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Entries in Supporting Actress (327)

Sunday
Nov052017

Smackdown '44: Agnes, Aline, Angela, Ethel, and Jennifer Jones

Presenting the Supporting Actresses of '44. A low class maid, a French baroness, a patriotic nurse, a weary shop-owner and a "Chinese" village woman battled it out for Oscar gold. We're here to re-judge that contest. 

THE NOMINEES 

from left to right: Barrymore, Jones, Lansbury, MacMahon, Moorehead

Oscar was still besotted with recent nominees Jennifer Jones & Agnes Moorehead (both on their quick second nominations) but joining the party were two veterans who'd never been honored (Ethel Barrymore & Aline MacMahon) and one very fresh face who would go on to an enviably long cross-platform showbiz career, now in its 73rd year (!) -- Angela Lansbury in her film debut! 

Notable supporting roles for women that the Academy passed over in 1944 were Mary Astor (Meet Me in St Louis), Shirley Temple (Since You Went Away), Dame May Whitty (Gaslight), and Joseph Hull & Jean Adair (Arsenic & Old Lace). Can you think of any others?

THIS MONTH'S PANELISTS 

Here to talk about these five nominated turns, are: critic and writer Mark Harris (Five Came Back), journalist Loren King (The Boston Globe), critic and novelist Farran Smith Nehme (Self Styled Siren), cabarettist and actress Molly Pope, blogger and novelist Matthew Rettenmund (Boy Culture), and your host Nathaniel R (The Film Experience). And now it's time for the main event... 

1944
SUPPORTING ACTRESS SMACKDOWN  

Click to read more ...

Monday
Oct232017

Middleburg: Maggie Betts' "Novitiate"

Continuing our Middleburg Film Festival adventures. Here's Lynn Lee

Middleburg is the kind of idyllic Virginia town that makes me wish I had enough independent means to spend regular fall weekends there lodging at a cushy spa, riding horses, visiting local wineries, and binging once a year on Oscar-baity films before they get released in theaters.  As it is, I was happy to get a taste of the latter on a press pass to this year’s festival.  On Day 3, I joined Nathaniel in town (albeit at different events) and took in Maggie Betts’ Novitiate, Todd Haynes’ Wonderstruck, and Dee Rees’ Mudbound.

Of the three, the one I knew the least about beforehand turned out to be the one I liked best.  Set at a convent in the 1960s around the time of Vatican II, Novitiate centers on the struggles and yearnings of young postulant Cathleen (Margaret Qualley of “The Leftovers” and The Nice Guys) and the fellow nun-aspirants and nuns around her.  That may sound like niche fare at best, but I hope Sony Pictures figures out how to market it because it’s an astoundingly assured, riveting debut feature...

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Thursday
Oct192017

"I, Tonya" I, Teaser

Chris here. 2017 is a banner year for divisive movies, and prepare yourself for I, Tonya to be added to the heap. It was greeted with mostly warm response when it debuted at TIFF, eventually being runner-up for the People's Choice prize. While Nathaniel is one of the film's growing number of detractors, I find myself somewhere on the middle on its wild tonal shifts and competing, disparate narrative points of view.

The film opens in just over a month and there's finally this (very brief) teaser to go along with a few scant production photos. Aside from one of its wittier shots at the onset, this first enticement for audiences relies mostly on its truly ghastly figure skating sequences - trust me, there's even worse CGI to be seen. In many ways the film is a rumination on tackiness but even if there's something honest in the film's garishness, this is maybe not the best way to announce a coming film fast-tracked for awards season release.

And its awards prospects will be a question mark on the season, but it did rack up some Gotham noms. Can Margot Robbie compete with a very wide Best Actress field? She crushes the third act, but the film oddly ignores her for long stretches. How far can newbie distributor Neon take this? It's a crowdpleaser, but its flippancy with domestic abuse will be a major talking point. One thing you can count on: a genius and cruel Allison Janney in Best Supporting Actress for a performance that nails all sides of the films many tones.

Thursday
Oct192017

Blueprints: "Mean Girls"

Hi everyone, Jorge here. Welcome to the first installment of Blueprints, a new weekly series where we'll discuss the relationship between the pages of a script and the finalized cinematic products. To start things off, an audience-favorite and one of the most quotable films of all time.

 

Tina Fey’s cult-classic satire on teenage girlhood, cliques, and cheese fries has quickly become an indispensable presence inside the ranks of Most Quotable Films lists. Behind-the-scenes recognition has fallen more on the writer than on director Mark Waters (brother of Heathers’ helmer Daniel Waters; for those keeping tabs on your clique movies). Almost every single line has become a chant for people to drop on each other, so much that Quote-Along screenings of the film have become widely popular.

But what is it about Mean Girls that made it not only memorable, but practically irresistible to mouth along to?

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Friday
Oct062017

C O N S I D E R -Fav Actresses of 2017, 3rd Qtr

With less than three months of the year to go - eep! -- it's time to do another tally of favorite performances -- this is how we keep track so we're not like Oscar voters who only vote on the last couple months of the year. Here are the 17 best female turns this past quarter according to your host, Nathaniel. Which movies were considered? Movies released between July and right now (October 6th) as well as unreleased movies (marked by an asterisk*) which were screened in that time frame but have no firm release date in the future. Previous 3rd quarter lists: Filmmaking and Male Acting

Disclaimer: Key actress-focused films I missed this past quarter were Home Again, Ingrid Goes West, and Lady Macbeth. If you've seen them give their MVPs a shout-out.

6 LEADING ACTRESSES

Dame Judi Dench as "Queen Victoria" in Victoria & Abdul
I love the idea of character sequels decades later rather than continuing story sequels (that's what TV is for!). The movie is no great shakes but it's quite fun to see her return to this signature character. 

Regina Hall as "Ryan Pierce" in Girls Trip 
A wonderfully nimble performance. She's got to provide the straight man to the comic bananas but to make that funny, too, while dexterously handling the script's somewhat heavy handed character arc.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct032017

New Podcast: Desperately Seeking Smackdowns

Nathaniel welcomes our first all Los Angeles panel for this discussion of the 1985 film year. Comedian/Writer Louis Virtel (Billy on the Street), Producer/Writer Abdi Nazemian ("The Authentics"), Actress Nora Zehetner and Director/Writer Michelle Morgan (It Happened in L.A.). We just wrote about the Supporting Actress nominated performances of 1985 but now it's time to zoom out on the films and the film year itself when Oprah Winfrey and Madonna began their global takeovers, Anjelica Huston became a third generation Oscar favorite, and Out of Africa eventually won Best Picture.

Smackdown '85 Companion Podcast
(58 minutes)
00:01 Anjelica vs Oprah with a little Amy Madigan on the side
10:00 Our entire group has a Jane Fonda "problem" - shout-outs to Klute and lots of head-scratching over the plot of Agnes of God
20:00 Meg Tilly and Jennifer Tilly and Oscar trivia
22:00 Should they remake The Color Purple?
28:00 Syphilitic Out of Africa, Divisive Prizzi's Honor and their Oscar wins
35:30 Desperately Seeking Susan and Oscar's resistance to both Madonna and comedy

46:30 Twice in a Lifetime's weird messages and cathartic makeovers
49:40 Individual favorites from the year from each of us including (but not limited to): Clue, The Breakfast Club, The Goonies, Mask, The Legend of Billie Jean
55:00 Farewells and Credits

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. Don't forget to read the smackdown and continue the conversations in the comments! 

Desperately Seeking Smackdown