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Entries in Oscar Trivia (211)

Friday
Jan162015

Supporting Actress: The Chart, The Poll, The Stats

It's funny how little news coverage there is now each time Meryl Streep breaks her own Oscar records. With her 19th nomination she's just 5 more away from DOUBLING the previous record holders (Jack Nicholson & Katharine Hepburn) whose record of 12 nominations she broke a dozen years back with Adaptation (2002), her 13th. Five would seem like a ridiculous number remaining to even mention (only roughly two dozen actresses have managed five nods in entire careers in the history of the world) but it's Meryl and she's nominated each time she makes a movie and makes them (almost) every year. Maybe she'll reach that big number before her 75th birthday in the summer of 2024?

Supporting Actress nonsense, The Arquettes, and more trivia after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan152015

Interesting Stats About The 87th Oscars

DuPont has something in common with those other sociopaths Lisbeth Salander and James BondDid you know...

• The tiny grossing Foxcatcher is now tied with two blockbusters Skyfall and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for "most nominations without a Best Picture nomination" in the modern Best Picture expanded era. The all time record holder if you include years with only 5 Best Picture nominees is They Shoot Horses Don't They from 1969 which received 9 nominations but not Best Picture. And that one is better than all of the actual Best Picture nominees from its year.

• Grand Budapest Hotel, a very atypical nominee in so many ways (comic, uber-stylized, filled with slapstick) is also the highest grosser currently. The Oscars went very small this year after a few years of big hits peppering their Best Picture lineup

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan152015

Best (Male) Directors - The Chart!

I wish I had time to sketch Wes Anderson riding to the Oscars on a bicycle made of antique tuba parts (thanks Tina & Amy) but alas. It's nomination day. No time for goofing around.

Manly men and the men who love them and direct them and vote for them to win miniature idols of gold men.

The Best Director chart is now up with details on the nominees and gives you the opportunity to vote for your favorite (the poll will be up until two days before the Oscars). If you fuse all the Best Directors together this year into one über Frankenstein director you get a 6 foot tall white brown-haired American man with some Norwegian/Mexican blood in him who's rapidly approaching his half century mark and who has made about 7 movies in his career all told. (There's no way to fuse these five men's temperaments and styles though... despite being very similar in age, height, and Oscar favor they have very different aesthetics and concerns as filmmakers)

On the new Nominated Directors chart, you'll aso learn how each man got his nomination*. Besides having penises that is. That goes without saying in this category so we left their penises off the chart.

• How much did Birdman's showbiz navel-gazing help Inarritu?
• Which was more important for Linklater: conception or execution?
• How crucial was that spring release to Budapest's overall success?
• And did Morten Tyldum benefit from Oscar's World War II fetish?

Find out on the chart! (More charts to follow)

* for entertainment purposes only you understand. We can't know what lurks in the hearts and minds of voters but we love pretending to!

Thursday
Jan152015

Why Wes, Why Now?

Michael C here. Wes Anderson’s films haven’t been ignored by awards season in the past, so much as they have been relegated to flitting around the edges. His films have received three total Oscar nods, two for Original Screenplay for Royal Tenenbaums and Moonrise Kingdom and one animated film nod for Mr. Fox. His most high profile wins have been a Gotham Award for Best Film for Moonrise and two Indie Spirit wins for Rushmore for Best Director and for Best Supporting Actor for Bill Murray who is in nearly all of his films.

Wes & Tilda on the set

Now that has all changed with Grand Budapest Hotel. No longer the strange side dish, Anderson’s nostalgic remembrance of a Europe that never quite existed has just finished a rampage through the precursors that culminated with Anderson’s first DGA nomination. Over the past few weeks buzz for Budapest grew steadily from “It might pick up a few nods” to “It looks like a lock for a Best Picture slot” to “Hey, it just might snatch the screenplay Oscar away from Birdman”. And today, incredibly, it LEADS the Oscar nominations with nine (tied with Birdman)

For those of us who have been on board with Anderson since the 90’s and have grown used to Anderson being underappreciated it’s hard not to wonder what exactly has changed. Why did Wes break through now when his films have been as good or better in the past? 

Five theories after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan012015

Happy New Year to the Oldest Living Oscar Peeps

I normally publish this list on Luise Rainer's birthday but having lost her just as 2014 ended after a year already marked by the loss of several screen giants including Mickey Rooney, Peter O'Toole and Joan Fontaine, we needed some positivity to kick off the new calendar!

Olivia de Havilland, two time best actress. She's still defiantly with us!

This semi-annual list of living Oscar-vets was never intended to be a morbid countdown list as a stray commenter or three has complained. Not at all! It's a way for us to honor people while they're still conscious of our appreciation for their indelible contributions to our favorite artform. Your assignment: pick six players here and during the year, rent a key film from each so that they can receive your telepathic waves of appreciation in 2015! (That's only 1 film every other month. You can do it!)

So our very best wishes of good health and happiness to the following actors, directors and craftsmen of all kinds in this new year...

100 OLDEST LIVING OSCAR NOMINEES/WINNERS
after the jump

01  Douglas Slocombe (2/10/13)
Imagine lighting that boulder rolling opening sequence of Raiders of the Lost Ark or the snake pit with torches! This nearly 102 year-old was up to the challenge. He also received nominations for Julia (1977) and Travels With My Aunt (1972). Other key works: The Lion in Winter (1968), The Great Gatsby (1974) and Rollerball (1975)

02 Elmo Williams (4/30/13) 
This centenarian won his golden statue for editing High Noon (1952) one of the earliest movies (though not the earliest) to be told in "real time." He was later nominated for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954). 

03  Olivia de Havilland (7/1/1916)
The oldest enduring movie star on this list - she turns 99 this year - won Best Actress twice by the time she was 33 for To Each His Own (1946) and The Heiress (1949). The Snake Pit (1948) and Hold Back the Dawn (1941) also won her nominations. Olivia's legend was cemented years earlier, though, with her first nomination as the kind-hearted "Melanie" in the immortal Gone With the Wind (1939). Only a few living actors with speaking roles from that historic film are still with us. Other Key Works: Maid Marian in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), My Cousin Rachel (1952), and Light in the Piazza (1962). More on Olivia.

97 more greats after the jump

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec302014

Luise Rainer (1910-2014)

Luise Rainer, Oscar's first back-to-back Acting winner for The Great Ziegfeld (1936) and The Good Earth (1937) was, for the past handful of years, perhaps better known for outliving everyone than for her brief movie stardom. She was just two weeks shy of her 105th birthday when she passed away early this morning of pneumonia. She is survived by her daughter and two granddaughters.

She was recently name-checked not so flatteringly in the Hollywood bio Hitchcock (2012) but the actress, still very much alive at the time, could surely roll with it. The outspoken import lived through tumultuous times, beginning her acting career on the German stage and screen before fleeing as Hitler consolidated power (she was Jewish) and then being sold to the American public as "The Viennesse Teardrop" because German wouldn't do back then. She quickly becoming a star while briefly marrying (unhappily) the playwright Cliff Odets who had several tumultuous affairs with famous actresses (as portrayed in Frances, 1982).

The outspoken diva was very vocal about what she thought of Hollywood, her unsatisfying career, and "The Oscar Curse" which she doesn't believe in though she admits that the back-to-back Oscars weren't at all helpful. The adulation prompted Hollywood to just throw her into anything, with no worries of miscasting or her own creative satisfaction.

Her career ended as swiftly as it began as she fought with the powers that be for more choice in her films. Soon she left Hollywood for New York and then London where she settled for good. 

I had a seven-year contract that I broke and went away. I was a machine, practically, a tool in a big, big factory, and I could not do anything. I wanted to film Madame Curie, but Mayer forbade me. I wanted to do For Whom the Bell Tolls, but Selznick took Ingrid Bergman and brought her to Hemingway and I didn't know Hemingway. And so I left. I just went away. I fled; yes, I fled."

She flew away to, by all reports, a happier life outside the spotlight. Her remarkable longevity and semi-regular all smiles appearances over the years suggests that she enjoyed it. 

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