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Entries in Oscars (70s) (140)

Monday
Mar272017

On this day: Gloria Swanson, Typhoid Mary, and Sacheen Littlefeather

On this day in history as it relates to showbiz...

Gloria Swanson surrounded by herself in SUNSET BLVD

1898 Oscar winning costume designer Norma Koch is born. She designed the costumes on both of the main movies that Feud: Bette and Joan revolves around, winning for Baby Jane though Feud seems to hand the costuming credit on that movie over to Bette Davis
1899 The iconic Gloria Swanson (Sunset Blvd) is born...

Click to read more ...

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... 

Click to read more ...

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...

Click to read more ...

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 ...