Wednesday, March 01, 2006

You're Gone. Gone. How in the World Will I-I-I Go On.

There's just a few more hours to cast your vote in the latest poll. So please vote if you haven't yet done so. To make a long story short, choose the person you think is least likely to be nominated for an Oscar ever again. This being their one and only Oscar moment.

I'm finding the breakdown of votes fascinating. Not going in the directions I expected. Most people don't even believe the statistic that 64% of actors (male or female) are nominated are never found in Oscar's shortlist again. But it's true. I've done the research. And here's the tricky you-need-to-be-a-psychic part. Sometimes the person who inspired the most "they'll have several more chances" thoughts will suffer a free fall.

When Kathleen Turner lost the Oscar to Marlee Matlin in 1986, was anyone expecting KATHLEEN TURNER would be the person to vanish? She was called "the definitive female box office commodity" at the time. She was being compared to Garbo and other greats. Critically in film magazine polls, she was Meryl Streep's only real competition for "the actress of the eighties". I watched that 59th episode of the Academy Awards again last night and it's heartbreaking. You have your five women in their boxes on the screen, sweating it out. One of them is going to win. The rest will lose. [click to enlarge photo]

Watching Turner's face go through all those beats. It rips my heart out. I don't even know why I love the Oscars. Three years later my already mangled heart was completely destroyed when La Pfeiffer suffered the same horrific undeserved fate.

So, um, happy Oscars on Sunday.


Anonymous said...

Nathaniel (and anyone else)
1. Which (surprise / longshot) Oscar victory BETWEEN 1990 AND 2004 helped the most to boost your faith in the Academy?

2. What possible (surprise / longshot) Oscar victory at SUNDAY’S ceremony would most boost your faith in the Academy?

Mine would be:
1)Juliette Binoche- The English Patient
2)Heath Ledger- Brokeback Mountain

StinkyLulu said...

WHAT?!?! You're telling me you have a library of Oscars from way back? I am soooooo jealous, soo sooo soooo jealous.

Anonymous said...

my, poor Kathleen, she REALLY wanted to win, didn't she???


Pedro said...

I was watching the other day The Accidental Tourist, and I found her performance rather amazing, specially her first scene (the divorce scene). And her voice work in Roger Rabbit is also awesome. Shame she hasn’t win an Oscar.

Anonymous said...

Oh Stinkylulu, if you only knew just how frightening the obsession truly is...

Anonymous said...

Nathaniel, I don't say this often enough, but you truly rock. Even if you don't like Felicity Huffman in Transamerica. (:wink)

To answer Ryan's questions

1. Can I just answer 2002? Adrien Brody (darkhorse), Roman Polanski (wow), Eminem (I shouted "Holy shit" at the moment), and Spirited Away (despite the fact that it was easily the best film in the category, I was terrified it would go to Lilo and Stitch or Ice Age, due to it's foreign pedigree. I'm rarely so happy to have been wrong). I still laugh when I recall the look on Harrison Ford's face when he has to say Polanski (it's like "what the fuck. Another surprise? What is it with these people").

2. Heath Ledger. Good Night and Good Luck winning screenplay over Crash.

Anonymous said...

I think this poll is fascinating. I want to have a round table conversation to discuss it. I mean, David Strathairin a clear frontrunner in front of Knightley?

I also think it's tragic what has happened to Ms. Turner.

I also think it's a little creepy and fabulous that you have an Oscar archive.

Javier Aldabalde said...

2002 absolutely restored my faith in everything Oscar. Polanski, Miyazaki, Almodovar, Brody, Kidman --- OH DEAR GOD.

Yep, the Oscars can rock every fifty years or so.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious... are women more likely than men to be one-time nominees, or vice versa?


jeff v -no. it's actually the same percentage for men and women. they might be a little off (i don't remember) but they're both VERY close to 64% and that's what it equals out to.

Sam said...

Kathleen Turner was ROBBED and I'm still not over it! I saw her on stage in Tallullah when she had bronchitis and she was incredible, even sick and hacking! She made it work.

My answer for Ryan:
1. Kathy Bates.
2. I'll join the chorus for Heath.

NicksFlickPicks said...

I have all the ceremonies since 1990 (Ryan, you dear, the parameters of your question are perfect for me!), and I re-watch them all the time. Nathaniel, this is high on the list of reasons I love you, and almost certainly #1 on the list of why we will be roommates at the booby-hatch--where I imagine we will gnaw on the padded walls of our cell, circling arbitrary magazine articles with big bright Sharpies, but then be dramatically re-saned by the devotion of our respective loved ones, and therefore win Oscars. It is a foolproof plan. Keep watching those old tapes!!

Oh, and:

1. TIE (so many choices): Swank over Bening '99, Mohicans for Sound in '92 (even with no other noms), Campion over Nyswaner in '93, and Paquin over Ryder in same. Off the top of my head, anyway.

2. Lubezki for Cinematography, no question.

NicksFlickPicks said...

Oh, and I think Turner should have won in '84 when she wasn't even nominated, but I ain't giving it up for Peggy Sue. I don't think that movie works, nor she in it (though it's more the script's fault, all around). If '86 was a robbery, Sigourney Weaver is the proper plaintiff.

Anonymous said...

I have Oscar telecasts that were taped by my dad since the 1981 show (Ordinary People). Nathaniel, I think there should be a petition for the Academy to release old shows on DVD.


i do too. i need, like, 1972 in more ways than I count.

in more ways than i could even scribble down were you to hand me the aforemeentioned sharpie and a whole passell of magazines in which to write and circle

Anonymous said...

Nathaniel, do you have footage from 1986 ceremony (1985) hen Geraldine Page won and Jessica Lange just move a little from her chair thinking she was the winner?

Javier Aldabalde said...

Nat, was Sven Nykvist actually present when he was awarded Cinematography in 1984? It was the year "Fanny and Alexander" won four prizes, which is the most for a foreign picture EVER (tied with "Crouching Tiger").

adam k. said...

1. Brody, 2002

2. Ledger, BBM

chofer said...

Hey folks, I don't get why you put down "Jorge" Clooney in the poll (just 4%???)
C'mon!! The Academy is DYING to recognize him. He's a star and make socially-minded pictures (Robert Redford, anyone?), and that's EXACTLY the kind of thing that makes the voters salivate.
Plus, he stars in Steven Soderbergh's THE GOOD GERMAN (a WWII thriller wrapped in a romance -the kind of thing that sweeps awards)
So expect GEORGE CLOONEY, more than anyone in the poll, to be sitting at Kodak Theater, next year, as ONE OF THE FIVE LEADING ACTORS NOMINATED.

chofer said...

Kathleen Turner was robbed in Peggy Sue, as was in PRIZZI's HONOR and THE WAR OF THE ROSES.
What's news? Glenn Close was robbed time and again.
When is Glenn receiving her Honorary Award?

Anonymous said...

Nat! i am DESPERATE to see that Oscar clip of Kathleen. It was her only nomination and not only am I the biggest Kathleen Turner fan of all time but I am also the biggest Peggy Sue Got Married fan of all time. Is there anyway you could put it online? I just have to see it! Please, please, please tell me you can.


I'll see what I can do.

Anonymous said...

OK, nobody's saying it, so I assume I'm in the minority, but I've gotta say,that I'd still vote for Marlee Matlin every single freaking time that year. But they're both great in those films, so I respect everyone's preferences.

My all time favourite shockers:

1) Juliette Binoche
2) Adrien Brody

1) because it was outta nowhere, and it was so very very VERY richly deserved (and I LOVE her blasé speech).

2) because, whilst it wasn't quite as out of the realms of possibility as Binoche, it was still a longshot. And then he gave the best rehearsed improvised speech I've ever heard.

Please let this year deliver another jawdropper! (But NOT Crash! I like Crash, but I don't think it can survive the victory backlash.)


NicksFlickPicks said...

I love the Binoche moment when I think about it in terms of Lauren Bacall, for whom a victory would have been so dispiriting, and so hoarily predictable.

I do not love the Binoche moment when I think about Joan Allen, Barbara Hershey, and Marianne Jean-Baptsite, who gave three of the best performances nominated in that category at any point during the decade.

@Rob: Even though I'd vote for Weaver, I do think Matlin was very good, and way ahead of the rest of the competition. (Those nods for Spacek and Fonda - huh?)


well i think there were already grumblings that Fonda was nearing retirement. and she did receive raves for the movie ("elevating a standard movie" etc...) and the Oscars had always loved her.

i actually loved Spacek in Crimes although I think Lange was just as strong in the same film.

I thought Matlin was average at best. It's one of my least favorite wins.

I wasn't paying as much attention back then of course so I don't really know who was snubbed, but I do know that Melanie Griffith in "something wild" had some critical backing as did the girl from "sid & nancy"

f. said...

1. the silence of the lambs, best movie 1991. the only time so far the academy and i have agreed on the best movie of the year.

2. jake gyllenhaal.

NicksFlickPicks said...

Griffith was definitely good in Something Wild, though Jeff Daniels was even better.

She never woulda made it, ever, obviously, but Marie Rivière in The Green Ray is perfection. Think Judy Davis in Husbands and Wives, but not as scary.

And before I start sounding all highbrow, Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink. That woulda been my '86 lineup: Griffith, Matlin, Ringwald, Rivière, Weaver. (Though I haven't seen Sid & Nancy.)

NicksFlickPicks said...

I'm curious, N, what didn't you like about Matlin?


i dont' really remember ;)

I haven't seen the film since 1986. I just remember thinking her critical and awards mileage was due almost entirely to the novelty factor rather than the performance. which was certainly not a "bad" one. It's rather like how I feel about Theron's "North Country" work. Solid dramatic sure. But what about it is inspired?

Anonymous said...


I would do ANYTHING if you could find a way to put clips from the 93 Oscars online. More specifically, anything involving The Piano. God I love that movie.

NicksFlickPicks said...

@Steve: Normally, I'd be happy to oblige. My role on Earth is to spread zealous Piano love to everyone, in whatever form. I'm like that movie's own personal John the Baptist. But sadly, I have neither the know-how nor the technology to post clips of anything.

I can, however, recite and re-enact all the speeches should we ever meet: "{Paquin hyperventilating} {Paquin still hyperventilating} {Paquin still hyperventilating} I'd like to thank the Academy. I'd like to thank Jane, Jan, and Holly..."

chofer said...

All the cast of BARTON FINK (1991) was robbed!! John Turturro, John Goodman and Judy Davis each give memorable performances. But the Academy went towards the least impressive of them all: Michael Lerner (who?)

As for surprises this year I go all the way with Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Look, some critics did not agree BBM WAS the best movie of the year. But I saw nobody who dislike it, hesitating in giving extra points to the film for the excellence of Heath and Jake (and Michelle, too)
I think either one of them will "crash" the odds.

Anonymous said...

1.Brody after Washington(Malcolm X) losing to Pacino(Scent)
Crowe(Insider) losing to Spacey Newman or Travolta losing to Hanks in 95 I thought they had forgotten how to pick Best Actor

2. Terence Howard, Hustle and Flow( he took a carboard pimp and made a real person out of the stereotype.

John T said...

1. Anna Paquin (what a knockout of a performance that is!) and Juliette Binoche (best performance by a female in the 1990's, in my opinion).

2. Heath Ledger-I think he'd give a rather blase speech, but it was the BEST performance of the year, and the last time my favorite perf of the year won was 2002 (it happens rarely for me). I'd also adore Gustavo Santaolalla out of the techs.

adam k. said...

Heath Ledger wouldn't be blase if he was at all aware of the fact that he'd become the YOUNGEST best actor winner EVER, which I bet he knows. Plus, what a shock it would be. Far from blase, I think he'd be nervous and shouting and giggly out of his head, it'd be so funny. It would be like the SAG award debacle times ten.

But alas, he will not win.

But Jake will.

Glenn Dunks said...

I think that if Heath won he's probably realise what a big deal it was and would acknowledge it. If he was to win I think i'd die right on the spot... and then be resurected Buffy-style (dead for a few seconds, you see) to see his speech and to live merrily ever after.

Most of the shockeroos that people have mentioned were from movies I hadn't seen at the time so I was all "oh, that's cool!" i did, however, this the Spirited Away was golden. Pity Miyazaki wasn't there.

I'd LOVE to see all the old ceremonies. They'de be brilliant. I'd love to see Rob Lowe dance with Snow White! I only started watching at about 1996 I think. When I was the wee young age of 11. Of course I didn't really know any of the movies, but whatever.

Seriously, AMPAS would make a mint with releasing them on DVD. I know I'd buy them.

Anonymous said...

nathaniel, i have a question about this statistic. how do you define "never"? unless a previous nominees is dead, you can't assume a one-time nominees will never get another nomination. i realize some former nominees don't have great prospects, but recent one-time nominees (e.g. adrien brody, zeta-jones, watts) can't exactly be written off. and if you're only counting the deadies, the statistic is skewed to a previous era, right?

Bridgie James Rosenthal said...

There are a "few" upset Oscar winners in the 90s as far as my photographic memory knows (Binoche over Bacall, Harden over Hudson, Brody, Polanski, Spacey in '96, etc..) I believe the most unforgettable would be Binoche's 1996 win for The English Patient. It worked because
a.) the Oscar is sort of a career achievement award for her,
b.) the Oscar is a manifestation of Harvey Weinstein's unsurpassed PR work for his films, and
c.) the Oscar is a salute to veteran producer Saul Zaentz's labor of love and the "pseudo-independent film" trend during the 1996 year in cinema (at least in Hollywood and the Oscars).

I do not see Heath giving a Best Actor speech on Sunday. It is Amy Adams who will rock the Kodak Theater with her earnest speech. Her win would prove that critical mass "still" is a reliable Oscar bellwether.



i am counting both living and dead. So yes, it's theoretically an ever changing statistic.

BUT it isn't really because even as some first timers do find their way to a second nom as other year's arrive, there are still yet more people nominated for the first time each year who then disappear from the ranks.

it's pretty consistent. and there are some pretty big names that only receive one.

The whole reason I began to look up the statistic was talking with people on oscarwatch over the years and everytime some new actress arrives people are exciting about (say, Cate Blanchett, for example) people begin predicting careers of 7 nominations or something. I'm always like "huh?" because very few people ever get more than 3 or 4 if they're lucky enough to become a repeat nominee to begin with.

Anonymous said...

1. Which (surprise / longshot) Oscar victory BETWEEN 1990 AND 2004 helped the most to boost your faith in the Academy? Has to be Eminem winning in 2002. Who'd have thought the the Acad could be thàt hip?

2. What possible (surprise / longshot) Oscar victory at SUNDAY’S ceremony would most boost your faith in the Academy? The Constant gardener winning for screenplay, thus honoring the real best pic of the year

Anonymous said...

1) Robin Williams for Good Will Hunting. Everybody said it was Burt´s to lose...and of course Binoche/Paquin.
Gay Harden, anyone remember? For me, the most unexpected win I can recall...I follow the ceremony from 1991....
2) It would be Jake´s supporting prize. Or Alberto Iglesias´ Constant Gardener´s score.

Anonymous said...

I think the drawdropper of the century could happen this year. Maybe just like it happened in 2002. Think of the (realistic) possibilities. I seriously think this could happen.

1) Adams over Weisz
2) Hurt (yes I said it) over Clooney
3) Good Night over Crash screenplay
4) Batman (I would shit myself) over any other for cinematography
5) Murderball over Penguins

I am completely serious here.

In the words of Public Enemy, don't believe the hype.

Anonymous said...

Kathleen Turner was definitely snubbed for 'Peggy Sue Got Married'
and she should have been nominated for both "Prizzis Honor' and 'The War Of The Roses'.
other snubs performances;
1 Susan Sarandon in Thekma and Louise 1991
2 Annette Bening in American Beauty 1999
3.Annette Bening again in Being Julia 2004
4 Julian Moore in Far From Heaven 2002
5 Melanie Griffith in Working Girl 1988
but the biggest snub is definitely Turner....

John T said...

Almost four years later, it appears as if we were dead wrong about Amy Adams (scoring nomination number two), but scored a bullseye on about Hoffman, Ledger, and Clooney. And yes, Huffman hasn't scored again, but neither has Giamatti, which does in fact seem shocking in hindsight. And proving that people who are super famous five years ago disappear, where has Terrence Howard's career really gone since?