Posts tagged “1964

Mike’s Top Ten of 1964

1964 is the year where the true schism occurs. The films seem to be clearly demarcated on either side of a line: either they’re representative of the last gasp of studio system filmmaking (evidenced by a generally bloated nature and a staid feel) vs. the new, vibrant filmmaking coming up that would be the calling card of the 70s independent movement. Trust me, you can tell the difference.

My favorite thing about 1964 is that there are two films in the top ten list that are just completely unknown. One is a film that was hated at the time and completely dismissed. The other is just a forgotten film that’s really engrossing and has some relevance to today.

Otherwise, the rest of the top ten is full of classics that are all just magical in their own way. Plus, it’s a really deep year. I can go thirty deep in this year for great movies. That doesn’t happen often. (more…)


A Pictorial History of the Movies: 1964 – Dr. Strangelove

This is a really tough year. There are a lot of choices here. And I mean a lot.

You have two James Bond movies (From Russia with Love and Goldfinger, the latter being the official 1964 film), Mary Poppins, My Fair Lady, A Fistful of Dollars, and A Hard Day’s Night. And those are just the great choices. Let’s not even get into the good ones.

Yet… I feel like history has made this the choice. It’s just such a good and iconic movie, and really represents that underbelly of Hollywood of the satirical, black comedy. And coming when this did, it’s a good representation of a time right when Hollywood went having pretty rigid standards for what they talked about and what they didn’t to saying and showing pretty much whatever they wanted.

Not to mention all the iconic moments in this — “The War Room,” riding the bomb, “You’ll have to answer to the Coca Cola company,” “Mein Fuhrer, I can walk!”… it’s amazing how ahead of its time this film is. (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 (1961-1965)

Today is 1961-1965, and it’s gonna be great:

1961: “MOON RIVER,” FROM BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S

(more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Picture – 1964

I’m very torn about 1964. There’s a lot of, “Yeah… but, oh… but, yeah…but –” involved. I love My Fair Lady. I love it. I really do. But, on the other hand, it’s kind of old-fashioned, and a bit overly long, and a bit on-the-nose as a winner. And yet — (see what I mean?)

Outside of Best Picture, My Fair Lady wins Best Director for George Cukor (talked about here), which — finally! Holy shit, was the man overdue. Him winning here is like Martin Scorsese winning for The Departed. It’s like, “Where was this 25 years ago?” It also won Best Actor for Rex Harrison (talked about here). It was a good decision. I love Rex Harrison (and Peter Sellers — he was never gonna get it, so it’s not really worth griping about). Best Actress was Julie Andrews for Mary Poppins (talked about here), which, first, she was Mary Poppins, and second, this probably (or possibly) kept her from winning the year after this, when Julie Christie really should have won (and did). Best Supporting Actor was Peter Ustinov for Topkapi (talked about here), which was a spirited decision in a rather weak category. And Best Supporting Actress was Lila Kedrova for Zorba the Greek (talked about here), which was fine, I guess, but how they could continue to pass up Agnes Moorehead, the epitome of this award (kind of like the way they kept passing up Claude Rains for Supporting Actor) is just ridiculous.

So, in all, an okay year. It’s just — here. We all love Dr. Strangelove. And we all think it should have won. But we all know that it would never win. We know it wouldn’t. Not here. (Maybe not ever.) So it’s a moot point about what should have happened. The most we can do is vote one way and accept the other.

BEST PICTURE – 1964

And the nominees are…

Becket (Paramount)

Doctor Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Columbia)

Mary Poppins (Disney, Buena Vista)

My Fair Lady (Warner Bros.)

Zorba the Greek (20th Century Fox) (more…)


Mike’s Top Tens of the Decade (1960-1969)

We’ve reached the 1960s. We had the 2000s and its Terrible Tens, the 1990s and the Films of My Childhood, the 1980s and the Awesomely 80s Movies, and the 1970s and my 70s Recommendations. Now come my favorite films of the 1960s.

Just like the other decades, along with the Top Ten, I’ll also list an 11-15 (or 20, depending on how strong the year is) list at the bottom to make it easier for me in the future. The idea is that when I do revisit these lists and see how my tastes have changed, I’ll have more than just ten films immediately on hand to get a sense of which films made it on or fell off the Top Ten list. (Let me remind you: the lists only include (or exclude) the films from these years that I’ve seen. As I see and like more films from the decade, the lists will be updated accordingly.)

Now there’s the issue of the extra category. As I always do, I like to include an extra category besides the 11-15; the Terrible Ten, the Films of My Childhood, the Awesomely 80s Movies, etc. This time, for the 60s — it’s not a particularly consistent decade. That is, with the 80s, they had 80s movies. The 60s don’t really have that. They were more of a combination of the end of the studio system and the changing film landscape and the end of the production code (epitomized by Bonnie and Clyde). So my 60s list will be what I’m calling “Out with the old, In with the new.” That is, films (good films, mind you. Not just any films. I had to have least liked them enough to put them on) that either typify the fading studio system (“out with the old”) or the emergence of New Hollywood (“in with the new”), as well as “other good films too,” which are ones that don’t necessarily fit in either category, but are also pretty great. “Out with the old, in with the new, and other good films too.”

So here are my Top Tens of the 1960s: (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Actress – 1964

1964 is a quintessential Oscar year. My Fair Lady is so obviously a Best Picture choice that it’s almost not even worth questioning the fact that it beat Dr. Strangelove. Sure, (all of those things), but when you look at what the Academy likes, it makes perfect sense.

George Cukor (finally) won his well-deserved and earned-twice-over Best Director statue for the film (talked about here), and Rex Harrison also won Best Actor for it (talked about here). Then Best Supporting Actor this year was Peter Ustinov for Topkapi (talked about here) and Best Supporting Actress was Lila Kedrova for Zorba the Greek (talked about here). Both categories were shitty and both decisions really don’t matter too much. I’m cool with the Supporting Actor decision but dislike the Supporting Actress one. 1964 is actually a pretty weak year masked by some iconic, “Oscar” decisions.

Like this category. Weak as hell. Weak, weak, weak, weak, weak. Yet — Mary Poppins wins. Who’s gonna argue with Mary Poppins winning? The decision masks how weak the whole thing is.

BEST ACTRESS – 1964

And the nominees were…

Julie Andrews, Mary Poppins

Anne Bancroft, The Pumpkin Eater

Sophia Loren, Marriage, Italian Style

Debbie Reynolds, The Unsinkable Molly Brown

Kim Stanley, Séance on a Wet Afternoon (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Director – 1964

Love 1964. My Fair Lady and Dr. Strangelove (and Mary Poppins!) are up for Best Picture. Obviously My Fair Lady is gonna win. My Fair Lady is always gonna win. It wins Best Picture, this category, and Best Actor for Rex Harrison (talked about here). Great decisions, since you know they were never gonna give Strangelove any love (they’re not that cool).

Best Actress was Julie Andrews for Mary Poppins. Self-explanatory. Best Supporting Actor was Peter Ustinov for Topkapi (talked about here). Blank, but not bad. And Best Supporting Actress was Lila Kedrova for Zorba the Greek, which, as I said here, is okay. The category was weak and she was an okay choice (though, really, Academy. No Agnes Moorehead?)

And this one — whether you love Strangelove or not — George Cukor had this earned twenty years before this.

BEST DIRECTOR – 1964

And the nominees were…

George Cukor, My Fair Lady

Michael Cacoyannis, Zorba the Greek

Peter Glenville, Becket

Stanley Kubrick, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Robert Stevenson, Mary Poppins (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actress – 1964

1964 is a year that you can’t do anything about, so it’s better to just enjoy it. My Fair Lady wins Best Picture, and as much as people love Dr. Strangelove, it was never gonna beat My Fair Lady. It just wasn’t. George Cukor finally wins his well-deserved Best Director statue for the film, and Rex Harrison also wins Best Actor for it (talked about here). I’m cool with the Cukor win, and the Harrison one too, just because I know that Strangelove never really had a shot at anything.

Best Actress this year was Julie Andrews for Mary Poppins, which is cool. The category didn’t really have a definitive winner, and Julie Andrews was gonna win one at some point anyway. Worked out just fine here. And Best Supporting Actor was Peter Ustinov for Topkapi (talked about here). I’m cool with it. The category was really bad. So it’s fine that he won.

And that’s pretty much 1964. Overall, good, as long as you realize what was and wasn’t possible. And then this category, which — meh, it sucked. I don’t really care what happened here. To an extent. I still have an opinion, though.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – 1964

And the nominees were…

Gladys Cooper, My Fair Lady

Edith Evans, The Chalk Garden

Grayson Hall, The Night of the Iguana

Lila Kedrova, Zorba the Greek

Agnes Moorehead, Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Actor – 1964

I like 1964. I don’t love it, since I love Dr. Strangelove and would totally have given that Best Picture, but I know the Academy would never have done that. And My Fair Lady is a great film. It’s a classic film. It’s a great choice for Best Picture. And George Cukor winning Best Director is a great decision, because the dude should have had one 30 years earlier. So that worked out really well.

Best Actress this year was Julie Andrews for Mary Poppins, which I like, based on the category. I’ll talk about why specifically when I get to that category, but the shorthand is — it’s Mary fucking Poppins. Lighten the fuck up. Best Supporting Actor this year was Peter Ustinov for Topkapi (talked about here), which I’m cool with. The category really sucked hardcore. And Best Supporting Actress was Lila Kedrova for Zorba the Greek, which, honestly, the category was so bad, I understand it. But the complete disrespect for Agnes Moorehead by the Academy is just astounding. The fact that she didn’t win (ever) really shocks me. That’s just as bad as Claude Rains never winning.

And then we end up here. I know how we all feel, so I’ll say it this way, and this is how it’s gonna stay: yes, Peter Sellers gave the best performance. Yes, I’m voting for him. No, the Academy was never going to give him the Oscar here. Yes, Rex Harrison was the best choice in that scenario. So this was actually a good decision.

BEST ACTOR – 1964

And the nominees were…

Richard Burton, Becket

Rex Harrison, My Fair Lady

Peter O’Toole, Becket

Anthony Quinn, Zorba the Greek

Peter Sellers, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actor – 1964

1964 is a year you can’t really argue with, because it’s a complete “Academy” decision. As much as I love Mary Poppins and especially Dr. Strangelove, My Fair Lady makes the most sense as an Oscar decision. It wins Best Picture, Best Director for George Cukor (which, good for him. He had to wait thirty years for it) and Best Actor for Rex Harrison. All of these are acceptable decisions. You may not have voted for them, but they are acceptable decisions.

Best Actress for this year was Julie Andrews for Mary Poppins, which is cool. Not a groundbreaking performance, but — it’s Mary Poppins. We’ll go with it. Best Supporting Actress for this year was Lila Kedrova for Zorba the Greek. I don’t particularly like it, but that’s because I think the Academy should vote for Agnes Moorehead every time she’s nominated and doesn’t have an Oscar (which, since she never won, is every time).

So that’s 1964. It has to be acceptable because of My Fair Lady. I’m cool with most of the decisions. Don’t particularly like two of them, which, ironically, are the supporting categories. But even so, they’re not very major, and the categories are weak as hell, so, meh.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – 1964

And the nominees were…

John Gielgud, Becket

Stanley Holloway, My Fair Lady

Edmond O’Brien, Seven Days in May

Lee Tracy, The Best Man

Peter Ustinov, Topkapi (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…)