Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Best Actress 1987: Holly Hunter in Broadcast News



Holly Hunter received her first Oscar nomination for playing Jane Craig, a T.V Network producer who finds herself caught between the handsome new news reporter  Tom(William Hurt)and her best friend Aaron(Albert Brooks) in Broadcast News.

Broadcast News is surprisingly a kind of WTF movie for me- I couldn't really tell what the hell was going on for a lot of it and it's kinda stuck in the 80's LOL, but it still has its merits.  The acting is overall quite strong, with both Hurt and Brooks turning strong work. Hunter, despite winning the N.B.R award for this film, probably didn't have much of a chance at winning  the Oscar given  her stiff competition. She was too new to Hollywood at the time and Cher took the romantic comedy votes away from her and  Moonstruck overshadowed Broadcast News for these same reasons in the general Oscar race.  Not to mention Kirkland and Close had more passionate supporters. So , I think Hunter came in fourth with Streep bringing up the rear.

Holly Hunter is an actress who I like a lot: I personally love her   southern  voice and she  has great acting instincts and a real presence on screen. Here, she does a lot of great work. Her best moments are when she is listening to her co-stars during a scene or reacting/feeling on her own: With her facial expressions, she communicates exactly what Jane is feeling and  we can read her like a book. She makes us care about Jane, admire her for her spirit and intelligence, and even love her when she is radiant and happy about her love life with Tom. She is beautifully natural and fiercely present at the same time, never making her work become too subtle, but letting the character  speak for itself. She is perfectly cast in the role:  who else can you  imagine in this part?  And she has great chemistry with Hurt and especially Albert Brooks. Their  scenes together are probably the best in the film because the two  character are so a like and have such a strong, passionate relationship that is extremely funny and moving.

But the problem that Hunter can't get out of  is the fact that the character's whole purpose is just wondering whether or not she's good enough for Tom and the conflicts that she has over both him and Aaron.  We definitely see her commitment to her work and to her job in the beginning, but in my opinion, we don't see enough of it. I wanted to see more fire in the character, more of a love/hate relationship between her and Hurt, and that just doesn't seem to come across. Jane Craig could have been a lot more opinionated and less needing of a man to define her, but the script cheats us out of this. It could have been a lot worse, but the writing and the acting is just three levels or so above this that it doesn't sink the film or Hunter's performance. But it still could have been  better.

Still, though Hunter gives a luminous portrayal that is both funny and touching and beautifully captures the full range of her characters emotions and quirks, in the end creating an extremely  memorable   character.  She gets





Monday, July 24, 2017

Best Actress Overall Winners: Part 6




Moving right along to the finish line! Please  feel free to comment on and check out Part 5 below! I updated it to include Fritz's, Dinasztie's, Alex's, and my own choices for the years in which I've/they've  done profiles on and which races I have opinions on who I think the winner should have been  currently even though I have not done a profile yet. I would have included all of Sage's too, but since she deleted  some of her Best Actress posts/rankings and a great amount of time has passed since she posted all of her rankings when she concluded the category, I can't  definitively  consider   the majority of them her choices anymore, unless I get clarification from her. Anyway, we miss you Sage and hope you're doing well!!

Best Actress 2008: This one is hard, because I haven't heard too many opinions on the race in general- Some dislike Winslet, others don't, so I'd say she's split down the middle. Streep has more detractors then supports and Jolie even more so. That leaves Hathaway and Leo- I guess I'll go with Leo? Fritz picked Winslet, Alex picked Streep, I need to rewatch all of them to get a definitive opinion on my thoughts.

Oscar Winner: Kate Winslet

Overall Winner:  Melissa Leo

Best Actress 2009: Sandra Bullock's win is one of the biggest WTF winners in many  people's minds, but on a rewatch of a chunk of the film a few weeks ago, I personally liked the performance film much more then when I saw it the first time all those years ago. Who would have thought? Anyway, she still is no overall winner. I'll go with Mulligan, despite strong support for Sidibe and Streep. Dinasztie went with Streep, Alex went with Mulligan.

Oscar Winner: Sandra Bullock

Overall Winner: Carey Mulligan

Best Actress 2010: It's getting to the point that the more recent the winners become, the harder it is to judge who is the most popular winner these days. This is a strong lineup though, so I think you could find any of the nominees being someone's pick. I'll just go with Portman for now, but feel free to help me on this guys!  Dinasztie went with Portman , Alex went with Portman, and  although I never completed this year officially , I think Kidman was the best of the nominees.

Oscar Winner: Natalie Portman

Overall Winner: Natalie Portman

Best Actress 2011:  Ah, the year Meryl finally won her third Oscar. I think you can find people that both love and hate the performance, but despite some support for Williams, I think Davis is the overall winner here.  Dinasztie picked Meryl, Alex picked Meryl as well.

Oscar Winner: Meryl Streep

Overall Winner: Viola Davis

Best Actress 2012: Lawrence's win is largely disliked now it seems, unfairly IMO, but there you go. I think Chastain has some love out there, but Riva probably is most people's pick nowadays. Alex picked  Riva, Dinasztie picked Riva as well. Sage has stated Chastain is her pick.

Oscar Winner: Jennifer Lawrence

Overall Winner: Emanuelle Riva

Best Actress 2013: Cate Blanchett won the Oscar and her win is hugely popular.  Alex  went with Blanchett and for me it's a tossup between Blanchett and Adams, with a nod to Streep.

Oscar Winner: Cate Blanchett

Overall Winner: Cate Blanchett

Best Actress 2014: I get the impression most consider Julianne's win a makeup award, but I don't think she is disliked for her win. I'll go with Pike as the overall winner.  I haven't seen Witherspoon yet, but both Pike and Cotillard are amazing. I think Cotillard deserved it the most. Sage stated her choice is Julianne Moore.

Oscar Winner: Julianne Moore

Overall Winner: Rosamund Pike

Best Actress 2015: This is the second to most recent win, so it's hard to say who the overall winner is. Certainly not Jennifer Lawrence or Cate Blanchett. I'll just give this one to Rampling, lol. Alex picked Rampling.

Oscar Winner:  Brie Larson

Overall Winner: Charlotte Rampling

Best Actress 2016: Stone's win seems destined to become unpopular, but as I've noted again and again, it's a bit too soon to be definitive about who most think should have won this year. I'll pick  Portman  and Huppert in a tie for now. Louis gave his personal Best Actress award to Emma Stone and Alex picked Streep.

Oscar Winner: Emma Stone

Overall Winner:   TIE- Natalie Portman & Isabelle Hubbert

So, that's it!! Feel free to comment on your thoughts about these years and who your personal winners are, if you disagree with me, and more!

Best Actress Overall Winners: Part 5

                                                             


Decided to finish this series!!!  Here's a link to my  third  post in the series on here (https://filmoscarsandmore.blogspot.com/2014/02/best-actress-overall-winners-part-4.html)  and a links  to the second (http://oscarfan69.blogspot.com/2010/09/best-actress-post-part-2.html) (http://oscarfan69.blogspot.com/2010/09/best-actress-post-part-1.html) and first post from my retired blog, Oscarfan.

Best Actress 1995: Hmm, hard to say since I could see all the nominees besides maybe Emma Thompson having a passionate fanbase. I'll go with Elisabeth Shue, although I could be wrong. Let me know if you think so.  Dinasztie picked Shue.

Oscar Winner: Susan Sarandon

Overall Winner: Elisabeth Shue

Best Actress 1996: Another tricky one, but I'm going to go with Emily Watson in Breaking The Waves. Her performance is astounding and her fanbase is strong and loud, despite the love for McDormand out there. Dinasztie picked Watson, Fritz picked Watson, I'd pick Watson.

Oscar Winner: Frances McDormand

Overall Winner: Emily Watson

Best Actress 1997: Oh, this is an easy one. Judi Dench clearly takes the crown here as the overall winner these days, with Hunt's win becoming one of the most hated and infamous in the Academy's  history. Dinasztie picked Helena Bonham Carter.

Oscar Winner: Helen Hunt

Overall Winner: Judi Dench

Best Actress 1998: Another no-brainer and another queen taking the prize: Cate Blanchett has even been asked about her infamous loss to Gwyneth Paltrow, whose career immediately took a turn for the worse after this and she's now one of the most unpopular actresses around. Fritz picked Blanchett, Dinasztie picked Montenegro.

Oscar Winner: Gwyneth Paltrow

Overall Winner: Cate Blanchett

Best Actress 1999: Well, here comes a nice change of pace from the Oscar winner losing out in the last previous three years: Swank's win is regarded as one of the best winners in this category and one of the best choices the Academy has ever made. Alex picked Swank.


Oscar Winner: Hillary Swank

Overall Winner: Hillary Swank

Best Actress 2000:  Sadly, we can't say the same for Julia Roberts, another extremely disliked win (and IMO, unfairly). People have been saying Ellen Burstyn was robbed for years.  Alex picked Burstyn.

Oscar Winner: Julia Roberts

Overall Winner: Ellen Burstyn

Best Actress 2001: Berry's win/speech is ridiculed all over the Oscar fan world and beyond, but it's hard to say who the overall winner is. Perhaps the then perceived favorite Sissy Spacek? Or maybe even Nicole Kidman? I'll go with Spacek. Fritz picked Nicole, Dinasztie picked Berry, Alex picked Nicole.

Oscar Winner:  Halle Berry

Overall Winner: Sissy Spacek

Best Actress 2002: Kidman's win is largely panned here, but in my mind, not as much as the previous winners I've mentioned, although maybe that's just around here? I think Lane and Zellweger have their fans, but in most people's minds, this is Moore's year, as it should have been at the Oscars as well. Fritz picked Moore, I picked Moore, Dinasztie picked Moore.

Oscar Winner: Nicole Kidman

Overall Winner: Julianne Moore

Best Actress 2003: Charlize Theron's win is widely regarded as highly deserved and her performance is indeed  stunning. I'm sure the other nominees have their fans though. I picked Theron, Dinasztie picked Theron.

Oscar Winner: Charlize Theron

Overall Winner: Charlize Theron

Best Actress 2004: SIGH... Back to the hated wins. Swank's turn in Million Dollar Baby is another unpopular victory. Staunton has her supporters, but Winslet is no doubt the winner here. Fritz picked Staunton, I picked Winslet,  Dinasztie picked Winslet.

Oscar Winner: Hillary Swank

Overall Winner: Kate Winslet

Best Actress 2005: And yet another disliked win this year with Reese Witherspoon's Oscar win for Walk The Line. Felicity Huffman is the overall winner easily.

Oscar Winner: Reese Witherspoon:

Overall Winner: Felicity Huffman.

Best Actress 2006: A hard one to call because most people don't feel that Helen should have won, but her win isn't hated either.  And all the other nominees have their supporters: it  was a fantastic year in this category after all. I'll go with Judi Dench.  I picked Dame Judi, Dinasztie picked Dame Judi.

Oscar Winner: Helen Mirren

Overall Winner: Judi Dench

Best Actress 2007: Not everyone goes gaga over Cotillard's win, but that doesn't mean she isn't still the overall winner here. Many call her performance one of the best ever and I count myself as a fan of her work here. Fritz picked Marion, Alex picked Marion, Dinasztie picked Marion.

Oscar Winner: Marion Cotillard

Overall Winner: Marion Cotillard

And that's it  until Part 6!! You guys agree with my analysis? Who do you think are the overall winners in each of these years?




Sunday, July 23, 2017

Performance Review: Kathy Bates in Misery



Kathy Bates received her first Oscar nomination and won the Oscar for playing Annie Wilkes, a very disturbed woman who is fictional writer Paul Sheldon's number one fan and "rescues" him from a car crash and saves his life, only to eventually force him to burn his new book out of retaliation for killing her favorite character in his novels Misery,   force to him write a new book about her resurrection,  both threatening and executing   violence on him, and continue to  hold him capture  in her house, all the while making Paul greatly fear for his life in the process.


On the surface, it seems rather odd that the Academy decided to honor Bates's performance- Films like Misery are hardly ever recognized by the Academy in any way and characters like this  had been passed over previously by the Academy(see Glenn Close's loss to Cher for Fatal Attraction 3 years previously). And Bates was no A-lister  in Hollywood at the time. But Bates beat the odds.  I think she had the always desirable advantage of too many things going against her competition: Woodward may have been the sentimental favorite, but the film may have been too slow for Oscar voters. Huston gave a great performance as another villainous character, but she had just won an Oscar five years earlier and she  is more of a co-lead then a de-facto lead.  Julia Roberts was not going to be honored for a film like Pretty Woman, the nomination was the reward for her. And Meryl Streep had no chance of winning. So voters rallied around Bates, who was helped by her Golden Globe win and her unforgettable character.

Annie Wilkes is certainly one of the  more complex and memorable characters in this  category: She very clearly has serious psychological problems, most of which are believed to be  a mix of Bipolar Disorder, anti-social personality disorder, erotomania, ect.  Given all these aspects, Annie Wilkes is a tricky character to get right for any actress,  but Bates gets her to a T. When we see Annie for the first time, we believe, like Paul, that she is a sweet,  eccentric, but well-meaning woman.  Bates plays all these traits perfectly: She plays all the flattery, the adoration, the kindness, the hesitancy about asking Paul certain things, all wonderfully. Of course, we come to notice Annie is not what she seems very quickly, due to her erratic nature. She gets extremely angry about things that are relatively minor or not worthy of the amount of anger she spouts about them. For example, she loses it when Paul scoffs at her dislike of profanity and spills soup on his bed after going on an angry tirade about how she never uses profanity(at least not the normal kind, lol).  And when she  finds out Misery is dead, she goes completely insane and violent. She and James Caan work extremely well together, with Bates always commanding the screen in every scene she's in.

 Bates is very convincing and terrifying throughout as Annie: She brilliantly shows her character 's cleverness, longing for control over everything she does, her charisma, her high status over Paul in their power struggle, her continued adoration over Paul, and eventually her obsessive, disturbing, unfathomable love for him.  Annie Wilkes is a juicy role and a brilliantly  written character and Bates milks her for all she's worth.

The one slight complaint I have is that some of Annie's outbursts come across as slightly cartoonish and overly mannered, but it doesn't take away from the power of her performance.


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Best Actress 1987

The next Best Actress year I'll be doing a profile/ranking on is 1987 and the nominees were:

 Cher in Moonstruck
 
 Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction

Holly Hunter in Broadcast News
 
Sally Kirkland in Anna

 Meryl Streep in Ironweed










     








So who are you rooting for?  Who do you think will be my pick? What is your preference/thoughts on the quality of this year and on the  awards race in this category this year? 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Thoughts On The Oscar Season



Hello everyone!!! It's literally been forever, I know, but I'm very active on Golderby, covering this year's Oscar season and seasons from the past.  I'll try to post as much as I can about my thoughts on the films I'm seeing and this year's Oscar race and there may even be some sort of profile activity in the future.  I can't make any promises, but we'll see.

Anyway, this Oscar season has been very exciting in terms of how open this season is.  With no clear frontrunner for Best Picture and Best Director as well as an exciting race for Best Supporting Actress makes a more interesting season  then we've had in quite a while.  I'm hoping that it'll stay that way, but we all know it could turn very predictable very quickly. Anyway, here's my predictions for this year.

Best Picture:  A three way race between The Revenant, Spotlight, and The Big Short.  It's all down to momentum- The Revenant has it with 12 Oscar nominations, box office success, and an epic sweep to it, but will the Academy embrace it enough to honor it? Spotlight most certainly recovered from its spotty precursor performance with being able to gain two acting nominations and that editing nomination, but it needs to do well with the guilds in order to win. The Big Short is very popular and I can see it winning SAG and then going on to win more at the Guilds, but we'll see. We can't make any  confident predictions until the guilds happen.

Best Director: I can definitely see Miller winning this one, since Alejandro had quite a big year last year. It's not impossible for him to win, but right now I'm not betting on it. If Spotlight or The Big Short dominate the guilds and become the BP frontrunner,  I could easily see McKay or McCarthy winning.  Again, I think DGA will help clear things up.

Best Actor: Leo is largely locked here. If Trumbo was more well liked by the Academy, Cranston could have a better chance, but The Revenant is way too strong right now and Leo's extremely popular. I could still see SAG going for him, but I think Leo is too strong to lose right now.

Best Supporting Actor: Stallone has a lot going for him, but with no precursor love from SAG or BAFTA makes me not believe that he is a lock like others do. However, if the awards split between contenders whose support is soft, he most likely will win, unless Hardy can really ride the momentum of The Revenant here.

Best Actress: Larson seems to be winning this one. Ronan still has a slim chance, but she needs to beat her at SAG and right now, I don't see that happening. Room has stronger Oscar support then Brooklyn does and Larson seems to have a home turf advantage: She's much more popular then Ronan. If Larson wins SAG (and I expect she will), she's winning the Oscar.

Best Supporting Actress: A hard category right now that does come down to SAG. Kate looks like a really strong contender with her now being a 7 time Oscar nominee and after winning the Golden Globe, but she needs to win another precursor to get the Oscar. Both Vikander and Mara have shots, but both need SAG to win. I'm more skeptical about Mara since Carol was snubbed in Best Picture and she also gives a very restrained performance.  I don't think Jennifer Jason Leigh is winning, but she's not out of it just yet.

Best Original Screenplay: Spotlight is most likely picking this one up unless white guilt causes an upset for Straight Outta Compton.

Best Adapted Screenplay: The Big Short is the likely winner here unless Room upsets.

What do you guys think? What films are you rooting for? Who are you not rooting for?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

87th Oscar Predictions



Hello everyone! I have been long absent all season long and I honestly will not be doing too much blogging for quite a while because I am a full time performing arts student and I don't have any time for  it unfortunately. However, this does not mean I haven't been watching films or  following the Oscar season this year, even though I have not seen nearly as much as I would have liked.  And I'll be posting my predictions here although it's an extradinarily  difficult year  for predictions and I may not do as well last year, but hopefully I won't do terribly.

Best Picture:  Although Boyhood was the overwhelming frontrunner for most of the season and I know voters like the film, I don't think it will win.  The across the board support for Birdman at the guilds is very strong and although it's not a loveable movie per se,  that support I think will trump the reception to Boyhood, which many have been underwhelmed by.  This is a close race though and if support for these films could split and The Grand Budapest or Whiplash could benefit from that. But I'm sticking with Birdman.

Best Director:   The DGA award is a huge statistic that can't be looked over and I feel that Alejandro will win even though Linklater has a lot of admiration as well as  winning all the other precursor awards besides the DGA, but the DGA is just too strong of a precursor to go against. I wouldn't be surprised if I was wrong here though.

Best Actor: Eddie Redmayne is most likely winning. Michael  Keaton does have a chance  of winning and there's a lot of support for him in the industry, but he has lost too much momentum to Eddie after his SAG win and the performance is so in the Academy's wheelhouse: It's such a baity, transformative role. Some are thinking that Cooper could surprise, but I don't think he will unless this race is much tighter then it looks.

Best Supporting Actor: J.K Simmons is winning. Moving on...

Best Actress: Julianne Moore will most likely  finally wining  an Oscar. Her performance is great, but I do wish Marion Cotillard could have won this year. It's bittersweet  since Moore is one of the best actresses out there, but Marion was amazing.  I'll be cheering though if Moore wins (Which she most likely will).

Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette is winning. Moving on...

Best Original Screenplay: Grand Budapest will most likely win here: I think the Academy will want to honor Wes Anderson and  quircky comedies often win in this category (Her, Little Miss Sunshine, Midnight In Paris, Django Unchained). If not, then Birdman will win.

Best Adapted Screenplay: A very tricky category. I'm going with Whiplash, but the Imitation Game as well as The Theory Of Everything are strong contenders as well.

You can check out the rest of my predictions on Gold Derby!  So what are your very last minute thoughts/predictions?