Archive for September 2, 2011

The Oscar Quest: Best Actor – 1951

I like 1951. I don’t agree with the Best Picture or Best Director choice, but as a whole, I like this year. An American in Paris is a good film, but not one that should be winning Best Picture. There are better musicals to choose from during this period, specifically Singin’ in the Rain and The Band Wagon. I don’t get the preoccupation with choosing a musical over an American classic like A Streetcar Named Desire. I don’t really have too much of a problem with it though. Streetcar pretty much swept all the other categories, so, it sort of balances out. What’s strange is that they gave Best Director to George Stevens for A Place in the Sun. George Stevens is a great director, but as I said here, you have John Huston, Elia Kazan, William Wyler and Vincente Minnelli up as well this year. Okay, Huston has one, Kazan has one and Wyler has two. But why not Minnelli? His movie won Best Picture! (See what I mean? Some decisions are just baffling and inconsistent.)

The rest of this year, though, is pretty straightforward. A Streetcar Named Desire sweeps almost everything. It wins Best Actress for Vivien Leigh, Best Supporting Actor for Karl Malden and Best Supporting Actress for Kim Hunter. All perfect decisions and very deserving actors. So, in all, three really strong decisions, one I don’t like but can accept, one terrible one, and then what remains the most fascinating decision of this year — this category.

Here you have Marlon Brando, who gives one of the most defining performances of his career (alongside the other two he won for, The Godfather and On the Waterfront), and Humphrey Bogart, a living legend who rightfully should have won an Oscar for Casablanca (somehow Paul Lukas wins for a performance that shouldn’t even be nominated, let alone win, there). What makes the category so interesting is that Streetcar won all the other acting awards, and here you have this category, which looks like it should be the biggest shoo-in of all. I mean, Brando — Stanley Kowalski — no contest, right? One of the most powerful performances in the history of cinema. And yet — Humphrey Bogart. And, especially now, after the fact — we know Brando wins two more. So what seems like a very cut-and-dry category becomes infinitely more complex and layered. I really like this category.


And the nominees were…

Humphrey Bogart, The African Queen

Marlon Brando, A Streetcar Named Desire

Montgomery Clift, A Place in the Sun

Arthur Kennedy, Bright Victory

Frederic March, Death of a Salesman (more…)

Pic of the Day: “He wasn’t a bad officer, I guess. He loved his boys, and he felt safe with ’em. He was just one of those guys with that weird light around him. You just knew he wasn’t gonna get so much as a scratch here.”

The Box Office Report – September 2-4

Last week, in Box Office…


I felt like starting loud. But it’s true. Do not listen to any of the bullshit they’re trying to throw out there. The whole, “Oh, the box office returns sucked because of the hurricane.” Fuck that, it’s all a lie. The box office always sucks at the end of August, and that’s a bullshit excuse. It would have happened with or without the hurricane. It’s like if the Cleveland Browns were like, “Oh, the reason we lost 12 games this years is because of that snowstorm that made us have to have a “home” game in another stadium and that other game we had to play in London. Yeah, sure it was. You don’t lose 12 games a year anyway…

So, don’t listen to what anyone says about that hurricane bullshit. The expectations were dead on what they were gonna be, hurricane or not.

The Help wins the weekend with $14.5 million. Wow, it’s just like I said last week that The Help was gonna win the weekend with around $15 million. All that rain did was guarantee that it didn’t hit 15, which is all I wanted, really. So one might call that hurricane a prayer answered. (more…)