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Entries in The English Patient (6)

Thursday
Feb132014

17 Days Til Oscar

Today's Useless But Fun Oscar Trivia Numbers Chain!

17 years ago The English Patient (1996) won 9 Oscars, driving Julia Louis-Dreyfus Elaine to the brink of madness "quit telling your stupid story about the desert and just die already. die!!!" and making it one of the seven most-Oscared films of all time. (Only Titanic and Return of the King have since beat it). Can Gravity, which has 10 nominations but will definitely lose Best Actress, tie The Patient's record -- it would have to win ALL of its other nominations -- or do you foresee a "spread the wealth" year?

Sal Mineo is the only 17 year-old of either gender ever nominated for an Oscar. That nomination came for his role as "Plato" in Rebel Without a Cause (1955). Mineo also holds the record of youngest (male) actor to two nominations as he was nominated for Exodus (1960) by the age of 22. He would have turned 75 this very year had he not been murdered at the age of 37 in West Hollywood.

• Nomination #17 was the lucky number for Meryl Streep with The Iron Lady, finally giving her her controversial and long-awaited third win (2011). If it had only been for The Devil Wears Prada (2006) instead!

• There are only three people who've ever been nominated for an Oscar exactly 17 times. Those lucky souls are the production designer George W. Davis who won Art Direction Oscars for The Robe (1953) and The Diary of Anne Frank (1959),  the composer Miklós Rosza who won Best Original Score for Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound (1945), as well as A Double Life (1947) and Ben-Hur (1959) and, finally and most recently, Gary Rydstrom who has been nominated in three different categories (Animated Short Film  and both Sound categories) and has won 7 Oscars! 

• In 1917 the Oscars hadn't been invented yet but if they had I'm reasonably certain that Mary Pickford would have won Best Actress unless scary Theda Bara had intervened (Pickford had at least three hits that year and then we could have been spared her career-tribute Oscar win for Coquette which so embarrasses Oscar historians!) 

And finally I made this photograph (and also the snowballs) this morning which I have christened

SEVENTEEN SNOW DAYS TIL OSCAR  

I had planned to do something far more elaborate an hour or two afterwards. (Yes, I am one of those sick sick people who loves winter and the snow) but then it quickly turned to sludge. Boo! 

Thursday
Feb062014

Top Ten: The Best of Kristin Scott Thomas

DON'T LEAVE! Don't check out of the movies now. 

I'd like to speak to your manager."
-Kristin Scott Thomas as "Crystal" in Only God Forgives

As you may have heard the great Kristin Scott Thomas, who first broke through as Hugh Grant's deliciously tart unfortunately platonic friend in 4 Weddings and Funeral and was Oscar nominated way back when for her ice hot sand- blasted eroticism in The English Patient and who has elevated countless films since has rather casually tossed off a 'good riddance' to cinema

I just suddenly thought, I cannot cope with another film. I realised I've done the things I know how to do so many times in different languages... I can't do it any more. I'm bored by it. So I'm stopping

Oh come on Kristin, Only God Forgives wasn't that bad. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Oct232013

Beauty Break: The Fiennes Profile

this photoshoot adorned many a wallRalph Fiennes's original heyday in the mid 90s pre-dated 99.9% of the online movie world we know today (including the existence of The Film Experience in any of its forms) so I've probably never revealed to you how hard I crushed in the 90s. We used to cut his pictures out of magazines to hang them on the wall. My best friend had an even bigger thing for him and thus a veritable shrine. We felt mutual guilt given that this started with, you know, Ammon Goeth. (Don't judge!)

I felt a tinge of that old eroticism again watching the Grand Budapest Hotel trailer last week ("I sleep with all my friends"... friends? what about your fans, Fiennes, your fans!?!). Now, Wes Anderson movies are not usually with the sexytime so I'm guessing Gustav's bedhopping exploits are strictly diegetic.

Those old tingly feelings returned the second he went into profile in the trailer. Oh god, that profile. 

Even when I crudely photoshop it, it's beautiful and timeless... or at least retro timeless like a daguerrotype boyfriend. I've always thought it was beyond perfect, the Most Handsomest and Profiliest Profile in The Movies. 

The English Patient understood that and constantly offered it up in both moving pictures and promotional stills.

And in some perverse way I think the Harry Potter franchise did too, desecrating and perverting its holy planes (sculpted by God himself) by removing the nose entirely.

What are some of your favorite movie profiles? 

Saturday
Apr202013

April Showers: “The English Patient”

 Andrew here with an April Shower to pass the evening.

I’ve always gravitated towards film scenes incorporating water. Often it does not transcend the aesthetic (water on screen just looks pretty), but even as downpours – natural or man-made –are often utilised as read-made ways of attuning the audience to moments of sadness, it’s great when filmmakers utilise it other ways. I say utilise with slight hesitation because in a film where Minghella seems to be telegraphing nodes and nodes of information, the rain scene in The English Patient comes off as especially slight.

The titular patient (formerly known as Count Laszlo de Almásy) has been severely burned across the body and confined to a bed, remembering ghosts of his past. He is dying, and convivial Nurse Hana – running from ghosts of her own – is keeping him comfortable in his last days in an abandoned Italian monastery as World War II draws to a close. They are joined by mysterious thief Caravaggio and sapper Kip and his Sergeant Hardy. A few moments before the rain is released, an agitated Hana bicycles out to find Kip, her new lover. He is busy defusing a bomb which has his name written on it. Literally.

 

 [more]

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan042013

Podcast: A Look Back... and Forward. (What Movies Should Inspire Future Films?)

new podcast!
In part two of the conversation which began with Django Unchained and random final Oscar hunches, we hear about four actors that Joe Reid plans to snub, revisit looooooong Best Pictures that Katey Rich hasn't seen (The Last Emperor anyone?), listen to Nick detailing Viola Davis' future, and learn why Nathaniel hopes Hitchcock will inspire more films like it... even though most people thought it was terrible. [44 Minutes. With Nathaniel, Nick, Katey, and Joe.]

Topics include:

  • Sixth spot snubs: Jennifer Ehle?
  • Most recent Best Pics that we've each missed from The Green Mile to The English Patient 
  • Susan Sarandon circa 1975
  • Second-Guessing: Anna Karenina, Take This Waltz, Moonrise Kingdom
  • 2012 Movies We Hope Inspire Future Movies from Magic Mike to... 21 Jump Street. (Hey, it was Channing Tatum's Year)
  • Queen of Versailles repurposed. Make your own movie! 
  • The Fog & Fatigue of Awards

You can download the podcast on iTunes or listen right here at the bottom of the post. Join in the conversation by commenting! 

 

2012 Inspirations. Future Movies and Retro Glories

Thursday
Aug112011

Beauty Break: Juliette Binoche

I received a few notes about the new banner delighting that I had accidentally paired The English Patient stars Kristin Scott Thomas and Ralph Fiennes. I wish I could say "accidentally" but in truth it was! I couldn't find a photo of Juliette Binoche with her fingers in her mouth, but I didn't want to leave her out. File under: Too wonderful to ignore.

If you haven't yet seen her latest acting de triomphe (sorry), save Certified Copy to your DVD queues. Her performance is an inspiration. Hollywood's flirtation with her seems to have ended once they replaced her with a younger model (Hi, Marion) since, you know, only one French actress at a time can be the girl they must cast in every movie but their loss: if anything the 47 year old actress is a stronger screen performer than ever. There's an argument to be made with Flight of the Red Balloon, Summer Hours (previous post) and Certified Copy arriving in such short succcession that that mid 90s career explosion was mere warm up.

More photos [mildly NSFW] after the jump

Click to read more ...