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Entries in Oscars (80s) (75)

Monday
Mar102014

Happy 25th: Uma Thurman in a Half Shell

Terry Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, also known as Uma Thurman Being a Literal Goddess For the First Time, opened 25 years ago today. Now, it's not technically true that this was Uma's cinematic debut since she appeared in two long forgotten movies (Kiss Daddy Goodnight, Johnny B Goode) and one well remembered one (Dangerous Liaisons) before March 10th 1989 when this film premiered (due to delays -- you know how Terry Gillian do). But it was meant to be her debut. And print the myth, you know? And Uma is enough of a goddess that she deserves the myth and not the truth.

Uma as "Venus, Goddess of Beauty and Love"

One of my favorite 80s anecdotes was Gilliam being furious that Dangerous Liaisons beat him to release in the two film contest of prestige costume pictures that could get the new jaw-droppingly beautiful starlet out of her costumes first for audiences. She was 18. I still remember this anecdote because Uma's breasts were among the first I remember seeing in a movie theater... and remaining among the finest.

It's somewhat strange that The Adventures of Baron Munchausen is so forgotten today. It was nominated for 4 Oscars in 1989: Makeup, Costumes, Art Direction and Visual Effects, making it the second most honored Gilliam film in Oscar's books (after The Fisher King) but maybe AMPAS was apologizing for only giving Brazil two nominations in 1985? Terry Gilliam hasn't been a major cinema presence in a very long time for reasons that are well documented but wouldn't it be sweet if he managed one last major artistic triumph in his 70s? 

Anyway...

Happy 25th anniversary (of sorts) to Uma Thurman and the Movie Camera! They've had a volatile affair but they were meant for each other. I guess this means we should all watch Nymphomaniac Pt 1 as soon as possible. 

Saturday
Mar082014

"Spark"

Illustration Friday is fun internet exercize for artists and though most of the participants seem to be professional, which I am not, I'm trying it again to celebrate my first iPad (which is much easier to draw on then the phone). This weeks topic is "Spark" and the second I saw the words this image popped into my mind. Because few things at the cinema have ever felt so much like a lit fuse to something powder-keg explosive...

To this day I remember the chills, my breath stopping in the movie theater when the Marquise de Mertueil (Glenn Close) and Vicomte de Valmont (John Malkovich) had their final heated confrontation. They'd fallen out over previous verbal arrangements and epistolary evidence. "A single word" is all he asks to mend things between them, though it sounds like a threat. The single word he's looking for is "yes" but she has a different three letter word in mind.

War.

 

Movie go boom.

If "fierce" hadn't yet been invented as a word, the existence of Glenn Close's Marquise would have birthed it right then and there. (If Glenn Close were half as frightening as the Marquise crossed, the Academy would never have dared rob her of that Oscar. And rob her they did.)

Which moment lit the most explosive fuse in a movie you love?

Thursday
Mar062014

Liza at the Oscars. Then, Then, Then, and Now

Liza Minnelli's appearance at the Oscars this past weekend was the subject of much discussion and typical ageist snark ("old people are so ridiculous!") online which was... disappointing. Not that Liza didn't bring some of it upon herself particularly with her slow on the uptake reactions to Ellen's drag queen joke* and the selfies. But before we get into this year's particulars, CONTEXT.

I think it's worth remembering that this was not Liza's first time at the rodeo. Liza has lived her entire life in the unreality of showbiz so if she wants to wear a braless blue pant suit with matching hair stripe, to Hollywood's High Holy Night, she damn well should! After all, few people attending this weekend's ceremony can rival her for true icon status (Meryl, Bette, Poitier... and very few others)

Click to read more ...

Friday
Feb212014

Red Carpet Lineup: All of Meryl Streep's Oscar Looks

a better photo of the Silkwood Oscar dressThis is the last Streep-centric post for this Oscar season (unless she does something crazy at the Oscars), promise!

I used to always make a point of saying that Meryl Streep gets nominated for 39% of her performances, having appeared in 46 features and being nominated 18 times. But in truth her record is better than that. Once you eliminate the performances that couldn't have been nominated her record is an even more incredible 53% (a good example is her leading role in Plenty released in 1985 since she was nominated for her leading role in Out of Africa and an actor may only have one nomination per category unlike behind-the-camera people who are allowed to double up). So, fact: as soon as she reports to work on each new film she is more likely to be nominated than not for whatever it is she is about to do.

Is this the best record ever? Among actors, yes (once you eliminate the people who only made a few films and died/quit). But, otherwise, nope. John Williams has the closest thing to infallibility since he's nominated for virtually everything he does but let's not get sidetracked. Let's look at Streep's past in gown form and her future in role form after the jump

All of Meryl's Oscar Nominated Looks 1978-2012
With thanks to Google Image Search and Simply Streep 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb202014

10 Days Til Oscar. Sigh and Think of Paul Newman. 

Today's magic number is 10. I know you were hoping for a look back ten years to that long awaited 2003 Supporting Actress Smackdown but the lists of reasons that has been delayed multiple times are too boring and painful to share. I promise it's coming! (I'll try for the Saturday morning before the Oscars as a deep breath before the plunge.) Funny but true: I was working on it earlier today and thought "oh, I know. I'll post it on the 10th anniversary of that Oscar ceremony" But guess what date that turns out to be? February 29th. A leap year haha and the date doesn't exist this year. 

Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward in 1958 after the Oscars

I haven't managed to find a fun trivia note involving the number 10 that relates to this year's Oscars so please enjoy this photo of Paul Newman mocking his Oscar losses with a makeshift trophy (note that it says "Noscar" on it) alongside his wife's actual Oscar for Three Faces of Eve (1957). Paul, a perfect 10, was also nominated 10 times over the course of his career (once for Best Picture, 9 times for acting), finally winning the trophy on his 8th nomination which was coincidentally enough, the year after he had won the first of two Honorary acknowledgements (one a Jean Hersholt, the other a traditional Honorary Oscar). Before The Color of Money (1986) he had been locked up in a longstanding three way tie for "most nominated losing actor" with Peter O'Toole and Richard Burton; they all had 7 back then though Burton died a couple of years before Paul Newman finally won gold. Bette Davis is the only other actor with exactly 10 career nominations (unless you count that write-in situation) but we've already started discussing her.

For which of his pre-Oscar roles would you have given Newman the statue? Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), The Hustler (1961), Hud (1963), Cool Hand Luke (1967), Rachel, Rachel (1968), Absence of Malice (1981) or The Verdict (1982)? 

If you need more Paul (and who doesn't) some more photos of Paul at the Oscars are after the jump...

Click to read more ...