Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
4 Shots From 4 Films
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
4 Shots From 4 Films
Right now, when it comes to predicting the Oscars, there are two big questions to consider.
First off, will Burden ever find a distributor? From the reviews in Sundance, it sounds like the type of film that could be embraced by the Academy but, if it can’t get in theaters, it’s not going to get any nominations.
Secondly, will Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman came out in 2019 or 2018? Right now, Netflix says that The Irishman will be released in 2019 but we all remember what happened with The Wolf of Wall Street.
As of now, I’m going to choose to believe that Burden will get a 2018 release date and that The Irishman will come out in 2019.
I’m also going to chose to believe that Black Panther will be the first “comic book” movie to be nominated for best picture.
At Eternity’s Gate
If Beale Street Could Talk
Mary, Queen of Scots
A Star is Born
Where’d You Go, Bernadette?
Damien Chazelle for First Man
Ryan Coogler for Black Panther
Andrew Heckler for Burden
Barry Jenkins for If Beale Street Could Talk
Josie Rourke for Mary, Queen of Scots
Christian Bale in Backseat
Willem DaFoe in At Eternity’s Gate
Lucas Hedges in Boy Erased
Ryan Gosling in First Man
Garrett Hedlund in Burden
Cate Blanchett in Where’d You Go, Bernadette?
Melissa McCarthy in Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Chloe Grace Moretz in The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Saoirse Ronan in Mary, Queen of Scots
Kristen Stewart in JT LeRoy
Best Supporting Actor
Jeff Bridges in Bad Times at the El Royale
Colman Domingo in If Beale Street Could Talk
Robert Duvall in Widows
Michael B. Jordan in Black Panther
Forest Whiteaker in Burden
Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams in Backseat
Claire Foy in First Man
Nicole Kidman in Boy Erased
Regina King in If Beale Street Could Talk
Margot Robie in Mary, Queen of Scots
Happy National Hitchcock Day!
20 Shots From 20 Films
Here are the winners of the 90th annual Academy Awards!
Best Picture — The Shape of Water
Best Director — Guillermo Del Toro for The Shape Of Water
Best Actor — Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Best Actress — Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Best Supporting Actor — Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Best Supporting Actress — Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Best Original Screenplay– Jordan Peele, Get Out
Best Adapted Screenplay — James Ivory, Call Me By Your Name
Best Animated Feature — Coco
Best Production Design — The Shape of Water
Best Cinematography — Blade Runner 2049
Best Costume Design — Phantom Thread
Best Film Editing — Dunkirk
Best Hair and Makeup — Darkest Hour
Best Sound Mixing — Dunkirk
Best Sound Editing — Dunkirk
Best Visual Effects — Blade Runner 2049
Best Original Score — The Shape of Water
Best Original Song — “Remember Me” from Coco
Best Foreign Language Film — A Fantastic Woman
Best Documentary Feature — Icarus
Best Animated Short — Dear Basketball
Best Live Action Short — The Silent Child
Best Documentary Short — Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405
For 9 decades, the Oscars have been an important part of American life. As I’ve said on this site many times, Oscar Sunday is as much of an unofficial holiday as Super Bowl Sunday. For many of us, the new year doesn’t even begin until the morning after the Oscars.
However, some of the most memorable Oscar winners didn’t even exist! The Academy Awards have been used as a plot device in any number of movies. Here are four of my favorite fictional Oscar winners:
Oh, Johnny Fontane. He had such a good singing career going until he started to lose his voice. But, fortunately, there was a part for him in an upcoming picture. As Johnny explained it, the part was a guy just like him. “I wouldn’t even have to act.” The only problem was that studio head Jack Woltz didn’t want to give him that role.
It’s a good thing that Johnny had a Godfather like Vito Corleone. And it’s a good thing that the Godfather had a lawyer like Tom Hagen, a lawyer who didn’t mind arranging for a horse to be beheaded. Khartoun may not have survived but Johnny Fontane got his part and his Oscar.
(Johnny’s adventures at the Oscars are detailed in all their loving glory in Mario Puzo’s novel. Perhaps not wanting to harm its own Oscar chances, the film left out the majority of Johnny’s Hollywood adventures.)
2. Margaret Elliott (Bette Davis) in The Star (1953)
“C’mon, Oscar! Let’s get drunk!”
Listen, you may think that winning an Oscar means that you’re set for life but often, the exact opposite is true. Winning an Oscar has killed many a career. They even have a name for it: The Oscar Curse.
Take Margaret Elliott for instance. She won an Oscar. And now, just a few years later, she’s broke, drunk, and deeply in denial. Can her daughter (Natalie Wood) convince Margaret that it’s time to stop drinking and admit that fame is a hideous bitch goddess? Or will Margaret continue to get drunk with her Oscar staring at her in judgment?
3. Vicki Lester (Judy Garland) in A Star is Born (1954)
Sadly, Vicki is better remembered for what happened during her acceptance speech than for the speech itself. When her husband, notorious alcoholic Norman Maine (James Mason), took the stage and struck his wife while drunkenly motioning, it shocked Oscar watchers everywhere. But Vicki never stopped loving him and, after his tragic death, she let the world know that, “This is Mrs. Norman Maine.”
4. Jerilee Randall (Pia Zadora) in The Lonely Lady (1983)
“I don’t suppose I’m the only one whose had to fuck her way to the top.”
Greatest fake Oscar acceptance speech ever!
The year was 1973 and Marlon Brando was the obvious front-runner to win the Oscar for Best Actor. His performance in The Godfather had not only provided an important anchor to that sprawling film but it also rejuvenated his career.
No one was surprised when Liv Ullman and Roger Moore announced that Brando had won the Oscar. The shock came when a young woman named Sacheen Littlefeather approached the stage. The rest is Oscar history:
Brando had actually given Sacheen a 15-page speech that he wanted her to read from the stage. However, the show’s producers — realizing what Brando was planning — told Sacheen that, if she stayed on stage for longer than 60 seconds, she would be forcibly removed. Hence, Sacheen improvised her stage comments and then read Brando’s speech backstage. As a result of this incident, the Academy banned proxy acceptances.
As for Brando’s Oscar, Roger Moore took it home with him and kept it until, a few days later, armed guard showed up to take it back from him.
Let’s be honest.
Predicting the Oscar nominees is not an exact science. The fact of the matter is that a lot of it is guesswork, especially in the early months of the year.
“Oh, Scorsese has a movie coming out? Well, Martin Scorsese’s movies are always nominated!”
“Last year’s best seller is being adapted into a movie? The Academy loves best sellers!”
“David Fincher’s directing High School Musical 4? I LOVE DAVID FINCHER! Best Picture for sure!”
That’s why, every year, there are films that seem like they’re guaranteed to reap Oscar glory. These are the films that, in July, are listed on all of the awards sites as probable best picture nominees. And every year, several of those sure shots turn out to actually be long shots.
Since Arleigh founded Through the Shattered Lens back in 2009, there’s been many guaranteed Best Picture contenders that, when the nominations were announced, were nowhere to be found. Here are just 8 examples:
Remember how Leonardo DiCaprio was going finally win his first Oscar for playing J. Edgar Hoover in the 2011 Oscar biopic? There was also some speculation that Armie Hammer would pick a supporting nod and, of course, the film was going to be a best picture nominee. Then the movie came out, fell flat, and received not a single Oscar nomination.
I was not as big of a fan of this movie as some people who write for this site. In fact, I thought it was kind of a mess. Still, back in 2012, a lot of people assumed the Academy would make up for not nominating The Dark Knight by nominating the sequel. (In a particular noxious example of fanboy culture, Christy Lemire was attacked online when she gave The Dark Knight Rises its first negative review.) For all of the hyper and controversy, The Dark Knight Rises was totally ignored when the 2012 Oscar nominations were announced.
As strange as it may seem today, this now-forgotten World War II film was originally considered to be a surefire Oscar contender. Throughout most of 2013, the majority of the experts on Gold Derby listed The Monuments Men as their number one prediction for Best Picture. The logic was that it was based on an interesting true story, it featured Bill Murray in a serious role, and it was directed by George Clooney. Then, suddenly, the release date was pushed back to 2014. That was the first sign of trouble. Then the movie came out and it turned out to be a complete mess, one that underused Murray and which reminded us that, regardless of his skill as an actor, George Clooney is a remarkably dull director.
From 2013, this is a good example of a film that tried so hard to be an Oscar contender that it basically knocked itself right out of contention. Between the blind and dated worship of JFK and John Cusack’s performance as Richard Nixon, this film almost seemed like a parody of a bad Oscar contender.
Personally, I liked 2014’s Interstellar more than I liked The Dark Knight Rises but ultimately, this turned out to be just another Christopher Nolan film that didn’t get much of a reaction from the Academy. (Despite the nominations given to both Dunkirk and Inception, it’s hard not to feel that the Academy will always resent Nolan for being both successful and ambitious.)
Many of us thought it would be one of the films to be nominated for best picture of 2015. That was until we actually saw the damn thing. David O. Russell’s worst movie still managed to net Jennifer Lawrence a nomination but not much else.
7. Silence (dir by Martin Scrosese)
Martin Scrosese’s 2016 passion product was expected to be a major contender and, on many sites, it was listed as a probable winner all the way through December. However, when the nominations were announced, Silence only received one nomination, for cinematography.
At the start of 2017, a lot of critics stated that Logan might be the first comic book movie ever nominated for Best Picture. For a month or two, I certainly thought it would be. Ultimately, though, it only picked up a nomination for adapted screenplay.
Which 2018 sure short will turn into a long shot? We’ll find out next year!