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Entries in Oscar Trivia (154)

Saturday
Nov162013

Chart Revision & Trivia: Supporting Actress

June SquibbHaving recently seen Nebraska a second time (full review coming), I'm more confident that Alexander Payne favorite June Squibb (who played Jack Nicholson's wife in About Schmidt) can ride her scene-stealing laughs in the new film to a nomination. The film opened yesterday in limited release and though the Oscar attention is all on Bruce Dern at the moment, that could well change since the film is endearing on more than just the Dern-level.

Trivia Alert #1 If June Squibb is nominated she will be the third oldest nominee ever in the Supporting Actress category after Gloria Stuart (Titanic) and Ruby Dee (American Gangster)

August Osage County and Jennifer Lawrence trivia after the jump

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Nov132013

True Oscar Stories: Hey Nonny, Nonny

Emma Thompson was nominated for Best Actress in 1993 for Remains of the Day in which she is very good but it really should have been for Much Ado About Nothing, in which she is utterly radiant, the classiest and most consummate romantic comedy lead the 90s could have ever dreamt up.

The following year, the Oscars made the same mistake nominating Winona Ryder for period drama Little Women instead of the post-collegiate comedy Reality Bites, which I'd argue is her single greatest screen performance if less iconic than her star turns in Beetlejuice or Heathers. 

The moral of this story: Even when they're great, comedies have such a tough time being appreciated in their time. Soon you'll be able to add Frances Ha (2013) to that infinite list of under-rewarded laughers!

Tuesday
Nov052013

True Oscar Stories: Djimon Hounsou

Djimon Hounsou has two Oscar nominations.

 

One for each pec.

 

this post is dedicated to Dame James

 

Saturday
Nov022013

Happy Centenial, Burt Lancaster!

Anne Marie here to celebrate a Hollywood icon on his 100th birthday.

November 2nd is the centennial of that charismatic giant of an actor, Burt Lancaster. He had Clark Gable's charisma, Cary Grant's charm, The Grin, a mop of hair that couldn't be tamed, and a voice that dripped sweetness from every syllable. With all of these admirable qualities, Lancaster could have settled into a career as a leading man, however he chose to pursue challenging roles and a career directing and producing as well. I first saw him in The Rainmaker starring opposite Katharine Hepburn. It takes something special to tear my attention away from Kate The Great, but the minute Lancaster appeared I was starstruck.

But if we're going to talk about iconic Lancaster performances, we have to start here:

 

While this particularly sexy kiss is what we all remember the film for, it's worth mentioning that Lancaster's also very good in the film. As Sgt. Warden, Lancaster balances military bravado, empathy for his soldiers, passion, vulnerability, and steeliness on his well-muscled shoulders. He was rightfully nominated for an Academy Award for his performance. [Trivia Note: From Here To Eternity is tied with 8 other pictures for "most acting nominations from one film" with 5 (!) an achievement that is now extremely rare, ending with Network (1976)] 

Lancaster wouldn't win the gold until Elmer Gantry in 1960...

Elmer Gantry is a role tailor-made for Lancaster's particular brand of charm. Gantry is a con man who starts starts evangelizing at revivals because he wants to get into the habit of Sister Sharon (Jean Simmons). Gantry is a bad man preaching the Good Book. But my goodness, I could listen to him read the phone book! It's impossible not to root for him or fall for him. Lancaster roars and cajoles and cries while he's preaching, but his quiet moments are equally powerful. One such quiet scene is between Gantry and a prostitute played by future Partridge Family matriarch Shirley Jones. Lancaster portrays Gantry's powerful personality with an equally potent physicality, so when the wordsmith is temporarily broken, you can see it in his shoulders as well as his eyes. Elmer Gantry is more a whirlwind than a simple performance.

Burt Lancaster's career was as long as it was diverse. He played pirates, preachers, thugs, Nazis, conmen, convicts, and cowboys. One thing's certain: he was definitely never dull. Happy Birthday, Burt!

What's your favorite Burt Lancaster movie?

Monday
Oct282013

Edith Head, Googled

I miss the Google Doodle's that were interactive. Sigh. The glory days that evaporated so very recently. But today's honoree is a rare TFE appropriate treat. Google's banner is honoring Edith Head, 8 time Best Costume Design Oscar winner on her 116th birthday.

She won her Oscars for The Heiress (1950), Samson and Delilah (1951), All About Eve (1951), A Place in the Sun (1952), Roman Holiday (1954), Sabrina (1955), The Facts of Life (1961) and The Sting (1974) but the nominations were practically endless. For comparison's sake, today's reigning costume queens Sandy Powell and Colleen Atwood have but 10 nominations and 3 wins each -- stunning track records unless you place them next to Edith's 35 & 8!

My favorite modern tribute to Edith Head's costuming dominance, though, is still "Edna Mode" from The Incredibles (2004). The resemblance being perfectly uncanny, though Edith would still tower over her mini-me Edna at 5' feet 1½

This is as good a time as any to tell you that TFE will be debuting a new series this week "Threads" wherein we'll start giving Costume Design its (weekly) due. We'll begin with 82 year old Patricia Norris who after a longish absence from the movies is back with 12 Years a Slave.

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