Does THE ACADEMY know something we don’t?
Smash the door down, barge into any film buff conference, mention Robert De Niro, and you will see a room full of grown ups swoon – some with start crying because they’re too happy, others will immediately begin kissing. Throw Al Pacino’s name into the mix, and you’ll have to leave. Just back out of the door the way you came in. You don’t need to see what happens next. No man does. And yet, at the height of their acting prowess – known to those who follow history by years as “the 1970s” – they were virtually ignored on Oscar night.
De Niro got the Best Supporting Actor nod in 1974 for playing a young Marlon Brando in The Godfather Part 2. But their classic turns in Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Taxi Driver, The Deer Hunter – all totally overlooked. Read more…
Stevie Wonder on the Talk Box
One of cinema’s greatest ever on-screen maniacs turns 66 today, so we thought we should probably get him something special. But what can you possibly buy the man who has it all? He’s already got an Oscar, an impenetrable haircut, the voice of a furious smurf. We discussed this one long into the night, staying awake by playing Judas Priest records and drinking tall skinny lattes, and it boiled down to some really lovely shoes, or a video clip of Stevie Wonder horsing around with a vocoder. In the end we got him both! Happy Birthday Pesci, you CLOWN!
And, the winner isn’t…
Only in recent years have actresses been given roles worth studying for, before that they were either simpering wives or aggressive prostitutes. Read more…
It’s a two horse race, they say… they might be wrong
Anyone who decided to stroll into a cinema at the weekend probably left with a brain shriveled and sloshing around, destroyed. This is not light-hearted movie season, friends, this is the Oscar race in full flow. Actors have started taking themselves seriously, films are a little more demanding. Tom Cruise even thought it wise to play a Nazi with an eye patch, but to no avail. It might be that he made no attempt to sound like a German that damaged his chances. Or that he’s just not very good. Who knows?
As it is, the Best Actor category is going to be a corker, with the bookies insisting that it’s in the bag for Mickey Rourke (Interestment’s number one actor, FYI) for his role as a battered old man in a leotard in The Wrestler. It’s a great performance in a mediocre film Read more…
He even swore when he lost, bless him
Much as we love him, Samuel L Jackson is not the most flexible actor we have ever seen. He can do the shouty shouty thing better than anyone else, and when he wants to play it cool, he’s very good at that too. Hence, when he snaffles the right part, he’s unbeatable. Three great Jackson performances include Do The Right Thing, Jungle Fever, and, of course, Pulp Fiction – the film that made him a bankable international star. He played Jules Winnfield, a tough hitman with a Soul Glow afro, and his monologue from Ezekiel 25:17 was so excellent that he looked a shoo-in for the Best Supporting Actor statuette in 1994. But no, it wasn’t to be. Instead, he lost out to Martin Landau’s over-the-top performance in Ed Wood – a film not even half as good. A shameful decision by the Academy. The actor demonstrated his disapproval by clearly saying “ahh, fuck” when the winner was announced. Good on him.
You probably know his Pulp Fiction act by heart, so why not take a second to enjoy his equally impressive Jungle Fever performance after the jump…
Academy, why do you ignore this woman (right)?
Never the most beautiful face in the crowd, Glenn Close is a big movie star because she’s excellent at acting. It may have helped that her bulbous blonde hair was perfectly feathery and moist for the 1980s crowd, but under the mane beat the heart of a true thespian. An Oscar worthy actress. And yet, she has never been rewarded for her fantastic work, even though Halle Berry and Nicole Kidman have – and both of those women are horrible actresses, by the way.
Her first three big Hollywood films – The World According to Garp (Robin Williams hilarity), The Big Chill (middle class summer festival), and The Natural (baseball mayhem with Roberts Duvall and Redford) – all garnered her a Best Supporting Actress nomination (in 1982, 1983, 1984). And for two consecutive years – 1987 and 1988 – she was up for Best Actress, first time around for her tour de force in Fatal Attraction, then as some kind of aristocratic bitch in Dangerous Liaisons. Amongst those who have stolen her crown are Linda Hunt and Cher. That’s right – Cher.
See Cher stealing more of Glenn Close’s thunder after the jump…
It’s all politics, man, politics
What a great time January is at the pictures. It’s when all of the serious, po-faced, Oscar contenders are dusted down and wheeled out, so that important men in half-moon spectacles can judge whether they’re socially conscious enough or not. This also means that studios like to unleash their most childish screwball comedies at the same time, for those who can’t take watching Kate Winslet pretending to be a Nazi, or Benicio Del Toro mutely embarking on a revolution – this year, cheaper thrills include Sex Drive, and Role Models.
Unfortunately, it’s also the time of year when the Academy can get it all embarrassingly wrong, so in the run up to The Oscars, we’ll be occasionally prodding a fat sweaty finger into the mix to complain about their past mistakes. First up, 1990.