Archive for August 5, 2011

The Oscar Quest: Best Actress – 1955

I actually really like 1955 as a year, even though most people would probably see this as a blank year for the Academy. The five Best Picture choices were a pretty weak set overall (at least two of the choices probably shouldn’t have even been nominated), and, while I think they made the best decision, their decision was not really one that would stand out among the other films that have won in the category.

Marty wins Best Picture, which I think was the best decision based on the nominees. It’s a film I love a lot. But I’m under no illusions that this film would ever win outside of a year like this. Not that I care. Delbert Mann winning Best Director for the film (which I talked about here), is a decision I don’t think was totally necessary, but I understand it. So I guess that’s okay. Ernest Borgnine winning Best Actor this year (which I talked about here) is also a decision that I like, but only because my first choice, Frank Sinatra, already had an Oscar, So it kind of worked out in the end. Best Supporting Actor was Jack Lemmon for Mister Roberts, which I think is a great decision, and Best Supporting Actress was Jo Van Fleet for East of Eden, which, I haven’t fully made up my mind yet (but I’m about 95% sure I’m gonna go another way).

And then we have this category. This category was really only between two people, and, while I can understand why Anna Magnani won here — when you watch the performance, you can see why she would win — I still don’t get why they wouldn’t give it to Susan Hayward here. She’s been nominated a bunch of times by now, hasn’t won, is someone they’re clearly looking to give an Oscar, and she’s playing a type of character she excels at — the pitiful drunk. That’s her character. Plus, this is the first time she’s really nailed it and is really worth voting for. And you don’t give it to her? I don’t get it.


And the nominees were…

Susan Hayward, I’ll Cry Tomorrow

Katharine Hepburn, Summertime

Jennifer Jones, Love is a Many-Splendored Thing

Anna Magnani, The Rose Tattoo

Eleanor Parker, I’ll Cry Tomorrow (more…)

Pic of the Day: “I want you all the form two circles. The boys on the outside and the girls on the inside.” “Where will you be?”

The Box Office Report: August 5-7

Last week, in Box Office…

I’m not sure who came out worse, me, the prognosticators, or Cowboys and Aliens. I put myself third on that list, unsurprisingly. Because I’ve already forgotten about it. I feel wrong on Saturday, when the early numbers come in, then I have six days to forget about my mistakes. The prognosticators probably then came out second worst, because we shouldn’t be listening to them in the first place. Leaving first place to…

Cowboys and Aliens, if you don’t know, failed pretty badly last weekend. Most people assumed a $45 million opening weekend, and the film only made $36.4 million. For a $163 million movie (for which they probably need to make $250 million back in order to see profit), that’s bad. I wonder who they’re gonna blame. My gut tells me they’re gonna blame the western, and say people aren’t interested in the genre. Which you can already tell is a bullshit excuse. True Grit made $170 million. The kind of money this film was supposed to make. I blame a mediocre product. I saw the film. It was mediocre at best. I didn’t care about the western part, and I cared even less about the aliens. It just felt weak.

I’m glad this failed. Because, my hopes were there would be enough western to keep me interested, and that it would be entertaining enough otherwise for it to be a fun film that rises above the camp suggested by its title. Then they didn’t even deliver the camp! I could have lived with it if it were campy instead of good. Instead it was just, dead. It’s like they shot for the middle. Which is why I’m glad my prediction was way off. And even happier the final number was lower than the estimates. Because this film wasn’t good enough to deserve blockbuster type money. I’m hoping this failure, along with the other big failures this year, get the studios to start blaming themselves. It seems as though the only films making money this year (all those alleged “comedies” aside) are quality films. And kids films, which don’t need to be of quality to make money. Maybe the studios will realize they need to make higher quality films for people to give a shit, because they rammed the CG blockbusters down our throats so much, the cycle is over. (That’s how it works. Hollywood finds something people like, rams it down their throats until people get sick of it, then they find something else that works, and it all begins again.) (more…)