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Archive for September 30, 2011

The Oscar Quest: Best Director – 1976

I love me some 1976. How can you not? Rocky, Taxi Driver, All the President’s Men, Network… and those were just the films nominated for Best Picture. How stacked a list is that? It’s probably the strongest Best Picture year of all time. And Rocky winning Best Picture, to me, was the best decision, mostly because it’s my favorite film of the bunch. Though I get people feeling otherwise (as long as they aren’t dicks about it).

Peter Finch wins Best Actor for Network (talked about here), which, while it wouldn’t have been my personal choice in the category, is totally acceptable as a result. I explained why in the article. Then Best Actress was Faye Dunaway, also for Network, which had to happen. She earned a statue twice over by this point and gave arguably the best performance of her career. Great call. (Shame about Talia Shire, though. Sentimental favorite.) Then Best Supporting Actress was Beatrice Straight, also from Network (talked about here), which I’m okay with (I think), though I’d have voted for Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver. And Best Supporting Actor was Jason Robards for All the President’s Men (talked about here), which I’m okay with, but I, personally would have gone with Burt Young or Burgess Meredith (not even sentimentally, I thought they legit gave better performances).

So that’s 1976. Awesome, in all, and it ends with this category, which, given the Best Picture choice, was pretty much a foregone conclusion.

BEST DIRECTOR – 1976

And the nominees were…

John G. Avildsen, Rocky

Ingmar Bergman, Face to Face

Sidney Lumet, Network

Alan J. Pakula, All the President’s Men

Lina Wertmüller, Seven Beauties (more…)

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Pic of the Day: “Loneliness has followed me my whole life, everywhere. In bars, in cars, sidewalks, stores, everywhere. There’s no escape. I’m God’s lonely man.”


The Box Office Report – September 30-October 2

Last week, in Box Office…

After some strong early numbers that made it seem like Moneyball was gonna take the top spot, The Lion King again held strong, to my tremendous enjoyment. I love the idea that a 17-year old film won the box office twice over newer (and, in like three cases, better) films.

The Lion King made another $21.9 million, bringing its recent total to $61.5 million. This, to me, tells me that, among being other things (somewhat racist, quick to sue about anything, discriminatory, possibly keeping their creator’s frozen head in a bunker underneath their park), are also smart. Because of this, they know, when they release titles from their vault, they’ll make quick money rereleasing them in theaters too. Now, of course, this really only applies to like, five movies (Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, this and maybe some of the really old classics), but still, I feel like they could offset the 3D conversion price by knowing there’s enough desire for certain films (or just skip the 3D entirely and just rerelease the films). So I’m actually a big fan of this strategy. I’m glad they realize that their old stuff is better than other people’s new stuff. (If only they could make that the case about their new stuff too…)

Moneyball finished second, opening to a (pretty strong, actually) $19.5 million. I don’t think that’s bad for this film. I feel like it was one of those — “Okay, we’re aiming for Oscars, and with Pitt, we’ll probably make a few bucks as well.” But a $50 million price tag isn’t that high. Not for today. So even though most studios seem to be willing to lose some money on films in theaters in the case that they get nominated for Oscars, I think they’ll be all right here. I’ve yet to see the film, but I imagine it’s very strong, and will probably catch some Oscar nominations. But if not, I’m sure it’ll end up making its money back at some point. (more…)