Posts tagged “1983

Mike’s Top Ten of 1983

We’re full 80s at this point. Man… some of these movies are both the best and the worst of the 80s. Often at the same time.

But, as a standalone year, it’s pretty strong at the top. This list goes 7 or 8 deep of straight “oh shit yeah” kinda movies. Though I will say, as is the case with most of the 80s, the top ten lists of most people will largely be the same. I feel like everyone’s top ten for this year will consist of at least eight of my top 20 films. There’s always that 20% of personal preference, but I feel like the 80s are such that the cream rises to the top, and we’re all working off the same cream.

What I find interesting about this list in particular is how it starts off with all the obvious heavy hitters and then gets into some cool stuff that I really like. I like when I get to have a few top ten movies that are a bit straying from the beaten path, so maybe rather than affirming the same opinions as the rest of the group I get to give you something that you may not have heard about. Which is really what it’s all about. (more…)


A Pictorial History of the Movies: 1983 – Flashdance

This was one of the last three years I had to choose for this list. 1983 was really difficult for me. Because the biggest film of the year was Return of the Jedi. And we already talked Star Wars. Then you have Terms of Endearment, which is a great weepy, but didn’t feel like a slam-dunk choice for the year. Then there’s Scarface, which is culturally big, and does represent the 80s in a lot of ways, but felt like too easy a choice. Plus it was more a film that got rediscovered later. Then I thought maybe A Christmas Story, but that doesn’t feel like the right choice either. So I left it alone for a while and went back to it at the very last minute, when I wanted to have everything finalized.

Finally, I went back and looked, and discovered two films that instantly became the two finalists for this year, that represented what was popular in film in the 80s, what was going on culturally in the 80s, and still holds up as something that represents where film was at in 1983. And those two were Flashdance and Risky Business.

Now, both have very iconic images and moments, and very memorable soundtracks. So it was tough to narrow down. I had Risky Business as the choice for a while. But then I looked at what the biggest music hits of 1983 were, and this movie had two of them. “Flashdance… What a Feeling” and “Maniac” are two of the staple hits of the 80s. They felt present, as opposed to the throwback song of Risky Business. Plus, this was the third-highest grossing movie of the year, whereas Risky Business was 10th. So this was an overall bigger hit, and won an Oscar for Original Song. It felt like all around the best choice. (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 (1981-1985)

They don’t get any better than this first song:

1981: “ARTHUR’S THEME (BEST THAT YOU CAN DO),” FROM ARTHUR

(more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Picture – 1983

1983 is another one of those weak 80s decisions. It’s not horrible, it’s just — not ideal. But considering the pile of shit we got in the 80s, this year’s not as bad as some of those other ones.

Terms of Endearment is probably not a film that should win Best Picture. But it did. It also won Best Director for James L. Brooks (talked about here), mostly because the person who should have won Best Director (Philip Kaufman) wasn’t nominated. It also won Shirley MacLaine her long overdue Best Actress Oscar (talked about here), and won Jack Nicholson a somewhat unfair Best Supporting Actor Oscar (talked about here). MacLaine needed to win, Jack didn’t. Putting him in Supporting is like putting Meryl in Supporting — it’s just not fair to everyone else. Best Actor this year was Robert Duvall for Tender Mercies (talked about here). Not the best performance, but he was so due by this point it didn’t matter. And Best Supporting Actress was Linda Hunt for The Year of Living Dangerously (talked about here). She plays a man in the film. And nobody notices. I rest my case.

So, 1983 could be worse than it is. I think of it as more effective than anything. It got Shirley MacLaine her Oscar. It got Robert Duvall his Oscar. And Best Picture — meh. I guess it’s okay. I still say The Right Stuff was a far better film, though.

BEST PICTURE – 1983

And the nominees were…

The Big Chill (Columbia)

The Dresser (Columbia)

The Right Stuff (Warner Bros., The Ladd Company)

Tender Mercies (Universal, AFD)

Terms of Endearment (Paramount) (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Actor – 1983

1983 is one of the not dull spots of the 80s. It’s not particularly bright, but it’s — cheap fluorescent. I’ll take that.

Terms of Endearment wins Best Picture, which is not a terrible choice (though I loved The Right Stuff so much more), considering the weak set of nominees, but it is a weak Best Picture choice, considering many of the films that won the award. It also won Best Director for James L. Brooks (talked about here), which makes sense, since Phillip Kaufman inexplicably wasn’t nominated, Best Actress for Shirley MacLaine (talked about here), which was 23 years overdue, and Best Supporting Actor for Jack Nicholson (talked about here), which I don’t understand past, “It’s Jack, we have to vote for him.” I go Sam Shepard all the way there.

The other non-Endearment winner this year, besides this category was Best Supporting Actress, which went to Linda Hunt for The Year of Living Dangerously (talked about here). In case you don’t know or haven’t seen the film — she plays a man! And nobody notices!

Okay, that brings us to this category. It had to happen. I don’t love the performance (much the way I didn’t love Jeff Bridges’ country singer Oscar winner performance (you know you loved those rhymes)), but (more so than the Bridges one) this had to happen because — Duvall’s snub in 1979 was so bad, so horrible, that he should have won for any performance he gave this year, whatever it was. (Sorry Michael Caine, but, blame the Academy. Though he got two awards later on, so he came out all right.)

BEST ACTOR – 1983

And the nominees were…

Michael Caine, Educating Rita

Tom Conti, Reuben, Reuben

Tom Courtenay, The Dresser

Robert Duvall, Tender Mercies

Albert Finney, The Dresser (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Director – 1983

1983 is a really weak year. When Terms of Endearment wins Best Picture, you’re witnessing a pretty weak year. It’s not that the film is bad, it’s just — it’s not a strong Best Picture winner.

Shirley MacLaine won Best Actress for the film (talked about here), which had to happen, since she was way overdue by this point, and despite the strength of the category, she needed to win. And Jack Nicholson won Best Supporting Actor for the film (talked about here), which, I don’t understand. I guess they just wanted to give Jack another one. Sam Shepard really should have won there. Best Actor this year was Robert Duvall for Tender Mercies, which, the category was pretty weak, and Duvall needed to win an Oscar (his snub in 1979 was Unforgivable). So I support the win, even though I wasn’t over the moon about his performance. Best Supporting Actress was Linda Hunt for The Year of Living Dangerously (talked about here). She played a man. ‘Nuff said.

Now this category. How the fuck was Phillip Kaufman not nominated for The Right Stuff? He’d have won the category with these nominees.

BEST DIRECTOR – 1983

And the nominees were…

Bruce Beresford, Tender Mercies

Ingmar Bergman, Fanny and Alexander

James L. Brooks, Terms of Endearment

Mike Nichols, Silkwood

Peter Yates, The Dresser (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Actress – 1983

I like 1983. I don’t necessarily agree with the Best Picture choice, but it’s not terrible. Terms of Endearment wins Best Picture, and, while I’d have gone with The Right Stuff, I’m cool with it winning. Either way, it’s a pretty weak year for Best Picture (though, admittedly, amongst the other winners of the 80s, this is actually one of the better ones). James L. Brooks wins Best Director for the film, which is very acceptable, since for some reason Philip Kaufman wasn’t nominated for The Right Stuff. Jack Nicholson also won Best Supporting Actor for the film, which, as I said here, I don’t particularly like, since, Jack didn’t need it, and Sam Shepard was badass as Chuck Yeager.

Best Actor this year was Robert Duvall for Tender Mercies. I don’t particularly love the performance, but Duvall was terribly overdue by this point, and the category wasn’t that strong. So he was a good decision. And Best Supporting Actress was Linda Hunt for The Year of Living Dangerously (talked about here), which is a great decision, especially since she played a man in her film! And nobody noticed!

So in all, not a terrible year, 1983. In fact, really strong, in context. And this category — this is a stacked year for Best Actress. All five of these performances are really fucking good. It’s rare to have a year where all five performances were good enough to be at worst a #3 for most years.

BEST ACTRESS – 1983

And the nominees were…

Jane Alexander, Testament

Shirley MacLaine, Terms of Endearment

Meryl Streep, Silkwood

Julie Walters, Educating Rita

Debra Winger, Terms of Endearment (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actor – 1983

I got a request for this one. I was so excited to get a request for this category that I bumped it up from its original December date to now. (Also, yeah, I totally have all the categories scheduled. I do it in the interest of not having to do any work later. Now I can just look at the list and see when things go up and don’t have to think about it and can just start typing.)

1983 is a weak year in Academy history, mostly because Terms of Endearment is a weak Best Picture winner. It’s a great film, but a weak Best Picture choice. And the other options weren’t really all that good this year. I, personally, would have gone with The Right Stuff. I also love the Big Chill, but that’s not a Best Picture winner. Also, James L. Brooks winning Best Director for Terms of Endearment was fine because Phillip Kaufman wasn’t nominated for The Right Stuff. So at least there you can be like, “Well, they couldn’t make the right decision because they didn’t nominate the best effort.” So, the Picture/Director link-up works in this case. And Shirley MacLaine winning Best Actress for Terms is a perfect choice because she was 23 years overdue by this point. Robert Duvall winning Best Actor for Tender Mercies is a great macro decision, since the dude deserved an Oscar. I didn’t love the performance, but given the overall category, it works as a decision. And then Linda Hunt winning Best Supporting Actress for The Year of Living Dangerously, for playing a man (!). I talked about it here. Seriously, she plays a man. And nobody notices. That’s so awesome.

So that’s 1983. Weak (overall) Best Picture choice, and also one I wouldn’t really choose (just because it’s so — not a Best Picture choice), great decisions for the majority of the acting categories, mostly based on the actors themselves more so than the performances. And Best Director was fine because the person who should have won wasn’t nominated (and The Dresser was. What the fuck?). And then there’s this category — which makes no sense whatsoever.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – 1983

And the nominees were…

Charles Durning, To Be or Not to Be

John Lithgow, Terms of Endearment

Jack Nicholson, Terms of Endearment

Sam Shepard, The Right Stuff

Rip Torn, Cross Creek (more…)


Mike’s Top Tens of the Decade (1980-1989)

This has become a recurring feature here at B+ Movie Blog. Back in March, I posted my Top Tens of the 2000s, because, even though I don’t put much stock in them as be-all, end-all catalogues, I do love making Top Ten lists. So, three months later, I made a list of my Top Tens of the 90s. I liked doing it so much, I figured I’d try to do one for every decade (it gets murky past the 20s, but we have a ways to go before we get there). I’ll space them out every three months, so that way it feels like one of those “very special episodes” TV shows like to do.

What I like to do for each decade is, after listing the ten films from each year I like the best (as well as an 11-15, so that when I revisit the lists in the future (update them in five, ten years, or whatever), I won’t have look through at every film that came out over again), I like to put another list at the bottom for fun. For the 2000s, it was the “Terrible Ten” list of films I hated the most from each year. For the 90s, it was a list of “Films of My Childhood,” the films I grew up watching and loving. Now, for the 80s, I’ve compiled a list of “Awesomely 80s films,” movies from the 80s that are amazingly reflective of the decade. You’ll see what I mean when you see them.

Let’s get to the lists: (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…)