Showing posts with label oscarbation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label oscarbation. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

'War Horse' ****stars

'War Horse' is Steven Speilberg's epic anti-war film. From lofty farmlands in Britain to the battlefields of World War 1 France it remains an engrossing and powerful film. This is the best Spielberg has offered in years and will eventually be seen as a classic.

Jeremey Irvine in his film debut is wonderful. He does not miss a beat as the boy who believes in his horse Joey. Together and apart they both become heroes in the messy reality of war.

In one single scene, which is most reminiscent of 2005's 'Joyeux Noel', the frutality of war and the humanity of the men who fight in them touches your heart and senses in a few brief minutes.

Do yourself a favor and get yourself to a theater near you to see this masterpiece. It is meant for big screen viewing as it is a 'big' film. It will certainly be a contender for the best picture come oscar night.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

'The Descendants' ****stars

'The Descendants' is a damn good film. it is a quiet film that delivers a heavy punch to the heart and the soul. George Clooney plays a Hawaiian land baron forced to deal with two daughters he hardly knows after his wife becomes comatose after a boating accident. After the accident he finds out his wife was having an affair from his eldest daughter. Now having to deal with this adultery, parenting and a life-death decision he tries to get his life back and his daughters on track.

George Clooney has never been better and may get a second oscar for his touching quiet yet at times frenetic performance. Shailene Woodley as the eldest daughter will get a well deserved oscar nomination in the supporting category. The rest of the cast delivers the goods as they are all well directed by Alexander Payne also a potential nominee.

The final scene of the film is perfection. There could be no better ending.

This film will stand the test of time and that is what makes a good film a great film.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Oscarbation: A Look Back at 2003 for Best Actress

looking back on 2003 it was a pretty good year for the nominees in this category. a younger actress was rightfully nominated, a semi legend got in, and three other brilliant performances made the list.

and the nominees were:

#5 diane keaton in 'somethings got to give' somehow got a nom. longevity perhaps? a dark horse deservedly left in the dark. i have just never 'got' ms keaton. perhaps i never will.

#4 samantha morton was just wonderful in 'in america' and someday she may score a win as she is damn good in most all of her performances.

#3 keisha castle-hughes was a surprise nominee for 'the whale rider'. a younger actress who snuck by the supporting nomination where they are generally placed. her performance was touching and believable. her nom in and of itself was a win.

#2 naomi watts nominee was brilliant in '27 grams'.  she gets better and better film after film. one day she may take the statue home.

#1 charlize theron in 'monster' won the award portraying serial killer aileen wournos and there was never any doubt she would. a brilliant performance that ranks among the best of oscar wins. it was the role of a lifetime that has yet to be matched by the actress herself. perhaps that is asking too much.

the beautiful charlize theron as opposed to the monster pictured above. damn that's a real transformation.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Oscarbation: A Look Back at 1997 for Best Actress

1997 was a good year for this category. it was loaded with talent that delivered amazing performances. rating them 1 to 5 was quite difficult for me to do. thEy all deserved to go home with the gold. but rank them i will. here goes ....

helena bonham carter was wondrous to behold in 'wings of the dove'. she left an indelible mark as a lead actress in this film. again the oscar could have been hers with no argument from me

helen hunt's performance in 'as good as it gets' was as good as it could/would get. she gave a wonderful, heartwarming performance. helen won the oscar on the coat tails of the best picture and best actor wins. yet as with the other nominees in this category in '97 her win can be justified. but her on and off 'new york' accent was a tad annoying. a best actress should be able to sustain it.

kate winslet in 'titanic' was wonderful. kate's chemistry with leonardo decaprio was heaven sent. there was not a moment you think 'hey these two don't belong together'. they so belonged together that separating her performance from his is an almost impossible situation. his snub is one of oscar's embarrassments. kate will go on to win her oscar four noms later.

judi dench in mrs. brown was simply wonderful. it remains one of the best screen performances of all time. a stage actress who fit(s) quite well on film. she was amazing as queen victoria in her 'private' life. i repeat the oscar could have been her's with no argument.

let's begin with the premise that julie christie plays a 'b actress' in 'afterglow'. that alone is a major fete as she was/is one of the best 'A' actresses in film. the critics associations hailed her performance in 1997. her fans were rightfully rejoicing. she would not get the oscar come award night but her fans were the true winners because the mostly reclusive actresses of her time returned to the screen. had i been able to vote, ms. christie amongst all the aforementioned wonderful performances would have gotten my vote after alot of nail biting.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Oscarbation: A Look Back at 1968 for Best Actress

1968 was a mixed bag in the best actress category. and oddly enough it ended in a tie. there was no tie! there was only one best actress in the category. in fact the second best actress of the year was not even nominated. i'll address this major oversight tomorrow.

joanne woodward in ''rachel, rachel',
some overact. some underact. some sort of walk through a role. ms woodward was either underacting in this film or just walked through it because her husband and director paul newman wanted her in the film. mr newman did no favor for his wife. the film, as well as ms woodward's performance, is as dull as dishwater. she did not deserve a nomination for this one. another actress deserved this slot.

patricia neal in 'the subject was roses'
a talky stagy film from a better play. ms. neal gave it her all following a stroke. the film is easily forgotten as well as ms neal's performance. the nom was a 'welcome back' nod to the beloved actress. it was undeserved especially condidering who was left out in 1964. and i repeat another actress was most certainly left out.

barbra streisand in 'funny girl'
ms streisand gave a socko performance in her screen debut. her singing was a joy, her comedy moments were spot on. the problem was in the dramatic moments. she played it her way. it was our introduction to the ms streisand who believed she did not need a director. she split the oscar with katharine hepburn. this is patently absurd. barbra would go on to give some other even better performances. it's still a pleasure to watch the first half of this film. the second half is drudgery.

vanessa redgrave in 'isadora'
depending on what version you see ms. redgrave gives a great performance or a fairly good one. this film has been edited and shredded to death over time disgracefully. if you are lucky enough to see an original uncut version of the film you will see a wild manic performance that only the divine vanessa could give. she uncannily embodies dancer isadora duncan. i contend it is her best film role to date.

katharine hepburn in 'the lion in winter'
me hepburn gives the best damn performance of her long career in this film. ms hepburn gives one of the most brilliant film performances of all time in this film. she can make you laugh, cry, get angry or be empathetic from one moment to the next. i cannot praise her, or this film, enough. she gives us a masterclass in acting in 'the lion in winter'. splitting the prize with streisand? stranger things have happened.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Oscarbation:: Contender 'The Artist'

the weinstein's have pulled off miracles before but can they sell a love letter to days gone by with a black and white silent film. the festival circuit is in love with it. critics are raving about it. but will an under 50 crowd buy tix for it. i too often hear people say they don't even like to watch the older black and white classics. so i wonder if only cinephiles will go see what looks to be a charming film. check out the trailer below. what do you think? will it be oscar bait. i think it possible.

opening november 23

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Oscarbation: A Look Back at 1961 for Best Actress

1969 gave us the following: one brilliant performance, one wonderful performance, one breakthrough performance and two fairly good performances.

the nominees were:

piper laurie
piper laurie in 'the hustler' was completely overshadowed by lead actor paul newman. she gave an 'okay' performance that would not have ruled any other year either.

geraldine page
geraldine page in 'summer and smoke' gave a mighty good performance but i always tended to embrace her more on the stage than on the screen. she would go on to win the oscar for a far better role in a far better film.

natalie wood
natalie wood gave a breakout performance in 'splendor in the grass'. she crossed the barrier that most child stars are not able to cross with great success. although many will disagree i believe ms wood was nominated for the wrong film in 1961. she should have been nominated for 'west side story'. she would not have won but at the very least
would have been nominated for her most memorable performance. and she made a lovely maria who made you feel first her joyous innocence and then her tragedy. let me say: i love natalie wood. she lights up the screen always no matter how good or bad the material she had to work with.

audrey hepburn
audrey hepburn was and will always be holly golightly. she charmed her way through 'breakfast at tiffany's' and left an indelible mark on cinematic history. she won the oscar for a lesser role and lost the oscar for a superior role both of which i will address in the days and months to come. had it not been for the actress who holds my #1 spot, as well as the oscar, audrey may have won in 1961. those who know me know my love for audrey. i miss her to this day.

sophia loren
sophia loren in 'two women' gave one of cinemas best performances of all time. actually her performance is a masterpiece. the first actress to win the oscar in a non english speaking role that would not be achieved again until 2007. i cannot find enough words to satisfy her brilliant performance as a mother in world war 2 italy and the abuse, rape, of both herself and her daughter. interesting note on her casting: ms loren was first picked to play the daughter with anna magnani in the role sophia eventually essayed. ms magnani refused to play her mother. ms magnani felt sophia was too old to play her daugter. so on recast ms loren went on to win the oscar as cesira.

brava ms loren.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Oscarbation: A Look Back at 1970 for Best Actress

1970's best actress nominees was a strong crop.
sarah miles
ms. miles got her nom for 'ryan's hope'. her performance got lost in david lean's over bloated film. i am surprised she got a nom. she never stood a chance at a win.
ali macgraw
ali macgraw got a nom because of the popularity of 'love story'.otherwise she would have been overlooked. interestingly enough she was not nominated the year before for her wonderful debut in 'goodbye columbus'. however, when all is said and done
ms macgraw was glorious as the middle class heroine jenny. the nom was her win. she would not receive another.
jane alexander
ms alexander repeated her stage role in this still important film 'the great white hope' but her performance as well as the film itself was too 'stagey' as happens with 90% of stage to film transfers. ms alexander is a wonderful actress whose film work never quite matched her stage work.
carrie snodgress
ms snodgress was amazing in this one and only major film of her career, 'diary of a mad housewife'. a loveless marriage with an abusive husband and an affair lead her deeper and deeper into depression. there are moments of her performance that are almost to painful to watch.
glenda jackson
the moment 'women in love' was released ms jackson won her first oscar. ms jackson tore the screen apart in a blazing performance as the strong willed, self confident, predatory gudrun brangwen. another actress would not have made this rather unlikable character an award winner. her performance remains one of the best on film and ranks in my top 10 deserved oscar wins.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Oscarbation! It Has to Begun

rumor has it billy crystal is waiting in the wings to host again. he was disgusted with last year's telecast. watch the opening below from one of his outings. it makes me think he is desperately needed as host.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Oscar 2011 Dates Announced

Thursday, December 1, 2011:               Official Screen Credits forms due
Tuesday, December 27, 2011:              Nominations ballots mailed
Friday, January 13, 2012:                      Nominations polls close 5 p.m. PT
Tuesday, January 24, 2012:                  Nominations announced 5:30 a.m. PT,
Wednesday, February 1, 2012:             Final ballots mailed
Monday, February 6, 2012:                   Nominees Luncheon
Saturday, February 11, 2012:                Scientific and Technical Awards presentation
Tuesday, February 21, 2012:                Final polls close 5 p.m. PT
Sunday, February 26, 2012:                  84th Academy Awards presentation

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Oscarbation: It's a Wrap

the royals win...the zietgeist goes down down for the count. the critics and pundits are in a bitter snit. they say the academy embarrassed itself. they say 20 years from now the history of oscar will see the taint of their selection. i say 20 years from now the film will be remembered well and the current critics and pundits will not be remembered. i say the right choice was made with 'the king's speech' coming out on top. i think now it was not a true race. i believe the pundits tried to create a race. 'the social network' is a 2010-2011 film...a zietgeist. the king will reign for years to come.

colin was a lock. sandra had the key and opened the lock and charmingly awarded mr. firth his oscar after using her charm and personality to give each nominee his due as only she could. her 3-4 minutes on the stage were the best minutes of the night. she showed all the charm ms. hathaway could not throughout the proceedings. ms. hathaway has all the charm of a meat clever. what was all her bowing and kowtowing about? why was she kissing ms. bullocks buttocks? she will never be a sandra bullock. she is crass with a smile.

james franco got lousy reviews as host. he's james franco what did they expect? he is an independent spirit. he was himself. i say good for him. he kowtowed to no one. he doesn't have too. he's an amazing talent.

i hope melissa leo is aware that her phony and crass acceptance speech will show forever on you tube? i did not think it possible but her oscar acceptance was more over the top than her 'the fighter' performance. she won i get it. now just make her go away. helena and/or amy you were robbed. 

otherwise all was good. 'inception' was rewarded in the tech categories it deserved.  'social network' won editing which was deserved and score which it did not. 

the natalie portman and christian bale wins were expected and worthy. between them and colin the acting awards were 3/4 right on. 

it's now in the history books and before we know it it all begins again.

here's to the films of 2011. may you be as good as 2010 which in fact was a remarkable film year.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Oscarbation: A Final Look at the 2010 Nominees

and now we just wait for the envelopes to be's been a long long season. there are so many worthy nominees. 2010 was a good year for film. maybe a great year. we all have our thoughts and hopes for the outcome in each category. i personally wish for 'the king' to reign supreme. colin of course. natalie, christian and either amy or helena would thrill me. 'inception' should go home with a bunch of tech awards. we'll see so the punditry ends here. post mortem begins tomorrow.

Happy Birthday Elizabeth and Oscarbation 1966

liz won two oscars. don't get me started on the first for 'butterfield 8'. but her second for 'who's afraid of virginia wolff' was so damn deserved. really who knew she could indeed act?

'who's afraid of virginia wolff'

making conversation

dancing and smothering


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Friday, February 25, 2011

Oscarbation: Best Actress Winners 1927-2009

and which of these five actresses will join this group for 2010?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Oscarbation: Best Supporting Actress Winners 1936-2009

and which of these ladies will join the group above?

amy adams in 'the fighter'
helena bonham carter in 'the king's speech'
melissa leo in 'the fighter'
hailee steinfeld in 'true grit'
jackie weaver in 'animal kingdom'

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Oscarbation 10 Years Ago (2000)

best picture: 'gladiator'
best actress: julia roberts 'erin brockovich'
best actor: russel crowe 'gladiator'
best supporting actress: marcia gay harden pollock'
best supporting actor benicio del torro 'traffic'