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Entries in Oscars (24)

Monday
Mar062017

Beauty vs Beast: Savors & Sinners

Jason from MNPP here feeling hysteria and heresy running through my veins on this Monday morning. I got to see Ken Russell's 1971 film The Devils on a big screen again this weekend (one of the benefits of living in a city the size of NYC is this chance happens every couple of years, and I grab the chance every damn time).

It being what it is (translation: a Ken Russell movie) the experience kind of infiltrates your consciousness for a little while. You close your eyes and all you can see is Oliver Reed beating his big burly man chest and Vanessa Redgrave twisting her humped and habited self into knots... it's not a bad place to be in, honestly. I must like it - I keep going back. Anyway as long as we're for the moment happily poisoned by the mad nuns of Loudun we figure we'll drag y'all there today too with this week's "Beauty vs Beast"...

PREVIOUSLY We waved goodbye to this year's Oscars and its closing SNAFU, making you choose sides between the former Bonnie & Clyde at the maelstrom's center -- you came down with Faye Dunaway (that makes her sound like a disease) to the tune of 58% of the vote. Said brookesboy:

"Have to pick Faye. She is a legend and I love her. I love Warren too, but I agree with those who say he saw the card first and should have signaled to the stage hand right away. Faye was impatient because it was going on too long. But neither are at fault. This should never have happened. No matter how terrible this fiasco, they both looked great and got to present Best Picture. How very cool. They should always only have classic Hollywood stars presenting Best Picture. That needs to be a rule."

Monday
Feb272017

Beauty vs Beast: Bonnie & Clyde's Last Stand

Jason from MNPP here continuing the talk of last night's big events - specifically the biggest, the corker, the one for the ages, when Warren Beatty rammed the wrong envelope into Faye Dunaway's hands and just made her deal with it. (Something tells me Annette Bening is the one who calls the plumber and writes the checks in that household.) Or was Warren just too scared of Faye to speak up? Don't fuck with her, fellas - if Faye was eyeballing me like that I might crumble to dust too.

Or perhaps it was a Russian conspiracy that will be solved when we finally see Donald Trump's tax returns? So many possibilities, and it's clearly a bit rude to lay any real blame for a dumb mistake at the feet of Faye & Warren, who were after all standing there in the hot glare of two billion eyeballs with a ticking little paper time-bomb in their hands.... but here we are.

PREVIOUSLY For Valentine's Day we wiped our brains clean with the quirky romance of Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine, and of course Kate Winslet won but I'm proud of you guys for making it closer than it could have been - she only took 58% of the vote. Said Scott:

"Clementine. In real life she would drive you insane. Onscreen you can't tear your eyes away."

Tuesday
Feb072017

Pictures from the Oscar Luncheon

by Murtada

The question on a lot of people’s minds after the SAG Awards is how political are the Oscars going to be. If there was any doubt in anyone’s mind, Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs put that to rest. Addressing those gathered for the traditional luncheon, she alluded to the banned Muslim nominees, Asghar Farhadi and others, by pointing to the empty chairs:

Today we celebrate you. Your work and your achievements, but everyone knows there are some empty chairs in this room which has made Academy artists, activists. There is a struggle globally today over artistic freedom that feels more urgent than at anytime since the 1950s. Art has no borders. Art has no language and doesn’t belong to a single faith. No, the power of art is that it transcends all these things. And strong societies don’t censor art. They celebrate it.

By calling the nominees “activists”, Boone Isaacs is sanctioning political speeches at the ceremony which could make for an interesting show. Still the mood was not somber at the luncheon, and many nominees took the time to socialize. Isabelle Huppert and Michelle Williams caught up at the cocktail hour. Others did that even while taking their places for the annual class photo. More favorite moments after the jump.

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Friday
Sep092016

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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Monday
Mar072016

Beauty vs Beast: Man Made Woman

Jason from MNPP here, hoping y'all have by now nursed your Oscar hangovers from last week, whether literal or figurative, and are feeling at least somewhat happy about what won (or maybe what didn't win - no judgment here) this year. I go into the show as cynical as a storm cloud every year but there was a long stretch in the middle of the show, as Mad Max swept up everything in sight like one of its desert twisters, where I was making many happy noises, and that's as good as it ever gets.

But my happiest noise of all issued forth (kind of an ecstatic coo, you might call it) at the night's biggest surprise, which our friend Manuel gave good love to right after the show -- Ex Machina's out-of-nowhere win for Best Special Effects over a crowd of popular behemoths. Those gears glowing and shimmering inside Ava's mid-section were low-key, gorgeous movie magic, and there's one image in the film (of a robot's self-abuse) that I won't be forgetting any time soon.

That said it seems time to finally place the Woman against her Maker here in our "Beauty vs Beast" series; I'd have nominated both of these actors for their performances myself, so this will contest of ours have to suffice...

It's been a couple of weeks since our last edition, which faced off the Witches of Oz in honor of the release of The Witch, but I don't know about you - I still haven't stopped thinking and talking about The Witch. Anyway as for Oz it was a blow-out for her beautiful wickedness herself - The Wicked Witch of the West walked away with over 80% of your vote! Take that, goody-two-shoes Glinda. Said Yavor (sharing the sorts of factoids that make TFE great):

"Nicole Kidman says that watching the WWOTW was what first made her want to act."

Wednesday
Feb172016

HBO’s LGBT History Oscar Break: 1993 Supporting Acting Races

Manuel is working his way through all the LGBT-themed HBO productions.

 Last week we looked at some of HBO’s period dramas to see how LGBT characters fared in ancient Rome, New York in the 1920s, and in the wild wild west. But now, we’re taking a two-week hiatus to play a game I like to call “Oscars What If…”

HBO has been producing great films for decades now and give or take an Elephant, they’ve been content to solely screen their made for TV movies on their network without any theatrical release. (Curiously, their documentary branch has been more eager to nab gold, understanding perhaps that statuettes can do wonders for that genre’s visibility). And, really, some years, you’re just left wondering how certain performances and films from HBO’s roster could have crashed that year’s Oscar race.

The two most obvious recent examples are Grey Gardens in 2009 and Behind the Candelabra in 2013 — the latter you’ll remember was actually eligible at the BAFTAs where Matt Damon scored a Best Supporting Actor nomination. Could they really have pushed Barrymore, Lange, Douglas, or Damon to a nomination? But those races remain much too recent, and have in themselves sparked the type of discussion in their respective comment threads that inspired me to take this detour as we focus on Oscar these weeks. And so, I went as far back as I could find a viable Oscar player which coincidentally features two also-ran nominees from this year.

More after the jump

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Monday
Nov102014

Stockholm Film Festival: Turkey's Oscar Entry Soars

Glenn has been attending the 25th Stockholm Film Festival as a member of the FIPRESCI jury. Here he is to discuss Turkey’s 2014 Oscar submission, Winter Sleep.


There’s a moment over an hour into Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Winter Sleep where two of the main characters finally strip away the societal niceties that their relatively comfortable existences requires of them and they reveal their true feelings about one another. Some might suggest that the scene, fraught with simmering tension and explosive drama, comes too late in the picture – it effectively kicks off the second act – and that Ceylan’s film could have easily had 20 or 30 minutes shaved from its runtime. I wouldn’t argue that these people are wrong; at 196 minutes, Winter Sleep is the one percent of film lengths of 2014 (only Lav Diaz’s Norte is a longer new release if I am remembering correctly). Still, I found the majority of Ceylan’s Palme d’Or winner to be thoroughly engaging and surprisingly scintillating given its subject matter.

The plot of Winter Sleep sounds like a parody. Perhaps a sketch from Saturday Night Light making fun of Upper West Side noddies who’ll go and watch three hours of subtitles. Or maybe it’s a Woody Allen gag. Either way, there’s no getting around the fact that Winter Sleep is about a man, a former actor and now the writer of a rather pompous newspaper column and owner of a sleepy hotel in the Anatolian hills, and several of his acquaintances discussing ethics and morals. There is his younger wife who has grown increasingly attached to a local group raising funds for the community, his sister with an alcoholic ex, a best friend, a tenant who’s late on his rent check, and various constituents that he has decided he lords over due to his wealth and status. ...more after the jump

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