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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

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Entries in Oscars (90s) (86)

Tuesday
Mar252014

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: "L.A. Confidential"

When L.A. Confidential premiered in 1997 I was one of the few cinephiles that wasn't overcome with passion for it. I thought it too warm, actually. The happy(ish) ending threw me since most of the noir I was familiar with (not a wide sample I'm afraid) was much more nihilistic, rarely leaving the compromised heroes alive or free. It was the clear critical favorite in its year, though, so I've long wanted to reassess it and spend more time with it. I'm happy to report that I underestimated it the first time around. The screenplay with its hardboiled broad strokes dialogue and characterizations made more sense now that I'm more familiar with its tropes. But above all else it's a "wow" in execution from every department (but yes we're here to talk cinematography).

My clearest memories of the film were three: the smarmy gossip opening "on the QT and very hush hush", that I was enamored of both Russell Crowe and Kevin Spacey's performances, and the (literal) head-turning introduction of Lynn Bracken (Kim Basinger in her Oscar winning role) though it should surprise virtually no one who reads the Film Experience that the subplot of the Fleur de Lis girls "whores cut to look like movie stars" was the storyline I was initially most drawn to.  

Whatever you desire.

More after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Mar012014

1 Day Til Oscar... "No. 1 Fan"

Flashback March 25th, 1991

Which one of these guys do you think Kathy Bates wanted to lock up in her house and possibly hobble? If neither Tom nor Dustin are the correct answer who do you think Kathy was eyeing on Oscar night that year? Tell us in the comments.

Question #2: If you had to nurse one of this year's Oscar nominees back to health in your remote house in the woods, who would it be? 

 

Friday
Feb282014

My Link Will Go On

Baz Bamigboye talks to an acting coach about the lead acting nominations
Washington Post Nick Davis dispels five Oscar myths
Buzzfeed Jennifer Lawrence and the types of Cool Girls
In Contention on the first Oscars concert. Sounds like it needs to become a tradition!
New York Theater on that West Side Story screening with Rita Moreno last week (I so wish all these things weren't happening DURING Oscar season. I have no time. Sad face.)  

BDCWire You know the McConaissance has gone over big when Matthew McConaughey starts winning comparisons to Brando and de Niro
VF live blogs the 1993 Oscars - twenty years ago looked suspiciously like now with Leonardo, an AIDS drama and more...
MNPP a review of Enemy which has been intermittently flashing into my brain since Toronto
Carpetbagger on the pundit confusion and predictions for the big night
Salon a reminder: Jennifer Lawrence doesn't want a second Oscar right now
We Recycle Movies charts some Oscar stats involving Best Picture and the original vs adapted situation 

Fun Interactives
Slate is really killing it this year and I'm not saying that because they did such a great job with my acceptance speech piece. This "name that screenplay" quiz is super weird/hard/gripping... I didn't do as well as I was expecting (I did get Braveheart, Crash, Schindler's List and Chicago on their first word clues but the rest were much harder for me)  but it was exciting to play. They've also got a tool where you can adjust percentages of what will win Best Picture based solely on math of which "lower" categories mean the most to a Best Picture win. It's worth noting that before you even begin they have Gravity as the projected winner with 37.5% to 12 Years' 35.1% and American Hustle's 27.4% so that's their baseline.  The percentages adjust as you click on winners. But usually Gravity comes out on top. (sigh) 

Today's Must See
People magazine did a little photoshop wonder pairing the nominees (and Tom Hanks?) with their younger selves with conversations. It's super cute/cheesy but somehow kind of wistful at the same time - neat trick.

Are you afraid of me? That's all right – I'm afraid of me, too." 

 

Sunday
Feb162014

14 Days Til Oscar: "All About Titanic"

[Our countdown to Hollywood's High Holy Night continues. Here's abstew with a fun "battle"]

We've only 14 days to go. It seemed like the perfect time to take a look at the two films that jointly hold the record for most nominations (in case you hadn't guessed, that would be 14). One is a fabulous Actressexual's dream about back-stabbing in the theatre world and the other a small indie about a boy and girl in love. Oh, yeah and something about a ship. 

Technically, Titanic holds a higher place in Oscar history, having won 11 of its 14 nominations while All About Eve went home with only six statues (though 12 was the most it could have won with double-nods in Lead and Supporting Actress). But haven't you always wondered what film would come out victorious if they had gone head-to-head?  No? Well, let's find out anyway

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb132014

17 Days Til Oscar

Today's Useless But Fun Oscar Trivia Numbers Chain!

17 years ago The English Patient (1996) won 9 Oscars, driving Julia Louis-Dreyfus Elaine to the brink of madness "quit telling your stupid story about the desert and just die already. die!!!" and making it one of the seven most-Oscared films of all time. (Only Titanic and Return of the King have since beat it). Can Gravity, which has 10 nominations but will definitely lose Best Actress, tie The Patient's record -- it would have to win ALL of its other nominations -- or do you foresee a "spread the wealth" year?

Sal Mineo is the only 17 year-old of either gender ever nominated for an Oscar. That nomination came for his role as "Plato" in Rebel Without a Cause (1955). Mineo also holds the record of youngest (male) actor to two nominations as he was nominated for Exodus (1960) by the age of 22. He would have turned 75 this very year had he not been murdered at the age of 37 in West Hollywood.

• Nomination #17 was the lucky number for Meryl Streep with The Iron Lady, finally giving her her controversial and long-awaited third win (2011). If it had only been for The Devil Wears Prada (2006) instead!

• There are only three people who've ever been nominated for an Oscar exactly 17 times. Those lucky souls are the production designer George W. Davis who won Art Direction Oscars for The Robe (1953) and The Diary of Anne Frank (1959),  the composer Miklós Rosza who won Best Original Score for Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound (1945), as well as A Double Life (1947) and Ben-Hur (1959) and, finally and most recently, Gary Rydstrom who has been nominated in three different categories (Animated Short Film  and both Sound categories) and has won 7 Oscars! 

• In 1917 the Oscars hadn't been invented yet but if they had I'm reasonably certain that Mary Pickford would have won Best Actress unless scary Theda Bara had intervened (Pickford had at least three hits that year and then we could have been spared her career-tribute Oscar win for Coquette which so embarrasses Oscar historians!) 

And finally I made this photograph (and also the snowballs) this morning which I have christened

SEVENTEEN SNOW DAYS TIL OSCAR  

I had planned to do something far more elaborate an hour or two afterwards. (Yes, I am one of those sick sick people who loves winter and the snow) but then it quickly turned to sludge. Boo!