Oscar History

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Entries in Ernest Hemingway (4)

Jul 18 2018

The Furniture: Mattes,Moons and Mountains in For Whom the Bell Tolls

Daniel Walber's series on Production Design.Click on the images to see them in magnified detail.

Sam Wood directing Ingrid Bergman and Gary Cooper in 1943's top picture

It can seem kind of crazy thatFor Whom the Bell Tollswas the top box office hit of 1943.The star power of Ingrid Bergman and Gary Cooper played into it,of course.So did the fact that it was an adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's popular and recent novel.And there's the obvious appeal of Cooper fighting a bunch of Fascists,a year and a half after America's entry into World War Two.

The thing is,he doesn't actually do all that much fighting.No one in the film does.It's mostly a contemplative interlude on the fringes of the Spanish Civil War,a brutal vacation with a band of hardened guerrillas,a doomed love story built from trauma and consummated on the high rocks.It's 165 minutes of memory,frustration and stasis.

It also wound up with nine Oscar nominations,including both cinematography and art direction.And the collaboration between cinematographer Ray Rennahan and the design team of Hans Dreier,Haldane Douglas and Bertram C.Granger is really the highlight of the film,even against the life-giving energy of Katina Paxinou's Oscar-winning performance...

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Jul 21 2016

On this day: Hemingway,Falconetti,Clueless, Dunkirk

On this day in history as it relates to the movies...

Corey Stoll as Hemingway

1892Maria Falconetti is born.Delivers one of the best performances ever captured on film thirty-six years later inThe Passion of Joan of Arc(1928)
1899Famous author and real 'character' Ernest Hemingway is born.In addition to his work being made into films and TV miniseries he frequently pops up as a character in cinema played by everyone from Chris O'Donnell (In Love and War) toCorey Stoll (Midnight in Paris- robbed of an Oscar nod thoughwe honored him here) and now Dominic West (Genius) ...and that's not even the half of it.
1922Don Knotts is born.Mugs it up in 70+ film and TV projects includingThree's Company,The Apple Dumpling Gang,andThe Andy Griffith Show- 5 Emmy wins for Supporting Actor thereafter until his death in 2006

1948Steven Demetre Georgiu is born in London.He becomes the famous folk singer Cat Stevens of "Peace Train"and "Morning Has Broken"fame.Among his many early classics are the songs from the seminal 70s filmHarold and Maude(which ridiculously received zero Oscar nominations).Later changes his name to Yusuf Islam and quits music for many years.
1951Robin Williamsis born
1953Visual FX man John Nelson is born in Detroit.Gets his first FX gig withTerminator 2(not a bad way to start) and wins the Oscar on his first nomination withGladiator(2000)
1955Hungarian auteur Béla Tarr is born.His best known pictures:Sátántangó,Werckmeister HarmóniákandThe Turin Horse
1957Jon Lovitz,SNL's "Master Thespian"and comic scene stealer of 90s pictures is born
1969Neil Armstrong becomes the first person to step on the moon;Stanley Kubrick is nowhere in the vicinity at the time.
1971Charlotte Gainsbourgis born to famous parents in London.Later submits herself to perpetual Lars von Trier torments.
1978Ridiculously fine looking actors Josh Hartnett and Justin Bartha are born
1981Singer Paloma Faith is born in London.Plays herself in a weirdly unflattering role inYouth(2015)
1989Juno Templeis born.Specializes in sexually corrupted childwomen.
1992Jessica Barden is born.2016's been a breakout year for her via  "Justine,"a bloodthirsty prostitute onPenny Dreadfuland her role as "Nosebleed Woman"inThe Lobster
1995Cluelessis 21 years old today.It can drink now though it's always given us a contact high.(Please note: IMDb lists the release date as Wednesday the 19th rather than Friday the 21st but Wikipedia disagrees so I don't know.)
2006Monster Househits theaters.Receivesa well deserved nomination for Best Animated Featurebut loses toHappy Feetwhich...recount!

Well,whichever.At leastCarsdidn't win!

2007Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallowsgoes to market in book form.Sells 11 million copies on the first day before being split in two in movie form to reap an extra billion at the box office.
2010Orlando Bloomgoes off the market when he secretly marries model Miranda Kerr
2017Christopher Nolan abandons sci-fi for a WW II dramaDunkirk,which will open in theaters on this day.Guess he really is pissed about being denied a single Oscar nomination for directing.

Aug 10 2015

Ingrid's First Oscar Nomination

We continue our Ingrid Bergman Centennial withAndrew KendallonFor Whom the Bell Tolls(1943)

It's difficult to speak of Ingrid Bergman without consider her place in Oscar history.She's one of the few people to win three acting Oscars.亚博主页And,she's fourth (only to Kate,Meryl and Bette) when it comes toOscar's Actress Hierarchy.For modern fans,then,the celebrity of that first nomination is a curio regardless of its quality.When did Oscar first bite?For Ingrid it came four years (and five films) after her Hollywood debut.Not for that year's best picture winnerCasablanca,but for the adaptation ofFor Whom the Bell Tolls.Casablanca,and Ingrid's "Ilsa,"have endured as such integral parts of film culture that her work inFor Whom the Bell Tollsimmediately faces the scrunity of living up to it.Why the vote for this over her work there?

But,it's essential to remember that films and awards as creatures of their time.At the time of its productionCasablancawas merely a minor World War II drama and literary adaptations were all the rage (from 1937 through 1942 every Best Picture winner was an adaptation of a recently pubished text).The adaptation of the literary triumph of 1940 was the bigger ticket.Ingrid was desperate for the role and Hemingway also loved the idea.In a 1971 interview Bergman revealed that Hemingway,a writer typically averse to being too involved in adaptations of his work,lobbied significantly for Bergman to get the role even reportedly sending her a copy of the novel with the inscription

You are the Maria in the book".

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Feb 05 2012

Yes,No,Maybe So: Nicole vs.Juli.September 2012

Since there weren't enough prizes in the world for Claire "Temple Grandin"Danesand Kate "Mildred"Winslet,who will be our next "Her,again?"awards gobbler?

Will it be Nicole Kidman inHemingway & Gellhornvs.Julianne Moore inGame Change?The last time they faced off in awards season (2002) they were actually co-stars and Nic' won forThe Hours(Julianne losing forFar From HeavenandThe Hoursalbeit in two separate categories).Or will they both be trumped by someone we're not thinking of yet when the Emmys role around in September 2012 and this whole awards circus begins anew?

In this corner,Nicole Kidman as Martha Gelhorn inHemingway and Gellhorn...

Yes- Philip Kaufman is directing and he's made some amazing films in the past likeThe Right StuffandHenry & June.The last time Nicole Kidman lowered her voice this noticeably to play a ballsy writer,she won the Oscar.

- Isn't there a danger of this gorgeous Star strolling through the rubble of war reminding people ofAustralia?They didn't much like that one.Four minute trailers always have the problem of making the oncoming product seem overstuffed,unduly episodic and desperate for attention."And then this happened.And then this happened.And then this happened.And then this happened.Interested?No?"Uh...[Cue: flop sweat,razzle dazzle] Uh...Oh...okay the first part is shit but the second part is REALLY nifty!Ok....she'd go ♫.I'd go ♫.we'd gooooo.♫"

Maybe So- The success of this may well rest on the chemistry between Clive Owen and Kidman.Do they have it?And can Clive Owen work his way around the very vivid recent memory of Corey Stoll in this role viaMidnight in Paris?

In this corner Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin inGame Change...

Yes- It might be fun to watch Juliannne Moore attempt biopic mimicry because it's not the sort of thing she's known for.And at this point we'll take anything that might win her an award.Has there ever been an actress as major who hasn't won any major prizes?She wins nothing.No Emmys,No Globes,No Oscars.亚博主页

- "Fair and balanced"has been wiped clean of all meaning ever since Fox News took over the world,but where will this film fall on the scale of fair representation?On the one hand,it might be super to watch a take-down of Sarah Palin.But then again,the target is just so easy so it might feel way too cheap shot-like.On the other,excessive humanization of seemingly soulless political monsters through the magic of warm actresses (see alsoThe Iron Lady) comes with its own queasiness,the humanization of dehumanizing idealogies.

Maybe So
- Will anyone be ready to sit through more Sarah Palin when she's been so torturously around ever since 2008?And can Juli work his way around the very vivid recent memory of Tina Fey in this role viaSaturday Night Live?

"I have to win this thing.I so don't want to go back to Alaska!"What kind of bet are you laying down?

Better yet,do you see awards attention beyond our leading ladies for these HBO Movies?Both have amazing casts.Hemingway & Gellhornis giving us Clive Owen,Parker Posey,Robert Duvall,David Straithairn,Rodrigo Santoro and Molly Parker (in awards bait position of scorned wife).Game Planis giving us Woody Harrelson,Ed Harris and Sarah Paulson and a ton of others in small roles.

Be brave in the comments and make some Emmy calls now!