You have enough on your plate. Nominee luncheons. Press releases. Etc. I get it. You don’t have time to watch all the nominated films. No worries. I’m pleased to step up to the plate, watch the movies, and offer my (informed) opinions. I know you’ve looked forward to this memo for the last nine years, so how could I possibly disappoint you by skipping a year? So attend your lunches and write your press releases lauding improved diversity numbers among your ranks. Leave the Oscars to me. I’ll take it from here.
Eight years later, I’m still waiting for that magical piece of mail, inviting me to join your fine organization. But that’s not keeping me from sounding off on a few Oscar categories. I’ve seen all the nominated films, and I have some thoughts that should be considered. So allow me to make your job easier. Here’s who should win. You’re welcome.
One of the most notorious feuds in Hollywood history is that of rival sisters Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. And they’re the subject of my most-anticipated show of 2017, Ryan Murphy’s newest anthology series, Feud, starring Jessica Lange as Crawford and Susan Sarandon as Davis. Have a look at the show’s recently released opening sequence. The pair’s 1962 psychological thriller What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? airs as part of TCM’s 31 Days of Oscar on March 2, just three days before Feud‘s March 5th premiere on FX.
HBO has long been at the forefront of quality TV movies. Among this year’s offerings are three based on real people, two of which are based on Tony-winning plays. Each is primed for Emmy consideration.
All the Way
Following up his Oscar-nominated performance in Trumbo and four Emmy wins for portraying Walter White on Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston reprises his Tony-winning role of LBJ in this TV adaptation of the 2014 Tony-winning Best Play. I caught this Robert Schenkkan-penned play on Broadway—liked it, but didn’t love it. Schenkkan adapted his own work for HBO, so I’m curious to see how he interpreted this story for a different medium.
Logline (courtesy of IMDb): Lyndon B. Johnson becomes the President of the United States in the chaotic aftermath of JFK’s assassination and spends his first year in office fighting to pass the Civil Rights Act.
Director: Jay Roach Screenwriter: Robert Schenkkan Cast: Bryan Cranston, Anthony Mackie, Melissa Leo, Bradley Whitford, Frank Langella Runtime: 132 min.
For the seventh year, we decided to offer you a little help in deciding some of the biggest Oscar races—free of charge. And never has it been as important that we do so than this year, one of the most competitive races in recent memory with no clear frontrunners in many categories. Take it from us, because we’re kinda good at this.
IMDb recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, and it asked various celebrities the burning question we’ve all been dying to know the answer to: What’s your first movie in a movie theatre? Mine was Home Alone (1990), which I watched at the Grand single-screen movie theatre in Springfield, MA (it’s now a church). I was 9 (no wonder it’s my favorite number) and my life was forever changed. I’ve been tracking every movie I’ve seen in a theatre ever since. Twenty-five years later, I’m up to 772 films.
See what celebrities like Chris Pratt, Emma Stone, Jennifer Lawrence, Keira Knightley, Christopher Nolan, Ryan Gosling, Matthew McConaughey, Amy Poehler, Jake Gyllenhaal, and others had to say here.
Watch Elizabeth Banks describe her first movie-going experience below.
In honor of Pope Francis’s visit to New York City, check out Going My Way, the 1944 Leo McCarey-directed classic about another religious figure in New York who decides to do things, well, a little differently. The trailer below was released following the film’s seven Oscar wins (not sure why the trailer says eight), including Best Picture, Best Actor (Bing Crosby), Best Director, and Best Writing (Original Story and Screenplay). The film spawned a sequel, 1945’s The Bells of St. Mary’s (nominated for eight Oscars in its own right, with one win for Sound Recording), starring Ingrid Bergman and Crosby reprising his role as Father Chuck O’Malley.
Julianne Moore’s performance in Still Alice earned her an Oscar, but that wasn’t the only movie she starred in last year that got critics talking. Her “other” movie, Maps to the Stars, earned her the Best Actress award at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival and a Golden Globe nomination for her lead performance in the comedy/musical category (she was double nominated in both leading categories and won in the drama race for Alice). Maps to the Stars is currently on Cinemax.
Synopsis (courtesy of IMDb):
A tour into the heart of a Hollywood family chasing celebrity, one another, and the relentless ghosts of their pasts.
Director:David Cronenberg Screenwriter:Bruce Wagner Cast: Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, Robert Pattinson, John Cusack Distributor: Focus World Runtime: 111 min.
Ahead of its World Premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September, new images from Trumbo have been released. Following a new course of direction, Jay Roach (Austin Powers and Meet the Parents films) directs this dramatic biopic of blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, starring Bryan Cranston in the title role. (Roach will also direct Cranston in another biopic, All the Way, in which the Breaking Bad star will reprise his Tony-winning role of US President Lyndon B. Johnson.)
From Douglas Fairbanks and William C. deMille to Ellen DeGeneres and Neil Patrick Harris, Hollywood’s brightest stars have been taking center stage to honor the year’s best in film for 87 years. Being offered the role of Oscar host is considered a great honor—or burden—a vote of confidence in a person’s ability to entertain one of TV’s largest live audiences, all while keeping the pace of what some consider a painstakingly long ceremony. The role can make or break an entertainer, accepting both praise and blame in equal measure, depending on the ratings success of the televised ceremony. With so much pressure thrust upon the Oscar host, it’s easy to understand why anyone might turn it down. Popularity and a high profile aren’t enough to ensure success (ask James Franco and Anne Hathaway).
So with the Academy announcing next year’s host in the upcoming months, I thought I’d give it a little nudge. Though some stars could easily feel like a slam-dunk (Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Will Ferrell, Jimmy Fallon, Martin Short, or even Dwayne Johnson), it’s someone else entirely whom I’d like to see take the reins. I present five reasons Kevin Hart would make the perfect Oscar host.