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Category : Oscar Flashback


Best Films with Zero Oscar Nominations

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My Facebook friend (#humblebrag) and one of my favorite film directors Rod Lurie recently posted the following status update: [Redacted, how much he loved Joe Carnahan's film The Grey] “If I had been a critic when that film came out I would have pounded the Academy into submission. I swear I would have. Indeed, without hyperbole, it’s the greatest American film ever made that doesn’t have a single Oscar nomination….


Oscar Flashback: 1939, Gone with the Wind

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There are just a few years that will always be remembered in Oscar history, either because one film so thoroughly dominated those awards, or because another film didn’t.   Gone with the Wind was the kind of film that Oscar seemed to be made for.  That film swept the Oscars 75 years ago. In many ways, Gone with the Wind is such a great film. The central role of Scarlett…


Oscar Flashback: Could The Pianist vs Chicago Repeat?

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Whenever a film comes along that seems “difficult” for Academy voters, but also one as highly praised as Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, inevitably people start talking about a potential Best Picture / Best Director split. We know the split. We’ve been anticipating another Picture/Director split since it last happened in 2005, with Brokeback Mountain and Crash. Last year’s split was forced at the nominations stage and therefore can’t…

Oscar Flashback: Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine and A Streetcar Named Desire

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Now that Blue Jasmine has opened with the best premiere numbers of Woody Allen’s career, the film will be seriously considered for several Oscar nominations – Best Actress for sure, if not Best Picture. But there have been some rumblings in reviews and out of the mouths of well-placed New York film critics that it’s a modern-day update of A Streetcar Named Desire.  If Woody Allen had wanted to do…


Dustin Hoffman on Brainwashing and Invisible Women

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“Good day, Dr. Brewster. I said good day sir.” Dustin Hoffman as Tootsie is easily one of the best performances ever by any actor. Hoffman was annoyingly, famously careful in his research bringing this character to life but in the process it made him think differently about women. One of the laments in watching how Hollywood is changing is that the actors and filmmakers who came of age in the…


Jaws on the 4th and Other Beautiful Things

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Over at the Film Experience, Nat has written up an appreciation of George Lucas’ American Graffiti.  That’s his 4th of July pick.  Ours is the other history-making blockbuster. There isn’t a better day in America to enjoy Jaws than the 4th of July.   As the business owners on Amity Island are in a panic. There’s a shark in the water and it’s killing people. A woman, a young boy….

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Oscar Flashback: Why is Leonardo DiCaprio’s Work Ignored by the Academy?

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Leonardo DiCaprio is heading into his fifth collaboration with Martin Scorsese with The Wolf of Wall Street this November. He is Scorsese’s Jimmy Stewart — a laced-up-to-the-collar everyman put in extraordinary circumstances. He anchors Scorsese’s camera by adding a down to earth normalcy. With De Niro, you think you know what you’re going to get — a darkness that worked for Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and Raging Bull. But the director…


Oscar Flashback: When the Gatekeepers are Wrong

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We Oscarwatchers put a lot of faith in the gatekeepers — those bloggers and critics who see movies first, review them, assess their merits, and assign them into meaningful categories. The public at large have, for the most part, discarded critical consensus when it comes to seeing movies they want to see. All they need is some heavy marketing, a movie star, a promised thrill ride, and the fruits of…


All Hell Broke Loose on Steel Magnolia’s Set

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File this one under “truth is stranger than fiction.”  You hear rumors throughout the years about famous people on movie sets. How do you know what to believe? But this story, about how mean director Herbert Ross was to Julia Roberts and Dolly Parton may be the stuff great rock operas on made on – somewhere in here is the truer story, the All About Eve story that we’ll probably…

Speaking of Romeo and Juliet…

Speaking of Romeo and Juliet…

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I don’t think any actors have ever captured it better than Gwyneth Paltrow and Joe Fiennes.