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Entries in Oscars (70s) (127)

Monday
Feb272017

The New Norm of the Picture / Director Split

Chris here. Now that the Oscar closing shock has worn off (oh, wait it still hasn’t) let’s take a second to discuss the growing frequency of the Best Picture / Director split. This is now the fourth time in five years two different films have taken home the two biggest prizes - with 25% of all instances occurring in the past decade. Has a Best Picture / Director split become an Oscar new normal?

But the recent prevalence of the split might be more symptomatic of an Academy more bent on spreading the wealth. In fact, La La Land ties Fury Road as the most awarded film since Gravity - also rewarded on the Director side of the equation... 

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Feb192017

7 Days Until Oscar. Best Actress & Best Actor as a Package Deal

We're but one week from Hollywood's High Holy Night! With the magic number 7 today let's look at the 7 films which produced matching his & hers Oscars. This is, as you can surmise from the low number, an uncommon occurence! This rare feat requires so many perfect elements to be in place. Just being an iconic movie couple doesn't remotely cut it (notice how Gone With the Wind, Bonnie & Clyde, and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf don't appear to cite three quick examples) as it almost always requires two narratives beyond 'loving the film' as well as the absence of a formidable opponent without their own powerhouse narrative in not one but two separate categories.

Here are the 7 films which managed to win both lead acting Oscars... 

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Wednesday
Feb082017

18 Days Until Oscar. Nominations for Minors

Sal Mineo & Natalie Wood at the Oscars for REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (1955) one of only two years wherein two minors were nominated. The other is 1973As Sunny Pawar (Lion) can attest this Oscar season, being a cute kid with a preternatural gift in front of the cameras can only get you so far. A little further if you're a girl but still, the point is: it's not easy to be Oscar nominated when you're a minor. Think of the famous or iconic minor performances that DIDN'T snag nominations: Natalie Wood in Miracle on 34th Street, Elizabeth Taylor in National Velvet, Hayley Mills in The Parent Trap, Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz, Evan Rachel Wood in thirteen, Jacob Tremblay in Room and so on. 

On this 18th day before the Oscars let's quickly survey all the actors who managed a nomination before their 18th birthday!

There are 21 of them in total ... and almost 2/3rd of that number come from the Supporting Actress category which won't shock anyone who knows the Oscars and their double standards for men and women. But a few other statistics revealed might be more of a surprise...

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Wednesday
Jan042017

Throwback FYC: Carrie Fisher, 1977

While the Star Wars franchise didn't become or stay a global phenomenon on the strength of its acting, it did received one Oscar nomination in that arena: Sir Alec Guiness as Obi Wan Kenobi in Star Wars (1977). Later Sir Ian McKellen would pull off a similar trick for the Lord of the Rings franchise proving that it really helps to be a knighted acclaimed male thespian to get respect for genre films.

But Star Wars's Oscar campaign in 1977 (which resulted in 10 nominations, 6 wins, and a special non-competitive Oscar) did include the then 21 year-old Carrie Fisher. 

It's insane that our beloved Carrie Fisher was never Oscar nominated but that insanity stems not from Star Wars, however iconic Leia is and will continue to be, but from her infinitely quotable and self-deprecatingly delicious screenplay to Postcards from the Edge  (1990). Her significantly reworked adaptation of her own novel put nearly all of the actually Oscar-nominated screenplays that year to shame.

Joan Blondell in Opening Night (1977)We've already revisited the Supporting Actress race of 1977 in our "Smackdown" series* but there wasn't room for the braided bunned Princess that year even if you attempt to rejigger the category. For if you toss out a member of that uneven batch you've got to make room first and foremost for Joan Blondell's win-worthy work as an exasperated writer dealing with a addict of a leading lady in Opening Night. Come to think of it, and now I totally can't stop thinking about it, Carrie herself would surely have related like crazy to both sides of that volatile battle of artistic and destructive wills in the John Cassavettes film.

* yes, the series will return soon.

 

Thursday
Dec082016

Exactly How Rare / Precious is "La La Land"?

With La La Land opening tomorrow (go see it) we must discuss it's already combed over reception from film critics and awards pundits and the like. When La La Land took the Best Picture prize from the NYFCC last week, certain pockets of people were outraged. Suddenly it was a "safe" movie, middlebrow, something utterly and completely common. 'Boy meets girls. Boy loses girl. UGH Romantic Dramas, am I right?!' Awards season backlash and contrarianism is a real thing though people try to pretend it's not each and every year and consider their motives solely pure. I know I've been guilty of it myself. I trust exactly no one in the entire talking-about-movies ecosphere who claims they haven't. Awards season is like politics; It affects everyone, even or especially those who rage against it and claim it to be meaningless to them. File that type under "the lady doth protest too much".

Naturally I was quick to jump to La La Land's defense whenever this happened. This was not because I love it (which I do...but keeping it 100 it's not a Moulin Rouge! level masterwork or anything) or even because I am a die hard warrior for the musical form. No, I bristle solely because this stance is ridiculous. La La Land is absolutely the furthest thing from a "safe" or common movie. And how uncommon it is, after further research, was stunning even to me!

Some lists before the revelation... 

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct252016

Tues Top Ten: Helen Reddy on TV and at the Movies

Appropos of nothing let's celebrate Helen Reddy's 75th Birthday today! The Pete's Dragon star (the original not this year's remake) was an Australian pop star who had a ton of hits in the 1970s. The only one that gets much airplay today is "I Am Woman" which still shows up in movies and on TV for an instant time capsule. You know how some songs become cultural shorthand. For a time Reddy was a movie and TV presence, too, including at awards shows -- and you know how we love those here at The Film Experience. She was Golden Globe nominated as "Most Promising Newcomer" a now defunct category for the disaster flick Airport '75 and she sang multiple movie theme songs, too!

Let's look back at 10 moments from her TV/Movie history just for kicks and star sightings...

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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...

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