Friday, January 28, 2011

30 Days of "Oscar Nominee..." -- A Fun Tradition

Every year during Oscar Season TCM runs its annual "30 Days of Oscar" programming. During this time viewers are treated with a wonderful romp through the history of film. Viewers know they are watching the best of the best and can watch the films that inspired great filmmakers -- past and present.

At my house, we have a slightly different tradition. It's a game I call it "Oscar Nominee/Winner...," and it is wonderful fun and makes for its own kind of viewing pleasure. The rules of the game are simple. Make a calendar of films or TV shows featuring this year's nominees for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Director. The films themselves must not be the "best of the best." In fact, the quirkier the film or TV show the more amusing the calendar. After compiling your list, you share it with friends, vote for which films or TV shows your will all watch, and share the experience by discussing the merits of the films/talents during an Oscar viewing party. For example, if Tom Hanks and Hilary Swank were up for Oscars this year your list might include Bachelor Party and The Next Karate Kid. In this case, you would discuss how Hanks' performance in Bachelor Party prepared him for his nominated role etc.

One might think that this tradition is merely as a way to make light of Oscar nominees, but that would be incorrect.

The thing I respect more from talent working in the industry (in front of and behind the camera) is hard work. Maybe it's the blue collar kid in me, but I really admire people who crank out the work like the studio system actors used to do. I find that Hong Kong actors and British actors often have some of the "deepest" work filmographies. I don't like pretentious actors who spend to much time talking about "craft," I prefer those who consider acting work. Some of the best performances aren't always those in important films and the ability to work hard in smaller -- less serious -- projects is a demonstration of character.

So... what are my entries in this year's calendar?


BEST ACTOR

Actor "Classic Role"
Jesse Eisenberg Cursed
Colin Firth The Last Legion
James Franco Flyboys
Jeff Bridges Stick It
Javier Bardem Perdita Durango

BEST ACTRESS

Actress "Classic Role"
Natalie Portman Mars Attacks
Nicole Kidman Days of Thunder
Jennifer Lawrence The Bill Engvall Show
Michelle Williams Halloween H20
Annette Bening The Great Outdoors

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Actor "Classic Role"
Christian Bale Reign of Fire
Geoffrey Rush House on Haunted Hill
Jeremy Renner S.W.A.T.
John Hawkes From Dusk 'Til Dawn
Mark Ruffalo 54


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Actress "Classic Role"
Melissa Leo Deadtime Stories
Helena Bonham Carter Planet of the Apes
Amy Adams Psycho Beach Party
Hailee Steinfeld Back to You
Jacki Weaver Cosi

BEST PICTURE

Director "Classic Project"
Darren Aronofsky The Fountain
David Fincher Alien³
Tom Hooper The Damned United
David O. Russell Spanking the Monkey
Ethan Coen & Joel Coen Raising Arizona

That's my list and I think it looks entertainingly watchable. It actually has a couple of my favorite films and favorite guilty pleasures.

What's your list?
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