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Entries in Oscar Trivia (168)

Saturday
Mar232013

"Road to Perdition" (Plus: Posthumous Oscars)

75th Annual Oscars ~ 10th Anniversary Special
On this very day 10 years ago, one of only two posthumous Oscars for the past decade in film was handed out. It went to Conrad Hall for his lensing of Road to Perdition (the other was Heath Ledger's). So here's one from the vaults since we did a Hit Me With Your Best Shot on it just last year. If you click on these shots, deemed best by our 'hit me' club and arranged here in narrative order, you can read more about them and why they were chosen.







It's a strange symmetry that a film as funereal as Road to Perdition would be a member of the Posthumous Oscar wins club. Here's a list of all 13 of them:

 

  • Sidney Howard, Adapted Screenplay - Gone With the Wind (1939)
  • William A Horning, Art Direction - Gigi (1958)
  • William A Horning, Art Direction - Ben Hurt (1959)
  • Sam Zimbalist, Best Picture - Ben Hur (1959)
  • Eric Orborn, Art Direction - Spartacus (1960)
  • Walt Disney, Animated Short - Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (1968)
  • Raymond Rasch & Larry Russell, Best Score - Limelight (1972)
  • Peter Finch, Actor - Network (1976)
  • Geoffrey Unsworth, Cinematography - Tess (1980)
  • Howard Ashman, Best Song - "Beauty & the Beast" from Beauty & The Beast (1991)
  • Thomas Goodwin, Documentary Short - Educating Peter (1992)
  • Conrad Hall, Cinematography - Road to Perdition (2002)
  • Heath Ledger, Supporting Actor - The Dark Knight (2008)

Art director William A Horning is the only double posthumous winner though acting legend James Dean and Disney's brilliant comeback-making composer Howard Ashman both received more than one posthumous nomination.

Saturday
Mar162013

Today's Pet Peeve: Why Doesn't Oscar Allow Embeddable Videos?

The title is all wrong. It's Everyday's Pet Peeve. I was as thrilled as any Oscar Fanatic when they established a YouTube channel and began to upload plentiful old acceptance speeches from ceremonies past. But why, pray tell, are they non-embeddable? I legitimately wonder what purpose this serves when what's shared on social networks is so determinative of what gets seen, discussed and becomes beloved.

Of course the dread "embedding disabled by request" message is most tiresome and even downright evil when a YouTube channel that uses it is just a fan channel which owns the rights to nothing but still insists that you can't steal what they stole. (This is especially icky when it's exactly the clip you need and want to share.)  I won't name account names but my guess is this refusal to share is an older generation problem dating back to mindsets that existed before the internet -- I also existed before the internet but some of us adapted --  when sharing was something your parents told you to do with your friends and siblings but would never have dreamed of telling you to do with complete strangers. This is my guess primarily because the accounts most likely to refuse embedding seem to be the ones that are most devoted to material that predates the internet be it old movies, music, tv or what have you. I think this is terrible for everyone and does a great injustice to the art. If things aren't shareable in the modern sense they're more likely to stay forgotten and relegated to the dustbins of history.

Morgan Fairchild and Robert Hays -- anyone remember them?

This came up today because the latest video the Oscar channel posted was the Costume Design presentation for 1981's "Chariots of Fire" and I wanted to discuss it for about 10 different reasons but then thought "why bother?" since I couldn't embed it with the discussion and didn't have time for screencaps. Pity that. It's not that it's 'must-see' interesting. I shouldn't oversell. 

Moving on...

Tuesday
Mar052013

Tues Top Ten: Stars Without (Competitive) Oscars

Do you miss Oscar season or are you glad it's over? I'm feeling a little bit of both right now, which is why this image that a reader sent me is so great. It's Glenn Close & Michelle Pfeiffer on Oscar night in 1989, when they both lost for their roles in Dangerous Liaisons (1988). Michelle did take the stage as a presenter that night (alongside Dennis Quaid).

Who knew that the Merquise de Merteuil and Madame Tourvel could exhibit any such tenderness for each other? (Or maybe the Merquise is just looking for the softest spot on Tourvel's neck in which to sink her fangs?)

So the picture got me to thinking about stars who've never won Oscars despite multiple nods. (Of course the most egregiously mistreated stars in Hollywood are the great actors who've never even been nominated... but that's a different list.) For this Tuesday Top Ten, I thought we'd do things a little differently and the rank will be determined not by my opinion but by Oscar's through the number of nominations. I determine the order if stars have the same number of losing nominations.

TOP TEN WORKING FILMS STARS
WITH MULTIPLE NOMINATIONS WHO'VE
NEVER WON A COMPETITIVE OSCAR

Honorable Mentions: Mickey Rooney, Eleanor Parker, Kirk Douglas (yes, they're all still alive), Jane Alexander, Debra Winger, Diane Ladd and Marsha Mason each won three-to-four nominations but since none of these famous actors are working much or at all in features anymore, I decided to make this a list of top “working” stars instead. As for the bottom third of the top ten list, since there are a lot of stars who’ve earned three nominations without ever winning, I had to make judgement calls as to who to include. So my apologies to: Laura Linney, Joaquin Phoenix and Sigourney Weaver (and others with 3 nominations) who just-missed here.

Johnny Depp, The Dangerous Liaisons girls and more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Mar022013

Reader's Choice Factoids & Acting Oscar Trivia

I thought I was done posting about the 85th Academy Awards but here's one last takeaway post. See I realized we hadn't yet discussed YOUR votes and it is Reader Appreciation Month now (more to come). Plus one Best Actress Supremacy battle I think you'll like to ponder! 

Reader's Choice Stats Takeaway
Biggest Landslide: Anne Hathaway (Supporting Actress for Les Misérables) was the only Oscar winner to nab more than 50% of reader votes here. Though she was obviously the most polarizing actor, male or female, during Oscar season that didn't stop her from crushing her competition at the Oscars or here.
Poorest Showing: Denzel Washington's (Actor) return to form in Flight (seriously he's so good in that film) was, remarkably, in last place only 2% of the votes in his field. Yes even Jacki Weaver 4% and Alan Arkin 3% in the supporting categories won more of your love. What gives?  
Poorest Showing from an Oscar Winner: Though Christoph Waltz was also only third place in your ballots for Supporting Actor, Jennifer Lawrence actually had a weaker 3rd place showing - she took only 19% of your votes in Best Actress
Most Divisive Polling: Best Picture. Votes were all over the place with the winner (Argo) only managing 19% of the votes which was a very slim margin among the top four vote getters (readers also loved Amour, Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty)
Agree to Disagree: Best Actress, always our marquee category here at The Film Experience, had the most votes of any of the polls and there was no agreement between Oscar, Nathaniel and The Film Experience readers: Oscar chose Lawrence; Nathaniel chose Riva; Readers chose Chastain. 

Ben Affleck's odd stats and Jennifer Lawrence vs. Joan Fontaine after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb282013

Ang Lee at 28. Ang Lee Now

Here is the two-time Oscar winner working on a Spike Lee documentary all the way back in 1982 when he was 28 years old!!! 

(The woman he's with there is painter Ann Yen who posted the photo recently on a social network site, prompting some coverage in the Asian press. Yen and Lee are still friends - I hear that she played one of the Mahjong women in Lust, Caution (2007).

His whole life and career was (way) ahead of him. Ang was one year away from getting married to his charming wife who got a little air time this weekend at the Oscars. He was still ten years away from making his first feature as a director (Pushing Hands), still eleven years away from his first Oscar nomination (Best Foreign Film, The Wedding Banquet) and basically a whole lifetime away from becoming the legendary two-time Best Director Oscar winner (Brokeback Mountain and Life of Pi) that he is today.

Well done, Ang Lee. Have a hamburger. You deserve it!

 

 

Sunday
Feb242013

The Oscar Winners

Previously: Arrivals
Next: Tomorrow begins the extensive post-mortem mania!

And The Oscars Go To...

SUPPORTING ACTOR Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
"Respect" to the fellow nominees... "Unlimited Gratitude" to Tarantino
Three Best Pics introduced
ANIMATED SHORT John Kahrs, Paperman 
ANIMATED FEATURE Brenda Chapman &  Mark Andrews, Brave
CINEMATOGRAPHY Claudio Miranda, Life of Pi 
VISUAL EFFECTS Life of Pi 
COSTUME DESIGN Jacqueline Durran, Anna Karenina
MAKEUP Les Miserables
James Bond Tribute -Dame Shirley Bassey killed it. 
LIVE ACTION SHORT Shawn Christensen, Curfew 
DOCUMENTARY SHORT Sean Fine, Andrea Nix Fine for Inocente 
Three more best pics introduced

 

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE Searching for Sugar Man
FOREIGN FILM Michael Haneke for Austria with Amour 
Musicals Tribute with performances from Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jennifer Hudson, and the cast of Les Misérables
SOUND MIXING Les Miserables
SOUND EDITING (TIE !!!) Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall  

It came true."
-Anne Hathaway's opening words 


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables 
FILM EDITING Argo 
Adele Performs "Skyfall"
Last three Best Pictures introduced
PRODUCTION DESIGN Rick Carter, Lincoln
Governor's Award Clips
In Memoriam & Babs "The Way We Were"
ORIGINAL SCORE Mychael Danna, Life of Pi 
ORIGINAL SONG  Adele & Paul Epworth (hello!) for "Skyfall" from Skyfall
With this prize, Skyfall's second of the evening the Bond franchise doubles its Oscar win tally. It had only won two Oscar previously, one for Sound Effects for Goldfinger (1964) and one for visual effects for Thunderball (1965).

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY Chris Terrio, Argo
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained 
DIRECTOR [drumroll...] Ang Lee, Life of Pi
I'm not into that movie at all but I love him. I'ma just pretend it's a prize for Crouching Lust Hidden Caution. For what it's worth Ang Lee is both the first and the second (and therefore the only) non-caucasian director to win this prize. He is not however the only director to win twice despite having never directed a Best Picture winner. That trick was also performed by Frank Borzage in the late 20s/early 30s (his two wins: Bad Girl lost to Grand Hotel, and Seventh Heaven lost to Wings), George Stevens in the 50s (his two wins: Giant lost to Around the World in Eighty Days and A Place in the Sun lost to An American in Paris). [Note: John Ford actually won Best Director without winning Best Picture THREE times. But for How Green Was My Valley he won Best Director and the film also won Best Picture]
ACTRESS Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook
ACTOR (Meryl Streep should just give this Best Actor Oscar to herself to get #4 overwith) And the Oscar goes to ... Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln

Finally... Jack Nicholson came out to present Best Picture which led to a weird and shocking moment when The First Lady appeared via satellite to congratulate the nominees and talk about art teaching us to overcome our problems. Fun tweets followed:

   

 

PICTURE Argo
Grant Henslov spoke first cracking up about the three sexiest producers as he stood between George Clooney & Ben Affleck. Ben spoke second, teared up with a speech that was kind of endearing kind of annoying and all over the place (more on the speeches tomorrow). George Clooney never spoke.

And hey, to everyone reading. You survived another Oscar Year. 

You da man!

Good night!
Wrap-Up Party Blogging tomorrow after some sleep.

P.S. Don't forget to like The Film Experience on Facebook. Please and thx

Thursday
Feb212013

Posterized: Oscar's Well Loved Losing Dozen

"And the Oscar DOESN'T Go To..." The following dozen films are historically the biggest losers in Oscar history. All of them had 8 or more nominations and won zip on Oscar night. But, please to note, "loser" is a tongue-in-cheek title here. If you're well regarded enough to win nearly two handfuls of nominations as "best of the year" you're already a winner, even if you "lose".

How many have you seen?

The Little Foxes (1941) 9 nominations
Quo Vadis (1951) 8 nominations
Peyton Place (1957) 9 nominations 

THE NUNS STORY (59) - 8 noms
THE SAND PEBBLES (66) - 8 noms
THE TURNING POINT (77) 11 noms *tied for most noms without any wins*

THE ELEPHANT MAN (1980) 8 noms
RAGTIME (1981) 8 noms
THE COLOR PURPLE (1985) 11 noms *tied for most noms without any wins*

REMAINS OF THE DAY (1993) 8 noms
GANGS OF NEW YORK (2002) 10 noms
TRUE GRIT (2010) 10 noms

Trivia Puzzle: It happened most often in the 50s (3 films) and 80s (3 films) though I couldn't tell you why!

SPIELBERG NOTE: You'll notice that Steven Spielberg's The Color Purple still shares the title for "biggest loser" (with The Turning Point). Unfortunately, though he has been enormously well rewarded over the years, this weird notion that Oscar doesn't like him continues in the rhetoric you hear online sometimes particular in regards to Saving Private Ryan's loss and Lincoln's probable loss on Oscar night. If you ask me if you are among the ten most nominated directors in history (tied for fifth) and you already have two directing Oscars and a possible third on its way (which would put you in tied for second place of all time with director wins!), there's no chance in hell that they don't like you. (The internet is such a sweaty hysteric sometimes!)

THIS YEAR: If Hathaway (Les Miz) and Day-Lewis (Lincoln) are mortal locks in their respective categories this year than the only films that might break into this top (bottom?) twelve this year are Silver Linings Playbook (8 noms) if Jennifer Lawrence mysteriously fumbles at the finish line for Best Actress which some people think is more possible than others (I personally think she's way out front unfortunately) or The Life of Pi (11 noms) if Lincoln and other films mysteriously dominate in all the technical races which is HIGHLY unlikely. So in other words: this list of 12 Oscar Favorites That Had No Hardware To Show For It is unlikely to change this year. Basically abundantly nominated films that win nothing are rare beautiful creatures. 

Wednesday
Feb202013

Jesse Unleashed. And Other Links

i09 the best critical responses to Safe Haven's batsh*t ending (spoilers, obviously)
Natasha VC the Boogie Nights premiere photos are debilitating. (amen)
Cinematic Corner expresses disatisfaction with The Master. I think the qualms expressed here are very imply put the problem a lot of people have with the second act of Paul Thomas Anderson's career. I wonder if he'll change again?
Awards Daily salutes the hard working Oscar publicists as ballots close
MNPP Judy Garland's A Star is Born even wins over JA! She's just brilliant in that film. One of the worst Oscar losses ever. 

Coming Soon on a new Bruce Lee biopic in the works. I read a few articles on this last night and not one of them mentioned that there already is a Bruce Lee biopic, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story which came out in the 90s and starred the hotness that was Jason Scott Lee (no relation)
Playbill Les Misérables will be returning to Broadway in 2014, just 11 years since the original long running show closed. Meanwhile the show has never closed in London and has now been playing for 27 years
Jesse Williams the actor (the hottie from Cabin in the Woods) doesn't pull punches detailing his issues with Django Unchained's treatment of race and slavery
Advocate Kelly McGillis will reminisce about Top Gun generically but she won't talk about Jodie Foster's coming out!
Lainey Gossip checks in with the pre-Oscar gingers Jessica Chastain & Nicole Kidman
In Contention looks at Sound Mixing which I personally think is terrifically hard to predict this year 

Finally... if you believe that math can predict the Oscars check out Ben's Oscar Forecast. He's a Harvard student who's trying to predict them with formulas. He's predicting the usual suspects that have been winning everything for acting but for best director... Ang Lee (!?!)