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Entries in Supporting Actress (169)

Friday
Jan032014

Nebraska, Finely Aged and Potentially Oscar Record-Breaking

I'm sure you've seen the melancholy yet uplifting new spot for Nebraska that points out the ages of its principal cast and how long they've been acting. It's inspiring, for sure, as longevity often is. Hollywood and the Oscars often favor the sprinters (note all the stars, particularly actresses, who won too soon and all the films that opened in the rush of awards season that were only hot for two months) but life is a marathon.

Assuming Bruce Dern and June Squibb are both nominated on January 16th (and smart money says they will be) they'll both be among the top three oldest performers ever nominated in their categories. It will break down like so...

OLDEST BEST ACTOR NOMINEES
01 Richard Farnsworth, The Straight Story (1999) who was 79
02 Bruce Dern, Nebraska (20) who is 77*
03 Henry Fonda, On Golden Pond (1981) who was 76
04 Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby (2004) who was 74
05 Peter O'Toole, Venus (2006) who was also 74
06 Morgan Freeman, Invictus (2008) who was 72
07 Sir Laurence Olivier, The Boys From Brazil (1978) who was 71
08 Frank Langella, Nixon (2008) who was also 71
09 Paul Newman, Nobody's Fool (1994) who had just turned 70

Those are the only 70somethings ever nominated for Best Actor... if Robert Redford and Bruce Dern are both nominated we'll have a perfect full top ten of 70something Best Actor candidates; they're only two months apart in age (with Dern born first). Among these senior men Henry Fonda was the only winner. If Dern wins --  and I've long thought he might with that magic combo of a likely Best Picture nominee, a moving performance, and a stellar campaign --  he'll become the oldest winner ever in the Best Actor category. 

OLDEST BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS NOMINEES
01. Gloria Stuart, Titanic (1997) who was 87... and the oldest in *any* category actually
02. Ruby Dee, American Gangster (2007) who was 85 *but there are conflicting reports on her age*
03. June Squibb, Nebraska (2013) who is 84
03. Jessica Tandy, Fried Green Tomatoes (1991) who was 82
05. Eva Le Gallienne, Resurrection (1980 - recently discussed) who had just turned 82

Those are the only 80somethings ever nominated in Supporting Actress and none of them won. Can June Squibb break the pattern this year? (The current oldest winner ever in this category is Dame Peggy Ashcroft for A Passage to India (1984) who was 77). Speaking of Squibb, have you been watching the American remake of the British nursing comedy series Getting On? Squibb guest stars in one episode as a foul-mouthed cigarette-smoking patient. She and Niecy Nash are pretty great together.

What do you make of Dern & Squibb's Oscar chances? 

Wednesday
Jan012014

Interview: Sally Hawkins on Cate Blanchett, Woody Allen, and Godzilla

One of the most delightful surprises of the season was the Golden Globe Supporting Actress nomination for Sally Hawkins in Woody Allen's latest hit Blue Jasmine. While Cate Blanchett rages through the movie like a force of nature as Jasmine (née Jeanette) and has won dozens of prizes, Hawkins has the less showy but difficult task of keeping the movie grounded and the mood breezy while navigating her screen sister's stormiest weathers. Blue Jasmine, which comes to DVD and BluRay on January 21st, is yet another reminder, that Hawkins is one of the stealth MVPs of current cinema.

Sally and I had spoken once before (at length) during the Happy-Go-Lucky (2008) press tour and getting reacquainted was unusually good fun; I've rarely laughed so much during an interview. To give you a sense of the easy rapport and how delightful Sally is in person, I've included a little audio segment of my favorite bit of our conversation, when we were talking about her key directors: Woody Allen (2 films together) or Mike Leigh (3 films together) again. 

Nathaniel: So anyway… Blue Jasmine. When I first saw it I thought ‘this is good’ But then it just wouldn't leave my head. So it’s moved up in my estimation.

SALLY HAWKINS: Those films that sit and resonate with you, that you keep thinking about, are really interesting.

Do you experience that when you're reading a script? Or is that something you don’t discover until you’re on set. Like ‘oh, this one is going to be good.’ [more...]

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Dec292013

Five Easy Linkies. Two First Images

HuffPo Anne Hathaway (what? I miss her) is a conscientous pet owner and so generous that she even gives gifts to paparazzi
Salon on the unexpected feminism in Anchorman 2
/Film are these the 5 best film scores of the year from Stoker to...?
Awards Circuit 'you know stealing things is usually considered wrong, right?' on Jennifer Lawrence and the matter of scene-stealing performances
In Contention Kris Tapley's choices for best performances of the year 

And finally, here are two first images from upcoming films...

Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike (albeit not in the flesh) in David Fincher's adaptation of Gone Girl and...

The terribly underemployed Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game -- seriously how does he eat with no paychecks ever? He's playing Alan Turing, the gay mathematician who was instrumental in breaking the german Enigma Code in World War II. In case you've forgotten there was a movie called Enigma many years ago now starring Kate Winslet which was also about the enigma code if I remember correctly ... albeit starring different characters. 

Saturday
Nov302013

Introducing... Five Nominees 2003

For the buildup to this  year's Oscar race we thought it would be fun to revive StinkyLulu's Supporting Actress Smackdown and so far it's gone just beautifully. This month we're hitting the 2003 lineup for its 10th anniversary. Unfortunately I have to announce a small delay: The Smackdown will now air on Thursday, December 5th at Noon EST instead of, well, right now.

But in its place our new Smackdown tradition which we keep meaning to turn into a regular non-Smackdown series. "Introducing..." in which we remember our first glimpse of key movie characters. You've met this month's panel but these events now include an extra panelist: You (the collective you) so feel free to send in your ballots (by tomorrow at the latest) if you'd like your vote to be counted. Here's how you do that.

Without further ado...

INTRODUCING... (in the order of how soon they appear in their films)

[no dialogue]

Shohreh Aghdashloo as "Nadi" in House of Sand and Fog
Arrival: 1½ minutes into the 126 minute running time, preceded only by Fog (and Jennifer Connelly) and Sand: She's reflected in the water in the opening credits and then glimpsed frolicking with her children on the beach, before a terrible visual omen strikes: trees felled nearby. Subtle!

I'm ready.

Holly Hunter as "Melanie Freeland" in Thirteen
Arrival: 3 minutes into the 100 minute running time. She stamps out a cigarette. Note the smart girly girl styling -- kudos to the makeup and costume team on this movie -- you don't even know she's not a teenager until the camera pans up. 

[no dialogue]

Patricia Clarkson as "Joy Burns" in Pieces of April
Arrival: 4 minutes into the 80 minute running time. While her family frantically searches for her, she's found waiting in the care for their Thanksgiving road trip. 

Where have you been? It's 3 AM."

Marcia Gay Harden as "Celeste Boyle" in Mystic River
Arrival: 16 minutes into the 138 minute running time. She's looking in on her sleeping child when her husband returns home with (gasp) what is that? Blood! on his hands!!! With Marcia's arrival the plot arrives to mingle with the foreshadowing prologue and completed character survey. 

Those cows want milkin'. If that letter ain't urgent then cows is, is what I'm sayin'. 

Renée Zellweger as "Ruby" in Cold Mountain
Arrival: 50 minutes into the 154 minute running time. And boy is the director (and the Zeéeeee) marking it. She steps into the frame like it's a proscenium, her face hidden by a huge hat as she turns from side to side. Cows even moo to introduce her and she sighs loudly before barking out her first line at Ada (Nicole Kidman) who is lost in her papers on the porch.

*

Did you know you were in for something special when these actors came into frame?

Tuesday
Nov262013

Team FYC: Cameron Diaz for Best Supporting Actress

[Editor's Note: The FYC series brings together all Film Experience contributors to highlight our favorite fringe Oscar contenders. Jose Solis asks you to reconsider Cameron Diaz's supporting performance in The Counselor.]

It’s not only her scenery chewing, her car-fucking skills, her ability to pull off excess jewelry and animal print or the lustful-yet-motherly way in which she looks at her pet cheetahs. It's her commitment to this insanity that makes Cameron Diaz brilliant in The Counselor. Playing the heartless envoy from hell, Malkina, she creates one of the most compelling visions of evil contemporary cinema has given us. Because her evil seems to have roots in a horrifying childhood (her parents were thrown out of a helicopter!) she escapes the burden of just being a universal symbol of cruelty (a la Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men). She even shows us a glimpse of what might be underlying human qualities underneath her faux-bronzed skin when she shows envy and certain disappointment at not being able to love the way her friend Laura (Pé) does. Diaz delivers Cormac McCarthy’s senselessly beautiful lines with such passion and purpose that we can’t help but pretend we know what on Earth she’s going on about or why anything is in this movie.

The film was trashed by both critics and audiences; they failed to see beyond the movie's failure as a thriller and recognize that this is experimental film of the highest order, with references to American literature, Italian excess cinema and one of the most chilling reinterpretations of a Tennessee Williams scene I’ve seen. The Counselor is post-noir cinema. The best way I've found to explain why I loved Diaz was to compare the film to classic noir and suggest that if The Counselor had been made in the 1940’s, Malkina would have been played by Gloria Grahame. Like that Oscar winning actress, Diaz is the kind of “dame” who would make us kill for her and then slit our throats when we came back looking for the reward she promised us.  

previously: World War Z

Friday
Nov222013

Female Acting 2013: Embarassment of Riches

You guys.

How am I ever going to decide on my own awards ballots this year? When the Film Bitch Awards begin in late December / early January - hell even before then when I vote at the annual BFCA "Critic's Choice" Awards --  I will have to make a Sophie's Choices and narrow it way down. There are so many fine performances this year. How will I choose??? Oh god, how will I choose. And with a few films still unseen these two fields could even grow.  

BEST ACTRESS - MY LONGLIST BALLOT
in no particular order 

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Nov192013

Gold is the Most Coveted Color

Léa Seydoux & Adele Exarchopoulos at the Governor's Ball

Let's see Léa & Adèle at all the Oscar-courting events. S'il vous plaît. Werk that circuit, ladies.

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