Oscar History

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William Holden in Picnic

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"My mother's favorite actor. His dance with Kim Novak is an unforgettable movie moment." -Jaragon

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Entries in Smackdown (62)


Coming Soon: Smackdown 1970 and Smackdown 1994

The next two regular Smackdowns were among the most requested years last time I shared the remaining years that haven't been done (among the years where it's still possible to find all five films -sigh). In both cases there are only 4 movies you need to watch to play along. I'm still on the hunt for panelists but in the meantime get to watching for the first time (or rewatching!)

Helen Hayes in "Airport"

May 13th "Supporting Actress Smackdown 1970"
Panelists: TBA; Nominees:

  • Karen Black, Five Easy Pieces
  • Lee Grant, The Landlord
  • Helen Hays, Airport
  • Sally Kellerman, MASH
  • Maureen Stapleton, Airport

Balloting is currently open and closes May 10th. Send your ballot to me with "1970" as subject line and a heart rating for each contender of 1 (awful) to 5 (perfection). Please only vote on the performances you've seen since the results are weighted accordingly so as not to punish the underseen or overvalue the widely seen.

Dianne Wiest in "Bullets Over Broadway"

June 17th "Supporting Actress Smackdown 1994"
Panelists: TBA; Nominees:

  • Rosemary Harris, Tom & Viv
  • Helen Mirren, The Madness of King George
  • Uma Thurman, Pulp Fiction
  • Jennifer Tilly, Bullets Over Broadway
  • Dianne Wiest, Bullets Over Broadway

Balloting opens May 14th and closes June 13th. Same rules apply with "1994" in subject line. (Please do not confuse the inbox by trying to vote on different years in the same email. Your votes would likely not be counted that way)


Smackdown Companion - The Shape of Phantom Billboards

NEW PODCAST! *Updated with correct podcast file*

For this week's podcast Nathaniel R presents a companion conversation to our Supporting Actress Smackdown (which we'll presume you've read already!). Joining him to discuss the Best Picture race and more generalized discussion about supporting actressing in 2017 are: Andrew Carden (Awards Connection / Gold Derby) Chris Feil (The Film Experience), Candice Frederick (Reel Talker), Erica Mann (NYC Film Chick), and Kevin P O'Keeffe (Into). 

Index (42 minutes)
00:01 Intros & Rewatches
02:30 Favs That Weren't Nominated
13:00 Mary J Blige and Carey Mulligan and Mudbound
17:00 Shape of Water, Get Out, or Three Billboards to Win?
31:00 Switching Roles Around: Octavia Spencer
37:30 Allison Janney and Julianne Nicholson and I Tonya
40:00 Lesley Manville, Laurie Metcalf and Goodbyes

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunesContinue the conversations in the comments, won't you? 

Smackdown Companion 17


Smackdown '17: Allison, Laurie, Lesley, Mary and Octavia

Presenting Oscar's Chosen Supporting Actresses of the Films of 2017


Two mothers with combative relationships with their daughters (Janney and Metcalf). One sister/business partner (Manville). One mother struggling with oppressive farm life (Blige). And one cleaning lady (Spencer) whose coworker/friend is mute and in love with a fish crea... listen, it's a long story!

But here's a beautiful thing that's too little remarked on this season: they're all actually supporting characters. No leads masquerading as support for once! 


From top left: Andrew Carden, Chris Feil, Candice Frederick, Erica Mann, Kevin O'Keeffe, and Nathaniel R

Here to talk about these five nominated turns, are in alpha order: Andrew Carden (Awards Connection / Gold Derby) Chris Feil (The Film Experience), Candice Frederick (Reel Talker), Erica Mann (NYC Film Chick), Kevin P O'Keeffe (Into) and your host Nathaniel R (The Film Experience). And now it's time for the main event... 


Click to read more ...


Smackdown Tease - Reader Votes!

by Nathaniel R

UPDATED POST: To correct for a second batch of ballots as I received both comment ballots and mail ballots.

Since the annual Supporting Actress Smackdown arrives tomorrow I thought I'd share a few notes from your ballots. Thanks for getting them in so quick. The most divisive performance with everything from 1 heart to 5 hearts on reader ballots was the Oscar frontrunner, I Tonya's Allison Janney. But it was Phantom Thread's Lesley Manville and Lady Bird's Laurie Metcalf who were neck and neck all through the counting of reader ballots. I'm on pins and needles -- looks like it might be close tomorrow! 

After the jump your favorite contenders who missed the Oscar nomination...

Click to read more ...


The Smackdown is Coming. Meet the Panelists

It's almost time for another Smackdown. As is the brief tradition, we'll be looking at this year's nominees for Supporting Actress in our February edition (just as we did last year). We'll be talking Octavia Spencer, Laurie Metcalf, Lesley Manville, Mary J Blige, and Allison Janney. The Smackdown and its companion podcast will arrive this coming Monday, February 26th.

It's time to meet the panelists. Please welcome...


Andrew Carden
Andrew Carden is a contributing writer at GoldDerby and writes about all things Oscar on his blog, The Awards Connection. When he's not on Twitter, lamenting Thelma Ritter's 0-for-6 record in Best Supporting Actress, Andrew works in Massachusetts politics.

His #1 of 2017: Mudbound
[Andrew on Twitter]

Candice Frederick
Candice Frederick is a freelance TV/film critic living in New York City. She has written for Vice, The Daily Beast, The Mary Sue, /Film and others. You can find more of her work here.

Her #1 of 2017: Wonder Woman
[Candice on Twitter]

Erica Mann
Erica is a writer and film critic based in New York. Creator of The NYC Film Chick blog in 2012, she has covered film festivals such as Tribeca, New York Film Festival, and TIFF. When she is not working, tweeting, or fighting the patriarchy, she freelances as a film coordinator and producer.

Her #1 of 2017: Mudbound
[Erica on Twitter]


Though we never repeat an exact panel, we do like to welcome voices back. The following two men have done smackdowns before (the 2016 fivesome and the 1995 brilliance, respectively) so we're welcoming them back.

Chris Feil
Chris Feil lives in Columbus, Ohio and is a contributor to The Film Experience. You can easily beetlejuice him into your conversations by talking about soundtracks (shameless plug for his weekly column Soundtracking), RuPaul's Drag Race (further shameless plug for his recaps), and WALL•E. He is remembering to notice the collateral beauty around him. Chris has also written for Paste and Decider.

His #1 of 2017: Lady Bird
[Chris on Twitter]

Kevin O'Keeffe
Kevin O'Keeffe is a writer, editor, and RuPaul's Drag Race herstorian. Currently, he writes about that show, as well as other film and TV, for the LGBTQ+ magazine INTO. He's still mad Tiffany Haddish wasn't nominated this year.

His #1 of 2017: Call Me By Your Name
[Kevin on Twitter]

... and your host

Nathaniel R ... but you know me already.

The Smackdown will be up on Monday. And if you'd like to get started early on your viewing for future smackdowns we're doing 1970 and 1994 sometime in the spring after a wee Post-Oscar break. Stay tuned!