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Best Actress Bracket Game: Jodie Foster Vs. Hilary Swank


We’re closing out round two of the Best Actress Bracket Game with a pair of two-time winners.  Both of these actresses are known for their portrayals of strong, determined women.  In today’s write-up, we’ll be concentrating on their victory laps.

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Best Actress Bracket Game: Sally Field Vs. Jodie Foster


The fact that we are dealing with actresses who have won multiple Oscars makes the chronology of this bracket game a little wonky.  Yesterday, we were dealing with two actresses who had their first wins in the early 80’s, but today we’re taking a brief detour back into the previous decade for Sally Field’s first win.  Field won her two Best Actress statues in 1979 and 1984 which averages out to “early 80’s” which is how she ended up in a bracket against “late 80’s” winner Jodie Foster (whose second win was actually 1991, but who’s counting?)

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Scumbunny Cinema

costner - perfect world


Joe Queenan articles frequently fell back on a bit of shtick.  He would come up with a few witty phrases and then use them repetitively to describe similarly themed movies which he would claim make up a trend.  In this case, he dubbed the rise of the anti-hero as “scumbunny cinema”.

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Rank the Oscar Winning Movies: the 1990s

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This set of Best Picture winners from the 1990s is a step up in my estimation from the previous decade, with two examples of outright great filmmaking and most of the rest of the winners at least doing a reasonable impression. By this point in my life I was finally old enough to see all of the nominated movies and to stay up late enough to see the whole ceremony. In fact, I’m pretty sure I attended a party on the night each of these films got crowned. I’ve slowed down in recent years in that respect. Staying up late on Sunday night is bad enough when you do it at home. Having to get in your car and drive home afterward would make rising and shining for work the next day even more difficult.

In case I haven’t explained how this series is going to work appropriately, let me detail it here. Once you guys have ranked the Best Picture winners of each decade, I’ll be presenting the top 20 vote-getters overall for you to rank against one another in two groups. Based on the results of that poll, I’ll be posting the final official list of our top 20 Best Picture winners of all time! I figure this approach should do the job of spreading the wealth through the decades while also pushing the films of certain eras up the ladder if they really deserve it.

For now, it’s time to consider the Best Picture winners of the ’90s!
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The Rise and Fall of Orion Pictures


Costner - Dances With Wolves

The guys who brought you The Rise and Fall of Carolco are back with another installment of their series looking at Hollywood Studios who eventually flamed out.  This time, their subject is Orion Pictures.  Orion was founded by disgruntled United Artists executives who left the company to form their own studio in 1978.  While the studio released some memorable movies, box office hits and even Best Picture winners, it fell into bankruptcy midway through the 1990’s.  Here’s a look at The Rise and Fall of Orion Pictures.  Thanks to Matthew for sharing and to his collaborators for all of their hard work!

Best Actor Oscars Bracket Game: Anthony Hopkins vs Tom Hanks

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There have been some truly legendary and some sadly under appreciated performers to be named Best Actor at the yearly Oscars party. Which is which? With the 87th annual Academy Awards ceremony approaching later this month, we here at LeBlog decided to have another of our popular bracket contests to throw a little attention at some of these great performances. There are only 16 available slots in these things, while there have been 86 Best Actor designees so far, leaving 70 acting greats on the outside looking in from the beginning. That’s some pretty brutal math. I tried to represent the entire history of the award by including at least two actors from each of the last eight decades and pairing those up in the first round. That will almost certainly result in some stunning early exits, but that’s how the cookie crumbles.
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What Might Have Been: Kim Basinger

Kim Basinger

Kim Basinger

Kim Basinger was a model-turned actress who went on to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.  She’s been a Bond girl and Batman’s girlfriend.  Not to mention an iconic sex symbol of the 80’s thanks to movies like 9 1/2 Weeks.  But like any successful actress, Basinger had to pass on a lot of roles that could have taken her career in a different direction.

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What Might Have Been: Meg Ryan


Actors careers are shaped by choices.  Their performances are made up of small choices; how a character should move, what they should sound like, how they should react.  Then there are the big choices like what roles to take and who to work with.  When an actor commits to a movie, they are dedicating a chunk of their lives to preparing for the role, filming the movie and then doing the promotion circuit.  For a lead actor, each movie can be a year-long commitment.  For an actor who is in demand, this can lead to some tough choices which will ultimately shape the course of their career.

As the old saying goes, “hindsight is 20/20.”  Sometimes, an actor’s choices look foolish in retrospect.  Other times, it seems like they dodged a bullet.  Either way, movie fans love looking back and wondering what might have been.

In the late 80’s and early 90’s, Meg Ryan was America’s Sweetheart and the reigning queen of the romantic comedy.  For a time, Ryan had her pick of projects which means she had the opportunity to pass on a lot of movies that went on to become hits.  The means lots of opportunities to wonder about what might have been.

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