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Entries in Oscars (70s) (122)

Friday
Mar112016

Posterized: Hello, her name is... Sally Field 

M'lynn. Gidget. Norma Rae. The Flying Nun. Sybil. Edna Spalding. Mary Todd Lincoln. Mrs Gump. We know her by many names but the one we'll always love best is "Sally Field," perfectly stage-name appropriate for instant recall and audience adoration... and also her real name since birth. 

Though she's been famous for literally half a century (!) she hasn't always been properly appreciated... a common fate for stars whose work looks effortless and who excel in "light" genres like dramedies and romantic comedies. But we like her. We really really like her. Don't you?

Her biggest hits: Forrest Gump, Mrs Doubtfire, Hooper, Lincoln, Steel Magnolias, and literally every film she made with Burt Reynolds from 1977-1980 -- audiences couldn't get enough of them together back then. Most frequent co-stars: Burt Reynolds (4), Jeff Bridges, Michael Caine, Dom de Luise, Tom Hanks, Ed Harris, and Tommy Lee Jones (2). Awards haul: 3 Emmys, 2 Oscars, 1 SAG, 2 Golden Globes, 2 NYFCC, and for Norma Rae a bunch of one time prizes... Cannes, NSFC, NBR, and LAFCA

But let's talk about you + Sally. Do you   ? How many of her film roles have you seen? All 30 are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Dec192015

Star Wars & Oscar. How Will "The Force Awakens" Fare? 

The second that people started realizing that everyone was actually loving the new Star Wars episode, you could feel the Oscar buzz wave building and building and broke with lots of "Best Picture nomination! demands online. The BFCA even announced a ridiculously embarrassing extra ballot measure to ask the members if they'd like to add the movie into their Best Picture lineup after the fact. In short: no one will ever take this group seriously again. (Sigh) 'The Force Awakens will be swimming in Oscars!' the internet seems to have proclaimed en masse.

But not so fast young padewans.

Oscar nominations can prove elusive, especially for franchises, family films, and genre films three groups to which Star Wars belongs. People will cite "Oscar voters grew up with the franchise -- they'll be nostalgic!" but, consider: I grew up with the franchise. I loved episode 7. And I wouldn't vote for it. 

This is not to say that I would make a typical Oscar voter. I would not. But typical Oscar voters tastes lie somewhere in the space between critics and general audiences. Put more plainly: there's a difference between totally enjoying a spectacle and wanting it honored as the very "Best" of its year.

Let's look back at Star Wars Oscar history to get some clues as to how The Force Awakens will fare after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Aug292015

Autumn Sonata: Ingrid's Swan Song 

Happy Ingrid Bergman Centennial! The great movie star was born 100 years ago on this very day in Stockholm, Sweden. Jose closes out our 10 film retrospective with a look at her final feature film - Editor

Jose here. True story: there was a time when I thought Ingrid Bergman and Ingmar Bergman were the same person. Not because I had seen Persona and dreamt of metaphysical unions between both great Swedes, but merely because I was a child.

I first laid eyes on Ingrid on the box of my grandma’s tape of Casablanca, when I was 6, and there was something about those eyes filled with longing and sorrow that one day drew me to insert the tape into the player. Bewitched by the earthy qualities and the warmth she exuded, I devoured as many of her films as I could get my hands on, until one day I heard someone talk of Ingmar. Convinced that it was merely a mispronounced version of Ingrid’s name I remained oblivious until the day I saw The Seventh Seal at age 12. The more I learned of Ingmar’s work in the following years, the less I thought there would be room for Ingrid in his world of damaged, oft cold human beings.

Then I watched Autumn Sonata and not only did she make sense in Ingmar’s universe, it seemed to be the place she was born to be in. Playing world famous pianist Charlotte Andergast, the director allowed her beautiful features to reflect a severity she had merely suggested in earlier roles during her career, as if she chose not to be breathtaking. The film has Liv Ullmann play Charlotte’s daughter Eva, who resents her mother for not having been around much when she was a child. To say that their exchanges are unkind would be an understatement, when every word seems like a dagger aimed for the ultimate kill.

Cinema's Legendary Bergmans. No relation.

Ingmar’s kind of existentialism often drew from his own life, but in Autumn Sonata he seems to have made a film all about Ingrid. For starters, the very notion of a mother abandoning her children was something that allegedly tormented Ingrid who left her own child in America to pursue a relationship with director Roberto Rossellini in the 1950s, in traditional Bergman fashion though, Charlotte isn’t entirely filled with regret though, and she seems pleased with having Eva’s contempt, rather than having spent her life pretending she wanted to be with her children. It’s a bold performance that breaks from the nurturing qualities Ingrid had shown all throughout her career.

Charlotte turned out to be the Oscar winner’s big screen swan song, she would then go into semi-retirement only to act in a Golda Meir biopic that would win her an Emmy and a Golden Globe, but her work in Autumn Sonata makes for a beautiful bookend when juxtaposed with her first big role in Intermezzo. In fact, we could propose a theory that Charlotte is another version of Intermezzo’s Anita Hoffman, in fact she could even be the same woman, a professional musician who realizes her art is more important than anything else in the world, after being subjected to endless heartbreak at the hand of the man she loves. It’s a thing of beauty to realize that she had been showing us shades of Charlotte more than 40 years before. Could it be that Ingmar had seen Intermezzo as a young man and dreamed this part for his leading lady before he began his own career? Even though Ingrid and Ingmar weren't the same person after all, they were meant to do transcendental art together all along.

previouslyIntermezzo (1939), Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde (1941), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1942), Notorious, (1946), Joan of Arc (1948), Journey to Italy (1954), Indiscreet (1958), The Inn of Sixth Happiness (1958), Cactus Flower (1969) and 10 Best Ingrid Bergman Kisses (1935 through 1970)

Friday
Aug282015

Murder on the Orient Express: Ingrid Bergman steals the show - or does she?

We're near the end of Ingrid Bergman's career so here's the penultimate episode in our retrospective. Happy 100th to the superstar on August 29th. Here's Lynn Lee...

 

By 1974, Ingrid Bergman was a grande dame of film in the twilight of her career, with two Best Actress Oscar wins under her belt, and nothing left to prove.  Perhaps that’s why she deliberately opted for such a small part in the star-studded Murder on the Orient Express, despite director Sidney Lumet’s attempts to coax her into taking a bigger one.  And yet, despite her own efforts to stay out of the spotlight, it found her anyway, with her tiny role as a mousy, middle-aged Swedish missionary netting her an unlikely third Oscar.

We don’t see too many movies like Orient Express these days – A-list extravaganzas where most of the stars end up with little more than glorified cameos but just seem to be in it for fun.  And to be fair, the movie is fun and directed with flair, even as it plays up the absurd theatricality of the whodunit setup – something that doesn’t register as strongly when you’re reading Agatha Christie’s plummy prose.  It’s a bit much at times...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Aug222015

Peter Bogdanovich Gives Good Quote

on the set of What's Up Doc (1972)Peter Bogdanovich, one of the leading directors of the early Seventies, has finally made another movie at 76 years of age. She's Funny That Way, which stars Jennifer Aniston and opens today, is his first since The Cat's Meow (2001) with Kirsten Dunst. His career has been very quiet since his last true hit (Mask, 1985) but he hasn't been.

Bogdanovich's lack of inhibition when talking to the press has surely caused him problems in his career, but it's a source of joy for movie fanatics.It's all too rare to get unmassaged opinions from powerful artists who aren't worried about ruffling the feathers of other artists.

He just gave good quote to the Hollywood Reporter on Barbra Streisand in What's Up Doc? (1972) who originally wanted to do a drama with him instead of a comedy, Cher in Mask (1985) --  he doesn't exactly flatter her but to say he believes she should have won the Oscar that year, and making Paper Moon (1973) with the O'Neal's. That's our favorite of his pictures as you probably noted during the 1973 Smackdown last year.

But his quote on The Last Picture Show (1971) is the best:

[The scene in which] Cloris Leachman [who won the best supporting actress Oscar for her role] throws that coffee pot and yells at Timothy Bottoms — Cloris did it brilliantly. She wanted to rehearse it and I kept saying, “I don’t want to rehearse it; I want to see it for the first time when we actually roll.” I had learned that idea — to not let the actors show you an emotional scene before they shot it — from John Ford through Henry Fonda. It was Hank Fonda who told me that for the big climactic scene with the mother in The Grapes of Wrath, [Ford] wouldn’t let the actors play it for him — he wanted it to be fresh when they did it and of course he used the first take.

So I said, “Action!” and she was extraordinary. [But] she said, “I can do it better.” I said, “No, you can’t; you just won the Oscar.” And to this day — Jeff Bridges told me that he [recently] ran into Cloris and that she said, “Oh, I’m so angry at Peter. That was the first take. I could have done it better.” And Jeff said: “Oh, Cloris. You won the Oscar!”

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