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Entries in Oscar Trivia (282)

Sunday
Feb282016

Take a Number: Here's the Order of Tonight's Statue Delivery

This was tweeted out by Jake Hamilton today. I assume it's accurate since it looks like the official program.

The hardest category to predict this year is, I mantain, Costume Design. I'd call it the only truly five-wide race. And it's fourth so some real suspense right off the bat. We'll also know very early whether a Kate & Leo reunion is coming since Supporting Actress is third... though I fully expect Alicia Vikander to take that one. [Final Predictions ICYMI

You'll also notice that they're not doing the short films all at once this year but (perhaps) pairing them with kindred spirit categories (animated short with animated feature, doc short with documentary, and live action short with foreign film... which makes sense since it's often a hodgepodge of foreign shorts that are nominated).

Are you feeling excited yet or merely panicked whilst preparing for your festivities?

P.S. Please enjoy this great Leonardo DiCaprio goodie from The Flippist.


Thursday
Feb252016

Bad Movies on Oscar Weekend

This weekend's release of Gods of Egypt got me thinking about the fact that we never get great movies opening on Oscar weekend. Studios must be betting that those of us watching the show are too busy prepping movie-themed party snacks to sneak in something special at the movies. Instead, they usually cater to an audience who'll likely be avoiding the big show. Hardly a new standard for release schedules, this weekend has been a dumping ground for forgettable cinema for some time.

Like the notorious poor quality of early months of the year, this weekend rarely gifts us with cult classics or enduring pleasures either. You have to go back 1997's Oscar weekend to find releases that still have vocal fans: TNT staple Selena (remember good Jennifer Lopez?) and Liar Liar (remember good Jim Carrey?). The previous year had David O. Russell's underappreciated sophmore film Flirting with Disaster, which did get some precursor love.

However, for something timeless and Oscar recognized, this weekend's biggest standout in modern memory is Pretty Woman. Julia Roberts performance as What Do You Want It To Be Vivian wasn't the most recent Oscar nominee debuting the weekend of the ceremony.

Let's see how far back we have to go to get an Oscar nominated film released on Oscar weekend!*

*full disclosure: I cheated, but you will totally agree why after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb232016

5 Days til Oscar. "5" being the Sacrosanct Number.

OSCAR VOTING CLOSES TODAY! CEREMONY THIS SUNDAY.

The Film Experience had quite a scare earlier this season when it was suggested that the Academy might change the number of nominees per category (ostensibly to promote diversity though it would send a terrible message of "now, you might be worthy with more slots. might not" We still don't know if they'll spring this ghastly proposition on us and whether it will ruin every chart and stat for the future. The varying number of nominees in Best Picture already makes for messy comparisons from year to year which used to be half the fun.

The sacrosanct number is 5 and it should not ever change. Any deviation from 5 feels blasphemous as in those years when Original Song or Short Films kept changing the number or the continued satanic tradition of denying the Makeup and Hairstylist branch two of their deserved nominations each year - the only category with 3.

So here's to five, the best number. Five forever. FIVE BY FIVE. Never change the number, Academy! Never.

Just for fun here are the 5 categories this year with the highest across-the-board quality

 

  1. Best Actress - All wonderful. And from mostly great films, too! 
  2. Original Score - When the worst nominee is __ you've got playlist heaven
  3. Adapted Screenplay - Mostly wonderful and filled with films about women: Brooklyn, Carol, Room. And the two most deserving screenplays are written by women, too: Phyllis Nagy & Emma Donoghue
  4. Cinematography - Don't quite understand what Robert Richardson is doing here again but he's no slouch in general and otherwise this is a list for the all time list of great lists in this particular category. 
  5. Visual Effects - It was a toss up for this fifth slot but it's worth including to point out that for once they didn't go "Most" and actually included two films with very convincing effects (Ex Machina & The Revenant) that would work without those visual effects, too. Worthy Best Supporting Visual Effects is a nice change of pace here.

5 of my favorite Oscar nominee interviews this season in case you missed any: Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl), Deniz Gamze Ergüven (Mustang), Phyllis Nagy (Carol), Sandy Powell (Carol), and Jack Fisk (The Revenant)

 

Tuesday
Feb232016

Oscar Screenplay Records That Could Be Broken

Manuel here to talk Oscar nominated screenplays. We first greeted them by looking at their first lines of dialogue, we crunched the numbers about how 2015 was a good year for female scribes, ranked them by quotability, and this week we’re taking a more playful approach. Think of it as a way to find some levity as we near the Big Day.

Now, we know there are frontrunners (and some dark horses) but I put all of that aside and imagined a world where every screenplay nominee has a shot and offered some records that could be broken Sunday night.

IF Bridge of Spies wins
Joel & Ethan Coen would join the ranks of most awarded screenwriters of all time, tying Woody Allen, Billy Wilder, Charles Brackett, Francis Ford Coppola, and Paddy Chayefsky, all of whom have three wins, though Allen holds the distinction of winning all three for Original screenplays.

IF Ex Machina wins
It would be the first film with a Latin title to win (previous failed bids include Equus and Europa Europa)

IF Inside Out wins
It would be the first animated film to win a screenplay award (previous failed bids include Toy Story, Shrek, Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, WALL-E and Up in the Original Screenplay category and Toy Story 3 in Adapted)

more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb222016

Q&A: Iconic Couples, Vote Counts, Favorite Kurosawas

There were so many good questions this week for the Q&A that we had to do this twice. Here are more questions asked of your host Nathaniel, and now answered. Thanks for being engaged readers!

Nicole & Ewan at MTV Movie Awards 2002Since there's been talk of how sweet it would be to see Leo and Kate both win Oscars this year, I've been thinking about recent screen couples that have captured audiences' imaginations in that way, that people would love to see win Oscars at the same time and I couldn't think of any quite on that level. Are there any post-Titanic screen couples you think of as legendary pop culture pairings? -EDWIN

Had Nicole Kidman & Ewan McGregor ever reteamed post Moulin Rouge! I think they might have become a screen couple like that. The fact that they haven't is a tragedy since we will love them until their dying day. You could argue that Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling (The Notebook) qualify. I think if Heath Ledger were still alive this might have happened with him and Jake Gyllenhaal since they're both such tremendous actors and liked each other quite a lot. It would have been fascinating to see them co-star in a second film in a totally different genre. 

The Film Experience is 1000% behind today's Hollywood realizing that reteaming stars who had insane chemistry is one of the best traditions of Old Hollywood. It's not only fun for fans, it's also marketable! Wouldn't you be so excited if Kate & Leo made a comedy together in 2018?

What's your favorite performance given by an animal actor? -TYLER

Asta as "Mr Smith" from The Awful Truth (1937) which is my first or second or third* favorite screwball comedy of all time. (It's hard to decide because they're so many great ones)

If it was up to you to decide, would you release the official vote counts from old Oscar ceremonies? Or would that take away the fun of endless speculating? is there a particular race you would want to know the official tally? - MARCELO

The answer and more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb222016

6 Days til Oscar. Trivia Party

We're less than a week from Hollywood's High Holy Night. Are you excited yet?
For today's trivia party we'll look at the only people to win exactly six Oscars. Four men. It's always men (sigh). Only 11 people have won more Oscars than these four men. I did not include confusing cases like Visual FX guru Dennis Murren -- IMDb argues exactly 6 but that depends on how you count them since his prizes are many and a confusing jumble of technical achievements, special Oscars, and regular competitive statues. (Unfortunately I couldn't find photographs of the set decorators) 

Gordon HollingsheadGORDON HOLLINGSHEAD (1892-1952)
This producer won more Oscars in the short film categories than anyone other than the legendary Walt Disney and Frederick Quimby (of Tom & Jerry fame) but he won them for live action films. His first Oscar, though, was in the inaguaral year (1933) of a category called "Best Assistant Director" which the Academy cancelled just a few years later. 

THOMAS LITTLE (1886-1985)
This set decorator, originally from Ogden Utah, nearly made it to 99 years of age but he quit the business in the 1950s. He won six Oscars in the Production Design category (formerly Best Art Direction) from How Green Was My Valley (1941), This Above All (1942), My Gal Sal (1942), The Song of Bernadette (1943)*, Wilson (1944), and Anna and the King of Siam (1946). His last nomination was for Viva Zapata! (1952) and he retired from the business the next year.

WALTER M SCOTT (1906-1989)
Another set decorator! Walter M Scott was originally from Ohio and worked on close to 300 films in his very long career. His Oscars came from The Robe (1953), The King and I (1956), The Diary of Anne Frank (1959), Cleopatra (1963), Fantastic Voyage (1966) and Hello, Dolly! (1969)

BILLY WILDER (1906-2002)
The mega talented ridiculously versatile writer/director/producer helmed so many classics it's rather mind boggling including but not limited to: Ninotchka (1939), Double Indemnity (1944), Sabrina (1954), and Some Like It Hot (1959). His six Oscars came for only three films though: 2 Oscars for The Lost Weekend (1945), 1 Oscar for Sunset Blvd (1950), and 3 Oscars for The Apartment (1960). He later was honored with the Irving Thalberg award. 

Do you think anyone in your lifetime is going to become a six time winner?
The closest to achieving this currently is John Williams with 5 Oscars. He's mostly retired now but if he wins for his score for The Force Awakens, he joins this very small club. He hasn't won since Schindler's List (1993) despite constant nominations since then. Iñárritu, who currently has 3, will almost be in this club IF he wins Pic/Director this year for The Revenant, and the following working artists have 4: Clint Eastwood, Woody Allen, the Coen brothers, Milena Canonero in costume design and Nick Park in animation. If Sandy Powell wins for either Carol or Cinderella this year in Costume Design she'll join the 4 Oscar club. 

*If Emmanuel Lubezki wins his 3rd consecutive Oscar in cinematography he'll be the first to do so in that particular category but he won't be the first person to achieve it in any craft category since Thomas Little did it in art direction in the 40s (and possibly other people have done it elsewhere, too).

Sunday
Feb212016

7 Days til Oscar...

We already celebrated the 7th nominations of both Cate Blanchett and Kate Winslet on the day of the nominations so what shall we celebrate today now that we're exactly one week from Hollywood's High Holy Night?

Hmmm. The Martian? It does have seven nominations but don't feel like it today. So let's just go with the year sevens. Oscar's choices, biggest box office, and our favorites here. 

1937: Oscar: Life of Emile Zola; Public: Snow White; TFE: The Awful Truth

1947:
 Oscar: Gentleman's Agreement; Public: Road to Rio; TFE: Black Narcissus

1957:
 Oscar: Bridge on the River Kwai; Public: Bridge on...; TFE: A Face in the Crowd

1967:
 Oscar: In the Heat of the Night; Public: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?; TFE: Bonnie & Clyde It's worth reminding you here that Mark Harris's book about this year in film "Pictures at a Revolution" is one of the best movie books ever. Get it!

1977: OscarAnnie Hall; Public: Star Wars; TFE: Annie Hall

1987:
 Oscar: Last Emperor; Public: 3 Men and a Baby; TFE: Moonstruck

1997:
 Oscar: Titanic; Public: Titanic; TFE: Boogie Nights

2007:
 Oscar: No Country For Old Men; Public: Spider-Man 3; TFE: There Will Be Blood

2017:
 Oscar: TBA; Public: Star Wars Episode VIII; TFE: TBA

Your favorites in "7" years?  And let us all have a moment of silence for the great Se7en (1995) which only received one Oscar nomination in its year for Best Film Editing. What a shame!