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Entries in Oscar Trivia (181)

Wednesday
Jan222014

With Six You Get Linkroll

Jeremy Cowart tales from a stunning photoshoot starring actor John Schneider
Policy Mic 7 reasons why Frozen is the most progressive Disney movie 
Grantland Mark Harris on "The Nolan Effect" and how the expanded Best Picture field is actually shrinking the number of movies deemed Oscar Worthy. Statistically, it's getting worse each year. I co-sign all of this.
YouTube Cate Blanchett's awesome SAG press room performance - she even sings the Beatles
Huffington Post Amy Adams does Wicked's "Defying Gravity" at karaoke 
Deadline Quentin Tarantino very upset about the leaking of his Hateful Eight screenplay. Who knows, though? Maybe we're all winners here since did he really need to do another violent ensemble guys western so soon after Django?  

Thursday
Jan162014

Best Actress Lineup Now Eligible for a Senior Discount

There's a vicious moment in August: Osage County wherein Violet Weston (Meryl Streep), who hasn't tasted enough blood for the day, humiliates her daughter Karen (Juliette Lewis) who has recently entered her 40s that she's losing her looks. A less vicious but still hurtful joke follows later in the film when Barbara (Julia Roberts) tells her sister Ivy (Julianne Nicholson) "You can't move to New York. You're almost 50, you'll break a hip.". The Weston women, tearing each other down and using their advancing age as just one of the weapons with which to do so, probably wouldn't take comfort in the maturity of this year's Best Actress race but the rest of us should. 

Even if it's not our dream lineup (my own happens to skew much younger this year), it's a good push back against Oscar's frequent preference of youth over accomplishment... particularly in this category.

I didn't mean to become the "age" guy but I salivate at the prospect of digging into Oscar statistics each year so I couldn't pass up the chance to write about the Best Actress shortlist, when Vanity Fair asked me to write about the relatively advanced age of the group. Their average age is 55. I'd already prepped my Jennifer Lawrence piece on "The Youngest Actors To _____ " when they contacted me so that's  two in a row. But I hope y'all take it in the vein it was intended: to celebrate the glories and mysteries of Oscar stats and the breadth of talented people, male and female, from fresh faces (in both senses of the word with JLaw) to accomplished veterans that show up for Oscar honors.

Here's the full piece ! 

Due to turnaround deadlines with Oscar nomination articles, many of them are written in advance. One of my favorite things about reading other sites on Oscar nomination day is noticing where the seams are wherein they've clearly had to edit something out or shove something in quickly. I had two versions of this Vanity Fair piece ready due to the great January wars of "Will it be Amy or Meryl?" and then they both made it. Goodbye Emma! *sniffle*

One thing I noticed in researching this piece and writing about the topic over the years is that people tend to think of past Oscar lineups as older than they actually were. I believe this is just a human tendency to age up anything that came before us. If you first fell for Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada, for example, she is probably an "old" actress to you. But when she first became a sensation with the release of the Oscar winning blockbuster Kramer vs. Kramer, she had only just turned 30 or, in modern terms, was roughly the age that her put upon assistants Emily Blunt & Anne Hathaway are right about now. Fasten your seatbelts for this bumpy take-away truth: Bette Davis was younger than ALL of this year's Best Actress nominees (save Amy Adams) when she headlined All About Eve (1950).

Thursday
Jan162014

Jennifer Lawrence and the Youngest To...

With her nomination for American Hustle this morning, Jennifer Lawrence has become the youngest actor of either gender to receive her third Oscar nomination. She is only 23. Or, if you'd like to get technical about it, 23 years 5 months and 2 days. Whether you think her work in American Hustle is great or terrible (and factions have formed on both sides) or you have a more nuanced perspective on what does and doesn't work about it, there is just no denying her screen dynamism. That's what they use to call "It".  

Here's how the stats break down and which legends Jennifer is toppling. Did the performers with similar records flame out early? Read on...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan162014

Oscar Nominations. They're Finally Here!

Refresh your screens for periodic updates. Some of the type if funky on this page but I copied and pasted from Oscar's site so whatever they had in their coding travelled. 

And the nominees are...

BEST PICTURE

  • American Hustle
    Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, Megan Ellison and Jonathan Gordon, Producers
  • Captain Phillips
    Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca, Producers
  • Dallas Buyers club
    Robbie Brenner and Rachel Winter, Producers
  • Gravity
    Alfonso Cuarón and David Heyman, Producers
  • Her
    Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze and Vincent Landay, Producers
  • Nebraska
    Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa, Producers
  • Philomena
    Gabrielle Tana, Steve Coogan and Tracey Seaward, Producers
  • 12 Years a Slave
    Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen and Anthony Katagas, Producers
  • The Wolf of Wall street
    Nominees to be determined

Instant Reaction: a perfect score for me again in terms of predictions (I thought they might end with Philomena but if 9 then Her) but I really wish they'd just go back to 10 or, even better, 5. 9 is a stupid number. As per usual the Best Picture nominees really dominated all awardage with a total of 61 nominations between them.

More...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jan132014

Post-Globe Thoughts / Linkings

My apartment gets too much sunlight and I have no window blankets. So I can't see the TV during the day so I can't rewatch the Globes so I can't blog more about them until tonight and then who knows if any of us will be in the mood when I can't so maybe I won't and I just don't know anymore. The tragedy of it all!

Until then, I devour uneaten party snacks and commence with the linkings...

first a few non-Globes items
EW really thoughtful piece on Armond White and why he was just expelled from the NYFCC 
Critic Wire "Should film critics give out awards?" Of course they should. Awards are just another form of evaluation and needn't be thoughtless. They just shouldn't do it badly, ot to "predict" the Oscar race.
THR Tang Wei falls for a money scam. I hope they find the culprits but the greater crime is the career momentum the Chinese government stole from her post Lust Caution. Can we prosecute that, instead?
Dark Horizons Joseph Gordon-Levitt on the upcoming Sandman adaptation 
The Playlist Martin Scorsese on the campaign trail with Wong Kar Wai for The Grandmaster. I still have no firm read on whether or not that is making it into Best Foreign Film 

today's must read 
W Mag John Waters on staying famous once you've achieved celebrity. It's a pretty great read. Consider this bit:

If you’re really lucky, you might survive a disaster, and that’s a sure way to get your Wikipedia page updated if it’s been dormant for too long. My friend Pauline jokes that if she were in an airplane crash with me and she was the only one to die, the headline would read: air disaster! john waters lives. one dead. 

okay back to the globes
Vanity Fair Bobby Finger's imaginary Globe conversations are super. I love Streep's world domination plot (although hasn't she kind of already accomplished that?)
NY Daily News ok, I need to understand whether or not Nicholas Hoult and Jennifer Lawrence are together. Or are they like Friend with Benefits. Make up your minds!
Variety inside the after parties. Fun(nish) photos of the rich and famous at play
Zimbio more after party pics
TFE I looked back on my Globe predix and was shocked to realize that I did REALLY well (though I generally suck at Globe winner predictions) only missing stuff the mainstream media doesn't care about (but I do) like foreign, screenplay, & both music prizes among the film awards! I even somehow correctly predicted that 12 Years a Slave would only win Best Picture. I guessed HORRIBLY with the TV awards but I've never claimed to know any better there

drawing by Liza Donnellytoday's must see
Liza Donnelly took live-blogging in a fresh direction by live-sketching the Golden Globes. Damn fabulous. 

On That Woody Allen Cecil B DeMille Thing...
Ronan Farrow twitter's favorite fusion of political pundit/celebrity spawn/hot guy, wasn't pleased. Lots of people joined in the Globe-shaming. But really, now. It's so easy to judge from afar but if we are going to deny artists prizes for their work based on their moral character, actual crimes, alleged crimes, grudges people hold against them and the like would we have any prizes at all? I'm not even exaggerating. Prizes for the arts should be about the arts always, and not about someone's character. There's no prize for "Most Nice" or "Best Person" and even if there was, wouldn't showpeople be terrible judges of it? (Including Mia Farrow who is willing to testify on Roman Polanski's behalf but Woody Allen honors are beyond the pale?)
Salon has some issues with it, too, although calling out the Globes for their lack of regular honors to women is relatively speaking, misleading, since they're SO MUCH BETTER ABOUT IT than the Oscars ever have been and only a few sites (like, um, this one you're on right now) take AMPAS to task for it.
Shawn Levy did a post earlier this summer that's especially relevant now, detailing how strong Woody's Oscar history is in terms of directing actors. It's not just strong but it's varied which he gets absolutely no credit for as the article amply illustrates.

Exit Image
Jason at MNPP dubs this Globe after party pic "The Picture That Broke The Internet" and then hedges with a "this could finally be the one to do it" but either way, yes! I mean, at least it broke tumblr. I haven't been on today but I'm quite sure it's dead.

If you somehow squeezed in Tom Hiddleston for a three-way, all the breakings, everywhere.

This awesome image unfortunately reminds that it was a very BRO evening at the Globes with lots of frathouse like back patting going on. This was probably best exemplified by Michael Douglas and Jared Leto's tone deaf acceptance speeches for gay roles (ouch, you really wanna play it like that?) though I think it's unfortunate that McConaughey is getting roped into that conversation because his speech was not offensive and people are stretching ungenerously when they go there, the Leo for Wolf win after that 'supermodel's vagina welcome' (Fey & Poehler, you delight), and a million photos of handsome powerful rich (mostly) white straight guys pointing at the camera, with smug smiles on their faces (lampooned by Melissa McCarthy as Matt Damon on stage in point of fact).

And so on and so on...

Dude.

Sunday
Jan122014

Sing Out, Luise. You're 104 !

We usually take time each January 12th to count down the oldest living Oscar honorees on Luise Rainer's birthday (January 12th, 1910) but since we recently did a significantly long post on oldest living actors of note and we've had so many sad goodbyes in the past month (Joan, Peter, Martha & Juanita), we're just going to focus on Luise Rainer & her other records.

This gorgeous photo was taken four years ago when Luise had the big "100". I think you have to admit that "The Viennese Teardrop" aged really well! Quitting Hollywood so early seemed to be good for her. Four years later she's still alive and kicking and currently living in the UK.

I had hoped to do something more focused on The Good Earth (1937) -- which we've never discussed here at TFE -- but I ran out of time. Maybe next year for Luise's 105th since she's clearly not going anywhere. Luise currently holds not just one Oscar record but four of them, the last two she'll be able to keep forever since "first to ____" cannot be unbroken with time but the second record will be swiped if Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle prevails on March 2nd, 2014 (but more on that this Thursday) 

Rainer in The Great Ziegfeld (1936... a role which would surely be demoted to supporting in today's Oscars) and The Good Earth (1937)

  1. She's the oldest living Oscar winner
  2. She's the youngest performer to ever win two Oscars. She was 28 when she won the second, so Jodie Foster just failed to top her record with that Silence of the Lambs win at the age of 29)
  3. She the first actor to win two Oscars (Spencer Tracy & Bette Davis both won their second Oscars in 1938, the year after Rainer's double)
  4. She's the first actor to win back-to-back Oscars (36/37 both in Best Actress). Only four other performers have ever won back-to-back Oscars though surely Russell Crowe came close at the turn of the millenium:

    • Spencer Tracy (37/38 both in Best Actor)
    • Katharine Hepburn (67/68 both in Best Actress)
    • Jason Robards (76/77 both in Best Supporting Actor)
    • Tom Hanks (93/94 both in Best Actor) 

 

Which of Luise's winning roles is your favorite? And which back-to-back Oscar wins are you most satisfied with/horrified by?

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