Weekly Recap: Fixing the Oscars
Citizen Kane, considered by many to be the greatest American movie ever made, won only a single Academy Award in 1942. Despite receiving nine nominations, Welles’ classic was only awarded a statue for Best Original Screenplay. The coveted Best Picture went to John Ford’s largely forgotten drama, How Green Was My Valley. When critics argue about the fallibility of Academy voters, this is one of the primary examples cited of an Oscar mistake. With only one Best Picture trophy to give out annually, it turns out the Oscars have overlooked a lot of beloved movies. Films like The Wizard of Oz, It’s a Wonderful Life and To Kill A Mockingbird came up short. As part of the site’s Oscar season coverage, Daffy Stardust has been giving readers the opportunity to right the Academy’s wrong in his “Fixing the Oscars” series.
With all the awards season activity, you may have missed something this week. Which is why it’s time for our weekly recap.
Since all of the polls are still open for business, I am going to go ahead and list them all even though some of them were actually posted last week. Each article includes five movies that failed to take home the award for Best Picture. Readers select their favorite of the bunch to advance to the next round. Eventually, we will come up with one “best-loved loser”.
- Part One: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Wizard of Oz, The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Philadelphia Story, The Grapes of Wrath
- Part Two: It’s a Wonderful Life, The Ox-Bow Incident, Citizen Kane, The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity
- Part Three: Mister Roberts, A Streetcar Named Desire, 12 Angry Men. Sunset Boulevard, High Noon
- Part Four: The Lion In Winter, The Hustler, To Kill A Mockingbird, Mary Poppins, Dr Strangelove
- Part Five: Network, Star Wars, Taxi Driver, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Jaws
- Part Six: Broadcast News, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Goodfellas, Raging Bull, E.T.
There are some tough choices to be made and some ties that need breaking (The Wizard of Oz and The Adventures of Robin Hood remained locked in a week-long stalemate as of this writing). So if you haven’t already cast your vote, be sure to do so before the polls close!
The second prong in Daffy’s Oscar coverage was an examination of each of the major categories. This week, Mr. Stardust delved into the acting categories. This week, readers get an opportunity to cast a vote for their favorite Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress. Currently readers favor Willem Dafoe for his performance in The Florida Project and Laurie Metcalfe for Lady Bird. Next week, we’ll be moving into the lead acting categories.
A year-round feature here at Le Blog is Jestak’s (mostly) daily write-ups of celebrity birthdays. This week was another grab-bag of well-known personalities. Let’s see who celebrated a big day this week:
- February 19: Arielle Kebbel, Benicio del Toro, Jeff Daniels, Josh Trank, Millie Bobby Brown, Ophelia Lovibond, Smokey Robinson, Victoria Justice
- February 20: Alan Furst, Daniella Pineda, Jessie Mueller, Julia Jentsch, Lauren Ambrose, Lili Taylor, Miles Teller, Rihanna, Robert Altman, Trevor Noah
- February 21: Christine Ebersole, Ellen Page, Hayley Orrantia, Jordan Peele, Kumail Nanjiani, Rhiannon Giddens, Sophie Turner, Tituss Burgess
- February 22: Dichen Lachman, Drew Barrymore, Elodie Yung, Julie Walters, Kyle MacLachlan, Lea Salonga, Philip Kerr, Robert Young, Thomas Jane
- February 23: Aziz Ansari, Dakota Fanning, Emily Blunt, John Sandford, Josh Gad, Kelly Macdonald, Marie-Josee Croze, Niecy Nash, Robert Lopez, Samara Weaving
- February 24 & 25: Edward James Olmos, Gillian Flynn, Jameela Jamil, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Rashida Jones, Sean Astin, Shahid Kapoor, Tea Leoni, Todd Field
This week’s crew includes one of the usual suspects, either dumb or dumber, the director of a fantastic failure and his Mr. Not-S0-Fantastic, a stranger thing with a number for a name, a Motown miracle, an indie darling, a Grammy-winning pop star, two Oscar-nominated directors, the current host of The Daily Show, Shadowcat, a Goldberg, the star and writer of an Oscar-nominated rom-com, Sansa Stark, Kimmy Schmidt’s roommate, one of Charlie’s angels, Elektra, the mother of the Weasley kids, agent Dale Cooper (and also Dougie), Mulan’s pipes, Marcus Welby, M.D, one of the many Punishers, a quarter of Ocean’s 8, the new Mary Poppins, Olaf along with one half of his song-writing team, Princess Merida, Deputy Raineesha Williams, several successful authors, a former Goonie turned hobbit, Commander Adama, a resident of the Good Place, two cast-members from Parks and Recreation and TV’s answer to Hillary Clinton.
We had a double dose of Kevthewriter this week. Recently he wrote an article about successful remakes of beloved movies which kinda sorta feels like it would include Sam Raimi’s Oz The Great and Powerful. But technically, the 2013 fantasy film isn’t a remake. If anything, it’s more of a prequel. I imagine studio guys saying “What if we made a movie out of Wicked but without all the singing and with a male lead?” However it happened, the movie made a lot of money and was immediately forgotten by everyone. Additionally, Kev shared his thoughts on Marvel latest and greatest, Black Panther. In addition to Kev’s review, we also had an article from Daffy Stardust in which he lists the problems he had with the movie.
Rounding out the week was a trio of articles from the Movieline archives. This week’s cover story was an interview with Kevin Spacey from the February 2003 issue of the magazine. Since the February issue was traditionally the publications “Sex” issue, they had to find a way to justify putting Spacey on the cover. The solution was to dub Spacey “The Thinking Person’s Sex Symbol” an unfortunate headline in light of recent revelations about the actor. In the February 1993 issue, the “Sex” theme continued with a piece in which ten directors who were known for filming memorable sex scenes shared their thoughts on sex in movies. And finally, I mashed up three profiles from the February 1998 issue which included model-turned-actress Claudia Schiffer, a new-to-Hollywood Catherine Zeta-Jones and a post-Showgirls Elizabeth Berkely.
That’s going to do it for this week. Apparently it’s been a while since I posted a new WTHH article. I know this because I have been getting questions about when the next one is coming here, on the site’s FB page and on Twitter. Let me assure you, I have an article nearing completion. It’s just a matter of when my work and personal life will cooperate long enough to let me put the finishing touches on it. I am going to aim for a Friday release, but it’s already been pushed back so many times I don’t want to make promises I can’t keep. What I can promise is more great stuff as we round up February and move into March.
Next Week: Birthdays! Oscars! Maybe a new WTHH?