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Entries in Oscars (80s) (113)


Women's Pictures - Mira Nair's Salaam Bombay!

When beginning a month long retrospective of Mira Nair, there probably isn't a better intro than the opening of Salaam Bombay!: A brightly colored circus, a stonefaced child left behind, a train ride to the bright streets of Bombay. Nair's films are eye-catching spectacles that find the beautiful in the mundane. But her playfulness is sharply contrasted with the real issues her films address. Salaam Bombay! is an observation of the secret world of the often-overlooked children living on Bombay's streets that balances bright visuals with social realism in order to paint a complex picture of Indian homeless youth.

Mira Nair's first feature follows a closeknit group of kids living between the cracks of Bombay city. The stonefaced boy at the beginning is Krishna (Shafiq Syed), who goes for an errand for the circus owner and comes back to discover that his temporary home with the circus has left without him. Krishna makes his way to Bombay, which is as colorful as the circus, but also more dangerous. Krishna eventually gets a job selling tea, and falls in with a group of urchins. He befriends a drunk, a prostitute, and her daughter. He's illiterate but street smart and is trying to save the unimaginable sum of 500 rupees to bring back to his mother - though he's not sure where he is. But don't mistake Krishna's story for a Dickensian tale of woe. Salaam Bombay! is not melodrama. Nair approaches her subject with empathy and curiosity, and gets the children to open up to her as well.


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Q&A: Hotel's Casting, Woody's Men, Oscar's Quartets

It's time for our semi-weekly Q&A session. Let's just jump right in since there was no uniting theme this time. If I didn't answer your question, apologies. I select by a very scientific process of Which Ones I Feel Like Answering. 

Jeff Daniels should've been Oscar nominated for The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)LIZZY: What are your favorite male performances in Woody Allen films?

Hee. So typical that I've never even thought of this before as the ringleader of Actressexuality. Let's see. Towering above them all has got to be Jeff Daniels in The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985). Both Mia and him should have been nominated that year at the Oscars with threats to win. It's such a delicately specific, stylized, and endearing performance in a movie that's aged superbly well. Completing a top five in no particular order I'd go with: Woody himself in anything/everything between 1977-1986, Max von Sydow in Hannah and Her Sisters, Corey Stoll in Midnight in Paris, and Chazz Palminterri in Bullets Over Broadway. But I really had to think on this one... his movies are all about the women, for all his neurosis and intermittent misogyny and/or misanthropy.

It's true. The only man who's ever won an Oscar for acting in a Woody (Michael Caine in Hannah and Her Sisters) is not one I'm particularly fond of. I wouldn't call myself allergic to Michael Caine but he's in the "don't quite get the appeal" column of legendary actors. 

PATRYK: Do you consider Kate Winslet's performance in Steve Jobs annoying? I was surprised how drastically her accent changed. Shame on the Academy if she wins on a tag-a-long nomination instead of someone like our Elizabeth Banks, who might actually be a real contender without tag-a-long Winslet and fraudulent Vikander and Rooney. 

No. I thought Kate was great in the movie. Yes, the accent was dodgy but I've already explained why I'm okay with that. Otherwise she really nailed the most important part: a psychic kind of work wife connection to Fassy's Jobs. I also agree that Banks was fabulous in a potentially dull/underwritten part in Love & Mercy but I'm not so sure she isn't the lead of that movie. I'd like to see it again before determining. 

TYLER: What is your favorite film set in New Orleans?

the answer (not Interview with a Vampire) and enticing Oscary questions after the jump

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Top Ten '86 Flashback. Plus A Room With a "Best Shot"!

We've done a terrible job of having top tens ready for you every Tuesday so here's a quickie from 1986 since it's Best Shot time again.

Top Ten Films of 1986

  1. A Room With a View (James Ivory)
  2. Aliens (James Cameron)
  3. Hannah and Her Sisters (Woody Allen)
  4. Little Shop of Horrors (Frank Oz)
  5. My Beautiful Laundrette (Stephen Frears)
  6. The Fly (David Cronenberg)
  7. Betty Blue (Jean-Jacques Beineix)
  8. Peggy Sue Got Married (Francis Ford Coppola)
  9. Parting Glances (Bill Sherwood)
  10. The Mosquito Coast (Peter Weir)

Disclaimer: I haven't seen many of these films in a very long time. I am sure there are major titles I should reconsider or see for the first time since I wasn't seeing movies as voraciously back then. 

What does your top ten from that year look like?

Basically the top three there are "all-timers" for Nathaniel, not just for an annual list. And yes yes, I'm aware that IMDb considers the James Ivory classic a 1985 movie but that's stupid because it did not open that year. It opened nowhere that year. It opened in both its home country of the UK and in the USA and then spread to other countries in the early summer of 1986. It was a big deal, crossing over from the arthouse and justly receiving a slew of Oscar and BAFTA nominations (and actual statues, too). If you've never seen it, I envy you your first time. 

Please click over to see the choices and read these articles. My choice will be up tomorrow so if you're running late you still have time! REPULSION, our finale of the season, will also be delayed two days (you have until Thursday the 29th to post your choice) because we have a sudden trip to London for The Danish Girl interviews this weekend so Tuesday will be impossible.


The film is never lacking for gorgeous imagery, with even the most perfunctory medium dialogue shots being frames you want to live inside.


The fact that it's a depiction of a literal room with a view wasn't part of my calculation


When my mind and body long for relaxation and comfort, I usually swing the ‘costume drama’ window wide open and let it soothe my soul... 


Loved every preening, posh second of Daniel Day-Lewis's performance.


Maggie Smith, she’s the ultimate symbol of the film’s humor, making (poor) Charlotte Bartlett into one of her most remarkable creations and an indispensable part of the film’s comedic construction.


If it wasn’t for the costumes and some of the dialogue, the movie could have been set in almost any time period...


Like many films chosen for this series, A Room with a View is a film I had meant to see sooner, but just never got around to it. 


Oh look!...

Exactly! Look at these movies. Pick a shot. Repulsion (1965) starring Catherine Deneuve is next on October 29th.


Random List-Mania: 40 Best Original Movie Songs of the 1980s

We did this once for the 1990s and you loved it, so here's round two. 

Young Oscar fanatics might not have tripped over this tidbit yet but in the 1980s they were still giving out an award for "Original Song Score" - an old vestige category of the decades when a dozen plus movie musicals arrived each year. Three of these Oscars were handed out in the 1980s for Victor / Victoria (1982), Yentl (1983) and Purple Rain (1984).  None have been handed out since even though it's technically still a category... just not one that they invoke anymore. Though it's a pity they didn't consider giving one to Moulin Rouge! or Hedwig and the Angry Inch for 2001 as the category can also be awarded to "Adaptation Score"

The presence of this category in the early 80s probably explains why Purple Rain and Victor/Victoria had no "Original Song" nominees in their years (why double dip?) but it does not explain why Yentl had nominations in both categories. Because of these films I only allowed myself 2 songs per movie so as not to let these five films hog this entire list.

Beautiful Song Craft and/or Cheesy Epic Ballads For the Wins
* Oscar nominee | ** Oscar winner 

  1. "Nine to Five"* -Nine to Five (Dolly Parton)
  2. "Le Jazz Hot" - Victor/Victoria (Henry Mancini)
  3. "Purple Rain" - Purple Rain (Prince)
  4. "Into the Groove" - Desperately Seeking Susan (Madonna)
  5. "Xanadu" - Xanadu (Jeff Lynne)
  6. "Fame"** - Fame (Michael Gore & Dean Pitchford)
  7. "When Doves Cry" - Purple Rain (Prince)
    33 more numbers after the jump...

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Bring Link On

Mic Manuel on the transgressive feminism of Bring it On 15 years later
Grantland Mark Harris on four takeaways from this summer's box office - great piece as usual
Stuff this piece is old but I was shocked to learn (sorry if I'm way late) that the 80s posters (like Madonna's debut album) in A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night weren't real. I loved that vampire bedroom!
Awards Daily reshares the Lady in the Van trailer. I guess it's back on for 2015? Such a crowded year for Best Actress already but I'm expecting an onslaught of "weak year for best actress" pieces any moment since we get those every year even when it's a good one
A Fistful of Films shares his personal awards from 1988 - fun choices including Married to the Mob and Salaam Bombay both of which are underloved 

Empire I'm trying to avoid reading about the new Star Wars -- doesn't anybody like to be surprised in the movie theater anymore? -- but I ended up clicking on this piece about Kylo Ren (with the jagged lightsaber) and now I'm more excited about the premise behind the villains
Empire Léa Seydoux offered female lead in Channing Tatum's Gambit
Pajiba catches us up on what's going on with Tom Hardy's TV projects including a new one called "Taboo". (Somehow Tom Hardy is making time for TV every year despite his ever increasing In-Demandness in big movies, too)
Guardian the great Jacques Audiard will make his English Language debut with The Sisters Brothers. John C Reilly headlines. Audiard's past leads have tended to be fascinating dangerously sexy actors like Matthias Schoenarts, Romain Duris, Vincent Cassel and Tahar Rahim. John C Reilly as follow up? 

Stage Door
Playbill Kevin Bacon will star in a stage adaptation of Rear Window in October.
THR fun guests at Taylor Swift's Monday concert including Ellen Degeneres
Playbill Top US colleges for Theater Majors? from NYU to Florida State via the highly specific metric of which colleges are represented on Broadway right now
Theater Mania Steven Pasquale on a painful audition. He has been working on stage and TV forever and somehow people don't realize how incredible his singing voice is. Movie musical please.

"Rock Dentistry" fun tumblr of the moment 
The Poke lost Stephen King books recovered. Need to read "Brian's Arse"
EW "how the internet would have GIF'ed the first MTV Music Video Awards" - the title is more exciting than the GIFS chosen but a highly worthy topic and of course, the internet would have GIF'ed the hell out of Madonna's "Like a Virgin" 
"Hi, I'm Marvel... and I'm DC"



Beauty Break: John Huston & The Huston Dynasty

Today is the 109th birthday of the famed director John Huston. Of course he died long ago, just a few weeks after this picture with his daughters Allegra and Anjelica was taken in fact, at the age of 81. But what a filmography! And what a showbiz family.

The Hustons are one of the rare families with multiple Oscar-winning generations. They're also ridiculously photogenic, with faces that march straight past traditional pretty with strong noses held high as if they can't be bothered with generic beauty standards. Their faces fascinate. They have character. They're ideal for storytelling. More...

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Hit Me With Your Best Shot: "Amadeus" (A Visual Index)

For this week's Best Shot topic, Milos Forman's scrumptious musical duet between jealous Salieri and genius Wolfgang. It was called Amadeus and it was very very good and very very popular -- raking in big box office, too. Though it never landed in the box office top five it had major legs and ended its reign as the 12th highest grosser of 1984.

The music drama won 8 Oscars (from 11 nominations) but curiously one of the prizes it lost was cinematography! The DP was Miroslav Ondrícek who had also been nominated for the previous Milos Forman picture Ragtime (1981).

Amadeus is so visually luxurious that I figured it would be a hard assignment and these eight images surprised me and I can't wait to dig into the articles. Unfortunately I had a computer mishap -- something is not working about my screengrab program (argh-the timing) -- so my own pick for Amadeus will have to wait. But please do read these articles and consider the visual choices. I'm not even going to attempt to put these in chronological order. It's a massive three hour film with lots of performances and difficult to place shots from the luxury overload. Today's Best Shot choices, from brave cinephiles round the web who dare to play this game, are presented in the order in which they were sent to me.

click on the photos to be taken to the corresponding article 
Next Wednesday: MAGIC MIKE (2012)... grab your singles and pick a shot to shove them into 

Forman wisely draws a visual (and comedic) parallel between the two appearances of the mask.
-The Entertainment Junkie 

When all you can do is seethe in your utter failure...
-Drink Your Juice Shelby 

In a film with such a lavish production, a quiet, almost bare scene caught my eye...
-Sorta That Guy

Hard to pick a shot because its best visual moments come from clever cutting and juxtapositions...
-Coco Hits NY

'It seemed to me that I was hearing the voice of God...'
-54 Disney Reviews

Thematically, I can't think of a more blunt message statement... 
-Antagony & Ecstasy

-Movie Motorbreath 

If every Oscar winner was as loose and irreverent as Amadeus...
-Serious Film 

This resplendent film earned every one of its 8 statues.
-Film Actually

The perfect metaphor for the movie's dynamic...
- The Expert Newbie *first entry* 

"I'm frightened!!!" Yet she was fearless. Cynthia Nixon at 18
-Paul Outlaw