Grand Hotel ~ Best Picture

Posted in 05th Annual Academy Awards, Best Pictures on February 25, 2013 by mjwoh

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GRAND HOTEL

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Cast & Crew

Director : Edmond Goulding

Producer : Irving Thalberg

Screenwriter : William A. Drake

Starring : Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore, Joan Crawford, Wallace Beery,

           “People come and people go, and nothing ever happens at the Grand Hotel.” Observes Dr. Otternschlag (Lewis Stone) of the Berlin hotel that serves as the setting for the 1932 Oscar-winning film. That statement proves to be false, however, as the story follows an intertwining cast of characters over the course of one tumultuous day. The film, like the hotel, is packed with opulence, and the cast was, at the time, the highest concentration of starpower packed into one film that the screen had ever seen: Greta Garbo as the dancer Grusinskaya whose cold surface is softened by a budding romance with Baron Geigern, a petty thief (John Barrymore); Lionel Barrymore as Otto Kringelein, a critically ill man on an end-of-his-life spree and a former employee of the company owned by the industrialist Preysing (Wallace Beery), whom he dislikes; a young Joan Crawford as the staff typist who takes up with the sick man; and a supporting cast — Jean Hersholt, Robert McWade, Ferdinand Gottschalk — whose fame has dimmed today, but who represented the cream of the crop in 1932.
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 As of 2012, the film is the only one to have won the Academy Award for Best Picture without it or its participants being nominated in any other category, which is a shame, as there were amazing performances in this film, especially that of the beautiful and amazing Greta Garbo. She is high strung and seemingly on the verge of a breakdown and utters the famous line “I want to be alone.” was placed #30 in AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movie Quotes.
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        However, Joan Crawford stands out in this film, even above the amazing Garbo. At the time she made Grand Hotel, Joan Crawford was only 27 and far removed from becoming the caricature of a monster that Mommy Dearest and Bette Davis would paint her to be.  By 1932, Crawford’s career had blossomed into stardom, although her juiciest roles were yet to come. Crawford outacted Garbo and her role is more easily remembered.  The nature of her character – a working girl who was willing to sleep with a man for a job and a room in a high-priced hotel resulted in some of her scenes being censored in conservative locales.
 The film was also seen as an artistic achievement in its art direction and production quality. The art director, Cedric Gibbons, was one of the most important and influential in the history of American film. The lobby scenes were extremely well done, portraying a 360° desk. This allowed audiences to watch the hotel action from all around the characters. It changed the way sets were made from that point onward.
   This is grand, old Hollywood captured on film.

Best Pictures

Posted in Best Pictures on February 25, 2013 by mjwoh

Now that the oscars are over for another year, I am going to be taking a look at all the films that have won Best Picture, stay tuned and join me on this look at the amazing artistry that Hollywood has given us over the past 85 years!

And the Oscar goes to…

Posted in 85th Annual Academy Awards on February 24, 2013 by mjwoh

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Well, tonight is the night, just a little over two hours and another year of Oscar’s history will begin. Will it be the year for Spielberg to make hisotry, or Daniel Day-Lewis, the first actor to ever win three Best Acting Oscars? Or will the youngest ever actress win an Oscar, or the oldest, or the favorite? So it begins…

What’s All the Hoopla About?

Posted in 85th Annual Academy Awards on February 23, 2013 by mjwoh

I finally got to see Argo tonight.  Yes, one of the last movies in the Oscar pool that I had not actually saw yet.  I liked it, but I really do not see what all the hoopla is about?  Why is everyone clammering over this film, and it winning all the awards pre-Oscar? Yes, it was a good movie, I would even say a great movie.  The performances were excellent. My favorite being, Clea Duvall, who played Cora Lijek. She has been one of my favorites since I saw her in Girl, Interupted.  The writing and script was excellent, but then it is based on a true story. And Ben’s performance was stellar, both as an actor and as the director. But is it Oscar worthy for Best Picture?  I personally do not think so, but then I didn’t think Slumdog Millionaire was Oscar worthy either.

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Argo, as I said was good…really good. It kept me intrigued, it was great acting, and it didn’t seem like it was dragged out, it was fast paced and told a great story, but it can not compare with Lincoln (again, my opinion). Lincoln had great acting, writing, directing, cinematography, score, make up…it is just an overall better film than Argo.  But then again, they are two different types of films, set in different times in the history of our nation.

Would I be upset if Argo wins over Lincoln…yeah probably, but not as upset as I was when Slumdog Millionare beat out The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Avatar, Inglorious Bastards and all the other films that were nominated with it!

Final Oscar Predictions -Top 6

Posted in 2012, Film Predictions, Final Predictions 2012, Predictions Actor, Predictions Actress on January 20, 2013 by mjwoh

With just thirty-five days away from the Oscars, here are my final Predictions. I have changed my choices, not based on my own preferences, but do to the award show climate over the past several days.

BEST PICTURE

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Lincoln

BEST DIRECTOR

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Steven Spielberg- Lincoln

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

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Tommy Lee Jones - Lincoln

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

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Anne Hathaway – Les Mis

BEST ACTOR

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Daniel Day-Lewis-Lincoln

BEST ACTRESS

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Jennifer Lawrence- Silver Linings Playbook

And the Nominees are… Part 3

Posted in 85th Annual Academy Awards, Best Director Nominees, Best Picture Nominee with tags on January 12, 2013 by mjwoh

                                                   BEST PICTURE

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Lincoln is, in my opinion, the winner in this race, but the momentum that Silver Linings Playbook is making since the announcement of the nominees is beginning to make me think it is not the sure fire winner I thought it was going to be. Les Miserables is epic, and beautifully made and for most of the actors and actresses, acted very well…Eddy Redmayne should have been nominated, but the critics seem to be ripping it apart and Tom Hooper not being nominated as Director may very well caused it to lose even more standing as a possible winner. Amour is also gaining momentum as people are now hearing about it. Zero Dark Thirty had a chance, but again its director was not nominated (the same scenrio for Argo unfortunately and Django Unchained) and the negative political publicity is not helping its chances either. Life of Pi could be this years Slumdog Millionaire and win, but we will see…

                                            BEST DIRECTOR

  • “Life of Pi” Ang Lee
  • “Lincoln” Steven Spielberg
  • “Silver Linings Playbook” David O. Russell
  • “Amour” Michael Haneke
  • “Beasts of the Southern Wild” Benh Zeitlin

The nods put Spielberg on track to win his third Academy Award for best director and solidify his position as one of the industry’s most lauded filmmakers. Winning a director Oscar this year would put Spielberg in the rarefied company of Hollywood legends John Ford, Frank Capra and William Wyler, the only filmmakers to have won three or more Oscars for best director, which I feel he should be and deserves to be.

Who Will Win? Lincoln and Spielberg

Who Should Win?  Lincoln and Spielberg

And the Nominees are… Part 2

Posted in 85th Annual Academy Awards, Supporting Actor Nominee, Supporting Actress Nominee on January 11, 2013 by mjwoh

            SUPPORTING ACTORS AND ACTRESSES

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                                Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Alan Arkin~Argo
  • Christoph Waltz~Django Unchained
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman~The Master
  • Robert DeNiro~Silver Lining Playbook
  • Tommy Lee Jones~Lincoln

What an amazing display of talent, all five of these nominees are Oscar winners already! Who will take home another prize this year? I think the race is close between DeNiro, Waltz and Jones. Tommy Lee Jones was amazing in Lincoln, my mother kept asking me in the theater…”is that Tommy Lee Jones?” DeNiro gave his best performance in ten years, and Waltz is just amazing in anything he does. Arkin and Hoffman are good, but I think this is a three way race myself.

Who Will Win? ???

Who Should Win? Tommy Leee Jones

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                      Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Anne Hathaway~Les Misérables
  • Sally Field~Lincoln
  • Helen Hunt~Sessions
  • Amy Adams~The Master
  • Jacki Weaver~Silver Linings Playbook

Again this supporting category is full of “seasoned” Oscar nominees/winners but this year it seems to be a no-brainer as Anne Hathway gave a stunning and beautiful performance in Les Miz and deserves the Oscar and rightfully so, however the Oscars can be unpredictable. This is Anne’s second nomination, being nominated for her role in Rachel Getting Married. The closest competition Anne has is Sally Field, as the immortal Mary Todd Lincoln, whom she captured flawlessly in Lincoln. She has two Best Actress awards already on her mantle, and would the Academy give her three? Maybe, but not likely. Helen Hunt is amazing in her performance as a sex therapist in the Sessions and already a Best Actress Oscar winner, and even though this performance is great, I don’t think it is great enough to surpass Anne, or Sally for that matter. Amy Adams, has been nominated three times prior and never taken the trophy, and this year will be a repeat of her last three times. She has given some great performances but look for her this time next year to very possibly be the winner of theBest Actress award for her role as Janis Joplin in “Get it While You Can”, currently in production. As for Jacki Weaver, to be honest I am not sure why she is on this list this year. Don’t get me wrong I think she is a powerful and talented actress, but this role did not show her potential. This is also her second nomination.

Who will win? Anne Hathaway

Who Should Win? Anne Hathaway

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