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Entries in Oscars (00s) (165)

Monday
Jun032019

Auditions: Betty's Audition in "Mulholland Dr"

Our new series from Ginny O'Keefe, who knows from auditions as an actress in Los Angeles...

One of the more iconic audition scenes in the past 20 years of film comes from a film that gives you a great sense of security and comfort before ripping the rug right out from underneath you. It’s David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive. Naomi Watts plays Hollywood hopeful, Betty Elms, fresh off the plane from Ontario, Canada. She dreams of being a successful actress and is staying in her Aunt Ruth’s awesome apartment (rent-free I might add) while she is away filming a movie. She’s got a big audition coming up for a movie (with some really cheesy dialogue) and has been practicing like a beast in order to land the part. One of the things we admire about Betty is that she actually puts in the work in order to make her dreams come true. Cut to...

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Wednesday
May292019

"Up"... but to where?

Pixar's Up was released 10 years ago on this very day (the counterprogramming at movie theaters was Drag Me to Hell so you had a vertical choice that day). It seems hard to imagine it now, given that animated films rarely have the Oscar impact these days that they did in a very brief window in the Aughts, but it was nominated for 5 Oscars: Picture, Screenplay, Sound Editing, Score, and Animated Feature, winning the latter two.

Q1: Would you have voted for it in any of its Oscar categories?

Q2: If you could be dragged away by balloons today to your dream destination, where would it be?

Tuesday
May282019

The New Classics - Y Tu Mama Tambien

Michael Cusumano here to add a title that is near and dear to my heart to the New Classics pantheon 

Scene: Epilogue
The Narrator in coming-of-age stories most often represents a grown-up version of the protagonist. Think The Sandlot or A Christmas Story, or the quintessential example, The Wonder Years, voices looking back, awash in nostalgia. In Alfonso Cuarón’s Y Tu Mamá También not only is the narrator not a character, but the voice is indifferent, even coldly clinical in its omniscience, as likely to note the fate of a passing group of wild pigs as to reveal the deepest secrets of the protagonists.

We get used to the voice as a welcome companion throughout the film. Its flat, objective viewpoint is a welcome respite from the main trio’s frequent emotional upheavals. Little do we realize we are being set up for the emotional gut punch of the film’s epilogue...

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Tuesday
May142019

50 Appropriate Ways to Celebrate Cate Blanchett on Her Birthday

by Nathaniel R

Blanchett last week at a Louis Vitton fashion showFuture screen giant and supreme actress Cate Blanchett was born in Ivanhoe Australia a half century ago on this very day. Happy 50th birthday, goddess!

Last year at this time we were enjoying the two time Oscar winner in Cannes every day as she led the most stylish jury ever assembled but this year in May we have no Cate Blanchett to enjoy! It's a weird lull in Blanchett-mania so perhaps she's celebrating her birthday somewhere private today? Or maybe she's in Cannes again? We'll see.

Her next picture, Richard Linklater's Where'd You Go Bernadette arrives in theaters in August but until that time, let's celebrate all the Blanchettian goodness we can. She's given us so much over the years, with her sharp celebrity wit, fashion savvy, and (above all else) her inspired screen performances. So herewith...

50 Appropriate Ways to Celebrate Cate Blanchett This Week
Try them and report back on your success!


01 Kneel before your queen.

02 Channel her by being intimidatingly perfect.

03 Wear something fabulous today but dont let it wear you; you ARE the red carpet. 

04 If you're not in the mood for beautiful dress, consider a stylish suit.

05 Describe someone you're crushing on as "flung out of space" and see how they react...

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Tuesday
May072019

The New Classics - Sexy Beast

Michael Cusumano here to revisit one of the most indelible performances of 2001 for our new series "The New Classics"...

Scene: Don Logan converses with his reflection

How many viewings of Jonathan Glazer’s Sexy Beast does it take before you realize Don Logan is the most sympathetic character in the movie?  

Don shows up in Spain with two missions: to reconnect with his old friend Gal, and to see if he has a shot with his lost love, Jackie. And what does he find? Not only does his friend attempt to blow him off, but the object of his affection is married to some spineless twit and can’t stand so much as to look at him. My heart goes out to the guy...

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Tuesday
Apr232019

The New Classics - Michael Clayton

Michael Cusumano here to christen my new series on future classics of the 21st Century with Tony Gilroy's 2007 legal thriller. In each episode we'll be discussing one great scene. 

The Scene: Karen Crowder’s Downfall 

How does the final scene of Tony Gilroy’s Michael Clayton work so well despite the wheezy cliché at its center? Secretly recording the villain’s confession is right up there with the Monologuing Killer on the list of tired plot devices. Yet when Clooney coerces Swinton into exposing her sins it doesn’t feel the least bit lazy. On the contrary: it’s electrifying...

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