A Blast From The Past: Robert Opel Crashes The 1974 Oscars

On April 2nd, 1974, just as David Niven was about to introduce Elizabeth Taylor so that she could announce that The Sting had won Best Picture of the year, the Oscar telecast was interrupted by a naked man running across the stage.

The streaker was a man named Robert Opel.  A former student activist who had reportedly briefly worked as a speechwriter for future President Ronald Reagan, Opel was employed as a teacher when he made his Oscar debut.  He lost his job as a result but he found a new fame as a professional streaker.  He also went on to open his own photography business and ran for President in 1976.  His slogan was reportedly, “Not Just Another Crooked Dick.”  Five years after making his television debut, the 39 year-old Opel was murdered in his apartment.

There’s some debate as to whether or not this was actually a spontaneous moment.  It’s been reported that Niven wrote down his famous quip about short comings during a rehearsal.  It’s also interesting to note that the camera seemed to be perfectly positioned to not catch anything that could actually get the broadcast fined by the FCC.  If this had been truly a spontaneous event, I’m not sure that would have been the case.

Anyway, that was 1974 for you.  Who knows what might happen tonight?

(Of course, there’s no host so, if something does happen, there won’t be any quips.  Oh well.)


Future Winners: 6 Directors Who I Hope Will Have Won An Oscar By 2030

We’ve looked at actors.

We’ve looked at actresses.

Now, let’s look at directors.

But first, a word about David Lynch.  The Academy gave David Lynch a special award for his cinematic contributions back in October.  It’s not the same as a competitive Oscar but it’s probably the best that a boldly idiosyncratic filmmaker like David Lynch could ever hope to get from the Academy.  Normally, I would list Lynch below.  I’m not doing so this year because, realistically, Lynch has said that it’s doubtful he’ll ever make another theatrical film.  That said, I hope to God that someone gives David Lynch a blank check and allows him to make at least one more movie.

With that in mind, here are 6 other directors who I hope will have finally won an Oscar by 2030!

  1. The Safdie Brothers

The Safdie Brothers deserved a nomination this year for their work on Uncut Gems.  Unfortunately, that film was a bit too anxiety-inducing for the Academy.  The Safdies are exciting filmmakers and I hope that someday, the Academy will realize what everyone who has seen Good Time and Uncut Gems already knows.

2. Sofia Coppola

She was nominated for Lost In Translation.  She deserved to be nominates for several other films.  Sofia Coppola is consistently one of the most challenging and interesting (if often criminally underrated) filmmakers working today.  No other American director captures existential angst with quite the style of Sofia Coppola.

3. Christopher Nolan

Christopher Nolan has emerged as one of the most influential directors of the 21st century.  With The Dark Knight, he revolutionized comic book films.  With Inception, he created one of the greatest fantasy/action/sci-fi hybrids of all time.  With Dunkirk, he paid tribute to one of the most heroic moments of World War II.  Every recent film with a jumbled timeline owes a debt of gratitude to Christopher Nolan.  Nolan seems destined to win someday.

4. Denis Villeneuve

Speaking of being destined to win, that seems to also be an apt description of this visionary Canadian director.  Some people think that Villeneuve will be an Oscar contender this year with Dune.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  That said, Villeneuve seems destined to win at some point in the future.

5. Andrea Arnold

You might not recognize the name but Andrea Arnold is responsible for two of my favorite films of the last ten years: Fish Tank and American Honey.  She deserved to be nominated for both of those films.  My hope is that, between now and 2030, she’ll finally get the recognition that she deserves.

6. Werner Herzog

You know it would be the greatest acceptance speech ever.

Agree?  Disagree?  Let us know in the comments below!


Future Winners: 6 Actresses Who I Hope Will Have Won An Oscar By 2030

Continuing the theme from my previous post, here are 6 actresses who I sincerely hope will have won their first competitive Oscar by the time that the 2030 ceremony rolls around.

(By the way, there’s a chance that Scarlett Johansson, Saorise Ronan and Florence Pugh could finally win Oscars tonight.  That’s the only reason why they’re not on the list below.)

  1. Amy Adams

Much like Bradley Cooper on my previous list, Amy Adams is probably the most obvious pick here.  I’m actually amazed that, after been nominated a total of 6 times, the terrifically talented Amy Adams has yet to win her first Oscar.  The fact that she could even receive a nomination for a film like Vice reveals that she’s got fans in the Academy and she’s definitely reached the point where she can say that she’s overdue for the award.  The Woman In The Window was originally promoted as being an Oscar contender but, considering all the trouble that film’s gone through to just get a release date, Adams may have to wait another year or two.  Still, she seems destined to win eventually and it’ll be a great day for all the members of the 2% of us who have naturally red hair.

2. Emily Blunt

How has Emily Blunt never received a single Oscar nomination? I mean, Amy Adams should be angry that she doesn’t have an Oscar yet but at least she has six nominations.  Emily Blunt doesn’t even have one yet, despite being one of the best actresses working today.  Again, Blunt seems destined to win.  It’s just a question of when.


3. Carey Mulligan

Carey Mulligan should have won for her performance in An Education.  She also deserved to be nominated for Shame.  She doesn’t have an Oscar but she certainly has the talent to win one.  She’s one of the best actresses around, though she often seems to appear in the type of good but challenging films that fall off of the Academy’s radar.  Promising Young Woman was a hit at Sundance so we’ll see if that leads to another nomination.

4. Jamie Lee Curtis

Jamie Lee Curtis has been giving good performances since before I was born but since so many of them were in horror films, the Academy failed to notice.  She’s now one of those actresses who people seem to take for granted.  Hopefully, someone writes a great role for her in the future as Curtis is overdue for not just a nomination but for an award as well.

5. Jessica Chastain

Jessica Chastain is one of those actresses who I think everyone assumes has won an Oscar but actually, she hasn’t.  She’s been twice nominated and even that seems like it has to be a mistake.  I mean, really?  Only two nominations for Jessica Chastain?  (Personally, I chalk it up to the Academy having an issue with those of us who have naturally red hair.)  Much like Amy Adams, Chastain is another actress who seems destined to win over the next decade.

6. Jennifer Jason Leigh

Seriously, how does Jennifer Jason Leigh — one of the greatest actress of all freaking time — only have one nomination?  Not only is she overdue for the award but, based on Marriage Story, she deserves one just for putting up with Noah Baumbach for eight years.

Agree?  Disagree?  Have another name to offer up?  Let us know in the comments below!


Future Winners: 6 Actors Who I Hope Will Win An Oscar In The Next Ten Years

We talk a lot about which performers and directors have been snubbed at Oscar time.  For movie lovers, that’s an important subject.  We all know that great actors like Peter O’Toole, Cary Grant, Albert Finney, and others all went to their grave with several nominations but not a single competitive Oscar to their name.  Earlier this week, Kirk Douglas died at the age of 103 without having ever won a competitive Oscar.  We always talk about how certain actors are overdue for their first Oscar but sometimes we forget that being overdue doesn’t always translate into an eventual win.

With that in mind, here are 6 actors who I sincerely hope will have won their first Oscar by the time 2040 rolls around:

  1. Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper is kind of the obvious choice for a list like this.  It’s still amazing to think that Cooper started the previous decade best known for a supporting role on Alias and for playing the smarmiest of the friends in The Hangover films.  Over the past ten years, he has emerged as not only a excellent actor but an excellent filmmaker as well.  (He may not have received a nomination for Best Director for A Star Is Born but he deserved one.)  Considering how often he’s been nominated over the past few years, Cooper is reaching overdue status and I full expect he’ll win an Oscar sometime during the next decade.

2. Ethan Hawke

Ethan Hawke has hardly been snubbed when it comes to nominations.  He’s been twice supported for Best Supporting Actor and he’s got two nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay.  That Ethan Hawke was not nominated for First Reformed is still a shock to me.  It was one of the best performances of 2018 but it was also a rather subtle and, at times, rather depressing performance as well.  With the exception of his nomination for Training Day, all of Hawke’s nominations have been the result of collaborating with Richard Linklater.  Hopefully, Linklater is currently working on a great script that has a great role for Ethan Hawke because Hawke deserves to win an Oscar before 2040.

3. Steve Carell

When it comes to talking about actors who will someday win an Oscar, Steve Carell seems like an obvious choice.  He’s only received one nomination — for Foxcatcher — but people just seem to love him.  I think the man obstacle standing in Carell’s way is that he has a habit of appearing in movies that sound like they should be good but then turn out to be the total opposite.  (Welcome to Marwen, anybody?)  Still, it’s hard not to feel that Carell will eventually get the right role.

4. Oscar Isaac

Isaac has yet to receive his first nomination but it feels like it’s only a matter of time.  He’s talented, he’s super hot, and I still love the way he delivered the line, “I declare him to be an ….. OUTLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAW!” in Robin Hood.

5. Robert Downey, Jr.

Obviously, Robert Downey, Jr. is not going to win for Dr. Doolittle.  In fact, if he keeps making movies like that, he’s going to make me look really stupid for putting him on this list.  But the fact of the matter is that Downey is an actor who not only made an amazing comeback but who also served as the anchor for one of the most successful film franchises in history.  It’s hard to imagine the MCU becoming what it became without Downey’s involvement.  Downey can also be an excellent actor.  (People tend to forget that he had two nominations to his name before he ever played Iron Man.)  Someone needs to write Downey the perfect role and hope that he’ll accept it, regardless of how much money he’s being offered to star in the latest Disney live action remake.

6. Kurt Russell

Somehow, Kurt Russell does not have a single Oscar nomination to his name!  Despite being one of the most beloved actors out there and being something of a cinematic icon, Russell has never once been nominated.  (One problem is that all of the truly great Kurt Russell roles end up going to Jeff Bridges.  It’s every easy to imagine Russell playing every role ever played by Jeff Bridges and vice versa.)  The thing is, Kurt’s not getting any younger.  So, let’s hope that Quentin Tarantino is currently writing the role of a lifetime for Hollywood’s greatest Libertarian.

Agree?  Disagree?  Have someone else who you have picked over these six?  Let me know in the comments below!




Cats Leads The Razzie Nominations

The Razzie Awards are meant to honor the worst films of the year.  It sounds like a noble goal, though the Razzies usually just go after easy targets and cheap jokes.  In short, they haven’t really been interesting in a while.  That said, they’ve been around forever and they usually get some attention from people who need some filler to report while waiting for the Oscar ceremony.

With that in mind, the 2019 Razzie Awards were announced yesterday and here they are:

The Fanatic
The Haunting of Sharon Tate
A Madea Family Funeral
Rambo: Last Blood

James Franco, Zeroville
David Harbour, Hellboy
Matthew McConaughey, Serenity
Sylvester Stallone, Rambo: Last Blood
John Travolta, The Fanatic and Trading Paint

Hilary Duff, The Haunting of Sharon Tate
Anne Hathaway, The Hustle and Serenity
Francesca Hayward, Cats
Tyler Perry (as Medea), A Madea Family Funeral
Rebel Wilson, The Hustle

Jessica Chastain, Dark Phoenix
Cassi Davis, A Madea Family Funeral
Judi Dench, Cats
Fenessa Pineda, Rambo: First Blood
Rebel Wilson, Cats

James Corden, Cats
Tyler Perry (as Joe), A Madea Family Funeral
Tyler Perry (as Uncle Heathrow), A Madea Family Funeral
Seth Rogen, Zeroville
Bruce Willis, Glass

Any two half-feline/half-human hairballs, Cats
Jason Derulo and his CGI-neutered bulge, Cats
Tyler Perry and Tyler Perry (or Tyler Perry), A Madea Family Funeral
Sylvester Stallone and his impotent rage, Rambo: First Blood
John Travolta and any screenplay he accepts

Fred Durst, The Fanatic
James Franco, Zeroville
Adrian Grunberg, Rambo: Last Blood
Tom Hooper, Cats
Neil Marshall, Hellboy

Cats, Screenplay by Lee Hall and Tom Hooper
The Haunting of Sharon Tate, Written by Danial Farrands
Hellboy, Screenplay by Andrew Cosby
A Madea Family Funeral, Written by Tyler Perry
Rambo: Last Blood, Screenplay by Matthew Cirulnick and Sylvester Stallone

Dark Phoenix
Godzilla, King of the Monsters
A Madea Family Funeral
Rambo: Last Blood

(New Category for 2019)
Dragged Across Concrete
The Haunting of Sharon Tate
Rambo: Last Blood

Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name
Keanu Reeves, John Wick 3 & Toy Story 4
Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems
Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers
Will Smith, Aladdin

Here Are The Independent Spirit Award Winners!

Adam Sandler may not even be an Oscar winner but he is now officially an Independent Spirit Award winner.  Last night, at the Spirits annual ceremony, he won Best Actor for Uncut Gems.  Willem DaFoe picked up the Best Supporting Male award for The Lighthouse, another film that was largely overlooked by the Academy.  Best Feature went to The Farewell, another movie that was totally snubbed by the Academy.

In other words, the Spirits were incredibly awesome and probably had better taste this year than the Oscars.  Here’s a full list of what won:


  • Noah Jupe, “Honey Boy”
  • Shia LaBeouf, “Honey Boy”
  • Jonathan Majors, “The Last Black Man in San Francisco”
  • Willem Dafoe, “The Lighthouse” (WINNER)
  • Wendell Pierce, “Burning Cane”


  • Ronald Bronstein, Bennie Safdie, “Uncut Gems” (WINNERS)
  • Julie Beziau, “The Third Wife”
  • Tyler L. Cook, “Sword of Trust”
  • Louise Ford, “The Lighthouse”
  • Kirill Mikhanovsky, “Give Me Liberty”


  • “American Factory” (WINNER)
  • “Apollo 11”
  • “For Sama”
  • “Honeyland”
  • “Island of the Hungry Ghosts”


  • Kelly Reichardt (WINNER)


  • Todd Banhazl, “Hustlers”
  • Jarin Blaschke, “The Lighthouse” (WINNER)
  • Natasha Braier, “Honey Boy”
  • Chananun Chotrungroj, “The Third Wife”
  • Pawel Pogorzelski, “Midsommar”


  • “Burning Cane”
  • “Colewell”
  • “Give Me Liberty” (WINNER)
  • “Premature”
  • “Wild Nights With Emily”


  • Andrew Patterson, Craig W. Sanger, “The Vast of Night”
  • Bridget Savage Cole, Danielle Krudy, “Blow the Man Down”
  • Jocelyn DeBoer, Dawn Luebbe, “Greener Grass”
  • Hannah Bos, Paul Thureen, “Driveways”
  • Fredrica Bailey, Stefon Bristol, “See You Yesterday” (WINNERS)


  • “Booksmart” (WINNER)
  • “The Climb”
  • “Diane”
  • “The Last Black Man in San Francisco”
  • “The Mustang”
  • “See You Yesterday”


  • “Invisible Life” (Brazil)
  • “Les Miserables” (France)
  • “Parasite” (Korea) (WINNER)
  • “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” (France)
  • “Retablo” (Peru)
  • “The Souvenir” (United Kingdom)


  • Noah Baumbach, “Marriage Story” (WINNER)
  • Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie, “Uncut Gems”
  • Chinonye Chukwu, “Clemency”
  • Tarell Alvin McCraney, “High Flying Bird”
  • Jason Begue, Shawn Snyder, “To Dust”


  • Jennifer Lopez, “Hustlers”
  • Taylor Russell, “Waves”
  • Zhao Shuzhen, “The Farewell” (WINNER)
  • Lauren “Lolo” Spencer, “Give Me Liberty”
  • Octavia Spencer, “Luce”



  • Robert Eggers, “The Lighthouse”
  • Alma Har’el, “Honey Boy”
  • Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie, “Uncut Gems” (WINNER)
  • Julius Onah, “Luce”
  • Lorene Scafaria, “Hustlers”


  • Chris Galust, “Give Me Liberty”
  • Kelvin Harrison Jr, “Luce”
  • Robert Pattinson, “The Lighthouse”
  • Adam Sandler, “Uncut Gems” (WINNER)
  • Matthias Schoenaerts, “The Mustang”


  • Karen Allen, “Colewell”
  • Hong Chau, “Driveways”
  • Elisabeth Moss, “Her Smell”
  • Mary Kay Place, “Diane”
  • Alfre Woodard, “Clemency”
  • Renee Zellweger, “Judy” (WINNER)


  • “Clemency”
  • “The Farewell” (WINNER)
  • “A Hidden Life”
  • “Marriage Story”
  • “Uncut Gems”

Scenes That I Love: The Opening Of The Very First Televised Oscar Ceremony

Today, we take it for granted that the Oscars will always be on television in February or March of every year.  We know that they will be broadcast on ABC on Sunday night.  We also know that there’s a good chance that, every year, some clueless TV exec will try to do something to ruin our annual tradition.  Whether it’s the idea of introducing an award for Best Popular Film or maybe suggesting that some awards should be given off camera, we know better than to trust ABC.

However, for the first 25 years of the Academy’s existence, the Oscars were not televised.  In fact, for a while, they weren’t even broadcast on the radio because it was assumed that no one outside of Hollywood cared about them.  It really wasn’t until the mid-30s that the Oscars became an annual ritual for so many Americans.  At first, people listened to the ceremony on the radio and then eventually, the ceremony came to television.

The first Oscar telecast was on March 19th, 1953.  The ceremony was split between two locations, Hollywood and New York.  Bob Hope hosted in Hollywood while Conrad Nagel and Fredric March hosted in New York.  The ceremony didn’t start until 10:30 pm and it ran for two hours and 20 minutes.  Why the late start?  Several of the nominees were also appearing in Broadway shows and they had to finish their nightly performances before they could attend the ceremony.

As for why this ceremony was telecast — well, as always, it all comes down to money.  The Academy needed the money that came from selling the broadcast rights to NBC.  (NBC, to their credit, did not demand an award for Best Popular Film.)  The show was such a ratings success that it led to the annual tradition that we all know and love today.

What won at the first televised ceremony?  The Greatest Show On Earth won Best Picture while John Ford took home Best Director (for The Quiet Man) and Gary Cooper was named Best Actor for High Noon.  Shirley Booth was named Best Actress for Come Back, Little Sheba.  The supporting awards went to Anthony Quinn for Viva Zapata! and Gloria Grahame for The Bad and the Beautiful.

Here is the opening of the very first televised Oscar ceremony.  As you can tell, it was quite a bit different from what we’re used to today!