Posts tagged “1958

Mike’s Top Ten of 1958

1958’s just a cool year. There’s nothing hugely specific that will define the year, but there are important things to talk about in terms of films. The noir genre basically ended this year, for example. Also, a film is now generally considered one of the actual two or three greatest films ever made was released. And there’s just a lot of cool shit about vikings, too.

What I like about this list is that it’s all over the map. Classic foreign film, suspense, campy horror, epic western, musical, classy drama, classic race film, ensemble, classic noir, and vikings.

Can you guys tell I’m really excited about the vikings? (more…)


A Pictorial History of the Movies: 1958 – Vertigo

And then to double down on the film history choices, here’s Vertigo.

1958 has some good choices in it (like The Defiant Ones, which most likely would have been the choice if not Vertigo), but since Vertigo was one of the highest grossers of the year, and I’ve been deliberately holding back on Hitchcock, so as not to just throw him on all over the place like so many others would do if doing this same exercise, and the fact that this film has grown in stature to be considered one of the greatest films ever made, I felt like it was an appropriate choice.

Plus this film is just so damn nice to look at as well.

Hitchcock made quite a number of films in England, but he never really got going until he was brought over to the U.S. by David O. Selznick. His first U.S. film won Best Picture, and he had his second also nominated that same year. He made some great films in his early years here, but, to me, never really hit his stride until he broke free of Selznick and started doing his own thing. (Granted, they only made four movies together, but still, there’s a difference.) (more…)


The Oscar Quest: My Oscar Nominations — Best Director (1950-1969)

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 Supporting Actress (1950-1969)

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 Supporting Actor (1950-1969)

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 Actress (1950-1969)

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 (1950-1969)

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 (1950-1969)

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…)


Best Original Song: A Categorical History (1956-1960)

Today we round out the 50s. There’s some great stuff on here.

1956: “WHATEVER WILL BE, WILL BE (QUÉ SERÁ, SERÁ), FROM THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH

(more…)


Mike’s Top Tens of the Decade (1950-1959)

This has become, by far, my favorite part of this blog. These articles have introduced me to so many movies. Ones I needed to see but hadn’t, ones I’d wanted to see but never did, ones I had no idea about. They’re the perfect excuse to go out and see more things. Plus I get to uncover some real gems. I’m so excited to do these top tens lists that I’ve began starting them earlier and earlier each time. The last one, I finished with a month to spare. This one I started before that one even went up. That’s how much I love these lists.

I’ve done the 2000s, 1990s, 1980s, 1970s and 1960s already. The way I do them is — I list my favorite ten movies for each year, then put an 11-15 (or 11-20. This decade, we have all 11-20s, because it’s incredible) at the bottom, to both recommend more great films as well as make it easier on myself when I revisit these lists in the future to update them to account for the passage of time and my maturation of taste.

The other thing I do with each decade is, outside of the top 15-20, I include a “fun” list at the bottom. For the 2000s, it was the “Terrible Ten,” of films from each year that I hated. For the 90s, it was the “Films of My Childhood.” For the 80s, it was the “Awesomely 80s Movies.” For the 70s, it was the “70s Recommendations.” For the 60s, it was the “Out with the old, in with the new.” This time, I’m doing what I’m calling “Gems of the Studio System.” There were a lot of great films from the 50s, and I wanted to find a good way to describe all the extra films I included. And I noticed, while figuring out logistics for these lists, that almost all of them were films from major directors, and that a lot of them (the films) are relatively unknown (for the most part). So the idea behind the lists was to show some hidden gems that, because of the studio system and most directors making three, four pictures a year, got lost over time. (Not all of them are by famous directors, but 90% of them are.) I’ll also tell you which director did which one. I bet on more than a few you’ll go, “Really?”

Now that’s all explained, let’s get into the lists: (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Picture – 1958

1958 is a strong year that is also a weak year. It’s strong in that — the nominees are very strong, on the whole. The films are all very good. However, there’s no real winner in the pack. There’s no real absolute #1, the way there is in most years. Which puts everything about even and then when something does win, it coming out looking weak. Kind of like 1968.

Gigi seems to have won based purely on being fun and big budget. Though the positive side effect of it was that Vincente Minnelli finally won a long-overdue Best Director (talked about here). (In that way, this feels kind of like 2006, where Scorsese was overdue and his film came along to win Best Picture as well.) Then Best Actor was David Niven for Separate Tables (talked about here), which was okay, but not great. He’s a great actor, and having an Oscar is a good thing, though he’s barely in the film (it’s essentially a supporting role), and Paul Newman, Sidney Poitier and Tony Curtis all gave more vote-worthy performances than he did. So, it’s not great, but it’s kind of okay. Wendy Hiller also won Best Supporting Actress for the film (talked about here), which was a good decision. Best Actress was Susan Hayward for I Want to Live! (talked about here), which was a good decision, and an overdue won. My only grip about it is that she should have won three years earlier (which might have led to Liz Taylor, Rosalind Russell or Deborah Kerr winning, none of whom had Oscars at this point and two of whom never won one). And Best Supporting Actor was Burl Ives for The Big Country (talked about here). This was a terrific decision, because not only is Burl Ives awesome, but he was also great in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof this year as well.

So, 1958 is a strong year in terms of decisions. But the Best Picture decision is kind of “meh.” Which is fitting for the year. Since pretty much any film that would have won (though maybe not The Defiant Ones) really wouldn’t have held up that well as a Best Picture winner.

BEST PICTURE – 1958

And the nominees were…

Auntie Mame (Warner Bros.)

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)

The Defiant Ones (Kramer, United Artists)

Gigi (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)

Separate Tables (United Artists) (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actor – 1958

I hate talking about 1958. It’s so — middling. All the nominees for Best Picture feel weak. And the winner is just — fluff. Gigi is a fine film and all, but it shouldn’t have won Best Picture. None of the nominees really should have. The Defiant Ones was probably the best choice among the bunch.

Vincente Minnelli won Best Director for Gigi (talked about here), which actually was a good decision. The dude was owed two by this point. David Niven wins Best Actor for Separate Tables (talked about here) and Wendy Hiller wins Best Supporting Actor for the film as well (talked about here). Both were veteran Oscars and are acceptable to varying degrees. And Best Actress was Susan Hayward for I Want to Live! (talked about here), which she’d earned by this point. I just wish she’d won earlier and someone else could have won here (especially since Deborah Kerr and Rosalind Russell never won Oscars, and if Elizabeth Taylor won here she wouldn’t have had to win in 1960).

And then this category. I fucking love this category. So much. I’d have wanted to vote for Burl Ives without having seen the performance. But having seen it, and the other performance he gave this year that he wasn’t nominated for — oh man, does he win this in a landslide. What a great decision for all time.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – 1958

And the nominees were…

Theodore Bikel, The Defiant Ones

Lee J. Cobb, The Brothers Karamazov

Burl Ives, The Big Country

Arthur Kennedy, Some Came Running

Gig Young, Teacher’s Pet (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actress – 1958

1958 is a pretty weak year. A weak Best Picture winner from a relatively weak set of nominees. I love Gigi, but it probably shouldn’t have won Best Picture, and wouldn’t have in a stronger year. And of the remaining nominees, only The Defiant Ones was really worth voting for. The rest were really stagy and were basically plays on film.

Vincente Minnelli finally won Best Director for the film (talked about here). Thank god. The man was practically owed two by this point. Best Actor this year was David Niven for Separate Tables (talked about here), which I guess is an okay decision. Curtis and Poitier cancelled each other out and Newman would eventually win one. And David Niven’s awesome. Best Actress was Susan Hayward for I Want to Live! (talked about here), which had been coming to her for some time. And Best Supporting Actor was Burl Ives for The Big Country, which was a great decision, since he was great in both that and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof this year.

And then there’s this category. Hiller had been solid for over 20 years, and was good enough to win Best Actress twenty years earlier. This was an easy one.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – 1958

And the nominees were…

Peggy Cass, Auntie Mame

Wendy Hiller, Separate Tables

Martha Hyer, Some Came Running

Maureen Stapleton, Lonelyhearts

Cara Williams, The Defiant Ones (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Actor – 1958

I don’t love 1958 as a year, but some of its categories (like this one) are really strong. The reason the year isn’t that strong is because the set of Best Picture nominees is pretty weak.

Gigi wins Best Picture. Not a bad film, but a bad Best Picture choice. Vincente Minnelli won Best Director for the film (talked about here), which actually needed to happen. That man was crazy overdue by this point. Best Actress was Susan Hayward for I Want to Live!, which, as I said here, was a long time coming, and was a good decision, even if I think she should have won three years earlier and someone else should have won here. Best Supporting Actor was Burl Ives for The Big Country, which was a great decision, since he was great in both that and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof this year. And Best Supporting Actress was Wendy Hiller for Separate Tables, which she had coming to her for a while before this.

And then we have this category. This is really tough for me. It’s the only time Tony Curtis was nominated, this was Sidney Poitier’s best nominated performance, Paul Newman was amazing, and David Niven is David Niven. What do you do here?

BEST ACTOR – 1958

And the nominees were…

Tony Curtis, The Defiant Ones

Paul Newman, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

David Niven, Separate Tables

Sidney Poitier, The Defiant Ones

Spencer Tracy, The Old Man and the Sea (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Director – 1958

1958 is a troublesome year for me. I feel like all the Best Picture nominees are strong number twos with no real #1 to vote for. I mean, there is, but nothing here really feels like an adequate Best Picture winner. Gigi won Best Picture, but that feels a bit like a cop out. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, albeit very theatrical, was a better choice. And so was The Defiant Ones, which probably would have been the best choice for the year. (Auntie Mame and Separate Tables were way too theatrical to vote for.)

Best Actor was David Niven for Separate Tables, which, was one of those in-house decisions. He was a very respected actor and probably would have won one of these someday anyway. Though he was very much a supporting character in his film (15 minutes of screen time), and the performance wasn’t really that great. So I think someone else (namely Paul Newman, Tony Curtis or Sidney Poitier) should have won. Wendy Hiller also won Best Supporting Actress for the film, which is a good decision, since she was a veteran and deserved an Oscar (and the category sucked). Best Actress was Susan Hayward for I Want to Live! (talked about here). I understand this decision, because Hayward was gonna win an Oscar eventually, but I don’t like it. Hayward should have won in 1958 and someone more deserving should have won here, like Deborah Kerr or Elizabeth Taylor. Best Supporting Actor was Burl Ives for The Big Country, which is a great decision, since he was also in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and would have won for that performance too.

Which brings us to this category. As much as I don’t like Gigi as a Best Picture winner, I love this decision. Since Vincente Minnelli is one of the great directors of all time. He’d earned this three times over by this point.

BEST DIRECTOR – 1958

An the nominees were…

Richard Brooks, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Stanley Kramer, The Defiant Ones

Vincente Minnelli, Gigi

Mark Robson, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness

Robert Wise, I Want to Live! (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Rankings — Best Director

Here is my subset of The Oscar Quest Rankings, specifically for Best Actor. Just in case the one big article is too much for you and you just want one specific category.

(Underlined means that’s what won. An asterisk (*) means that’s what I’d have voted for. Anything in RED means I haven’t seen the film yet.)


Best Director

2013 – 1. Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity *

2. Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave

3. Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

4. David O. Russell, American Hustle

5. Alexander Payne, Nebraska

2012 – 1. Ang Lee, Life of Pi *

2. Steven Spielberg, Lincoln

3. David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook

4. Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

5. Michael Haneke, Amour

2011  1. Martin Scorsese, Hugo *

2. Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist

3. Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life

4. Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris

5. Alexander Payne, The Descendants (more…)


The Oscar Quest: A Viewer’s Guide — Best Director

Here is my subset of The Oscar Quest: A Viewer’s Guide, specifically for Best Director.

A reminder about the color code:

Films in RED are films that are essential. These are films you need to see, whether you like them or not. Though you’ll probably like most of them. A few of these may be part of a personal bias, but this is my list. Just think of the films in red as films you need to see if you want to be film literate (in the most basic sense). At least 70% of these are films that, if you haven’t seen them, you should be ashamed of yourself. These are the prerequisites you need to get into the class. (5-star films.)

Films in ORANGE are films that are my personal favorites (that aren’t already marked red). While not “essential” per say, these are films that I love dearly. They’re essential to me. They’re films that I will tell you that you need to see. I’d say that 80% of the time, these are going to be films that most people would enjoy. A few of them might be subjective to me, but on the whole, these are all very good films. I tried to limit the orange ones to only the best of the best, my absolute favorites. But either way, I love them, and you should definitely see at least 80% of them. (My 5-star films. At worst, most people’s 3-star films. Generally 4’s for everybody.) (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Rankings — Best Supporting Actress

Here is my subset of The Oscar Quest Rankings, specifically for Best Supporting Actress. Just in case the one big article is too much for you and you just want one specific category.

(Underlined means that’s what won. An asterisk (*) means that’s what I’d have voted for.)


Best Supporting Actress

2013 – 1. Julia Roberts, August: Osage County

2. Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave *

3. June Squibb, Nebraska

4. Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine

5. Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle

2012 – 1. Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables *

2. Sally Field, Lincoln

3. Helen Hunt, The Sessions

4. Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook

5. Amy Adams, The Master

2011 – 1. Bérénice Bejo, The Artist

2. Jessica Chastain, The Help *

3. Octavia Spencer, The Help

4. Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs

5. Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids (more…)


The Oscar Quest: A Viewer’s Guide — Best Supporting Actress

Here is my subset of The Oscar Quest: A Viewer’s Guide, specifically for Best Supporting Actress.

A reminder about the color code:

Films in RED are films that are essential. These are films you need to see, whether you like them or not. Though you’ll probably like most of them. A few of these may be part of a personal bias, but this is my list. Just think of the films in red as films you need to see if you want to be film literate (in the most basic sense). At least 70% of these are films that, if you haven’t seen them, you should be ashamed of yourself. These are the prerequisites you need to get into the class. (5-star films.)

Films in ORANGE are films that are my personal favorites (that aren’t already marked red). While not “essential” per say, these are films that I love dearly. They’re essential to me. They’re films that I will tell you that you need to see. I’d say that 80% of the time, these are going to be films that most people would enjoy. A few of them might be subjective to me, but on the whole, these are all very good films. I tried to limit the orange ones to only the best of the best, my absolute favorites. But either way, I love them, and you should definitely see at least 80% of them. (My 5-star films. At worst, most people’s 3-star films. Generally 4’s for everybody.) (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Rankings – Best Supporting Actor

Here is my subset of The Oscar Quest Rankings, specifically for Best Supporting Actor. Just in case the one big article is too much for you and you just want one specific category.

(Underlined means that’s what won. An asterisk (*) means that’s what I’d have voted for. Anything in RED means I haven’t seen the film yet.)


Best Supporting Actor

2013 – 1. Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street *

2. Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

3. Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave

4. Bradley Cooper, American Hustle

5. Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips

2012 – 1. Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook *

2. Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

3. Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln

4. Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master

5. Alan Arkin, Argo

2011  1. Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close *

2. Christopher Plummer, Beginners

3. Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn

4. Nick Nolte, Warrior

5. Jonah Hill, Moneyball (more…)


The Oscar Quest: A Viewer’s Guide — Best Supporting Actor

Here is my subset of The Oscar Quest: A Viewer’s Guide, specifically for Best Supporting Actor.

A reminder about the color code:

Films in RED are films that are essential. These are films you need to see, whether you like them or not. Though you’ll probably like most of them. A few of these may be part of a personal bias, but this is my list. Just think of the films in red as films you need to see if you want to be film literate (in the most basic sense). At least 70% of these are films that, if you haven’t seen them, you should be ashamed of yourself. These are the prerequisites you need to get into the class. (5-star films.)

Films in ORANGE are films that are my personal favorites (that aren’t already marked red). While not “essential” per say, these are films that I love dearly. They’re essential to me. They’re films that I will tell you that you need to see. I’d say that 80% of the time, these are going to be films that most people would enjoy. A few of them might be subjective to me, but on the whole, these are all very good films. I tried to limit the orange ones to only the best of the best, my absolute favorites. But either way, I love them, and you should definitely see at least 80% of them. (My 5-star films. At worst, most people’s 3-star films. Generally 4’s for everybody.) (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Rankings – Best Actress

Here is my subset of The Oscar Quest Rankings, specifically for Best Actress.

(Underlined means that’s what won. An asterisk (*) means that’s what I’d have voted for. Anything in RED means I haven’t seen the film yet.)


Best Actress

2013 – 1. Judi Dench, Philomena *

2. Sandra Bullock, Gravity

3. Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

4. Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

5. Amy Adams, American Hustle

2012 – 1. Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook *

2. Naomi Watts, The Impossible

3. Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty

4. Emmanuelle Riva, Amour

5. Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

2011  1. Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo *

2. Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn

3. Viola Davis, The Help

4. Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady

5. Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs (more…)


The Oscar Quest: A Viewer’s Guide – Best Actress

Here is my subset of The Oscar Quest: A Viewer’s Guide, specifically for Best Actress.

A reminder about the color code:

Films in RED are films that are essential. These are films you need to see, whether you like them or not. Though you’ll probably like most of them. A few of these may be part of a personal bias, but this is my list. Just think of the films in red as films you need to see if you want to be film literate (in the most basic sense). At least 70% of these are films that, if you haven’t seen them, you should be ashamed of yourself. These are the prerequisites you need to get into the class. (5-star films.)

Films in ORANGE are films that are my personal favorites (that aren’t already marked red). While not “essential” per say, these are films that I love dearly. They’re essential to me. They’re films that I will tell you that you need to see. I’d say that 80% of the time, these are going to be films that most people would enjoy. A few of them might be subjective to me, but on the whole, these are all very good films. I tried to limit the orange ones to only the best of the best, my absolute favorites. But either way, I love them, and you should definitely see at least 80% of them. (My 5-star films. At worst, most people’s 3-star films. Generally 4’s for everybody.) (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Rankings – Best Actor

Here is my subset of The Oscar Quest Rankings, specifically for Best Actor. Just in case the one big article is too much for you and you just want one specific category.

(Underlined means that’s what won. An asterisk (*) means that’s what I’d have voted for. Anything in RED means I haven’t seen the film yet.)

Best Actor

2013 – 1. Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club *

2. Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street

3. Bruce Dern, Nebraska

4. Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave

5. Christian Bale, American Hustle

2012 – 1. Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln *

2. Joaquin Phoenix, The Master

3. Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables

4. Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook

5. Denzel Washington, Flight

2011  1. Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy *

2. Jean Dujardin, The Artist

3. George Clooney, The Descendants

4. Brad Pitt, Moneyball

5. Demián Bichir, A Better Life (more…)