Melissa Leo emerged as one of Hollywood’s most important actresses in 2010, with lead roles in Treme, Welcome to the Rileys and The Fighter (for which she deservedly won the Best Actress Oscar).
While I found her Oscar lobbying off-putting at first (her character in The Fighter, my favorite film of 2010, was obnoxious, and — with her being new to me — I mis-attributed some of her characters’ traits to her in real life), but after seeing Treme and Welcome to the Rileys, I’ve changed my tune. I’ve grown to respect her immensely, chalking up the self-promotion as a sign of her boldness.

Melissa Leo emerged as one of Hollywood’s most important actresses in 2010, with lead roles in Treme, Welcome to the Rileys and The Fighter (for which she deservedly won the Best Actress Oscar).

While I found her Oscar lobbying off-putting at first (her character in The Fighter, my favorite film of 2010, was obnoxious, and — with her being new to me — I mis-attributed some of her characters’ traits to her in real life), but after seeing Treme and Welcome to the Rileys, I’ve changed my tune. I’ve grown to respect her immensely, chalking up the self-promotion as a sign of her boldness.

Tags: Film Oscar

National treasure and my favorite living male actor Robert Duvall in Tender Mercies (1983), for which he won his first Oscar (of 6 total nominations).

National treasure and my favorite living male actor Robert Duvall in Tender Mercies (1983), for which he won his first Oscar (of 6 total nominations).

dietcock:

»”In 1985, THE COLOR PURPLE Supporting Actress nominee Margaret Avery ran an ad that read: ‘Dear God, My name is Margaret Avery. I knows dat I been blessed by Alice Walker, Steven Spielberg, and Quincy Jones who gave me the part of ‘Shug’ Avery in THE COLOR PURPLE. Now I is up for one of the nominations fo’ Best Supporting Actress alongst with some fine, talented ladies that I is proud to be in the company of. Well God, I guess the time has come fo’ the Academy voters to decide whether I is one of the Best Supporting Actresses this year or not! Either way, Thank You, Lord for the opportunity. – Your little daughter, Margaret Avery.’ Avery was roundly criticized for the ad which was written in a dialect not even used by her character in the film. She lost to Anjelica Huston for PRIZZI’S HONOR.”
The risks inherent in shilling for Oscar gold.
 "Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn’t mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar."
— Edward R. Murrow, whose Oscar-nominated depiction by David Strathairn in George Clooney’s Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005) was pitch perfect

 "Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn’t mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar."

— Edward R. Murrow, whose Oscar-nominated depiction by David Strathairn in George Clooney’s Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005) was pitch perfect

“If there’s specific resistance to women making movies, I just choose to ignore that as an obstacle for two reasons: I can’t change my gender, and I refuse to stop making movies.”
— Kathryn Bigelow, Oscar-winning director of Hurt Locker (2008) and one of my favorite vampire films Near Dark (1987) 
(via bigmagnets)

If there’s specific resistance to women making movies, I just choose to ignore that as an obstacle for two reasons: I can’t change my gender, and I refuse to stop making movies.

— Kathryn Bigelow, Oscar-winning director of Hurt Locker (2008) and one of my favorite vampire films Near Dark (1987)

(via bigmagnets)

Tags: Film Gender Oscar

Annie Hall contains more intellectual wit and cultural references than any other movie ever to win the Oscar for best picture, and in winning the award in 1977 it edged out Star Wars, an outcome unthinkable today. The victory marked the beginning of Woody Allen’s career as an important filmmaker (his earlier work was funny but slight) and it signaled the end of the 1970s golden age of American movies. With Star Wars, the age of the blockbuster was upon us, and movies this quirky and idiosyncratic would find themselves shouldered aside by Hollywood’s greed for mega-hits. Annie Hall grossed about $40 million—less than any other modern best picture winner, and less than the budgets of many of them.
— Rober Ebert
(image via fuckyeahmovieposters)

Annie Hall contains more intellectual wit and cultural references than any other movie ever to win the Oscar for best picture, and in winning the award in 1977 it edged out Star Wars, an outcome unthinkable today. The victory marked the beginning of Woody Allen’s career as an important filmmaker (his earlier work was funny but slight) and it signaled the end of the 1970s golden age of American movies. With Star Wars, the age of the blockbuster was upon us, and movies this quirky and idiosyncratic would find themselves shouldered aside by Hollywood’s greed for mega-hits. Annie Hall grossed about $40 million—less than any other modern best picture winner, and less than the budgets of many of them.

Rober Ebert

(image via fuckyeahmovieposters)

Jeff Bridges had a very merry Christmas. And like many others who saw both Tron: Legacy and True Grit in the last few weeks, I revisited some of his body of work while I had extra time over the holidays.
It was my first viewing of Fabulous Baker Boys (1989). He was fantastic and Michelle Pfeiffer was good, but the directing was underwhelming. As an underachieving down-on-his luck piano player, it felt very much of the same ilk (and same hair, only less silver) as the role he’d win an Oscar for in Crazy Heart (2009).
I couldn’t make it much beyond the first 30 min of murder thriller Jagged Edge (1985). I’d always lumped this together with Adrian Lyne’s Fatal Attraction due to the fact that Glenn Close starred in both, that Michael Douglas resembles Jeff Bridges in many ways and that the two posters were of the same archetype. Sadly his character was cold, uptight and lacking the Bridges charm I was looking for on Xmas day, and Richard Marquand’s directing was like a weak Brian DePalma — and I can barely stomach a strong DePalma.
The Door in the Floor (2004) is Bridges’ finest moment as an actor. It was my second viewing of the film based on the John Irving novel and I was quite blown away by both his and Kim Basinger’s performances in this serious film about loss and moving on. Strange that director Tod Williams hasn’t done anything of substance after this (just a few Paranormal Activity sequels sadly).
While neither his best acting ever, nor his best role, Cutter’s Way (1981) is arguably the raddest film he’s ever done. Directed by Ivan Passer, this neo-noir film that was originally titled Cutter & Bone finds Bridges alongside the excellent John Heard in a delightfully slippery film that is determined to not look just like any other thriller made in the early ’80s. Easily one of his most over-looked films, this should go to the top of every Bridges fan’s watch list.
Unfortunately I didn’t have time to see American Heart (1992), the film from which the badass pic above was taken. I’ve avoided it to date due to excessive use of Edward Furlong, but plan to suck it up soon.
(image via fool-of-a-took)

Jeff Bridges had a very merry Christmas. And like many others who saw both Tron: Legacy and True Grit in the last few weeks, I revisited some of his body of work while I had extra time over the holidays.

It was my first viewing of Fabulous Baker Boys (1989). He was fantastic and Michelle Pfeiffer was good, but the directing was underwhelming. As an underachieving down-on-his luck piano player, it felt very much of the same ilk (and same hair, only less silver) as the role he’d win an Oscar for in Crazy Heart (2009).

I couldn’t make it much beyond the first 30 min of murder thriller Jagged Edge (1985). I’d always lumped this together with Adrian Lyne’s Fatal Attraction due to the fact that Glenn Close starred in both, that Michael Douglas resembles Jeff Bridges in many ways and that the two posters were of the same archetype. Sadly his character was cold, uptight and lacking the Bridges charm I was looking for on Xmas day, and Richard Marquand’s directing was like a weak Brian DePalma — and I can barely stomach a strong DePalma.

The Door in the Floor (2004) is Bridges’ finest moment as an actor. It was my second viewing of the film based on the John Irving novel and I was quite blown away by both his and Kim Basinger’s performances in this serious film about loss and moving on. Strange that director Tod Williams hasn’t done anything of substance after this (just a few Paranormal Activity sequels sadly).

While neither his best acting ever, nor his best role, Cutter’s Way (1981) is arguably the raddest film he’s ever done. Directed by Ivan Passer, this neo-noir film that was originally titled Cutter & Bone finds Bridges alongside the excellent John Heard in a delightfully slippery film that is determined to not look just like any other thriller made in the early ’80s. Easily one of his most over-looked films, this should go to the top of every Bridges fan’s watch list.

Unfortunately I didn’t have time to see American Heart (1992), the film from which the badass pic above was taken. I’ve avoided it to date due to excessive use of Edward Furlong, but plan to suck it up soon.

(image via fool-of-a-took)

Jack Nicholson promoting one of his finest performances — Hal Ashby’s The Last Detail (1973). It won the Palme d’Or and Best Actor at Cannes, and was also nominated for Best Actor (Nicholson), Best Supporting Actor (Randy Quaid) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Robert Towne) Oscars.
The film was controversial due to the high volume of profanity. Peter Guber recalls, “The first seven minutes, there were 342 ‘fucks’”. The head of Columbia asked Towne to reduce the number of curse words to which the writer responded, “This is the way people talk when they’re powerless to act; they bitch”. 
(photo via anneyhall)

Jack Nicholson promoting one of his finest performances — Hal Ashby’s The Last Detail (1973). It won the Palme d’Or and Best Actor at Cannes, and was also nominated for Best Actor (Nicholson), Best Supporting Actor (Randy Quaid) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Robert Towne) Oscars.

The film was controversial due to the high volume of profanity. Peter Guber recalls, “The first seven minutes, there were 342 ‘fucks’”. The head of Columbia asked Towne to reduce the number of curse words to which the writer responded, “This is the way people talk when they’re powerless to act; they bitch”. 

(photo via anneyhall)

In the Philadelphia International Airport today, traversing from the international arrivals to the C Terminal, I was pleased to once again stumble upon the gallery of movie posters of films made in Philadelphia. Despite Rocky's near ubiquity in our culture, I was struck by the simple beauty of the poster for the film.
Written by the then unknown Sylvester Stallone, the film was originally slated to be directed by Stallone as well. The producers of the film, however, naturally wanted a bankable star (a Redford, Caan or Reynolds). The tenacious Stallone pony-traded to get the starring role by giving up the director’s seat to John G. Alvidsen. The film went on to be nominated for 10 Academy Awards (including best original screenplay by Stallone, which he lost to the legendary Paddy Chayefsky for Network) and won three, including Best Picture and Best Director. It feels a bit surreal considering how Stallone’s artistic image has gone through so many topsy-turvy chapters over the past few decades. He appears to be on a commercial upswing at the moment, as his latest directorial effort, The Expendables, debuted at #1 this weekend.

In the Philadelphia International Airport today, traversing from the international arrivals to the C Terminal, I was pleased to once again stumble upon the gallery of movie posters of films made in Philadelphia. Despite Rocky's near ubiquity in our culture, I was struck by the simple beauty of the poster for the film.

Written by the then unknown Sylvester Stallone, the film was originally slated to be directed by Stallone as well. The producers of the film, however, naturally wanted a bankable star (a Redford, Caan or Reynolds). The tenacious Stallone pony-traded to get the starring role by giving up the director’s seat to John G. Alvidsen. The film went on to be nominated for 10 Academy Awards (including best original screenplay by Stallone, which he lost to the legendary Paddy Chayefsky for Network) and won three, including Best Picture and Best Director. It feels a bit surreal considering how Stallone’s artistic image has gone through so many topsy-turvy chapters over the past few decades. He appears to be on a commercial upswing at the moment, as his latest directorial effort, The Expendables, debuted at #1 this weekend.

John Cazale’s straight flush

If there’s one conversation I never grow tired of having, it’s the one about John Cazale’s cinematic straight flush. He acted in only five films under the direction of only three directors in his short career, before succumbing to cancer at age 42. His films were among the greatest made in what is easily my favorite decade of American cinema: The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972), The Conversation (Coppola, 1974), The Godfather Part II (Coppola, 1974), Dog Day Afternoon (Sidney Lumet, 1975) and The Deer Hunter (Michael Cimino, 1978). All five were nominated for Best Picture Oscars, with The Godfather, The Godfather Part II and The Deer Hunter taking home the trophies. Though he starred in none of these films, he played a pivotal role in each.

Much has been said about him, but due to the short filmography, there are still so many questions left lurking in the minds of film lovers. Those are starting to get answered, as there was a great piece written about him in New York Magazine last year and I’ve just heard that Oscilloscope Laboratories just procured the rights to a new documentary directed by Richard Shepard called I Knew It Was You: Rediscovering John Cazale (2010). Keep your eyes peeled for that as it hits art houses near you in the near future.

It’s one of my favorite Scorsese films. Here’s an O.G. review of the film by Roger Ebert from December 1, 1974, with this passage which I feel kinda nails it:
The movie has been both attacked and defended on feminist grounds, but I think it belongs somewhere outside ideology, maybe in the area of contemporary myth and romance. There are scenes in which we take Alice and her journey perfectly seriously, there are scenes of harrowing reality and then there are other scenes (including some hilarious passages in a restaurant where she waits on tables) where Scorsese edges into slight, cheerful exaggeration. There are times, indeed, when the movie seems less about Alice than it does about the speculations and daydreams of a lot of women about her age, who identify with the liberation of other women, but are unsure on the subject of themselves.
From Wikipedia:Ellen Burstyn won the Academy Award for Best Actress. Diane Ladd was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress but lost to Ingrid Bergman in Murder on the Orient Express, and Robert Getchell was nominated for the Academy Award For Best Original Screenplay but lost to Robert Towne for Chinatown.

It’s one of my favorite Scorsese films. Here’s an O.G. review of the film by Roger Ebert from December 1, 1974, with this passage which I feel kinda nails it:

The movie has been both attacked and defended on feminist grounds, but I think it belongs somewhere outside ideology, maybe in the area of contemporary myth and romance. There are scenes in which we take Alice and her journey perfectly seriously, there are scenes of harrowing reality and then there are other scenes (including some hilarious passages in a restaurant where she waits on tables) where Scorsese edges into slight, cheerful exaggeration. There are times, indeed, when the movie seems less about Alice than it does about the speculations and daydreams of a lot of women about her age, who identify with the liberation of other women, but are unsure on the subject of themselves.

From Wikipedia:
Ellen Burstyn won the Academy Award for Best Actress. Diane Ladd was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress but lost to Ingrid Bergman in Murder on the Orient Express, and Robert Getchell was nominated for the Academy Award For Best Original Screenplay but lost to Robert Towne for Chinatown.