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Entries in Oscars (90s) (227)

Monday
Jul292019

Lunchtime Poll: What would you do with a $2 Million Tip?

by Nathaniel R

On this day 25 years ago It Could Happen to You was released, a romantic comedy in which a cop (Nicolas Cage) wins the lottery and shares half his fortune with a waitress (Bridget Fonda) who he was unable to tip. The original and far superior title was Cop Gives Waitress $2 Million Tip. That year in its rejected honor, my friends and I would jokingly refer to movies by a single sentence plot rather than titles... Streep Goes White Water Rafting, Vampire Brad Feels Guilt, This Bus Is a Bomb! etc -- shut up, it was funny at the time.

In its honor today, what would you do with a $2 million dollar windfall? The catch is that you have to spend half of it on the movies. Would you invest in films, be a patron for an auteur, gift it to a struggling actor, or other? (After the jump, an Oscar-adjacent list for fun)

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Friday
Jul262019

Oscar Hopefuls from The Netherlands

by Nathaniel R

Romy's Salon is one of nine finalists to be the Dutch Oscar submission

Dutch films have been on our brains since Rutger Hauer passed away, so here's a timely bit of news. The NOSC (Nederlandse Oscar Selectie Commissie) will choose the Dutch Oscar submission in early September. Nine finalists are reportedly up for the honor...

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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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Monday
Jun102019

"Speed" Turns 25

by Lynn Lee

When Speed was first released a quarter century(!) ago, the premise seemed ridiculous: Bomb on bus is triggered to go off if the speed ever drops below 50 mph.  A bus in Los Angeles, no less.  At rush hour!  (Actually, it’s always rush hour in L.A., then as now, which only reinforces the preposterousness of the scenario.)  Nevertheless, Speed managed to suspend viewers’ disbelief – and their breaths – with a combo of taut white-knuckle thrills that didn’t require elaborate special effects and light humor that relieved but didn’t distract from the constant tension. 

A major hit both critically and commercially, it went on to win two Oscars (for sound mixing and sound editing) and elevate the then up-and-coming Keanu Reeves to full movie star status.  Now that Keanu seems to be having another “moment” in his long and eclectic career, it feels like an especially opportune time to revisit the movie that vaulted him on to Hollywood’s A list.

How does it hold up?

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Wednesday
May222019

Aladdin Pt 3: Free at last! A 'Whole New World' awaits.

In Part 1 Ben introduced us to the romantic heroes and their evil nemesis. In Part 2 of our re-watch of Disney's Aladdin (1992) Timothy took us into the Cave of Wonders where our 'diamond in the rough' met the whirlwind vocal performance of Robin Williams as the Genie. He discussed stylistic, color palette, and comic choices in the storytelling on the fantastical journey. We return to the film just as Aladdin has dropped his pompous prince pretenses and admitted that the Princess is not a prize to be won and promptly jumps off her balcony just as she requested.

Part 3 by Nathaniel R

- Startled by his sudden humility and agreement, as well as the not so mundane matter of magical carpets, Jasmine drops her own defenses and becomes curious about this new prince. She can't shake the feeling that she knows him.

- Does Jasmine have facial blindness that she can't remember the only man she ever almost kissed in her life? The one from the day before no less!

-Aladdin moves at quite a clip but we know it's been no more than two days due to the plot business because she has only three days to get married by the laws of both Agrabah and childlike-attention-spans-of-target audiences. 

- Tim spoke of Aladdin's intuition and it is a beautifully realized aspect of his character. He's not aware of it, per se, the way he is in regards to his other physical and mental skills, so he's more of an idiot savant when it comes to emotional intelligence. He instinctively gets the Genie's pride / Jafar's competitiveness / and Jasmine's need to roam. He harnesses all three in the course of the plot, the latter not to manipulate her like the other two but to free her spiritually/romantically though he isn't thinking of all this when he asks...

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