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Posts tagged “1929-1930

The Oscar Quest: My Oscar Nominations — Best Director (1927/1928-1949)

This is part of a series of articles where I’m putting forth my opinions about what I’d nominate in all of the Oscar Quest categories (Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress). Normally I take the categories as they are, but I thought it would be fun to figure out what I’d vote for if I had a ballot each year. Keep in mind, this is only for NOMINATIONS and nothing else.

My only problem with this is that I knew if I did it, too many people, were they doing the same thing, would put on movies that just didn’t belong on an Oscar ballot. (I would too, in some cases. We just like what we like.) My problem was that people would take this exercise as an opportunity to really just go off the rails with stuff (which, if you read through all these articles, you’ll see me call people out for it, since I know exactly which films and which performances people would put on). So my way around this was by creating what I call a “Compromise List” — after I tell you what was actually nominated and what I’d put on my ballot, I’m making a list whereby I try to make everyone happy and keep it mostly close to what would be there, Academy-wise. You’ll see. My lists usually end up being better and not crazy.

The things to take into account with the performance categories — I can only nominate what I’ve seen. So me not seeing something will be a big reason why some stuff doesn’t appear. And, as always, I tell people not to bother me with one random person in one random category, since I have everything to think about. If you want to say something, wait until you’ve seen all the films/tried this yourself before you do it. And I don’t care about foreign performances, for the most part. There’s a long and complicated answer there, but — I don’t. And the big rule for anyone doing this — if someone won a category, YOU CAN’T LEAVE THEM OFF THE COMPROMISE LIST. Can’t do it.

Otherwise — here’s the next set of categories. (more…)

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The Oscar Quest: My Oscar Nominations — Best Actress (1927/1928-1949)

This is part of a series of articles where I’m putting forth my opinions about what I’d nominate in all of the Oscar Quest categories (Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress). Normally I take the categories as they are, but I thought it would be fun to figure out what I’d vote for if I had a ballot each year. Keep in mind, this is only for NOMINATIONS and nothing else.

My only problem with this is that I knew if I did it, too many people, were they doing the same thing, would put on movies that just didn’t belong on an Oscar ballot. (I would too, in some cases. We just like what we like.) My problem was that people would take this exercise as an opportunity to really just go off the rails with stuff (which, if you read through all these articles, you’ll see me call people out for it, since I know exactly which films and which performances people would put on). So my way around this was by creating what I call a “Compromise List” — after I tell you what was actually nominated and what I’d put on my ballot, I’m making a list whereby I try to make everyone happy and keep it mostly close to what would be there, Academy-wise. You’ll see. My lists usually end up being better and not crazy.

The things to take into account with the performance categories — I can only nominate what I’ve seen. So me not seeing something will be a big reason why some stuff doesn’t appear. And, as always, I tell people not to bother me with one random person in one random category, since I have everything to think about. If you want to say something, wait until you’ve seen all the films/tried this yourself before you do it. And I don’t care about foreign performances, for the most part. There’s a long and complicated answer there, but — I don’t. And the big rule for anyone doing this — if someone won a category, YOU CAN’T LEAVE THEM OFF THE COMPROMISE LIST. Can’t do it.

Otherwise — here’s the next set of categories. (more…)


The Oscar Quest: My Oscar Nominations — Best Actor (1927/1928-1949)

This is part of a series of articles where I’m putting forth my opinions about what I’d nominate in all of the Oscar Quest categories (Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress). Normally I take the categories as they are, but I thought it would be fun to figure out what I’d vote for if I had a ballot each year. Keep in mind, this is only for NOMINATIONS and nothing else.

My only problem with this is that I knew if I did it, too many people, were they doing the same thing, would put on movies that just didn’t belong on an Oscar ballot. (I would too, in some cases. We just like what we like.) My problem was that people would take this exercise as an opportunity to really just go off the rails with stuff (which, if you read through all these articles, you’ll see me call people out for it, since I know exactly which films and which performances people would put on). So my way around this was by creating what I call a “Compromise List” — after I tell you what was actually nominated and what I’d put on my ballot, I’m making a list whereby I try to make everyone happy and keep it mostly close to what would be there, Academy-wise. You’ll see. My lists usually end up being better and not crazy.

The things to take into account with the performance categories — I can only nominate what I’ve seen. So me not seeing something will be a big reason why some stuff doesn’t appear. And, as always, I tell people not to bother me with one random person in one random category, since I have everything to think about. If you want to say something, wait until you’ve seen all the films/tried this yourself before you do it. And I don’t care about foreign performances, for the most part. There’s a long and complicated answer there, but — I don’t. And the big rule for anyone doing this — if someone won a category, YOU CAN’T LEAVE THEM OFF THE COMPROMISE LIST. Can’t do it.

Otherwise — here’s the next set of categories. (more…)


The Oscar Quest: My Oscar Nominations — Best Picture (1927/1928-1949)

To run down the intro quickly — this is a series of articles about what I would nominate in every single Oscar Quest category if I had a ballot. I always felt I should do them, but didn’t want to pull that shit everyone pulls of, “Here’s what I’d nominate,” even though it’s all the same five films they add on and they haven’t even seen half the stuff that was nominated. I know my stuff’s legit, because I’ve seen all the films, but I refused to start this discussion unless I was going to do it with the ability to tell people how to do it the right way, since unless you keep them honest, it’s fucking chaos.

So I decided to, along with picking what I’d vote for, create what I’m calling a Compromise List. The Compromise List is — aside from my personal nominations (which on the whole are pretty close to what would fit the typical notion of “Oscar,” since I’ve seen everything and know what is and what isn’t an “Oscar” movie and actually respect the precedents in place even though I don’t always agree with them enough to not be like, “I vote for Star Trek!”), a list of films that are basically a mix of my nominees and their nominees that I think everyone could live with. The idea is to make a list that works for everyone that’s great, and to cut out all the shit that so clearly shouldn’t be there.

The things to keep in mind: 1) if a category has five nominees, I’m only nominating five films. 2) The lists are only based on what I’ve seen. 3) Don’t bother me with your opinion unless you’re gonna go the full nine and do every single year. 4) If you’re going to attempt something like this — be honest. Don’t get too subjective, and DO NOT take off a film you haven’t seen just to put on a film you have seen. And most importantly, 5) YOU CANNOT take off a Best Picture winner. You can not vote for it on your list, but on your compromise list, the Best Picture winner MUST BE THERE. If it won, you have to include it. No exceptions.

Okay, let’s get to the next set of Best Picture years: (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Picture – 1929-1930

These were the 3rd Academy Awards, and this was really the point where Hollywood figured it out. The first awards were just laying groundwork, and the second was sort of a period of chaos, since after the first awards, Hollywood had to shift from one style of filmmaking (silent) to another (sound). Here was really the first year where Hollywood started getting sound down pat. It shows. The films, of course, were not perfected yet, but they’re definitely a marked improvement from the films of 1928-1929. You see more complex sound design, and more dialogue. The films of the year before this were more silence than dialogue. Here, they were able to tell stories.

The great thing about this year is that this was really the first year where there was a quintessential “Best Picture.” (Grand Hotel was the first “Academy” decision.) All Quiet on the Western Front is the total package. It’s a big, epic picture. Classy, based on a novel. And it also happens to be one of the greatest achievements ever put to film. The reason for that is — when you see what films of this era looked like (and watch the other nominees to see what I’m talking about), what Lewis Milestone (who won Best Director for the film, talked about here) was able to accomplish with sound design and staging and camera movement — I said it in that Best Director article, but this film is one that, were it made at any point in the first eleven years of the Academy Awards, it would still be better than just about every other film nominated. It’s incredible. And this was an important film for the Academy because it did also establish the classical “Oscar” film (which we really wouldn’t see again until maybe Grand Hotel and then for sure with The Great Ziegfeld). There wouldn’t be another slam dunk winner until Gone With the Wind.

The other winners this year were George Arliss as Best Actor for Disraeli (talked about here), which makes sense (it’s the kind of role that would win Best Actor), and Best Actress was Norma Shearer for The Divorcée (talked about here), which also makes sense, given that she was an actress who would basically become the first lady of Hollywood and was a huge star in the 30s. So, in all, it’s a very solid year, and really the first that you can point to as being representative of the classical Oscar decisions.

BEST PICTURE – 1929-1930

And the nominees were…

All Quiet on the Western Front (Universal)

The Big House (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)

Disraeli (Warner Bros.)

The Divorcée (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)

The Love Parade (Paramount) (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Actor – 1929-1930

1929-1930 is the first great Best Picture winner. Sure, Wings and Sunrise are great, but they were the first ones, and the fact that they were separate kind of detracts from them. But All Quiet on the Western Front is really the first great Best Picture winner. It also won Best Director for Lewis Milestone. You can read my way too in depth analysis of why it’s an amazing decision here.

Best Actress for this year was Norma Shearer for The Divorcee (talked about here). It seems to have been the best decision in the category. Most people think Garbo should have won, her being the bigger star, but I think Shearer was the more respected actress. Honestly, I just accept that Shearer won and leave it at that.

Since there are no Supporting categories in the early years, they’re mainly judged by their Best Picture choices. This is a particularly great one. As for this category — this is actually a good choice. Sure, we all love Maurice Chevalier, but the biopic performance has been a standard Oscar winner for years and years. It’s nice to see one in the early years.

BEST ACTOR – 1929-1930

And the nominees were…

George Arliss, Disraeli & The Green Goddess

Wallace Beery, The Big House

Maurice Chevalier, The Big Pond & The Love Parade

Ronald Colman, Bulldog Drummond & Condemned

Lawrence Tibbett, The Rogue Song (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Actress – 1929-1930

I call 1929-1930 the year with the first real (or is it great? Either way, really…) Best Picture winner. There aren’t any real definitive Best Picture winners for the first decade, really. I mean, Wings, but there you have the confusion of two winners. But here — All Quiet on the Western Front. A definitive winner. And something you can point to as an “Oscar” film, too. We wouldn’t get another one of these until The Great Ziegfeld, and then Gone With the Wind. (Though, It Happened One Night is also a real Best Picture winner.) The rest just feel like decisions. You know?

Lewis Milestone also won Best Director for All Quiet on the Western Front (talked about here), which is a top ten decision for all time. And George Arliss won Best Actor for Disraeli, which is actually a strong decision, historically, based on all it represents.

And then this category — I don’t really know what to do with it. I really don’t like any of the nominees. So it’s pretty much a crap shoot. (Note the pun.)

BEST ACTRESS – 1929-1930

And the nominees were…

Nancy Carroll. The Devil’s Holiday

Ruth Chatterton, Sarah and Son

Greta Garbo, Anna Christie & Romance

Norma Shearer, The Divorcée & Their Own Desire

Gloria Swanson, The Trespasser (more…)