I came to the news of Mickey Rooney's passing late due to my offline vacation but it wouldn't be right to not mention it here at the musicals-loving The Film Experience. My first exposure to Mickey Rooney, as far as I remember, was Babes in Arms (1939) for which he was Oscar nominated at 19. I think my parents took us to see it at an awesome revival house in Detroit. Tweens and teenagers, who always fear being uncool, aren't supposed to love old black and white movies made many decades before they were born but cinephiles and/or musical-fanatics are a different breed and I had no shame whatsoever about seeking them out. [More...]
Entries in Oscar Trivia (208)
Geena Davis and I have been harping on gender disparity in film for ever and I've also spent a lot of time on its sister problem: ageism focused on women. But in the past couple of years it feels like the conversation has finally reached the mainstream.
Every website, even the most misogynist-friendly, now knows what the Bechdel Test is and that the majority of movies still fail it even though it's super easy to pass. Cate Blanchett's Oscar speech got a lot of attention and Kevin B Lee recently had a major cinemetrics piece in the New York Times about women's limited screen time and now, as The Wrap reports, a new study out of San Diego State's Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film shows how bad the problem is not just in lead roles (only 13% of the films in the top 100 of last year) but in ageist double standards (women over 40 account for only 30% of female roles while 55% of male roles are for the over 40 set) and in racial representation (73% of all female roles are for caucasian women).
All of this despite the fact that Cate's Oscar speech was total righteous truth-telling. [More...]
Some years ago now I did a study on how often actors win second nominations. I can't find the figures at the moment but I believe it was around 42%. Obviously it's not as many as we pretend each Oscar love-in season. Though it's arguably easier to win a second nomination than it is a first -- they're already considering you if you will -- that doesn't mean it's easy, if you get me. The Oscars are definitely a pyramid in shape. There's only one actor with 18 nominations and there are hundreds of thousands with 0. I don't mean to be a bummer, just to underline how special and rare the Oscar experience is even for celebrity actors. Lineups like Best Actress this time, which I believe has the highest average nomination count of all time in an acting shortlist, fool us into believing otherwise but the majority of first nominations are also last nominations.
*should we do a fashion post?
But let's stay optimistic!
Who among this year's first-time nominees do you think will be the first to be invited back? Explain your choice in the comments. I think I'm going with Sally Hawkins only because her work has been really solid for a long time and now that they've noticed her, perhaps a rush of even better roles will happen? It's not always easy to predict. I mean, who among us thought that Jonah Hill would be the first among the new men from the class of 2011 to do it? There's no wrong answer. At least not for another year or three.
If you like this poll, there are more, you know. Vote on those, too!
The Dolby Theater was quick about getting 12 Years a Slave up in their awesome atrium of Best Picture winners in Hollywood. I stared at that so much while I was in LA, trust. But naturally it must prompt my annual outrage again.
Dear, Internet. If the Academy themselves understand that we just watched the 2013 Oscars, so can you! - Love, Nathaniel R
This is really all the IMDb's fault and then Google, too. Now virtually everyone except the Oscars and The Film Experience calls the Oscars by the wrong year, which will wreak so much havoc at future trivia nights and in every way of documenting film history. I have a friend who did really great work on several Wikipedia pages and people kept trying to change his dates to the wrong year so now it's a mess of conflicting pages. This madness must stop. Cate Blanchett is not the Best Actress of 2014... (at least not yet. Will Carol be ready in time?). She's the Best Actress of 2013. The Oscars aren't like a Beauty Pageant where you get a title andtour the country for the following year before you pass on the tiara. It's not like that. It's for a movie you did. Pretending that Cate is the Best Actress of 2014 puts you in People's Choice territory where people just win prizes even if they sat at home that year but are still popular. It's not really territory you want to be in.
Five completely random links (more time to catch up what's happening elsewhere tomorrow)
- Vanity Fair on their Oscar Party
- Daily Mail on that pizza guy and the tipping situation at the Oscars
- Buzz Feed if John Travolta had to pronounced other people's names at the Oscars
- Vulture Pharrell's Happy performance gifs of the stars joining in. This was SO smart to include so early in the show. The energy was perfect.
- Vanity Fair [LONG READ] I bookmarked this story about trying to find out what happened to the real "Patsey" from 12 Years a Slave and I haven't had time to finish it yet but it's totally an interesting subject. I WILL carve out time to read it this week and so should you.
After the jump my favorite blurry photos I took of my TV last night. But why blurry photos, you ask?
The Class of 2013 via The 86th Academy Awards, March 2nd, 2014!
Damn, that's a good looking bunch. It occurs to me that there was more than just a little bit more of a consensus this year behind "shoulds" when it came to acting winners, hence the repeats from ceremony to ceremony. That was true even here at The Film Experience. Though McConaughey didn't win his reader's poll here (he came in 3rd in a tight race for 2nd with Chiwetel, both behind Leo), the rest were your preferred winners as you can see on their percentage totals on the individual charts. And Cate and Lupita were also my gold medalists in the The Film Experience's long running Film Bitch Awards, too.
Group Tidbits & Trivia
• Cate and Matthew are the exact same age (44) and I wonder when or if that's ever happened before with the lead winners? It probably doesn't happen often given Oscar's double gender standards when it comes to what age its appropriate to honor male and female actors; generally speaking, women win most often when they're in their late 20s to mid 30s wherease men have much better luck in their 40s.
• The lead winners are both married and both have three children. The supporting winners are both single and keep publicly joking about the rumors that they're dating
• another cute Lead/Supporting divide. The leads brought their spouses to the Oscars and both Lupita and Jared brought a sibling!
• Interesting gender divide in terms of origins. The women are international (Australia and Kenyan/Mexican) while the men are both from the Southern US (Texas and Louisiana)
• All four went to college -- so since Ellen went there with a joke: stay in school, kids
• Cate is the old pro (6 noms / 2 wins) but the other three are all 'first time's the charm' winners
• I interviewed 75% of this group, alas not a perfect fab four: ICYMI my chats with Matthew, Jared, & Lupita
• Four different zodiac signs but we have two waters (Matthew & Lupita) and two earths (Cate & Jared) and yes, I have insomnia, or else why else would I be looking this up?!
Did you know that only one other Oscar ceremony has ever been held on a March 2nd? That'd be March 2nd, 1944 which crowned CASABLANCA 1943's best picture. Let's hope Oscar chooses as well tonight.
May your favorites lose tonight ... if they're different than mine! Kisses.
Though Casablanca is one of those rare pictures that virtually everyone loves, it actually only won three of its eight Oscar nominations that night: Picture, Director (Michael Curtiz), and Screenplay. Only Hitchcock's Rebecca (1940) won fewer Oscars among the Best Pictures of the 1940s with just two statues. So I don't wanna see any online snarking if 12 Years a Slave goes home with only a 2 or 3 statues including the big one. Spreading the wealth is not a new thing and i'd argue it's a healthier thing for the movies, too.
Happy Birthday March 2nd Oscar Babies!
• Jennifer Jones (Best Actress winner, The Song of Bernadette 1943) ...so, yes, she won the Oscar on her twenty-fifth birthday. One assumes that was the happiest of birthdays.
• Martin Ritt (Best Director nominee for Hud, 1963)
Today is actually Martin Ritt's centennial so if you've never seen Hud, one of all time greats, get to it. Ritt also directed Best Picture nominee Norma Rae but he was left out of the directing shortlist that year
• Jon Bon Jovi (Best Original Song nominee "Blaze of Glory" from Young Guns II, 1990)
• John Irving (Best Adapted Screenplay winner, The Cider House Rules, 1999)
... and future Oscar nominee Daniel Craig just because we love him and saw him first, long before Bond -- Love is the Devil (1998), bitches. Eat it.
PREVIOUSLY IN OUR 21 DAY RANDOM TOPIC OSCAR COUNTDOWN
1 day Kathy Bates * 2 days Final Predix * 3 days Oscar Genie wishes * 4 days Leo & Julia * 5 days John Williams * 6 days Alfonso Cuarón * 7 days AIDS dramas * 8 days Peter O'Toole * 9 days Twelve Years a Slave * 10 days Paul Newman * 11 days Bette Midler * 12 days 1934 Best Picture * 13 days Matthew McConaughey and Best Actress 2000 * 14 days All About Eve vs. Titanic * 15 Days Supporting * 16 days Irene Sharaff, Costume Designer * 17 days Randomness * 18 days Meryl Streep * 19 Days Julianne Moore * 20 days 1993 Oscars * 21 days Billy Wilder