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Entries in Oscars (70s) (69)

Friday
Jan042013

Podcast: A Look Back... and Forward. (What Movies Should Inspire Future Films?)

new podcast!
In part two of the conversation which began with Django Unchained and random final Oscar hunches, we hear about four actors that Joe Reid plans to snub, revisit looooooong Best Pictures that Katey Rich hasn't seen (The Last Emperor anyone?), listen to Nick detailing Viola Davis' future, and learn why Nathaniel hopes Hitchcock will inspire more films like it... even though most people thought it was terrible. [44 Minutes. With Nathaniel, Nick, Katey, and Joe.]

Topics include:

  • Sixth spot snubs: Jennifer Ehle?
  • Most recent Best Pics that we've each missed from The Green Mile to The English Patient 
  • Susan Sarandon circa 1975
  • Second-Guessing: Anna Karenina, Take This Waltz, Moonrise Kingdom
  • 2012 Movies We Hope Inspire Future Movies from Magic Mike to... 21 Jump Street. (Hey, it was Channing Tatum's Year)
  • Queen of Versailles repurposed. Make your own movie! 
  • The Fog & Fatigue of Awards

You can download the podcast on iTunes or listen right here at the bottom of the post. Join in the conversation by commenting! 

 

2012 Inspirations. Future Movies and Retro Glories

Thursday
Dec202012

Premature Jessica Chastain Nostalgia. Is She Streep 2.0 ???

Remember when Jessica Chastain brought her grandma Marilyn to the Oscars in February?

What a sweet moment that was. Do you think she'll take her again this year?

What a difference a year makes, huh? Just last year we were wondering who she was and how she'd arrived to us so fully formed as an actress, and I had the pleasure of asking her just that shortly before she won her first nomination (Best Supporting Actress, The Help). This year she'll be fighting it out for the actual Best Actress trophy for Zero Dark Thirty.

Should Jessica be nominated in January (very very likely), one might even be tempted to think of her as Streep: The Next Generation. Meryl Streep is a tough act to be compared to but consider the similarities. Meryl Streep was a late arrival to the cinema (as actresses go) making her first motion picture in 1977 (Julia) in her late 20s after stage triumphs and degrees from Vassar and Yale. Jessica didn't arrive on movie screens until her early 30s last year though she had been filming movies since her late 20s (some of them were significantly delayed before release) after stage triumphs and an acting degree from Juilliard. By Streep's third year in the public eye she had co-starred in three Best Picture Nominees (Julia ,The Deer Hunter, and Kramer vs. Kramer -- the latter two won) and was a two-time Oscar nominee and winner and a full-fledged movie star. By Jessica Chastain's second year in the public eye she will have presumably co-starred in three Best Picture nominees (The Help, The Tree of Life, and Zero Dark Thirty) and become a two-time nominee.

The only thing missing in the comparison is a) the Oscar win for her second nomination which is a maybe at this point and b) the full fledged stardom. Chastain is definitely a known quantity now but not exactly a household name. Her films haven't had the seismic impact of Streep's breakthrough pictures -- The Deer Hunter and Kramer vs. Kramer were colossal hits of their day though The Help's box office reign last year was not unimpressive.

Jessica Chastain and her Take Shelter co-star Michael Shannon at a party for Zero Dark Thirty this week.

If Chastain wins this year, do you think she's got a triple the caliber of French Lieutant's WomanSophie's Choice and Silkwood, in her immediate future? Or is this way way way too much to ask? 

 

Monday
Nov192012

Jodie Foster in "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore"

For Jodie Foster Week I invited guests to talk about favorite Foster films. Here is one of my favorite authors Manuel Muñoz ("What You see in the Dark," "The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue") on a pre-Taxi Driver Scorsese/Foster collaboration. - Nathaniel R]


Coming up with another word for “precocious” is hard, since its precision begs no real qualification. The word bothers me a little as a go-to choice to describe Jodie Foster’s brief appearance in 1974’s Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. What are we seeing in her portrayal of a girl who dislikes her real name (Doris) so much that she ditches it in favor of another (Audrey)? I thought my pleasure in rewatching Alice would come in getting to see Foster in that vulnerable adolescence where few of us had learned to mask, moderate, or amplify our sexual identities. How much more apparent would this be on camera, especially when we, as viewers, sometimes willingly blur the lines between performer and performance?

I’m happy to come away from Alice seeing Doris/Audrey as more than a thinly written tomboy role... [More]

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Nov082012

Our Kind of Voting ~ Finale!

These were so much fun on election day (pt 1 & pt 2) that we'll do one more before we hunker down into this year's Oscars. Tell us who you'd vote for and why in these famously divisive and/or just plain fabulous Oscar categories.

BEST ACTRESS 1961
SOPHIA LOREN (Two Women) vs. AUDREY HEPBURN (Breakfast at Tiffany's) vs. NATALIE WOOD (Splendor in the Grass) vs. GERALDINE PAGE (Summer & Smoke) vs. PIPER LAURIE (The Hustler) 

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY 2007
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (Deakins) vs. THERE WILL BE BLOOD (Elswit) vs. ATONEMENT (McGarvey) vs. DIVING BELL AND BUTTERFLY (Kaminsky) vs. THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD (Deakins) 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR 1999
HALEY JOEL OSMENT (The Sixth Sense) vs. MICHAEL CAINE (The Cider House Rules) vs. TOM CRUISE (Magnolia) vs. JUDE LAW (The Talented Mr Ripley) vs. MICHAEL CLARKE DUNCAN (The Green Mile)

 

 

BEST PICTURE 1975
ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST vs. BARRY LYNDON vs. NASHVILLE vs. DOG DAY AFTERNOON vs. JAWS 

Can you even choose from all the awesome?

Tuesday
Nov062012

Our Kind of Voting Pt. 2

image shamelessly grabbed from My New Plaid PantsI'm feeling anxious today -- everyone around me is too.

We won't know who won the Presidential Election until late tonight but since all I can think of today is voting, we'll continue with our actual favorite kind of voting: Oscar voting.

Or, rather, retroactive hypothetical Oscar voting. See part one if you missed it or enjoy this exercize

So tell me who wins your vote in some of the most famously divisive, contentious, or just plain fabulous categories ever! Explain your choices in the comments.

2003 BEST ACTOR
SEAN PENN (Mystic River) vs. BILL MURRAY (Lost in Translation) vs. JOHNNY DEPP (Pirates of the Caribbean) vs JUDE LAW (Cold Mountain) vs BEN KINGSLEY (House of Sand and Fog)

1974 BEST ACTRESS
ELLEN BURSTYN (Alice Doesn’t…) vs. DIAHAN CARROLL (Claudine) vs. FAYE DUNAWAY (Chinatown) vs. VALERIE PERRINE (Lenny) vs. GENA ROWLANDS (A Woman Under the Influence)

1939 BEST PICTURE
GONE WITH THE WIND vs DARK VICTORY vs GOODBYE MR CHIPS vs LOVE AFFAIR vs MR SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON vs NINOTCHKA vs OF MICE AND MEN vs STAGECOACH vs THE WIZARD OF OZ vs WUTHERING HEIGHTS

2007 BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
CATE BLANCHETT (I’m Not There) vs. AMY RYAN (Gone Baby Gone) vs. SAOIRSE RONAN (Atonement) vs. RUBY DEE (American Gangster) vs TILDA SWINTON (Michael Clayton)

Ready? Set. Go!

Tuesday
Nov062012

Our Kind of Voting. Pt 1

I did my civic duty -- I amend, my civic pleasure at 7:40 AM this morning after about an hour of queueing. If you're from the US, get to it. VOTE. If you're not, well, this is a film site and film has no borders and no president... but it does have elections that everyone obsesses over.

So let's have fun with our other favorite kind of voting: Oscar voting.

Tell me who wins your vote in some of the most famously divisive, contentious, or just plain fabulous categories ever! Explain your choices in the comments.

1998 BEST ACTRESS
GWYNETH PALTROW (Shakespeare in Love) vs. CATE BLANCHETT (Elizabeth) vs. FERNANDA MONTENEGRO (Central Station) vs. MERYL STREEP (One True Thing) vs. EMILY WATSON (Hilary & Jackie)

Sunset Blvd is just out on Blu-Ray TODAY in a remastered edition with a ton of extras 1950 BEST ACTRESS
BETTE DAVIS vs. ANNE BAXTER (literally… in All About Eve) vs. GLORIA SWANSON (Sunset Blvd) vs. JUDY HOLLIDAY (Born Yesterday) vs. ELEANOR PARKER (Caged)

1993 SUPPORTING ACTOR
TOMMY LEE JONES (The Fugitive) vs. LEONARDO DICAPRIO (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape) vs. RALPH FIENNES (Schindler’s List) vs. JOHN MALKOVICH (In the Line of Fire) vs. PETE POSTLETHWAITE (In the Name of the Father)

1976 BEST PICTURE
ROCKY vs. ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN vs. BOUND FOR GLORY vs. NETWORK vs. TAXI DRIVER 

Who gets your vote now and did they always have your support in their races or have your allegiances shifted?

see also part 2

Tuesday
Oct302012

Oscar Horrors: Margaret White Burns in Hell

Just one more day of Oscar Horrors! On this penultimate day of the series, JA has an incredible take on one of our shared favorites, "Carrie". -Nathaniel

HERE LIES... or rather, HERE BURNS IN HELL... Margaret White, Piper Laurie's Supporting Actress nominated performance in Brian DePalma's 1976 film Carrie.

JA from MNPP here - the only thing more shocking to me than the fact that Piper lost the Oscar for Margaret White is the fact that nobody's covered this performance for this here Oscar Horrors series yet. You could just sit back and quote her lines and be done with it - "I can see you dirty pillows." "Pimples are the Lord's way of chastising you." "I liked it. I liked it!" What a grand time it'd be! It would be like any given evening in my house, really. But give me an excuse to watch Carrie for the 50th time, and I will bite.

Piper lost the Oscar to Beatrice Straight's very brief role in Network; I won't diss Straight because I like her and I like that performance (and I like her a few years later in Poltergiest even more)... but come on. 

Rewatching the film today I was reminded what a note-perfect line Laurie walks. Dances, really. In sensible witch shoes. Her Margaret White should be what you see when you look up "Jesus Freak" in the dictionary.

But while she's often criticized for being over the top (and it's not as if director Brian DePalma backs off that angle -- when Carrie tells her mother she's going to the prom, Piper repeats the word aghast - "Prom?" - which DePalma then gooses with some ever-so-subtle lightning and thunder) what I noticed today is it's Margaret's smallness and fear that reveals themselves between the hysterics, and become disturbingly palpable. She is in a battle with herself, the beleaguered Christian, trying to be all the God Warrior she can be, but her beaten-down daughter, meekness personified (Sissy Spacek giving one of the finest performances ever put on screen, if you ask me), begins to beat her back at every turn and she's entirely befuddled by it. You can sense she's felt this before - when her husband, the one with the stinking roadhouse whiskey on his breath, also driven nuts by her zealousness, up and took off. It must be the Devil! You can see the parts clicking into place in Laurie's performance as her confusion turns into its own sense - this is what she is here for. Calmness washes over her; she has found her life's meaning. And it's a serenity that's terrifying.

And that's the thing with this performance and why it continually rings true to me - in the twenty minutes or so of screen-time that Laurie has, she simultaneously charts not just a broad portrait of religious fervor driven way off the deep end, but the pinpoint center wherein stands a very small very frightened woman, deranged by her own terror of abandonment. Once was enough, twice is too many, and she will drag her daughter straight to Hell before she ever lets go.

 

Monday
Oct222012

Monologue: "Lousy Lay"

I was married for four years and pretended to be happy and had six years of analysis and pretended to be sane. My husband ran off with his boyfriend and I had an affair with my analyst who told me I was the worst lay he'd ever had. I can't tell you how many men have told me what a lousy lay I am. 

Click to read more ...

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