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Entries in Oscar Trivia (391)

Saturday
Oct142017

Harvey Weinstein Expelled From the Academy

By Nathaniel R

It's the end of an era. Harvey Weinstein has been expelled from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences given the avalanche of sexual harassment and rape claims that have hit in the past week. That's quite a downfall for a man once synonomous with Oscar Night. Or as The Los Angeles Times succinctly puts it

The move... in symbolic terms, amounts to a virtual expulsion from Hollywood itself.

The Oscars aren't the house that Harvey built, of course. They have survived many scandals and scandalous members and will survive this. The organization predates his birth by 25 years though how's this for an eery bit of Oscar/Harvey trivia: the very first televised Oscars were held on the night of baby Harvey's first birthday on March 19th, 1953. The producing giant didn't come into prominence until the early 1990s with the rise of Miramax but once he did he changed the way Oscar campaigns ran, was thanked relentlessly in acceptance speeches, and made prestige mini-majors the dominant Oscar players across town. 

Of course one could argue that the Weinstein era had ended years ago. The Weinstein Company has struggled in recent years against the rise of now-powerful awards players like Fox Searchlight, A24, Amazon Studios and more. There isn't even much to say about the way the Weinstein sexual harassment scandals will affect the Oscars this year. TWC only had one release this year that was successful enough to justify a campaign of any kind (Wind River) but that was a long shot at best even before the company was embroiled in this scandal. The period drama The Current War was their Christmas hopeful but its festival response was tepid and with the company falling apart and cries to "dissolve the board" out there it seems unlikely that it will see release any time soon.  

The Academy's Board of Governors (incidentally just one woman shy of being 50% women) was right to get this scandal off their plate immediately given that the Honorary Oscars are just around the corner. Who could be celebratory with anything like this depressing hurtful story on their minds? But on a deeper level they're taking a stand against the way Hollywood has been run for years. They state that they made the move in order to send a message:

The era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over.

Well done. 

Wednesday
Sep202017

Thoughts I Had... While Staring at "Wonder Wheel" and "Tomb Raider" Posters

by Nathaniel R

Movie posters aren't everything. In fact, it's arguable that they do little to change whether or not someone wants to see a movie, at least not half as much as a trailer, commercial, or recommendation might. Still, there's a certain thrill in looking at them if you love movies. Reactions can vary all the way from amping up excitement about a movie you're already interested in, to puzzlement and pondering over how anyone in Hollywood marketing departments keeps their jobs. Every reaction inbetween those two poles happens, too.

So let's look at new posters for Wonder Wheel and Tomb Raider after the jump with unedited thoughts as they come. (Please to do the same in the comments!)

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Sep122017

Vintage '85: Madonna, Stallone, Marty McFly, Golden Girls...

by Nathaniel R 

click on the image to embiggen

1985 is our "Year of the Month", as we work towards the Supporting Actress Smackdown (Sunday October 1st!). We'll be periodically peppering the blog with takes on showbiz from that year. But first a "TOTALLY 80s" overview of the year that was in movies, music, theater, and tv after the jump... 

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Sep062017

OTD: Yul Marries, Macy Screams, Fellini Premieres

on this day in showbiz-related history...

1944 Yul Brynner marries his first wife, actress Virginia Gilmore, in Los Angeles. They're both in their mid 20s. She's already made 15 movies but he's just starting out with two Broadway shows under his belt. Their marriage will last 16 years and they will have one child together. Rock Brynner (their son) will go on to write a book about his dad and their family history.

1954 Federico Fellini's La Strada premieres at the Venice Film Festival and goes on to win the Best Foreign Film Oscar. Fellini will go on to completely own that category, winning thrice more with The Nights of Cabiria (1957), 8½ (1963), and Amarcord (1974)

Macy Gray, The King's Speech, and more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Aug252017

Foreign Film Oscar Hopefuls with Matthias Schoenaerts & Diane Kruger

We have 10 official submissions for the foreign language race thus far. With the October 2nd deadline looming, expect more news regularly. As a quick reminder or 101 guide for newbies, to qualify for Oscar Foreign Race you have to a) open in your home country theatrically between October 1st of the previous year and September 30th of the Oscar submission year b) be chosen as the submission by your country (only one per country no matter how many films your country makes) and c) be in a non-English language for at least 50% of the dialogue and d) and this is where it often gets tricky... be primarily, on a creative level, from your submitting country. That is to say your cast or crew or at least your director needs to be from the country that's submitting you.

Official Submissions Thus Far

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Aug242017

OTD: The Whisperers, Marlee Matlin, and "The Power of Love"

On this day (August 24th) in showbiz-related history...

1890 "Father of modern surfing" and part time movie actor Duke Kahanamoku born in Hawaii. We've written about him before. Where's his biopic?

1967 The Whisperers premieres in London. It's about an old poor woman living in solitude who is beginning to lose her grip on reality. Dame Edith Evans sterling work was instantly lauded - she won Best Actress at Berlinale and from such disparate groups as the NYFCC, NBR and the Golden Globes. She landed her third and final Oscar nomination in the Best Actress lineup (sadly only the winner, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner's Hepburn, was less than superb in that shortlist!). At the time Evans was the oldest Oscar nominee of all time in any acting category having just turned 80 years old. That record has since been undone but she's still the third oldest lead actress nominee after Jessica Tandy for Driving Miss Daisy (also 80, who won) and Emmanuelle Riva for Amour (who was 85).  Have you ever seen The Whisperers? It's haunting and quite a time capsule of contemporary British cinema of the time. [And check out Nick Davis' 5 star review of this legendary performance]

1985 Huey Lewis and the News hit #1 with their theme from Back to the Future "The Power of Love". The music video had a cameo by the car and Christopher Lloyd's "Doc" though it was mostly just the band playing in a bar. Best Original Song was one of the film's 4 Oscar nominations (it won for sound effects editing).  In case you haven't yet heard, 1985 will be our "year of the month" in September as we build to the next Smackdown.

2012 Remember that movie where Michael Shannon was evil (wait, that's not helpful) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt was a bicycle messenger (now that's more specific). Premium Rush opened on this day. Isn't it weird how some movies, like that one, feel much more ancient than they actually are while others from years earlier feel fresh as daisies? 

Happy Birthday to Them!
Oscar Winner: Usurper of Kathleen Turner's and/or Sigourney Weaver's Best Actress statue. More generously we must admit that it's super impressive that Matlin trailblazed by refusing to be a one hit wonder, turning that splashy debut into such an unlikely but full career. She's been working ever since!
Oscar Nominees: Ava DuVernay (13th), Anne Archer (Fatal Attraction), Ronee Blakley (Nashville), Robert Pulcini (American Splendor)
Cool Talents: Actress Elizabeth Debicki, Wit Stephen Fry, Auteur Takashi Miike, Novelist A.S. Byatt
80s Touchstones: Steve Guttenberg (Cocoon, Can't Stop the Music, and so many more) and Gordon Wanecke (My Beautiful Laundrette!)