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Entries in Oscars (10s) (27)

Friday
Aug192016

Posterized: Natalie Portman

by Nathaniel R

Natalie Portman in a new photoshoot for Diorskin ForeverWhat odd careers child stars eventually look back on. Natalie Portman was an instant sensation when she appeared in The Professional as a junior assassin. When the film was released late in 1994, Natalie was just 13 years old. She became an instant favorite for directors filling their prestige ensembles and by the time she was 18 she was a leading lady and also the mother of Luke & Leia (though the Star Wars prequels contain her worst acting by far). By 23 she was a Golden Globe winner and by 29 an Oscar Best Actress champ. Afterwards she receded as so many actresses who win Oscars in their twenties do (what is there left to strive for?) presumably enjoying their riches and in some cases their new domesticity. Pregnant during her Black Swan Oscar campaign, Portman & her ballet world husband Benjamin Millepied are now the parents of a five year old and she's not seen in public nearly as often as she once was.

(Fun Trivia: did you know that Portman, Millepied and their son Aleph all have birthdays in a single week every June?)

After the jump posters from all of her theatrical releases, except the ones where she played herself or only appeared in cameo or in a section of an omnibus film, and a few notes on her filmography.

How many have you seen?

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Aug172016

120 Nominated Performances, Ranked. Who's Next?

As you will undoubtedly understand, I'm not up to speed at the moment. But I find a weird comfort in list-making and cine-dreaming, wondering what our next batch of Oscar contenders will look like. Will it be a great vintage or a weak one? Or, more usual, a weird combo of both. It's far too early to tell though we're hopeful. As I was wandering aimlessly around the web this morning I found this very enjoyable video from Ali Benz ranking all Oscar acting nominees this decade. Like a moving scrapbook of Oscar's classes for the past six years (2010-2015). Some things about the order make me so crazy but that is the joy and discussability of list-making. 

Here's the video and after the jump I'll rank them all myself. Busywork is good for me today.

120 Oscar-nominated Performances of the Decade - RANKED - from Ali Benzekri on Vimeo.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Aug122016

Posterized: Director Stephen Frears

Streep & StephenThe "Posterized" series has fallen into a 'totally inconsistent director' zone. Last week we looked at Woody Allen's filmography, full of impossible peaks and embarrassing valleys and everything inbetween. The 75 year old British director Stephen Frears hasn't had peaks that are quite as dizzy from the genius altitude but his valleys aren't as cringeworthy as Allen's, either. He's a safe middle distance director that critics and audiences and Oscar can all love, albeit not stay married to. He's made 22 features over the course of his long career which began with 1971's Gumshoe after which he disappeared into epidodic British TV for a decade or so until his movie career really started to sizzle; My Beautiful Laundrette put him on the global map. But did he ever really top that breakthrough?

For all the ups and downs that followed, the consistency is his love for actresses: he famously directed Helen Mirren to her Oscar, and he's worked with Glenn Close, Judi Dench, and Michelle Pfeiffer twice each.

It's a busy summer for Frears.  He's prepping a third feature with Judi Dench called Victoria and Abdul, he's added Meryl Streep to his grande dame arsenal via Florence Foster Jenkins, and he'll receive the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award at the 22nd Annual Sarajevo Film Festival which starts today.

All the Frears theatrical posters are after the jumpHow many of his films have you seen?

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Aug072016

Posterized: Woody Allen's Filmography

Will Cafe Society win Oscar attention? It certainly looks handsome.Woody Allen's Cafe Society is the prolific auteur's 46th full length theatrical feature. He's been so regular a presence at the movie theaters he even makes speedy Clint Eastwood look like a slacker. In fact, though he's got his first television series due in September starring himself, Miley Cyrus and Elaine May (the six episode season will be called Crisis in Six Scenes and debut on September 30th), it won't be slowing down his theatrical output since he's already working on the 47th feature as well (which will star Kate Winslet and Justin Timberlake as previously noted).

It's too early in Cafe Society's run to know where it will stack up in terms of success, but it appears to be tracking to be one of his mid-range pictures, the kind that do fine but are neither true hits nor flops. We shall see. But for now let's look back at that highly prolific theatrical career. His pictures have earned a total of 52 Oscar nominations and 12 wins and they were once so popular they finished in the top ten hits of the year (can you imagine? Ah the 1970s when moviegoers were far crazier about what they'd turn out for)

How many of his 47 films have you seen (we're including the omnibus film New York Stories because why not)? All the posters and waves of his career are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
May242016

In Happier Cannes Times

on this day in history as it relates to the movies...

1941 Bob Dylan is born in Minnesota, splinters into seven people in front of Todd Haynes' eyes.
1949 Jim Broadbent is born so that we might have Harold Zidler in Moulin Rouge! the film he should have won the Oscar for on the night he actually won the Oscar. Funny how that happens sometimes.
1960 Kristin Scott Thomas is born. Years later she can drop a room temperature or bring it to a boil onscreen in about 2 seconds. We miss her soooo much.
1972 Superhero Glut Producer of the CW, Greg Berlanti, is born.
1991 Thelma & Louise drove into theaters. You've been reading our 25th anniversary retrospective right? Part 3 hits today and we're having a blast revisiting.

2009 The White Ribbon finally wins Michael Haneke the Palme d'Or at Cannes. It goes on to two Oscar nominations for Foreign Film and Cinematography and becomes Haneke's most successful film globally, edging out the even greater Caché. It won't stay his most successful pic for long since Amour is just around the corner.
2011 This Sunday's Cannes results had the internet fuming (we won't know if the anger is justified until we see the movies) but five years ago Robert De Niro's jury gave us an astonishing roundup of winners at the 64th Cannes including The Tree of Life (Palme d'Or), Jean Dujardin in The Artist (Best Actor), Kirsten Dunst in Melancholia (Best Actress) and Nicolas Winding Refn for Drive (Best Director)

Saturday
May142016

Q&A: Everybody Wants Drop Dead Gorgeous Editing & Combative Personalities

It's the time again: Reader Questions hooray. I picked 8 to answer this week. Thanks to everyone who asked. I can't answer all but who knows - the unanswered might well inspire something down the road, conciously or otherwise. You never know...

MARSHA: Are people like Ted Cruz, Mitch McConnell, and Donald Trump just so evil and insane that they are beyond parody, or are there actors and directors you can think of who could convey their humanity and worldview?

NATHANIEL: Marsha, I promised I wasn't going to talk about politics until September, remember?!? Don't tempt me.  All I will say is that a great actor can perform magic even under impossible circumstances. Remember how deep Julianne Moore was able to go with Sarah Palin?

JB: Can we discuss Drop Dead Gorgeous. In spite of having all the right ingredients, it's never quite hit cult (gay) status like I always assumed it would. Why do you think that is?

lots more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar222016

Tues Top Ten: Best Performance of the Decade (Thus Far)?

Today's top ten was inspired by Robert MacFarlane who asked what the greatest performance of the decade was on twitter to a quick flurry of responses involving some usual suspects: Phoenix, Hoffman, Cotillard, Blanchett and some unusual suspects: O'Connell, Culkin, Pitt. But the question naturally lingered because who doesn't love ranking such unrankables?

Let's do this!

BEST PERFORMANCES OF THE DECADE (THUS FAR)
Ranking likely to change tomorrow. Oscar nominated roles marked with asterisk. Oscar winning roles with double asterisk 

Honorable Mentions (No Particular Order): Binoche in Certified Copy, * Keaton & Norton in Birdman, * Riva in Amour, ** Day-Lewis in Lincoln, ** Bale in The Fighter, * Rampling in 45 Years, and many others...

10 James Franco, Spring Breakers (2013) --look at his shittttttttt
09 * Marion Cotillard, Two Days One Night (2014) --transcendent
08 * Cate Blanchett, Carol (2015) --daringly stylized, mesmerizing
07 * Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom (2010) --she did a great thing, sweetie
06 Charlize Theron, Young Adult (2011) --the layers. the layers
05 * Viola Davis, The Help (2011) --smart. kind. important. (and other wonderful adjectives)
04 Matthew McConaughey, Magic Mike (2012) --lawbreaker in the house
03 Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy (2012) --Bless Charlotte Bless
02 ** Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine (2013) --from airplane to park bench, perfection
01 Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)


What are yours?