Thursday, July 11, 2013

"Blue Jasmine" and the Woody Allen Oscar Game

The year was 1977.  Star Wars was the biggest hit of all time, soon to become the biggest cinematic obsession of, perhaps all time, but it was Annie Hall that won the Best Picture Academy Award for that year.  It was also Woody Allen's first Oscar win (he won for Direction, as well as Original Screenplay, for which he won with Marshall Brickman), of which, he didn't show, as would become accustom.  He has since won two more Academy Awards-- both for screenwriting, for Hannah & Her Sisters and Midnight in Paris-- in becoming the Academy's favorite screenwriter.  The awards game with Woody Allen films is a bit more hit and miss nowadays then during his prime, but further prodding shows that within his film a year since in the early 1970s, it's safe to assume that his films --> Oscar nomination ratio is one of the most durable and consistent in history.  He's also one a director with one of the very best ratios of Oscar-nominated performances.  On the heels of excellent early word on Cate Blanchett's performance in his upcoming and enticing looking Blue Jasmine, here's a look back at Allen's past Oscar triumphs.

As a preamble, out of all the acting nominations that have been bestowed for Woody Allen films, many of them are richly deserved nominees.  Nevertheless, the Academy has shown a certain reluctance to nominate perhaps arguably the greatest actor he has ever guided, his greatest muse, partner and well, things kind of didn't end well, but Musings and Stuff commends Mia Farrow, despite the fact that the AMPAS never did.

A trip down memory lane:

Annie Hall (1977)- The first Allen directed performance to be nominated was not just a winner, but one of the most iconic characterizations in American cinemas.  Do I need to even type the name.  La-de-da, la-de-da. la, la.  Allen himself earned his lone acting nomination.  1 win / 2 nominations

Interiors (1978)- The year after his sensation, Allen directed two more performances to nomination-- Geraldine Page for leading actress and Maureen Stapleton for supporting actress.  Neither won; Woody record: 1 win / 4 nominations

Manhattan (1979)- Mariel Hemingway earned a supporting actress nomination playing Allen's teenage girlfriend- she lost to Meryl Streep for Kramer vs. Kramer, who played Allen's lesbian's ex-wife in Manhattan.  1 win / 5 nominations.

Hannah & Her Sisters (1986)- After a seven year dry spell, Allen come back strong with Hannah, earning two more nominations (and awards) for supporting actress Dianne Wiest and supporting actor Michael Caine.  Caine, famously was not present for the ceremony because he was filming the Oscar-winning Jaws: The Revenge.  3 wins / 7 nominations

Crimes & Misdemeanors (1989)- Martin Landau earned a supporting actor nomination, the second of only four acting nominations for males.  3 wins / 8 nominations

Husbands & Wives (1992)- Judy Davis was nominated, and should've have won, for supporting actress.  3 wins / 9 nominations

Bullets Over Broadway (1994)- Dianne Wiest won supporting actress for her indelible turn as a Broadway diva, she was up against co-star Jennifer Tilly, while Chazz Palminteri was up for supporting actor.  4 wins / 12 nominations

Mighty Aphrodite (1995)- The very next year Mira Sorvino won supporting actress for her high-pitched prostitute comedic turn.  5 wins / 13 nominations

Sweet & Lowdown (1999)- Sean Penn and Samantha Morton earned nominations for best actor and supporting actress.  5 wins / 15 nominations

Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)- After a long dry spell, Penelope Cruz won supporting actress for her fiery Spanish turn.  6 wins / 16 nominations

Good luck Blanchett!

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