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Supporting Actress Smackdown of 1960
Shirley x 2, Janet, Mary, and Glynis. Who gets your vote?

"Janet Leigh should've won, but I feel like the fact that she was even nominated for that movie might've been a victory in itself." - Philip H.

"How great is it considering this was 59 years ago that three of these ladies are still with us and the two Shirleys are working on a semi regular basis." - Joel6 


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Entries in Oscars (80s) (208)

Saturday
Jul202019

"The Client" and Populist Oscar Choices in Acting

by Nathaniel R

Today is the 25th anniversary of the release of The Client which was a big sleeper success in its summer, ending the year as the 13th highest grossing movie of 1994. Only that number wasn't bad luck since Susan Sarandon netted a Best Actress nomination for the legal drama. That nomination kept her momentum as "overdue for a win" going strong until the next year when she won the Oscar for something in Oscar's more typical wheelhouse, Dead Man Walking (1995) an issue drama based on a true story.

So let's discuss something no one talks about much. What are the lead acting nominations that would never have happened without the big hit status for the movies that housed them? This is NOT meant as a critique of the performances. Sometimes Oscar just needs to be convinced by enormous success to look at worthy pieces of acting within genres they take less seriously (their loss) or star vehicles they might not have stopped to mull over without all the general audience enthusiasm forcing the movie to be taken seriously... 

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Friday
Jul122019

'My Beautiful Laundrette' for the UK stage

Jonny Fines and Omar Malik headline the production

Have you heard that My Beautiful Laundrette, one of our favourite 80s movies and one of the most beloved LGBTQ films ever, is getting the stage treatment? The production which is using the Oscar-nominated screenplay by Hanif Kureishi as its text, will open September 20th at Leicester's Curve. Though it's not a musical adaptation, the Pet Shop Boys are composing the score for it. The leads look the part but we are giggling a bit that they actually cast actors named Jonny and Omar for the lead characters of Johnny & Omar. 

If you are a UK-based reader who is plannning to see it, please do report back about your experience! I will be tense with anticipation until you do but, to quote Johnny (Daniel Day-Lewis) directly from the film...

In my experience it is always worth waiting for Omar"

Thursday
May092019

Stage Door: The musical adaptation of "Tootsie"

by Nathaniel R

“I was a better man with you as a woman than I ever was with a woman as a man.” So went the famous arc-completing line in Tootsie (1982) that resonates backwards through the movie, and carried you out of the theater, not just on a comic high but with zeitgeist capturing depth. Though it’s little remarked upon today in the now-now-now of popular culture, the early 80s were a cinematic time rife with the questioning of traditional gender roles just like our culture is today. Hit films like Victor/Victoria, Yentl, Mr. Mom,  and Tootsie all arrived in quick succession, though the then preferred vernacular was androgyny and gender-bending, as opposed to today’s non-binary and genderqueer designations.  It’s not surprising, then, to see Tootsie come round again to popular culture in 2019 in the form of a Tony-nominated musical comedy. What’s more surprising is that that resonant quotable capper is one of the few famous lines to be lifted directly from the movie.

As shocking as it is to type, they wrote new jokes!  This is, as you may have guessed given Broadway’s strange new role as a regurgitator of old movies, not the norm…. 

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Sunday
Feb242019

It's Finally Here -- Happy Oscar Day! 

Just chanced upon this image of Best Actress competitors Judy Holliday and Gloria Swanson freaking out with joy at Jose Ferrer's Oscar win for Cyrano de Bergerac (1950). Gloria, naughty naughty, he just beat your amazing costar William Holden in Sunset Boulevard!

After the jump, a very random Beauty Break of glorious moments from past Oscar nights to whet your appetite for tonight...

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Friday
Feb082019

Albert Finney (1936-2019)

by Nathaniel R

We had dreaded this day coming. Albert Finney has passed away at 82 years of age from a chest infection. He'd been battling health troubles for years, which is why the filmography abruptly ends at Skyfall (2012) but what a elegiac blockbuster of a swansong, yes? In recent years we'd repeatedly suggested him for an Honorary Oscar but the Academy rarely listens to our brilliant ideas. Instead he'll retain the sad distinction of being the second most-nominated male movie star never to have received a competitive OR honorary Oscar behind only Richard Burton (Character actor Arthur Kennedy was also nominated 5 times without a win, mostly in supporting, but he wasn't a headliner like Finney). But, as we've often said, awards aren't everything and cinematic legacy is far more crucial. And that, Albert Finney has. He will live on given that impressive filmography filled with rich performances.

Finney wasn't born to a family in showbusiness but was in the right place at the right time to capitalize on the 'angry young man' and kitchen sink era of British filmmaking -- he reportedly disliked "snobbery" enough to turn down the British Knighthood the year of Erin Brockovich (2000). Despite humble origins he was a quick success as an actor landing his first professional gigs on stage and TV by the age of 19. At the age of 24 he was an immediate movie star... 

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Wednesday
Dec052018

81 days til Oscar

by Nathaniel R

Diane & Warren / Don & Meryl at the 1981 Oscars

You know what I feel is tragic about online Oscar history, dear readers? It's the lack of abundance of Oscar night photos before, say, 2000. Oh sure you can usually find photos of the winners holding their Oscars but try finding complete gowns of all the Best Actress nominees if you (hypothetically) wanna fantasize about ordering custom doll sets of every vintage. You're out of luck for any year prior to the explosion of 24/7 media coverage and constant Oscar coverage. Take the 1981 Oscars for example...

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