Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The 1976 Retro Hollmann Awards

February's gone - let us end our look at the year 1976.

We're going out with a bang, Googie.
We talked to my parents about their memories, my mother sounded off on Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor, many took an interest in Best Adapted Screenplay (thanks to Nathaniel of The Film Experience for linking, truly unexpected!), and of course, we talked Best Picture.

But those were Oscar's picks. What of my own? The full list of the 61 films eligible have been named already; now it's time to talk my personal favorites of 40 years ago.

These are the Retro Hollmann Awards of 1976.

Best Adapted Screenplay
All the President's Men
William Goldman
from the book by Carl Bernstein / Bob Woodward

2. The Man Who Fell to Earth (Paul Mayersberg); 3. Carrie (Lawrence D. Cohen); 4. Buffalo Bill and the Indians (Robert Altman / Alan Rudolph); 5. The Shootist (Scott Hale / Miles Hood Swarthout)

Of All the President's Men, I said already that "there's a lot of information...But every detail is clear, the suspense is genuine, and each character vividly realized." The Man Who Fell to Earth's gradual meting-out of information, its slide from possibilities to a squander of them, is haunting. Carrie is earnest and completely its own, so you can buy into its crazy. Buffalo Bill and the Indians is a typical Altman: wincingly funny. The Shootist may be cynical about progress, but it doesn't let its hero off scot-free - a complex heart-tugger.

17 more categories, plus the full top ten, after the jump...

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Oscar Predictions of 2017 for 2016

BEST PICTURE: La La Land Moonlight, holy shit
BEST DIRECTOR: Damien Chazelle, La La Land
BEST ACTOR: Denzel Washington, Fences
BEST ACTRESS: Emma Stone, La La Land
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Dev Patel, Lion Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Viola Davis, Fences
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Manchester by the Sea
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Moonlight
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: La La Land
BEST ORIGINAL SONG: "How Far I'll Go", Moana "City of Stars", La La Land
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: La La Land
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: Hail, Caesar! La La Land
BEST EDITING: La La Land Hacksaw Ridge
BEST COSTUME DESIGN: Jackie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING: Suicide Squad
BEST SOUND MIXING: La La Land Hacksaw Ridge
BEST SOUND EDITING: Hacksaw Ridge Arrival
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: The Jungle Book
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: Zootopia
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: A Man Called Ove The Salesman
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: I Am Not Your Negro O.J.: Made in America
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT: "Extremis" "The White Helmets"
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM: "Ennemis intérieurs" "Sing"
BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM: "Piper"

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The Bicentennial Best Picture

The moment you've all been waiting for. Well, the moment you would have been waiting for 40 years ago. Before we see who the Academy honors as the Best Picture of 2016 tonight, let's take a trip back to 1977, and the Best Picture of 1976:


The nominees, after the jump.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Bicentennial Actor

With two nominations here, Network becomes the rare film to get five acting nods (Mrs. Miniver, All About EveFrom Here to Eternity, On the WaterfrontTom Jones, Bonnie and Clyde are the others). Sylvester Stallone is the first since Charlie Chaplin to be up for both Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay without a co-writer! Giancarlo Giannini is only the third male actor ever nominated for a foreign language performance - funnily enough, the second was fellow nominee Robert De Niro (The Godfather: Part II). And all three were in Italian!

Oh, and of course, Peter Finch becomes the first posthumous acting winner:


The nominees after the jump.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Bicentennial Actress

Back when I did the 1971 Retrospective, I compared all of that year's nominees to the corresponding Oscar Year - 2014. And I haven't really done that, mostly because I don't find a lot of parallels. But in this category? Honey, this category is always dependable.

If you want a Gallic beauty who surprises even herself with her reaction to a disrupted home life, watch Isabelle Huppert in Elle...or Marie-Christine Barrault in Cousin cousine.


If you want a devoted lover, quiet yet strong, more steel-willed than she seems, who knows what she wants when she knows it, and adores the man who is her other half, watch Ruth Negga in Loving...or Talia Shire in Rocky.


If you want a lady of status that men don't know what to expect from, who is primarily obsessed with crafting a narrative with a specific audience in mind, watch Natalie Portman in Jackie...or Faye Dunaway in Network.


If you want someone whose dreams and fears have way too much influence on her life, yet finds a breakthrough with the help of a new man in her life, watch Emma Stone in La La Land...or Liv Ullmann in Face to Face.


If you want an underestimated force, mocked by people around her, striving to be adored, who absolutely slays when she hits a stage, watch Meryl Streep in Florence Foster Jenkins...or Sissy Spacek in Carrie.


But who will really be this year's Faye Dunaway?:


And who will be this year's...not Faye Dunaway? The nominees, after the jump.

The Bicentennial Director

History was made on nomination morning. Once again, a bunch of white men were up for Best Director. But for the first time ever, a woman's touch was finally felt in the category. That was the Italian filmmaker Lina Wertmüller, up for her study of an asshole in fascist Italy, Seven Beauties, which she also wrote. Wertmüller came from the theatre, where she met her future muse Giancarlo Giannini; they not only collaborated on Seven Beauties, but also Swept Away, The Seduction of Mimi, and Love and Anarchy. Her entry into film was be as assistant director on Fellini's 8 1/2.

Wertmüller broke through the boys' club, though it would be another 33 years before a woman actually won the damn thing. But that's not to dismiss the actual winner of the 1976 Oscar:


I mean, have you seen Rocky? It's pretty freeking great.

Anyway, the nominees, after the jump.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Bicentennial Production Design

Can we just give a standing ovation to the 1976 Academy for giving the award to a contemporary movie?


They had a Western, a period drama about the theatre, a period drama about the Golden Age of Hollywood, a sci-fi flick. And instead of all that, they went for the movie about newsrooms and living rooms and government offices, all from events that took place just 2-4 years previously. It does not happen often. Even this current Oscar year, the closest we'll get is La La Land, the design of which is a fantasy idea of Hollywood.

Anyway. The 1976 nominees after the jump.