Oscar History

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Entries in Oscar Trivia (301)


Venice Prizes for La La & Lav

The 73rd annual Venice Film Festival came to a close today and with that comes jury prizes. Here's the list

Lav Diaz new film "The Woman Who Left" is inspired by Tolstoy's book "God Sees the Truth, But Waits". It's four hours long and took the top Venice prize.

Main Competition Jury (Jury President Sam Mendes)
Golden Lion: The Woman Who Left (Lav Diaz)
Grand Jury Prize: Nocturnal Animals (Tom Ford)
Silver Lion (Best Director): [tie] Amat Escalante for The Untamed and Andrei Konchalovsky for Paradise
Volpi Cup Best Actress: Emma Stone for La La Land
Volpi Cup Best Actor: Oscar Martínez for The Distinguished Citizen
Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor: Paula Beer for Frantz 

A FEW NOTES on the winners after the jump...

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What Does Tom Hanks Have to Do to Receive Another Oscar Nomination?

by abstew

The world was a very different place in January 2001. George W. Bush was being sworn into office for the first of his two terms as President, people used disposable cameras and brought the film to be developed at...drug stores, and the main places to watch new films was in the actual movie theater (where the average ticket price was $5.39) and then later going to the nearest Blockbuster to rent it. It also happened to be the last time that Tom Hanks was nominated for an acting Oscar.

With a total of 5 Best Actor nominations for Big (1988), Philadelphia (1993), Forrest Gump (1994), Saving Private Ryan (1998), and Cast Away (2000) and back-to-back wins (only the second Best Actor to accomplish the feat after Spencer Tracy almost 60 years before and only one of five actors (the others are Luise Rainer, Katharine Hepburn, and Jason Robards) to have achieved the distinction in the Academy's 88 year history) it's not like Hanks is hurting for accolades. And if that weren't enough, he's even taken gold for television, winning 7 Emmys so far as a producer and director on multiple miniseries.

The Academy often has brief but passionate affairs when it comes to actors...

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The Furniture: Comedy by Design in Come Blow Your Horn

1963 is our "Year of the Month" for September. So we'll be celebrating its films randomly throughout the month. Here's Daniel Walber...

Once upon a time, there were two production design categories at the Oscars. From 1945 through 1956, and again from 1959 through 1966, color films and black and white films competed separately. The Academy nominated ten films every year after 1950, creating a whole lot more room for variety.

This especially benefited comedy, a genre that has since fallen out of favor with Oscar. And while Come Blow Your Horn might not be the funniest of the 1960s, it is certainly one of the most deserving nominees of the era. Adapted by Norman Lear from a Neil Simon play, this Frank Sinatra vehicle stages most of its antics in one of cinema’s most luxurious apartments, the work of art directors Roland Anderson (Breakfast at Tiffany’s) and Hal Pereira (Vertigo) and set decorators Sam Comer (Rear Window) and James W. Payne (The Sting).

Sinatra plays Alan Baker, a salesman for his family’s plastic fruit business. His boss and father, Harry (Lee J. Cobb), is perpetually enraged by his son’s libertine Manhattan lifestyle. Harry and his wife Sophie, played by Yiddish theater legend Molly Picon, live a quiet life in Yonkers with their much younger son, Buddy (Tony Bill). But when Buddy runs away from home to live large with Alan, all hell breaks loose.

Alan's apartment in question is a spotless and opulent apotheosis of mid-century design. The open living room makes the place seem enormous...

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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.

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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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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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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...

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