Posts tagged “1998

Mike’s Top Ten of 1998

This is such a great year. This year is right around when I started getting into step with movies and seeing stuff as it came out rather than later on. 1998-1999 are those years I culturally came into my own. So there’s stuff here I remember seeing at the time that… okay, maybe as a 10 year old I probably shouldn’t have been watching, but it helped turn me into the person I am today in regard to watching stuff. So there’s that.

There’s also some real heavy hitters this year. And a few that I just adore from having grew up with them that might not be consensus choices for “best films of 1998.” But that’s what makes the 90s so good. That’s the decade that’s most personal to me. 1995-2004 is probably the ten year stretch that’s most influenced by my growing up and most personal to me in terms of the choices.

This is also, now that I look at it, kind of a weird year. There’s a lot of mainstream studio stuff here that other people might not think is particularly good. So maybe it really isn’t that strong a year and just feels that way because it’s such a big part of my youth. Whatever. I love it, and that’s all that really matters. (more…)


A Pictorial History of the Movies: 1998 – Saving Private Ryan

Strangely, it was between this and Armageddon. Just because I can still think of how often I heard that Aerosmith song that year.

But this is really the choice. It’s a movie that’s absolutely astounding, from the opening shot until the end. (A lot of people say it has third act problems, but whatever.)

This is Steven Spielberg’s first “serious” entry on this list. He’s actually on here five times total, which is insane (but Jaws, Raiders, E.T. and Jurassic Park were also legitimately the films from their years). But some directors are just like that. I’m not gonna choose someone else unless there’s another legitimate choice. And here, I don’t think there’s a legitimate choice.

This one might not hold up as much as Titanic on the culture scale. Titanic was everywhere that year. This one holds up on the empirical evidence side of things.

It won a bunch of Oscars, was actually the highest grossing movie of the year, and has held up as an instant classic that continues to be watched and loved by all. Why wouldn’t it be the choice? (more…)


The Hidden Gems List (1998)

My Hidden Gems list is an in-depth look at all the films I feel are in some way, underseen, underappreciated, or just plain unknown, and they really shouldn’t be that way.

I have a lot of lists of films I really like on this blog. But there are a lot of films out there that I like, so it can be overwhelming for someone who just wants to find a few movies to watch. Plus, I assume that people reading this know enough about movies and have seen enough to where they know what big shit (Casablanca, Gone With the Wind, etc) they need to see. I don’t need to tell you that. Plus, everyone loves when you can find a movie that not a lot of people know about that’s really good that you can now show other people who don’t know about it.

So the idea was to write, in depth, about some movies that I love that I think people need to see. From each year. And what I’m gonna do is go very slowly go through all of them, and give them their time in the spotlight. And then you can read them and maybe find some to go, “All right, I should check that out,” and maybe add them to your Netflix queue.

The idea is to give you things to see (specifically ones I feel most people would ignore, have ignored, or would assume it wasn’t something they need to see, that I think are really good and worthwhile that not enough people know about), and to show some love to more stuff than the big things from each year. We get enough of that. The big stuff is always there, but it’s these ones that fill out a collection.

You can always buy a diamond, but isn’t it more fun to pan a gem from the rest of the dirt? Here are 1998′s gems. (more…)


The Oscar Quest: My Oscar Nominations — Best Director (1990-2011)

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 (1990-2011)

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 (1990-2011)

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 (1990-2011)

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 (1990-2011)

These performance articles are going to be tougher than the Best Picture ones. But before we get into that, let me explain:

I’m doing a series of articles where I sort of mediate my opinions about what should have been nominated in all of the Oscar Quest categories (Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress), all time (1927-1928 to present), next to what the actual nominees were. I’ve never actually gone on record about what I think should have been nominated, mostly because I treat the Oscars as something that’s just a thing. I have opinions each year about what should or shouldn’t be nominated, but once a category is in place I (unlike many other people), have respect for the category as an entity. I don’t fuck with them, and treat everything as, “Okay, it’s there. Now how do I vote?”

But I figured I could accomplish two things by actually telling people what I’d nominate. First, I figured I could use my opinions to create what I’m calling a Compromise List, which is basically a mixture of what actually happened and what I think should have happened, which, to most rational people who like movies (and respect the Oscars), actually ends up being something that perfectly mediates the two. I feel like these Compromise Lists give everyone the best of both worlds — we get to nominate shit that was ignored, and the films that the Academy clearly liked get to stay. And (hopefully) everyone’s happy. (more…)


The Oscar Quest: My Oscar Nominations — Best Picture (1990-2011)

This seemed like an obvious next step after I did the Oscar Quest. I try not to deal in ‘what-ifs,’ so pulling that bullshit of simply saying, “Oh, this is what I would have nominated,” felt like a dick move to me. Because people do that all the time, and they’re always too subjective to take seriously. It’s like, “I would totally have voted for Blade Runner over Missing,” meanwhile they haven’t seen Missing and there’s no fucking way in any world that Blade Runner would have been nominated for Best Picture. And I refused to get involved with that without being able to tell people — “Look, don’t be stupid.”

But I found a way around that. I decided, that if I was going to say, “Here’s what I would have voted for if I had a ballot,” I would also point out that some of the shit I’d vote for would never happen.  And that gave me the idea for the “Compromise List.” The Compromise List is basically — I have films I think shouldn’t have been nominated. I have films I’d nominate that other people (more importantly, the Academy) don’t think should be nominated. So, the idea of the Compromise List is — we swap out shit I don’t like with shit we all can get behind (since most of it has been established as stuff that’s great).

I, personally, found myself unable to be totally subjective here. Because I, unlike most people, have respect for the Academy as an institution, and the history they have. Sure, I think they make asinine decisions all the time, but I refuse to pull that bullshit of “Star Trek on Best Picture list!” No. I don’t care if it was a better movie than The Blind Side — I won’t do it. And to even think it would have happened is to belittle what the Oscars are. I know a good movie is a good movie, but we have 85 years of precedent before us. You can’t tell me certain movies should be nominated. Hence the compromise list. (more…)


Best Original Song: A Categorical History (1996-2000)

Not as strong as the first half of the 90s, but… it’ll do, pig.

1996: “YOU MUST LOVE ME,” FROM EVITA

(more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Picture – 1998

1998 is, as we all know, one of those Oscar years that is brought up as an example of all the bad the Academy represents; “The Academy being the Academy.” And, just like 2010, it’s one of those decisions that makes sense considering who they are and what they like, isn’t as bad as some other decisions because at least they choose a good film (it just might not have been the best film), and at least here (unlike 2010) they gave the other film Best Director. So it’s not that terrible a decision. It’s just not most people’s preferred decision.

As for the rest of the year — it’s filled with other not-so-good decisions, which makes the Best Picture decision feel worse. Shakespeare in Love, outside of this category, won Best Actress for Gwyneth Paltrow (talked about here), which is historically a terrible decision, but honestly, I don’t really know what woud have been a better one. (Yes, I know Cate Blanchett, but that film is just way too on-the-nose to give her an Oscar. It was a terrible category, is what it was.) It also won Best Supporting Actress for Judi Dench (talked about here), which despite all the shit it catches for being so short on screen time, is a good decision.

Best Actor this year was Roberto Benigni for Life is Beautiful (talked about here), which I think we can all  agree is one of, if not the single worst Best Actor decision in the history of the category. (But despite everyone’s opinion, Edward Norton was not the better choice, Ian McKellen was.) Best Supporting Actor was James Coburn for Affliction (talked about here), which is good in the sense that James Coburn is awesome, but terrible in every other way (Billy Bob really should have won this). And Steven Spielberg winning Best Director for Saving Private Ryan (talked about here) is one of the best decisions in that category.

Now, let me just say, before I talk about the films — this is really not that bad. Looking at it historically, there were much, much worse decisions. It’s only bad in context.

BEST PICTURE – 1998

And the nominees were…

Elizabeth (PolyGram Filmed Entertainment)

Life is Beautiful (Miramax)

Saving Private Ryan (DreamWorks, Paramount)

Shakespeare in Love (Miramax/Universal)

The Thin Red Line (20th Century Fox) (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Actor – 1998

I deliberately held back on this one. This is a major category that a lot of people have strong opinions on. So of course I was gonna hold back on it. Anticipation is key.

As for 1998 — Shakespeare in Love wins Best Picture, Best Actress for Gwyneth Paltrow (talked about here) and Best Supporting Actress for Judi Dench (talked about here). Steven Spielberg wins Best Director for Saving Private Ryan (talked about here), and James Coburn wins Best Supporting Actor for Affliction (talked about here). I think everyone knows these categories pretty well. No need to editorialize in this intro.

Now this one. Obviously a sore spot for many people. I think we all understand that Roberto Benigni was one of the worst choices ever in this category. That’s not really the part people argue over. The part people argue over is who should have won instead. Some people say Edward Norton, some say Ian McKellen. Which do I take? You’ll have to keep reading to find out…

Look at me, mysterious fucker.

BEST ACTOR – 1998

And the nominees were…

Roberto Benigni, Life is Beautiful

Tom Hanks, Saving Private Ryan

Ian McKellen, Gods and Monsters

Nick Nolte, Affliction

Edward Norton, American History X (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actress – 1998

I hate this category. It’s one of the weakest Best Supporting Actress categories ever. It’s so bad.

Also, 1998 — Shakespeare in Love, beats Saving Private Ryan. People have strong opinions on this. That about covers it. Fortunately, Steven Spielberg won Saving Private Ryan (which I talked about here), so I feel, as long as they got that category right, it doesn’t matter which way they went on Best Picture. Then, Best Actor was Robert Benigni for Life is Beautiful, which we can all agree, is the single worst Best Actor decision in the history of the category. It was just awful. Then, Best Actress was Gwyneth Paltrow for Shakespeare in Love (which I talked about here), which I like as a decision. I know it’s not the best decision, but — well, I explained it in the article. Then Best Supporting Actor was James Coburn for Affliction (which I talked about here), which I don’t like as a decision, but I like because I like James Coburn. Still, not a good decision in that category.

So that’s 1998. I like, two of the decisions of the six. Two I can go with, but I think they could have been better. Then two I think are just terrible. So it’s a mixed bag. Leading to this category…

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – 1998

And the nominees were…

Kathy Bates, Primary Colors

Brenda Blethyn, Little Voice

Judi Dench, Shakespeare in Love

Rachel Griffiths, Hilary and Jackie

Lynn Redgrave, Gods and Monsters (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actor – 1998

This is a rough year for most people. It’s not just because Shakespeare in Love wins Best Picture over Saving Private Ryan. I don’t have a problem with that. Honestly, I don’t. Because, Steven Spielberg won Best Director for Ryan (as I talked about here), and I can live with the Best Picture choice as long as they made the proper Best Director choice to go along with it (which they didn’t do this past year). Gwyneth Paltrow also wins Best Actress for Shakespeare (which I talked about here), and Judi Dench wins Best Supporting Actress for the film as well (which is just awesome. Go Judi).

So, as it stands, we have a “weak” Best Picture choice, a weak Best Actress choice (sort of. It’s a weak overall choice. Based on the category, it’s kind of bad, but — well, just read my article for my full thoughts on the matter), a good, but not overly great Best Supporting Actress choice (though best in the category), and a perfect Best Director choice. That’s one, maybe two, out of four. And only one really strong one. The other three are questionable. Then, you have this category, which I’ll tell you right now — good from a historical perspective (James Coburn is awesome), terrible from a category perspective. Really terrible. And you have Best Actor, which was Roberto Benigni for Life is Beautiful. Which — that’s pretty much the nail in the coffin for 1998. This is one of those “let’s all just pretend this never happened” years.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – 1998

And the nominees were…

James Coburn, Affliction

Robert Duvall, A Civil Action

Ed Harris, The Truman Show

Geoffrey Rush, Shakespeare in Love

Billy Bob Thornton, A Simple Plan (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Actress – 1998

1998 is a year that will live in Academy infamy. Shakespeare in Love, Saving Private Ryan. Still, people argue over this. I, personally, don’t have a problem with the choice. Sure, I’d have chosen differently, but, who cares? The Best Director split, with Steven Spielberg winning for Ryan really let you know that it didn’t matter. (Which is why I feel 2010 will go down as being a worse decision. There was no split.)

Then, Best Actor this year — whoa boy — was Roberto Benigni for Life is Beautiful, which is one of the worst single decisions of all time in the Best Actor category (probably the worst, though I have weird issues with things and would probably (incorrectly) put it second. Still, it’s bad). Best Supporting Actor was James Coburn for Affliction, which, was a bad choice, but it was a veteran Oscar and James Coburn is awesome, so we can’t really gripe too much. Then Best Supporting Actress was Judi Dench for Shakespeare in Love, mostly because she was clearly the most likable performance in the category (and probably because she lost Best Actress the year before this). She was awesome.

And then, there was this category, which people are still talking about. I’ll admit — based on the actresses, yeah, Cate Blanchett probably should have won over Gwyneth. But, honestly, this probably comes down to the same thing 1997 came down to — there was one likable (albeit light) performance against one ho hum, boring, period piece. And when there are so many period pieces getting nominated, people are gonna be like, “Jesus, stop making me eat the fucking asparagus. I want some goddamn cookies.” And cookies are something I can get behind.

BEST ACTRESS – 1998

And the nominees were…

Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth

Fernanda Montenegro, Central Station

Gwyneth Paltrow, Shakespeare in Love

Meryl Streep, One True Thing

Emily Watson, Hilary and Jackie (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…)