Posts tagged “1985

Mike’s Top Ten of 1985

Peak 80s. That’s what this is. This feels like everything I remember the 80s being. Not that I particularly remember the 80s, since I wasn’t alive for just about 90% of it. But in my mind, this year epitomizes the decade for me.

This is one of those lists that was forged mainly by my childhood. A bunch of these are movies I grew up watching. Some of them I saw in college for the first time, and the rest I saw as part of the Oscar Quest. Which, for me, makes it feel like I’ve been with them for a while, given the amount of stuff I’ve seen since then.

Though I will say, as far as the decade goes… not the deepest. All the strength tends to be up top. But, so far we haven’t had a year that was horrendously bad, so we should be grateful for that. (more…)


A Pictorial History of the Movies: 1985 – Back to the Future

Has to be. Can’t be anything else.

Highest grossing movie of 1985. Cultural touchstone for a lot of people. Completely has held up over the years. Endlessly quotable with dozens of memorable images.

This is the movie of 1985.

There is no other choice besides this one.

But wouldn’t it have been real fucked up if I picked Cocoon? (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 – 1985

If there ever was a year that epitomizes the entire history of the Academy Awards in a nutshell — this is that year. You could use 1985 as a singular example for everything that has come before and after it. Let me explain:

Out of Africa wins Best Picture. A classical Oscar film if there ever was one. Big, sweeping, epic, a romance. And it epitomizes the Academy because they vote for this things blindly. Out of Africa is not a good film. It’s just a compiling of things the Academy loves. I bet if there’s one film Harvey Weinstein has learned from the most, it’s this one. Not to mention the added bonus of racism, since the vastly superior The Color Purple was deliberately shut out this year. It also wins Best Director for Sydney Pollack (talked about here). This marks one of the six times the DGA winner (Steven Spielberg) did not win the Oscar (hell, he wasn’t even nominated). Best Actor this year was William Hurt for Kiss of the Spider Woman (talked about here). Not a particularly strong performance, but he played gay (and in a very weak category). They love that. Best Actress was Geraldine Page for The Trip to Bountiful (talked about here). One of the single worst Best Actress decisions ever. Whoopi Goldberg was better in every way, and the Academy went with a veteran just because she was old. Okay. Best Supporting Actor was Don Ameche for Cocoon (talked about here), which — veteran Oscar, but also a terribly weak category (kinda like 2011). And Best Supporting Actress was Anjelica Huston for Prizzi’s Honor (talked about here). She was good in the movie, but how she beat Oprah Winfrey for The Color Purple or Meg Tilly for Agnes of God is beyond me.

But, when you boil down all of these decisions, you get what the Academy likes in each one — Best Actor, man playing gay. Best Actress — a white woman (either a star whose “time” it is, or in this case, a veteran they want to reward). Best Supporting Actor — a veteran. Best Supporting Actress — an up-and-comer. And Best Picture — just watch Out of Africa, you’ll see what I mean. I truly think this might be the lowest point of the 80s, this year. It’s so bad.

BEST PICTURE – 1985

And the nominees were…

The Color Purple (Warner Bros.)

Kiss of the Spider Woman (Island Alive)

Out of Africa (Universal)

Prizzi’s Honor (20th Century Fox, ABC Motion Pictures)

Witness (Paramount) (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actor – 1985

I hate 1985. Perhaps the nadir of the 80s, this year signifies all that’s wrong with the Academy. From top to bottom, almost all the decisions they made were wrong. Out of Africa wins Best Picture, beating the far superior in every way The Color Purple, which speaks to the Academy’s preoccupation with two things: big, epic Oscar bait films, and racism. They really don’t like black people in the Academy.

Sydney Pollack wins Best Director for Out of Africa (talked about here), which may actually be an okay decision based on the category (it sucked), but the real shame here is the fact that THEY DIDN’T EVEN NOMINATE STEVEN SPIELBERG! Steven Spielberg won the DGA Award for The Color Purple, and the racist ass Academy didn’t even nominate him! How fucked up is that?

Speaking of racism, we’re not done yet. Best Actress this year went to Geraldine Page for The Trip to Bountiful (talked about here). She beat the far superior Whoopi Goldberg, in, you guessed it, The Color Purple. Three — count it — three racist decisions. Add to that Anjelica Huston winning Best Supporting Actress for Prizzi’s Honor (talked about here), which may have been racism (Oprah was certainly better than Huston was), but I’m not going to declare it as such, just because I personally thought Meg Tilly gave the best performance in the category. Oh, and William Hurt won Best Actor for Kiss of the Spider Woman (talked about here), which is the lone good decision in this shitty year.

Oh, but now there’s this category, which would be okay in most years, but here it serves to remind us of the other terrible trend in Academy voting: veteran Oscars for people who give mediocre performances and are getting statues because of their stature.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – 1985

And the nominees were…

Don Ameche, Cocoon

Klaus Maria Brandauer, Out of Africa

William Hickey, Prizzi’s Honor

Robert Loggia, Jagged Edge

Eric Roberts, Runaway Train (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Director – 1985

I really hate 1985. Out of Africa was a terrible Best Picture choice. The Color Purple should have beaten it. Geraldine Page was a terrible Best Actress choice for The Trip to Bountiful (as I said here). Whoopi Goldberg really should have beaten her for The Color Purple.

Anjelica Huston was a weak choice as Best Supporting Actress for Prizzi’s Honor (talked about here). Oprah Winfrey or (my personal choice) Meg Tilly should have beaten her, for The Color Purple or Agnes of God, respectively. Don Ameche is an okay choice as Best Supporting Actor for Cocoon, but it doesn’t really help the year any.

And then there’s this category. Steven Spielberg wasn’t even nominated for The Color Purple. And the category just feels so weak and generic without him. The choice here comes down to two people — the Best Picture-winning director (who is a great director in his own right), or the legend who only got this single Oscar nomination. It should be obvious which of the two I’m taking.

BEST DIRECTOR – 1985

And the nominees were…

Héctor Babenco, Kiss of the Spider Woman

John Huston, Prizzi’s Honor

Akira Kurosawa, Ran

Syndey Pollack, Out of Africa

Peter Weir, Witness (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Actor – 1985

I hate 1985. Nearly every decision was wrong. It starts at the top. Out of Africa wins Best Picture and Best Director for Sydney Pollack. Let’s start with Best Picture. It was a terrible decision. The film just — isn’t that good. I mean, it’s a fine film and all, but — The Color Purple was also nominated this year. That, by all accounts, is clearly the better film. The fact that it didn’t win speaks to the oldest tradition in Academy history — racism. That’s the only explanation. Steven Spielberg, who directed The Color Purple and won the DGA Award for it, wasn’t even nominated for Best Director! (Which makes the Sydney Pollack decision okay, since he did a good job with his film and was a good director. Though the Academy did have the chance to award Akira Kurosawa here. But, I do understand the choice, if Spielberg wasn’t nominated.)

Then, Best Actress was another racist decision. Whoopi Goldberg was clearly the best performance in the category, and yet the Academy gives Best Actress to Geraldine Page for The Trip to Bountiful (talked about here). Oh, this racism is killing me inside. Geraldine Page was a respected actress with 8 nominations to her name. But don’t let that fool you. They used her veteran status as an excuse to be racist. Watch the performances — you’ll see what I mean. Then Best Supporting Actor was Don Ameche for Cocoon, which was a veteran win, no more, no less. This one I can kind of get behind. I mean, Klaus Maria Brandauer was strong in Out of Africa, but I don’t like that film, and Eric Roberts was awesome in Runaway Train, but I don’t think the Academy would have voted for him. So I guess this result is kind of okay. Then Best Supporting Actress was Anjelica Huston for Prizzi’s Honor (talked about here), which, I don’t really like all that much. At all, in fact.

So that’s 1985. Of the 6 decisions, I like one of them. This one. Then three of them are terrible, I don’t like one (Supporting Actress) but can live with it a little bit (though my dislike still stands) and can live with the other one (Supporting Actor). All in all a terrible year.

BEST ACTOR – 1985

And the nominees were…

Harrison Ford, Witness

James Garner, Murphy’s Romance

William Hurt, Kiss of the Spider Woman

Jack Nicholson, Prizzi’s Honor

Jon Voight, Runaway Train (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actress – 1985

I hate 1985 so much. Out of Africa is just not a film that should win Best Picture. Not over The Color Purple. And Steven Spielberg not winning Best Director — okay, not even being nominated for Best Director, despite winning the DGA for the film! — for it is also terrible. Sydney Pollack is a great director, and him winning Best Director is sort of okay, but, come on. Out of Africa? Really?

Best Actor this year was William Hurt for Kiss of the Spider Woman. It was by far the best decisions they could have made. He was awesome, and this was the best year for him to win. He didn’t have any competition. Then Best Actress was Geraldine Page for The Trip to Bountiful (talked about here), which is one of the worst Best Actress decisions of all time. Top five worst. Because Whoopi Goldberg really should have won that. I don’t even think people contest that fact. Then Best Supporting Actor was Don Ameche for Cocoon, which is cool. This, unlike Best Actress, was a good opportunity to reward a veteran.

So, in all, of the six decisions this year, I like — two of them. And even of the two, they’re not resoundingly good. Like, William Hurt winning is great, but the category is weak so it’s just, “Yeah it’s good, but, one in a decade of shit…” You appreciate them more than you love them. I like them and all, but it’s not like these were the 1987 decisions. Those are great decisions. So I hate 1985. Like most of the 80s, they fucked up.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – 1985

And the nominees were…

Margaret Avery, The Color Purple

Anjelica Huston, Prizzi’s Honor

Amy Madigan, Twice in a Lifetime

Meg Tilly, Agnes of God

Oprah Winfrey, The Color Purple (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…)