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Critic’s Picks: Todd McCarthy’s Favorite Best Picture Oscar Winners

Critic’s Picks: Todd McCarthy’s Favorite Best Picture Oscar Winners
There have now been 90 years of Oscar winners and losers and, along with them, 90 years of cheers for deserving victors as well as 90 years of jeers for imposters that snuck into the winner's circle. Some best picture winners still retain their status as all-time classics that people today still watch and love — Casablanca, All About Eve, Lawrence of Arabia, the two Godfathers, among others — while there are those that either haven't been seen by anyone in decades (for good reason) — Cimarron, Cavalcade, The Great Ziegfeld, The Greatest Show on Earth, Around the World in...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Critic’s Picks: Todd McCarthy’s Least Favorite Best Picture Oscar Winners

Critic’s Picks: Todd McCarthy’s Least Favorite Best Picture Oscar Winners
There have now been 90 years of Oscar winners and losers and, along with them, 90 years of cheers for deserving victors as well as 90 years of jeers for imposters that snuck into the winner's circle. Some best picture winners still retain their status as all-time classics that people today still watch and love — Casablanca, All About Eve, Lawrence of Arabia, the two Godfathers, among others — while there are those that either haven't been seen by anyone in decades (for good reason) — Cimarron, Cavalcade, The Great Ziegfeld, The Greatest Show on Earth, Around the World in...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

2018 Oscars: Does Best Picture champ have to win an acting award first?

2018 Oscars: Does Best Picture champ have to win an acting award first?
The Shape of Water” numbers three acting bids among its leading 13 Academy Awards nominations for lead Sally Hawkins and supporting players Richard Jenkins and Octavia Spencer. According to our exclusive Oscar odds none of them is predicted to win on March 4. Should that scenario play out, does that mean that their film won’t win Best Picture?

Not so fast.

While 53 of the 89 Best Picture champs to date include an Oscar-winning performance, 36 of them (40%) did not win any acting awards. And among those three dozen winners are four of the eight films — “The Hurt Locker” (2009), “Argo” (2012), “Birdman” (2015) and “Spotlight” (2016) — decided by preferential ballot under the newly expanded slate of Best Picture nominees.

Surprisingly, an even dozen of the Best Picture winners did not even reap any acting nominations. That is welcome news for “Arrival,” which does not number an acting bid among its eight nominations. However, four of those films
See full article at Gold Derby »

Innovative Genre Movies Goose This Year’s Oscar Race

Innovative Genre Movies Goose This Year’s Oscar Race
Will this be one of those rare years when Oscar shows the lowly “genre” film a little love?

Undoubtedly, if only because so many of this year’s best-picture contenders come wrapped in indie-film credibility and are layered with contemporary sensibilities that elevate the films beyond the “genre” label.

Consider “Get Out,” which combines two particularly Oscar-averse genres — horror and comedy. Writer-director Jordan Peele blended them into an awards juggernaut that dives headfirst into one of the biggest hot-button issues of the day: race.

Before we go further, let’s define our terms: While the French word “genre” refers to a way of classifying or categorizing artistic works, the term “genre film” usually stands as a pejorative when thrown around by snobby critics while referring to Westerns, sci-fi films, sports tales, war stories and a few other categories. It’s a way of dismissing a film (“It’s a genre film”) — a fancier way of saying, “Well
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Deluge

Do rediscovered ‘lost’ movies always disappoint? This Depression-era pre-Code science fiction disaster thriller was unique in its day, and its outrageously ambitious special effects –New York City is tossed into a blender — were considered the state of the art. Sidney Blackmer and a fetching Peggy Shannon fight off rapacious gangs in what may be the first post-apocalyptic survival thriller.

Deluge

Blu-ray

Kl Studio Classics

1933 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 67 min. / Street Date February 21, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95

Starring Peggy Shannon, Lois Wilson, Sidney Blackmer, Lane Chandler, Samuel S. Hinds, Fred Kohler, Matt Moore, Edward Van Sloan .

Cinematography: Norbert Brodine

Film Editor: Martin G. Cohn, Rose Loewinger

Special Effects: Ned Mann, Williams Wiliams, Russell Lawson, Ernie Crockett, Victor Scheurich, Carl Wester

Original Music: Val Burton

Written by Warren Duff, John F. Goodrich from the novel by Sydney Fowler Wright

Produced by Samuel Bischoff, Burt Kelly, William Saal

Directed by Felix E. Feist
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Oscars: How Often Is There a Split Between Best Picture and Best Director?

La La Land’ and ‘Moonlight’ (Courtesy: Dale Robinette; David Bornfriend/A24)

By: Carson Blackwelder

Managing Editor

Nothing is certain at the Oscars, and that absolutely applies to the best picture and best director categories. While it is common for films to win both of these trophies in a given year, sometimes they can go to two different works. There’s a chance that La La Land and Moonlight could split these categories at the upcoming ceremony — but how often does that happen?

Both of these films are considered frontrunners in both the best picture and best director category at the upcoming Oscars. This site’s namesake, The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg, lists La La Land — written and directed by Damien Chazelle — and Moonlight — written and directed by Barry Jenkins — as the top two contenders in both categories in his latest check-in on the race. The two films have been
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

Cummings' Ten-Year Death Anniversary: From Minor Lloyd Leading Lady to Tony Award Winner (Revised and Expanded)

Constance Cummings: Actress in minor Hollywood movies became major London stage star. Constance Cummings: Actress went from Harold Lloyd and Frank Capra to Noël Coward and Eugene O'Neill Actress Constance Cummings, whose career spanned more than six decades on stage, in films, and on television in both the U.S. and the U.K., died ten years ago on Nov. 23. Unlike other Broadway imports such as Ann Harding, Katharine Hepburn, Miriam Hopkins, and Claudette Colbert, the pretty, elegant Cummings – who could have been turned into a less edgy Constance Bennett had she landed at Rko or Paramount instead of Columbia – never became a Hollywood star. In fact, her most acclaimed work, whether in films or – more frequently – on stage, was almost invariably found in British productions. That's most likely why the name Constance Cummings – despite the DVD availability of several of her best-received performances – is all but forgotten.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The Films of Val Lewton: ‘The Ghost Ship’ and ‘Curse of the Cat People’

After The Seventh Victim‘s disappointing returns, Val Lewton and Rko clashed over their next project. Lewton wanted a comedy, provisionally titled The Amorous Ghost, as a change of pace; studio boss Sid Rogell, Lewton’s bete noir, insisted on a sequel to Cat People, which Lewton resisted. Then Rko suggested a Universal-style monster rally, They Creep By Night, reuniting villains from past Lewton pictures. Charles Koerner rescued Lewton from this absurd prospect by pitching a maritime thriller. “Call it The Ghost Ship,” Koerner ordered. Lewton also scored a big, though past-his-prime star in Richard Dix, an Oscar nominee for Cimarron (1931).

The result is equal parts The Sea Wolf and M, with a dash of Edgar Allan Poe. Tom Miriam signs on as third officer on the ill-starred freighter Altair, ruled by Captain Stone (Richard Dix). At first Stone merely seems strict, but his homilies about authority take on a
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Nasty Politics and Eyebrow-Raising Gossip During Hollywood's Golden Age: Brackett's Must-Read Diaries

Charles Brackett ca. 1945: Hollywood diarist and Billy Wilder's co-screenwriter (1936–1949) and producer (1945–1949). Q&A with 'Charles Brackett Diaries' editor Anthony Slide: Billy Wilder's screenwriter-producer partner in his own words Six-time Academy Award winner Billy Wilder is a film legend. He is renowned for classics such as The Major and the Minor, Double Indemnity, Sunset Blvd., Witness for the Prosecution, Some Like It Hot, and The Apartment. The fact that Wilder was not the sole creator of these movies is all but irrelevant to graduates from the Auteur School of Film History. Wilder directed, co-wrote, and at times produced his films. That should suffice. For auteurists, perhaps. But not for those interested in the whole story. That's one key reason why the Charles Brackett diaries are such a great read. Through Brackett's vantage point, they offer a welcome – and unique – glimpse into the collaborative efforts that resulted in
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Legendary Bergman on TCM: From Hollywood Career-Ruining Scandal to 3 Oscars and Another Bergman

Ingrid Bergman ca. early 1940s. Ingrid Bergman movies on TCM: From the artificial 'Gaslight' to the magisterial 'Autumn Sonata' Two days ago, Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” series highlighted the film career of Greta Garbo. Today, Aug. 28, '15, TCM is focusing on another Swedish actress, three-time Academy Award winner Ingrid Bergman, who would have turned 100 years old tomorrow. TCM has likely aired most of Bergman's Hollywood films, and at least some of her early Swedish work. As a result, today's only premiere is Fielder Cook's little-seen and little-remembered From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (1973), about two bored kids (Sally Prager, Johnny Doran) who run away from home and end up at New York City's Metropolitan Museum. Obviously, this is no A Night at the Museum – and that's a major plus. Bergman plays an elderly art lover who takes an interest in them; her
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Every Best Picture Oscar Winner, Ranked From Worst to Best

This week marks the 10th anniversary of the release of "Crash" (on May 6, 2005), an all-star movie whose controversy came not from its provocative treatment of racial issues but from its Best Picture Oscar victory a few months later, against what many critics felt was a much more deserving movie, "Brokeback Mountain."

The "Crash" vs. "Brokeback" battle is one of those lingering disputes that makes the Academy Awards so fascinating, year after year. Moviegoers and critics who revisit older movies are constantly judging the Academy's judgment. Even decades of hindsight may not always be enough to tell whether the Oscar voters of a particular year got it right or wrong. Whether it's "Birdman" vs. "Boyhood," "The King's Speech" vs. "The Social Network," "Saving Private Ryan" vs. "Shakespeare in Love" or even "An American in Paris" vs. "A Streetcar Named Desire," we're still confirming the Academy's taste or dismissing it as hopelessly off-base years later.
See full article at Moviefone »

Oscars 2014: What Are the Odds of a Best Picture-Best Director Split?

  • Moviefone
The 85-year history of the Academy Awards is rife with statistical oddities, and one that has the potential to play out this Sunday is among the most intriguing: a split between the films that win Best Picture and Best Director.

Though conventional wisdom has long held that only one film will walk away with both prizes on Oscar night, many pundits are predicting that the awards will instead go to two different movies this year, with "Gravity" director Alfonso Cuaron expected to snag the Best Director statuette, while "12 Years a Slave" (or "American Hustle," depending on where your loyalties lie) is the favorite to win Best Picture.

While such a split has occurred just 22 times since the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences started handing out trophies in 1929, four of the first five ceremonies produced a divide between the Best Director and Best Picture prizes. "Wings," dubbed the original
See full article at Moviefone »

Why Forgotten? Remembering Five-Time Best Actress Nominee

Irene Dunne movies: Five-time Best Actress Academy Award nominee starred in now-forgotten originals of well-remembered remakes In his August 2007 Bright Lights article "The Elusive Pleasures of Irene Dunne," Dan Callahan explained that "the reasons for Irene Dunne’s continuing, undeserved obscurity are fairly well known. Nearly all of her best films from the thirties and forties were remade and the originals were suppressed and didn’t play on television. She did some of her most distinctive work for John Stahl at Universal, and non-horror Universal films are rarely shown now. Practically all of her movies need to be restored; even her most popular effort, The Awful Truth (1937), looks grainy and blotchy on its DVD transfer, to say nothing of things like Stahl’s When Tomorrow Comes (1939), or Rouben Mamoulian’s High, Wide, and Handsome (1937), two key Dunne films that have languished and deteriorated in a sort of television/video purgatory.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Breaking the Bank: Six of Hollywood’s Lost Old-School Epics

For moviegoers growing up in the last 20-30 years, big is the new normal. I’m talking about those big-budget, over-produced, effects/action-packed extravaganzas that are as expected and routine an arrival as a commuter bus, and never more so than during the summer months. Come a rise in temperatures, there’s an almost ceaseless parade of these megabuck behemoths through multiplexes starting in May and continuing until the kids go back to school, one rolling out almost every week.

Consider these May-August releases and their eye-popping price tags:

5/4: Marvel’s The Avengers — $220 million

5/11: Dark Shadows — $150 million

5/18: Battleship — $209 million

5/25: Men in Black 3 — $250 million

6/8: Prometheus — $120-130 million

7/3: The Amazing Spider-Man — $220 million

7/20: The Dark Knight Rises — $250 million

7/31: Total Recall — $200 million

8/5: The Expendables 2 — $100 million

For those of you who haven’t been keeping count, that’s a little over $1.7 billion in productions
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Old Ass Oscars: The Front Page (1931)

Every Sunday in February, Film School Rejects presents a nominee for Best Picture that was made before you were born and tells you why you should like it. This week, Old Ass Movies presents the movie behind the movie that everyone else knows in an attempt to prove that remakes aren’t necessarily all bad. Also to prove that the Academy doesn’t always know what they’re doing even when they know what they’re doing. The Front Page (1931) Directed by: Lewis Milestone Starring: Adolphe Menjou, Pat O’Brien, Mary Brian, and Edward Everett Horton The Front Page didn’t win the Oscar for Best Picture the year it was up for it (the 4th annual). In fact, it didn’t win for Best Actor or Best Director either. By all accounts, it didn’t deserve to win. The expansive Cimarron (which was based off an Edna Ferber novel, just
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

CGI and the Banality of the Incredible part 2

In 1993, audiences gazing on the truly imposing sight of dinosaurs come to life in Jurassic Park felt the same sense of jaw-dropping awe displayed by the movie’s human characters. Nothing in movie history could compare to what Steven Spielberg and his CGI crew were able to put on the screen: not the herky-jerky stop-motion-animated lizards of 1950s monster-on-the-loose movies like The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), nor the pet store lizards made up to look like supposedly threatening beasts in Irwin Allen’s back lot The Lost World (1960), and certainly not a man in a rubber reptile suit rampaging through a miniature Tokyo in the original Godzilla (1954). But as impressive a sight as it was, once the novelty of Jurassic’s CGI creations wore off, so did some of their appeal.

Jurassic Park earned a whopping $350.5 million domestic gross, and while its sequels were, without question, major box office successes, none
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Norma Shearer’s Riptide, Katharine Hepburn’s Song Of Love, John Ford, Cary Grant: Warner Archives

The Norma Shearer-Robert Montgomery-Herbert Marshall melodrama Riptide (1934); a remastered version of None But the Lonely Heart (1944), which earned Cary Grant his second and last Best Actor Academy Award nomination and veteran stage player Ethel Barrymore her only Oscar; and the biopic Song of Love (1947), starring Katharine Hepburn (as Clara Wieck), Paul Henreid (as Robert Schumann), and Robert Walker (as Johannes Brahms) are among the seven latest additions to the Warner Archives’ DVDs. The other four movies are: Between Two Worlds (1944), the worlds being those of the living and the dead, with John Garfield, Paul Henreid, and Eleanor Parker; John Ford‘s Flesh (1932), starring Wallace Beery, Ricardo Cortez, and Karen Morley; the film noir Crack-Up (1946), with Pat O’Brien and Claire Trevor; and The Conquerors (1932), Rko’s attempt to repeat the success of its Oscar-winning Cimarron, starring the earlier film’s leading man, Richard Dix, and Ann Harding.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The Westmore Monsters of Hollywood

By Scott Essman

In the history of the modern American cinema, there are but few legacies of makeup artists. While the legendary Burman and Dawn names each include three generations of makeup artists, there is but one lasting family that features four working generations: the Westmores of Hollywood. With ties to virtually every studio in the annals cinema, the Westmores have created classic makeups in top contemporary film and TV shows back to the earliest years of silent film.

George Westmore, the patriarch of the Westmore clan at the turn of the century, worked as a wigmaker in his native England — where he was born in 1879 — and gave birth to sons Mont (born in 1902), twins Perc and Ern (born in 1904), Wally (born in 1906), and a daughter, Dorothy (born in 1907). The young family traveled to the U.S. to seek better opportunities and maintained a wig-making and beauty salon business which floated amongst various cities,
See full article at Famous Monsters of Filmland »

Movie Make-up's Royal Family To Be Honoured On Walk Of Fame

  • WENN
Hollywood's first family of movie make-up is to be honoured with a star on the Walk of Fame.

Marvin and Michael Westmore will unveil the 2,370th star near the corner of Los Angeles' Hollywood and Vine on behalf of the Westmore Family on Friday.

The Westmores are make-up artists who have defined beauty and glamour, setting trends over the decades.

George Westmore and his six sons, Monte, Ern, Perc, Wally, Bud, and Frank "changed the face of Hollywood, literally", according to a Walk of Fame spokeswoman.

The representative adds, "The Westmores not only created, but they defined the role of make-up artists in Motion Pictures. George Westmore opened the very first make-up department at Selig Studios in 1917... and the brothers were responsible for creating the signature looks for stars like Rudolph Valentino, Clara Bow, Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Davis, Audrey Hepburn and even the teenage fashion doll, Barbie."

Ern Westmore became the first make-up artist recipient of the Academy Cup in 1931 for his work on Cimarron starring Richard Dix and Irene Dunne, while Monte wowed Hollywood with his styling skills on movie epic Gone with the Wind - he made Vivien Leigh's hazel eyes appear green at the request of director David O. Selznick.

And when Paul Muni won the Best Actor Oscar for The Story of Louis Pasteur in 1936, he thanked only one person, Perc Westmore, in his acceptance speech.

Other family claims to fame include Bud Westmore's molded foam rubber suit in The Creature from the Black Lagoon and his make-up expertise on TV show The Munsters and youngest brother Frank's work on cult show Kung Fu, for which he became the first Westmore to receive an Emmy Award.

The family continues to pursue excellence on the big and small screen - Monte's son, Michael, received an Oscar and a British Academy Award nomination in 1986 for his artistry on Mask. He has also picked up nine Emmy statuettes and an impressive 42 Emmy nominations over the course of his career. He holds the record for more Emmy nominations than any other make-up artist.

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