Posts tagged “1970

Mike’s Top Ten of 1970

1970 as a year never excited me. I’m not sure why. I think it’s part of the changeover from Old Hollywood to New Hollywood. I have the same feelings about 1968 and 1969. The old stuff sticks out like a sore thumb, while the really great new stuff has endured so well that it almost feels timeless. So there’s nothing there that particularly defines the year.

Of course, here, several truly iconic films came out. One saved a studio, one launched the career of one of the most celebrated auteurs of all time, the other launched one of the greatest actors of all time. And then there’s a film that captured a moment that defined a generation. 1970 as a year has some great parts to it. Though the sum of the parts doesn’t quite add up for me.

Still though, some cool stuff here. (more…)


A Pictorial History of the Movies: 1970 – Love Story

It might seem like a strange choice now, but this was a cultural phenomenon in 1970.

It’s always funny to see how romance movies look years later. Because almost always, they seem to appear schlocky or schmaltzy or contrived or something. This movie is no exception. The romance is very much a product of its era, and almost all of them will seem terrible when watched years later.

Case and point – Jerry Maguire. Jerry Maguire has since become its own cliché. We love it because of the sports movie aspect, but when you get to the romance element, and “You complete me” and “You had me at hello” – people scoff at that now. But at the time, it was romantic as shit. Don’t even pretend like it wasn’t.

This movie is the Jerry Maguire of 1970. It was a huge hit, romantic as hell, tragic as hell, and everyone went out to see it. And since then, it’s become so copied and used as a template for romances that to see it now, it’s almost laughable. (To some people. I saw this for the first time in 2010, and completely fell in love with it.)

But the fact remains, if we’re talking 1970, this is the movie. (more…)


The Oscar Quest: My Oscar Nominations — Best Director (1970-1989)

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 (1970-1989)

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 (1970-1989)

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 (1970-1989)

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 (1970-1989)

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 (1970-1989)

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 (1966-1970)

Oh man, there’s some great stuff 1966-1970.

1966: “BORN FREE,” FROM BORN FREE

(more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Picture – 1970

1970 is one of those years that I call “checkpoint” years. As in, you’re going and looking at all the Best Picture winners, and you go, “Like that, like that, don’t like that, oh man, that one’s horrible…” But when you get to this one, you see Patton and go, “Uh huh,” and you move on. Because it’s unquestionably a film that was gonna win. Gone With the Wind is like that. Lawrence of Arabia. These years are checkpoint years, because you mentally rest for a second before moving on.

Outside of Best Picture, Patton wins Best Director for Franklin Schaffner (talked about here) and Best Actor for George C. Scott (talked about here). Both were terrific decisions (though huge shout out to James Earl Jones in The Great White Hope. I’m not kidding when I say (racism notwithstanding) in almost any other year, he wins hands down). Best Actress this year was Glenda Jackson for Women in Love (talked about here), which is the single worst decision of all time by the Academy, in any category, bar none. (I hate it, in case you couldn’t tell.) Best Supporting Actor was John Mills for Ryan’s Daughter (talked about here), which I consider probably one of the worst three decisions of all time in the Best Supporting Actor category. And Best Supporting Actress was Helen Hayes for Airport (talked about here), which was a wonderful veteran Oscar. I’m glad she won.

So, overall, 1970 is a solid year. However, due to my insane love for another film, I will not be voting for the obvious choice in Patton here. I don’t care what anyone says, but Love Story, to me, is one of the greatest films ever made. Man’s gotta vote with his heart.

BEST PICTURE – 1970

And the nominees are…

Airport (Universal)

Five Easy Pieces (Columbia)

Love Story (Paramount)

MASH (20th Century Fox)

Patton (20th Century Fox) (more…)


Mike’s Top Tens of the Decade (1970-1979)

It’s time for another one of these. Perhaps my favorite recurring feature on the blog (next to the Pic of the Day). Me listing my favorite films of a particular decade. We’re up to the 70s now.

If you want to keep track of my progress on these lists, you can see the others here: 2000s, 1990s, 1980s.

This one will be just like those other ones. Same Ten films per year, same 11-15 (or 20, if it’s particularly strong) at the bottom, so when I come back to these lists, I can easily know which films almost made the cut so I don’t have to put too much work into updating them. The only difference is the fun list at the bottom. The first time was the “Terrible Ten” list of films I hated from that year. The second was “Films of my Childhood,” a list of films I saw and loved when I was a kid. This one will be, simply — 70s Recommendation. I will be recommending certain films from the decade (that don’t already appear on my Top Ten lists) that I feel greatly represent the 70s as a decade. You’ll see what I mean when you see the lists. Just know, though, that these films are either wonderfully representative (the way the Awesomely 80s Films were of that decade), or are real hidden gems of the decade that not many people may have seen (or would think to see) nowadays.

Also, as always, the list is based on what I’ve seen. As I see more films of the decade (and like them), the lists will be altered accordingly. Now, let’s get listing: (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Director – 1970

I have to be okay with 1970, because you just can’t argue with it. Patton is a film that’s gonna win Best Picture almost every time. It just is. And George C. Scott winning Best Actor for it (talked about here) is one of the greatest Best Actor decisions of all time (sorry, James Earl Jones. you were incredible too).

As for the rest of this year, Glenda Jackson winning Best Actress for Women in Love ranks as the single worst Academy decision of all time. You can feel my pain here. Best Supporting Actor was John Mills for Ryan’s Daughter, which I hate, as I said here. And Best Supporting Actress was Helen Hayes for Airport (talked about here), which is one of the few decisions from this year I actually like.

My problem with this year is — I love Love Story. It’s one of my favorite films of all time. And the fact that Patton was gonna win no matter what (much like 1997 with Titanic and L.A. Confidential) is quite disappointing. But fortunately, this category, Patton or not, was a good decision.

BEST DIRECTOR – 1970

And the nominees were…

Robert Altman, MASH

Federico Fellini, Satyricon

Arthur Hiller, Love Story

Ken Russell, Women in Love

Franklin J. Schaffner, Patton (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Actress – 1970

I chose my birthday as the day to present this category. It felt like the optimal day to do it. Because I consider this the single worst decision in the history of the Academy Awards. In any category. Ever. Bar none.

As for the rest of the year, it’s pretty well covered on the blog. Patton wins Best Picture, Best Director for Franklin Schaffner and Best Actor for George C. Scott (talked about here). I love the Best Actor decision and the Best Director decision, and while I’d have gone another way on Best Picture, it’s still a pretty solid and understandable choice. Then, Best Supporting Actor was John Mills for Ryan’s Daughter, which, as I said here, I consider to be the second-worst decision ever in the Best Supporting Actor category. Then Best Supporting Actress was Helen Hayes for Airport, which, as I said here, I like very much as a decision, mostly because of Helen Hayes’s legend status and the weakness of the category.

None of that, however, changes the awfulness that is this category. This is truly the worst decision of all time in any category.

BEST ACTRESS – 1970

And the nominees were…

Jane Alexander, The Great White Hope

Glenda Jackson, Women in Love

Ali MacGraw, Love Story

Sarah Miles, Ryan’s Daughter

Carrie Snodgress, Diary of a Mad Housewife (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actor – 1970

1970 is a painful year for me. Patton wins Best Picture, in a standard “Academy” decision, one that’s understandable but not particularly interesting. Franklin J. Schaffner wins Best Director, which makes perfect sense. George C. Scott winning Best Actor for it is actually one of the best decisions of all time in that category. These decisions aren’t what makes this year so painful for me, nor is Best Supporting Actress, which Helen Hayes won for Airport (which I talked about here).

What makes this year painful to me are the other two decisions. First, Glenda Jackson wins Best Actress for Women in Love, which is the single worst decision in the history of that category, and the history of the Academy Awards. Ali MacGraw not winning for Love Story is seriously the biggest travesty of the Academy Awards. Then the other terrible decision was this category, where there are two great performances, and the Academy went with what they did is really just an awful reality. And since only one of the other four decisions up there is legitimately good and interesting (the rest are either ho-hum or good, but ultimately pretty generic). They provide no solace whatsoever. And that’s why I hate this year.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – 1970

And the nominees were…

Richard Castellano, Lovers and Other Strangers

Chief Dan George, Little Big Man

Gene Hackman, I Never Sang for My Father

John Marley, Love Story

John Mills, Ryan’s Daughter (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Actor – 1970

There are few categories in Academy history as cut and dry as this one. I, for one, like that, because you don’t have to spend time explaining it. George C. Scott’s Patton is one of the most iconic performances ever put to screen. Of course it won. As for the rest of the year, Patton also won Best Picture, which makes sense, even though I’d have gone another way (Love Story is one of my favorite films of all time), and Best Director for Franklin J. Schaffner, which, actually is a fantastic decision.

Then, Best Actress this year is THE WORST BEST ACTRESS DECISION OF ALL TIME. The amount of a snub this is, is honestly the biggest snub in Academy history. This is the one everyone points to as THE worst. Glenda Jackson wins Best Actress for Women in Love, beating Ali MacGraw who gave the performance of a lifetime in Love Story. Sickening. Then Best Supporting Actor was John Mills for Ryan’s Daughter, which I also consider one of the worst single decisions of all time, because he beat both John Marley for Love Story, who was incredible, and he also beat Chief Dan George for Little Big Man. Unacceptable. Then Best Supporting Actress was Helen Hayes for Airport (which I talked about here), which was a fantastic decision. So, in all, a tough year for me. But at least this category is quick and easy. That’s great.

BEST ACTOR – 1970

And the nominees were…

Melvyn Douglas, I Never Sang for My Father

James Earl Jones, The Great White Hope

Jack Nicholson, Five Easy Pieces

Ryan O’Neal, Love Story

George C. Scott, Patton (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…)