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"This genre gives actresses some really juicy lines and roles,but denies them the acclaim that comes from more 'serious' roles.Kidder was a gifted actress who was indelible in a few films."-Lady Edith

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Entries in Moon River (2)

Wednesday
Nov 23 2016

Judy by the Numbers: "Moon River"

Anne Marie has been chronicling Judy Garland's career chronologically through musical numbers...

This Thanksgiving,I'm thankful for the simple things.This series (like TFE as a whole) has been a classic cinephile sanctuary for me this year.As the outside world has spun out,sped up,slammed down,and generally tossed us around,I've really enjoyed sharing music and tidbits of trivia with you all this week,and reading your reactions/stories/controversies – even when I haven't been able to reply myself.So briefly,before we get to this beautiful solo number,I just want to thank Nathaniel & you,the TFE readers,for continuing to create a lively,loving community.

The Show:The Judy GarlandShow Episode 12
The Songwriters: Johnny Mercer (lyrics),Henry Mancini (music)
The Cast: Judy Garland,Vic Damone,Zina Bethune,George Jessel directed by Norman Jewison

The Story: I just realized that this is the first solo fromThe Judy Garland Showthat I've featured on the series!Judy actually did several per show,but usually the highlight of the show was her duets and collaborations with odd guests,musical legends and nascent superstars.However,this version of "Moon River"is a good reminder of what made the show so good.

It's not just the trivia or the name-that-guest throwback;it's the genuine skill andoccasional artistry overlaid with real emotion.The number is comprised of two long takes,as the camera moves in and pulls away from Judy.The scene actually resembles the long take of "The Man That Got Away"from just a decade before.The camera dances through a shadowy set.Garland,bathed in spotlight,alternately moves with the camera and stands getting lost in the song,and adding wry humor to sweetly sad lyrics.Her quiet sweetness the emotional and cinematic complexity of her song.

Friday
Jan 22 2016

Ranking All 80 Winners of Best Original Song (Plus Where This Year's Contenders Would Place)

Glennhere with a look at everybody's favourite category – best original song!Okay,so,sure,even if this year's roster for best original song doesn't look like a vintage one for the category,there's actually some fun to be had when you consider who will win.

  • Will Diane Warren finally win an Oscar on her eighth nomination?And how strange will it be to see her win for a song from a documentary about sexual abuse alongside Lady Gaga rather than one of the chart-busting hit-singles that her first six nominations were for (lest we forget,Beyond the Lights' "Grateful"didn't chart because,well,RitaOra).
  • Will an opera tune win for the first time?No work of operahas ever been nominated if my research is correct,which iskindaneat even though I think the song is dirge (albeit appropriately so for the film).
  • Willallthe talk of diversity in cinema this year giveus a winner that is either black (TheWeeknd),transgender(AntonyHegarty),or gay (Sam Smith)?
  • It's been 18 years since the last occurrence of a movie winning both aRazzieand an Oscar.Plenty of films havebeen nominated for both of the awards,but neither has won an award from each sinceWall Streetin 1988.CouldFifty Shades of Greybreak a very unique drought?

Now,naturally because we all love lists so I thought it would be fun to rank every winner of Oscar's best original song category and see where this year's contenders would fit in when they take home that golden statue.What could possible go wrong with a completely subjective ranking of over 80 songs?!?Oh dear.You've been warned,I guess.Two things to note: I have not included "The Last Time I Saw Paris"fromLady Be Goodsince even the writer of that 1941 song was angry it was given an award when it wasn't written for the movie (it was subsequently the impetus for the category's rule change).Secondly,I have tried to rank as close to original film versions as possible so some songs that were improved upon in later recordings (like Nat King Cole's "Mona Lisa") may not rank as high.And,yes,before you ask,I am the person that hatesMaryPoppinsand who has never seen much of the appeal of the overtlytwee"Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head".

Goover the rainbowafter the jump...

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