Oscar Nomz

Happy New Year all! I just realized that this is my first post in the Year of our Lord, 2016. Which makes me happy and sad – happy because, well I have finally gotten around to it and sad, because the subject of this post is to do the recently announced 88th Academy Award nominations.

Oh the irony

When I originally outlined my notes for this post, I was looking forward to waxing poetic about why I prefer the nominations announcement to the actual ceremony. Sure it is a cool idea to celebrate and honor the collective and individual achievements in cinema. My problem has always been with singling out one above all in such a heavily politically driven process. Film appreciation is subjective in that generally, what one loves is in the eye of the beholder – one man’s Citizen Kane is another man’s Plan 9 From Outer Space. Go figure.

Recent years have been a boon for many smaller independent productions and this year has proven no different. How many people would have seen Room (by Frank director Lenny Abrahamson) or Brooklyn or Ex-Machina for that matter, if not for the buzz surrounding their potential award-worthiness? But I digress and am entering a territory that leaves me frankly exasperated.

There are a few problems afoot here – two I would like to discuss particularly in this post; I will mention the “easier” of the two first – it’s to do with the question of what it means to be awards ‘worthy.’

With each passing year, I look at the cinematic calendar, and have grown more and more accustomed to the following pattern forming …

  • Jan-Feb = Meh. The occasional film I do enjoy, but in general not much to recommend.
  • Mar-late April-ish? = It’s getting interesting. Spring has sprung and we are rapidly approaching the “summer season.” There are always a few surprises that get me in the theater. This is the warm-up for the main event …
  • May-August (mostly) = Popcorn and 3D specs time, y’all it’s blockbuster season! No further explanation necessary.
  • September can be a bit of a lull until we arrive in OCTOBER. From here on in, it is “look at me and take me seriously because I am a serious film” time. And then the rush to get the films for award consideration out by the end of the year.

Granted, this is an approximation because as studios are trying to carve out larger shares of the annual global box office, they are littering some of their potential money makers at less “conventional” times of the year (e.g. big budget Batman v. Superman is scheduled for release at the end of March).

That current aberration aside the above leads me to my first point – #1 –  we now have a situation that essentially takes the guess work out of what should be in contention for awards consideration. Sure, there are a few buzzy films that come out during the calendar (can’t predict EVERY cinematic success) but it would appear that the closer a studio gets its film out to the end of the various awards eligibility windows, the better since it is clear that these films will be foremost in the mind of those who vote.  In other words, this predictability has taken some of the fun and a lot of the mystery out of the alchemy of who gets nominated for what.

And now for #2 – the (un)surprising lack of diversity once the nominations do come out. Much like the past two national elections have proven not to be the racial panacea for a country that has a difficult time embracing the great, the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of its history, so too the awards success 12 Years a Slave two years ago and a lot of behind the scenes shuffling of the decks at the Academy has seemingly done nothing to “solve” the Academy Awards’ diversity “problem,” particularly in the acting category.

Of course, if you take the swath of world cinema over the course of the year, there are many, many folks who should be considered for accolades. In fact, this article on mic.com cites 8 worthy performances for your consideration. Now I would venture a guess that a few of these received many votes in the nominating process, but sadly not enough to make the final list. One could also initially glance at this list and (wrongly) speculate that maybe these performances did not the films themselves were largely overlooked. But alas, every one of these performances is attached to a film that has received a great share of recognition/ press from other entities, or, as in the case of Creed and Ex Machina, is honored with some love from the Academy this year. So clearly something else is going on.

And then there is the matter of the Hollywood pipeline. Doing the festival circuit has been a cold comfort for me. As it gets (relatively) cheaper to make a film, the idea is not so far fetched that any aspiring auteur with a device that can capture quality video (remember Tangerine was shot on an iPhone) can get their picture made. This commodification of quality tech will go a long way in closing this gap in the storytelling. However, there seems to be a bottleneck at some point, where the path gets rather narrow, preventing many from ascending through the ranks. Every year, it seems like it is someone else’s turn to carry the baton for a new wave of cinema …

And this is just two points that I wanted to highlight here. So where does this leave someone like me, who LOVES movies, but is a little less passionate about this side of things? Right now, I just don’t have the answers …

 

Post script: this article on deadline.com also points to the problem tremendously: among the ‘snubs’ they list is a whole demographic, not just an individual.

Quick Recap of the 86th Annual Academy Awards

Photo Credit: Creative Commons License  (Attribution No Derivative Works) by ebbandflowphotography via Flickr

Photo Credit: Creative Commons License
(Attribution No Derivative Works) by ebbandflowphotography via Flickr

I debated doing a recap – there are so many out there that by now opinions are formed and the papers that covered the events of this past Sunday night are securely lying in recycle bins worldwide. So, I asked myself, “is my two cents needed or valid?” Well of course my opinion is valid – everyone’s is (I do not lack THAT much self esteem).

In the end, I resolved to drop a quick list on my reaction to the festivities.

  1. Most of the awards went as I predicted. Pays to check out the odds-makers for probabilities. Also, it has gotten to a point that there are so many awards between January and the Oscars (registered trademark) that a pattern definitely does start to emerge, to the point you end up
  2. Ellen was good. Sure I may have laughed-cringed at the Liza Minnelli joke (rather cruel, and speaks to a larger issue), but overall she kept the show moving and brought audience engagement to new heights with the pizza party and selfie tweeted around the world. I would post the image, but then I think I would have to pay some money to Bradley Cooper or something like that.
  3. Leading up to the show I was really wondering how they were going to fit P!nk into the show; in fact all advertising leading up to broadcast had me questioning if this show was morphing into the Grammys (registered trademark). But she did just fine. But my favorite(s) in the musical performance title was a three-way tie between Pharrell Williams (“Happy“), Bette Midler (“Wind Beneath My Wings” In Memoriam tribute) and Darlene Love’s impromptu song of praise following Twenty Feet From Stardom‘s win the Best Documentary category (good film by the way, check it out).
  4. I must really be a glutton for punishment because I endured an hour of a cable channel’s live coverage of red carpet arrivals. Not that it is bad to parade people in front of cameras and have them ogled at like show-horses or anything, but this take  At the moment I could switch to ABC for their own “Countdown” show, which while in the same vein, provided a little more cinematic insight and context in the buildup to the evening’s festivities.
  5. (really 4B) I always get tickled when I see all these really rich and famous folks in fancy frocks parade down Hollywood Boulevard and ascend the steps into the Kodak Dolby Theatre. I am tickled because the theatre is housed in what can be best described as a mall, albeit a very nice one. In fact on a trip to the Home of the Academy Awards (until 2021) several years ago, I was ‘allowed’ to peek inside and see the theatre. One day maybe I will be able to have a seat when it matters most!

Well, that is all I got! Did you watch the show? What were some of your favorite moments? Hit the comments section below and share, share share

T’was the Night Before the Academy Awards Ceremony ….

No. Do not worry that I am going to break out into cheap verse. I have neither the creativity nor the energy to go there today. In fact, my predictions for this year’s ceremony is quite simple:

People will win Oscars whilst wearing fancy frocks and suits.

And that is about it. Well, that really isn’t everything, as my most ardent wish is for awards success for Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave.

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Photo Credit: Thomas Ormston (via Flickr)

Now, to switch gears a bit, I have previously been asked (*) to look a bit further down the line and put on my prognostication glasses. The mission: to ‘predict’ which young thesps currently in the game I think will probably be awarded film’s highest honor at some point in the future. For the sake of simplicity (and my sanity), I have divided the groups into 1) actors and actresses and 2) directors.

 

THE ACTORS

  1. Chiwetel Ejiofor: Although I had decided to arbitrarily restrict my selections to the ‘Under 35s’ set, I made an allowance in this case. I have hoping for Ejiofor’s ascension to widespread recognition for quite some time. Although he is nominated this year (and not likely to win according to the odds makers), I hope that he will have another shot at receiving an acting accolade in the future.
  2. Adèle Exarchopoulos: Based on her breakout performance in the controversial Blue is the Warmest Color, I feel her success will continue in France and has the potential to translate into crossover success in the English language market. Which frankly will increase her chances of obtaining an Oscar in the future.
  3. Tom Hiddleston: This versatile Brit is bound in the near future to strike Oscar gold. That is all.
  4. Saoirse Ronan: In all her performances (yes even Byzantium) I remain captivated by the ethereal, otherworldly quality she possesses.
  5. Brie Larson: A critically recognized turn in 2013’s Short Term 12 has put this young woman on the map. I see bright (golden?) things in her future.
  6. James Franco: Due to his prolific nature in all aspects of the filmmaking process, I am sure he will strike lucky and at least get a nomination, if not take home Oscar at some point in his diverse career.
  7. Ellen Page: Although it seems like she has been around for a while, she is still quite young and has a long career ahead of her. I think she will secure an acting gong one day.

Honorable Mentions: Ben Whishaw, Romola Garai

Side Note: in doing my research, I ‘discovered’ a rather disturbing trend when looking up male versus female actors. When I searched for males, the top search results and subsequent lists spoke mainly of their talent and versatility. The lists for the female thesps, on the other hand, produced mainly “hot” lists. Color me slightly disappointed.

 

THE DIRECTORS

Now I admit I am not as knowledgeable with up and coming directors as I would like to be. That said, here are a couple of women I feel have the greatest potential of winning top prize for their work in directing a feature film:

Sarah Polley: She started out in front of the camera but has really made a name for herself as a creative force behind the camera with films such as Away From Her and Take This Waltz. There is great promise that a future dramatic feature will be recognized by the Academy.

Ava DuVernay: Another slight deviation from my ‘age’ rule, DuVernay won the Best Director prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013 for her film Middle of Nowhere (film also garnered her the John Cassavetes Award the same year). DuVernay’s career has also seen her recognized and win multiple accolades for her auteurism.

I wish I could speak to the other folks that make the movies – shame on me.

This is where audience participation comes in. Submit in the Comments section below what who you think in these or any other categories is Oscar-bound in the future.

(*) This post is part of the 31 Days of Oscar Blogathon sponsored by Outspoken & Freckled, Once Upon a Screen and Paula’s Cinema Club.

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Oscar® Noms Announced! (My Reaction)

Here are a couple of observation about the Oscar® nominations, which were announced earlier this morning:

  1. Regarding ‘Snubs.’ I think contrary to what I might have initially felt about the year overall, this was a very strong year in terms of quality motion pictures produced. In other words, I do not think that any of the nominations are necessarily undeserving but rather there are so many people and films that could have received a nod. Some that come immediately to mind are Her (Joaquin Phoenix’s performance), The Butler, Inside Llewellyn Davis, Fruitvale Station, Saving Mr. Banks – the list can go on, thus proving my point.
  2. One Snub That Stands Out for Me. Pacific Rim Sound / Visual Effects. Maybe they will get a few Sci/Tech Awards.
  3. Favorite Nominations? It’s a tie: Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa for Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling (just because) and Before Midnight for Best Adapted Screenplay.
  4. I Feel Kinda Bad … I have not seen ANY of the Best Films not in the English Language. Must be rectified in future.
  5. Who Do I Think Will Win? I never predict these types of things. I usually get it wrong. I just sit back and watch all of the events unfold.
  6. Lastly … I have a lot of ‘homework’ to do before Sunday, March 2nd.

Share your thoughts below …

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Golden Globes 2014 Redux

Image © HFPA

Image © HFPA

Every year I say the same thing – I will NOT be tuning in to see celebs get stuffed on fine food and bevvies. And still, like clockwork, I find myself, hours later, bleary eyed and staring at my computer screen foraging for whatever after-party pics and BTS intel I could procure from sites I would never normally publicly declare visiting.

With that boisterous introduction, I must admit that for the most part, I quite enjoyed this year’s Golden Globes ceremony, like the actual show itself.

If there is any reason for me to tune in next, it is a credit to hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. These ladies are on it. Their jokes were simultaneously laugh out loud funny and also had a biting yet subtle undercurrent that may have washed over quite a number of people. But I am here for it. All of it.

Admittedly, I had the television intermittently on mute and would glance up when I saw someone I was interested in hearing from. Once such person was Emma Thompson, who simply stated, is a goddess who walks among us. From running across the red carpet (shoeless), the routine continued on the stage of the Beverly Hilton, courtesy of a pair of Louboutins in one hand and martini in another. Priceless.

But hey I decided to write this post, so I guess I must touch upon the awards, particularly in the film categories:

  • The highlight for me was 12 Years a Slave winning Best Motion Picture: Drama, after getting shut out in the acting and directing categories,
  • Speaking of which, the most disappointing loss for me was being Lupita Nyong’o not winning for her moving portrayal as Patsy. Not to cast aspersions on dear JLaw, her performance in American Hustle is fine (more on the movie tomorrow), but I did not think it was the equal of Lupita’s.
  • Nice to see Leo winning. Is this possibly his year to take home the bald, golden dude?
  • Leo’s The Wolf of Wall Street co-star, Matthew McConaughey’s acceptance speech was my favorite. He is that dude.
  • Like Cate Blanchett, still have yet to see Blue Jasmine. #YeahIAdmitIt
  • Don’t know how, but I wish that Her could of received some more recognition; but the honor IS in the nomination, right?

I have obviously left a lot of bits out, but these are the things that stick out most in my memory (credit to the aforementioned Golden Globes hangover).

Now onto you. What were your favorite moments? What (if anything) does this mean for next month’s Academy Awards ceremony?

Exactly was the Comments section is for, folks! Have at it!

Television Post Script: Tatiana Maslany needs some award for playing a whole bunch of people in Orphan Black. #JustSayin

2014 Spirit Award Nominees

Recently, the 2014 (Film Independent) Spirit Awards nominees were announced. As I pored over the list, something dawned upon me – for a change, I have in fact seen plenty of these films well at least more than I could have previously claimed in a given year. A few of the films I have already taken a look at on this blog; see my earlier entries for Short Term 12, Before Midnight, Blue Caprice, Francis Ha, Una Noche and Gideon’s Army.

In addition to these titles, on the list of nominees, I spotted two additional films that have come that are strong contenders this awards season – Twelve Years a Slave and Blue is the Warmest Color. After much much delay, I would like to take this opportunity to let you know what I thought of these films. Again sorry for the procrastination.

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12 Years a Slave

I don’t know where to begin with this one. I mean, in spite of the weighty topic – a true, first hand narrative of free man of color kidnapped and held captive in the (I highly recommend reading the book), it is simply a beautiful, cinematic experience. From the cinematography, to the acting and the overall atmosphere created by director Steve McQueen and his cinematographer (Sean Bobbitt), I am almost at a loss for words for how this film moved me.

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When I read the announcement about this film being made, I immediately had really high expectations, based largely on the goodwill I had for the filmmaker and his ‘muse’ (Michael Fassbender) from their previous collaborations (Hunger and Shame). After reading the book in the lead up to the release back in October, the one reservation I did have was how they would take this first hand account and translate it into a narrative suited for the silver screen. But why doubt? Screenwriter John Ridley brought the wonderfully eloquent words of Solomon Northup to life.

I briefly mentioned the performances above; now allow me to elaborate and highlight two of the standouts for me. The titular character, as played by the severely underused Chiwetel Ejiofor, really conveys a man who was in a struggle not only for his physical freedom but also his psychological liberation. It is a marvel to see on screen. In the role of Patsy, newcomer Lupita Nyong’o is a revelation. In her portrayal, I feel the echoes of those who preceded us – their enduring unflappable spirit in the face of unimaginable and brutal circumstances.

Ironically, last night I was asked about my favorite film of 2013. Almost without hesitation, I said 12 Years a Slave. I think I am going to hold onto that one.

 

Blue is the Warmest Color (La Vie d’Adèle – Chapitres 1 & 2 )

PHOTO-Le-poster-officiel-de-La-Vie-d-Adele_portrait_w532I saw this film as the 51st annual New York Film Festival was drawing to a close. What a singular New York Film Festival 2013 experience to have – a provocative, much talked about Cannes Palm D’Or winner directed by Abdellatif Kechiche (who also offered an assist on the screenplay). Based on a graphic novel by Julie Maroh, Blue chronicles the romantic and sexual coming of age of Adele (Adele Exarchopoulos) and specifically, her relationship with university student Emma (Léa Seydoux).

I know much has been made about the sexual politics of the movie, but I will leave that for others more qualified to debate the particulars. And for those who choose to see the film, judge for yourself. But for me, I THINK I know where the filmmaker was going with respect to the symmetry of the love scenes and the stage of the relationship between Adele and Emma we were witnessing. That said, some of their earlier scenes felt overlong and a little out of place with the rest of the film’s narrative. And before you ask, no, I am not particularly fazed by expressions of overt sexuality on screen.

In spite of this visceral response, as I ventured out of the screening and into the brisk October night, I made a resolution to myself that in spite of my feelings about this one aspect of the film, I would not let this take away from the overall experience and would therefore try my best to judge the other narrative elements of the film objectively. When I reflected on the film with this in mind, I found that at its heart, the film you are left with is a well photographed, episodic love story, that over the course of its three hour running time (this is not an estimate, it really is three hours) feels rooted in a reality, even if particular acts venture into the realm of the voyeuristic and fantastic.

 

The Spirit Awards will air March 1st on IFC.

Stuff I Learned By Watching the Oscars

Yeah. I got sucked into the fray and ended up watching the Academy Awards last night. It actually was not too bad. But since this is principally a film and not TV blog (although TV does on occasion creep into a post or two), I will not be reviewing or recapping this as a programming event. I leave that to the experts.

What I will gladly do is make a quick list (in no particular order) of the things that I learned by watching this year’s telecast.

    1. They really should have been using the Jaws theme for all these years! (Thanks to my friend QTS for pointing out)
    2. Jennifer Lawrence is definitely one of my favorite people in the world (even if I thought that Chastain should have won for Zero Dark Thirty). photo-4_3_r536_c534
    1. Charlize can cut a rug!!! d235888003913550_charlize_channing_dancing.xxxlarge
    2. I knew Seth MacFarlane liked his pop standards, but dude is a serious musical geek!
    3. Speaking of music – this telecast was more Grammys than the Grammys.
    4. I nominate Kerry Washington as the next Bond girl (did you see that Scandal promo? BTW you really need to be watching that show).

  1. ADELE and JHudson threw down.
  2. Kristen Stewart …
  3. DeNiro is a napper.
  4. Last, but certainly not least – apparently Argo directed itself.

Maybe next year, I will have a full-on Oscar party – stay tuned to this space. I am dying to make Oscar-themed cupcakes!

That’s me done – what was your take on the Academy Awards and the ceremony? Were you pleased with the results?

Share your thoughts below.

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The Oscar Curse: Is it For Real?

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Before I dive into my topic/rant, I would like to send a big shout out to my colleagues Aurora (Once Upon a Screen), Paula (Paula’s Cinema Club) and Kellee (Outspoken & Freckled), who put this wonderful blogging meme together. Be sure to check out their sites to see all the other Oscar-related content bloggers around the world have posted.

Oscar Jinx 

The Oscar Jinx – the Origins

Jinx or curse, whatever – you get the idea. It is a theory as old as the actual awards ceremony themselves – the idea being that upon winning an Academy Award in an acting category, the winner finds themselves on the wrong side of Lady Luck – the offers dry up and they end up in a career paralysis, or simply fade into obscurity.

The first time I had ever heard of such a ‘curse’ was when I heard my dad and brother discussing the career of Louis Gossett Junior, following his win for An Officer and a Gentleman and how it ended up not really doing anything of consequence for his career (there was Enemy Mine, however). In subsequent years, as my passion for cinema grew, I discovered a few more instances of the famed curse, especially how ‘the curse’ impacted one of my favorite actresses Joan Fontaine who after her win in 1942 for Suspicion, said the only thing she gained from bringing home the gold was to be typecast as a “simp” (her words folks, not mine).

A little digging around the web unveiled a lot of interesting featured articles where the writer investigates this ‘phenomenon.’ You are forewarned: the various lists have many repeat customers:

Another observation you may have made is that there sure is a LOT of female representation on this list. This observation, unfortunately, leads to my next topic of discussion, the Oscar “Love” curse.

 

Subcategory: The Oscar “Love” Curse

More recently this curse has created a (more personal) subset of those affected – the Oscar Love curse, whereby love-struck members of the fairer sex (females) are afflicted with relationship woes post their awards triumph. According to “the Wikipedia” – which sourced the lists below – this is real, folks; just take a look at some of the winners (past and present) who apparently have been (un)ceremoniously dumped by their significant others upon winning Oscar:

Best Actress

  • Bette Davis (1936 Dangerous and 1939 Jezebel) and husband Harmon Nelson
  • Joan Crawford (1946 Mildred Pierce) and husband Phillip Terry
  • Jane Wyman (1948 Johnny Belinda) and husband Ronald Reagan
  • Elizabeth Taylor (1961 Butterfield 8 and 1967 Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) and husbands Eddie Fisher and Richard Burton
  • Julie Andrews (1965 Mary Poppins) and husband Tony Walton
  • Barbra Streisand (1969 Funny Girl) and husband Elliott Gould
  • Maggie Smith (1970 The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie) and husband Robert Stephens
  • Jane Fonda (1972 Klute) and husband Roger Vadim
  • Liza Minnelli (1973 Cabaret) and husband Peter Allen
  • Cher (1988 Moonstruck) and boyfriend Rob Camilletti
  • Kathy Bates (1991 Misery) and boyfriend later husband Tony Campisi
  • Emma Thompson (1993 Howards End) and husband Kenneth Branagh
  • Jessica Lange (1995 Blue Sky) and longtime partner Sam Shepard
  • Susan Sarandon (1996 Dead Man Walking) and longtime partner Tim Robbins
  • Helen Hunt (1998 As Good as It Gets) and boyfriend later husband Hank Azaria
  • Julia Roberts (2001 Erin Brockovich) and boyfriend Benjamin Bratt
  • Halle Berry (2002 Monster’s Ball) and husband Eric Benet
  • Charlize Theron (2004 Monster) and longtime boyfriend Stuart Townsend
  • Hilary Swank (2000 Boys Don’t Cry and 2005 Million Dollar Baby) and husband Chad Lowe
  • Reese Witherspoon (2006 Walk the Line) and husband Ryan Philippe
  • Kate Winslet (2009 The Reader) and husband Sam Mendes
  • Sandra Bullock (2010 The Blind Side) and husband Jesse James

Supporting Actress

  • Goldie Hawn (1970 Cactus Flower) and husband Gus Trikonis
  • Anjelica Huston (1986 Prizzi’s Honor) and boyfriend Jack Nicholson
  • Geena Davis (1989 The Accidental Tourist) and husband Jeff Goldblum
  • Kim Basinger (1998 L.A. Confidential) and husband Alec Baldwin
  • Renée Zellweger (2004 Cold Mountain) and longtime boyfriend Jack White
  • Jennifer Hudson (2007 Dreamgirls) and longtime boyfriend James Payton

 

Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, including –

Best Actress

  • Joanne Woodward (1958 The Three Faces of Eve) and husband Paul Newman were married on January 29, 1958, prior to the March 26th Oscar ceremony and remained so, until Newman’s death in 2008.
  • Sophia Loren (1962 Two Women) and husband Carlo Ponti were married on September 17, 1957. However, the 1962 annulment of their marriage was for legal, rather than personal reasons. Loren and Ponti were formally married on April 9, 1966 and remained so, until Ponti’s death in 2007.
  • Jessica Tandy (1990 Driving Miss Daisy) and husband Hume Cronyn were married on September 27, 1942 and remained so, until Tandy’s death in 1994.

Best Supporting Actress

  • Maggie Smith (1979 California Suite) and husband Beverley Cross were married on August 23, 1975 and remained so, until Cross’s death in 1998.
  • Judi Dench (1999 Shakespeare in Love) and husband Michael Williams were married on February 5, 1971 and remained so, until Williams’ death in 2001.

Side note: Dame Maggie made BOTH lists – BOOM!

Side, side note: my simple observation is that with some of these actresses, notably for the aforementioned Dame Maggie and member of her cohort Dame Judi Dench, their respective wins gave them a “second career” of sorts and they are more popular than ever. This observation in of itself should be an indication of what my final conclusion will be (see below).

 

So With All of this Evidence, Does the “Curse” Hold Water?

In this blogger’s humble opinion, the answer is: maybe kinda sorta  – but maybe not really. WHAT ON EARTH DO I MEAN? My reasoning is quite simple really. YES winning such a prestigious award will change your life – for better or worse, but like with many things in life, it is a combination of preparation, effective decision making and sheer luck that determines the ultimate outcome. Now, that is not to say that ripe acting opportunities are limited. So while the Oscar may get you in the door, it is not a sure-fire ticket to continued success.

Also if you are fortunate enough to win, there is an added pressure to find a vehicle that potentially can match the acclaim of that winning performance. Granted, some folks are lucky enough and lightning WILL strike more than once (see above); but really that is more the exception, not the rule. If anything, the winning performance by an actor is more so an indication of them being the top of their game, the peak of their powers – and as the phrase goes it is all downhill from here in most cases. So sad, but so true.

As it pertains to the “love” curse I suppose especially for those folks whose partner is also in the business there is the chance that a little professional rivalry and/or jealousy exists and will precipitate hurt feelings and such. But seriously, looking at some of these entries on Wikipedia are a bit of a stretch given that in some cases, the relationship ended YEARS after the actress won the statue. In other words, I am calling BUNK on this part of the theory.

In the end, I say take the Oscar and hope for the best …

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But that is just me and my humble opinion; I could probably spend another 1000 words trying to debunk this further, but my fingers are tired.

Now is your turn; how about you? What do you think? Is the Oscar curse, be it professional OR personal something real?

Share your comments below.

Oscar™ Nominations Recap in Free Verse

Let me just state for the record – I am not a poet; that distinction goes to my late father. With that in mind, I present to you my reaction to the recent Oscar ™ nominations not in flowery prose, but rather in ‘free verse,’ ya dig?

[BONGO DRUM ROLL]

BAFTA (British Academy) Nominations are In

The British Academy Film Awards have announced their nominations – The Artist and Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy are leading the way with 12 and 11 nominations respectively.

BEST FILM

  • THE ARTIST
  • THE DESCENDANTS
  • DRIVE
  • THE HELP
  • TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM

  • MY WEEK WITH MARILYN
  • SENNA
  • SHAME
  • TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY
  • WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN

OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER

  • ATTACK THE BLOCK Joe Cornish (Director/Writer)
  • BLACK POND Will Sharpe (Director/Writer), Tom Kingsley (Director), Sarah Brocklehurst (Producer)
  • CORIOLANUS Ralph Fiennes (Director)
  • SUBMARINE Richard Ayoade (Director/Writer)
  • TYRANNOSAUR Paddy Considine (Director), Diarmid Scrimshaw (Producer)

FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

  • INCENDIES
  • PINA
  • POTICHE
  • A SEPARATION
  • THE SKIN I LIVE IN

DOCUMENTARY

  • GEORGE HARRISON: LIVING IN THE MATERIAL WORLD Martin Scorsese
  • PROJECT NIM James Marsh, Simon Chinn
  • SENNA Asif Kapadia

ANIMATED FILM

  • THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN: THE SECRET OF THE UNICORN
  • ARTHUR CHRISTMAS
  • RANGO

DIRECTOR

  • THE ARTIST Michel Hazanavicius
  • DRIVE Nicolas Winding Refn
  • HUGO Martin Scorsese
  • TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY Tomas Alfredson
  • WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN Lynne Ramsay

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • THE ARTIST Michel Hazanavicius
  • BRIDESMAIDS Annie Mumolo, Kristen Wiig
  • THE GUARD John Michael McDonagh
  • THE IRON LADY Abi Morgan
  • MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Woody Allen

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • THE DESCENDANTS Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash
  • THE HELP Tate Taylor
  • THE IDES OF MARCH George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon
  • MONEYBALL Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin
  • TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY Bridget O’Connor, Peter Straughan

LEADING ACTOR

  • BRAD PITT Moneyball
  • GARY OLDMAN Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
  • GEORGE CLOONEY The Descendants
  • JEAN DUJARDIN The Artist
  • MICHAEL FASSBENDER Shame

LEADING ACTRESS

  • BÉRÉNICE BEJO The Artist
  • MERYL STREEP The Iron Lady
  • MICHELLE WILLIAMS My Week with Marilyn
  • TILDA SWINTON We Need to Talk About Kevin
  • VIOLA DAVIS The Help

SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER Beginners
  • JIM BROADBENT The Iron Lady
  • JONAH HILL Moneyball
  • KENNETH BRANAGH My Week with Marilyn
  • PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN The Ides of March

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • CAREY MULLIGAN Drive
  • JESSICA CHASTAIN The Help
  • JUDI DENCH My Week with Marilyn
  • MELISSA MCCARTHY Bridesmaids
  • OCTAVIA SPENCER The Help

In addtition, Martin Scorcese, will receive a BAFTA Fellowship and one of my favorite categories (voted by the public) is the Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award, which is given to an up-and-coming young actor or actress. Previous winners include Tom Hardy, Shia LeBoeuf, Noel Clarke, Eva Green, James McAvoy and Kristen Stewart.

This year’s list includes:

  • ADAM DEACON
  • CHRIS HEMSWORTH
  • CHRIS O’DOWD
  • EDDIE REDMAYNE
  • TOM HIDDLESTON

 

For the full list of nominees in all categories, click here.

The awards will be presented on February 12th.

Any surprises? Or is it about what you would expect?