March 2013


Thomas had the day home from school today, so during a playdate with the daughter of one of my co-workers we dyed Easter eggs and made Thin Mint cupcakes.photo-3 Thomas_eggseggs

Also Erik asked that I remind everyone that Monday is Lon Chaney Day on Turner Classic Movies. He talks about many of the movies that will be shown in a post here.

Director # George Clooney and # Alexander Payne on the set of The Descendants.

Director #57 George Clooney and #56 Alexander Payne on the set of The Descendants.

And now we move on to part 7, all of whom, in theory will be in the 3.0 Top 100 Directors of All-Time List.  Whether that happens in practice, or whether some alterations will happen to how I compose the next version of the list is not yet decided.

So, again, we have the ranked list of every director who has ever been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director.  If you somehow missed the first several parts of the list, you can find them at various points here, with an introduction here that explains the project and the scoring system.  After only getting through three of these in all of 2012, this is the third one to appear in 2013 because I want to finish the list before another Oscar season arrives and the list changes again.

As with several previous posts, there is a theme here.  But this theme is produced by where we are on the list, rather than any coincidences.  These are the directors who haven’t made as many films.  There are 25 directors on this list.  Of those 25, four of them (Michael Curtiz, George Cukor, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, George Stevens) are old pros, coming out of the Studio Era.  They directed a combined 194 films, of which I have seen 161 (so, I am missing 33).  Those four directed an average of 48.5 films (though Curtiz, with 100, has the bulk of that).  Of the other 21 directors on this list, they have combined to direct 163 films, of which I have seen 161.  So, the other 21 directors have averaged directing 7.76 films.  And if we take out a few more (Alan Parker, Milos Forman, Alan J. Pakula, Jonathan Demme, Bernardo Bertolucci), we are left with 16 directors who have only directed a combined 90 films (or 5.63 films per director).  They are here because, for the most part, they haven’t made any bad films yet (or just one) and they don’t have the weight bringing down their handful of good or great films.  There are only 7 directors, however, who have managed to get into the Top 50 while not yet having directed 10 films, so most of the remaining newer directors are gathered here in this post. (more…)

The illustrated version of The Hobbit that I have been reading to Thomas.

The illustrated version of The Hobbit that I have been reading to Thomas.

I’m trying to work on a few different posts at the same time.  One is a For Love of Film, one is the next batch of Oscar-nominated directors.  Another is a look at Adapted Screenplays from 1912-1926.  And there are a couple of For Love of Books posts that I’m trying to work on.

Three great characters.  And one not so great.

Three great characters. And one not so great.

That, and I have been reading to Thomas from The Hobbit every night.  We just finished last night, after having started back in December.  Now we’re moving on to The Wind in the Willows.

Oh, and Veronica and I have been watching our way through “Doctor Who”.  After finishing all of the current run (Eccleston, Tenant, Smith), we also went back and started at the beginning.  The very beginning: “An Unearthly Child”, which aired originally on 23 November 1963.  Well, after watching a bunch of Hartnell (most of which were “meh” but definitely get “The Chase”) and every available serial with Troughton (who was awesome), we have been watching our way through the 3rd Doctor – Jon Pertwee, with some mixed results (Veronica really doesn’t like a particular companion who happens to not be Liz or Sarah Jane).  We’ve been trying to finish before the second half of Series 7 begins on 30 March.  We won’t quite make it, but it will be close.

All of this means the next post might be ready for tomorrow or it might not.  But there will be some coming soon.  And after finishing three different series which ran for over three years each (Year in Film ran from 30 Oct 2009 to 3 March 2013, The History of the Academy Awards: Best Picture ran from 9 March 2010 to 17 March 2013 and The Top 100 Novels ran from 10 January 2010 to 24 February 2013) I am a bit exhausted.  So more soon.  But now I’m off to watch more Pertwee (only six more serials until Sarah Jane!).

And we’ll let you all know how Thomas’ science fair project goes.  We’re investigating if crushing Mentos before you put them in Diet Coke effects how much they explode.  Let the messiness begin!

Still one of the best openings ever.  Oh, and still the best film ever made and by default, the #1 film on the Best Picture list.

Still one of the best openings ever. Oh, and still the best film ever made and by default, the #1 film on the Best Picture list.

Back in 2009, I did a long series of histories of all the Academy Awards categories (you can find a full list here).  The final thing I did was a ranked list of all 468 Best Picture nominees.  When I revised all those posts in 2010 I only added in the 2009 Best Picture nominees to the ranked list rather than redo the list.  There was a reason for that – for a long time, that one post was by far the most popular thing I had ever put up.  There were stretches where it accounted for almost 20% of the hits on the entire site.  But that changed drastically with Google’s changing of how images come up.  But still I didn’t revise it, because by then, I was in the middle of a project that began on 9 March 2010 and only finished on 6 March 2013 – a year by year look at Best Picture in every year.  So I wanted to wait until the project was done. (more…)

Screen shot 2013-03-13 at 7.36.43 PM

2002 – the Best year for Best Picture in Oscar history

Here we have 85 years of the Academy Award nominees for Best Picture.

This list covers a complete ranking of all 85 of those years, from the very worst to the very best.  This was preceded by a ranked list of all 86 winners (because there were two in the first year) and will be followed by a complete ranking of all 505 films that have earned Best Picture nominations (not including the one that is lost).  Now, in this list, there are not links to all the individual posts I wrote about all the years, because it really takes quite a while to do all the links.  So, if you go to the winners, you can find the links there. (more…)

Michael-Corleone

Michael in both the darkness and the light in The Godfather (1972) – still the best film to ever win Best Picture at the Academy Awards.

Here we have 85 years of Oscar winners.  Though, because of the two winners in 1928 there are actually 86 winners that are ranked.

This list covers a complete ranking of all 86 of those films, from the very worst to the very best.  This will be followed by two more lists: a complete ranking of all the Best Picture years and a complete ranking of all 503 films that have earned Best Picture nominations (not including the 3 that can’t readily be seen). (more…)

They walk out of the embassy and into history: Argo (2012).

They walk out of the embassy and into history: Argo (2012).

The 85th annual Academy Awards, for the film year 2012.  The nominations were announced on 10 January 2013 and the awards were held on 24 February 2013.

Best Picture:  Argo

  • Lincoln
  • Les Misérables
  • Zero Dark Thirty
  • Django Unchained
  • Amour
  • Silver Linings Playbook
  • Life of Pi
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild

Most Surprising Omission:  Moonrise Kingdom

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  Anna Karenina

Rank (out of 85) Among Best Picture Years:  #16

(more…)

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