worth noting that it's been largely straight white men directing movies for about 100 years now and there were periods, long before our modern one, when men in charge of storytelling were interested in women and knew how to showcase them. I don't know what happened to make the alpha directors so disinterested in women's stories but whatever it was, I hate it. I guess it changed around the time Scorsese, Coppola, and Spielberg all exploded into fame together (not that we're blaming them) and none of them happened to have much interest in the ladies beyond a key atypical project each. As time wore on into the 80s and 90s less and less female projects were made. Give us more descendants of William Wyler, Douglas Sirk, and Alfred Hitchcock, Hollywood! We've got enough Spielberg & Scorsese acolytes to last another 50 years.

JAMES FROM AMES:  What character actor's performance was so good it made you go from "hey, it's that guy" to "who is THAT?" and start following their work? For me: Mary Kay Place just floored me in Being John Malkovich. I was so pleased when she popped up in Lady Dynamite this year.

Mary Kay Place on the 7½ floor in "Being John Malkovich"

Mary Kay Place is a wonder, isn't she?...

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Monday
Aug082016

Q&A: I'm Not There. I'm Right Here With My Cat(s)

Your questions a few days back really got me going so you're getting two weeks of Q&As out of them. Here's the first episode with eight questions answered on Hamilton, I'm Not There style biopics, dinner with movie characters and more... 

IBIS: Cast This! The film version of Hamilton

NATHANIEL: Since they'll surely make us wait another 10 years for any movement on the film we'd have to suggest actors we've never heard of who maybe even haven't started acting yet so we can't think on this. I will say though that when everyone was so sad that the original cast was leaving the show I felt like hugging everyone and going "it'll be fine if you see replacements!" because the star of Hamilton is really the musical itself, if you ask me. Yes, the actors were great but it's one of those things that's so perfectly calibrated to be its best self, that the show is really the star. I swear to you. So please enjoy it when it goes on tour somewhere near you.

Plus the wait for a Hamilton movie gives Hollywood time to invest in some actors of color as future stars so that they don't panic when it's time to cast the movie and realize they don't know enough of them to fill this sprawling movie. 

my favorite western RED RIVER (1948)SONJA: What is your least favorite genre?

I try to love all genres since they're all capable of greatness. My answer to this when I was younger would have easily  been "westerns" or "horror" but I've seen enough classics now from each of those genres that I have newfound respect. I guess I will say "war films" in general. Yes, there are great ones... but too often it's just an excuse to indulge in manly violence for manly violence's sake, which is never really a thrill for me.

But if I can extend to television throw out that entire answer and just say "medical procedural". While watching TV the other night I saw a commercial for Chicago Med which I guess is a new show? And I was like REALLY? ANOTHER MEDICAL PROCEDURAL? AND ALSO: ANOTHER MEDICAL PROCEDURAL SET IN CHICAGO WHERE HALF OF THEM HAVE BEEN SET?!?" It actually made me angry. The showbiz community is sometimes just entirely allergic to trying new things... which is strange considering it's a profession which can only exist by harnessing creativity.

RYAN T: Since the Olympics is happening in Rio, do you have a favorite Brazilian film, actor, or filmmaker?

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Sunday
Aug072016

Posterized: Woody Allen's Filmography

Will Cafe Society win Oscar attention? It certainly looks handsome.Woody Allen's Cafe Society is the prolific auteur's 46th full length theatrical feature. He's been so regular a presence at the movie theaters he even makes speedy Clint Eastwood look like a slacker. In fact, though he's got his first television series due in September starring himself, Miley Cyrus and Elaine May (the six episode season will be called Crisis in Six Scenes and debut on September 30th), it won't be slowing down his theatrical output since he's already working on the 47th feature as well (which will star Kate Winslet and Justin Timberlake as previously noted).

It's too early in Cafe Society's run to know where it will stack up in terms of success, but it appears to be tracking to be one of his mid-range pictures, the kind that do fine but are neither true hits nor flops. We shall see. But for now let's look back at that highly prolific theatrical career. His pictures have earned a total of 52 Oscar nominations and 12 wins and they were once so popular they finished in the top ten hits of the year (can you imagine? Ah the 1970s when moviegoers were far crazier about what they'd turn out for)

How many of his 47 films have you seen (we're including the omnibus film New York Stories because why not)? All the posters and waves of his career are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Aug042016

Born in 1984? Oscar doesn't love you (yet)

Since 1984 is our Year of the Month I was prepping a "vintage" list of the people, places, and things birthed that year and was alarmed to realize that I could find ZERO Oscar nominees born that year. Not a one. And I've spent all too much time scouring the web for it.

Actors born in 1984 are 31 or 32 years of age which is plenty of time to secure an Oscar nomination, at least for women. For comparison sake consider that a very quick glance at 1983, no more than one minute of research, turns up at least 5 nominees one of whom won (Lupita N'yongo). The same speedy glance at 1985 reveals 4 nominees instantly. Even 1986 has one that immediately pops out (Lady Gaga for Original Song) though the more recent years naturally have less as the field of contenders gets younger and younger. Unless I'm missing some fast-rising sound editor or makeup artist or some such, Oscar has yet to love any 1984 babies. Poor Millenial babies. If you were born in 1984 does this make you grumpy?

So who do you think will be first? Some options after the jump as well as the saving grace of Tony, Emmy, and Grammy nominees from that 1984 crop.

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Tuesday
Jul262016

Oscar Trivia, Indie Sensations, and Evita's Death

On this day in history as it relates to the movies...

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Saturday
Jul092016

Stream This: Mustang, The Big Short, Hello Dolly, The Painted Veil

In the effort to stay au courant we're going to try to do "new to streaming" weekly, alternating between Netflix and Amazon Prime sometimes, big lists, sometimes highlights. This will also give us a chance to link to previous coverage of the old films that are "new" again via the power of the internet. But first a last chance notice...

Last Chance Netflix (Expires July 16th)

-Y'all were watching I take it. Did you see us fight?
-No.
-Trap." 

Serenity
I've been curious to watch Serenity (and Firefly for that matter) again to see if you can easily chart Joss Whedon's growth from self-created warm-up to Studio-hire mega-success in The Avengers. He was always good at selling team dynamics, though. That was clear from the earliest episodes of Buffy. We previously covered Serenity in Season 3 of Hit Me With Your Best Shot. I miss Whedon as TV creator on his own urges -- Agents of SHIELD just did not do it for me.

New to Netflix
We've freeze framed nine more titles totally at random to share whatever popped up for your amusement. Here we go...

-Lot of smug looking people here.

- It's like someone hit a piñata filled with white people who suck at golf."

The Big Short (2015)
Remember when this was suddenly a major Oscar player last season. That took me off guard even though I was at the actual premiere. It won Adapted Screenplay at the Oscars. Serious films with funny memorable lines are often popular in those categories.

I've decided to join the human race again.

Hello, Dolly! (1969)
Babs. Babs. You're really overworking this monologue...

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