Friday, February 27, 2009

Siren Centerfold: Ava Gardner

Ava Lavinia Gardner came from very humble beginnings in Brogden, North Carolina. Born as the youngest of seven in 1922 to cotton and tobacco farmers, Gardner led a hardworking life up until she happened to visit her older sister in New York City in 1941.

There, her sister’s husband (a professional photographer) took a portrait of Gardner and displayed it in his store window on Fifth Avenue. While walking by the shop one day, Loews Theater legal clerk Barnard Duhan spotted the 18-year-old green-eyed beauty. It was fate.

You see, had Duhan not regularly posed as an MGM scout to pick up girls, he may never have gone into the photo shop, never would have actually sent Gardner’s photo into the studio and her career would never have begun. Thank goodness for us all he was such a sleaze.

Gentlemen, your Siren Centerfold of the week: Ava Gardner

Quick Quips for February 27th

"If someone's dumb enough to offer me a million dollars to make a picture, I'm certainly not dumb enough to turn it down." - Elizabeth Taylor

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Matinee Men: Warren Beatty

So on Wednesday it was announced that Warren Beatty wants Lindsay Lohan in his next film. Why, you ask? We haven’t a clue. Word is, he has a script he was wants to direct and star in, and he has his sights on LiLo to possibly play his daughter. But—aha!—there’s a catch. If Linds accepts the role, Beatty wants her living under his roof (we’re assuming one of his guest roofs) while they film the movie. While we don’t think there’s anything sordid going on—Beatty gave up his womanizing ways long ago and has been happily married to Annette Bening since 1992—we think it’s a smart move on his part. If he’s gonna take the risk and cast Lindsay in a (legitimate) film, he might as well keep an eye on her. Wouldn’t want that precious film investment partying it up with SamRon all night then not showing up for work because of “exhaustion.” Maybe some quality time with some enduring vets in the biz can whip dear Lindsay into shape. Just keep her away from their kids.

We’ll trust Beatty for the time being, because he seems like an intelligent man. He's active in politics and wrote, directed and starred in films like Reds, Bulworth and Heaven Can Wait. But back when he was just starting out in films like Splendor in the Grass, girls weren’t swooning over his smarts. See for yourself!

Beatty has had several high-profile relationships with his costars, including Natalie Wood, Julie Christie, Diane Keaton and Madonna.

He was also linked with Joan Collins, Cher, Leslie Caron, Vivien Leigh, Susan Strasberg, Michelle Phillips, Carly Simon, Barbra Streisand and Britt Ekland. Dude got around!

Come on, don't you want to be Bonnie to his Clyde?

Brad Pitt before Brad Pitt?


Quick Quips for February 26th

"Personally I know nothing about sex, because I've always been married."
-Zsa Zsa Gabor

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Nick & Nora's Infinite Franchise

Before Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist there was the original Nick and Nora. Played by William Powell and Myrna Loy respectively, Nick and Nora Charles were a mystery-solving married couple at the center of the successful Thin Man movies. Based on the novel The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett, there were six films in total, spanning 13 years. This got me thinking. Today, the movie industry is constantly inundated with sequels and trilogies and franchises galore. But back in the 1930s, there was so much untapped original material that all these continuations and regurgitations were pretty much nonexistent. That is, until The Thin Man came along. The film, it seems to me, paved the way for the Harry Potters, the Pirates of the Caribbeans and the comic book films (Spidermans, Batmans, Supermans, etc.) of today. The Thin Man proved to the movie industry that as long as a movie keeps making money and as long as audiences still love the main characters, you can keep churning them out for years!

As it was, the first Thin Man was only supposed to a "B" picture. It was shot on a small budget somewhere between 12 and 18 days. It turned into one of the biggest hits of 1934. Naturally, MGM rushed to make a second film, After the Thin Man (1936). The franchise was at its peak during the first three films (the third was called Another Thin Man), as most franchises--if they're lucky--are. Then came Shadow of a Thin Man, The Thin Man Goes Home and Song of the Thin Man--the last and least-loved on the series. By 1947, the formula had gone stale.

I've seen the first two Nick and Nora adventures and I can tell you the plot is secondary to the main characters' witty banter and genuine repartee. Nick's a hard drinking former private investigator who always seems to get sucked back into the job and Nora is his wealthy wife. It's more fun watching this couple tussle and tease, than try to figure out whatever jumbled mystery they're trying to solve. Then again, years from now, people will probably watch the Pirates films and admire Johnny Depp's performance--not the convoluted plots that overshadowed the last two films. Let's just hope they have enough sense not to keep it going for 13 years! Which seems unlikely, since they're already talking about making a 4th Pirates installment. Hey movie execs, take those dollar signs out of your eyes. Not every franchise can go on for as long as The Thin Man--and it doesn't take a detective team to figure that out!

Breaking News On Our Fave Actor/Humanitarian

The House of Representatives has decided to honor Paul Newman for his achievements on and off screen. Lawmakers passed a resolution Tuesday night recognizing his contributions to society. The resolution said Newman's "humanitarian works and incomparable talents have made him an American icon who will never be forgotten." Can't wait to see how they plan to commemorate this great man!

Jane Fonda's Biggest Role

Being an actor gives a person a very big platform on which to express his or her personal views. An oversized soapbox, if you will. And actors have lots of important personal views (just sit down with any one of them). Sometimes, though, expressing such sentiments can backfire.


Just ask Jane Fonda, who is still being protested for actions she took in opposition to the Vietnam War in 1972.

In a bid to protest the war, the Klute actress took a two-week trip to North Vietnam during which she took a notorious photo in which she straddled an anti-aircraft gun and gave her support to the Vietnam troops. She also filmed a documentary titled FTA – which stood for “F**k the Army.” The film may have flopped but, combined with the photoshoot, it solidified Fonda in one of her most famous roles: "Hanoi Jane."

Fonda expressed regret for her actions in Vietnam in 1988 when she said that she’ll go to her grave “regretting the photograph of me in an anti-aircraft gun …It hurt so many soldiers. It galvanized such hostility. It was the most horrible thing I could possibly have done. It was just thoughtless." Unfortunately, the repercussions were – and seemingly still are – far from over.

While promoting her 2005 memoir, My Life So Far, at a Kansas City book signing, 54-year-old Vietnam vet Michael A. Smith spit tobacco juice in Fonda’s face. He was arrested, but Fonda refused to prosecute. "In spite of the incident, my experience in Kansas City was wonderful and I thank all the warm and supportive people, including so many veterans, who came to welcome me last night,” she said in a statement.

And now, 37 years after the infamous picture surfaced, Fonda is still being protested. She returned to Broadway for the first time in 46 years last Saturday only to be met by Vietnam veterans picketing the Eugene O’Neill Theatre.

There’s no word of anyone being spit on, but let this be a warning to all those famous political activists out there. Not everyone agrees with your love for Hugo Chavez.

Quick Quips for February 25th

"In Hollywood they'll forgive you if you're two-faced. But not if you're two-chinned." - Colleen Dewhurst

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Is This Fair to Audrey, Ladies?

Everybody wants to be Audrey Hepburn. Well, every young starlet in Hollywood it seems. This Sunday, Vanessa Hudgens picked her Oscar dress because she said it reminded her of “a young Audrey Hepburn.” Meanwhile, Audrey wouldn’t have been caught dead in the thing. Just a day earlier, Jennifer Love Hewitt—for some godforsaken reason—decided to recreate the first scene in Breakfast at Tiffany’s…in Los Angeles. Girl got all dressed up for her 30th birthday and no doubt hired a photographer to snap shots of her doing her best Audrey impression (which, if you’ve seen her in the TV movie The Audrey Hepburn Story, you’ll know it's not very good at all).

Now it’s Keira Knightley who’s stepping into Audrey’s shoes, for a remake of the eight-time Academy Award-winning 1964 musical My Fair Lady. She’s set to play Eliza Doolittle, the unrefined Cockney flower girl who gets transformed into a lady. Knightley’s reportedly already taking singing lessons for the role. Being that I’m probably in the minority of people who actually like Keira Knightley, I’m actually pretty okay with this choice.

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Stephen Daldry (The Reader) is set to direct, and he’s planning on adding a dash of realism to the original’s spectacle. “It's all about Cecil Beaton's sets and costumes, isn't it? Which are fantastic—as are the songs, of course. It's a visual masterpiece –but it needs to be more than that. It's a clunky movie,” Daldry told The Daily Mail. Sounds like the remade film is more on its way to being closer in tone to Pygmalion, the play upon with the musical is based.

As for who will play Henry Higgins, the man who tranforms Eliza Doolittle? Rex Harrison originated the role in the film and there were rumors early on that Daniel Day-Lewis would fill the part--which would be simply fantastic! But sadly, that hasn’t been confirmed.

What do you think of this new remake and the casting news? And should we be glad that young stars have an appreciation for Audrey Hepburn? Or should these girls stop trying to imitate someone who was clearly one of a kind?

Not just any actress could put herself in the same category as Audrey and get away with it. Keira might be able to. J. Love most definitely cannot.

Follow the Yellow Brick Road Red Carpet

The Oscars are kind of a big deal in Hollywood. From it’s humble beginnings it’s blossomed into one of the most self-praising, glad-handing event imaginable and, of course, Andrea and I can’t get enough of it. We decided to watch Ryan Seacrest schmooze his way through E!’s two-hour Red Carpet Special and bring you the best and worst of our observations.

Bare with us … this wasn’t easy to edit and even less so to remember exactly what we were talking about, but we’ve done our best. Come along, if you dare, to fawn over Kate Winslet with us.

6:00 PM

Kristine: I don't think I've ever actually watched the red carpet from start to finish like this
Andrea: I have. Sadly, the Oscars are usually an all-day event for me lol

6:03 PM: E! alien princess Giuliana Rancic announces that Nicole and Joel are having a second kid.

Kristine: You've got to be kidding me
Andrea: YUP! I heard that earlier
Kristine: why is Miley Cyrus there?
Andrea: Bolt
Andrea: the animated movie
Kristine: oohh
Andrea: she's very sparkly
Kristine: I like that dress on her
Kristine: As much as I don't want to like it, I do

6:11 PM: Jay Manuel from America’s Next Top Model is announced as E!’s style guru

Andrea: Jay looks like a waiter
Kristine: It would be nice if he changed his hair once in a while
Andrea: Honestly, it's so white it looks gray
Kristine: Frosted hair is so Joey Fatone
Andrea: circa 1998

6:12 PM: Heidi Klum and Seal show up

Kristine: HEIDI!
Kristine: Dude, I have such a woman crush on Heidi Klum
Andrea: I have a woman crush on Cate Blanchett and Kate Winslet

6:18 PM: Giuliana crawls through an irritatingly long interview with the night’s host

Kristine: I've never noticed this before, but Hugh Jackman's got one wicked long nose
Andrea: He does!
Andrea: I have a feeling this is gonna be the weirdest Oscars ever..lots of musical numbers and such
Kristine: Do you think MIA will be here? Did they get her to confirm?
Andrea: I dunno, but I'm assuming she will. She performed at the Grammy's 9 months pregnant so this should be a piece of cake

6:27 PM: We don’t like Ben Lyons

Andrea: oh look its the "movie expert" Ben Lyons
Kristine: He looks like he's 18
Andrea: Totally

6:30 PM: Seacrest interviews Zac Efron

Andrea: Oh look, Zac Efron
Kristine: what's with the slicked back hair
Andrea: I was JUST gonna say that
Kristine: His favorite movie was "everything this year" lame answer
Andrea: way to be decisive
Kristine: Oh wow look at that… Vanessa Hudgens is right behind him. And she thinks her dress looks like something a “young Audrey Hepburn” would wear.
Andrea: DEFINITELY NOT AUDREY. Gee, can you tell we're very protective of Ms. Hepburn?

6:36 PM: Kevin Klein, who knows why, stops to talk to Seacrest

Kristine: Wow I didn't know Mark Twain was going to be on the red carpet tonight - Oh my bad. It's Kevin Klein
Kristine: What is Seacrest SAYING!? Who asks KEVIN KLEIN about American Idol?
Andrea: Ryan promotes his freakin radio show on E!..he’s like the king of cross-promotion

6:40 PM: E! talks about how the Oscar parties have been toned down in the wake of the recession. This is, of course, less than two hours before the Academy unveils its curtain made entirely of Swarovski Crystals.

Andrea: Yea I'm sure Hollywood is thinking about the recession right now..riiight
Kristine: Their lives must be so hard
Kristine: I can't imagine what it must be like to be rich in times like these
Andrea: I'd feel guilty
Kristine: Yeah but the being rich part would ease that pain
Andrea: exactly it doesn't mean I'm actually gonna give my money AWAY
Kristine: If Hollywood is so big on going green, why haven’t anyone thought to get a shuttle for this event…look at all those cars backed up
Kristine: or make people carpool like we had to during the MTA strike

6:45 PM: Seacrest interviews some of the children from Slumdog Millionaire

Andrea: aww! these kids from Slumdog are so cute
Kristine: I know!
Kristine: that kid just totally showed up Seacrest - "He's not speaking so I can't translate, duh"
Andrea ryan just dissed that kid
Kristine: Brad and Ang will be adopting each of these kids
Kristine: their parents better claim them immediately following this ceremony
Andrea: Freida Pinto is gorgeous I wish I looked like her.
Kristine: Yikes, Sophia Loren. She's looking harsh tonight. It's the hair
Andrea: She looks better than Melissa Leo's country singer hairdo right now

6:49 PM: We catch a glimpse of Taraji P. Henson’s dress

Kristine: Taraji really does look great
Andrea: Ahh Taraji's dress
Kristine: HAHAHA
Kristine: I like it!
Andrea: it looks like someone mummy-wrapped her in toilet paper

6:52 PM: Slumdog’s two stars (Dev Patel and Freida Pinto) stop to speak with Seacrest during which he brings John Legend into the fray so everyone can talk about how great they are

Kristine: Oh look, it's a big group hug
Kristine: "We're all so famous and talented. We love our lives"
Kristine: the Slumdog actors seem genuinely to be enjoying themselves, though
Andrea: I think they're dating in real life
Kristine: damn she shot him down cause he's too young
Andrea: haha aww, I think they're lying
Kristine: probably
Andrea: why is John Legend there?
Kristine: haven't a breeze

6:54 PM: Random shots of actors arriving to the ceremony

Kristine: I would love Richard Jenkins to win
Kristine: but for Stepbrothers
Andrea: hahaha
Kristine: ROBERT!!!!!
Kristine: PATTINSON!!!!
Andrea: AHHH!!

6:56 PM: Viola Davis and her husband talk to Seacrest

Kristine: Ryan's very handsy
Andrea: Because that’s the most affection he ever gets
Kristine: Viola's husband was just so excited to be introduced to Ryan
Andrea: Viola was nominated based on her impressive nose-running in Doubt
Andrea: she had a 5 min scene and her nose was running was all I could look at
Kristine: gross
Kristine: gross gross

7:01 PM: We see a shot of 1993’s Best Supporting Actress winner

Kristine: There's Marisa Tomei
Andrea: She's a cougar…dating a hot younger dude …I wonder if she brought him
Kristine: She's a woman after my own heart
Andrea: Oh Marisa did bring the younger dude. [Ed Note: It’s Logan Marshall-Green, by the way]
Kristine: oo i have to see him [Ed note: I never did]
Kristine: do you think she’ll win again?
Andrea: and upset "everybody"?

7:10 PM: More arrivals

Andrea: WOW Mickey's dyed hair
Kristine: He's looking greasier than ever
Kristine: I love Sarah Jessica Parker's dress she looks like Cinderella
Andrea: why is natalie portman there?
Kristine: I don't know but she's gorgeous

7:14 PM: Our love stops to talk to Seacrest

Kristine: Robert Pattinson again
Kristine: It looks like he's talking to Ryan next
Andrea: yess!
Kristine: too bad he's such a horrible actor
Andrea: He's a great interviewee though
Kristine: yes very much so
Kristine: Do you think he's thought about us since we talked to him? [Ed. Note: That’s not a lie, we ran two hours worth of interviews with him]
Andrea: Every night I'm sure

7:17 PM: More arrivals

Andrea: James Franco poses awkwardly with women
Kristine: He looks high
Andrea: He prob is
Kristine: I love Evan Rachel Wood's dress
Andrea: I'm so glad Evan Rachel Wood isn’t Dita Von Teese anymore.

7:20 PM

Kristine: dude SJP's boobs
Andrea: dude Matthew Broderick's hair
Andrea: It looks very striped
Kristine: Ferris Bueller is gettin old
Kristine: He needs to borrow some of Sarah's hair dye.
Andrea: Garnier Fructis, is it?

7:22 PM: More arrivals

Kristine: Who's that ghost? oh. Anne Hathaway
Andrea: Seriously! She picks the most unflattering colors for her skin

7:27 PM: E! shows Beyonce’s arrival while Seacrest interviews Mickey Rourke

Kristine: Beyonce needs to not be here
Kristine: and her dress sucks
Andrea: EW I bet her mom designed it. [Ed note: We found out later that her mom DID design it.]
Kristine: Does Mickey Rourke wash his hair?
Andrea: Oh, look he wore his fancy tooth.
Kristine: so sad about the dog
Kristine: I really do feel bad
Andrea: omg the necklace
Kristine: awe! the necklace!
Andrea: That's a little weird, not gonna lie

7:29 PM: Another arrival

Kristine: Queen Latifah's performing...I'm very excited for that
Andrea: This is gonna be one big musical tonight
Kristine: the Grammy's part II

7:31 PM: Another arrival of Jessica Biel in her towel dress

Kristine: Get off the phone, Jessica!
Andrea: haha another "attendee"
Andrea: which basically means they have no point in being there
Kristine: Seventh Heaven was a long time ago, sweets
Andrea: she looks like she's wearing a towel
Kristine: Jessica Biel's dress...WHY IS SHE WEARING THOSE BLACK SHOES??
Andrea: because she has the black bag.. she thinks that makes it ok

7:33 PM: Ron Howard stops to talk to Ryan

Kristine: I had no idea that Ron Howard was so short
Kristine: I always pictured him being tall
Kristine: yesssssssssssssssssss Arrested Development all but confirmed from the man himself!

7:36 PM

: Did Ryan just tell Evan Rachel Wood that he can smell her?
Andrea: That's not creepy at all
Kristine: Nope

7:38 PM: Ta-Da! Brad Pitt and Angelina finally arrive and send the media into a feeding frenzy

Kristine: Here are brad and ang
Kristine: Could Guiliana be any more frantic over them?
Andrea: Look at them waving like they're the president and the first lady. They know they’re just actors, right?
Kristine: seriously

7:46 PM: Kate Winslet arrives. We are thrilled

Kristine: Kate looks amazing
Andrea: Kate looks matronly
Andrea: I'm sad
Kristine: the dress is cool as hell
Andrea: I don't like it
Kristine: I never realized it before
Andrea: dude YOU have awful taste!

7:51 PM: More arrivals, including a shot Brad and Ang walking down the carpet from 300 feet away. Thank goodness they didn’t let Giuliana any closer

Kristine: WTF is Tilda Swinton wearing
Andrea: Wow
Andrea: I love it
Andrea: jk
Faith95: It looks like a snuggie gone bad
Andrea: Guiliana is at stalker-status right now. She’s OBSESSED with Brad and Angie. It’s a little scary.
Kristine: She literally orgasmed when they arrived.
Kristine: KATE!
Kristine: aw, she's so nervous!
Andrea: I'm surprised she didn't bring Leo as her date instead of her husband
Kristine: she's loved him for 13 years!

7:53 PM: We still don’t like Ben Lyons

Kristine: Ben Lyons needs to go away
Kristine: and by that i mean back to his high school science class
Andrea: hahaha

7:58 PM: Brad Pitt makes good on his last Red Carpet snub of Ryan Seacrest

Andrea: whoa they didn’t snub him this time!
Andrea: Ah, well. It was brief, but at least Ryan got something.

The fiasco ended with a quick interview with Robert Downey, Jr. – a personal favorite of ours – before we flipped channels to watch all the pomp and circumstance.

Have any comments about the red carpet this year? Let us know in the comments section below!

Quick Quips for February 24th

"The most important thing in acting is sincerity. If you can fake that, you've got it made."
-George Burns

Monday, February 23, 2009

Quick Quips for February 23rd

"There was more good acting at Hollywood parties than ever appeared on the screen." - Bette Davis

Friday, February 20, 2009

Quick Quips for February 20th

"The men in Hollywood? They're either married, going through a divorce, or want to do your hair." - Doris Day

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Matinee Men: Montgomery Clift

Montgomery Clift helped usher in a whole new acting style with his brooding, vulnerable characters in films like A Place in the Sun and From Here to Eternity. Along with Brando, he showed viewers what Method acting was all about. Off screen, though, he led a tragic life. A near-fatal car accident in 1957 damaged his good looks, and an addiction to alcohol and painkillers ultimately damaged his health. (He died at age 46.) Marilyn Monroe, his co-star in The Misfits, reportedly described him as "the only person I know who is in worse shape than I am." But let’s revisit Monty in his glory days. And, oh, how glorious they were!

He knew how to rock a tux, and he spoke fluent French, German and Italian!

He was one of only six actors to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his first screen appearance. The others are Orson Welles, James Dean, Alan Arkin, Paul Muni and Lawrence Tibbett. Monty was nominated for an Oscar four times, but never won.

Monty was paired with some of greatest beauties of all time in his films, but in real-life he was reportedly gay. Who cares, though. That never stopped women from swooning over Tom Cruise!

Monty was BFF with Elizabeth Taylor. The fact that she didn't try to marry him means he must have been gay!

Such a classic pose!

Siren Centerfold: Deborah Kerr

Deborah Kerr was nominated for six Best Actress Oscars throughout her career but unfortunately, the woman who gave us An Affair to Remember never won, making her the “Actress with the Most Oscar Nominations without Ever Winning.” That’s gotta hurt.

So while Kerr might not be the “sireniest” of all our Siren Centerfolds, I felt the need to throw her a bone this week [heh] and give her looks some of the respect and admiration that her acting never received.

Quick Quips for February 19th

"If I ever start talking to you about 'my craft' or 'my instrument,' you have permission to shoot me point-blank."
-Drew Barrymore

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Oscars Should Have Do-Overs, Pt. 2

The Oscars are full of unexplainable events. The fact that it took Martin Scorsese so long to win one. The fact that Hugh Jackman is hosting this year. And the fact that sometimes, the winner for Best Picture is not what you expected at all. I present to you Oscar Hall of Shame: Best Picture Upsets.


How Green Was My Valley beats Citizen Kane (1942)

Of course, now Orson Welles’ masterpiece has been named multiple times as AFI’s Greatest Movie of All Time, but in 1942 it was beat out by a movie about a Welsh mining village starring Maureen O’Hara. Yeah, exactly. At the time, though, Kane didn’t have the iconic status it does today. In fact, it was a bonafide box office flop. At the Academy Awards ceremony, the film was booed every time one of its nine nominations was announced.

Casablanca beats The Song of Bernadette (1943)

You might be thinking, “So? What’s so 'upsetting' about that?” Today, everyone recognizes Casablanca as a classic, but back in 1943 it was considered a dark horse contender. The Song of Bernadette (starring Jennifer Jones) was the front-runner with a total of 12 nominations.

An American in Paris beats A Streetcar Named Desire (1952)

What?! How could anything beat A Streetcar Named Desire?! Sorry, that was my inner fan talking. Streetcar is pretty much my favorite movie of all time (there will be a post about it soon, don’t you worry), and it pains me that it didn’t get a gold statue to call its own. Streetcar was expected to sweep—and it started out pretty well, nabbing the Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor awards. (In another upset, Marlon Brando lost out to Humphrey Bogart for the African Queen. Don’t get me started.) But when the fluffy Gene Kelly musical triumphed, the audience, apparently, let out a collective gasp.


Braveheart beats Apollo 13 (1995)

Braveheart—aka the movie with the power to make men cry—seemed like an iffy win at best. According to MSNBC, Apollo 13 producer Brian Grazer was so sure his movie would win, that he began to walk to the stage before the entire name was read! Braveheart had won next to nothing on the pre-Oscars awards circuit, while Apollo 13 had racked up the accolades.

Shakespeare in Love beats Saving Private Ryan (1998)

I’ve never seen Shakespeare in Love, nor do I have the desire too. But apparently, the Academy favored it over the Spielberg/Tom Hanks collabo, Saving Private Ryan—the presumed front-runner. According to MSNBC, many Ryan supporters will declare this was the year where the Best Picture award was bought, not earned. Harvey Weinstein reportedly spent millions of dollars on Shakespeare's Oscar campaign.

Crash beats Brokeback Mountain (2006)

There are lots of people who still think Brokeback Mountain should have won—myself included. Even Jack Nicholson was utterly surprised when he opened the envelope and read Crash’s name. Don’t get me wrong, Crash is a good flick too—but Brokeback seemed like a sure thing, considering all the prizes it had already collected and the phenomenal, groundbreaking performances of Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal. Alas, whether it was the homophobia of some of the Academy’s older members (Tony Curtis I’m talking to you) or the fact that Crash’s sprawling ensemble cast made up, like, half the Academy, a Brokeback win was not to be.

The Oscars Should Have Do-Overs

Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion and that’s fine, it just really bugs us when the Academy doesn’t agree with our Oscar picks. I decided to scour this here interweb and found that there are a lot of people who feel like I do so I googled and yahoo’d my little heart away to compile a list of the most griped-over Oscar upsets in history.

Now, I won’t lie: I haven’t seen some of these movies and some I’ve only seen once a long time ago (I can’t stand Shakespeare in Love), but for the sake of the post, I had to pick the most talked-about upsets. What I'm trying to say is, if you don’t agree with these picks it’s not my fault. From oldest to newest, from the most controversial to the most obvious, here’s the Oscar Hall of Shame: Best Actor Picks.

1939: Robert Donat took the Best Actor award for his role in Goodbye Mr. Chips over Clark Gable in Gone with the Wind.

1950: Judy Holliday won Best Actress for Born Yesterday over Bette Davis in All About Eve.

1955: Grace Kelly may have looked the best on the red carpet this year, but a lot of people don’t think she should have taken the Best Actress Oscar for The Country Girl over Judy Garland in A Star is Born.

1993: The most common phrase we’ve seen out of this year is “Marisa Tomei wins Best Supporting Actress for My Cousin Vinny over human reasoning.” But she also won over Miranda Richardson, Joan Plowright, Vanessa Redgrave and Judy Davis. It doesn't matter what movies these women were in, Tomei should never have won.

1994: Tommy Lee Jones was great in The Fugitive but in no way can you compare that to the personal torture Ralph Fiennes had to recreate for Schindler’s List.

1999: Finally, why Gwyneth Paltrow won Best Actress for Shakespeare in Love over Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth will be a mystery for the ages.

Take these as you will but, as I said, these are the most common upsets that I came across. Don’t shoot the messenger. But do feel free to add your opinion in the comments section.

Quick Quips for February 18th

"Good original screenplays are almost as rare in Hollywood as virgins." - Raymond Chandler

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Say Yes to the Dress!

The Oscars.

These days we more often than not remember an actress for her dress rather than for the award she won. As Andrea said, the Academy Awards weren’t always the ceremony of pomp and circumstance that we know today. In turn, neither were the fashions.

In fact, if it wasn’t for the turn the red carpet took in the 1950s why, Joan Rivers would be out of a job today. That was when the Red Carpet became the fiasco it is today and while the likes of Audrey Hepburn helped mold its image, we can almost pinpoint the beginning of the end to 1955 and Grace Kelly.

When Kelly arrived to accept her Best Actress award for her performance in The Country Girl, she walked the carpet in this Edith Head dress that had a price tag of $4,000. It was the most expensive Oscar gown to date and turned the Red Carpet into an all-out fashion frenzy.

Barbara Streisand was another Best Actress winner (Funny Girl) to turn heads when she wore a Scaasi creation in 1969.

Believe it or not, the big white collar was considered “young and exciting” at a time when spaghetti straps were unheard of.

Edith Head struck gold again in 1970 when she fitted Elizabeth Taylor with a blue dress designed to match the actress’ eyes.

We still have to check to see which husband she was accessorizing with at the time, though.

It isn’t all beauty, however, mostly thanks to the likes of Cher. She repeatedly made a fool out of herself when it came to her Oscar costumes, but none moreso than the Bob Mackie dress from 1998 when she won Best Actress for Moonstruck.

That’s hardly the worst, though. Our pick for The Worst Oscar Dress in History. Ever. comes from the walking fashion faux pas that is Bjork. In case you blocked this memory out, the Icelandic singer wore a swan to the 2001 Oscar ceremony. We don’t think she’s been invited back since.

The Evolution of Oscar

Yesterday officially kicked off Oscar week in Hollywood, and here at On the Marquee. The stars are set to collect their gold statuettes this Sunday and people are expecting a ceremony filled with glitz, glamour…and a ton of boring technical awards. But the Academy Awards weren’t always so dramatic, or so mind-numbingly long. Imagine that--a world without Seacrest! The first Academy Awards ceremony was held on May 16, 1929 in the Blossom Room of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, and it was more about business than glamour. MGM chief Louis B. Mayer concocted the idea for an awards ceremony as a way to provide the movie industry with a much-needed touch of class. In other words, it was a publicity stunt.

And guests seemed to be more into the food than the actual prizes. Dinner came first, then dancing. Somewhere in between all that was the presentation ceremony that lasted all of five minutes! There wasn’t even suspense for the winners. Each winner had been named three months before (The Academy voted on films from 1927 and 1928). Host Douglas Fairbanks called out the winners’ names, they came forward to collect either their statuettes or their honorary scrolls and sat at the head table. And that was that.

So who were the major winners?

Best Production: Wings
Best Actor: Emil Jannings, The Last Command and The Way of All Flesh
Best Actress: Janet Gaynor, 7th Heaven, Street Angel and Sunrise
Direction, Best Dramatic Picture: Frank Borzage, 7th Heaven
Direction, Best Comedy Picture: Lewis Milestone, Two Arabian Nights
Special Award: The Jazz Singer
Honorary Award: Charles Chaplin

Yup, you read correctly. The actors were awarded for their efforts in more than one film. Oh, and the trophies weren’t called Oscars back then. Legend has it the statue looked exactly like the uncle of an Academy librarian, and was thus nicknamed after him. Kind of a lame story, but who cares? The name was catchy. Supposedly by 1932, Walt Disney was thanking the Academy for his “Oscar.”