8 items from 2014
New York — Prominent theater, film and television casting director Barry Moss, whose extensive credits ranged from Friday the 13th through The Cosby Show to putting Elizabeth Taylor in The Little Foxes on Broadway, has died. He was 74. His longtime partner Bob Kale confirmed on behalf of the family that Moss died of congestive heart failure on June 17 at Mount Sinai/Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan, following a long illness. A former child actor who graduated from Fairfax High School in Los Angeles and studied theater arts at UCLA, Moss worked early on for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts
- David Rooney
Behold the Supporting Actresses of 1941, two stalwart mothers, two helpless pawns, and one reckless diva. All but one of them, the diva and eventual winner, were in Best Picture nominees in this highly satisfying Oscar showdown.
Allgood, Astor, Collinge, Wright, and Wycherley
Oscar had entered its teenage years by 1941, (14th annual Academy Awards) but it was still a green enough institution that all of its supporting actresses were first timers. Mary Astor, who won the Oscar, was the only star among the nominees and she was having a great year also starring in the noir classic The Maltese Falcon. Career momentum issues should never be underestimated with Oscar outcomes. Astor was joined in the shortlist by two sturdy character players in their 60s: the British stage actress Margaret Wycherley and the Irish screen actress Sara Allgood (who had been featured in some early Alfred Hitchcock movies). Rounding out »
- NATHANIEL R
This past two weeks has been Cannes heavy so what have you missed in the inbetweens? Here are a few highlights in case your brain was way over the ocean with all the auteurs and actresses.
Godzilla & Mutants
The King of Monsters wowed me more than readers as evident in the review and comments. But that big lizard monster led to one of our best podcasts ever (seriously so much fun to discuss) and made me feel like a "RRRrrraaaaAAAwrrr"ing 5 year old again when Tim surveyed the best monster vs monster fight scenes. We also dipped toes back into X-Mania... but not enough. Hopefully there's a bit more on X-Men (future and past) to come.
We joined the "critical conspiracy" against Legends of Oz, said a tearful goodbye to the legendary cinematographer Gordon Willis, looked at the trailers for Interstellar and Magic in the Moonlight and went »
- NATHANIEL R
The Supporting Actress Smackdown, 1941 Edition, hits these parts on Saturday May 31st (here's the full summer calendar). This month we'll be discussing Mary Astor in The Great Lie, Sara Allgood in How Green Was My Valley, Margaret Wycherly in Sergeant York, Teresa Wright and Patricia Collinge, both in The Little Foxes.
It's time to introduce our panel as we dive into that film year next week with little goodies strewn about the usual postings.
Remember You are part of the panel. So get your votes in by e-mailing Nathaniel with 1941 in the subject line and giving these supporting actresses their heart rankings (1 for awful to 5 for brilliant). Please only vote on the performances you've seen. The votes are averaged so it doesn't hurt a performance to be underseen. »
- NATHANIEL R
When I announced that The Film Experience would be the new home of the long departed series Stinky Lulu's Smackdown last summer I figured you would be thrilled. It's our kind of party. I promised Stinky we'd do at least six smackdowns if we brought it back. With four battles already behind us -- pie throwing 1952, shady and sinister 1968, warm and kooky 1980, and troubled histrionic 2003-- let's wrap it up with four more.
Rather than announce at the end of each month, I figured we'd give you all four lineups in case you'd like more time to catch up over the hot months and cast your votes in the reader polling that accompanies each battle. Those votes count toward the final outcome, so more of you should join in.
These annums were chosen after comment reading, dvd searching, handwringing, and also to rope in prospective panelists (to be announced later »
- NATHANIEL R
Since the hubbub of Oscar season has finally died away and we can look past the strategy of campaigns, August: Osage County arrives on Blu-ray for reexamination. Perhaps distance and time will finally melt those rosy-tinted glasses so many seem to have donned for the experience of the film, as multiple viewings only enhance its creaky strokes of forced melodrama. As with her nomination for 1999’s Music of the Heart, her unnecessary accolades for this appear to be overwhelmingly kiss ass. It’s a mode we’ve seen Ms. Streep in before, that of the highly nuanced harpy with complicated and convoluted depth; only it all feels so incredibly constrained and affected that it’s difficult to believe a single minute of it.
When something sounds too good to be true, it often is, and while John Wells certainly wasn’t the most inspired choice to helm the adaptation of »
- Nicholas Bell
Surprise! As a side bar series to Anne Marie's brilliant "A Year With Kate" project, I present to you "Seasons of Bette". Together with Streep, who we talk about a lot, Katharine Hepburn and Bette Davis form the Holy Trinity of Oscar's Best Actress category, with 41 nominations and 9 statuettes between them. Streep is bound to have another big year in 2014 with The Homesman, The Giver and Into the Woods all arriving but we're finally giving the other two their due.
"Seasons of Bette" won't be a comprehensive film-by-film study like Anne Marie's (Bette made 80+ features and a ton of television so, uh, no.) but I will personally be visiting each of Bette's Oscar nominated star turns, as they come up within Kate's timeline. When Anne Marie pitted them against each other in her last episode, I realized that they'd only squared off four times at the Oscars but that I »
- NATHANIEL R
When the Academy Award nominations were announced last month, American Hustle was one of the darlings of the town. It tied Gravity with 10 nominations to lead the field and managed surprise nominations for Christian Bale in Lead Actor. However, the tide has steadily been turning against the film, despite the SAG win, and as the stock of other films are rising, American Hustle seems to be losing steam. So much steam in fact that many seem to be predicting it to go 0-10 at the Oscars in March. This would be a historic fall from grace, as far as the Academy is concerned, so I though I’d dig into the history of the Oscars biggest losers and see what could be gleaned.
The two films that share this unfortunate record of gaining 11 nominations and no »
- Terence Johnson
8 items from 2014
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