Wednesday, February 17, 2010

5 DVD Classics, A Giveaway

REVISED POST Do you ever watch Turner Classic Movies 31 Days of Oscar? It's a fine way to catch up on Oscar favorites that you missed or that you'd love to revisit. Their month-long golden celebration is going on right now.

They've offered us a great giveaway prize here at The Film Experience, allowing me to choose 5 Oscar nominated movies on DVD for one lucky reader. Sometimes I take a hateful amount of time in sending out prizes myself but this time that procrastination problem is alleviated since TCM is running the contest. So I have to follow their rules -- which means US entries only. There can be only one winner but two others will get a party-pack consolation prize.

To enter send me an email by Saturday Feb 20th with "5 dvds" in the subject line. Include your mailing address, full name and a gripe about a multiple nominee who has never won the prize, be they a cinematographer, costume designer, actor or whatever... I'll excerpt some of the gripes right here in one week when I announce the winner.

I opted to make the big prize a bittersweet reflection of Oscar glory and how hard it is to achieve, even if you get close. Four of the films are selected because they're a) awesome b) received multiple nominations c) lost all of them and d) starred awesome women who went competitive Oscarless in their careers. So next time you're upset about the Oscar-free status of modern ladies who are running out of time to take the prize (Julianne Moore, Glenn Close, Sigourney Weaver) just remember that Oscar has a way of ignoring the most consistently brilliant performers in order to reflect any given year's "hot buzz" -- it's been happening since forever. (If you ask me it's much harder to win an acting Oscar if you're consistently brilliant than if you have one great performance in you.)

The giveaway pack includes:

  • The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) * sorry. This was not available on DVD in the US format. I had to replace it.
  • Double Indemnity (1944)
    Was nominated for seven Oscars and lost all of them. Critical darling Barbara Stanwyck (4 noms/0 wins) does femme fatale duty in this classic noir. This is also the movie that inspired Body Heat (1981) which brought the world Kathleen Turner, another spectacular actress who never won an Oscar.
  • A Star is Born (1954)
    Was nominated for six Oscars and lost all of them. Judy Garland's (2 noms/0 wins) classic performance is about hundred times more impressive than the deglamming performance that took the gold prize away. Speaking of things that got away... "The Man That Got Away" is pure emotional / musical bliss.
  • The Umbrellas of Cherbourgh (1964)
    Was nominated for five Oscars -- in two separate years! -- and lost all of them. The Belle Toujours of Cinema, Catherine Deneuve (1 nom / 0 wins) is still Oscarless.
  • The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989)
    Was nominated for four Oscars and lost all of them. "Susie Diamond" is the performance that put Michelle Pfeiffer (3 noms / 0 wins) in the pantheon.
  • They Shoot Horses Don't They (1969)
    This harrowing excellent drama is the exception to the rules in this contest. It did not go home Oscarless, winning 1 statue (Best Supporting Actor, Gig Young). But here's the "biggest loser" kicker. It was nominated for 9 statues and not Best Picture, making it the most nominated film ever to have hold that dubious distinction. Also Jane Fonda herself did not go Oscarless. She won two statues later on (Coming Home and Klute) both well deserved.
Can't wait to hear which Oscar-free person makes you craziest. Good luck!


Alex M said...

Wait, am I missing something here? Ambersons has an official US DVD release? If it does, I want to know how this completely went by me.


hmmm. I dunno. They OK'd my choices. so, maybe? i shall double check

Alex M said...

There's a 2002 Ambersons film based on Welles' original script that is available on DVD, but as far as I know, there has never been a Welles Ambersons DVD. One of the biggest travesties of all-time.


Alex. you were right. It IS available on DVD in a european format. But i had to replace it in the contest. Thanks for the catch.

Wayne B said...

What about Honorary Oscar winners, do they still count for this?

kent said...

great choices, nathaniel. have you seen all five of your dvd choices? the only one i haven't seen is THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG? any thoughts?

each of the leading actresses surely deserved oscars for their work.


I have. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is A-MA-ZING.

Robert Hamer said...

Is there a max/min amount of words we should dedicate to our gripes?

James said...

Sigourney Weaver! WTF?!?!? There are so many to choose from but I just find hers the most devastating. She was the first double nominee to become a double loser. She should have won for Gorillas in the Mist AND The Ice Storm.


robert - no

Runs Like A Gay said...

No matter about the worst Oscar snubbee gripe - I'm gripping on behalf of your international audience who can't win this competition.

I feel like we're all stuck in the foreign language ghetto.

We try so hard, we work within the constraints of the media, we create a comment of beauty and depth, and then it only gets read by a small committee and no-one else in the bothers to read it so there's no chance of even acknowleging our work.

I know it's not your fault Nat, so I forgive you. And I may go and console myslef by watching Ambersons on my Region 2 DVD, so hopefully you'll forgive me.


Runs -- i hope i get points for the fact that i almost always allow all countries in my prizes, even at cost to myself (by having the studios ship me prizes first)... of course that means we're relying on my procrastinative hellish post office trips. But I try!

Runs Like A Gay said...

I know you always do the right thing Nat and think of your international fans.

That's why I keep on coming back.

techyone said...

Kathleen Turner, she should have won multiples. Great actress.

joe burns said...

I already own four of them (A Star Is Born, T.S.H.D.T?, Double Indeminity, and Baker Boys). I absolutely love A Star Is Born! Judy should have won! Even though I personally love Grace Kelly's performance as well. Nathaniel, who would you consider your favorite and least favorite Best Actress winner?

joe burns said...

I already own four of them (A Star Is Born, T.S.H.D.T?, Double Indeminity, and Baker Boys). I absolutely love A Star Is Born! Judy should have won! Even though I personally love Grace Kelly's performance as well. Nathaniel, who would you consider your favorite and least favorite Best Actress winner?