Turner Classic Movies: 31 Days of Oscar
CMH Picks: Week Two
Saturday February 8: Auntie Mame at 5:30PM EST
6 Nominations: Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Cinematography Color, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Film Editing 1959
“Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.”
I’ve always had an odd dream of becoming the sassy, drunk aunt at family affairs. Now of course I don’t mean the ‘fall down the stairs embarrassment’ kind of drunk. Just, ya know, the ‘sassy’ drunk. The reason: Auntie Mame of course. Her lifestyle is almost as fabulous as she is, and the best part is that she makes no apologies for it. What a glorious woman.
Sunday February 9: The Remains of the Day at 2:30PM EST
8 Nominations: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Writing Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Costume Design, Best Music Original Score 1994
So British. So repressed. So good.
I have seen this movie over 15 times. To me, it’s nearly perfect. The cinematography, the pacing, the direction – all of it works to tell the heartbreaking story of regret, misguided loyalty, politics and at its core, the lost chance for love. Funnily enough, this film features very little romance. But that is where the beauty lies. Love and romance do not always go hand-in-hand and no other movie proves this point better. I know, made in 1993, it’s not quite a “classic” but give it a shot. You’ll be happy you did.
Monday February 10: The Great Dictator at Midnight EST
5 Nominations: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Writing Original Screenplay, Best Music Original Score 1941
Everyone should listen to Chaplin’s speech at the end of this film and take notes. It rings just as true now as it did in 1940. But if midnight is little past your bedtime, at least read this part. I think everyone can learn from what Chaplin is saying:
“Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost…”
Tuesday February 11: Adam’s Rib at 12:15PM EST
1 Nomination: Best Writing Story and Screenplay 1951
Oh, no fights out. Hepburn punchin’ your lights out.
A battle of the minds, a battle of the spouses and, a battle of the sexes — all wrapped up in a cracker-jack of a comedy. What more could you want? The film was written especially for Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, and boy does it show. The two give some of the best comedic performances of their lives.
Wednesday February 12: The Manchurian Candidate at 4:00PM EST
2 Nominations: Best Supporting Actress, Best Film Editing 1963
This woman is perfection. Like Laurence Harvey, I won’t hear anything different.
Watch this film for Angela Lansbury. Yes, everything else is good but Lansbury is absolutely phenomenal as the diabolically evil Mrs. Eleanor Shaw Iselin. I personally consider it one of the finest performances ever to grace the silver screen and find it almost criminal that she did not receive the Oscar that year.
Thursday February 13: Autumn Sonata at 1:30PM EST
2 Nominations: Best Actress, Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen 1979
Bergman acting in a Bergman film.
Ingmar Bergman can be a bit difficult to “get into;” His films are deeply philosophical and tackle themes of existentialism, nihilism and power dynamics. This film is no different. However, if you’re a classic film fan, then this film has something to ease your jump into the Bergman – INGRID Bergman. It’s the only film these two giants of the Swedish film industry worked together in, and, boy, did they make it count.
Friday February 14: A Star is Born at 10:30AM EST
6 Nominations: Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration Color, Best Costume Design Color, Best Music Original Song, Best Music Scoring of a Musical Picture 1955
Lamenting the man that got away.
Judy Garland. Judy Garland. And Judy Garland. She shines in this film like no other. This film almost acts as counter-point to her early, childhood career; when she was a doe-eyed girl who simply wished for home. With this film, she is all grown-up, alone in the world and wishing for the Man That Got Away.
–Minoo Allen for Classic Movie Hub