Archive for June, 2011

The Oscar Quest Update: 13 Months (REMIX)

Sometimes I exceed even my own expectations. When I posted the 13 Months update ten days ago, I figured — that’s it. That’s all I’d be able to watch for the month. Because, eight days ago, I moved from New York to Los Angeles. (Which also explains the time shift in when posts go up.) I figured there’d be no way I could get in enough movies to post another update before the end of July. Yeah, I was wrong.

Turns out, I watched another 50 films. Qu’est-ce que c’est? Oh yeah, I’m a psycho killer. (Fa fa fa fa fa…) 50 films in 10 days. Because what else was I gonna do in an unfurnished apartment while waiting for all my shit to come in? Watch 50 films. That’s what.

That leaves us with only 100 more films to go. Total. I’m such a fucking boss. I also managed to find some heretofore unavailable films (and have leads on some others, but I’m only telling you about what I’ve found as of this posting). It’s all very exciting.

As it stands, of the 100 films left, I have, in my possession, 60 of them. There’s 1 in the Netflix Watch Instant Queue (6-hour mini-series. Really dreading it). Of the remaining 39 that are not in my possession — 15 of them I can’t find anywhere (at the moment), 17 of them I found on DVD via Amazon, Archive Collections or on sites that seem to find old movies and put them out on DVD. Which is a surprising number. And there are also 7 of them that I may have leads on, but I don’t want to presume anything until I have them.

So let’s do this one more time. Here are the final 100 filmsRemix, baby! (more…)

The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actor – 1992

Unforgiven. There’s really nothing more I need to say about 1992. It was a great year. Eastwood wins Best Director for it (which I talked about here). Al Pacino finally wins Best Actor, for Scent of a Woman (which I talked about here), Emma Thompson wins Best Actress for Howards End, and Marisa Tomei wins Best Supporting Actress for My Cousin Vinny. Really not a bad decision in the bunch.

And now this category. Another one of those, good decision by default, ones. There really wasn’t much else they could to here.


And the nominees were…

Gene Hackman, Unforgiven

Jaye Davidson, The Crying Game

Jack Nicholson, A Few Good Men

Al Pacino, Glengarry Glen Ross

David Paymer, Mr. Saturday Night (more…)

Pic of the Day: “What do you do for recreation?” “Oh, the usual. I bowl. Drive around. The occasional acid flashback.”

The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actress – 1937

Very important category. The second Best Supporting Actress category ever. As such, we have to view it in terms of legitimacy as much as we view it simply as just another category. That is, just like all the other categories — Picture, Director, Actor and Actress — the first few are always the ones that make it legitimate. Example: the first few Best Actor and Best Actress awards went to: Emil Jannings, Janet Gaynor, Mary Pickford, Wallace Beery, Marie Dressler, Frederic March, Charles Laughton — these are all really highly regarded actors at this time. These people had to get the awards in order to legitimize them and actually make them something worth having. Then, once they’re established, then they can start voting. Foundation. That’s the word I’m looking for. So this category is part of a foundation.

The first Best Supporting Actress award went to Gale Sondergaard for Anthony Adverse. She was a very respected character actress of the day, so it makes sense. Here, Alice Brady, another respected character actress, wins. This is a good decision historically. You establish what a supporting performance is by holding up the best known examples. There’s a reason Walter Brennan won Supporting Actor three times in the first five years of its existence. So for the first five years (1936-1940), you have to allow some leeway in the decision-making just to take into account the legitimization of the category. Bad decisions aren’t necessarily bad until the category is established.

And to recap the rest of this year before we get into the category. The Life of Emile Zola wins Best Picture, which is actually a bad decision. It makes some sense, but it’s not a very good decision and it’s a pretty weak effort overall. Spencer Tracy wins Best Actor for Captains Courageous, the first of his two back-to-back wins. I don’t love this decision, but I’ll accept it. It’s the second of his two wins that I really consider the terrible one. Best Actress this year was Luise Rainer for The Good Earth, the second of her back-to-back wins. I haven’t made up my mind on this one yet. There are a lot of elements to take into account. I’m gonna need a bit more time on this one. Best Supporting Actor, in its second year of existence, goes to Joseph Schildkraut for The Life of Emile Zola, which, I guess is fine. Haven’t yet decided on that one either. Oh, and Best Director this year went to Leo McCarey, for The Awful Truth, which was the best decision they could have made — only it was for the wrong film. I’ll explain that when I get to the category. All you need to know now is that it was a great decision.

Overall I consider this a weak year. This has little to do with the Supporting categories though, since they’re on their own timeline at this point. Still, a weak year. (more…)

Pic of the Day: “How could this happen? I was so careful. I picked the wrong play, the wrong director, the wrong cast. Where did I go right?”

The Oscar Quest: Best Actress – 1963

I consider 1963 one of the worst years in Academy history. Or rather, one of the worst years in terms of its Best Picture nominees and its Best Picture choice. This is definitely one of the top five weakest sets of nominees I’ve ever seen. Tom Jones wins Best Picture in a field that includes Cleopatra, How the West Was Won, Lilies of the Field and  America, America. What would you have voted for there? (Personally, I have it down between Cleopatra or America, America. But it’s still a terrible set of five.) There was no good choice here.

Best Actor this year was Sidney Poitier for Lilies of the Field, which I consider a good decision historically, but also kinda racist, which I talked about here. Best Director this year was Tony Richardson for Tom Jones, which makes sense since they went that way for Best Picture. Best Supporting Actor was Melvyn Douglas for Hud, which I actually like as a decision, even though it would have been so much more interesting if they gave it to John Huston. (Right?) And Best Supporting Actress was Margaret Rutherford for The V.I.P.s, which was really the only decision in that category (it had three Tom Jones nominees and a Lilies of the Field nominee).

Now we come down to this one. What the fuck happened here? This is the capper on a terribly bad and uninteresting year. Worst of the 60s, actually. They had the opportunity to give an Oscar to Leslie Caron, Shirley MacLaine (already overdue and once blatantly snubbed), or Natalie Wood (ditto what I said about Shirley MacLaine). And they give it to Patricia Neal? Seriously? What a bad end to a terrible year this was.


And the nominees were…

Leslie Caron, The L-Shaped Room

Shirley MacLaine, Irma La Douce

Patricia Neal, Hud

Rachel Roberts, This Sporting Life

Natalie Wood, Love with the Proper Stranger (more…)

Pic of the Day: “When you’re in love with a married man, you shouldn’t wear mascara.”