The Oscars are supposed to be a barometer for greatness in the movie industry, but sometimes the Academy just misses the mark. Think about it: Three Six Mafia has an Oscar, but Leonardo DiCaprio does not. Snubs inevitably happen every year and some are more egregious than others. As we prepare for the next batch of nominations, let us reflect on some of the biggest snubs that still have us scratching our heads.
1. Leonardo DiCaptio in The Departed
Leo has been nominated a lot, we know this, but he was at his best in this Martin Scorsese flick. It still pains us that this wasn’t his year.
2. Leonardo DiCaprio in Revolutionary Road
We thought Leo/Kate Winslet reunion would equal Oscar magic. But alas, it was not to be.
3. Leonardo DiCaprio in Catch Me If You Can
We still love this movie and think he was fantastic as con man Frank Abagnale Jr. Technically he played more than character, as Frank faked his way into becoming an airline pilot, a doctor and a lawyer.
4. Leonardo DiCaprio in The Aviator
Last Leo one, we promise. But man did he do a good job playing Howard Hughes’ descent into madness.
5. Brokeback Mountain
With the exception of Ang Lee winning for Best Director, Brokeback Mountain got completely shut out of the Oscars. Crash beat it for Best Picture in an upset, and Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Williams all inexplicably lost in their categories despite delivering amazing performances.
6. Alfred Hitchcock
Can you believe the Master of Suspense never won an Oscar for directing? Despite all of his directing techniques that are now famous, poor Hitch never got Oscar recognition. Couldn’t they have at least given him the Best Cameos in All His Films award?
7. James Dean
We expect that if James Dean had lived longer than his young 24 years, he would have taken home Oscar gold. But the impressive trifecta of films he made during his much-too-short career (A Rebel Without a Cause, East of Eden and Giant) are enough to make us sad he never won.
8. Saving Private Ryan
This Steven Spielberg wartime epic starring Tom Hanks was beat out for Best Picture by Shakespeare in Love. Rumblings have indicated power producer Harvey Weinstein’s purse strings – rather than the film’s merit - are what actually got Shakespeare the gold.
9. Marilyn Monroe
The iconic bombshell never got to make a breathy Oscar acceptance speech. She was probably most deserving for her part in Some Like It Hot, but it just wasn't in the cards.
10. Amy Adams
Doesn’t it seem like she gets nominated every year? She’s like the female Leonardo DiCaprio at this point. She was great in The Fighter and she was our favorite part of American Hustle last year. Such a shame.
11. Robert Redford
Redford, aka the Brad Pitt before Brad Pitt, has never won an Oscar for acting. He nabbed one in 1981 for directing Ordinary People and got a Lifetime Achievement award in 2002, but the founder of the Sundance Film Festival was never acknowledged for the talent that made him famous.
12. Paul Newman for The Hustler
It took Paul Newman way too long to claim his Oscar glory. He was notoriously snubbed all throughout his prime years – most notably for The Hustler in 1962. The Academy finally gave him an honorary award in 1986 and then a Best Actor Oscar in 1987 for his role in the subpar sequel to The Hustler - The Color of Money.
13. Citizen Kane
This film has been number one on so many AFI Greatest Movies of All Time lists that we kind of just assumed it had won the Oscar for Best Picture. Not so. The Orson Welles masterpiece was beat out by How Green Was My Valley, a movie about a Welsh mining village.
14. Michael Fassbender in Shame
When you put aside the jokes about "best performance by a penis in a movie," you’ll realize that Fassbender actually turns in an Oscar-worthy performance in Shame (clothed or unclothed). We’ll give him time though – we think a statuette is in his future.
15. Ewan McGregor
Ewan (or as we like to call him: every straight man’s mancrush) has turned in some brilliant work over the years – like his roles in Beginners and The Impossible. But sadly it seems it wasn’t enough to catch the Academy’s attention.
16. Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp does not have an Oscar. We repeat: Johnny Depp does not have an Oscar. How can the guy who played iconic characters in Edward Scissorhands, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Finding Neverland be lacking a trophy, you ask? It’s a mystery for the ages.
17. Jessica Chastain
Remember when Jessica Chastain had like a million movies come out in 2011? In luckier years, we think at least ONE of those would have gotten her a win. Maybe 2015 will be her year.
18. Keira Knightley in Pride & Prejudice
Reese Witherspoon beat her out that year for Walk the Line, but Keira would have had our vote for her pitch perfect portrayal of Jane Austen heroine Elizabeth Bennett.
Talk about a beautifully made film. It even won the Golden Globe for Best Drama that year, which is usually a sign that an Oscar imminent. Nope. No Country for Old Men took it instead. Guess nothing beats a Coen Brothers film with an ambiguous ending.
20. Short Term 12
If you've seen this gem of an indie movie starring a riveting Brie Larson, you'll understand why this was a major snub. It was one of the best movies of 2013, but presumably because it was so small, it didn't get any awards love. Travesty.
21. Mary Elizabeth Winstead in Smashed
Another small movie, but a huge Oscar-worthy performance by Winstead as a young wife coming to terms with sobriety. Or at least worthy of a nomination. Pay better attention, Academy!
Who do YOU think has been snubbed? Tell us on Twitter by following the links below!
Actor Matthew Morrison is set to make his return to Broadway as J.M. Barrie in the musical Finding Neverland.
The production, which is based on the 2004 movie starring Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet, has been receiving rave reviews during a run at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with Jeremy Jordan in the lead role, but on Monday (10Nov14), producer Harvey Weinstein confirmed the musical will hit the New York stage next year (15) with the Glee star as Barrie.
Morrison previously played the role earlier this year (14) in New York developmental workshops.
Weinstein says, "We couldn't be more thrilled to see Matthew returning to his Broadway roots and back to the role he created in our workshop. He is wildly talented and a true leading man."
Finding Neverland will open on 15 April (15) at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. Tony winner Diane Paulus will direct the production, which is being scored by Take That frontman Gary Barlow.
British pop star Boy George sang a tribute to Quentin Tarantino as the director was honoured at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's annual Art and Film gala on Saturday (01Nov14). The former Culture Club frontman covered Dusty Springfield's hit Son of a Preacher Man in a nod to Tarantino's movie Pulp Fiction, which featured the track in a key scene.
Boy George also entertained the star-studded audience with his tracks including Karma Chameleon and Do You Really Want to Hurt Me.
Tarantino paid tribute to Los Angeles in his acceptance speech, crediting the city with offering him his big break, adding, "I love to talk, and I love to talk about movies... I don't like to talk about my movies."
Other gala attendees included Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Harvey Weinstein, Jennifer Lopez, Kate Beckinsale, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian.
Miramax via Everett Collection
The musical adaptation of Johnny Depp's hit Peter Pan film Finding Neverland is officially flying onto the Broadway stage. The production, based on the 2004 movie, in which Depp played Peter Pan creator J. M. Barrie opposite Kate Winslet, will debut at a Nederlander Organisation theatre in March 2015, according to the show's spokesperson. Finding Neverland centres on Barrie and the family which inspired him to write about the boy who never grew up. The musical, which is produced by Hollywood heavyweight Harvey Weinstein, opened at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts earlier this week (begs11Aug14) to positive reviews. Jeremy Jordan and Laura Michelle Kelly are currently starring in the Cambridge production, but it is not yet known if the pair will be part of the Broadway show. There's quite a resurgence of all things Pan at the moment - English director Joe Wright is adapting an origins story, featuring Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund and Amanda Seyfried, for the big screen, and Girls star Allison Williams was recently cast as Peter Pan in a live TV version of the tale, which will debut in the U.S. at Christmas (Dec14). And of course, one of Hollywood's most beloved Peter Pans, Robin Williams, died earlier this week (11Aug14). He played Barrie's Pan in Steven Spielberg's Hook.
O Brother, Where Art Thou star Tim Blake Nelson is in talks to join the Fantastic Four cast as scientist Harvey Elder. If he signs on, the actor will join Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell and Kate Mara in the blockbuster.
Elder becomes the Mole Man in the Fantastic Four comics, but the character is not expected to appear in the new film, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Nelson is not new to comic book movies - he appeared in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk.
Phew! They're finally over. The Academy Awards sure felt like a marathon this year. With about three too many montages honoring any and everything in movies (I think there was even an ode to sticky movie theater floors), a band that seemed really trigger shy about playing off some of the longer speeches (which is a good thing and a bad thing), and the many musical performances, the Oscars stretched all the way into early Monday for those of us on the east coast. The one saving grace was Ellen DeGeneres who more than capably handled the proceedings. Here's what we thought of her various gags during the show.
The MonologueWhile Seth McFarlane layed on the theatrics in such thick globs for his monologue last year, Ellen DeGeneres took more of a classic route. The Oscar hosting veteran was sitting right in her comfort zone, flicking off nuggets of wit with ease and showing the world that she's definitely an old pro at this. Some of the best jokes included YELLING AT JUNE SQUIBB, insisting that she wouldn't bring up Jennifer Lawrence's mishap with a traffic cone before the show, and a 12 Years a Slave gag that really woke up anyone whose attention started to drift towards the end of the opening. Ellen delivered an self-assured and funny monologue that walked a fine line between gentle ribbing and hard hitting jokes. She wasn't wearing the kid gloves, but she wasn't pulling her punches either. Grade: A- (Sub-Tina/Amy, but good)
The Pizza GagIn what was the longest gag of the night, Ellen delivered a delightfully absurd routine about ordering pizza that ran through the entire show. Towards the beginning of the broadcast, DeGeneres asked the audience if they wanted to split a pie in what we thought was just a one-off joke. But later on in the show, the pizza actually arrived with Ellen and a delivery boy handing out slices to the denizens of Hollywood. It turns out that stuffy award shows really makes you hungry, and the audience seemed pretty ravenous, grabbing at the slices like pizza was some kind of foreign and novel concept to them all, designer dresses and tuxes be damned. (If you listened closely, you could hear Vera Wang screaming in the distance.) The bit returned for one last time when Ellen grabbed Pharell's mountie hat and askd for everyone to chip in. Harvey Weinstien forked over 200 bucks, but Brad Pitt could only manage a measly 20 dollars (get it together, Brad, you're on TV) and Lupita Nyong'o shared some lip gloss (that's Academy Award-winning lip gloss now). The joke might have overstayed it's welcome, but who knew celebrities would get so excited over pizza? They really are just like us!Grade: B+
Lottery Tickets for LosersAfter the Best Supporting Oscar was awarded to Jared Leto, Ellen wandered over to Bradley Cooper and gave him two whole lottery tickets as a consolation prize for losing the award, and a quarter (which she needs back) to use on the scratchers. The lottery ticket joke was a quick little diddy of a gag that fit snugly in with the theme of the rest of her show. We have exclusive info through some inside channels that Cooper reportedly won a "try again next time" from the tickets. Grade: B
The Selfie Tweeted 'Round the WorldWhen Ellen says she's going to take the most retweeted selfie ever, she's not joking around. The host enlisted Merryl Streep to take a selfie with her, which led to pretty much every actor in Hollywood crowding around a single phone to get into the shot. After some awkward jostling, and negotiating on who should actually take the picture (Bradley Cooper had the longest arms) the pic was finally taken and shared with the Internet, where it quickly broke Twitter. It was Streep's first tweet, and it dismantled an entire social network. The woman does have 18 Academy Award nominations, so I guess we should have expected her to be the best tweeter ever. #StreeptweetGrade: A-
Everything ElseEllen was never away from the screen for too long during the show, constantly popping up for a quick joke or two in between the awards and the near infinite amount of montages. She offered some quick riffs about her slew of outfits, bantered with bemused celebrities, and filled her time on screen with various non sequiturs that received good chuckles over just how cute yet slightly bizarre they all were. Some of them had us scratching our heads (exactly why was she holding a guitar while introducing Kate Hudson and Jason Sudeikis?) but on the whole, most of them worked wonders.Grade: B
OverallEllen hosted a fun and slightly off-kilter yet stripped down Oscars telecast that lacked the theatrics. She was consistent bright spot in an awards ceremony that went on a bit too long for comfort. Ellen had an easy confidence about the whole ordeal, and the bits didn't feel too forced or too self involved. Best of all, she made the awards fun for the celebrities in the audience, and actually made them relatable to those of us watching at home. Who can resist the allure of a selfie or a greasy slice of pizza? Not you or me, and certainly not Brad Pitt or Kevin Spacey. It wasn't outrageous like say, Seth McFarlane's gig last year, but it was certainly classic Ellen.Grade: B+
British royal Catherine, Duchess Of Cambridge broke down in tears when she was told the news of Nelson Mandela's death at the royal premiere of his biopic, according to movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. The Duchess and her husband Prince William both attended the screening of Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom in London on Thursday night (05Dec13), and they were alerted to the civil rights icon's passing during the event.
The film's executive producer, Weinstein, was also at the premiere when the story broke, and he has now revealed the sad news took its toll on the Duchess.
He tells Britain's Mail on Sunday newspaper, "'Kate was very emotional, she was in tears and very moved by the events. We all were. There is nothing to describe the momentousness of what happened. The Duke and Duchess handled themselves very elegantly. I spoke to them downstairs in the foyer after the movie. William was deeply touched by the news, you could see it in his face, but he was being very courageous."
The news broke while the movie was playing, but most of the guests were not told until the end of the film, when producer Anant Singh took to the stage along with director Justin Chadwick and the film's star, Idris Elba, to request a minute's silence.
The premiere's after party was cancelled as a mark of respect to the former South African president.
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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On the heels of his Late Night With Jimmy Fallon appearance earlier this week, Edward Norton continued his promo tour of nothing by hosting the 4th episode of season 39 of Saturday Night Live. With upcoming films slated for 2014 release, Norton was seemingly making his SNL hosting debut just because, even if Lorne Michaels really invited him to do so 13 years ago.
The method actor quipped about his long preparation for SNL, as Alec Baldwin joined him on stage for hosting warmup. Baldwin’s double-take lesson provided the punch, “Ok, that’s a great take for American History X, which you were hilarious in by the way.” This was sufficient for a successful monologue and for a minute it seemed like they’d avoid cameo overload. Then Miley Cyrus popped up as if she had been smoking weed in her dressing room since her hosting gig earlier this month. Other than offering some mildly humorous host hints, the Baldwin and Cyrus cameos did little more than say, “at least we’re promoting something.”
This week Kate McKinnon opened the show strong, portraying the Secretary of Health, taking on the simple yet topical premise of Obamacare failing to understand how the Internet works. McKinnon sets the tone for a successful opener with simple troubleshooting tips like, “For example, have you tried restarting your computer?” Her timing takes the sharpest shape when she starts rattling off other links on healthcare.gov, such as Kayak.com (to fly to Canada) and “a number of doctor themed pornographic websites that should help you pass the time."
While Bobby Moynihan’s portrayal of a bat-swinging IT guy elicits huge laughs, the success of the cold open relies on McKinnon’s stellar delivery. This early in the season, McKinnon has proven more than worthy of such responsibility. But aside from a killer opener, McKinnon’s talents seemed largely underutilized in this week’s episode.
This left room for Nasim Pedrad to shine in several sketches, mostly stealing the show as a flippant kid speaking in favor of van rides and candy from strangers. Later in the show she drew more laughs than anyone in a 12 Years a Slave-inspired sketch with only a dance and facial expression.
Impressive showings from both McKinnon and Pedrad can cause conflicting theories about who will be the next Kristen Wiig heir apparent SNL ingenue. Considering their individual talent, it seems unfair to have to choose. If anything, it’s shocking that the writers have not created more conditions for these two powerhouses to play off of each other. The right recurring team of those two would thrive, serving both the show and their individual careers. Get on that, ladies.
The first few sketches were largely dependent on performances from Kenan Thompson, Pedrad, McKinnon, and Norton, making it seem like SNL was using their newbies sparingly. During a Wes Anderson horror trailer parody, Noël Wells showed off her ability to look like any actress ranging from Lena Dunham to Gwyneth Paltrow, but not much else happened for the freshman class.
The first real rookie risk taken was several sketches in, with Brooks Wheelan playing an excitable hillbilly with “critter control.” The new featured player comfortably played off Norton, without much of a glaring difference between their comfortability performing. The start of the sketch introduces a common clash of context premise, with the unprofessional critter control specialists in a professional office environment. The possibility that this could be a recurring character for Wheelan is killed off in the end, along with the characters themselves. But it did exhibit Wheelan’s comfort level alongside the pros, as well as the show’s willingness to take a chance on his performance abilities.
Michael O’Brien had the most face time, playing main roles in two sketches. Like Wheelan, O’Brien performed alongside Norton without seeming rattled. First as a shortsighted criminal misusing Norton’s Rain Man-like autism for simple counting, and later as a horny yet virginal waiter. If O’Brien and Wheelan appear to be getting more traction than their fellow rookies, it’s likely because they are also writers who can develop and pitch ideas for themselves. O’Brien, who has been writing for the show since 2009, will likely have an easier time setting himself apart with more clout and comfortability than other new cast members. After all, he is following in the footsteps of Jason Sudeikis and Tina Fey, who were both promoted from writers to cast members.
Weekend Update began with Seth Meyers proving they did not use up all his healthcare.gov jokes in the opening sketch, but the biggest laugh came when he brought up Kim Kardashian’s recent engagement. “Kanye West this week asked Kim Kardashian for her brand in marriage.” The best Update jokes reflect what the audience was already thinking, but with funnier phrasing. This joke accomplished such a feat. Cecily Strong continues to hold her own as co-anchor, but with mention of Meyers’ new gig in February (not ice dancing) it’s difficult to imagine her shouldering the responsibility solo.
New Dog, Old Tricks
SNL is the most effective when it taps into a unique irreverence that still leans on tradition. While season 39 is still very new, this episode contained many traditional elements. The show rested on uncomplicated, proven premises at the beginning and end of the the show. First it was the idea that it is adorable when adults portray inappropriate children, and later with assumption that it is equally hilarious when people do not understand what sex looks like. The early sketch was driven by Pedrad and Thompson’s ability to look ridiculous as children, while the sketch about horny yet virginal waiters provided physical comedy. These sketches were not groundbreaking, but were effective in letting the funny overshadow the formula being used.
They also tapped into to common comedic theme of playing the idiot. The school-kid characters, Thompson’s take on Steve Harvey, and Moynihan’s 'Second Hand News' all succeeded in showing that idiots are funniest when they operate like they don’t know they’re stupid. Moynihan’s Update appearance with 'Second Hand News' though funny, went on too long. It also echoed a ignorant news appeal that was utilized by Strong last season as 'The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With At A Party.' In fact, that entire desk piece could have been written for said girl without changing a word. Moments like this are a reminder that SNL may not need to fix what isn’t broken, as long as we’re cool with them recycling what works.
Norton’s humility as a celebrity and strengths as an actor almost allowed him to fall back into the position of ensemble cast member, rather than the center of the episode.This allowed him to be more effective when a sketch actually focused on him. In the last and arguably funniest sketch of the night, Norton plays an eccentric dad going through Halloween candy. His earnest delivery along with support from Moynihan and his son and Aidy Bryant as “Adult Ruth,” was just good old fashioned funny. The sketch succeeds in reminding the audience that SNL does not need to be anything but just that.
Norton’s lack of ego yielded a balanced, straightforward, almost a classic show, that capitalized on this season’s strengths while keeping it simple. At first it seemed like a random guest host choice, but Norton was actually the perfect man for the job. Maybe more hosts should spend 13 years preparing for the role.
When shots rang out on a November morning, the whole world was changed forever. The assassination of John F. Kennedy sent shockwaves throughout the entire country, but the new film Parkland focuses on the select few men and women who saw it happen. The film seems not to be so much about President Kennedy or his life, but more specifically on the unsung men and women who sprung to action after his death.
Parkland showcases, from multiple perspectives, the race to save the President's life, the events of the investigation, and the life of the family of Lee Harvey Oswald. In a cast littered with Hollywood talent, Paul Giamatti plays the man who mistakenly captures the assassination on tape, Tom Welling and Billy Bob Thornton play secret service agents attempting to catch the shooter, and a scruffy Zac Efron plays a doctor tasked with saving the Commander-in-Chief's life.
Open Road Films
The cast also includes Marcia Gay Harden, Jackie Earl Haley, James Badge Dale, and Jacki Weaver. If the trailer is any indication, Parkland looks like the type of meaty historical drama that will have Oscar voters buzzing early next year. At the very least, the film looks to have the 1960's aesthetics nailed right down to the skinny ties and classic cars.
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