Oscar History

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Entries in Sissy Spacek (16)


4 Days til the Smackdown - Meet the Panelists!

The Supporting Actress Smackdown of 1984 is coming your way on Wednesday August 31st with Dame Peggy Ashcroft defending her Oscar from the other side. Will the panel co-sign that Oscar win or throw their votes to Christine Lahti, Lindsay Crouse, or legendary Oscar regulars in the form or either Glenn Close or Geraldine Page. Please remember that readers are the collective sixth panelist so I expect your answers to these questions in the comments (as well as your ballots - details on what to send me here).


Please give a hearty welcome to two first time Smackdowners

Noah Tsika is the Assistant Professor of Media Studies at Queens College, CUNY. He has also written two books on cinema: Nollywood Stars: Media and Migration in West Africa and the Diaspora and Pink 2.0: Encoding Queer Cinema on the Internet. 
Follow Noah on Twitter 

Sheila O'Malley is a regular film critic for and other outlets including The Criterion Collection. She wrote the narration (read by Angelina Jolie) for the Gena Rowlands tribute reel played at the 2016 Governors Awards. Her blog is The Sheila Variations.  
Follow Sheila on Twitter

...welcome back two regular Smackdowners

Joe Reid never went to film school, unless you count the film school of hard knocks, which he also didn't go to. That hasn't stopped him from writing about movies. He is currently Senior Writer at One day, he'll have written about his love for The HoursGo, and Mermaids enough that he can finally close his laptop, satisfied that his work is done. 
Follow Joe on Twitter 

Nick Davis writes the reviews and features at the website Nick's Flick Picks.  The site's unpredictable cycles of frenzied activity and long dormancy have to do with his also being an Associate Professor of English and Gender & Sexuality Studies at Northwestern, where his research and teaching mostly concern narrative film in different eras, genres, and countries. 
Follow Nick on Twitter 

And, of course, your host with all his needy questions about your favorites this and that...

Click to read more ...


1984: Year of the Heroic Farm Wife

As we look back at 1984, please welcome new contributor John Guerin to talk about a famous Oscar triple...

In 1984, 60% of the Best Actress category was farm wives

In May 1985, after scoring Oscar nominations for playing distressed farmwives in Country and The River, Jessica Lange and Sissy Spacek testified before the U.S. House of Representatives and urged senators to help aid farmers during a devastating agricultural crisis. After a toxic combination of faulty economic policies, mounting debts, high interest rates, and a declining Midwest population, American farmers were experiencing financial hardship unseen since the Great Depression. Both Country and The River offer visions of farm families under such pressures, pitting family and community against unyielding forces of nature and government.

Can you remember the last time an actress testified before Congress after starring in a politically-minded film?

Click to read more ...


The Revenant's Jack Fisk on Outdoor Movies & His Life with Sissy Spacek

Jack Fisk at the Oscars for "There Will Be Blood" with his Best Actress wife Sissy SpacekThe Revenant, just nominated for eight (!) BAFTAs, opens nationwide today so here's our last interview of the week to celebrate this wilderness epic. 

Jack Fisk, the Oscar-nominated Production Designer (There Will Be Blood) is no stranger to outdoor challenges. Many of his most famous films, due in no small part to his long collaboration with Terrence Malick, feel the spiritual pull of nature as does the man who designs them. He prefers to build on location and with the tools that would have been present at the time, whatever time the movie happens to take place in.

When he signed on for The Revenant, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu gave him a copy of Andrei Tarkovsky's Andrei Rublev which he used for inspiration of scale and detail. His longtime collaborators Emmanuel "Chivo" Lubezki (Cinematographer) and Jacqueline West (Costumes) Fisk -- who he had worked with on many projects though only once altogether (The New World, 2005) were also on hand to realize this brutal of frontiersman Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) surviving bear attacks, bloody skirmishes, and mercenary Tom Hardy.  

I asked Fisk about his onscreen life with auteur collaborators, his offscreen life with one of the great screen actresses, and his preference for outdoor cinema. Our conversation is after the jump...

Click to read more ...


In the Link Room

A very quick roundup to begin a Netflixy day (Daredevil anyone). Speaking of... Hi, Sissy!

Sissy Spacek photographed by Christian McDonald

Interview Todd Field (In the Bedroom) interviews Sissy Spacek on Bloodline etc...
NPR talks to Brad Bird on Tomorrowland. And yes, he is finally working on Incredibles 2 (very early writing stages) for which we will eschew our normal eye rolls at animated sequel news and instead cheer wildly.
Tracking Board Logans Run remake still a slight possibility. This time with female lead?
i09 posits that Practical Magic w/ Bullock & Kidman as witch sisters is a perfect movie 
Antagony & Ecstasy film criticism for a good cause: Tim takes on the daunting task of reviewing Vertigo aka "the greatest movie ever made" as part of his cancer charity drive -- he's raised over $2000 already!
Vanity Fair on Ryan Gosling as a director
Pajiba says "eff it... reboot everything" including Cybill. Hee!
Pajiba should you grow a Mad Men moustache? A handy guide 

Today's Watch ICYMI
It gives a whole new meaning to "instant watch"



Netflix Sneak: "Bloodline" with Kyle Chandler & Sissy Spacek

Last week here in Manhattan The Film Experience was invited to attend a very exclusive special screening and dinner for Netflix's new series Bloodline. How did they know we had a thing for Kyle Chandler and Sissy Spacek? Even more mysterious: How did they know about our deep abiding love for Norbert Leo Butz and Katie Finneran, two Tony-winning Broadway musical comedy sensations who are surprising but great choices to play husband & wife in a swampy thriller / family drama / murder mystery fusion. 

The storyline concerns the Raeburn family, a rich Southern Florida clan who own and run a very lucrative beachfront hotel. In the premiere episode the parents (Sam Shephard and Sissy Spacek) are celebrating an anniversary and home come there four adult children played by Kyle Chandler, Linda Cardellini, Norbert Leo Butz, and their eldest and most troubled prodigal son Ben Mendelsohn. (Mendelsohn's management team might want to look into a curveball next time he takes a role because seeing his face is now already shorthand for TROUBLE!)


Click to read more ...


1973 Look Back: Terrence Malick's Debut "Badlands"

To give the impending Smackdown some context, we're looking at films from 1973. Here's Abstew on a spectacular debut...

With only a half dozen films released over the past 40 years, director Terrence Malick has already earned his place among the greatest American filmmakers. Despite his relatively small filmography, he has carved out a distinct brand of filmmaking that inspires (sometimes as much as it confuses or bores). But before he was an admired and respected filmmaker, he was just a former Rhodes scholar that graduated from Harvard working as a philosophy professor at MIT. His first film, Badlands, began to take take shape as he studied film at the American Film Institute. It was immediately hailed by critics on its initial release in 1973, where it was the closing night film at the New York Film Festival. That year's festival also saw the debut of Martin Scorsese's Mean Streetsm proving that 1973 was not only a very good year for film, but a landmark year for new voices. Both films were sold to Warner Brothers on the same day.

Set in South Dakota in the 1950s and loosely based on the real-life incident of Charles Starkweather who went on a killing spree with his teenage girlfriend in 1958, Badlands follows former garbage man Kit Carruthers (played by Martin Sheen in the role that established his own career in film, having working almost exclusively in television up until then) as he and his 15-year-old girlfriend Holly (Sissy Spacek in only her second film) take off cross-country after Kit kills Holly's disapproving father. Although seen as rebels (Kit is often compared to the original rebel without a cause, James Dean), the two are more simple-minded than that. They seem to be going along for a ride not quite knowing what they're doing or why exactly they're doing it. 

Click to read more ...


Visual Index ~ 3 Women's Best Shots

Given that 3 Women is a different picture every time I lay eyes on it, I'm dying to see what other people see in it, too. Thus, this brilliantly strange atypical Robert Altman is an ideal film for Hit Me With Your Best Shot, wherein everyone is welcome to choose what they think of as the "best shot" from the pre-selected film.  Find out what others saw in this picture by clicking on the photos to read the corresponding articles at these fine blogs.


They float about as a pair throughout the film as creepily as those cinematic twins in another Shelley Duvall classic...
-The Film's The Thing 

She tries it on for size, decides she's gotten enough, and goes on her merry way... 
-Dancin Dan on Film


A magnificent construction that highlights all of these themes while subtly foreshadowing what will happen later in the film...
-The Entertainment Junkie 

I’m a sucker for shots involving reflections, so I find this one very beautiful...
- Coco Hits NY 

The film opens in a sort of dream space and never quite leaves even as many sequences (especially in the first hour or so) seem fairly straight forward...  
-Musings and Stuff 

I would attend the hell out of one of Millie's dinner parties...
- Stranger Than Most 

"Persona 2: One More Woman Makes 3"
-Best Shot in the Dark  

Point #2 is that this is the exact moment where the distinction between Millie and Pinky starts to break down...
- Antagony & Ecstasy 

Dreams can't hurt ya."

Millie, singular and perpetually out of place Millie, with twins both literal and figurative...
- The Film Experience 


I'm still trying to wrap my head around this creepy, disturbing film...
- Film Actually  

Next on Hit Me With Your Best Shot
Michelangelo Antonioni's Blow-Up (1966)