Saturday, April 05, 2014

Alternate Oscars Part II

An on-going feature where we take a random year in film and reconstruct a particular Oscar category with equal or more deserving substitutes. Or, as Doc Brown might say: "It demonstrates PRECISELY how time travel can be misused and why the time machine must be destroyed...after we straighten all this out." Don't forget to cast your vote from the parallel universe nominees (or write in your own) in the comments section. 

1993 Academy Award for Best Actor

the actual nominees:

Tom Hanks as Andrew Beckett in Philadelphia (winner)
Daniel Day-Lewis as Gerry Conlon in In the Name of the Father
Laurence Fishburne as Ike Turner in What's Love Got to Do with It
Anthony Hopkins as James Stevens in The Remains of the Day
Liam Neeson as Oskar Schindler in Schindler's List

the parallel universe nominees:

Jeff Bridges as Max Klein in Fearless
Jeff Daniels as Colonel Joshua Chamberlain in Gettysburg
John Goodman as Lawrence Woolsey in Matinee
Bill Murray as Phil Conners in Groundhog Day
Al Pacino as Carlito Brigante in Carlito's Way

Friday, April 04, 2014

Alternate Oscars

The 2004 Academy Award nominees for Best Supporting Actor were:

Morgan Freeman as Eddie "Scrap-Iron" Dupris in Million Dollar Baby
Alan Alda as Owen Brewster in The Aviator  
Thomas Haden Church as Jack Cole in Sideways 
Jamie Foxx as Max Durocher in Collateral
Clive Owen as Larry Gray in Closer

Morgan Freeman was the undisputed champ (though I suspect they were just honoring him retroactively for 1994's The Shawshank Redemption). Below is a list of five deserving nominees for Best Supporting Actor from 2004 that never were but conceivably could have been (in a parallel universe perhaps?).

David Carradine as Bill (Snake Charmer) in Kill Bill: Vol. 2

Nick Frost as Ed in Shaun of the Dead

Aaron Ruell as Kip Dynamite in Napoleon Dynamite

David Thewlis as Remus Lupin in  
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Mark Wahlberg as Tommy Corn in I Heart Huckabees

Others that could have easily made the cut: Tim McGraw in Friday Night Lights; Peter Sarsgaard in Garden State; Freddie Highmore in Finding Neverland; and Rodrigo de la Serna in The Motorcycle Diaries.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

weightless & delirious

A framed print of Marc Chagall's oil on canvas Over the Town (completed in 1918) sits on a mantle in the home of Steve Martin's fire chief character C.D. Bales in Roxanne (1987). Later in the film, which was based on Edmond Rostand's famous play Cyrano de Bergerac (1897), C.D. alludes to a Chagall painting:

"I am in orbit around you, I am suspended weightless over you like the blue man in the Chagall, hanging over you in a delirious kiss." 

Chagall often painted figures hovering over the ground, or suspended in mid-air above rural landscapes and villages. This particular image features Chagall and his wife Bella Rosenfeld Chagall dreamily floating over Vitebsk, the small town where he grew up. The original Chagall painting currently resides at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

Another framed print adorns the wall next to C.D.'s fireplace: Rudolph II as Vertumnus (1590-91) by Giuseppe Arcimboldo. The painting depicts Italian court artist Arcimboldo's patron as a composite portrait of the Roman god of metamorphosis, vegetation and the four seasons. Arcimboldo's imaginative works were an inspiration to Salvador DalĂ­ and the early 20th Century Surrealist movement.