1. Tracy Letts wrote the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony-winning Best Play, as well as the film’s screenplay. Not only is Letts a terrific actor (I was privileged to see him give his Tony-winning performance in last year’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), but he’s a fantastic writer (last year’s Killer Joe was one of my favorite films and was deserving of Oscar recognition, but was wrongfully ignored).
It’s close. It’s so close. I can taste it. And it tastes awesome. The 84th annual Academy Awards is less than two weeks away. Take my birthday. Take Christmas. Give me the Oscars and remain silent during the show. I must not be disturbed. If you want to know my thoughts, follow me on Twitter (@suddenlydog), as I’ll be live tweeting for my third year.
There’s always plenty to get excited about each year, but here are my top five reasons the Oscars are worth watching this year:
5. A Pig and a Frog Walk into a Bar …
Though nothing has been confirmed, the prospects of Muppets appearing at the Oscars is enough to get me excited. “Man or Muppet” from The Muppets is nominated for Best Original Song. It would be a hugely missed opportunity if the Jim Henson creations of my youth didn’t appear on stage for the number (that is, assuming the songs are performed on stage this year—there’s only two, so why not?). And don’t forget—Miss Piggy is a fashionista. Could she be strolling the red carpet? Joan Rivers did leave some shoes to fill. I think our porcine friend could cram her hooves in them with little effort.
Currently on my DVR is the 1982 classic Sophie’s Choice. This is the story of a Holocaust survivor and her lover as they befriend a writer who lives in their Brooklyn boarding house. This film earned Meryl Streep her fourth Oscar nomination and second win. (She had previously won three years earlier for her supporting role in Robert Benton’s Kramer vs. Kramer.) In total, the film earned a total of five Oscar nominations, with recognition also given to its cinematography, costumes, music, and writing. Sophie’s Choice is based on the William Styron novel of the same title.
This film was not on AFI’s original “100 Years … 100 Movies” list, but it did find a spot on the organization’s 10th anniversary list, creeping in at #91. No doubt, its ranking as one of the greatest 100 American films of all time is partly due to what some consider Streep’s greatest performance.
Director: Alan J. Pakula
Screenwriter: Alan J. Pakula
Producers: Keith Barish, Alan J. Pakula
Cast: Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Peter MacNicol
Genres: Drama, Romance
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Runtime: 150 min.