If Friday night’s Santa Barbara International Film Festival tribute to Robert Redfordtaught us anything, it is that the legendary actor-director-festival founder is a man of his word. The 77-year-old agreed to come to the fest to participate in a Q&A and accept the American Riviera Award back in Dec., when it looked like a sure thing that he would receive a best actor Oscar nomination for All Is Lost. When that did not happen in Jan., he could have understandably, if disappointingly, pulled out, as some others who were Oscar-snubbed did this year and in years past. But, as an old showbiz pro and a man who knows how tough it is to put together a festival, he did not want to leave someone else hanging and not only showed up but provided one of the more exciting and fascinating evenings of the fest’s 29th edition.
Posts Tagged ‘Robert Redford’
By Mark Pinkert
One of the most popular Oscar hopefuls this year is Bruce Dern, who has gotten a lot of love from critics and from his peers for a great performance in Alexander Payne’s Nebraska. But, other than the role itself, what has made his story so special is that he’s had an extremely prolific film career–mostly as a supporting actor–and is finally getting Oscar recognition for the first time at the age of 77. (Dern did get nominated for Best Supporting Actor thirty-five years ago for Coming Home (1978).) Even getting a nomination, though, will be an uphill battle, as he’s in a tight race with the likes of Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Matthew McConaughey.
By Mark Pinkert
At the ripe age of 79, Judi Dench could become the second oldest woman to win the Academy Award for Best Actress. She’s a likely nominee by way of Philomena (2013), a British comedy-drama in which Philomena Lee (Dench) pairs up with an out-of-work journalist, Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan), to find the son she was forced to give up 50 years earlier. An Academy win would make Dench the second oldest Best Actress behind only Jessica Tandy, who won the award at the age of 80 as Mrs. Daisy Werthan in Driving Miss Daisy (1989), and only the third Best Actress to receive the award while over the age of 65 (Katharine Hepburn won for On Golden Pond (1981) when she was 74 years old).
Dench–known more for her icy, matriarchal roles–is illuminated and humorous in Philomena, and she handles this role with great dexterity. But while she’s an almost guaranteed Best Actress nom, the film itself seems to be on the Best Picture bubble, and will have a tough time squeezing past the likes of Inside Llewyn Davis or Dallas Buyers Club. This despite the fact that the Academy voting body is notoriously known for being very old and very white, and often voting that way.
By Mark Pinkert
Studios and actors have campaigned for Oscars in the past, but never as fervently and persistently as they do these days. Competition is the new norm, and it’s mostly credited to Harvey Weinstein, who politicized Oscar season in the 1990s while working as the head of Miramax Films. Weinstein was rumored to have used coercion, subterfuge, and even bribery to get his films into Oscar contention–the verity of these rumors is debatable; what is known, though, is that he spent exorbitant amounts of money and was somehow able to will Shakespeare in Love, for instance, past Life is Beautiful and Saving Private Ryanin the 1998 Best Picture race.
In order to stay competitive, other distributors had to follow suit and, as a result, Oscar season has become an expensive festival of cocktail parties, dinners, screenings, honorary awards, ad campaigns, and the like. “Buzz” is the word, and it even seems that less emphasis has been placed on the work between “action” and “cut.” This is true for actors especially, who are commissioned by studios to travel the country and serve as the primary promoters of the film.
By Terence Johnson
To campaign or to not campaign? Tis the question posed to actors every year any time their performances warrant any kind of awards consideration. Robert Redford is certainly being confronted with this question given that he finds himself in contention for Best Actor in the tightest race we’ve seen in a while. But should he be doing more? The answer to that question is something worth looking into.
Robert Redford, the legendary actor and director who is earning rave reviews for his work in All Is Lost — a gripping sea-set thriller in which he is the only actor onscreen and communicates volumes with hardly a word of dialogue — will receive the American Riviera Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, it was announced Tuesday.
By Joey Magidson
Each year, Oscar voters reward several previously unrecognized talents with their first Academy Award nominations. But they have a habit of filling many if not most of their 20 acting slots with people whom they have previously been nominated. (If you happen to have already won an Oscar? Well, then you are sitting even prettier.)
Why is this the case? That’s probably a question for a psychologist, although my own guess would be that voters are more inclined to check out the work of — and reward — work by quantities who are known and established than who are not.
Regardless, there are, as usual, plenty of previous nominees and winners — actors, actresses, directors, writers, and various behind-the-scenes talent — angling this year to be a part of the Oscar race once again. I have decided to highlight the 10 whom I believe have the best shot at scoring that desired recognition.
By Joey Magidson
I’ve always had a soft spot for films that are directed by actors. In one of my recent pieces, I spoke about how the Academy looks at actors who direct. Now, I’ll be continuing my interest by focusing in on which of these multi-hyphenates are the best at what they do.
By and large, the films that actors make when they choose directorial projects have some sort of significance for them or at least play to their strengths, so disasters are few and far between. This makes it a lot of fun to celebrate the best of the bunch, since I’m able to draw from a larger pool than you normally can when looking at one particular type of filmmaker.
I take some comfort in knowing that most films directed by actors tend to be at least decent, if not better. I see almost 300 movies in a given year (in 2012 I saw 290 in total), so I undoubtedly see a lot of garbage to go along with the gems, but the flicks that actor-directors put out almost never turn out terrible.
By Joey Magidson
No matter how we talk about the Oscar race right now, the discussion is fed through the prism of both the Best Picture candidacy of Argo and the Best Director snub of Ben Affleck. Especially now that the Producers Guild crowned Argo with their top prize over the weekend and the Screen Actors Guild did the same just hours ago, all roads of discussion go through that flick and Affleck.
One angle that I haven’t really discussed much yet is the fact that Affleck is still primarily an actor transitioning to being a director as well. This is only his third film, and while he’s seen Oscar nominations for supporting roles in both of his films (Amy Ryan for Gone Baby Gone and Jeremy Renner for The Town), no wins have come for any of his directorial outings.
This time around, Argo was supposed to be the movie that got him over the hump. In one regard, it did, since the film is nominated for seven Academy Awards and is in serious contention to win at least three or four of them. Obviously, the one place it’s notoriously not competing in is the Best Director category. Affleck was looked at as perhaps the leader of the pack for much of the season, but he wound up out in the cold on nomination morning.
The snub begs the question of whether the Academy truly has the soft spot for films directed by actors that some presume exists. Did Argo get the love it did because of — or in spite of — the admiration voters had for Affleck’s efforts?
By Rachel Bennett
Television Editor & Columnist
Movies used to be gold standard for actors, with George Clooney, Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio leaving the small screen for the big to achieve great professional and financial success.
However, times are changing, and many actors who left TV to work in movies are coming back, including Eddie Murphy, Robin Williams and Michael J. Fox. Due to the addition of cable and subscription-based original programming, better roles are being created that will give actors a chance for the recognition, awards and job security that movies no longer provide. Just look at Claire Danes, who returned to TV to star in Showtime’s Homeland, for which she’s nominated for an Emmy.
There are several actors who should return to TV, but not all of them will. Take a look at the top 10 TV stars who’ve left TV but should return: