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Entries in Tom Jones (5)

Friday
Feb082019

Albert Finney (1936-2019)

by Nathaniel R

We had dreaded this day coming. Albert Finney has passed away at 82 years of age from a chest infection. He'd been battling health troubles for years, which is why the filmography abruptly ends at Skyfall (2012) but what a elegiac blockbuster of a swansong, yes? In recent years we'd repeatedly suggested him for an Honorary Oscar but the Academy rarely listens to our brilliant ideas. Instead he'll retain the sad distinction of being the second most-nominated male movie star never to have received a competitive OR honorary Oscar behind only Richard Burton (Character actor Arthur Kennedy was also nominated 5 times without a win, mostly in supporting, but he wasn't a headliner like Finney). But, as we've often said, awards aren't everything and cinematic legacy is far more crucial. And that, Albert Finney has. He will live on given that impressive filmography filled with rich performances.

Finney wasn't born to a family in showbusiness but was in the right place at the right time to capitalize on the 'angry young man' and kitchen sink era of British filmmaking -- he reportedly disliked "snobbery" enough to turn down the British Knighthood the year of Erin Brockovich (2000). Despite humble origins he was a quick success as an actor landing his first professional gigs on stage and TV by the age of 19. At the age of 24 he was an immediate movie star... 

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Aug152017

1963 Convo Pt 1: Liz-Mania and "Tom Jones"

Nathaniel welcomes guests Teo Bugbee, Keiran Scarlett, Séan McGovern, and Brian Mullin. We just wrote about the Supporting Actress nominated performances of 1963 but now it's time to zoom out on the films themselves and the year in question.  

Smackdown '63 Companion Podcast Part 1
(42 minutes)
In which the panel plays "tag yourself" within Best Picture winner Tom Jones while discussing Tony Richardson's cinematic eccentricities in the early '60s, the movie's politics and preference for anarchy and the Academy mindset given the political tragedies of the year. We also discuss Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton mania (CleopatraThe VIPs). With brief asides to: Maggie Smith, Vanessa Redgrave, Benny Hill, that awkward supporting actress presentation at the Oscars, and more.

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 63 Conversation - Part One TOM JONES

Monday
Aug142017

Smackdown 1963: Three from "Tom Jones" and Two Dames 

Presenting the Supporting Actresses of '63. Well well, what have we here? This year's statistical uniqueness (the only time one film ever produced three supporting actress nominees) and the character lineup reads juicier than it actually is - your Fab Five are, get this: a saucy wench, a pious auntie, a disgraced lady, a pillpopping royal, and a stubborn nun.

THE NOMINEES 

from left to right: Cilento, Evans, Redman, Rutherford, Skalia

In 1963 Oscar voters went for an all-first-timers nominee list in Supporting Actress. The eldest contenders would soon become Dames (Margaret Rutherford and Edith Evans were both OBEs at the time). Rutherford, the eventual winner, was the only nominee with an extensive film history and she was in the middle of a hot streak with her signature role as Jane Marple which ran across multiple films from through 1961-1965. In fact, Agatha Christie had just dedicated her new book "The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side" to the future Dame. Despite Rutherford's cultural popularity, the only women who would return to the Oscar fold (and quickly) would be Joyce Redman and Edith Evans. The latter was beloved -- voters couldn't get enough of Evans in the Sixties during her seventies.

Notable supporting actresses of the year who Oscar didn't nominate were most of the Globe nominees: Wendy Hiller (Toys in the Attic), Diane Baker (The Prize), Linda Marsh (America America), and Lisolette Pulver (A Global Affair). Other key players passed over for this shortlist were: Maggie Smith (The VIPs), Jessica Tandy (The Birds), Claire Bloom (The Haunting), Gena Rowlands (A Child is Waiting), Constance Towers (Shock Corridor), Claire Trevor (The Stripper), Julie Christie (Billy Liar) and any of the women from Fellini's 8½.

THIS MONTH'S PANELISTS

from left to right: McGovern, Scarlett, Bugbee, Mullins, Nathaniel

Here to talk about these five nominated turns are your host Nathaniel R (The Film Experience) and the panelists: Teo Bugbee (freelance culture critic), Kieran Scarlett (screenwriter), and Brian Mullin and Sean McGovern (of the Broad Appeal podcast). And now it's time for the main event... 

1963
SUPPORTING ACTRESS SMACKDOWN 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Aug102017

Vintage '63

The Supporting Actress Smackdown 1963 Edition arrives on Monday so let's talk context since we haven't revisited as much of 1963 as we'd hoped to...

Great Big Box Office Hits: 1) Cleopatra 2) How the West Was Won 3) It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World 4) Tom Jones 4) Irma La Douce 6) Son of Flubber 7) The Birds 8) Dr No 9) The VIPs 10) McClintock!

Oscar's Best Pictures: Tom Jones (10 noms / 4 wins), Cleopatra (9 noms / 4 wins), How the West Was Won (8 noms / 3 wins), Lilies of the Field (5 noms / 1 win), America America (4 noms / 1 win) Our theory as to what was just outside the Best Picture shortlist plus more '63 goodies follow...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Apr122014

Ten Reasons to Remember Tom Jones, a Foundling

Andrew here to celebrate an anniversary. Fifty years ago tomorrow, Tony Richardson’s Tom Jones won the 1963 Best Picture Oscar at the 36th Academy Awards. Up until a few weeks ago it was one of my most glaring cinematic blindspots from that era.

A cursory glance over the Best Picture winners of the 60s (ha, who am I kidding? I know the list by heart) reveals that by my faulty empirical research Tom Jones is easily the least discussed Picture winner from that decade today. Even Oliver, arguably the decade's least respected winner, seems more oft considered and it’s a curious thing because even ignoring the actual quality of Tom Jones it’s not business as usual as far as Oscar winners go. And, usually, we like to talk about when AMPAS throws us a curveball with its winners, for better or for worse.

Certainly, from an outsider's perspective it doesn't seem to be much of a curveball. What's the fuss about another period-piece turned Oscar winner? Although period films are lucky with awards they don't tend to be well remembered, or loved, on the internet. I could imagine what Tom Jones seems to represent to someone on the outisde looking in, another stuffy British drama Oscar bait film. (Something's that plagued Merchant Ivory films two decades after their heyday, but that's another story.) But, Tom Jones in all its unusualness has much to savour and enjoy, fifty years after its release.  

Here are ten reasons to give it another or your first look...

Click to read more ...